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  • gilwilson 10:00 PM on January 16, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , arthur darvill, , , , , , , , , , , rory, , , ,   

    “Doctor Who: The Ring of Steel” by Stephen Cole 

    “Doctor Who: The Ring of Steel”
    by Stephen Cole
    Read by Arthur Darvill
    Published by AudioGO Ltd. & BBC Audio (2010)
    1 hour and 18 minutes

    Okay, I admit it, I’m hooked.  Hooked on Doctor Who.  What I find amazing is the awesome choice of audiobooks available in the Doctor Who World.  In the new generation of Doctor Who, which includes the 9th, 10th and 11th doctors, there are at least 50 audiobooks available.  Then all sorts of books on the doctors from the “old generation,” so it looks like I may have some fun for a while.  The television series is slated to start another season next fall, so until then I’m gonna listen to all the audiobooks I can lay my hands on.   Some of the se audiobooks are full length books and some are specifically for audio only and are written in a one hour format, much like a single television episode.  This latest one is one of those one hour audio recordings.

    Normally I find it even more interesting when the book is read by one of the actors in the series.  Usually when one of the actors reads the story it is based on happenings around their character.  Of course when Matt Smith reads, since he portrays the Doctor, it’s perfect, but when one of the other actors reads it you can count on it being focused on them.  Now maybe that’s just something I’m putting into it because of hearing their voice.  So when I picked out this audiobook I saw it was read by Arthur Darvill, who plays Rory in the series, Amy Ponds boyfriend/husband in the series.  But Rory never made a single appearance in this story so they fooled me.  However his voicework is spot on and when voicing the Doctor, he nearly sounds like Matt Smith, which made the book nice to hear.

    When the TARDIS lands on Orkney (or Orkney Islands, in Scotland) in the near future, the Doctor and Amy arrive to find a large demonstration in progress over the construction of new electricity pylons. The Doctor tries to break things up peacefully – but suddenly the road splits open without warning and swallows police, security guards and protestors alike.

    Separated from the Doctor, Amy takes charge of transporting the wounded to hospital – but the rescue mission becomes a terrifying ride as the pylons come to life and begin to walk and the road rears up, erupting with boiling tarmac.

    The Doctor, meanwhile, has even more than metal monsters and rebellious roads to deal with. Here is where it became really cool for me.  Have you ever been driving along an interstate or even country roads and seen those large high tension electrical wire supports that look like giant metal robots?  I’ve heard some say they look like Farmer John and his wife (different shapes for each sex).  When I was a kid I used to be on long road trips and imagine they would come to life, and like Amy Pond in this story, I used to protect my family by shooting them down with my pretend laser gun (forefinger extended and thumb up).  Well, in this book they do come to life and attack.   So, who is bringing these things to life and sucking the life out of the power company’s employees – and just what is lurking inside the Astra-Gen headquarters?  That is for the Doctor and Amy to find out and through the help of the Doctor’s sonic screwdriver (the only weapon ever needed) to fix and save the earth, again.

    There was one really interesting moment in this book that made me have to rewind and listen again.  The Doctor says, “you’re only young twelve times,” is this a reference to the number of times a Time Lord can regenerate? If so are we looking at a near-future end to the Doctor Who series?  There is a movie supposed to be coming out and that usually marks the end of a television series.  Oh…say it isn’t so.

    If you are interested as to where this book falls into the timeline of the Doctor Who series, it occurs after tv episode, “Victory of the Daleks” and before the book, “The Runaway Train.”

  • gilwilson 1:06 AM on October 5, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: arthur darvill, , , , , , paul finch, , , ,   

    “Doctor Who: Hunter’s Moon” by Paul Finch 

    “Doctor Who: Hunter’s Moon”
    by Paul Finch
    read by Arthur Darvill
    Published by BBC Audiobooks
    Approx 6.5 hours

    Okay before we talk about this particular audio book I’ve gotta point out something I just found out and it has me stoked; there are like a bazillion Doctor who audiobooks.  I was looking around for something to shove into my iPod and remembered having listened to a couple of Doctor who books and thought that would be cool let’s see what else is out there.  ‘Lo and behold there are several for the latest 3 Doctors and many more for the older series.  BBC Audiobooks has been busy.

    This time around I’ve picked up another audiobook featureing the 11th Doctor (portrayed by Matt Smith) and in the continuity it takes place just before the 5th season episode of “The Impossible Astronaut.”  The Doctor’s companions are still Amy and Rory and their adventures takes them to a region that is pretty much like a gambler’s heaven, Leisure Platform 9.  Before he can join Rory and Amy, the Doctor has to go and visit an old friend, Kobal Zalu, who is head of the police force in this sector.  Zalu mentions that the last time he saw the Doctor, the Doctor had white hair, so this is digging out an old friend from way back, the first or second Doctor.   It seems Zalu doesn’t as much act as a police officer but more of a peacekeeper between gamblers and vilians and as long as the locals aren’t harmed all else is ignored.

    This book is ready by Arthur Darvill, the actor portraying Rory in the series, and not only is this a good choice because the bulk of the story is told from Rory’s point of view, but because Darvill has a great delivery.  His voice is flexible enought to change between different characters talking in the story, but he does a pretty good impression of Matt Smith (the Doctor).

    While on the platform Rory notices a game of chance that he’s pretty good at, well least the Earth version (craps).  While observing a player at the game Rory remarks that the game of chance is chancing more to the players benefit.  When he remarks outloud about this the player then challenges Rory.   Rory plays ends up winning but on the final throw loses, and loses big, in fact he loses the TARDIS to the player (it doesn’t matter that Rory isn’t the owner.)  So as payment the player, Xorg Krauzzen, kidnaps Rory and takes him to the planet Gorgoror, where Rory and other kidnapped earthlings are part of a hunt, not as hunters but as hunted.

    The Doctor and Amy go undercover to save Rory and end up uncovering a fiendish hunt that has been going on illegally for years, so now the Doctor must stop this evil, rescue his friends and get the TARDIS back.  In a non-stop thrillride this story will keep you on the edge of your seat, have you chew down all your fingernails and keep your adrenaline up until the very end.

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