Of the three titles in this second wave this was the one I was most looking forward to. Not only is the story written by Stephen Cole, the author responsible for some of my favourite non-TV adventures for the Doctor and Rose (The Monsters Inside and The Feast of the Drowned), but the narration duties are performed by Don Warrington – one of my favourite actors.
(Younger readers who were unluckily enough not to grow up with Rising Damp and C.A.T.S Eyes may need reminding that Warrington played the President in Series Two’s ‘Rise of the Cybermen’.)
Despite being set slightly in the future (22nd century Africa) this is a very contemporary story which deals with the themes of resource harvesting and exploitation by technologically advanced peoples at the expense of less developed communities.
It’s great to see Doctor Who dealing with these real world themes and in mixing contemporary issues with science fiction elements Cole invokes memories of classic tales such as the ‘The Green Death’.
As always Cole uses powerful language to describe his locations and characters which combines with Warrington’s amazing voice to produce a vivid and detailed ‘mind’s eye’ picture which far exceeds anything the series is capable of depicting even with the undoubted wizardry of The Mill.
The discussion which rounds off the second disc further explores the story’s themes and although it may be above the head of younger listeners it’s good to hear the author discussing the ideas which inspired him.
Doctor Who: The Art of Destruction is released on 6th November and is available from all good bookshops, online at BBCShop.com’s
Doctor Who store
or by BBC Audiobooks direct mail on 0800 136 919 and is also available to purchase as a download from digital retailers.