Reviewed By: thisoldcan
Review Date: 1/31/17 1:10 pm
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In the final story of Graceless, Series 04, the Graceless Sisters find themselves at the oddest dance possible. Brought by Pool, the Graceless Sisters must reckon with their past, if they are to survive this last dance. But the faces from their past go back much further than they think.
To close out the set, Ciara Janson and Laura Doddington were both quite good here. Both did a lovely job here, really bringing their A-game to this final story. Janson in particular was delightful here, which was nice to finally hear after two rather lackluster performances in the previous two releases. And Doddington is still quite lovely as Zara, with her quieter performance. She has always really stood out in my opinion, but here, in this box set, she was just brilliant.
The guest cast is a slightly larger affair than the other stories. This story features the welcome return of Adam Newington as Pool, a being with similar power to Abby and Zara. I quite liked his performance in this story, as compared to his first story; he had some quality to his performance here that was lacking in his initial performance. I can't quite put my finger on it, but he came across as a bit more genuine in his performance here; rather than sounding like an actor reading lines, I could actually believe he was the character he was playing. Duncan Wisbey also has a small, but fun role as Graves, the leader of the dance party. It doesn't amount to much, but Wisbey does an admirable job here in his performance; I quite appreciate authenticity in an actor's performance, and here it's obvious that Wisbey was enjoying himself. Other than that, the other three guest members, Richenda Carey as Triangle and David Sterne as Oblong didn't really stand out too much for me. Carey did a fine job as triangle, specifically in the end, but was mostly blending in with the wallpaper, much like her co-star Sterne.
The plot is the weakest part of this final story, in my opinion. It was quite an interesting plot, with Pool going back and questioning all those Abby and Zara have met and hurt in this set, to see if what they did is something worthwhile, but I can't help but feel that this episode relied a bit too much on the cameos. I feel that we spent far more time than necessary on the cameos. They did amount to something quite interesting, but I overall felt that they spent more time making sure everyone got equal screentime, and less time actually developing the plot. I mean, don't get me wrong, it was a nice plot, with the Grace trying to figure out if it was worth it giving Abby and Zara life, using pool as his proxy. But it just fell a little flat for me, because of the lack of focus on Abby and Zara throughout the story. But I did find myself quite interested by the ending reference to the Doctor. I'm very curious what this means for the future of Abby and Zara with Big Finish. I'm hoping that they could return to the Monthly Range for a new trilogy of stories; it would be quite an interesting trilogy (the K3Y to TIM3 or something?).
One thing I've neglected to mention is the music of this set. Overall, the music of this set was very slight, and more or less blended into the soundscape, and not in a good way. However, periodically throughout, there would be jazz music playing or songs that could be pop songs, and they always add an air of authenticity to the audio. Especially in this final story, with the dance featuring a live band, this entire set felt quite nice music-wise.
Overall, The Dance was an enjoyable ending story. It was nice hearing the multitude of cameos from across the set again, and the reveal of Pool's true nature was a surprising and effective twist. Yet, I found that the plot was rather boring, suffering from it's focus on cameos rather than the main plot. It was nice to hear so many fun cameos, but it made this story feel almost like a "clip show" of sorts. But overall, it was an enjoyable ending to a strong set.