Reviewed By: JMChurch25
Review Date: 11/5/18 11:00 pm
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*MAJOR SPOILERS FOR "THE DISPOSSESSED"* The Doctor and Ace have been betrayed. Mel has turned her companions and the TARDIS over to the new President of the Solar System, Josiah Dogbolter in order to pay off a mysterious debt. Locked up in the darkness of a mysterious space station in a cordoned-off solar system, help comes in the form of a surprise ally: Coordinator Narvin from the Celestial Intervention Agency of the Time Lords. Narvin is investigating a strange disturbance in the area involving the entire solar system and the President himself whom the Doctor is very familiar with. Dogbolter needs the TARDIS and Gallifreyan technology for something big.....or rather needed as it seems as his plans have already come to fruition. When the Doctor, Ace, and Mel are placed out of commission, it's up to Mel to make amends for her actions and save the day. But how can she combat a reality in which she has already lost?......'Quantum Possibility Engine' is a fascinating little story that ties up several threads while being a surprising story in its own right. It ties all the way back to Mel's first reappearance in the audio dramas with the Seventh Doctor but also to the spin-off audio series "Gallifrey" and even the comics from Doctor Who magazine. While this continuity can be a little bit confusing, it's very minimal in terms of the actual story and it doesn't take away at all from the main plot of what's going on which is very good. Guy Adams' script feels very similar to other sci-fi stories that Big Finish has done in particularly the War Master's "Heavenly Paradigm". But the writing and soundscape are very good given what the premise is and it takes the time to explore the possibilities of what such an idea would look like especially in placing its title device in the hands of a despicable villain. President Dogbolter (played by Toby Longworth) is humorously detestable and there is more than one modern-day political parallel with him if you are looking for it. He's very Trump-like in the way he found power with the people, how he behaves, and how the Doctor views him as a whole and it's a bit more chilling than it really had any right to be. Most importantly though, his presence doesn't feel like fan service to an obscure branch of the fandom and his presence feels very natural and needed. In terms of the main cast, everyone does exceptionally well and gets a lot of different things to do. As to how and why however would constitute major spoiler however so all I will say is that Sylvester McCoy, Sophie Aldred, and Bonnie Langford are all fantastic. Sean Carlsen is also great in his characters' first appearance in a monthly range story and there are lots of small details that I enjoyed brought in from Narvin's presence particularly his future history with both the Doctor and Ace. There are some surprising firsts that will come into play in future Seventh Doctor / Gallifrey stories especially once the Time War rolls around and it's a lot of fun to hear how much the trio end up playing off of each other. The rest of the smaller cast is also great in a sarcastic robot and a pompous alien regent with her own agenda all playing big parts. It also blends together rather well in a really odd way, to say the least. This is one of the strangest audios I've heard on record and it very much fits its' comic book roots in terms of how weird and strange it is. I wouldn't say it's quite perfect though as it does have some problems balancing scale and humor in places. This is a story that's trying to be a big conclusion to its own trilogy and a minor arc while at the same time be Douglas Adams levels of strange and funny and it see-saws back and forth in tone in a rather rough way rather than seamlessly blending and balancing both together. But when everything works as well as it does otherwise, it's not a huge hindrance in listening and I doubt it will affect casual listeners at all. With a strong cast, strange plot and setting, and some of the most obscure ideas from Doctor Who brought into this story, "The Quantum Possibility Engine" is a joy and one that most fans will get a major kick out of in listening. It's also a great conclusion to a very strong trio of Seventh Doctor stories and I can't wait for more with this team.