A few months ago I gave my opinion of the first two Doctor Who books to be narrated by Freema Agyeman: Wetworld and The Last Dodo. The third book to be read by Freema Agyeman is The Pirate Loop by Simon Guerrier (BBC Audio, July 2008, Ref. 9781408400449) which BBC Audio have kindly sent me a copy of.
The Starship Brilliant just disappeared from the radar. Not even the Doctor knew what happened to it. So of course what better place for the Martha and the Doctor to land the TARDIS a few days before the great ship vanishes off the radar forever?
They discover that the ship is using an experimental drive and that parts of the ship are in different time zones and the way between the zones is blocked by a time fungus which resembles cold scrambled egg. Fortunately setting 28 on the sonic screwdriver allows them to get through. Neglecting to hold on to each other as they walk through the 'scrambled egg' means the two of them get separated by several hours.
Martha arrives into the luxury part of the ship first where she's ushered by a robot steward, Gabriel, into the main cocktail lounge where she meets not just the other paying guests but also some non-paying and unwanted guests: space pirates. Unzipped from their space suits the pirates are revealed to be...badgers. They're named Joss, Archie and Dash and Martha has to use her brains and charm to keep them from shooting her and the rest of the passengers.
Meanwhile, the Doctor arrives in the same area as Martha, three hours later and has to track down his companion, save the ship from the pirates and resolve the time zone discrepancies.
The story cuts between Martha's arrival and the Doctor's until they are reunited for the final resolution to the mystery of the Brilliant.
The Pirate Loop is a fabulous listen. It's both funny and exciting as well as shocking in parts. It's a pacey story, full of action and I didn't want it to end. Simon Guerrier successfully captures the Doctor and Martha's personalities from the tv series, aided by Freema Agyeman's superb performance. Freema's emulation of the Doctor's manner of speaking is extremely good, even better than the two previous outings and she utilises a wide range of voices for the supporting characters, including the upper-class passenger Mrs Wingsworth, the gruff badgers, the monotone Gabriel and the softly spoken Starship Captain Georgina.
Freema's next audio book narration is of Martha in the Mirror which forms part of a box set which includes Snowglobe 7 read by Georgia Moffett and The Many Hands, read by David Troughton, and was released earlier this month.
More posts on Doctor Who and Torchwood can be found on this blog, here.