a vast and seemingly deserted starship, spins slowly in the
void of deep space. Martha and the Doctor explore this drifting
tomb, and discover that they may not be alone after all. Who
or what survived the disaster that overcame the rest of the
crew? What continues to power the vessel? And why has a stretch
of wooded countryside suddenly appeared in the middle of the
craft? As the Doctor and Martha journey through the forest,
they find a mysterious, fog-bound village - a village traumatised
by missing children and prophecies of its own destruction...
above synopsis, with its apparently primitive earthbound setting
somehow connected to a derelict spaceship in the future, sounds
rather reminiscent of The
Girl in the Fireplace doesn't it? Wooden
Heart is also derivative of several other stories, borrowing
elements from the Doctor Who serials Castrovalva
and The Mind of Evil. I was also reminded of the Star
Trek: The Next Generation episode Remember
Me (people disappearing and the universe shrinking) and
Trek: Deep Space Nine episode Shadowplay.
Nevertheless, author Martin Day manages to keep the listener
guessing and keeps things moving along nicely.
The progression of the narrative is, in fact, aided by some
of the cuts that have been made to this abridged edition,
including the excision of a somewhat off-topic flashback/dream
sequence from the second half of the story. Martha, Saul and
Petr's journey across the lake to the mysterious island is
also cut down to the bare minimum. And - surprise, surprise
- the Doctor's cheeky line about the Castor's sister
ship ("Never mind the Pollux") hasn't made it into
the talking book either!
Reader Adjoa Andoh, who played Sister Jatt in New
Earth and the recurring role of Francine Jones
in several episodes of Series 3, is what really makes this
audio book. She gives the villagers distinctive Eastern European
accents, and her delivery of Martha's lines sounds uncannily
like Freema Agyeman. Sometimes you can almost believe that
Agyeman has come into the studio just to record her lines.
Andoh is obviously well cast as Martha's mother.
I actually enjoyed this reading more than the original
book. Not Pollux at all then.