Listening to Graceless is like…
You keep thinking they couldn’t possibly go there.
And then they do.
Gave this trilogy another listen after all the posts/fanart tardiscrash has been posting of Five/Amy. Around the second listen, I think I enjoyed it a lot more, knowing I could wrap my head around some story points and just closely listening to Peter Davison’s acting as a very angry, and somewhat distressed Five.
The Judgement of Isskar - Interesting start to the trilogy. Introduction to the Tracers: Amy (NOT THAT AMY) and Zara, along with the Grace and a re-introduction to the Key to Time and the Ice Warriors. In this audio, we discover how the Martians became the Ice Warriors due to genocide by the Doctor’s interference with a corrupted piece of the Key that caused massive earthquakes and finally, the destruction of the Martian civilization. (Really dark theme that’s regually brought up in New!Who, but given in a Classic Doctor retrospective it’s something a little surprising for the Fifth Doctor.) Solid opening with a great final act. (Possibly the best scene is with Five in one of the pieces of the Key to Time, trying to keep his mind together by retelling a twisted version of “The Three Little Pigs”.)
Oh, and quickly mentioning about Nyssa trying chocolate for the first time when Amy feels ticklish. WE NEED FANFICTION NOW, PEOPLE.
The Destroyer of Delights - The silly middle part of the trilogy. Set in a world straight out of Arabian Nights, the Doctor and Amy find themselves separated in the desert while trying to find the Fifth segment to the Key to Time. At times, the music cues are extremely goofy, but are well timed with the scenes (especially on sudden reactions). Possibly the highlight of the episode are with the Black and White Guradians (played by David Troughton and Jason Watkins), whose powers are fading due to falling under the hold of entropy by the corrupted pieces of the Key to Time. (The first 10 minutes instantly got me hooked with Troughton’s Black Guardian.) Be warned they are more comedic this time around, rather than their more serious TV counterparts.
The Chaos Pool - Nice twists with the character development and plots, along with the big reveal of the sixth and final piece of the Key to Time. Lalla Ward is probably my fave actress in this audio for playing Romana and Lady Asta. Some parts and the ending are a bit cliche, but it’s an ending that made a load of sense for continuity purposes and wrapping up any plot holes that may have been looming around. It has lots of warm feelings all around, and OMG, the soundtrack one of the best that I’ve heard from Big Finish in a while.
I still have the Companion Chronicle to listen to, but the majority of the trilogy is pretty upstanding for a spin-off story from the original Key to Time story arc in Four’s era. Majorly recommended if you’re a Fifth Doctor/Peter Davison audio completionist or a just a fan of the Big Finish audios trilogies in general. Also recommended to just give David Troughton’s version of the Black Guardian a listen to.
I’m glad you gave it another go, I often find I enjoy an audios much more the second time.
Also, Nyssa trying chocolate is on the to-write list.
But yay! These audios! I love FIve and Amy’s interaction, and just Amy herself is mad adorable.