3 out of 3 found this review helpful.
It is a shame we never got more television stories with the Doctor, Rose and Captain Jack travelling together, because there would have been a lot of potential in exploring this trio and their (slowly changing) relationship. So it's quite nice to have at least some additional insights into this era in The Deviant Strain.
There is a lot going on throughout, because for a large chunk of the story the plot is split three-ways with the Doctor, Rose and Jack each persuing a different line of inquiry. This means there are quite a lot of characters involved and at times it is a bit difficult to remember who everybody is and what they are up to. The regulars all get plenty to do, but Captain Jack is given some especially strong scenes where he really shines as a sympathetic character.
The setting is quite evocative and the story is brought to life nicely with some interesting historical detail and an intriguing mythological background. Also, there are a number of unexpected little references to the tv show, firmly anchoring this adventure in series 1.
My only real niggle with this release is the narration. I understand, that not every reader can do every accent ever present on Doctor Who. And I understand that it is sometimes difficult for a male reader to do an impression of a woman (and vice versa!). But Stuart Milligan reads the Doctor and Rose so completely against type, it does become rather irritating after a while. Most of the time Rose sounds like a meek little girlie, while the Doctor comes across as being very posh and very "English" (in a James Bond sort of way), which just isn't 9, at all. Milligan's Russian accents on the other hand sound fine to me, and he does have a very nice voice and a great reading pace. I'd love to hear another audiobook read by Stuart Milligan, maybe even a Doctor Who one, but he's just not particularly suited for this group of regulars.
Still, an underused TARDIS team, an interesting setting and a strong, well-paced plot make this a worthwhile listen. Recommended.