Dark Gallifrey: Morbius Part Two

Posted in Audio by - May 05, 2024
Dark Gallifrey: Morbius Part Two

Released May 2024


As Dark Gallifrey and its intent to more thoroughly explore some of the darker and more nefarious members of Time Lord society continues with its initial trilogy, ‘Morbius Part Two’ picks up the story of Captain Argento and the Proteus following disaster that has brought them to a mysterious and habitable land within the vortex itself. An impossible temple looms as bonds and honour are tested, and the Cult of Morbius lies in wait for a legendary return.

While one could be forgiven for assuming that this Morbius trilogy would directly feature Morbius as he spearheads his movement against Time Lord norms with his amassed followers or undertakes some other morally dubious deed, writer Tim Foley continues to present a more subtle look at this powerful figure in the wake of his presumed defeat. Again, Samuel West imbues a powerfully sinister malevolence to the voice of Morbius as the character nears a physical return while guiding events through the actions of others, but this more indirect approach to showing Morbius’s power does create the feeling that there has been something of a missed opportunity up to this point with the story now two-thirds told. Still, the wholly reasonable and even-keeled report about Morbius’s actions and desires that created such an irreparable rift in Time Lord society as Argento explores this strange world and comes upon the temple dedicated to the influential figure who perished so long ago in relative terms presents a strong foundation upon which any differences in opinion established through propaganda and recorded history can easily be applied to any number of real-world events to make this narrative all the more resonant. That Morbius from afar is able to insidiously extend his reach and control through the crew is a powerful reminder of his abilities as well, and the scene is certainly set well for what should be a powerful finale with Morbius hopefully set to finally take centre stage.

As it is, however, the remainder of the cast is tasked with carrying events as fissures upon the Proteus and within its crew continue to develop. Rachel Atkins continues to excel as this captain who has an enduring loyalty to her crew amidst such unspeakable hardships, but her frustration about her own current condition paired with the fate that has befallen her ship and sidetracked their return home is palpable. With Lara Lemon’s Gilda at her side, however, the two together form a dynamic pair that brings this isolated and barren world to life as they traverse the surface to discover the truth of this world and its strange temple. Even with Argento’s own conflicted thoughts and reservations about regeneration that come to create an intriguing- if ultimately superfluous- origin story of sorts for another Big Finish character, her steadfast resolve when confronted with the prospect of Morbius’s legacy and return nonetheless proves her strength of character and hints at her personal history that has brought her such accolades. Conversely, Mr Middlewitch continues to become increasingly frustrated with his Captain’s recent decisions, her choice to explore this world rather than pour all time and resources into ship repair bringing him dangerously close to the point of mutiny. Argento is not wholly oblivious to Middlewitch’s thoughts and actions even once she has departed, and while her disbelief about his decision to put such implicit trust into prisoners as their situation becomes more dire is wholly justifiable given how many unknown factors surround them, Hywel Morgan once more gives a powerful performance as a determined and well-intentioned man who will do anything to save the Proteus and those aboard it to the best of his abilities. This fracture within a friendship built upon such respect and shared turmoil is an incredible source of drama even if Argento and Middlewitch are separated for most of the story to allow the two storylines to develop in concert, and the powerful emotions at its core as the threat of Morbius furtively lurks and builds always remains a strong force through which to explore and carry this story.

With Morbius an important but nonetheless indirect background presence, this trilogy’s arc to this point has hardly taken an expected route as Argento, her conflicted mindset, and her shifting relationships amid building turmoil instead take centre stage. Nonetheless, the resulting drama has been superb, and Mina Anwar, Justin Avoth, Andrew French, and Janet Henfrey all combine to further create a dynamic world that is set to see its strains and fractures tested all that much more as this trilogy heads to its conclusion.

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