After two dark Seventh Doctor adventures, the trilogy concludes with a lighter fare.
And putting fan-favourite Dogbolter on the cover of ‘The Quantum Possibility Engine’ guarantees a dark comedy is in the offing.
The Quantum Possibility Engine
‘The Quantum Possibility Engine’ concludes Mel’s arc seeded in the last two monthly adventures. And arguably building since her return to the TARDIS way back in ‘A Life of Crime‘. This Guy Adams penned script promises much with not only Dogbolter but an appearance from Narvin of the Gallifrey range. Luckily, it absolutely delivers.
The story picks up on a surprise decision made by Mel at the end of last month’s story. The Doctor and Ace are left without a TARDIS and Narvin is the only one who can help. A healthy dose of satire built into the script allows for some nice diversions from the story. Full of extraordinary characters it’s pleasant to have a calm and confident Doctor solving problems while everyone around him are panicking.
This dream ensemble cast works well together in rather unexpected ways. But it’s definitely Mel’s story with the wonderful Bonnie Langford driving the piece with a standout performance.
Though they’ve known one another for decades, it’s easy to forget the McCoy-Aldred-Langford trinity is only a few stories old. So it’s remarkable how well the three spark off one another already. Toby Longworth gives an gorgeously exaggerated turn as Dogbolter. He’s balanced out nicely by Wayne Forester as Hob, Dogbolters right-hand man and true comic relief of the story.
Somene we’d love to see pop up in other ranges more often, Sean Carlsen makes a crossover appearance as Narvin. He is snivelling in the best way possible to complement the Seventh Doctor and cement their relationship. Jules de Jongh completes the cast playing the Captain Regent of the Krasi in the style of an American politician to an absolute tee. The Krasi have a world of potential at Big Finish and here’s hoping for more of them one day.
It’s clear that everyone had a great time bringing this story to life. The post-production is no exception! The music by Joe Kraemer is playful at times, though still holds the serious undertones. One wouldn’t expect to hear steel drums in a story about a Solar System going through difficulties. It’s a bizarre but bold choice which only accentuates this stories satirical madness. It’s not a Caribbean getaway, but it’s deftly applied to make this story unique in a very enjoyable way.
With a well-crafted script packed and performances that pop. Combined with the unusual music and sound design. This story delivers wholeheartedly on its promises. Though forming a loose trilogy, it’s a self-contained drama that take listeners for an adventure they’re sure to remember for a long time to come. The fanservice of Dogbolter and Narvin doesn’t come off as pandering. They’re suited to the story and enhance the link to the wider Whoniverse in a way gratifying for fans and intriguing for the newbies who might want to try out other ranges.
The Doctor and Ace are locked up. The TARDIS is gone. Things just couldn’t get worse, could they?
Of course they could. Things can always get worse — the new President of the Solar System, Josiah W Dogbolter, didn’t get where he is in life without learning that. That’s why he has a Quantum Possibility Engine. It’s a wonderful machine, creating a wonderful Solar System. And with this wonderful device, he can bring happiness and peace to all.
Either that or tear the universe to shreds, it’s hard to be sure which.
Written By: Guy Adams
Directed By: Jamie Anderson
Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Sophie Aldred (Ace), Bonnie Langford (Mel) Sean Carlsen (Narvin), Toby Longworth (Dogbolter), Wayne Forester (Hob / Soldier Robots / Alex), Jules de Jongh (Captain Regent of the Krasi). Other parts played by members of the cast.
Producer Nicholas Briggs
Script Editor Nicholas Briggs
Executive Producers Jason Haigh-Ellery and Nicholas Briggs