Escape Velocity

A curated Collection of Fantasy and Science Fiction Media

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Lucan wakes up and finds himself crash-landed on a mysterious planet with no memory of what happened. Then sentient AI Ven pops up in his brain, trying to keep him alive, but dying itself. Will they save each other and find out who they are?

Off to a little cheesy start, this audio drama quickly grabbed my attention with its interesting premisse, early worldbuilding and action-oriented story. Marigold Breach used an interesting combination of inner dialogue (between Lucan and the AI Ven), external dialogue with other characters and descriptive passages by Lucan alone. It was at times a bit hard to distinguish between Lucan’s different ‘voices’, but overall I think it worked nicely.

It was equally great to see Jameela Jamil and Manny Jacinto (both from Netflix’s The Good Place) back as a couple, but as two completely different characters. It shows the range of these actors while profiting from their chemistry. However, I did not completely get why Lucan trusted (and loved) Ven from the moment they ‘met’ (having no memories of each other). I would have been a little suspicious at least. It made Lucan’s expressions of love feel a bit unfounded – though this is more of a script-problem than a performance-one.

I liked the snippets of worldbuilding that were offered in this audio drama, but never completely explained. It gave a sense of a much larger world behind the story, a world where other things were happening too, on a way larger scale. That said, there were also a few themes and events I would have liked to know more about, for example the competing views on colonialism and ‘the war’ that loomed in the background. Instead, Marigold Breach chooses for a fairly linear story of ‘there is a thing – get to the thing’ (and overcome the obstacles in your way).

The longer I think about it, the more I find that could have elevated this drama to a 5-star level. But let that not spoil the fun. My advice: don’t think about it too hard. Just enjoy the performances, the inventive story premisse and the worldbuilding, and have fun with Marigold Breach!

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