Review: Doctor Who – Death’s Deal / Author: Darren Jones / Publisher: AudioGo/Big Finish / Starring: Catherine Tate, Duncan Wisbey / Release Date: Out Now
October’s Destiny of the Doctor story, Death's Deal, takes us to the ‘Deadliest Planet in the Galaxy'. Written by Darren Jones, this story gives us the return of Catherine Tate in the role of Donna (and many minor parts) accompanied by Duncan Wisbey as two characters – Krux and Erskine.
Less frenetic than last month’s Night of the Whisper, this story takes time to take the Doctor and Donna from the TARDIS to the planet of Death’s Deal. Here the Doctor has determined that he must do something about the many hundreds of distress messages he has intercepted, all of which lead here. Usefully these introductory few minutes also gives us a chance to get used to Catherine Tate as narrator, Donna and the Doctor.
The planet of Death’s Deal lives up to its name. Every part of the planet’s surface hides a threat; monstrous spaceship-devouring worms rise from the ground and dispense death with a casual indifference. Before too long the TARDIS is lost leaving the Doctor and Donna to explore the planet accompanied by a motley collection of space tourists.
The story takes us to a wrecked starship and a distress message from the Eleventh Doctor and we learn that the planet harbours a dangerous secret below the ground. The Doctor must make sure this doesn’t fall into the wrong hands and along the way preserve someone thought lost on the planet many years ago.
Catherine Tate carries the tale well, though her narrator voice takes some getting used to. She also seizes the opportunity to give us a gun-toting space pirate who is very much a male version of Lauren, the schoolgirl character for whom she was originally known. The story progresses to a satisfactory conclusion via some truly horrific moments, including a particularly claustrophobic scene for Donna as she survives an underground encounter with another monstrous worm. Some images will linger long in the memory.
Another strong release in the Destiny of the Doctor range and a solid: