Review: Graceless: Big Finish Audio: Graceless III

Graceless 3Abby and Zara have many adventures – but the biggest one is on the day they choose to die…

Although there’s a comment in the Big Finish Companion to the effect that the Graceless series has the potential to go on for a long time, it’s been brought to a close with this final trilogy of stories, keeping the obsession with the number three that’s been there throughout Simon Guerrier’s tale. (There’s also a reference to a triceratops on a tricycle that sprang from a joking comment made to Guerrier about said obsession!)

Before we reach the conclusion to their story, though, we have two intriguing stories – The Edge, which constantly switches genre as the tale unfolds, and presenting some interesting insights into the two girls and the current state of their relationship, both with each other and with life and death. They’ve altered a lot as the stories have progressed, and while it wouldn’t be fair to say they’re interchangeable, they’ve certainly picked up elements of the other.

The middle story, The Battle, is another complete change of style, as the pair search for Marek, and realise that their actions have consequences – something which becomes highly relevant to the final part. The Battle of Maldon in 991 AD isn’t something Guerrier has created for the story: the battle and its poetic account are genuine historical events, and Guerrier has skilfully interwoven the girls’ meddling into the record. The bittersweetness that has characterised the Graceless series is perhaps at its most poignant in this tale.

Consequences is another story of twists and turns: you know the ending as you go into the episode, but how you get there – and what it actually means – is very different from what you might expect. Faces from the past and a very familiar helper all contribute to the girls’ decision, but even that isn’t exactly straightforward!

Although there is a little bit of sexual byplay, the adult content of these stories is far more in the themes they examine than the surface trappings. There’s deliberately a gap between The Battle and Consequences, into which further tales could be told, but much as I’ve enjoyed the stories, sometimes less is more, and the adventures of the Graceless girls should now be regarded as complete.

Verdict: For the second time in two months, a Big Finish series concludes in a highly appropriate manner, of which all involved should be justly proud. 8/10

Paul Simpson

Click here to order Graceless III from Big Finish

Read our review of Graceless I here and Graceless II here

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