The Glorious Revolution

Posted in Audio by - March 12, 2019
The Glorious Revolution

Released August 2009

Frazer Hines instantly proved how uncannily he alone could bring the spirt and essence of the Second Doctor era to life in ‘Helicon Prime,’ deftly capturing Patrick Troughton’s mannerisms and vocal stylings while likewise retaining the youthful strength and energy that so defined Jamie’s time aboard the TARDIS. In Jonathan Morris’s ‘The Glorious Revolution,’ Hines once more takes up narration duties as a visitor from beyond the stars reveals to Jamie the memories he has long since been forced to forget while trying to discover just what happened when the TARDIS landed in 1688 London and the flow of time came into flux.

The foundation for this story is one that has been used numerous times throughout Doctor Who’s history as the Doctor insists that history cannot be changed despite his companion’s protestations. However, the events here just so happen to be intrinsically linked to the Battle of Culloden that holds dear importance to Jamie’s own experiences, giving ‘The Glorious Revolution’ a much more immediate and emotional crux to complement the general sense of righteousness and compassion that the companion rightly projects. After protecting Queen Mary and her infant son as they attempted to flee England, the Doctor, Jamie, and Zoe find themselves in the court of King James II himself. The Glorious Revolution was so-named because of the relatively bloodless turmoil stemming from the overthrow of this monarch, but Jamie is quick to point out that this event’s history and reputation is considered only from the English perspective and he is thus quick to take action to keep James II on the throne despite the Doctor’s own protests to the contrary. Jamie and the Doctor were and are the best of friends under normal circumstances, and showing such a deep divide between the two is a fantastic source of drama that squarely calls the Doctor’s own motivations and willingness to intercede in other affairs into question, and the use of this befitting historical setting for this beloved companion from the same time period is a stroke of brilliance that works to marvellous effect.

It’s through this fracture that the first episode almost flawlessly escalates to a haunting cliffhanger that bleeds through into the elder Jamie’s present during his interrogation. It’s perhaps understandable, then, that the resolution can’t quite live up to the fascinating intrigue of the setup, but the rather direct and abrupt manner by which Jamie comes to realise that he has made a mistake doesn’t carry quite as much narrative weight as might have otherwise been achieved. Still, there are plenty of great sequences sprinkled throughout this sprawling adventure, and the Second Doctor’s penchant for disguises and shrewd ability to turn a position of weakness into one of strength are brilliantly on display. With Jamie finally forced to betray the man he so fiercely wanted to save and at least initially did so through his own knowledge of the common peoples’ beliefs, ‘The Glorious Revolution’ ensures that Jamie’s fortitude is tested to its fullest as he is forced to confront the consequences of his actions that threaten the lives of both himself and all of those around him.

Supporting Hines’s excellent performance is a beguiling one by Andrew Fettes as both the CIA operative and King James II, the latter particularly engrossing given the paranoia and weariness that has come to overtake this figure who once inspired so many. For some reason, the Second Doctor era has been a difficult one to fully capture off screen whether in audio or in print, but the writing, performances, and direction make ‘The Glorious Revolution’ a superb example that offers a few unique twists on a well-explored format and that absolutely makes the the most of everything unique that Jamie as a companion offers.

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