THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS
Title: Doctor Who: The Gemini Contagion
Author: Jason Arnopp
Year of Publication: 2011
Genre: Media Tie-In
Length: 1 hour and 20 minutes
First Line: “The G-32’s cargo bay was nearing full capacity.”
Summary: The ice-planet Vinsk, in the year 2112. The all-new anti-viral hand wash, Gemini, has been laced with Meme-Spawn: a sentient micro-organism which makes the user fluent in every language in the universe. However, manufacturer Zalnex made one crucial mistake. They didn’t test Gemini on humans, who are seized by the violent urge to communicate but speak every language all at once – with a manic, garbled shriek – and pass on the virus by touch.
The Doctor and Amy arrive on an Earth-bound cargo-ship loaded with Gemini, where a human crew are succumbing to the virus which has nasty second and third phases in store. When the Doctor and Amy are separated, they both know that it’s only a matter of time before Amy is infected.
With the ship locked on course, and no way of curing the sufferers, the Doctor is faced with a terrible decision: does he save Amy, or Earth?
Review: Not very impressed with this one.
It’s read by actress Meera Syal, who is in the two parter ‘The Hungry Earth’/’Cold Blood’. She doesn’t do a very good job reading the roles of Amy and the 11th Doctor. She makes the 11th Doctor sound more like David Tennant’s Doctor (his syntax and all that). Amy is not Scottish sounding in this audiobook. Nicholas Whyte mentions that she sounds a bit Ulster. I’m not sure what an Ulster accent exactly sounds like so I can’t comment on that, but I know that the accent that Syal is trying to attempt is not Amy’s Scotch. The way Syal reads the narrative makes it sound more like a children’s book. It’s all in her voice– the way she says things. It makes me wonder if she would be more suited to doing other projects.
Basic plot of this one (which if you read the summary above you already know) is that there’s a new hand soap (hand wash I love that) that when you use is supposed to be like a Babel fish plus. It will make you able to speak and understand all languages. The Doctor decides to visit the plant that is making the stuff and to help them test it out (he mentions he’ll do it for money… say out of character). Of course, when he and Amy get there they quickly find out that the hand soap is made from an alien race that has the ability to understand all languages has only been tested on a human-like species but not humans themselves. When humans use the soap they get a nasty reaction of their brain being overloaded with too many languages at once and only being able to chant “Listen to me”. Amy gets infected, Doctor saves the day, all is well again.
I like the idea of the hand soap but everything else? It’s like that’s been done before… in Doctor Who.
Worst part: There’s a lot of issues.
Best part: I liked the initial idea for the book.
Recommend For: Doctor Who fans who enjoy an infection/invasion or human gullibility stories.
Other Books by This Author: The Sarah Jane Adventures: Deadly Download and Friday The 13th 3: Hate-Kill-Repeat