01/06/2011. Contributed by Sue Davies
an audio in instalments also available on subscription from itunes at GBP 1.29 for a 35 minute episode) stars: Julian Wadham, Jenny Agutter, Lauren Crace, Paul Darrow, Sylvester McCoy and Paul McGann
check out website: www.minsterofchance.com
With a stellar cast and a link with ‘Doctor Who’ this is audio with a difference. ‘The Minister Of Chance’ is a podcast available in instalments. The catch is that only the first two instalments have been made and the rest will be made if enough are sold. Please could you buy them as I’ve listened to the first part already? There are to be 6 episodes as long as enough people subscribe to the first two. This is cold, hard economics but also a chance for the listener to decide to be an ‘angel’, a sort of pay as you go for good drama. If it works it could catch on in this time of recession.
The prologue (9 minutes) is available free from the website which offers plenty of information about the cast and production team. In the opening scenes we are introduced to Professor Cantha (Jenny Agutter) and Kitty (Lauren Crace) as they witness a rocket arriving on the island of Tantor. It brings Ambassador Durian from (Paul McGann) making an offer the King cannot refuse.
The first episode, ‘The Broken World’ is 35 minutes long and there is plenty to get interested in. Some of the characters from the prologue are in it and we are introduced to the mysterious Minister of Chance (Julian Wadham) who appears to be on the run. Lauren Crace as the shoeless, foundling Kitty is soon exchanging banter worthy of a Doctor and his assistant, possibly because the Minister of Chance is also a Time Lord. That is not referred to here but his first appearance was in a BBC webcast, ‘Death Comes To Time’ featuring the Seventh Doctor. Oddly the Witch Prime, supreme ruler, is played by Sylvester McCoy and so you get a free little chill as two ex-Doctor Whos meet each other when the Witch Prime meets Ambassador Dorian to give him a good telling off.
This is a fine ensemble piece but the star is Lauren Crace who as Kitty is someone to watch or rather listen to. It is soon apparent that she will feature heavily in the ensuing adventures. As the foundling Kitty, she has already made some important decisions. Her friendship with Professor Cantha means she is in danger from the repressive new regime.
‘The Minister Of Chance’ feels like an event, something to look forward to, hopefully on a regular basis. It’s priced quite nicely to and has the added pleasure of listening to some old favourites like Paul Darrow (‘Blake’s Seven’) and Jenny Agutter who we really don’t hear enough of.
You don’t need to have heard the previous audio of ‘Death Comes To Time’ and this is set in an intriguing and exciting magical world rather than the timey-wimey TARDIS –an enjoyable extra dimension to get into and worth a punt at £1.29 certainly.
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