Doctor Who: The Stone Rose

“Time is, to put it in its most impressive and some might say poncy-sounding form, my domain. I can see things that once happened, even if they haven’t happened any more.”

Jacqueline Rayner

It’s TARDIS…Wednesday? Because that’s a thing?

Well, here we are, anyway, with another audiobook, a Doctor Who one this time. The Stone Rose, featuring (and read by) David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor, is set in Ancient Rome – always fun – where something odd is going on. A boy goes missing, a sculptor appears to have the ability to create statues overnight, and there’s a girl who claims to be able to tell the future…very accurately, as it happens.

I was thinking while I listened to this (always a dangerous occupation) that the Doctor Who novels are quite different to the stories that appear onscreen. Oh, the Doctor gets himself into the usual scrapes, and he’s just as funny on audio as he is on television (although this may be partly aided by the fact that it’s the actual Doctor reading), but, I think, the writers of the novels have a lot more scope, both in terms of length and in what is feasible budget-wise. Basically, writers can do anything: lions and tigers and bears in the Colosseum? Sure. Scaly creatures with duck beaks? Why not? Gods drinking blood? But of course. Whereas in any one forty-five minute episode you can probably only have one out of three, if any. The Stone Rose seems therefore a lot more busy than any of the onscreen adventures: there’s a chance for development, for tension-building, for the solving of mysteries. It’s a nice experience, I think, a different kind of Who.

Of course, all of this might be so much rubbish, but this is what happens when I listen to audiobooks. The Stone Rose is worth listening to just for the theme tune at the beginning. (I miss Ten’s theme tune. Eleven’s is just boring.)

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