Audio Review: Dilation

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Produced by Par-sec Productions along with B7 Media (who also produced Dan Dare, Blake’s 7, I Robot and many other titles) is the brainchild of award-winning filmmaker, writer and director Max Hochrad. The premise is straightforward enough: gifted scientist Amanda Higgs (Sioned Jones) goes missing for over 40 years. She arrives in a dystopian United Kingdom, unsure who to trust as she seeks to work on her original invention – a device designed to solve the world’s energy problems.

Where this story works well is in the way it develops the vision of a UK under the control of the Forman Corporation. The country is struggling to survive, splinter cultures are springing up outside the cities and Amanda does not fit in. Without giving away too much of the plot, the dilation of the title is a reference to an aspect of time travel and through the use of Amanda’s viewpoint Max paints his vision of a world with little hope or joy, just people making their own way, including one girl, a misfit named Marnie (Rebecca Ross) who is the most accessible of the characters in this story. There are also various corporate figures, people living alternative lives and even overseas connections. Several threads are touched on, explored briefly then put away. It’s fascinating if leaving the listener unsure just what the core story actually is.

As Amanda pursues her quest to find her own answers, we get more and more glimpses of a (perhaps not too distant) vision of our own society as it might be, resonating with the bleaker views of the UK’s destiny in these challenging political climes. Amanda herself is an angry, at times arrogant figure and makes little effort to be pleasant. This makes Marnie much more interesting to consider and as the story skips forward (it covers a lot of time in bursts) and only gives glimpses into moments of the lead characters lives.

It’s bursting with possibility and listeners will likely want to know more of what happens next and indeed what happened before once they finish this almost 90-minute story.

Dilation is available on download from the B7 Media website. It’s an intriguing if offbeat tale with much to recommend it.