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Doctor Who: The Art Of Death by James Goss

01/03/2012. Contributed by Sue Davies

Buy Doctor Who: The Art Of Death in the USA - or Buy Doctor Who: The Art Of Death in the UK

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pub: Audio Go/BBC. 1 CD 75 minute story. Price: CD: GBP 8.66 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-40846-881-4. Download: GBP 6.79 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-40849-815-6) narrator: Racquel Cassidy.

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Penelope is in charge of the Paradox Room in the Horizon Gallery. The gallery as featured in ‘The Art Of Death’ used to be a fairly ordinary exhibition until the paradox opened above it.

Hanging in the sky is a rent in the universe and something very wrong. The universe reacts by selling tickets to view it. Penelope has to ensure that no one stares into it for too long or they may go mad. She likes to look at it however and one day when doing just that, Penelope has a ghostly encounter with something that reaches out its bony hands. It wants to grasp her but why? Shortly after, Penelope encounters a strange gawky man who tells her he is lost in time. Somehow, the job in the gallery will never be boring again.

Yet again, we have a crack in time story. Will they never end? I assume the TARDIS is having a holiday, though it’s nothing new for the Doctor to use alternative modes of transport and as usual this is a means of getting him into trouble and splitting him from the Ponds. It’s also a big clue about the ultimate resolution to the story.

‘The Art Of Death’ is narrated by Raquel Cassidy (TV: DW ‘The Rebel Flesh’/’The Almost People’) and she has a easy manner which ably conveys the emotion at different points in the narrative. She is softly spoken but can inject the hardness that made her such a good adversary in the TV episodes.

With thoughtful background sound and music effects, this really fills out the story and creates the ambience and foreboding which leads us through.

You might see the end from a mile out in space and again this is a use of the time travel aspects of the Time Lord’s existence which is a mark of the latest incarnation. I would warn you away if you are allergic to timey-whimsy stuff but it’s a wonderful narrative which spirals into an entertaining bit of a yarn.

Sue Davies

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This book has 68 votes in the sci-fi charts

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