‘THE TOP OF THE TREE’
Please feel free to comment on my review.
A Very Large Tree and Kazran Sardick with the Eleventh Doctor
The second story of ‘The Eleventh Doctor Chronicles’ is called ‘The Top of the Tree’ by Simon Guerrier. I’ve met Simon in real-life at conventions including the ‘Big Blue Box 2’ one in March 2013.
I enjoyed Simon Guerrier’s approach to writing the Eleventh Doctor in this audio adventure. He’s captured Matt Smith’s Doctor’s mannerisms in the writing and it is well-delivered by Jacob Dudman.
‘The Top of the Tree’ is a rather unusual entry in ‘The Eleventh Doctor Chronicles’. It takes place during the 2010 Christmas Special – ‘A Christmas Carol’. The Doctor is travelling with Kazran Sardick.
Yes, Danny Horn reprises his role as the young teenage adult Kazran Sardick from that Christmas Special. It was very intriguing to hear an adventure where the Doctor has an adventure with Kazran.
I knew the Doctor and Kazran have had adventures every Christmas time, meeting up with Katherine Jenkins’ Abigail from ‘A Christmas Carol’. But I didn’t think there’d be adventures just between the two.
Of course, there was another adventure before this one featuring the Eleventh Doctor and Kazran with Winston Churchill called ‘Living History’ in the first ‘Churchill Years’ box set. I’ve yet to hear that.
It’s unusual to think of Kazran as one of the Eleventh Doctor’s short-time companions during the ‘Christmas Carol’ episode. It was also intriguing to hear how Kazran interacted with the Doctor here.
This is before Kazran would go on to be the Scrooge-like character like his father Elliot Sardick. There’s a nice scene between Kazran and the Doctor where they talk about his father and the future.
In this story, Kazran and the Doctor find themselves ending up in a planet-sized tree. The TARDIS seems to have been caught tangle in the branches of it. The Doctor needs to get the TARDIS out of it.
It was interesting to think of this tree that the Doctor and Kazran got themselves caught in and being of massive size. Simon Guerrier goes into intricate detail about what occurs inside this tree structure.
It was challenging to think of the Doctor and Kazran struggling to get through the tangled branches and avoiding sap that was oily and lethal to the skin. When it rains, it is oily sap that falls in this tree.
I must admit, I found it a struggle to keep up with what was going on with the Doctor and Kazran getting through the tree at times. I tended to drift, but I do appreciate the concepts going on in this.
I found it confusing when it got to the story’s ending and how the Doctor was able to save Kazran and a tribe of primitive humans. It sounds pretty wibbley-wobbly timey-wimey when I listened to it.
And yes, the Doctor and Kazran come across a tribe of primitive humans inside this planet-sized alien tree. I did wonder if the TARDIS had landed in prehistoric times on Earth when listening to the story.
The tribe is led by a human called Awkward. No really, that’s her name. Awkward! It is actually amusing when you hear it and it does suit the Matt Smith/Steven Moffat era of ‘Doctor Who’ in this.
The story’s climax features a twist and revelation. The Doctor saves the tribe people only to deposit them on the planet where Kazran lives, years before he was born. They could be Kazran’s ancestors!
I enjoyed ‘The Top of the Tree’. It was a challenge to get through with the Doctor and Kazran climbing up and down the planet-sized tree. But I appreciate there’s an adventure between the two.
The CD extras are as follows. There are behind-the-scenes interviews with Jacob Dudman, Danny Horn and writer Simon Guerrier, conducted by director Helen Goldwyn on ‘The Top of the Tree’ which I enjoyed hearing.
‘The Top of the Tree’ rating – 6/10
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