“Doctor Who: The Art of Death” by James Goss

“Doctor Who: Blackout & The Art of Death”
“Blackout” by Oli Smith
read by Stuart Milligan
“The Art of Death” by James Goss
Read by Raquel Cassidy
Published by AudioGo (2012)
2 hours 32 minutes

First off, Thank You, AudioGo, for publishing these Doctor Who stories here in the states! I am going through Doctor Who withdrawals (the next season can’t get here fast enough), but thanks to AudioGo the audio releases of Doctor Who stories are definitely finding a home on my listening list. These are originally released in the U.K. on BBC audio but brought to the U.S. via AudioGo.

This time around AudioGo has packaged 2 one hour productions into one box. I had previously reviewed the first story in the set, “Blackout,” I was impatient, like I said I’m going through withdrawals. When I received this 2 disc collection, my son, whom I’ve been trying to get into audiobooks, wanted me to listen to those with him, so I gave him the “Blackout” disc while I completed listening to this set with “The Art of Death” and now that I have completed that one I can give him the other disc.

This review will be about the second story in this set, if you want to read my review of the first story just check out the review at this link

As with the “Blackout,” “The Art of Death” is a great story to fit within the Doctor Who universe. The author, James Goss, captures the spirit of the Doctor and his companions perfectly. One of the things I love about the Doctor Who series is the time travel aspect and this story is the perfect time travel story, with the whole paradox theory investigated. The reader, Raquel Cassidy does a great job as reader and even brings out the quirks of the 11th Doctor (portrayed on TV by Matt Smith), she is also able to portray Amy Pond and Rory spot on. The best thing is, is that this story is told from the point of view of Penelope, a care taker at an art gallery, more particularly in the Paradox room of the gallery. Her main job is to keep people from staring at the Paradox, because it can drive people mad.

When the story opens Penelope is telling her story and the story of the Paradox exhibit in the ceiling of the gallery. As one child described it, it is a glowing rainbow octopus. The Paradox begins to talk to Penelope and when the Doctor arrives, he greets Penelope as if they were old friends. When she asks who he is he explains, we haven’t met yet but we will. He explains that he, Amy and Rory were stopping in to see the gallery when they each fell into a time loop and that they will be together again eventually. At this time the Paradox begins to talk to Penelope and they discover it contains a giant creature with a penchant for death.

The Doctor is grabbed by the creature and the Doctor says in a perfect Doctor line, ” Don’t be alarmed, It’s simply sucking the life out of me. Nothing to worry about…” as he fades away. As time passes the paradox becomes stronger and Penelope is visited through various stages in her life by Amy, Rory and the Doctor, although they only appear separately, since they are each drifting through time. Soon the secret of the Paradox is discovered and it is up to the Doctor and Penelope to save the planet and maybe the universe.

With an ongoing mystery that is only fully discovered near the end of this story this is one that will keep you listening on the edge of your seat until the very end. In addition to the great voice work from Raquel Cassidy the producers have mixed in some great sound effects that push the story closer to that edge of mystery. Great listening in this one.