Monday, 13 February 2012

Doctor Who Earthshock audiobook review

Earthshock is a notable story for a number of reasons. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that it is the favourite story of some fans for one particular reason. And to you people I would say: you are very cruel.
So, this audiobook of the Target novel by Ian Marter is read by the then Doctor, Peter Davidson.
This definitely adds something to the proceedings. Some of the previous audiobooks have been read by other actors who appeared in that particular story, and these have worked fine. But there’s something about having the Doctor himself reading it that lends an extra air to the proceedings.
Davidson is, naturally, very good. He has one of those warm voices that is perfect for the audiobook market. And of course he understands the emotional impact of certain events therein and conveys them with great skill. Also worth mentioning is that the cyberman voices are provided by Nicholas Briggs.

As mentioned, the book itself is written by the late, much missed former Harry Sullivan, Ian Marter.
After leaving the series as an actor, Marter managed to carve a nice corner of Who for himself by writing some of these adaptations, and even wrote a spin-off Harry Sullivan solo novel that was not half bad at all.
As a writer, Marter is very good, although he does commit a couple of, what are to me, cardinal sins. He uses too many adjectives in describing conversation (“He said, angrily”) and also does the really annoying thing of describing in detail what people are wearing. I don’t care what they have on – I care what they are doing.
On the plus side though, he improves greatly on the original television script, which was written by Eric Saward. Marter gives some more depth to the goings on, particularly with his descriptions of smells, and even has a go at patching up and explaining one of the major plot holes in the story to some success.
He also goes as far as to tweak the ending slightly, adding even more pathos to the scene. But I know that some of you will still laugh anyway…

Earthshock is released by AudioGo

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