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Jenny Colgan is well known among Whovians for writing many Who-related forms of media. She has quickly established a name for herself writing numerous books and Big Finish audios that tie into the TV series, so you can see why Big Finish chose her to write a story in one of the audio company's most high profile releases to date.
She's the perfect choice too, as she gets the 10th Doctor and Donna's relationship absolutely spot-on. In fact, somehow it's even an improvement over Matt Fitton's take on the pair. Catherine Tate seems much more comfortable by this point too; in Technophobia whilst she was fantastic occasionally she seemed a bit unsure in the way she delivered her lines, however here she is textbook Donna Noble. David Tennant, of course, is superb as always - when is he not when playing the Doctor? Jenny Colgan just seems to understand how to write the dialogue to their advantage.
Jenny Colgan also demonstrates a knack here for writing TARDIS scenes too. They are nothing short of engaging and feel as though they were taken right out of a Russell T Davies story, especially the end TARDIS scene where Donna discusses the events of the audio with the Doctor. That was something the RTD era did in many stories and it always allowed for a nice recap of events. She consistently maintains the series four vibe throughout too, with hints at the series four arc with lines like 'There's something on your back'. Compared to Technophobia, this feels even more like an authentic story from the Russell T Davies era.
The Vacintians feel like something the Russell T Davies era would do. Basically the Vacintians are space police like Judoon, but the difference is that instead of arresting for crimes they are the ones who deal with the paperwork and check whether or not you have a license for activities that require one. The RTD era was one that would often take the boring and mundane and turn it into something exciting; as usual, however, there is something else at play. In this case, a dangerous time weapon called the Time Reaver invented by the Vacintians to prolong the experience of being together as their planet is dying. I always like it when they introduce a tragic back story as it really makes you care for the events taking place. Also: there is a moving sacrifice by one of the characters (won't spoil it for those who haven't listened to the audio) that really sells the story and shows how much you care for the supporting characters.
The Vacintians are nothing, however, compared to this story's villain Gully. Gully is an alien octopus gangster and yes, it really is as mad a concept as it sounds. Gully's like something out of a Douglas Adams Doctor Who story and it's great fun listening to him trying to get hold of all the Time Reavers for obviously evil purposes. The Time Reavers are weapons that make a moment in time last longer, so in the hands of an octo-gangster you can see where things might start to go wrong. Big Finish really do write the best original Doctor Who monsters and I wouldn't mind hearing Gully return again. In fact, maybe he could make the transition to TV in a Jenny Colgan Doctor Who episode?
Overall, Time Reaver is the quintessential series 4 Doctor Who story beautifully written by Jenny Colgan. It has possibly the best combination of Russell T Davies and Douglas Adams-esque ideas, making it a Big Finish audio drama you really shouldn't miss.