Doctor Who: Babblesphere


Doctor Who: Babblesphere

Written by Jonathan Morris

Published by Audio Go and Big Finish

April is no longer the cruellest month. This year, it’s the month to celebrate Tom Baker’s time as the Fourth Doctor, and as such, former companion Lalla Ward narrates the latest Destiny of the Doctor release.

The Doctor and Romana find themselves on an Earth colony, modelled after the Palace of Versailles, where inhabitants are being killed by malfunctioning implanted microchips. Through these implants, the colonists share their every waking thought with others – creating the Babblesphere – policed by the most baroque robots ever conceived.

Author Morris wittily evokes the spirit of Douglas Adams, script editor for this period of the show, with plenty of repartee between Romana and the Doctor – though the latter becomes rather absent for the middle third of the tale. A scene where the colonists’ Babble is given voice is a real highlight, as is a brief incursion from the Eleventh Doctor and his surprising list of Top Five Foes.

Lalla Ward narrates the story in an engaging manner, but surprisingly struggles to emulate the vocal patterns of the Doctor. Roger Parrot offers good voice variety as the rebellious colonist Aurelius, and the Pedesequod robots are brought to life with some clever sound modulation.

Another strong instalment in the Destiny of the Doctor series then, though one hopes the collecting of artefacts doesn’t become too samey in subsequent stories, as the ‘collecting’ of former companions is already proving in IDW’s similar monthly Doctor arc.

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