Mock

Posted in Audio by - May 02, 2020
Mock

Released April 2020

SOME SPOILERS FOLLOW

With Big Finish’s third volume of Class adventures successfully reintroducing the core characters with two seamless casting changes after twenty months since the release of the previous set, the fourth volume looks to further expand upon this intriguing combination of young adulthood and science fiction. As the students of Coal Hill Academy prepare for mock exams in Alfie Shaw’s ‘Mock,’ Charlie and Quill find memories of the past colliding with experiences in the present.

The Rhodian history of Charlie and Quill and how the two were unwittingly brought together through war and kept together on Earth through the actions of the Twelfth Doctor is undoubtedly some of the most vibrant territory for exploration within the Class universe, and so it’s refreshing that ‘Mock’ so enthusiastically jumps into that right from the start as Quill begins to hear faint recitations of a story that only she as the last surviving member of the Quill species could know. As the voices become stronger and startlingly familiar, what ensues is a brilliant piece of drama as Quill turns to the only person who has a chance of helping her, the very same person who would normally be the very last person she would turn to and whom she implicitly knows may never trust her. While Quill must turn introspective to determine who she really is in this moment, Dervla Kirwan and Greg Austin deliver powerhouse performances that expertly traverse the uncertainty of the intensifying situation with a palpable tension that is wholly befitting of their characters’ weighty past together.

As a figure from the Quill’s legends turn out to be anything but, both Quill and Charlie are pushed to their limits with some of most visually intense sequences that this audio range has yet offered. Naturally, Quill sees her race as the true rulers of Rhodia, and the allure of having everything she could dream of is rightfully a tempting proposition, even as she comes to realise the sheer limits of the world in which she suddenly finds herself with her Coal Hill colleague Mr Braithwaite an all too frequent face. At the same time, Charlie is faced with the crushing truth of what his own people did to claim victory and the newfound consequences that his own knowledge- or lack thereof- can have in this world. Of course, the truth behind the Cleaver and his relation to the Quill before and during the war become integral to Quill’s self-affirmation and resolution, and Kirwan does well to inject a genuine sense of power here to remind everyone that she once was a great freedom fighter. That a figure from far in the past and a very personal story should be able to bring Charlie and Quill to a greater level of understanding and even respect is a testament to Shaw’s script and the groundwork for these characters that has come before, and the end result is one of the strongest storylines and character studies that Class under Big Finish has offered to date. With superb direction and sound design to complement the strong performances that fuse the pressures and pitfalls of exams with a history that so few will know but that should never be forgotten, ‘Mock’ is a brilliant start to this latest run and hopefully sets the standard for what is to come.

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