Elevation

Posted in Audio by - September 08, 2021
Elevation

Released September 2021

SOME SPOILERS FOLLOW

Arriving once more on Molaruss, the Doctor and Constance find the planet under the successful and benevolent governance of the Eleven and his consort Miskavel as The Eleven draws to a close in Chris Chapman’s ‘Elevation.’ The Eleven has a plan for his populace to achieve a new level of enlightenment, however, and he wishes for none other than the Doctor to witness his glorious triumph.

In many ways, ‘Elevation’ is the most traditional script of this set, but that’s only because it must follow the progression of explaining the Eleven’s initially ultimate success and then inevitable downfall. With no world-building necessary other than reminding listeners that Molaruss is inhabited by individuals sharing two consciousnesses and then to highlight that the Eleven is actually a wildly popular a leader and the recipient of tremendous polling numbers, the script is accordingly tasked with delving into the Eleven as an individual. Naturally, even as the Doctor proudly commends him for putting his minds to a common good and wonders if a person can truly change for the better, the Eleven’s true nature begins to reveal itself as he discusses that even a world of duo minds cannot sustain him from the boredom that others always instill in him. As such, and with his peoples’ blessing, he has devised a means of awakening more consciousnesses in everyone, a plan to elevate everyone to his own level of being.

Unfortunately for Molaruss, boredom is not the Eleven’s only motivation here, and while his scheme doesn’t quite reach that of the Master in ‘The End of Time Part One,’ his desire to give himself a portion of direct control over everyone is certainly befitting of this Time Lord’s arrogance, insecurity, and unique perspective on living that only his own fractured condition can allow. With only Time Lords immune from this elevation process that carries with it at least a five percent mortality rate, the Eleven is further explored through both Miskavel and Constance, each of whom in her own way comes to be much closer to the Eleven that either would like. Miskavel learns just how egotistical her husband truly is as he completely disregards her own sense of self along with everyone else’s, and although her eventual turn is expected from the start, her journey of awareness is nonetheless a satisfying one that makes perfect use of the steadfast determination she has always shown while attempting to prove to everyone that she is more than her appearance would suggest. And while Constance doesn’t necessarily reach the same monumental internal struggle with the famed eleventh personality, her own attempts to stay in control amidst a sea of fragments of her personality given their own voice is a strong reminder of just what the Eleven must endure and how it could be easy for a less strong person to lose their way. It is true that some of Constance’s personalities are included more for laughs and show than for narrative purpose, and multiple personalities appearing at once is obviously different from one incarnation being added at a time as with the Eleven, but Constance’s own internal plight and self-reckoning are undoubted strengths of the script that Miranda Raison more than capably performs.

The Eleven proudly proclaims that the Doctor is several steps behind him in this case, the reason that he is so willing to brag about his successes, and so it’s perhaps unsurprising that the Doctor is a little less explicitly involved in this story and instead serves as a means for the necessary exposition to develop. Nonetheless, Colin Baker gives a suitably strong performance that highlights his Doctor’s incredible compassion and pride, and the relationship between the Doctor and Constance is shown at its strongest here as the Doctor attempts to help Constance through her new condition. However, the title of the set properly suggests that this is a story with its focus on the Eleven, and it’s Mark Bonnar who again steals the show with another incredible performance that delves into the unique elements that only the Eleven can provide. Aided by Lucy Gaskell’s engaging turn as an awakening Miskavell, ‘Elevation’ is able to overcome a very standard plot peppered with Eleven-inspired components to deliver a satisfying conclusion to this arc that makes the most its characters.

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