Doctor Who: The Nu-Humans
Written by Cavan Scott and Mark Wright
Read by Raquel Cassidy
This story, exclusively written by Scott and Wright for audiobook release by AudioGo, sits somewhere in the continuity of the most recent season of Doctor Who. The Doctor, Amy and Rory land on Hope Eternal, a rugged planet with rich mineral deposits. There they discover a colony of Nu-Humans, genetically modified from homo sapiens to survive the hostile, high gravity environment. But something or someone is killing the Nu-Humans, and the travellers soon find the finger of guilt pointing at them.
This novella length work fits neatly into the compact, single episode style of recent Who, with Rory and Amy separated for much of the time and the Doctor keeping his thoughts and suspicions to himself until close to the denouement of the story. The outcome is not difficult to predict, but the writers provide enough humour and suspense to keep the narrative rattling along. Listen carefully for a couple of nods towards the fourth wall in the Doctor’s dialogue.
Raquel Cassidy delivers a similarly kinetic reading, and captures the tone of the regulars well, in particular Matt Smith’s Doctor as a constantly excited child at a birthday party. Special note must be made of her Amy Pond – if I didn’t know better, I would think Karen Gilllan had snuck into the recording studio – the mimicry is that good. Only main Nu-Human Trevor fails to engage, with a nasal voice not dissimilar to a certain Paranoid Android.?Sound design is simple, evoking the settings efficiently without distracting from Cassidy’s clear narration of the tale.
We know the days of the Ponds are numbered in the TV show, so fans of Who’s first married companions should relish this chance to squeeze in an extra adventure, before the Doctor leaves them for a distinctly younger model.