Friday, 4 October 2013

The Minister of Chance

My Young Man gave me a business card. On one side there was a picture of a hooded man and a white haired girl, and the words: "Julian Wadham The Minister of Chance Lauren Crace"
On the other side it said:
Jenny Agutter, Jed Brophy, Paul Darrow, Philip Glenister, Tamsin Greig, Sylvester McCoy, Paul McGann - download all episodes absolutely free from iTunes or minister of"

He said it was a sci-fi/fantasy series, done as radio. It's sort of a spin off of a Doctor Who adventure called Death Comes to Time - but this version gives the Minister a universe of his own.
And - really, how could I not at least give it a go? - it's got two Doctors, and Avon, and Gene Hunt in it!!!

So I tried the prologue, in which Paul McGann plays a pleasant and genial ambassador - right up until the moment that he becomes totally ruthless.... I was hooked.

Then the Minister becomes involved, and gets himself a Companion in the form of Kitty, an argumentative young lady who is involved in the resistance movement against the Ambassador, who has taken over the country. The Ambassador's people are hunting down scientists - their leader back home, played by Sylvester McCoy, is called the Witch Prime, which gives some idea of their views on science - and Jenny Agutter is fantastic as the Professor in hiding.
All the actors are brilliant, and the script is intelligent and witty and keeps you guessing about who the villain of the piece really is - is it The Horseman (dangerous and deadly)? Or the Ambassador/Governor (clever and ruthless)? The Witch Prime? Lord Rathen, the general who is sent by the Witch Prime to keep an eye on the Ambassador? And why has the Minister involved himself in this (from his point of view) petty little war anyway? And just what is his relationship to Kitty, whose origins are shrouded in mystery?

I'm not going to give any spoilers - I'm just going to say listen to the episodes!

The whole thing was crowd funded, and now they're trying to raise money to turn it into a film. They're going to be making it in Cheshire, which they are renaming "Chanceshire" - the landscape is what they had in mind when they were describing Tanto, the country in which most of the action takes place.

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