I've been waiting for these Doctor/Donna full-cast audio CDs to come out for a while. But after the let-down when reading the recent book that came out with these two, I started listening to this with a bit of trepidation. Thankfully, the author (Matt Fitton) and the cast (including David Tennant and Catherine Tate) proved more than up to the challenge of bringing back this dynamic duo as the 10th Doctor and his best-ever companion, Donna Noble.
Donna Noble has always been (and will always be!) my favorite Doctor Who companion. She is quick-witted, sarcastic, and never afraid to dress someone down if they disrespect her. She's also never afraid to call the Doctor out on things if he isn't exactly handling things the way she feels they need to be handled. And Fitton definitely 'gets' Donna. Her characterization in this story is spot on, as is the 10th Doctor, with his fun-loving quirkiness that never takes himself too seriously and always offers any alien threat an opportunity to walk away before he does whatever he has to in order to protect the lives of the innocent.
In Technophobia, the Doctor and Donna pay a visit to London's Technology Museum, where they discover something is not quite right. The technology seems to be attacking the visitors and employees of the Museum, and no one seems to be able to control any of it. In fact, the more terrorizing the technology becomes, the more afraid people grow, to the point where they refuse to go anywhere near anything that is technologically based. Except for the Doctor and Donna, of course. And the receptionist, who just got back from a three-month back-packing trip. Which raises an alarm in the Doctor's mind, as he and Donna slowly come to the realizing it is not the technology that is doing anything - rather, it is actually the people who are changing. They are losing their ability to understand and cope with the technology around them - from even the simplest coffee maker to the elevators and escalators to the high tech laptops. The human race has sudden devolved in their intelligence and growing dumber by the second.
In true Doctor Who fashion, it is up to the Doctor and Donna to save all of humanity. But how? And when the Doctor becomes infected with the virus and finds his own intelligence dwindling by the minute, it is up to Donna to put her noggin to good use and figure out how the bloody hell she's going to stop an alien race intent on wiping out the minds of the human race and creating a population of mindless slaves!
Excellent writing, fantastic characterization, and brilliant reading by the cast. The Doctor and Donna are back and just as good as, if not better than, ever! Can't wait to see what the second story holds in store...
RATING: 10 subway trains out of 10 for bringing this Donna Noble fanboy some great new stories of his favorite companion!