THIS STORY TAKES
AUDIO BOOK "PEST
CONTROL" AND THE
BBC AUDIO CD (ISBN 1-
IN OCTOBER 2008.
WHEN THE TARDIS IS
INVADED BY A HOLO-
SCAM, THE DOCTOR AND
DONNA FIND THEMSELVES
TRAPPED IN THE EDIFICE
- A PURPOSE-BUILT
COMPLEX OF LUXURY
APARTMENTS IN SPACE.
THE DOCTOR AND DONNA
MUST CROSS THE PATHS
OF DEADLY ALIEN MOBS
AS THEY SEARCH FOR
THE EDIFICE'S ULTIMATE
WHO - OR WHAT - LIES
AT THE HEART OF THE
COMPLEX? AND WHAT
IS EATING AWAY AT THE
EDIFICE ITSELF? ARE THE
DOCTOR AND DONNA
TRAPPED FOREVER IN
THIS LIVING HELL?
(2 70-MINUTE EPISODES)
The basic premise of The Forever Trap is so similar to that of Stephen Wyatt’s 1987 television serial Paradise Towers that Dan Abnett was really running the plagiarism gauntlet when he pitched this one. Fortunately for him though, one crucial element really sets the two stories apart – The Forever Trap is good. Indeed, this audio book is, in a nutshell, the story that Paradise Towers should have been.
This story plays upon the same juxtaposition of scale and squalor that Paradise Towers did, only here Abnett is able to really push the envelope when it comes to stressing the scale of the Edifice. Free from the budgetary constraints of television, the author is really able to let his imagination run riot – “build high for happiness” takes on a whole new meaning when
you can’t even see the top of the building. And what’s more, rather than populate his “luxury apartment block in space” with the jaded caretakers and dreary grannies harbouring nets, Abnett fills the Edifice with warring alien ‘neighbours’, including a contingent of Sontarans and Rutans! The result is a bona fide war zone, as opposed to some blithe playground skirmish.
Abnett’s story is also a very contemporary one, slotting itself into Doctor Who’s 2008 series seamlessly. The opening ‘SPAM’ sequence in particular put me very much in mind of Steven Moffat and his penchant for using modern elements like ‘spoilers’ and ‘DVD Easter Eggs’ in his stories. Of course, once could argue that the ‘SPAM’ idea was pinched from the opening of The Greatest Show in the Galaxy (another Wyatt script!), but even were that true, again, I’d make the point that here it works!
What really made The Forever Trap
stand out for me though was the quality
of the production. The incidental music
and effects are quite easily on a par with
those found in this year’s earlier release,
Pest Control, but here we are also treat-
ed to the apposite ‘rocked up’ version of the series’ theme tune which for me helped to set the tone brilliantly.
Best of all though, Catherine Tate’s narration is outstanding in the truest sense of the word. She lends a unique voice to each new character that she gives voice to, and to boot she does a remarkable job of emulating the tenth Doctor (although I suppose after the whole ‘DoctorDonna’ development in Journey’s End, this was to be expected!)
And so on the whole, the new series’ second venture in the world of original audio books builds upon the success of the first. Whilst the foundations of The Forever Trap may be far from original, the end result is nonetheless a soaring success.
Build high for happiness...
Copyright © E.G. Wolverson 2008
E.G. Wolverson has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.
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