THIS STORY TAKES
CHAOS" AND THE
BBC AUDIO CD (ISBN 1-
IN FEBRUARY 2009.
When the sky rips
open somewhere over
Dover, two objects
hurtle out of the
Vortex and crash-
land in the sea. One
is the TARDIS, out of
control - but the
other, a mysterious
is far more sinister...
are taken to a secret
command centre in the
Dover cliffs. It's May
1940, and Admiral
Ramsey is about to
finalise one of the
most daring plans
of the Second World
has got inside the
War Tunnels, a
from the crashed
sphere. Its aim is to
possess all humans
and spawn millions
of young. The Doctor
and Donna must fight
for their lives in
order to save both
and the world at
(2 70-MINUTE EPISODES)
David Roden’s second full-length endowment to the world of Doctor Who is far less divisive than his first. The Nemonite Invasion may the lack the flood of ex-Doctors and former companions that his 1993 Children in Need special, Dimensions in Time, had in spates, but it does have the virtue of being totally and utterly traditional. In fact, this ‘audio exclusive’ is one of the most traditional offerings that the BBC have marketed in quite a long time now and, if approached on that basis, I don’t think that many will be disappointed with it.
As somebody who doesn’t especially care for audio books – given the choice, I would have plumped for a printed version of this book – it takes a lot to impress me in terms of prod-uction quality and, above all, narration. Fortunately, as was the case with last October’s Forever Trap, the incidental music and occasional sound effects here are very evocative and better still, Catherine Tate is on hand to narrate the piece and to breathe life into Donna Noble in the way that only she can.
What I enjoy so much about Tate’s narration is that she tries to make every single character in the book stand out – she is not reading you a bedtime story; she is giving a performance. Her tenth Doctor is, as previously, thoroughly
extraordinary; and the likes of Vice-Admiral
Ramsey and the Nemonite-possessed Welsh-
man, Clayton, are certainly all her own.
“You’ve brought a Nazi into my base! Is he one of your X-Files?”
Roden’s story is a customary base under siege affair, and whilst the plot is by no means stupendous, it nevertheless entertains throughout, particularly as Roden has written the Doctor and Donna so very astutely. For instance, even in spite of it being very bleak in
tone, The Nemonite Invasion is littered with some delightful flourishes of humour; Donna’s contention that she and the Doctor work for “The X-Files” and are investigating unexplained phenomena had me in stitches, and that one is just the tip of the iceberg - you should hear Donna squirm as the Doctor gently teases her about how the Navy are going to torture them!
“903, you say? The arthritis must be hell.”
Roden’s supporting characters are less notable, though to be fair I did like both Ramsey
and Fosbrook, the latter of whom served as something of an unexpected half-love interest
for Donna. Jarman annoyed me though as he was just so damned predictable; Roden could have cut the character completely and spared us forty-odd minutes worth of “I don’t trust this Doctor, Admiral. Let’s lock him up!” padding.
In all though, The Nemonite Invasion is a very polished production that I’d say is almost on
a par with the few Companion Chronicles that I‘ve heard from Big Finish productions (which are, of course, very highly regarded). And although it certainly has its flaws (particularly in the terribly prolonged second half), this story really stands out as being one of the most dark and claustrophobic of the tenth Doctor’s time.
Copyright © E.G. Wolverson 2009
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