Thursday, 6 July 2017

Gallifrey 2.4: Insurgency by Steve Lyons (July 2005)

In the BF stable at least, Steve Lyons is ahead of the pack when it comes to non-linear narratives and experimenting with how time, well, works. He's thus a logical fit for the frequently time-twisting Gallifrey II - it's no great surprise that they got him in eventually, and here he is contributing its fourth chapter, Insurgency. I was imagining something full of temporal twists, non-linearity, and high concepts (i.e. Pandora); what Lyons does instead is not what I anticipated at all - he's the first writer for this series of audio dramas to direct the spotlight away from the political heavyweights and onto a different group of people, namely, students at the Time Lord Academy. Yes, students at a prestigious institution have a cushy number compared to some, and they're hardly the oppressed Shabogans (I do long for their story to be told, almost more than anything), but what instantly comes to mind here - to my mind, certainly - is that there's some really interesting class-based stuff you can tap into about not feeling at home in an august, much-revered academic elite; about feeling out of place because of one's ethnic background or what kind of household you grew up in (I'm only being half-autobiographical here; for a whole raft of reasons, I was not as out of place at Oxford as many people in different situations, both known and unknown to me, but such an alienation is not a completely alien feeling either, let's put it that way - and pardon the pun).