I’ve always been a fan of Justin Richards’ writing. Together with Lance Parkin and Paul Cornell he’s one of the real stars of the Doctor’s written adventures and it’s great to see him involved in furthering the adventures of the new series characters.
Richards has successfully weaved an atmospheric tale packed with some lively characters which, despite the space setting, has more than a few echoes of Treasure Island as The Doctor and Rose hunt for a lost treasure fabled to be the key to eternal life.
As the story reaches the half-way point it takes an unexpected turn with an act of betrayal which allows Richards to ramp up the threat level to the Doctor and Rose and adds a sense of urgency which is lacking in the early part of the tale. Such is the skill of Richards that just as you think you understand the motives of the guest characters things take another turn forcing you to reappraise things – this isn’t a story to listen to without fully concentrating on it!
David Tennant again acts as narrator and provides voices for all characters, something he seems to relish and excels at. Each character is invested with a distinctive and immediately recognisable voice ensuring it’s always obvious who is speaking.
On a slightly negative note there are a few odd moments when Tennant (as narrator) explains the underlying emotion of a line he delivers as the Doctor – this seems unnecessary given that his performance easily conveys the sentiment and anyone listening to this release will already be familiar with him in the role.
There’s possibly one too many ‘The Christmas Invasion’ style shouty moments for the Doctor but not having read the source novel it’s unclear if this is the work of the author or simply the effect of Tennant’s enthusiastic performance.
Neither of these are major issues and it’s doubtful I would have picked up on them if listening to the story wholly for pleasure rather than for the purpose of reviewing it and outweighing them is a wonderful ‘Jackanory’ feel to these releases – Tennant gives a virtuoso performance which evokes memories Kenneth Williams enthralling the nation’s children.
As with all titles in the range the CD includes an interview with the author conducted by David Darlington of Doctor Who Magazine. Richards discusses longevity of the series and the ease in which the series format can transfer between the page and screen whilst noting the difference between the frantic pace of the new series and telling of a story via the written medium.
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Doctor Who: The Resurrection Casket is available from 3rd July priced