Please feel free to comment on my review.
Wild Pastures Rest Home and Sylvia Noble with the Tenth Doctor
The third story of ‘The Tenth Doctor Chronicles’, ‘Wild Pastures’, is by James Goss. James has written for the Tenth Doctor era before as he had penned ‘Death and the Queen’ with Donna Noble.
It would also be remiss of me not to mention the fact that James Goss previously contributed to ‘The Ninth Doctor Chronicles’ where he wrote ‘Retail Therapy’. Here James is writing a similar adventure.
But instead of Jackie Tyler this time, this tale has Jacqueline King return as Sylvia Noble, Donna’s mum. The story takes place during Series 4 of the new series with Donna travelling with the Doctor.
I was disappointed that Donna didn’t feature in this story as I expected. There is a small appearance of Donna at the beginning during a flashback scene, but the story is mostly about her mother Sylvia.
It would’ve been nice if this story was about the Doctor and Donna finding Sylvia at this nursing home called Wild Pastures and trying to find out why she’s there. Sadly it’s not what this story is about.
I’ve met Jacqueline King before at the ‘Dimensions 2015’ convention in Newcastle, October 2015. I had a nice encounter with Jacqueline. She seems to be a really nice lady and easy to get along with.
That’s not something I can say about the character she plays in Sylvia Noble, Donna’s mum. Sylvia is a rather snooty, rude person from the TV series and it’s clearly demonstrated in this audio adventure.
I found it interesting how Sylvia Noble gets to have a major part to play in this audio story as opposed to the guest appearances she’s had in the TV series. This is something that rarely happens.
I don’t think Sylvia would make an ideal companion for the Tenth Doctor since she tends to be a bossy boots and complains about everything. She’s not the sort of lady you’d have a cup of tea with.
In this story, the Doctor is investigating the strange occurrences that are happening in the Wild Pastures Rest Home. He leaves Donna behind and goes to the Nobles’ house to ask Wilfred for help.
Instead the Doctor gets Sylvia Noble helping him out with this investigation. This is bizarre since why would she want to get involved considering she does not take a big interest in the Doctor’s activities.
She also passes herself off as one of the residents in the Wild Pastures Rest Home by having a bad ankle and using a frame. This is also equally bizarre since Sylvia is not an elderly person as Wilfred is.
Just to say, the nursing home atmosphere of this story reminded me of the nursing home my parents and I visited when we saw my mum’s aunt. I could easily visualise the setting while hearing the story.
Jacob Dudman again excels in his performance and narration of this story. I enjoyed his voice for Donna Noble early on in the story. It is such a shame he did not do Donna a lot throughout the story.
There were times when I felt the Doctor took a backseat in this story, especially when he got captured and Sylvia found him in the basement. He also got so erratic with short-term memory loss.
There were occasions when the Doctor referred to Sylvia as ‘Dodo’ and ‘Rose’ when he forgot her name. The interaction between the Doctor and Sylvia was enjoyable to listen to throughout the tale.
There is an alien plant in the basement featured in the story that causes memory loss for many people living in the nursing home. Eventually, Sylvia soon takes charge and defies against the aliens.
‘Wild Pastures’ is a decent adventure in ‘The Tenth Doctor Chronicles’. I don’t think it’s the best one as I was missing Donna in it. But I did enjoy Jacqueline King as Sylvia Noble as well as Jacob Dudman.
The CD extras are as follows. There are behind-the-scenes interviews with Jacob Dudman, Jacqueline King, director Helen Goldwyn and writer James Goss, conducted by producer Scott Handcock on ‘Wild Pastures’ which I enjoyed hearing.
‘Wild Pastures’ rating – 7/10
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