The Stone’s Lament

Posted in Audio by - July 24, 2018
The Stone’s Lament

Released May 2001

After twenty years of living alone, reclusive billionaire Bratheen Traloor has invited Professor Bernice Summerfield to examine a mysterious artefact that was uncovered during construction on his sprawling mansion on the planet of Rhinvil. Accompanied by Adrian Wall, the Braxiatel Collection’s Kiloran construction manager overseeing the work whose crew has mysteriously vanished, Bernice and he soon find that Traloor is not quite as alone as believed in ‘The Stone’s Lament’ by Mike Tucker.

Strangely, for an audio range that started with novel adaptations before moving on to original adventures, ‘The Stone’s Lament’ brings Adrian Wall into the picture while referencing quite a few events that occurred in prose and are sure to have more impact in the future, specifically the fact that these two were previously intimately involved when Bernice was taken over by a witch. Harry Myers initially comes off as quite gruff and aloof as Adrian, but it’s clear that this is just show and that Adrian genuinely is a kind-hearted individual beneath that tough façade and that there are still some residual feelings for Bernice that the strange goings-on in the house reignite.

Perhaps unexpectedly, the story as a whole is another example of a fledgling series trying to find its tone and voice, and though it is unquestionably much more confident overall than its predecessor, it still can’t manage to approach the incredible highs that the first series did at its best. That, again, is not to say that the entire production is a travesty because Tucker absolutely manages to imbue a tense and dangerous atmosphere within Traloor’s home where every action and perspective is called into question and individual peril continues to escalate for more than half of the running time. With mysterious phone calls that were not made being received and acted upon, events and voices that continue to result in separation of the leads, and eventual physical attacks, the mystery that results as Bernice’s invitation reveals Traloor’s true infatuation with her is fairly deftly introduced. However, the story begins to falter when revealing the increasing sentience of the house that has resulted from the accumulation of native building material as the foundation has been expanded. Lisa Bowerman gives a suitably creepy performance as this jealous house that has formed such a deep affection for Traloor whom it has been alone with for all of these years but now finds that relationship threatened by the arrival of Bernice, but the story quite quickly devolves into a fairly standard story with a fairly standard resolution once Bernice spurns the advances of Traloor.

James Lailey doesn’t quite have the gravitas here that might be expected of someone in Traloor’s position, but he certainly manages to make his feelings for Bernice known both overtly and subtly through his decisions and decorations. Yet while that plot element is absolutely crucial to the narrative as a whole, Traloor very much becomes a background character even with the unexpected love triangle of sorts that forms between his home, Bernice, and him, and it’s the wonderful introduction of Adrian who has such an easy chemistry with Bernice despite their chequered past and time at this home that stands out most. While the sound design is again just a bit off at times in terms of accentuating the action on display, ‘The Stone’s Lament’ as a whole is enjoyable enough and a step in the right direction for these new adventures, and hopefully that progression continues to allow Bernice to fully recapture her fiercely intelligent and witty voice.

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