Tuesday, 7 June 2011

The Ring Of Steel

The Eleventh Doctor Audios: 2 - The Ring Of Steel

Written by: Stephen Cole
Read by: Arthur Darvill.

The second exclusive audio book starring Matt Smith’s Eleventh Doctor sees the pairing of the Doctor and Amy arriving in Scotland as a protest against pylons erupts into mayhem. Whilst read by the series’ Rory Williams AKA Arthur Darvill, the story doesn’t actually feature Rory, still not a companion by this point. The title, “The Ring Of Steel” erroneously suggests Cybermen but I’m afraid to say, is unrelated to Cybers in anyway.

I almost wish the story was Cyber-related as what we get instead is a big ball of disappointment. I always get a spark of excitement seeing a new piece of merchandise authored by a well-known name form the franchise, albeit not the television series. But to be honest, Cole has displayed a story that seems ludicrous with walking pylons, I don’t know how this would be displayed were it actually transferred to screen but I’m sure it wouldn’t be in a good way.

Darvill is great with Matt Smith’s Doctor most of the time, creating, rarely, a spot-on replica of Smith, but when it’s not perfect, it’s still a great mimic and makes you feel like it’s actually the Doctor speaking. His version of Karen Gillen’s Amelia Pond is fantastic as well, not sounding much like Karen herself, but the voice is brilliant and really fun.

Sadly there wasn’t any other gripping characters for Darvill to sink his teeth into, one of my main problems of the audio, I didn’t feel anything or really remember any of the other characters as they just didn’t do anything for me. Cole’s Doctor, whilst not confident, worked well within the story, but writing Amy is where he really shines. I liked a lot of the Pond dialogue and her chemistry with the Doctor was displayed to good effect.

“The Ring Of Steel” contains none of the fun captured so dramatically well by Oli and Matt Smith in the previous instalment (“The Runaway Train”), which will hopefully return in the next audio exclusive of the series (“The Jade Pyramid”).

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