The first episode of an X-files type show was both interesting and possibly based off of a famous person in English History. I’m referring to King Henry VIII, the English pimp… I mean monarch who had six wives. That period of English history is one of my favorites to learn about. So, as the story progressed, I was treating it more and more as a “what-if” story, which is the basis for a lot of fantasy and science fiction these days. But, this isn’t either of those genres. It’s quite dark and gritty, which I’ve come to expect from Michael Murphy’s scripts. I really enjoy his work and this piece is no different.
There are a few minor things I have a problem with and maybe there is a reason for it and I’m just not getting it. Below, in the “acting” section of this post, I posted a critique/comment about a performance. Read that and you’ll see what I mean. But, like I said, maybe I just missed something and it does make sense.
The ending was kind of abrupt. It didn’t really end in a satisfying way. It left me wanting more, which is good, but at the same time I was kind of disappointed that it was over so suddenly. But I guess some people like endings like that. I’m just not one of them.
Overall I was impressed with the pacing of the dialogue. But, there seemed to be a long pause in between the first and second scene. A pause that I believe was not really needed and way to noticeable. The reason I don’t think it was needed is because it’s just a continuation of the previous scene. It would be the equivalent of reading chapter in a book that ended as a partial cliff hangar, “he opened the box and saw…”, and then the following chapter continues that sentence. It’s a trick that took me out of the world, because it was too long and had me asking why would they do that?
Other than that little nitpick I enjoyed the production value. Having once mixed episodes of an audio drama myself, I know it’s hard to get pacing right when the lines you receive don’t always flow with the other ones. But despite this setback that is common among almost all online audio drama groups, the mixer did the best they could. And that’s all I, or anyone can ask of them.
The acting was good all around. But the scene where the King “finds” out about the death of the Queen kind of confused me as I thought they added another character. H Keith Lyon’s performance as the guard is great, but during that scene he had a completely different voice that was more nasally. I’m not sure if it was to show panic. If that was the case I would believe it. However, when the guard talks to the king about Prag and the Kings prerogative, it sounded like he knew about the plan all along. I’m not saying that H Keith Lyons performance was bad, far from it. I was just confused as to why there was a sudden change in his voice. At first listen I thought it was an entirely new character, maybe it was? The credits on the company website mentioned a voice in the hall. I suppose the argument could be made that there was more than one guard in the Queen’s chambers after the murder.