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Audio Book Review


Doctor Who
The Rising Night


Author: Scott Handcock
Read by: Michelle Ryan
BBC Audio
RRP: £9.78
ISBN: 978 1 4084 0938 1
Available 02 July 2009

When Harry Winter goes out collecting rocks to repair the wall around his father’s farm, he makes a fatal mistake. He disturbs Lucifer’s Tombstone, and awakens something demonic and dreadful... The TARDIS arrives in the 18th-century village of Thornton Rising in the Yorkshire Moors - a village cut off from the world by an all-consuming darkness, where the sun has not risen for three weeks. Farm animals have been attacked, people have gone missing, and strange lights have been seen in the sky. The Doctor soon becomes involved in a nightmarish adventure, helped by a young local woman named Charity. But who is feeding on the blood of the locals, and where will the carnage stop...?

Unlike the last couple of exclusive-to-audio releases, The Rising Night is not read by Catherine Tate, but rather Michelle Ryan, who played Lady Christina de Souza in Planet of the Dead. However, she evidently subscribes to the Catherine Tate school of pronouncing the word “grimace” to rhyme with “ace”, which always makes me grimace!

Seriously, though, Ryan is an appropriate choice to narrate this story, because of the roles played by the outspoken character of Charity and the blood-sucking siren-cum-succubus-cum-vampire the Barvon She. The actress also adeptly turns her hand, or rather her vocal cords, to portraying various men of the village, complete with Yorkshire accents - a million miles from the prim and proper tones of Lady Christina. She also does a passable impersonation of the Tenth Doctor, though occasionally he seems to have a Yorkshire accent as well.

Scott Handcock’s story is relatively slight in terms of incident and dialogue, compared with other recent Tenth Doctor audio books, and the plot takes some strange detours towards the end.

However, this production is more about mood and atmosphere than it is about plot, thanks in large part to composer Simon Hunt, who has excelled himself with the attention-grabbing incidental music heard on these two discs.

At the end of the day, The Rising Night rises to the occasion to offer an evening of creepy listening.


Richard McGinlay

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