“Doctor Who: The Art of Destruction”
by Stephen Cole
Read by Don Warrington
Published by AudioGo
2 hours 30 minutes
Ever since I discovered these Doctor Who audiobooks from AudioGo, I’m always looking for more stories from the Doctor Who storylines. What I like are the short (3 hours or less) productions. When the new season started I thought I would be happy with one episode a week from television, but once I started on these audio releases I knew they were there and found myself listening again, plus I can go back and listen to stories involving some of the older incarnations of The Doctor.
This book features the 10th Doctor, portrayed on the television series by David Tennant, and his companion Rose Tyler. One thing I really like about these audio productions is that they are usually read by one of the cast members. I really enjoy it when one of the actors portraying The Doctor reads the stories or even better when they are full cast performances, but they can’t all be that way. That said, the books are almost always, at the least read by someone having to do with the series, so that the reader knows enough about the series to know how to deliver the dialogue. This audiobook is read by Don Warrington, who portrayed the president in the “Rise of the Cybermen” television episode, and has had several audio roles in other Doctor Who productions. Warrington’s delivery of the book was excellent, he provided the perfect subtle voice changes reflecting the characters voice and attitudes. In this story there were even some African accents from some of the characters that were performed perfectly providing that extra oomph, that kept the story flowing.
In this story the TARDIS lands in 22nd century Africa in the shadow of a dormant volcano. Agri-teams are growing new foodstuffs in the baking soil to help feed the world’s starving millions, a form of fungus that is grown in the caverns of the volcano. The Doctor and Rose have detected an alien signal somewhere close by. The signal leads them to the tunnels and the delicate fungus which has a bit of a dark secret. Even darker is that all living creatures that enter too close to the center of the volcano’s long kept secret are turned into gold statues. In most sci-fi that would be enough of a mystery to work with, but being a Doctor Who story you know there’s more. When a nightmare force starts surging along the dark volcanic tunnels, the Doctor realizes an ancient trap has been sprung. But who was it meant for? Dragged into a centuries-old conflict, Rose and the Doctor are soon elevating survival to an art form as ancient, alien hands practice arts of destruction all around them. Once again it is up to the Doctor to solve the mystery and save the Earth.