Mickey is surprised to find a statue of Rose in a museum -
a statue that is 2,000 years old. The Doctor realises that
this means a trip to ancient Rome, but when they get there,
he and Rose have more on their minds than sculpture. While
the Doctor searches for a missing boy, Rose befriends a girl
who claims to know the future - and learns that you have to
be careful what you wish for...
When the print
version of this book was released, the Tenth Doctor
had so far only been seen at the very end of The
Parting of the Ways, in the brief Children
in Need mini-episode and in The
Christmas Invasion. This audio book (one of
a batch of three, the others being The
Feast of the Drowned and The
Resurrection Casket) offers fans a chance to
reappraise Jacqueline Rayner's story in light of our increased
familiarity with the new Doctor - especially since David Tennant
himself is the one doing the reading.
is a talented voice artist, so he provides a wealth of different
voices for the characters in the book. His imitation of Jackie
is particularly effective - his rendering of Mickey less so.
The aged Roman Gracilis sounds rather like Prince Charles,
while the thuggish "sculptor" Ursus reminds me of Russell
Crowe. Tennant's rendition of the GENIE comes across as not
unlike London Mayor Ken Livingstone or the Ferengi Grand Nagus
Zek in Star
Trek: Deep Space Nine. Naturally, his impersonation
of the Tenth Doctor is perfect! And because he reads in his
native Scots brogue, it's easy to tell where the authorial
voice ends and the Doctor's speech begins.
Rayner and Tennant get across the fact that the Tenth Doctor
is more of a man of action than his predecessor was. Here
he battles with gladiators and ferocious animals in a Roman
arena. Unfortunately, there isn't much of an opportunity to
explore the new Doctor's relationship with his companion,
because first Rose and then the Doctor disappear for long
sections of the story. The narrative is reliant on circular
logic and a few mind-bending time paradoxes, while the presence
of the reptilian wish-granting GENIE, which is reminiscent
of E Nesbit's Psammead, means that the end result is somewhat
on the silly side. However, in condensing her story for this
two-and-a-half-hour audio presentation, the author tightens
up what had been a rather run-around (or should that be roam-around?)
The double CD is rounded off by an interview with (a rather
giggly) Rayner, and is topped and tailed by Murray Gold's
excellent version of the Doctor Who theme tune. One
minor quibble is that none of the audio books features a pre-titles
sequence, even though the original novels were all written
so as to incorporate one.
This is an enjoyable reading of an enjoyable book - and at
a bargain price. If only Christopher Eccleston could have
done the same for Rayner's superior Winner
this item online
compare prices online so you get the cheapest
deal! Click on the logo of the desired store
below to purchase this item.
All prices correct at time of going to press.