Reviewed By: JMChurch25
Review Date: 4/1/19 2:00 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.
“Partisans” sees Narvin and another young CIA agent named Eris sent by Romana on a secret interference mission to the planet Ysalus. They are supposedly there to stop potential meddling in a nasty global civil conflict. But there is an ulterior motive that, if pushed in the right direction, could not only be crucial to the Gallifreyan effort but prove that a scorched-earth approach may not be necessary to achieve a final victory.
What follows is a very tense but fairly standard narrative by Una McCormack that also serves as a chess game of sorts between Romana’s CIA and the Gallifreyan War Council under Rassilon’s control. While both may have the same objective in winning the War, the ways they see of going about that objective are considerably different and often conflicting. This contrast is exemplified and put to the forefront when Narvin ends up paired with a War Council commander who wants to achieve the same thing but in a very different way. It’s a bit on the nose and it takes a fair amount of set up to get there with its plot but the end result is a strong one that doesn’t give everyone entirely what they want but still gets the job done at least for now.
The soundscape remains good although it’s a bit hard to tell what kind of an environment Ysalus is just by listening to the story and each plot point is handled exceedingly well with each motivation questioned at least once or twice in one way or another. In terms of the cast, this one is primarily Seán Carlsen’s as Narvin who is not only thrust right into the thick of things but is forced to make difficult calls over the course of the journey. Despite his less than stellar actions in the past that have made him less than trustworthy in other Gallifreyan stories, he really does give it his all when it comes down to it even if it means ignoring the naive but more idealistic advice of the conscience of the story, Samuel Gosrani’s agent Eris. But Romana gets some good moments too especially in her mission briefing to the pair that I could listen to forever. There is just something about Ward’s voice that makes every sentence and detail so memorable to listen to even if it’s just a lot of exposition in setting up future events. She could make reading the phone book interesting to me and it’s another reason why she is one of my favorite actresses working in the Whoniverse today.
The rest of the cast is also good with Samuel Clemens’ Cardinal Mantus making a real impression from his first appearance in the last story, the partisan fighters of the title being solid and believable, and every other Gallifreyan remaining layered and interesting. It does end on a subtle cliffhanger that’s could’ve been left fine enough on its own without any elaboration or follow-up. But given the synopsis of the next part, it’s clearly meant to lead directly into the next part of the set and all the better as I am super curious about how this particular moment is going to end up.
“Partisans” is a bit more standard in it’s Time War fair and it’s not going to amaze or blow you out of the water. But it does continue the stronger quality of this set and the series so far in every other way possible and most importantly sets charges for what looks to be one hell of a fireworks show.