Rose Tyler: The Dimension Cannon: Trapped

Posted in Audio by - September 22, 2023
Rose Tyler: The Dimension Cannon: Trapped

Released September 2023


Still trying to find the Doctor to save the multiverse, Rose finds herself trapped in a dangerous reality where entropy eats away at those struggling to survive in the third series of Rose Tyler: The Dimension Cannon, Trapped. Trying to save herself and escape after finding herself aboard a cruise liner within a world where people have become increasingly tribalized and technology is all but nonfunctional, Rose finds family and unexpected hope in ‘Sink or Swim’ by Lizzie Hopley. Of course, this series as a whole has found great success with presenting variations of familiar aspects within Rose’s life, and while this particular boxset has changed its format to more fully explore this one setting across three stories rather than further expanding Rose’s support group guiding her operations on multiple worlds, the unique inclusion of the Jackie from this world and the increasing reliance on non-technological and even mystical means to continue on and to prepare present a solid foundation for the differences of this world. More intriguing, however, especially given the potential going forward as Rose continues to try to press for information and to forge a connection, is the inclusion of Danni who represents a sibling of sorts for Rose. The purported danger of this world never is fully realized in this story despite intriguing dialogue about the perils of Anti-Life and the obvious tensions that exist among and within different tribes as resources are increasingly depleted, but the somewhat fractious relationship that develops between Rose and Danni is a distinct highlight that should provide ample opportunity for character development as Danni inevitably opens up and comes to more fully trust Rose. Nonetheless, ‘Sink or Swim’ very much is an opening story that leaves as many questions about this world unanswered as it does answered, but the strong rapport between Billie Piper and Camille Coduri even within this intense setting shines, and the unique energy Em Thane imbues Danni with leads a strong supporting cast to vividly introduce this variant of Earth in a solid if somewhat superficial narrative.

In ‘The Lower Road’ by Tim Foley, Rose and Danni discover a community that appears to have made peace with Anti-Life, subsisting in close proximity to this unique danger under the stewardship of the brave and forthright Lara. With the threat of mysterious Hikers and their hunting pits also introduced, this iteration of Earth on a smaller scale suddenly starts to become more palpably dangerous, and the uneasy tension that pervades this environment is balanced nicely by the burgeoning trust that Rose and Danni begin to place in Lara given the stability she has maintained in such arduous circumstances. However, every bargain comes with a cost, and as the overarching theme of the bond of mother and child again comes to take precedence on multiple fronts, the shocking brutality that is ultimately steeped in a detached fairness guiding Lara’s actions adds a needed depth and nuance to the character that shows the shades of grey that appear to be necessary to survive- if not thrive- within this world. Heather Coombs and Chelsea Little instantly create a grand chemistry that perfectly captures the strong but strained relationship between Lara and Lex, and Foley excels in comparing and contrasting this pairing to the matriarchal role that Rose has begun to take with Danni after the events of the preceding story. While Danni is still not willing to completely open up to Rose about her past and on multiple occasions grows frustrated with Rose’s attempts to bond, the respect and even admiration she continues to develop for Rose helps to create a beacon of hope within so much surrounding despair. Even though Rose is wholly committed to continuing her journey across dimensions, she steadfastly sticks to her principles and moral code even when the easier choice might be simply to walk away from the many dangers she encounters, and Piper and Thane again excel as this dynamic pair continue to fight both for themselves and others against all odds.

‘The Good Samaritan’ by Helen Goldwyn closes out this third set by again looking at the different means by which different groups and populations choose to persist amidst diminishing resources and the intensifying danger of Anti-Life. In a legendary dome that defies expectations by still harnessing and utilizing technology, the civilization here depends upon the goodwill and good intentions of each and every member. Unfortunately, the population structure is set up so that every member’s life depends upon overtly showing that goodwill, earning visual marks in the process but in so doing defeating the true purpose of altruism while bending to the expectations and pressures of those surrounding. The smallest loss of temper is enough to earn eviction and sacrifice, creating a fascinating dynamic that is shown to be built upon a natural hypocrisy and simmering resentment. Surrounded by this intense drama, however, Rose and Danni also come to discover the interconnected nature of everything on this world as Life and Anti-Life continue an uneasy coexistence, Danni becoming an intriguing focal point given her unique abilities. Like the preceding story, ‘The Good Samaritan’ succeeds aptly by putting Rose into a more determinedly protective role as she refuses to give up on Danni no matter the danger while still keeping her eye on returning to her own dimension to begin her search for the Doctor anew. Piper and Thrane are brilliant once more, and the relationship their characters forge is utterly believable and makes Danni’s ultimate choice all the more powerful given the profoundly inspiring impact Rose has had on her during their brief time together. Given these two strong storylines, the inevitable inclusion of those seeking out technology and an escape does somewhat falter in comparison, but as a whole this is a concluding story that quite neatly ties together everything that has come before while also pointing Rose in the direction of Donna Noble and the inevitable events known to ensue. There might not quite have been enough to this world and Anti-Life to merit three entire stories given the somewhat disconnected narrative foci and certain repetitive elements, but Trapped nonetheless represents another successful foray for Rose Tyler: The Dimension Cannon and a most welcome return of Billie Piper who will forever hold such an important place in the history of Doctor Who.

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