Saturday, 30 August 2014

The mothership Audio Review Doctor Who: The Gemini Contagion by DJ Forrest

Doctor Who: The Gemini Contagion

Written by Jason Arnopp
Read by Meera Syal
Produced by BBC
Published by AudioGo Ltd 2011
ISBN: 978 1471 312083
Reviewed by DJ Forrest


If you follow Jason Arnopp on Twitter you’ll know just how scary some of his tweets can be, especially as he’s about to log out of Twitterland for the evening. Those freakishly ‘Beware of what lies beneath the surface’ kind of tweets, some of which really do make you turn around and stare at the empty space behind you, while you’re at the computer - alone!!!

The Gemini Contagion is just as scary. 

The story begins in the factory on the planet Vinsk in 2112, where the new anti viral handwash is being boxed up ready to despatch to Earth aboard a cargo ship.  Lorraina a young woman is busy checking off a list of products when Magnus tears open one of the boxes containing the handwash and uses some on himself.  He teases one of the workers, Ramirez to do the same including Lorraina, but the Welsh woman is not interested.  Suddenly the two men begin to react to the handwash by clutching their heads and groaning, hands tensing they begin in unison to scream at Lorraina. LISTEN TO ME! LISTEN TO ME! LISTEN TO ME! 
When the Doctor and Amy arrive in the TARDIS, Amy sees the men advancing on the woman and tries to distract them, but Lorraina takes a stumble off the edge and falls to her death. 

The all-new anti viral handwash has been laced with Meme Spawn: a sentient micro-organism which makes the user fluent in all languages in the universe.  That might be just what every human needs, especially if you’ve not got the TARDIS as your translator.  But the Gemini handwash hasn’t been tested on humans, and as the cargo ship hurtles ever closer to the planet Earth, the crew aboard are succumbing to a virus that if the user touches another will spread like wildfire.  With the co-ordinates already locked on for Earth, will the Doctor be able to stop the threat, before Amy succumbs to the virus, and if he has to choose which one to save first, will it be his companion or her home planet?
There are various phases of the virus which affect the user.  The initial inability to be heard by fellow workers is the most frightening of them all.  While they scream to be heard, the only words that make sense are LISTEN TO ME, but in every language of the universe.

As with any story, you need a great narrator and Meera Syal is perfect for this role.  Already having appeared in Doctor Who as Nasreen Chaudry in The Hungry Earth and Cold Blood, Meera is fantastic at the voice play, giving some of the characters a variety of regional accents and some that sound very familiar.

Jason Arnopp aside from putting the wind up you on Twitter is an author and script writer.  With a background in journalism Jason has written for magazines such as Heat and Doctor Who Magazine.  As well as writing the Gemini Contagion, Jason has also co written UNIT Dominion and Army of Death for Big Finish, an audio drama in 2012.

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