A Girl In Every Fireplace

As the 50th anniversary approaches, here’s another post on Dr. Who in other media.

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The Harvest of Time: I listened to this mammoth reading of Alastair Reynolds’ novel about six weeks ago and that took nearly three weeks in itself. At eleven hours, it’s phenomenally long.

It’s a pastiche of the Third Doctor’s era, the Jon Pertwee Years, silkily read by Geoffrey Beevers. UNIT investigates a mystery on an oil platform that involves the Master and an invasion by miniature seahorse-like aliens called the Sild. I assume Reynolds is unaware that these are also canned fish, readily available in supermarkets…

The story ranges from Scotland to an almost-unimaginably-distant future and the threat of a device called the Infinite Cocoon. There is also a surprising cameo appearance from the John Simm Mister Master.  While pretty predictable, It’s quite a jolly listen, evoking the Target novels of Malcolm Hulke. Comfort food for the ears but very time-consuming. 4/5 Talmars 

Sleepers in the Dust: Unusally for AudioGo, this is a first- person story, narrated by Arthur Darville as Rory Williams-Pond. It’s a pure sci-fi story by Darren Jones, a semi-sequel to his Eye of the Jungle. Alien rodent people are attacked by giant microbes in an undemanding timey-wimey adventure.  (3/5)

Next, three more entries in the Destiny of the Doctor audio series: Shadow of Death is a ponderous Second Doctor story. Frazer Hines gives his customary sprightly reading and faultless Troughton impersonation. Zoe effectively vanishes from the narrative, about a human outpost orbiting a pulsar. It doesn’t  feel authentically Sixties and is a bit of a chore. (2/5)

Trouble in Paradise also feels a little too long, although it’s mildly entertaining. There is some humour as Peri encounters a smug and preening Columbus but the bovine aliens and their backstory seem too similar to The Daemons. (3/5)

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Enemy Aliens is far better. It’s a cheeky parody of The Thirty-Nine Steps with Big Finish’s  Charley Pollard and the Eight Doctor. With what feels like a shorter running time, it features witty, sometimes naughty gags (including one that refers to Panic by The Smiths) and it’s fun to hear the David Arnold theme again. (5/5)

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IDW’s US comic series featuring Matt Smith’s Eleventh Doctor is now collected in trade paperback. Volume 1 ,The Ripper features a timey-wimey parody of From Hell in which Saucy Jack’s murders are committed by alien dinosaurs. Will Amelia “Marple” become Jack’s next victim in Whitechapel? This moody Gothic is accompanied by a witty one-off about the Tardis  being spammed with junk email. (4/5)

I found Vol 2 ,When Worlds Collide,  slightly less rewarding with a lengthy adventure set on a vacation planet. It’s a Westworld parody, with a troop of Sontarans and a comedy robot dinosaur. There is also a charming football standalone about Anglo-Saxons and Danes at Wembley . (3/5).

 These strips are an engaging alternative to the monthly DWM strip and far better than the company’s previous series with the Tenth Doctor.

Coming soon: Steranko’s Fury and Infantino’s Flash.

All images are presumed copyright of their respective owners

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One comment on “A Girl In Every Fireplace

  1. Kid Robson says:

    11 hours? I think I’d have preferred to read the book for myself. Just think – if it was made into a movie, the story would be told in 90 minutes. Hope you’re saving up for a new computer?

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