Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Doctor Who: Dead Air - James Goss (audio) review

Doctor Who: Dead Air (BBC Doctor Who: New Series Audio Exclusives)
AudioGO Ltd
May 11, 2010
read by David Tennant
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depo/or Amazon

An exclusive audio story, read by David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor

'Hello, I'm the Doctor. And, if you can hear this, then one of us is going to die.'

At the bottom of the sea, in the wreck of a floating radio station, a lost recording has been discovered. After careful restoration, it is played for the first time – to reveal something incredible.

It is the voice of the Doctor, broadcasting from Radio Bravo in 1966. He has travelled to Earth in search of the Hush – a terrible weapon that kills, silences and devours anything that makes noise – and has tracked it to a boat crewed by a team of pirate DJs. With the help of feisty Liverpudlian Layla and some groovy pop music, he must trap the Hush and destroy it – before it can escape and destroy the world...

Written specially for audio by James Goss and read by David Tennant, Dead Air features the Doctor as played by David Tennant in the acclaimed hit series from BBC Television.


Dead Air is one in a series of audio stories the BBC has produced featuring whomever is, at the time, the current Doctor. Some are a bit longer -- closer to novel/audiobook length. At seventy-one minutes, Dead Air is closer to novella length. There are no print equivalents of these 'audio exclusives.'

While there is, obviously, nothing visual with Dead Air aside from whatever your imagination creates, it still feels very much like an episode -- or two -- of the series. Some of that is, yes, due to the length. Most, however, is due to the writing, the pacing and the characters, Tennant is the Doctor here just as he is (okay, sorry, was) in the show. It doesn't feel like he's reading someone's lines or playing someone else's character, it's simply the Doctor off on another adventure. This isn't fanfiction, it's simply some more fiction.

Dead Air doesn't seem to fit into the Doctor's timeline anywhere in particular -- at least not that I noticed. So, I don't think you need to know the Doctor Who story line to understand any of what's happening. Nor do I think anything in Dead Air spoils any of the Tenth Doctor's story but that one I'm not sure about because I wasn't listening for that.

This may even be a great story for those who don't like (possible?) or know Doctor Who. It has fun twists and turns. Apart from the Doctor and the known Doctor Who elements, the plot itself is almost like The Twilight Zone in some (good) ways.

If this had been an episode of the series, it would be up there with "Blink" as one of my favorites.

Rating: 9/10


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