Sunday, October 27, 2013

Destiny of the Doctor: Death's Deal Review

This month is the penultimate entry in my series of reviews of Big Finish's Destiny of the Doctor range. This month's story is Death's Deal, starring the 10th Doctor and Donna Noble. It is read by Catherine Tate with Duncan Wisbey.

I'm very glad they chose Donna to be the companion in this episode; they could easily have used Rose or Martha. I feel like Donna was cheated on a lot of episodes by not being the sole companion. Half her episodes also had Martha, Jack, or Rose in them and this helps make up for that.

There's the usual bit about the 11th Doctor signaling his former selves. I still can't figure out what he wants with all the items/people he's collecting. I was always under the impression that we'd get some sort of clue by now. So far, we've only gotten one back in June (when the sixth Doctor failed to complete his task, the universe started to collapse). I guess Big Finish is really playing this to reveal everything in November. The series is apparently supposed to be eleven adventures with only a loose story arc. I mean, a strong story arc across the Doctor's entire life would probably start to attract too much of his attention. If it was that important across his entire life, it would have been picked up on in other stories.

This story has the largest variety of alien life of any story in the range so far. The sheer number of different species and their difference from Earth life is very big for a Doctor Who story. Even most Star Trek species are largely the same.

I'm not really sure why all these ships crashed here. It was explained that it was a very dangerous planet, but unless it's situated in a dangerous region of space, that doesn't explain all the ships. Also, with a planet that dangerous, unless they're all illegal tourist ships, there's no good reason why they would all land there and get stuck.

I also find it hard to believe the distress signals were still operating after a couple of centuries. I mean, unless someone purposefully switched off every system except the distress signal, the power drain would kill the batteries after a few years. I doubt the engines would stay running continuously without maintenance for so long, and the batteries probably aren't designed to power the entire ship for more than short periods. There's also the fact that the ships crashed (and so were damaged) and the corrosion that was mentioned. So unless the ships were all really well designed, there's no reason all those distress signals should still be going.

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