Aquitaine
Audio / February 20, 2016

Released February 2015 ‘Aquitaine’ is an unassuming title that does nothing to prepare the listener for the fantastic tale it harbours. Even the blurb on the back of the case gives nothing away, setting expectations for a charming story about a robot going about his daily chores on a ship circling a black hole. While this is certainly true, it’s only the very tip of the story, and ‘Aquitaine comes as a genuine surprise. The titular Aquitaine is the spaceship in question and Hargreaves, the ship’s computer/butler/medic/gardener, is essentially the ship personified. He’s very classically trained, going about his daily tasks to the point of mania even after his entire crew disappears. It’s actually quite sad in a way, and Matthew Cottle does a fantastic job in bringing a dramatic sense of bleakness, determination, and anguish to what could have very easily been a one-note role. In fact, he and Peter Davison carry the heart of the story and play off of each other fantastically as they try to find out what is happening to the ship and its occupants. As innocently and pleasantly as the story starts out, though, it quickly unfolds into a tale filled with horror, and…