Review: Doctor Who: AudioGo: Darkstar Academy

The Doctor, Amy and Rory arrive at a very peculiar 1950s boys’ public school – where the prefects carry guns.

The idea of using Alexander Armstrong – whose contributions to the Doctor Who universe include playing a pretty much emotionless computer on The Sarah Jane Adventures, and a chocks-away flying ace from the Second World War last Christmas – as the narrator for this release probably sounded a great one when first pitched; but did anyone actually check how good he would be at it? Although I love his performances on The Armstrong and Miller Show (and even to an extent his “character” as Xander on Pointless), they are pretty one-note, and there’s not the depth of dramatic performance present that you need to be able to sell a story like this.

It doesn’t help that he doesn’t really differentiate that much between the Doctor, Rory and Amy – not even an attempt at a Scottish accent – and there are times when it feels as if he’s reading the lines for the first time, when clauses that clearly go with a different part of a sentence are combined wrongly.

And it’s a shame, because Mark Morris has created a nice little paradox and incongruity filled tale. Armstrong manages the characters such as the headmaster, because they’re similar to those he plays in his skits, but a lot of the necessary nuances are simply lost. It’s not often that the AudioGo team slip up in their choice, but this does hole Darkstar Academy irreparably.

Verdict: Nice story, shame about the…  5/10

Paul Simpson

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