Reviewed By: Drew Vogel
Review Date: 11/7/17 12:19 am
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Well, I thought I was getting the hang of this new semi-serialized format. The story opens with a bit of exposition relating to "off-screen" events, but the bulk of the episode concerns itself with Benny getting Braxiatel back to the Collection. But this time, there's more of a connection between the A-story and the bigger picture stuff. As such, it's probably best not to try to listen to this out of context.
The script is full of imaginative ideas, and the dialogue is very well-written, but it's not the easiest story to follow on a first listen. There's these interludes that crop up featuring this annoying astronaut with a terrible American accident (who doesn't know how to pronounce "Houston"). It's not at all clear how these interludes relate to the scenes around them, and the effect is highly alienating. It connects up eventually, of course, but I think it would have worked better without the interludes.
Things only gets worse when the ship gets involved in some kind of bizarre technobabble situation where the ship sort of ceases to exist, but not really, until it reaches its destination. It's an imaginative concept, no doubt about it, but it just sounds like nonsense to me. It's a little like the ship is going into hyperspace, or something like that, and everything changes. The cats that own the ship (for tax purposes, naturally) become monsters. And that crazy faux-American astronaut seems to reside there.
It's all quite strange, and it demands a lot of the listener. There's nothing wrong with that, but I find it kind of sterile and hard to relate to, as so much of the story depends on the arbitrary, made-up rules about how the technobabble works. But it's undeniably well-written. Lots of great dialogue and imaginative ideas, which it's not terribly surprising from the author of "Falls the Shadow" and "The Man in the Velvet Mask". And it ends strong with some fascinating stuff about Maggie sacrificing herself, not entirely knowingly, to save Benny and Brax. It's a bit dark and uncomfortable, and I quite like that.
And Miles Richardson never sounded so much like his father as when he said "You did what had to be done." Chilling.