Audio Review: Doctor Who: The Eye of the Jungle

(AudioGo �13.25)

IT’S a jungle out there, as the Doctor, Amy and Rory discover when they arrive in the midst of the Amazonian rainforest in 1827, long before man’s industrial greed began the gradual destruction of this ancient environment, when its dark depths still hid undiscovered secrets…

Stumbling across a hurriedly abandoned campsite, the TARDIS crew is suddenly threatened by huge black caiman lizards with equally big appetites. They are rescued by big game hunter Oliver Blazington and his naturalist companion Garrett, who between them are either killing or capturing the jungle’s exotic creatures.

But the Doctor soon realises that the Amazon is the hunting ground of an altogether more deadly predator (excuse the pun), and all of the adventurers are being watching by the all-seeing Eye of the Jungle…

Taking advantage of the two-disc format offered this release, this latest audiobook is admirably read by David Troughton, which in turn prompts further comparison between 11th Doctor Matt Smith and his father, Doctor No 2 Patrick.

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As suggested above, there are elements of this narrative which feel like some sort of Victorian age addition to the Predator franchise, although events shift in a very different direction in the second half of the tale.

The most rewarding quality of AudioGo’s ongoing range of Doctor Who exclusives is their freedom to land the TARDIS in a variety of new locations and circumstances which could never be admirably realised on screen.

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Thrusting them into the midst of the Amazon rainforest is something we’re unlikely to see on TV, as there are unlikely to be any suitable locations in Cardiff to stand-in for the jungle, and writer Darren Jones exploits every detail to provide his narrative with a rich and well-developed context.

However you approach The Eye of the Jungle, whether as a Doctor Who newbie or long-term fan of the series, there’s certainly enough here to keep any listener gripped throughout, and on the strength of this highly entertaining release hopefully we’ll see more from Darren Jones in future.

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