This latest original Eleventh Doctor adventure from AudioGo is a bit more ambitious than the previous few releases in that it stretches itself over the course of a couple of hours, rather than the one hour/ one disc format we’ve had lately.
And for the most part, the story benefits from it. Where the previous stories were, thanks to their length, punchy and to the point, I feared that this one would perhaps wallow a bit in filling the time. And while it is true there are a few scenes that could do with being trimmed, it is on the whole, the length it should be.
So, what have we got here? It is ostensibly an historical adventure- set in the South American jungle in the early 1800s. The Doctor, Amy and Rory meet up with a group of explorers who are there to hunt and capture animals for the soon to open London Zoo.
Now, Rory is one of my favourite Who characters ever. He is a proper ‘voice’ for the viewer in a way that none of the previous new Who companions have been, and I am pleased to say that he is excellently written here- as are both the Doctor and Amy.
The story in itself is pretty good too, and the writer, Darren Jones, was obviously having a load of fun while writing it, something that is evident in the final act, as he really goes to town with some imaginative monsters. Oh, and the sly nod to the Exorcist also made me smile- I wonder if this is a first for Who (not me smiling, the reference…)?
And all this would be for nothing without a good narrator. Thankfully, we get David Troughton- fresh from his triumphant reading of The War Games.
And while, in his readings, Matt Smith goes for it with a ridiculous Scottish accent, Troughton goes the opposite direction and barely tries at all. When he does, it comes out more Somerset that Inverness, so maybe it’s as well he doesn’t try too hard.
But overall, this is a great piece of writing and is performed excellently by Troughton, and the sound design unobtrusive, but at the same time it manages to add another layer to the production.
Great stuff, and just the thing to fill the gap while we all wait for the Doctor's return in the autumn.