27 August 2012

Manufacturer: Big Finish Productions

Written By: James Goss

RRP: £8.99

Release Date: 31st July 2012

Reviewed by: Matthew Davis for Doctor Who Online

Review Posted: 22nd August 2012

Zoe Herriot is still a prisoner. The mysterious Company are determined to break the conditioning that has been placed upon her by the Time Lords. Her integrator, Jen, has more evidence to prove that Zoe travelled in time with that strange man called The Doctor.

Through her questions, Zoe begins to recall a journey to Earth in the past. She remembers attending the funeral of a young woman called Meg, a physicist who died in an experiment gone wrong. The Doctor, Jamie and Zoe discover that her experiments have brought forth mysterious creatures into our reality.

As Zoe struggles to recall what happened, it will soon become clear that time is running out for her as The Company are growing impatient for results.

The Uncertainty Principle is a sequel to Simon Guerrier’s play The Memory Cheats, which was itself a sequel to Echoes of Grey. Both the central characters of Zoe and Jen return and it is the continuity that makes this release particularly interesting. The Company’s efforts to break through Zoe’s memory block are ramped up further with the knowledge that her life is now at stake. What made The Memory Cheats such an interesting play seems to be lacking in this release. It seems to be more because of the story that Zoe recalls as opposed to her interaction with Jen.

The main story itself is intriguing but is missing the darkness that the previous instalment had. There is some interesting development of Zoe’s character as her logical attitude is put to the test as she unwittingly falls for a young man called Archie, a character central to the main story. To hear Zoe struggling with emotion, which is almost an alien concept to her, is interesting, but I found the story, at times, to be a little pedestrian.

Where the play is really at its best is the interrogation scenes with Jen, played once again by Wendy Padbury’s daughter Charlie Hayes. Both actors give excellent performances and Guerrier drops some very intriguing character development for Jen as we discover more about her own life.

After the distrust which was central to the previous play, we begin to see these characters find some common ground as the situation with The Company begins to intensify. The conclusion promises more from this ongoing story and it will be fascinating to see where Guerrier takes these two characters next time.

The Uncertainty Principle is a not a strong audio play but it is intriguing enough to warrant a further release in this interesting story arc for Zoe.

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