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Audio Book Review


Doctor Who
The Eye of the Jungle


Author: Darren Jones
Read by: David Troughton
RRP: £13.25, US $24.95
ISBN: 978 1 4084 6815 9
Available 07 July 2011

The Amazon rainforest, 1827. The Doctor, Amy and Rory land in the jungle near a hurriedly abandoned campsite, where they are surrounded by huge hungry crocodiles. Only the arrival of a man with a rifle sees off the giant beasts. Oliver Blazington has come to the forest to bag big game, and his companion Garrett is a naturalist, collecting exotic creatures for London Zoo. The Doctor soon discovers that another very different hunter is stalking the Amazon. Animals and people have been disappearing without trace, and local villagers speak darkly of “The Eye of the Jungle”. Amy senses that the all-seeing Eye is watching them - but she and Rory are powerless to intervene when it sets its sights on the Doctor...

When I was in my late teens, I had an idea for a Doctor Who spin-off series, which would have comprised audio and video adventures starring me and some friends. It would have told the tale of another renegade Time Lord, and was entitled The Other Renegade - yes, I know, highly original! Elements from one of my script ideas for The Other Renegade have recently seen the light of day in the BBC’s Eleventh Doctor range of novels and audio books... but sadly not in a story penned by me! By coincidence, Hunter’s Moon, the title I had come up with, currently graces the cover of an Eleventh Doctor novel by Paul Finch, while my idea for a cliffhanger ending marks the halfway point of this very audio book.

A more likely influence on author Darren Jones is the Predator franchise. The first disc of this two-CD set plays rather like a 19th-century Predator, with a big-game hunter - and others - becoming the hunted. There’s more to the plot than that, though, and the second half of the story is genetically engineered into something more akin to The Island of Doctor Moreau.

I must say, it’s about time we had a two-disc release in this series. I tend to find the single-disc releases somewhat lacking in terms of scope.

Reader David Troughton’s imitation of Karen Gillan’s Scottish accent isn’t much better than Matt Smith’s during previous audio releases. For the most part, Troughton doesn’t attempt to do impersonations of the regular cast, especially in the case of Arthur Darvill’s Rory. However, his delivery of some of the Eleventh Doctor’s lines invites further comparison between Matt Smith’s characterisation and that of David’s dad, Patrick Troughton. His voices for the aliens are rather ridiculous, but then they’re probably supposed to be.

Sometimes predictable, sometimes surprising, sometimes comical, sometimes grisly, there’s plenty to enjoy in The Eye of the Jungle. Look out for it.


Richard McGinlay

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