‘THE CREEPING DEATH’
Please feel free to comment on my review.
The Great Smog of London with the Doctor and Donna
The third episode of ‘The Tenth Doctor Adventures – Volume 3’ box set, ‘The Creeping Death’, is by Roy Gill. Roy Gill has contributed a number of ‘Doctor Who’ tales in the ‘Tales of New Earth’ box set.
I’ve also heard one of Roy Gill’s ‘Doctor Who’ stories recently in ‘The Eleventh Doctor Chronicles’ called ‘The Light Keepers’. I was looking forward to what he had in store for our TARDIS heroes here.
After listening to ‘The Creeping Death’, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I found it a compelling historical adventure where the Doctor and Donna visit the Great Smog of London. I had not heard of it before.
Listening to these Tenth Doctor audio adventures brings back fond memories of when I enjoyed the mixture of historical and sci-fi adventures in Russell T. Davies’ era. This historical story was welcome.
Once the TARDIS arrives in London 1952 (our heroes were meant to be going to 1967, you see), they find it hard to see through the fog. They soon come across a group of people that are lost in the fog.
The fog is deadly as it makes people cough and it can easily kill them. The smog was around for a certain number of days in London about that time in December. It is weeks before Christmas as well!
But as the Doctor and Donna discover, there’s a deadly alien presence within the fog causing more problems. The Doctor is determined to stop the aliens who are likely about to change Earth’s history.
And he’s going to use a red London double-decker bus to do it. Yeah! I had to get that out of my system! I am amazed a London bus in this adventure before ‘Planet of the Dead’ occurs in the series.
Surprisingly, this audio adventure was re-released on vinyl at the same time the story was released on CD. I’m not certain why, but ‘The Creeping Death’ seems to be an already extra-special audio tale.
David Tennant as ever is brilliant in this audio adventure. I liked it when David’s Doctor meets up with Ivy at a local cinema and becomes helpful in trying to find out what’s occurring in London 1952.
I also liked it when David’s Doctor took Donna to one side to tell her what the Great Smog is and being reminded of ‘The Fires of Pompeii’. He’s determined to save Earth when Furnifugium is about.
Catherine Tate is equally brilliant as Donna. I liked how she behaves around the supporting characters in the story. It was so interesting how Donna reacted to gay people like Terry and Richard.
Donna keeps everybody’s spirits up despite the continuing fog that’s growing stronger in London. I like how she bounces off the Doctor and how she copes with a lurking sense of terror inside the city.
The story features Lauren Cornelius as Ivy Clark, who is a cinema usherette that the Doctor meets in smoggy London. Ivy seems to have a crush on Richard and isn’t aware that he’s gay like Terry is here.
Theo Stevenson guest stars as Terry Hopkins, a man whom Donna bumps into accidentally in smoggy London. There’s also Kieran Bew as Richard Cooper who works at a bus depot during the adventure.
There’s Stephen Critchlow (who I’ve seen in ‘Monarch of the Glen’) as Malcolm Wishart, a man of mature years who seems to be coughing badly in the episode. He sadly gets killed off quickly in this.
Helen Goldwyn guest stars as Alcie Aiken, an actress who is pretty full of herself and a snob at times. She gets easily possessed by Fumifugium who steals her voice to communicate with the others here.
‘The Creeping Death’ has been another enjoyable adventure with the Doctor and Donna. I enjoyed the historical setting of 1952 and being introduced to the Great Smog of London that’s atmospheric.
At the end of Disc 3 of ‘The Tenth Doctor Adventures – Volume 3’, there’s a track of incidental music from ‘The Creeping Death’ to enjoy!
‘THE TENTH DOCTOR ADVENTURES DOCUMENTARY’
‘The Tenth Doctor Adventures Documentary’ for ‘The Tenth Doctor Adventures – Volume 3’ is contained on Disc 4 of the box set. It was nice to hear this behind-the-scenes look on the making of the three episodes in the box set and hear David Tennant and Catherine Tate being interviewed too.
The documentary begins with an introduction on how the third ‘Tenth Doctor Adventures’ box set with the Doctor and Donna came about. There are interviews with producer David Richardson and director Ken Bentley on how they got David Tennant and Catherine Tate to return to Big Finish here.
There’s then a look into ‘No Place’. There are interviews with writer James Goss, David Tennant, Catherine Tate, Jacqueline King, Bernard Cribbins, Joel Fry and Peter Singh. I liked it when hearing how Jacqueline King and Bernard Cribbins enjoyed returning with David Tennant and Catherine Tate.
There’s then a look into ‘One Mile Down’. There are interviews with David Tennant, Catherine Tate, Eleanor Crooks, Rakie Ayola, Christopher Naylor and Robert Whitelock. I was disappointed Nicholas Briggs wasn’t interviewed in this documentary, especially as he voiced the Judoon in this adventure.
And there’s a look into ‘The Creeping Death’. There are interviews with writer Roy Gill, David Tennant, Catherine Tate, Lauren Cornelius, Theo Stevenson, Kieran Bew, Stephen Critchlow and Helen Goldwyn. David Tennant shares seeing ‘The Crown’ episode featuring the 1952 London Smog.
The documentary ends with positive notes on making ‘The Tenth Doctor Adventures’ on audio by Big Finish. This includes anecdotes from David Richardson and Ken Bentley, Bernard Cribbins especially and of course David Tennant and Catherine Tate. I am pleased David and Catherine love doing these.
‘DAVID TENNANT AT BIG FINISH’
On Disc 5 of ‘The Tenth Doctor Adventures – Volume 3’ box set, there’s an exclusive documentary called ‘David Tennant at Big Finish’. This features a compilation of interviews featured over the years about David Tennant’s work in ‘Doctor Who’ via Big Finish both as the Tenth Doctor and other roles.
We first go straight into an interview with David Tennant and Toby Longworth from the making of ‘Exile’, one of the ‘Unbound’ audios of ‘Doctor Who’. As well as audio clips from ‘Exile’, there are also audios clips from ‘Colditz’ and ‘Sympathy For The Devil’ where David has played guest star roles.
There are then a few interviews with Nicholas Briggs and David Tennant from the making of ‘Dalek Empire III’. Next there are reused interviews from ‘The Tenth Doctor Adventures – Volume 1’ box set with David Tennant and Catherine Tate. This features some audio clips of ‘Death and the Queen’.
There are also audio clips from ‘Colditz’, ‘Sympathy For The Devil’, ‘Medicinal Purposes’ and ‘Dalek Empire III’. Next, there are reused interviews from ‘The Tenth Doctor Adventures – Volume 2’ box set with Nicholas Briggs, David Richardson, David Tennant, Billie Piper, Camille Coduri and Matt Fitton.
The documentary closes with a recent interview between David Tennant and Catherine Tate, where David shares what other ‘Doctor Who’ roles he’s done in Big Finish including ‘Medicinal Purposes’, ‘Colditz’ and ‘Dalek Empire III’. I liked how amazed Catherine was by David’s various Big Finish work.
I must admit I expected this documentary to be more in-depth and feature new interviews with David Tennant and other Big Finish crew throughout, rather than just selected interviews from various Big Finish releases. I’d expected the documentary to go through David’s audios each in turn.
I’ve enjoyed ‘The Tenth Doctor Adventures – Volume 3’ very much. It’s been nice to return to Series 4 of ‘Doctor Who’ with David Tennant and Catherine Tate on audio. Whilst ‘No Place’ was rather confusing, I enjoyed ‘One Mile Down’ and ‘The Creeping Death’ afterwards as I found them compelling.
I’m sure it won’t be long until we get another box set of Big Finish audios of ‘Doctor Who’ with David Tennant’s Doctor soon. I’d like to hear more audios with Donna and Rose as companions, but it’d be a shame if they missed out Martha. I wonder about Christopher Eccleston returning to do Big Finish.
‘The Creeping Death’ rating – 8/10
‘The Tenth Doctor Adventures – Volume 3’ CD rating – 8/10
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