THIS STORY TAKES
ANIMATED TV EPISODE
THE AUDIO BOOK
BBC AUDIO CD (ISBN 1-4
IN JANUARY 2010.
The Tardis ARRIVES
on board the maiden
voyage of a space
from Earth to the
The Doctor has just
the huge Interstitial
when there is a loud
bang, a massive jolt
and a flash of light.
he discovers that
nearly all the
passengers and crew
Unless the Doctor
and flight attendant
Sugar MacAuley can
take control and
steer the ship, they
could crash-land -
or keep slipping
And as if that wasn't
awful awaits them
(2 70-MINUTE EPISODES)
Those who thought that they’d heard the last of David Tennant’s Doctor in The
End of Time should think again. Just a week after the most explosive regeneration in the series’ history, Tennant is back reading what looks to be the last of the Russell T Davies-
era audio exclusives, The Last Voyage by Dan Abnett.
Abnett’s story is an intriguing and claustrophobic tale, set entirely within the confines of the first “interstitial transposition vehicle”, which is on its maiden voyage from Earth to the planet Eternity at the nether edge of the Human Empire. This ship – sorry, “vehicle” – is pioneering an experimental drive which shuffles the whole contraption (and those in it) through a circling maelstrom of quantum states (“the gaps between now and now”, if you will) before bringing it back out in a new spatial location at the correct quantum frequency. Naturally it malfunctions though, and as the passengers – apologies, “transfer clients” – and crew – there I go again; I mean “comfort mediators” – begin to disappear, monstrous, translucent beasts from another quantum state materialise and start, well, melting those that are left.
It’s certainly a gloomy tale, but not without humour, and Tennant does a truly remarkable job of bringing its many multifarious characters to life. For instance, the cod-US teenager voice that he employs for the story’s makeshift companion, Sugar MacAuley, is so awful to listen
to that it rings utterly true.
“I really like that hat. It’s quite… Asterix.”
The Doctor himself is a tenth Doctor in his element. Unbridled by the burden that he would carry in his final few television outings, Ten tears through The Last Voyage with real gusto. Abnett feeds Tennant some beautiful
dialogue too, which is complimented
beautifully by some deft (and often rat-
her droll) prose. To say that this may be
Tennant’s final performance in the role
(at least for the foreseeable future), it’s
certainly an emblematic one.
However, releasing this audio book so soon after The End of Time was surely something of a blunder on the part of BBC Audio. With its suggestive title and relatively modest price tag, this one would no doubt have been a big seller for them in the run up to Christmas, but more importantly, an earlier release date would have meant that the production wouldn’t have been charged with crawling out from under the shadow of Tennant’s de facto swansong. Because ultimately, as good as it is, The Last Voyage has the sense of something quietly fizzling out as opposed to ending with a bang.
Copyright © E.G. Wolverson 2010
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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