Review: The Minister of Chance Episode 4, 'Tiger' / Author: Radio Static / Release Date: Out Now
March 1st gave us the official release of Tiger, the fourth episode of the five part series The Minister of Chance from Radio Static. For those who don’t know, this is a free, crowd-funded, high-quality production and is the brainchild of Dan Freeman. It follows on (loosely) from the character of the Minister of Chance introduced in the Doctor Who webcast audio Death Comes to Time.
It has a great cast including Paul McGann, Sylvester McCoy, Paul Darrow, Jenny Agutter and Tamsin Greig. The title role is played by Julian Wadham and special mention must also be made of the narrative ‘hero’ in the form of young Kitty played by Lauren Crace.
The elements in play over the previous episodes are now coming to a head. We have the warmongering of Paul McGann’s Durian as he exudes charm whilst threatening his enemies and out-manoeuvring his rivals. One of those rivals is Sylvester McCoy’s Witch Prime, whom Durian ousts in a bloodless coup, ably supported by Paul Darrow’s Lord Rathen. A lot of the action takes place on Tanto which is under military occupation by the wicthcraft-worshipping Sezian.
Not content with juggling political intrigue and warmongering, Dan Freeman gives us the age old struggle of science (in the form of Jenny Agutter’s Professor Cantah who preaches the gospel of causality and logic) as once practised by the inhabitants of Tanto and the easy ignorance of superstition as upheld by the Sezians.
Meanwhile, underneath, we have been given glimpses of a higher story, that of the Minister of Chance himself armed with his knowledge and the power to walk to other worlds. He has been accompanied in a search for his mortal enemy the Horseman by young Kitty, a strong girl whom we first meet working in a bar.
As the pieces start to ready for the endgame we are given a lot of threads to focus upon – Kitty concludes some unfinished business with Tamsin Greig’s Sage of the Waves; we get the battle between the Minister and the Horseman; we get a sense of who the actual players might be that the Minister is arrayed against, we get revelations that twist our sense of what is going on and we are surprised more than once as the story builds towards a confrontation.
For something free the production values are superb, the direction and acting top-notch and waiting for the final part a regrettable necessity. The only criticism I have is that the flow of the action might have suited more uneven episode lengths, and the sheer number of threads did mean that each got less time than they may have deserved. A far from fatal flaw though.
Did we mention it was free? Why not download it and let us know what you thought of it?