L.E.G.E.N.D

Posted in Audio by - April 11, 2019
L.E.G.E.N.D

Released April 2019

SOME SPOILERS FOLLOW

Headlined by the nearly mythological figures of Time Lords’ nightmares, the Ravenous saga has come to increasingly draw upon the enduring themes and impact of legends and fairy tales to fuel its own narrative. With ‘L.E.G.E.N.D’ by Matt Fitton, the Doctor and his companions confront the legends behind so many of Earth’s recorded fairy tales, the Brothers Grimm, as worlds collide and they soon find that even tales can become reality.

Following the lead from his unexpected companion the Eleven who is all too cognizant of the immense threat the ever-pursuing Ravenous pose, the Doctor seeks out one Professor Marathanga, an expert of sorts on folklore who has built a universal compendium that may offer them assistance. As the group is soon separated, however, Liv quickly discovers that this figure is motivated much more by money and fame than by rigorous studies of comparison, Jacob Grimm being the latest figure to unwittingly serve as a donor of memories to her vast repository L.E.G.E.N.D. Interestingly, this artificial intelligence believes that legends offer insight into the creation of a utopic society, a belief that disturbs the Doctor more than a little, and its ability to interact and control Marathanga’s trademarked substance that can be moulded to fit any organic form and need creates a unique presence in this world that Wilhelm astutely describes as one filled with people more willing to blame metaphorical monsters than themselves for life’s many troubles.

In a story that so heavily touts the inclusion of the Brothers Grimm, it is something of an odd choice to have only Wilhelm focus, but Arthur Hughes gives a wonderful performance as a man who seems resigned to the fact that he will always live in his brother’s shadow as he experiences the very real monsters the universe can offer while simultaneously enjoying Helen’s companionship. Helen sees this man as something of a childhood hero given the tremendous advancements he allowed and the enduring legacy he attained, and Hattie Morahan provides a strong counterbalance to the more emotionally-laden younger Grimm trying to find his way in the present that seems so tilted against him.

Given that Professor Marathanga becomes little more than a plot device to provide the necessary components, L.E.G.E.N.D itself is a fascinating intelligence that proves the potential dangers inherent to anyone or anything that can learn when the Eleven provides it a new way of thinking about its relation with its environment. As fairy tales and reality thus collide with all of Earth at risk, Fitton makes great use of the unique potential that the Eleven provides with the villain wholly understanding that the Doctor is his best hope of surviving but still not above giving into his more malicious instincts while seeking out information about the Ravenous who continue to close in on their location. The new dynamic that the unpredictable Eleven brings aboard the TARDIS is used to great effect here and hints at even more intriguing developments in the future as the confrontation with his people’s own legends becomes ever more inevitable.

Being in the same story arc as the brilliant Krampus two-part tale from Ravenous 2, ‘L.E.G.E.N.D’ will undoubtedly draw comparisons because of the similar themes it covers. Yet while the end result here isn’t quite as seamless and resonant as what has come before, the bevy of strong ideas at its core unquestionably creates an engaging experience nonetheless, even if this is nearly another completely standalone tale in an arc that continues stretch the traditional basis for releasing so many stories under one linked banner.

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