shivver13 (shivver13) wrote,

Still all jittery

... because I really enjoyed the audios that much.

Non-spoilerific reviews below.

"Time Reaver"

This one is easily the weakest story of the three. It's a procedural story, all about the Doctor and Donna appearing somewhere, finding out something is wrong, figuring out what's going on, and fixing it, and I think that's what the second story needed to be, a plain and simple adventure in which the Doctor and Donna are bringing us along for the ride. There's nothing deeper than that, and there are some holes in the backstory that the narrative doesn't manage to plug. There's also one thing that happens that really needed to be explored more deeply and actually have consequences, but was brushed off with a few flippant words. However, it's still a fun adventure and is enjoyable if you don't look too deeply and I can see a few fanfic ideas peeking out from it - Calibris is a fascinating world and I'd love to know more about Soren. (Correct spellings are only conjecture at this point.)

"Death and the Queen"

This is easily my favorite of the three. As I've noted before, the first story seemed to be a re-introduction to the Tenth Doctor and Donna Noble, and the second story was a "let's go on a trip with them" tale. This left the third story to be the one that cut a bit deep, letting the main conflict expose those bits of the Doctor and Donna's relationship that they've been hiding from each other (and themselves). There are some sparkling scenes where Donna is truly happy, as well as a couple of lines that will make you wince for the characters.

A general vaguely spoilerific comment...

One thing that was nice about both of these stories was that they had twists - you know, people turning out to not be who you think they are, or the source of the problem turning out to be something different from what the Doctor originally thought. This is common in the audios, but not so in the modern TV show - in most modern TV stories, something goes wrong, the Doctor figures out who's behind it, and then puts it right. Maybe it's a problem with the modern 45-minute format, that there isn't enough time to build up a story enough to have a satisfying twist, but obviously these two audios did it. I love the twists and hope that future TDAs follow this pattern.

And a non-spoilerifc comment...

One of the things I love about the audio plays in general is that they have the ability to really take the Doctor places where he can't go due to special and practical effects budgets. At Gallifrey One, in Simon Guerrier's kaffeeklatsch, he talked about how the BBC hires only experienced TV writers, because they're the ones who know how to write within budget - they know how much each thing they're asking for costs and rein in the need for effects. Audios don't have to do this. They can populate a planet with forty different unknown and non-humanoid aliens, or field huge armies of soldiers, or let the Doctor bop back and forth between four completely different planets. All they need to do is describe things well enough to get your imagination going, and there you are, right with the Doctor, looking out over that alien vista. Or more likely, hanging from window with a skeleton trying to choke the life out of you. Wonderful, isn't it?
Tags: real life, review

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