Monday, March 28, 2011

Doctor Who: The Jade Pyramid


The good news is Doctor Who: The Jade Pyramid audio book is read by the actor who plays the Doctor, Matt Smith. The bad news is, the writing on the book doesn't really live up to the potential. The dialog doesn't sound like the Doctor. Think about that for a moment. The Doctor is reading the book and it still doesn't sound like the Doctor. The writing is certainly competent, but the writer, Martin Day, doesn't seem to have the knack of writing the somewhat frenetic speech patterns that have been established for the character on the show. Smith never gets the chance to do one of those mile a minute speeches where he suddenly reverses everything his just said, or realizes he's not making sense. The banter with companion Amy Pond isn't really there either. Keep in mind, I'm not picking on Day. Writing the Doctor to sound like the TV Doctor would take some serious effort.
The plot finds the Doctor and Amy in Medieval Japan, so it's a good time period for me. There are samurai and ninjas and a power mad Shogun. Add aliens, robot monsters, and the titular Jade Pyramid and you have the makings for a decent Doctor Who adventure, so it's not a bad book.
Smith does give it a good shot, trying to read his lines in his Doctor persona, but because of the issues I mentioned above it often falls flat. It is interesting to see Smith reading Amy's lines. He does it in a more broad Scottish accent than the actress or character actually has, but sometimes he does get Amy's inflections. It's funny how many actors are gifted mimics. William Shatner comes to mind. In his readings of the Star Trek novels he 'wrote' he often manages to catch the feel of characters like Spock or Bones, even if his voice isn't right. He does a dead-on Scotty though.
Anyway, I had fun with the Jade Pyramid Audio adventure. Just not as much as I thought I would. I need to try one of the audio books read by 10th Doctor, David Tennant, and see how that goes.

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