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Audio Book Review


Doctor Who
The Nemonite Invasion


Author: David Roden
Read by: Catherine Tate
BBC Audio
RRP: £9.78
ISBN: 978 1 4084 0679 3
Available 12 February 2009

When the sky rips open over Dover, two objects hurtle out of the Vortex and crash-land in the sea. One is the TARDIS, out of control and freefalling, but the other, a mysterious crystalline sphere, is far more sinister. The Doctor and Donna are rescued and taken to a secret command centre in the Dover cliffs. It’s May 1940, and Vice-Admiral Ramsey is about to finalise one of the most daring plans of the Second World War: Operation Dynamo. But something else has got inside the War Tunnels, a parasitic Nemonite from the crashed sphere. Its aim is to possess all humans and spawn millions of young. The Doctor and Donna must fight for their lives in order to save both Operation Dynamo and the world at large...

As with the previous exclusive-to-audio Doctor Who release, The Forever Trap, this one is read by Catherine Tate, alias Donna Noble. Her vocal talents come in handy for distinguishing between the characters, especially when it comes to different ages and accents - though one of them does sound a bit like Bernie, the Irish nurse from The Catherine Tate Show. What is most remarkable of all is that the actress manages to carry off a story in which the only female character is Donna, a fact that didn’t even occur to me until after I had finished listening to the two CDs and sat down to write this review.

However, will someone please tell Tate how to pronounce the word “grimaced”? I grimaced at her pronunciation of the word (which she rhymes with “placed”) during The Forever Trap, and this time she has to say it not once but twice. Did writer David Roden have a bet with his mates about this?

The story itself feels rather familiar. The wartime setting and a touch of romance for the companion is reminiscent of The Curse of Fenric, while the monsters evoke several episodes of The X-Files (a series that gets a name check in the dialogue), particularly the episode Ice. Roden even includes a variation on the phrase, “We are not who we are”, spoken by the possessed humans in that episode. The Nemonites’ justification for their exploitation of humanoid species is also similar to that of the Wirrn in The Ark in Space, as is the chittering noise the creatures make, which comes courtesy of composer Simon Hunt.

Still, at under a tenner for more than two hours of entertainment, this audio book may well worm its way into your affections.


Richard McGinlay

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