Review: Doctor Who: Classic Novels: Full Circle

DW-The-Full-Circle_LargeBy Andrew Smith, read by Matthew Waterhouse

BBC Physical Audio, out now

The planet that slept is waking up – and the Doctor, Romana and K9 are in the wrong universe…

It’s obviously the month to go to Alzarius, what with the release of this audiobook read by Matthew Waterhouse, and Andrew Smith’s own sequel to Full Circle, Mistfall, just out from Big Finish.

This is of course the reading of the novelisation that Smith wrote of his original script, and therefore includes all of the extras (such as an atmospheric opening depicting the crash of the Starliner, complete with Mr Fenric on board) that he added to the story for the Target book. We lose some of the… how can I put it?… questionable acting of the original, but it has to be said that this was one of the stories that showed what the new regime under JNT could do. Indeed, the climax of episode one was what brought me back to Doctor Who after giving up on Creature from the Pit the previous year.

Matthew Waterhouse does an incredibly good job reading the story – although he’s not doing impressions of the actors who played the part on screen, he very much captures the flavour of many of the performances. His version of Tom Baker brought a smile to my face when I first heard it, and of course he is able to resurrect Adric without too many problems! There are even reminders of some of the distinctive voices of the Starliner crew – George Baker in particular – although he doesn’t have to step in for K9, as John Leeson provides the necessary dialogue.

It’s very much a dramatic reading of the book, backed up by a very full soundscape from Simon Power. There certainly seems to be more layers in this than in many of the previous readings, and at times it felt very like some of the Big Finish Lost Episode versions – an alternate take on the TV soundtrack.

Verdict: A fine rendition of an enjoyable story. 8/10

Paul Simpson

Click here to order Doctor Who: Full Circle from Amazon.co.uk

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