Dangerous Visions: Review: Dark Minds

dark mindsBy Philip Palmer

BBC Radio 4, June 27 (and 7 days afterwards on iPlayer)

NB This has been selected as Drama of the Week, so can be downloaded here

Harry has been convicted of a murder he is utterly convinced he didn’t commit; how is it connected to new virtual reality game Reality Plus?

Philip Palmer’s one-hour drama is appropriately titled, taking us deep within the psyches of some people who use the latest advances in technology to their own advantage. There are numerous twists in the tale – some of which are what you’d expect from this sort of story, others which make you reconsider everything you’ve heard up to that point.

The drama is interspersed with adverts for Reality Plus, given by its creator who comes across a bit like Victor Kiam in those old Remington adverts (he liked it so much he bought the company). It gives the whole piece a flavour of Verhoeven’s Robocop, an air which is added to by the sequence when Harry is experiencing this new virtual reality tool. Palmer provides some very vivid imagery, and there are some nicely created moments (what I’ve nicknamed the ‘Tiresias’ moment works particularly well).

The ending is appropriate for the story, and leaves the door open for a further tale in this dystopian world, where no-one is necessarily who they seem to be. If Dangerous Visions 3 gets off the ground, this is one that deserves a sequel or further exploration.

Verdict: The final drama of the season maintains the quality of the Dangerous Visions strand this year and provides an appropriately dark note. 8/10

Paul Simpson

DV_brand_image_1920x1080Dark Minds can be accessed here

The final Dangerous Vision is Matt Haig’s The Keepers, on Sunday 29 at 00.30.

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