The Revolution Game

Posted in Audio by - July 13, 2019
The Revolution Game

Released July 2019


For Lucie’s birthday, the Doctor surprises her by landing on the desert colony world of Castus Sigma in the year 3025 to watch the Interplanetary Retro Roller Derby in Alice Cavender’s ‘The Revolution Game.’ Sponsored by Heliacorp and its promise to turn sunlight into gold, the game is much more than just a game for the competitors who look to escape the living death of this world to live a new life with the company. When a genuine death occurs, however, the past and the present of this world dangerously collide.

This is the second consecutive story in this set that features a uniquely visual environment that directly contributes to the mystery and intrigue at its core. While the story itself follows a fairly predictable trajectory and doesn’t necessarily try to innovate along its course, the unexpected attack sets off a chain of events that proves that even the most basic of assumptions and innocuous of events can be founded upon a far darker truth. It should come as no surprise given science fiction stereotypes that Heliacorp is not the magnanimous entity it claims to be when a rogue member of an alien species that used to thrive on this world slowly divulges the changes that the company has made to the water supply, but the visuals accompanying the unique nature of this species and its responsive capabilities to extreme environments and situation are a wondrous reminder of just how many variations the common theme of life can take.

Yet while the plot itself is fairly straightforward, Cavender does manage to imbue a nice blend of seriousness and humour in the script and at least some nuance into the main players on this world. Without question, Clegg as the chief executive of Heliacorp is out solely to make a profit and has found a lucrative source for his company to exploit, and even though he is willing to use every trick available- including taking advantage of a tape delay of the Derby- to succeed and avoid negative exposure, he does at least retain a sense of general morality as he evacuates those in greatest danger of falling victim to the planned incursion. Likewise, while the aptly-named Spartacus is fairly single-minded in his own agenda of bringing his own race back to prominence, his ability to reason and the genuine facts that support his position do impart at least a degree of empathy to his cause while also providing commentary on pervasive modern social complaints of many cultures that the younger generation has gone soft while assimilating to a culture wholly distinct from its roots and traditions. Neither character is the most developed or memorable beyond what is absolutely necessary for the story to progress logically, but Jonathan Keeble and Tom Alexander still bring a great energy to the roles to help maintain the needed pacing and contrasting emotions so needed throughout the story.

Ultimately, ‘The Revolution Game’ is a serviceable story that tantalizingly offers fleeting glimpses of the much more engaging and surprising story that a few more rewrites featuring the brilliant ideas at its core could have offered. Instead, it’s the brilliant sound design as well as the sterling performances of Paul McGann and Sheridan Smith that easily recapture the spirit of their characters’ beloved companionship that stand out most to further elevate an average affair into something more. With the Doctor willing to take a much more direct course of action against perceived evil to hint at the man he will go on to become while Lucie, as always, takes matters into her own hands as only she can, ‘The Revolution Game’ proves just how much this pairing can offer even within this lost story context.

  • Release Date: 7/2019
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