REVIEW: Doctor Who: Darkstar Academy by Mark Morris

Title: Darkstar Academy
Author: Mark Morris
Year of Publication: 2012
Genre: Media Tie-in
Format: Audiobook
Length: 1 hour and 15 minutes
First Line: “Inside the TARDIS Rory and the Doctor were playing chess.”
Summary: When the TARDIS is buffeted by ‘time slippage’, the Doctor experiences a terrible vision of the end of everything. Tracking the source of the disruption, he takes Rory and Amy to what appears to be an English public school in the 1950s.

But as the friends are about to discover, there are some very unusual things about Darkstar Academy. For a start the prefects carry guns, and then there is the strange forcefield that surrounds the perimeter. Not to mention the foot-long, crab-like creatures with spiny, armoured bodies…

When the Doctor learns the truth about the Academy, he also discovers that the whole place is in terrible danger. But with a swarm of carnivorous creatures on the loose, what can he, Amy and Rory do to help prevent a terrible disaster?

Review: This was an awful Doctor Who audiobook. Not the worst, but definitely up there.

The narrator, Alexander Armstrong, who is the voice of Mr. Smith in the Sarah Jane Adventures, is terrible. He doesn’t make any attempt to do the imitations of the Doctor, Amy and Rory, instead choosing to read in his own voice for all three with no discernation. It is beyond strange to hear Amy without a Scottish accent, even a bad one. He also doesn’t do a good job at inflections either. The Doctor’s cry of “No, no no!” is the same as Amy asking “Why don’t you move that horsey thing?”. Perhaps that is why he was cast as a robotic voice in Whoverse?

Morris’ writing does not save this one either, I am afraid.

This is set post series 5 since Amy and Rory are married. Yet in this adventure, Amy clearly has more affection for the Doctor than for Rory. In fact, she is very cold toward her husband, very being mean spirited. Nothing new is explored about the characters thus making it a bit boring.

The actual plot itself is rather horrible. Not throwing out any spoilers, but think of Will from the reboot Lost in Space movie (*crickets*) mashed up with bullying in schools. Yep. It is rather simple and bland.

What is good about this audiobook? I suppose I enjoyed Rory’s part. He played the part of a hero while still being Rory. Also, if Armstrong had done the Doctor’s voice better I would have liked that.

Worst part: Everything else.

Best part: Rory.

Grade: F

Recommend For: Who fans who have seen past series 5. Rory fans.

Other Books by This Author: Doctor Who: Forever Autumn and Torchwood: Bay of the Dead


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