Doctor Who: The Creeping Death by Roy Gill (Big Finish, 2019) A fast-moving audio adventure very much in keeping (both in length and tone) with a television episode. Nothing extraordinary but it’s nice to have the Tenth Doctor and Donna together again. David Tennant and Catherine Tate slip effortlessly back into their roles.
Dr. Tenth: Christmas Surprise! by Adam Hargreaves (BBC, 2017) Having misappropriated elements from the Ninth, Eleventh and Twelfth Doctor Christmas specials, Hargreaves then dresses the Tenth Doctor in nothing but sneakers and an unfortunately placed collar and tie, giving the distinct impression of David Tennant as a stripper. Ta-dah! Christmas surprise!
Twice Magic by Cressida Cowell (Hodder, 2018); audiobook read by David Tennant (Hachette Audio, 2018) Although the world is fantabulous and 13-year-old protagonists Xar and Wish are full of zest, this second instalment of Cowell’s wizards and warriors series reads as if emoting the climax, not merely the early unfolding, of their great adventure. Fun but overdone.
Spies of Warsaw (BBC, 2013) Although criticised for its lack of suspense, ‘Spies of Warsaw’ in fact delivers tension in abundance – on a smaller, personal scale, not the artificially heightened nonsense so often grafted onto productions. The acting is top-notch, and David Tennant makes himself beguilingly French.
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service by Ian Fleming (Jonathan Cape, 1963); audiobook read by David Tennant (AudioGO, 2012) Bond’s attitude to women remains unconscionable, but in other respects Fleming gives him a greater depth and vulnerability here than in other books (and certainly the films). The writing has refinement above its genre, and gains added respectability through David Tennant’s reading.…
Mansfield Park by Jane Austen; dramatised by Lin Coghlan (BBC Radio 4, 2003) This full-cast dramatisation offers the narrative equivalent of time-lapse photography: too sketchy for the purists but sufficient to convey some of Austen’s epic to-ing and fro-ing. Its commercial release retro-boasts the involvement of Felicity Jones, Benedict Cumberbatch and bit player David Tennant.
Doctor Who: The Stone Rose by Jacqueline Rayner (BBC, 2006); abridged audiobook read by David Tennant (BBC Audio, 2006) David Tennant’s narration goes some way towards saving this novel, but for all his exuberance the plot remains structured around obtuse main characters and a pantheon of dei ex machina. (Additionally, the Doctor’s escapades at the Flavian Amphitheatre form a new…
Silver: Return to Treasure Island by Andrew Motion (Crown, 2012); audiobook read by David Tennant (W. F. Howes, 2012) Andrew Motion envisages a second adventure to Treasure Island set forty years after Stevenson’s original. This reprise is poetically written (as is Motion’s wont) and more memorable for its depictions than for its action. David Tennant’s narration brings the audiobook to…
Doctor Who…at the BBC: a Legend Reborn presented by Elisabeth Sladen (BBC, 2010) A somewhat artificial look back at the successful revival of Doctor Who under Russell T Davies, featuring previously aired interviews and radio appearances (many with an exuberant David Tennant). Elisabeth Sladen’s contribution is sadly limited to reading linking material from a script.
Jessica Jones, Season 1 created by Melissa Rosenberg (2015) Krysten Ritter nails the essence of depressed-yet-determined ex-superhero Jessica Jones, whose life as a down-and-out PI is put on hold when she is targeted by a supervillain with powers of mind control (played with casual monstrosity—yet also vulnerability—by David Tennant).