• Doctor Who: Survival

  • 7th Doctor
  • By: Rona Munro
  • Narrated by: Lisa Bowerman
  • Length: 3 hrs and 51 mins
  • Original Recording Audiobook
  • Release date: 07-09-17
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: BBC Worldwide Ltd.
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars 4.6 (10 ratings)

Summary

Lisa Bowerman reads this exciting classic novelisation of a Seventh Doctor TV adventure, the last in the original run of Doctor Who serials.
The Doctor brings Ace home to Perivale. On a summer Sunday it seems the least lively place in the universe, yet mystery lurks behind the calm facade. The members of Ace's old gang have gone away, each of them disappeared without trace. Something is killing the domestic pets of Perivale, and unearthly hoofprints scar the baked earth of the recreation ground. What strange force connects all these events?
As Ace herself is transported to a distant planet, it seems that the Doctor may be stepping into a well-prepared trap. Can it be the work of the his old adversary, the Master - and if so, to what end?
Lisa Bowerman, who played Karra in the 1989 BBC TV serial, reads Rona Munro's complete and unabridged novelisation, first published by Target Books in 1990.
©2017 BBC Worldwide Ltd (P)2017 BBC Worldwide Ltd
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Critic reviews

"Attention to detail is a hallmark of this always excellent range." ( Doctor Who Magazine)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Adam on 22-05-18

Feeling feline

Where as I’ve never seen Survival, the audio book made a great holiday listen, and if you are a fan of Doctor Who, especially the Classic series, and thrice especially the Target novelisations, this is something of a poignant treat. Poignant because Survival is both the final serial of the 26th season and also the final story of the entire original 26-year run of the Doctor Who. The story was first broadcast in three parts, weekly, from 22 November to 6 December 1989. The story contained a number of finals, the final regular television appearance of Anthony Ainley as the Master, of Sophie Aldred as Ace and the last regular television appearance of Sylvester McCoy as the Seventh Doctor.
The audio book is narrated by Lisa Bowerman, who played Karra, a ‘Cheetah-person’ in the tv Survival story, and has also voiced the New Adventures / Big Finish audio drama favourite Bernice Summerfield.
The book’s settings are, variously, Perivale in West London and a dying Alien world. We begin in West London, where the Doctor brings his companion Ace back to her home, Perivale, to catch up with family and friends. Other than Ace being in a real mood about the whole thing, something is very wrong (as it would be). People are disappearing. And a particularly feral black cat watches from teh sidelines, as does the Doctor’s most implacable foe…
It transpire that people are being chased by horse mounted ‘Cheetah-people’ into another dimension, where they run and hide or are killed by for sport by the same cat creatures. Worse, the planet itself is directing everything with a malign force that seeks to compel an accelerated Darwinian struggle and spread it to new worlds. Turns out the Master is stuck on the planet, and needs the Doctor’s help to escape…
The story has a number of characteristics typical of the show of this time. First, it is an original and pacy story. The show had not strayed into interminable story arc territory at this stage. It combines very domestic and familiar settings (London estates, suburbs, youth clubs, and so on) with alien worlds. It is full of the Seventh Doctor’s particular characteristics, the rolling, r’s, a kind but determined and persistent approach, and the familiarity of a trusted Uncle with vert eccentric habits. And the inter-play with Ace, extreme banter and a real bond.
It also has the casual and violent ends of quite a few minor characters (still a trope) that keeps dramatic tension high. You really don’t know who is going to make it (apart from the Doctor and hos companions. Companion death was still relatively rare.
The Master is a strong component in this story. He is thoroughly evil, some of his actions are wholly irredeemable, and yet darkly witty and engaging. We get some intriguing backstory of the Master and the Doctor’s shared story in this novelisation as well
Lisa Bowerman’s narration is really well done. She is clearly enjoying herself, conjuring the 7th Doctor, Ace and others before our eyes, and that is infectious.

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