Reviewed By: JMChurch25
Review Date: 11/5/18 10:58 pm
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The Seventh Doctor, Mel, and Ace are drawn to a world of darkness after following some strange readings through an odd portal on Earth. Investigating abandoned tower blocks infested with strange zombies, the trio are rapidly separated and placed on different paths all with a shared goal in mind. While the Doctor meets a young couple in search of safety, Mel and Ace discover a vast battlefield full of dead bodies and giant flying ants. It all ties back to a malevolent psychic presence watching the world and looking for a way to eternal life by whatever means necessary....."Dispossessed" is a strange little story with a lot of different ideas incorporated and threaded together. The narrative is all over the place with tons of different storylines that have seemingly nothing in common all brought together over the course of the narrative. Everything from zombie infestations and the lasting damage of a war to alien soldiers with robot sidekicks and worlds created 'Mind Robber' style from the mind of a madman are thrown at you with reckless abandon. You wouldn't think it all works but writer Mark Morris' script is not only good at juggling all of these elements but bending over backward to justify each and every plot point. It's not 100% airtight like other stories he's written in the past such as "House of Blue Fire" as it does necessitate some bits of fairly dry exposition two-thirds of the way through. But it works with its complicated set up better than many audios especially without the burden of links to gigantic story arcs although it does try with a surprise ending twist that I won't spoil here. The atmosphere is appropriately dark and claustrophobic as it needs to be and the soundscape is perfectly creepy with the right tinge of action and humor to keep you interested. The performances are also good especially from the main cast who seem to have settled into a nice groove together. Sylvester McCoy, Sophie Aldred, and Bonnie Langford are all fantastic playing their various roles effortlessly and dynamically in solving the situation and surviving in the tense environment. These three continue to be a great team together and they get plenty of good moments especially in a unique Doctor/villain confrontation over a comfortable fire and a cup of tea. The side cast is also surprisingly good with Morgan Watkins and Anna Mitcham doing well as the young couple in peril, Stirling Gallachar playing a fun cockney alien mercenary, and Nick Ellsworth playing an entertainingly sophisticated despot here bent on achieving his ends. It makes this story one of the stronger ones performance-wise and it fits right in with the tone and spirit of the era it's replicating. I don't think 'Dispossessed' reaches the heights of other Seventh Doctor stories including its predecessor "Red Planets" as I didn't find myself getting quite as interested or invested as the story wanted me to. But it's still one of the more interesting new releases we've had in a while and one of the better main range stories featuring this TARDIS team especially if the ending is any indication of what's to come. If you like complicated sci-fi stories with lots of dark threads and a challenge for you as the listener to figure, then "The Dispossessed" will be very much up your alley.