Audio Review: Doctor Who: The Nu-Humans
SINCE its 2005 revival, Doctor Who appears to have made a concerted effort to shape a decisive and comprehensive version of mankind’s future history, rather than the piecemeal, contradictory timeline seen in the classic show.
That vision continues here in a story which owes a great deal to the recent two-parter The Rebel Flesh/The Almost People, a connection made all the more evident by having Raquel Cassidy, who appeared in those episodes, reading this audio.
But rather than being amorphous blobs who shape-shift into human duplicates as we saw on television, the Nu-Humans of the title are actually human beings who have developed the ability to adapt their forms to withstand the environments of different planets instead of spending time and money on terraforming them.
Quite what would motivate future folk to voluntarily agree to some of these genetic enhancements – known as pantropy - even if it did mean a massive pay packet in return, is skirted over in favour of a more obvious Who adventure where the Doctor, Amy and Rory are caught up in the usual murder and mayhem.
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Encountering the Nu Human inhabitants of the volcanic planet Hope Eternal, which has much greater gravity than Earth, the time travellers discover that the mutated colonists’ adapted biology is breaking down, and are soon caught up in a plot which threatens all of their lives as someone on the planet seems determined to hide the truth...
Writers Cavan Scott and Mark Wright weave a fast-paced tale where every decision has consequences further down the line, at the same time examining the clash between environment and evolution and how far mankind should be prepared to go in altering such fundamental forces.
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Raquel Cassidy does an amazing impression of Amy Pond, which almost makes up for the fact that her 11th Doctor sounds like David Tennant, but overall succeeds admirably as the story’s narrator, something which often fails for releases that don’t feature any of the main cast.
AudioGo’s series of exclusive stories are now firmly established as “bonus” adventures for the Doctor to complement those seen on-screen, exploiting the advantages of the medium to get round visual budgetary restrictions to create tales which truly exploit the show’s rich and varied format. The Nu-Humans is another worthy addition to this range.