Steve Lyons’ clever script for this 11th Doctor adventure is brought to life by Arthur Darvill, who has a gift that a number of other readers for the various series (both AudioGo and Big Finish) may envy – the ability to make the narration sound almost as if it’s being made up as it’s going along, so that reactions to situations sound genuine. Unsurprisingly, he’s able to recreate the TARDIS crew’s inflections (the switch between Rory and Darvill is very clear), and he’s got a good range of other voices to bring for the new parts.
The mystery of how there can be a nuclear war in 1982 almost seems to be pushed to the background for a lot of the story – until you realise at the end that there’s been some clever misdirection, and indeed all the clues that the Doctor uses to solve the mystery have been presented to the audience at the same time as the Time Lord gets them. There are some gory moments – it would be interesting to see how much of this would be shown on television, as opposed to indicated via sound as it is here – as well as some blackly humorous ones.
The 11th Doctor stories have been a bit uneven recently, but Day of the Cockroach has a strong story and good narration. Recommended. 8/10