Sweet Nothings

Posted in Audio by - May 01, 2020
Sweet Nothings

Released April 2020

SOME SPOILERS FOLLOW

With Tanya Adeola’s Class future seemingly secured with the enlistment of Joanna McGibbon to take over for Vivan Oparah, Big Finish’s next step to providing continuing adventures steeped in realism is to provide a suitable voice for the enigmatic Miss Quill as Katherine Kelly departs the role. As a one-time freedom fighter who has been imprisoned, lost her partner to war, and been sentenced to both serve and protect the prince of the people who defeated her own, Quill is a character with incredible backstory that still holds so much untapped potential, and Dervla Kirwan takes the reigns as Quill takes centre stage in Michael Dennis’s ‘Sweet Nothings.’

Acting as a physics teacher from Sheffield after being brought to Coal Hill Academy in 2016, life has never been easy for the last of the Quill on Earth, and Kirwan perfectly taps into the frustration and loneliness of this character’s current state as she fights her way through the monotony of each day while finding her own means of entertaining both herself and those around her in class. Quill, of course, is extremely confident and charismatic, but behind her sharp tongue, Kirwan also manages to convey the sense that Quill is longing for more without ever actively touching upon that subject, making the mysterious appearance of a man who can offer her everything she misses from her past all the more powerfully resonant and alluring. With Quill suddenly able to experience a level of sheer happiness that she has rarely shown at Coal Hill, the role of this mysterious man requires a dynamic presence, and Richard Mylan ably delivers a wholly engrossing and charming performance to complement an easy chemistry with Kirwan that together make it easy to believe Quill’s dramatic shift as he seemingly delivers on her every desire. This is an interesting outing for the character of Quill given the lighter range of emotions she is able to portray, but it also serves as a perfect reintroduction to the character and who she was before the events of Class as well as who she has become since.

As was the case with the preceding serial, however, the ending doesn’t quite match the intensity of the journey to get there. It’s genuinely nice to see the tenuous relationship between Charlie and Quill on full display once again given how infrequently these characters are featured together in audio, and both Kirwan and Greg Austin perfectly epitomize the pride and ego of each that current circumstances so far from their original lives together have allowed to shine through to the fullest. Still, Charlie does come off as a bit petulant and self-centred when the truth is revealed, ostensibly a reminder of the foibles of youth and entitlement given his royal lineage but something of a down note given how much these characters have already been through together to this point. That Matteusz only has regrets that Charlie did not create something else that he may have enjoyed with this power is also something of a missed opportunity for drama given how much he himself has been through while accepting his new life with all truths out in the open. Still, while ‘Sweet Nothings’ may not be the greatest exploration of Charlie in particular who is used simply as a device to advance the plot as needed, it absolutely delivers a fantastic exploration of Quill and in so doing proves that all of the core components for Class are still in place and ripe for further development despite two key casting changes.

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