Audio Review: Doctor Who: The Essential Companion

An audio guide to the 2010 series of the show

Written by Steve Tribe, presented by Alex Price

NOW here is a curiosity. Released at the same time as the DVD box set hits our shelves, this is a two and a half hour audio guide to the 2010 series of Doctor Who, featuring clips and insights covering all 13 episodes, with the first disc focusing on Amy and the second on her eventual husband Rory.

Every episode is covered in full, with suitably selected extracts from the television episode, and there are some lovely touches in the script which add to the events we saw transpire on screen. Naturally, any budgetary concerns can be overlooked in an audio format, but the listener will always be drawn to the images they remember from television, whether that’s a giant space whale or exploding TARDIS, and nothing here will change that perception.

The real question surrounding this release must surely be who it is aimed for? Surely the casual viewer would not be interested when there are regular repeats of episodes on BBC Three and the entire series available on DVD? And would the more passionate fan really bother with an audio guide which lacks the depth and insight available from other merchandise like Doctor Who Magazine, The Brilliant Book of Doctor Who or episodes of Doctor Who Confidential?

Make no mistake, this is a lovingly crafted product which admirably captures the excitement, humour and drama of the series, but in today’s multimedia world it just seems somewhat redundant. Approach with caution…