The Quantum Possibility Engine

Posted in Audio by - October 17, 2018
The Quantum Possibility Engine

Released October 2018
SOME SPOILERS FOLLOW

Concluding the 2018 Seventh Doctor, Ace, and Mel Big Finish trilogy is ‘The Quantum Possibility Engine’ by Guy Adams, a story that delves surprisingly far into the depths of Doctor Who continuity to resolve the cliffhanger ending of ‘The Dispossessed’ while developing Mel’s arc that has been simmering in the background since her return to the TARDIS in ‘A Life of Crime.’

With Mel complicit in handing over the TARDIS and its operation manual to the president of the solar system to eradicate her debt to the Speravores that he has purchased, the Doctor and Ace quickly find themselves captive of the froglike humanoid Josiah W Dogbolter, a foe who has been nefariously pursuing ownership of the TARDIS since the 1984 Doctor Who Magazine Fifth Doctor comic strip ‘The Moderator.’ Running on a populist agenda that garnered the immediate support of the majority of the populace, this capitalist and chairman of Intra-Venous Inc who owns several worlds now finds himself in charge of the entire galaxy, though this scheme has been a long time developing when he reveals that the TARDIS he just acquired has been in his possession and the source of experimentation for ages thanks to the advent of its time traveling technology. Able to eliminate any gaffes he makes as well as the chaos of a normal universe, he enjoys relative peace as a leader, but his experimentation that has combined Gallifreyan technology with that of the Speravores as well as the impenetrable bubble he has created around the solar system has drawn the attention of Celestial intervention Agency operative Narvin who threatens extreme actions if the Doctor cannot find a way to reverse what is occurring here.

‘The Quantum Possibility Engine’ can be listened to in one of two states of mind, and the accentuated voices of Toby Longworth as Dogbolter whom he first portrayed in the audio medium in 2002’s ‘The Maltese Penguin’ alongside Wayne Forester as his loyal robotic sidekick Hob make it easy to enjoy this as a science fiction pastiche of corporate and governmental power taken to its extreme as Dogbolter tries to ensure his personal solar system remains perfect with his machine while never bypassing the opportunity to make a profit off of the technology he has successfully duplicated and integrated. With the Doctor, Ace, and Narvin inserted into this reality as a homeless cleaner, a security officer, and a corporate researcher, respectively, the Krasi present a very real threat to this created world where memories are so fleeting, and only someone with an outsider’s perspective can offer the hope of a peaceful resolution.

Of course, listening to this through the lens of the current trends of world politics provides a slightly more surreal experience as a corporate titan who loves to boast about having the best of everything and who surrounds himself with yes men who complement him at every turn comes into power. This in itself would create an intriguing source of drama under normal circumstances for the Doctor regardless of the means employed for the power to be gained, but a well-spoken and strong external force learning through the president’s own boasts how to pass what seems like an impenetrable barrier to further hostilities and the need for someone outside of the system who was initially derided to offer a fix could fearfully prove to be quite prescient.

Though ‘The Quantum Possibility Engine’ is not a perfect tale with the admittedly engaging alternate identity aspect amounting to little more than filler and with the demonstrative voices likely appealing to some more than others, the overall experience is a remarkably fun and polished affair that soars from beginning to end. With immense performances from the core and guest cast alike and Mel able to take a very proactive role as she shows a more cynical and furtive side to her character, this is a grand finale to the this trio’s latest round of adventures and easily traverses decades of continuity without ever alienating its audience.

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