‘DEATH’S DEAL’ (DOTD)
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Tribute for David Tennant – Celebrating 50 Years of ‘Doctor Who’
October 2013. It’s time to celebrate the Tenth Doctor era of ‘Doctor Who’ with David Tennant!
Well! October’s been one heck of a month for me as a ‘Doctor Who’ fan. I went to the ‘Dimensions 2013’ convention in Newcastle where I saw Sarah Sutton; Janet Fielding and Matthew Waterhouse and I was thrilled to have ‘The Light at the End’ 50th anniversary special, released early by Big Finish.
Also this month, it was time to celebrate one of the best eras of ‘Doctor Who’ with one of the best Doctors ever. David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor is one of my absolute favourite Doctors. He’s enchanted many TV audiences and I was fortunate to watch Series 4 of ‘Doctor Who’ on TV in 2008.
There have been many great stories with the Tenth Doctor including ‘Rise of the Cybermen’/’The Age of Steel’; ‘Army of Ghosts’/’Doomsday’; ‘Utopia’/’The Sound of Drums’/’Last of the Time Lords’ and ‘The Stolen Earth’/’Journey’s End’. The Tenth Doctor era was so magical. I miss it to bits and still don’t want David Tennant ‘to go’.
For the 50th anniversary of ‘Doctor Who’, I wrote my personal fan-fiction story with the Tenth Doctor and Donna to celebrate the Tenth Doctor era. I would like to write my own fan-fiction series with the Tenth Doctor sometime soon, though I will need to plan a lot in advance before I get to it.
We now come to the penultimate adventure of the ‘Destiny of the Doctor’ series, produced by Big Finish and AudioGo. This is ‘Death’s Deal’ by Darren Jones. As with previous stories in the ‘DOTD’ series (previously with ‘Night of the Whisper’), this story is narrated and performed by an actor/actress who was in the TV series with a guest star as a supporting character.
‘Death’s Deal’ is performed by Catherine Tate as Donna Noble from the TV series and guest stars Duncan Wisbey as the alien Krux and Professor Merrit Erskine. It was great to hear Catherine Tate as super-temp Donna from Chiswick in this audio adventure as I’ve missed seeing her in the TV series
The Doctor and Donna respond to a series of distress calls that come from the planet Death’s Deal. Arriving on the planet, they come across a group of space tourists and two merchant space pirates. As the Doctor discovers, there’s something deadly when they go deeper into the heart of the planet.
I found the idea of people being sent off to their deaths on the planet Death’s Deal quite frightening and intriguing. Ships crash-land onto Death’s Deal and technology is literally ‘alien’ to the planet. It adds to the tension as when technology is used by people on Death’s Deal, they get killed instantly.
I haven’t read or heard many stories by Darren Jones, although I know that he wrote some Eleventh Doctor audiobooks. Darren has recreated the Tenth Doctor era superbly with fast-paced storytelling and dynamic characters. I wouldn’t be surprised if Darren wrote for the Tenth Doctor era again soon.
Catherine Tate is wonderful and it was thrill to hear her Donna again in this adventure. I loved every minute of her in the TV series and I’m sure Catherine was delighted to play Donna again. Catherine did some audiobooks including ‘The Forever Trap’ and ‘The Nemonite Invasion’ with Donna in them.
Catherine does a remarkable job recreating Donna superbly for audio, as she balances her rough no-nonsense attitude with her compassionate side. I liked it when Donna gets to have an adventure with Krux, as they both go down into a underground tunnel and have to try and locate the TARDIS.
I liked the Tenth Doctor in this adventure and Catherine does a really good impersonation of David Tennant, making him energetic and vibrant as ever. Its clear Catherine got on well with David Tennant in the TV series and I’m pleased she read this adventure to celebrate the Tenth Doctor era.
I also liked some of the voices for the other characters that Catherine provides in this adventure. I liked Catherine’s voices for the arrogant Tad Groogan as well as the sweet but quite icy Lyric Erskine.
Duncan Wisbey guest stars as Krux and Professor Merrit Erskine. I’ve heard Duncan in two Fifth Doctor and Nyssa audio stories including ‘The Demons of Red Lodge and Other Stories’ and ‘Heroes of Sontar’. Duncan plays two characters compared to the previous guest stars in the ‘DOTD’ series.
Krux, the first character that Duncan Wisbey plays, is like an alien walking ‘barnacle’ with tentacles as Donna calls him. I loved it when Krux saves the Doctor and Donna from falling into a landslide or cavern by using his tentacles. I also loved Krux’s scenes with Donna when they’re working together.
Professor Merrit Erskine, the second character Duncan plays, is a human who has been on Death’s Deal for a long time. He is mentally deranged and obsessed with being the ‘ruler of paradise’. I found the scenes heart-breaking when he can’t or won’t recognise and accept her daughter Lyric Erskine.
As we get close to the end of the ‘DOTD’ series, the involvement of the Eleventh Doctor gets more exciting. I loved it when the Tenth Doctor goes “What? What?!” when discovering a message from the Eleventh Doctor. I was intrigued about why Eleven wanted Ten to keep one of the Erskines alive.
Just to mention, hearing Murray Gold’s crazy bash-boom-wallop theme music from the 2008 series of ‘Doctor Who’ sent me back to the Tenth Doctor era effortlessly. It’s one of my favourite ‘Doctor Who’ themes, and listening to some of the music on this story sent me back to the Tenth Doctor era.
There aren’t any CD extras, apart from the Tenth Doctor and Donna’s biographies in the CD sleeve notes. If you purchase the complete ‘DOTD’ series as a bundle from Big Finish, there’s a behind-the-scenes making-of documentary on the series called ‘Meeting with Destiny’ with ‘The Time Machine’.
‘Death’s Deal’ has been a thrilling and enjoyable ‘Doctor Who’ audio adventure. It has the elements of the Tenth Doctor era from the sonic screwdriver; pinstripe suit to ‘Allons-sy’. With a wonderful performance by Catherine Tate, this has got to be a truly lovely celebration of the Tenth Doctor era.
‘Death’s Deal’ (DOTD) rating – 10/10
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