A wonderful set that captures the character of Donna Noble perfectly and will please fans of this era of Doctor Who.
Donna Noble is given some time off from her travels with the Doctor in order to come to terms with the events that happened during The Silence in the Library (a story from season 4 of the modern TV series of Doctor Who). It seems however, that trouble keeps wanting to find the most famous “temp from Chiswick” and now Donna and her friend Nat are travelling through time and space on their own with the Doctor’s TARDIS…
With David Tennant being as incredibly busy as he is, Big Finish have created their fourth Tenth Doctor spin-off (following the Jenny, Lady Christina and Rose Tyler sets), this time featuring the wonderful Catherine Tate as the feisty Donna Noble. It is a master stroke as this set, for the most part, is enormously enjoyable and it is clear that everyone involved had a grand time making it.
Consisting of four different adventures (but linked to an over-arching theme), this set rockets along and almost never feels like it is outstaying its welcome. Jacqueline Raynor, John Dorney, James Goss and Matt Fitton have all contributed scripts that capture much of what endeared Noble to even the most jaded of Doctor Who fans. The only script that sags is Goss’ The Sorcerer of Albion which has an obvious plot twist and a couple of very grating characters to contend with.
Joining Tate throughout the set is Niky Wardley as her friend, Nat. Vocally, the two are quite similar (but not indistinguishable) but the couple work off each other very well. It is also great to have Donna’s mother, Sylvia, return (played with continued brilliance by Jacqueline King), although one does get tired of her constantly being rude and unsupportive of Noble (the actor even admitting as much in the bonus interview disc). The remaining supporting cast are highlighted by some outstanding performances from Dan Starkey (Dennis), Isla Blair (Marge), Anthony Howell (Adrian) and Sebastian Armesto (Garrison). There is also a cameo from David Tennant himself that will undoubtedly make fans of this Doctor/Companion combination incredibly happy.
Barnaby Edwards directs the set with much as flair and excitement as he can muster and is helped by the usual top-drawer sound and music design, this time by the always-excellent Howard Carter.
Fans of Donna Noble will absolutely not be disappointed with this set. It is a wonderful addition to the Big Finish range and one hopes that a second series will be commissioned sooner rather than later. It is also proof positive that Catherine Tate is one of the most outstanding actresses to grace the Doctor Who screens in many years and that she can more than hold her own when needed.
Reviewed by Rodney Hrvatin
Distributed by: Big Finish Productions
Released: February 2020
Approx RRP: $50 CD, $20 Digital Download