In Review: Big Finish: Donna Noble: Kidnapped!

Donna Noble has come home. But she’s about to be whisked away by aliens – and they’re not as friendly as the Doctor!

Synopsis: Donna Noble has come home. But she’s about to be whisked away by aliens – and they’re not as friendly as the Doctor!

After the trauma of the Library, Donna wants a break, to see old friends and family, and to remind herself of normality.

Only Donna’s new normal involves trips through time and space and visiting alien worlds. So when she and BFF Nat start looking into strange abductions, they are dragged into a whole new universe of trouble…

Review: After marvelous, but heavy stories of the Time War, Donna Noble: Kidnapped! is a refreshing change of pace. James Goss, Matt Fitton, Jacqueline Rayner, and John Dorney give listeners four tales that highlight Donna at her the height of her Donna-ness. In the process, we meet Donna’s new “companion,” who does a great job herself along the way.

Story

In “Out of this World” by Jacqueline Rayner, Donna returns home after the extreme emotional upheaval of the Library. I love the confusion and crossed connections in the story. I also appreciate how Donna tries to connect with her Mum by paralleling their personal losses, but she can’t quite convey what she needs to.

Rayner handles Natalie’s introduction perfectly. Listeners can well believe that these two women were really close friends who had drifted apart.

My favorite part of the first tale, though, is the speed dating sequence. Listening to Donna create wilder and wilder bios for herself is worth the price alone.

“Spinvasion” by John Dorney is the best story in this box set. It’s hilarious but frightening. It’s not frightening, because of the alien invaders, though. It’s frightening because it’s a portrait of what could realistically happen if aliens invaded. The native population becomes their own worst enemy in one of the most on-point send-ups of politics, advertising, and social media I’ve come across in recent years.

“The Sorcerer of Albion” by James Goss plays with the notion that The Doctor was or will be Merlin and the fall out from that for Donna and Nat. Wizards aside, the story is a deep dive into Natalie and her relationships. I love the paralleling and the foreshadowing as Nat and Donna debate greener grass and paths not traveled.

“The Chiswick Cuckoos” by Matt Fitton is where the threaded plot elements are all connected. The two ladies come to grips with their life choices, foil one last alien plot, and navigate the vagaries of psychic paper. The cameo by David Tennant is an added treat.

Acting

The entire cast is great. That said, the box set belongs to Catherine Tate, Jacqueline King, and Niky Wardley. Tate and King simply and brilliantly picked up where they left off. For her part, Wardley managed to find an excellent groove opposite Tate in particular. By the end, I believed The Doctor would keep Nat in the loop about the Doctor-Donna situation off-screen.

Overall

I thoroughly enjoyed this. I actually thought Donna and Nat made more sense on adventures together than Clara and Me.

 

9.7
Big Finish: Donna Noble: Kidnapped!
  • Story
    9.0
  • Performances
    10
  • Audio Production
    10

Raissa Devereux became a life-long genre fan at the age of four when she first saw The Wizard of Oz at a screening at Arizona State University. Years later, she graduated from A.S.U. as an English major, History minor, Whovian, and Trekkie. Now a Florida transplant, she loves the opportunity Sci-Fi Pulse has given her to further explore space travel, time travel, masked heroes, gothic castles, and good yarns.
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