Sunday 20 September 2015

The Shadows Of Serenity

Short length, big content has been a theme of this season of Short Trips so far and this Sixth release does not in anyway disappoint. As this is a Short Trips, I will try to keep my review short and to the point without my usual rambling style. Of course I remember when I first heard a short trips it reminds me of the time that……
See what I did there…
Right, enough silliness, on to the review!
Read by Nicola Bryant (who still amazes me that she sounds nothing at all like Peri when she is herself), it tells a story of Old Sixie and Peri visiting the planet of Malgar whilst the TARDIS recharges (something that happened quite a lot in the Sixth Doctor’s era that, TARDIS needing a recharge). Malgar has a history of violence, just one gunshot from their army could take out an entire invading fleet – however the denizens that Old Sixie and Peri meet are nothing like that, they are pacifists to the point of being a danger to themselves – The Doctor finds out that they have been this way since they were visited by the Sisters of Serenity. But who are they and why have they removed all traces of aggression from the Malgarians?
This is a story about freedom of choice, thematically similar to A Clockwork Orange, the choice to be good or bad has been removed by a third party – can the Doctor in all conscience restore this? and what about the dark heart of The Doctor himself, what if this is removed, where will it go?
Nicola Bryant gives a great dramatic reading, when she acts the Peri parts you forget it is the same woman; she delivers an urgency to the story and her tone build the world very well. This is a very visual script and Nicola really does bring this to life, I love it when you can “see” events without them being described – and this is a great example of visual story telling.
Another big concept story told in a very short time, but without a wasted line. Definitely a winner and a very serene 8/10.

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