Revolution in Space

Posted in Audio by - February 17, 2024
Revolution in Space

Released February 2024


In the far future, humans have depleted Earth’s natural resources, colonizing asteroids and other locales through space to meet their needs back home. On one such mining asteroid, however, the denizens are thinking of independence as relationships with Earth grow ever more strained, and the Third Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith begin to question just what their role in these events should be as another influential force deep within this locale emerges in Jonathan Morris’s ‘Revolution in Space.’

Drawing from plenty of historical examples, Morris presents a world in which the descendants of those originally sent here as part of a prison sentence are vital to its continued operation and success, calling this place their home and hoping to take ownership of it. This in itself is a strong foundation for a drama given the multitude of conflicting emotions naturally in play, but the layered approaches of morality and pacifism versus more direct aggression when a limited window of opportunity arises adds a further dimension of tension to affairs that provides a brilliant insight into the many mindsets of those who have struggled to survive and thrive under such tough conditions. With a governor who is more than willing to step down and play the role of prisoner and even hostage in order to facilitate his own return to Earth, thinking that he has thought of every possible move but not accounting for the true power of the burning urge for freedom that completely upends everything he anticipated would come to fruition after he calls in a suppression force from Earth, an immense conflict tying together the past and future of this asteroid is brilliantly set in place and acted out on every level.

Unfortunately for those looking to revel against leadership, however, an alien device emitting psychic radiation has begun to have dramatic effects on Zyla Kalstein, the notorious criminal incarcerated within the old prison that gave this asteroid its original foundation. Developing psychic powers of her own, she has begun to amass followers as she reaches into their minds and guides their thoughts and actions, often guiding events to a more confrontational and dramatic front than would otherwise have been seen. With the arrival of the Earth force allowing the overt manifestation of her powers through an expected but nonetheless powerful turn of events given the darker discussions that had already been had elsewhere as plans to avoid conflict are likewise upended and adapted, Juliet Aubrey is superb as Zyla and with her portrayal of the ramifications of giving into the darker potential of such untapped powers of the mind.

It’s Zyla that also poses a unique conundrum for the Doctor who knows exactly how events are supposed to play out and is loathe to direct history off of its intended course even as he tries to work out if the Time Lords may have sent him here to do their bidding in some unknown capacity. Yet while he would just as soon sit on the sidelines and watch events play out, Sarah Jane is instantly drawn to the plight of these people and wants to lend her voice and experience to their stated intentions regardless of what the Doctor tells her. The Doctor often proclaims that history must not be changed, and his companions generally take it on authority that he is correct both with his claims and intentions, but Sarah Jane boldly proclaiming that she does not know the outcome and so cannot be held to the same restrictions on actions is an incredible example of her sheer boldness and good nature. Of course, that boldness and her trust in the Doctor are thoroughly tested as the psychic radiation begins to have unexpected effects that present very personal consequences and potential sacrifices, both of which present tests and opportunities for everyone involved as events come to a head with history truly in the balance. Yet quite brilliantly, the Doctor’s own devotion to ensuring history’s proper course proves to be somewhat malleable as he decides to intervene but then ensures that recorded history is exactly as he knows it should be, omitting certain key facts as well as the involvement of both himself and Sarah Jane. This is a fascinating insight into the character who can in his own way bend reality even without psychic powers, and Tim Treloar and Sadie Miller continue to work exceedingly well together as these two beloved characters confront increasingly dangerous circumstances on their journeys together. Indeed, there is such obvious love for this era in all facets of production for this range that each and every story is a joy, but Morris has seamlessly interwoven plots and subplots with motivations and emotions to provide an enthralling and fast-paced six-parter that capably ranks amongst this range’s best and most gripping.

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