“ Author: Steve Cole / Genre: Sci-Fi & Fantasy / Narrator: David Tennant „
If you remember Doctor Who from your childhood youll probably remember being pretty scared. Even in the recent shows there may be the odd cute alien to sell as merchandise but the majority of the bad guys are hideous and terrifying to impressionable minds. Its been this ability to scare that makes the best Who episodes and the best villains the Cybermen, the Darleks etc. Without the evil forces there would be no Doctor Who. Having read several Doctor Who novels I have often found the enemies to be a mixed bag, luckily for me The Feast of the Drowned has come up trumps in the alien stakes.
The Doctor and Rose are back on present day Earth on a visit when one of Roses friends sees an apparition of her brother who has gone missing at sea. It seems that loved ones of the missing sailors are seeing ghosts and are being drawn to London where the wreckage is being held. The Doctor and Co. decide that they need to investigate, but are prevented by a mysterious naval officer who is always seen wearing sunglasses. Things come to a head when people start throwing themselves into the Thames to get closer to their missing relatives. With the help of a naval scientist The Doctor and Rose must discover what is happening because more and more people are seeing the ghosts and more and more people are drowning themselves in the Thames.
This is the second recent Doctor Who Audio Book that I have listened too and they have both been narrated by the excellent David Tennant. Tennant is a great actor in his own right so allowing him to narrate a story and impersonate the characters involved in fantastic. Many an audio book lets down the story by having a dull and lifeless narrator; Tennant is the direct opposite as he infuses his work with passion and life. His narration alone is worth an extra star its just luck that the story holds up too.
Having read many Dr Who books, not all are able to carry of the levels of tension that makes the TV show compelling (especially for younger viewers). Stephen Cole has created in The Feast of the Drowned a book that starts off fast and keeps the pace going throughout to good effect. The relationship between the Doctor and Rose is not explored greatly in this tie in, but their link is strong enough to show how much they mean to each other. Mickey also appears in the book, but like in the series he is criminally underused. I see him as an unsung hero of the last two series and he doesnt get any credit for it.
Where Cole succeeds more is the creation of unique characters to this adventure. Firstly, the marine scientist Vesper is very well created. Tennant is able to give her a soft Scottish lilt that brings her to life. She is a capable woman who has the brains to save the day I think that I actually prefer her to Rose! Cole also creates a seriously good race of parasitic bad guys. I can not go into too much detail about their origins and characteristics as it will ruin the surprise; let me just say that they are a scary bunch that will give you goosebumps.
I did have a couple of issues with this audio book that prevents it from being a must buy. Like in the previous Tennant narratives I do not like his impersonation of Mickey or Rose. Saying that; their voices do grate on me in the TV show as well funny all those London accents in Cardiff. The bigger problem is with some of the prose that Cole uses. The limited vocab highlights the fact that this book was written with a younger audience in mind. Some of the things that Tennant had to come out with were pretty basic. The dialogue worked ok and fit in with the show, but the descriptions were sometimes painful to hear.
As a standalone book I would have to give The Feast of the Drowned a steady 3 stars as the story and bad guys were great, but the poor use of language hampers your enjoyment. However, as an audio book the narrative has an ace in the hole in David Tennant. His strong acting skills and skilful voice adds a lot to an otherwise flawed book. I would definitely recommend this tie in CD for families with Dr Who fans as children who want to listen to a CD in the car as every member of the family can gain enjoyment from it.
Author: Stephen Cole
Narrator: David Tennant
Price: amazon uk - £6.99
play.com - £6.99
When a naval cruiser sinks in mysterious circumstances in the North Sea, all aboard are lost. Rose is saddened to learn that the brother of her friend, Keisha, was among the dead. And yet he appears to them as a ghostly apparition, begging to be saved from the coming feast...the feast of the drowned. As the dead crew haunt loved ones all over London, the Doctor and Rose are drawn into a chilling mystery. What sank the ship, and why? When the cruiser's wreckage was towed up the Thames, what sinister force came with it? The river's dark waters are hiding an even darker secret, as preparations for the feast near their conclusion...Featuring the Doctor and Rose as played by David Tennant and Billie Piper in the acclaimed hit series from BBC Television, this work is written by Justin Richards. It is read by David Tennant, and includes author interview by David Darlington of "Doctor Who Magazine".