“Max Hochrad’s dystopian drama would have slotted seamlessly into the catastrophising era of Doomwatch and Survivors…” – Paul Kirkley of SFX Magazine
“A tense, atmospheric head-scratcher & a satisfying twist on the time travel thriller, spiced with a thing or two to teach us about our own society and interactions…”
– Tony Fyler of Mass Movement
I’ve never been a fan of time travel, always thought it brought up too many conundrums: problems with accidentally killing off your entire family, that sort of thing. However, time dilation theories and their variants do allow time travel of a sort, albeit only into the future. And borrowing from these ideas, I went on a strange journey, wondering what it would be like for someone to escape into the future, trying to escape their past, only to have said past somehow still wormhole its way into the same time and space. I was interested to see, or hypothesise at least, what the emotional response would be to observe the outcome of your past deeds.
The characters in Dilation are grey and by that I don’t mean dull, just interesting mixes. Amanda Higgs is a shy, brilliant scientist. But she’s also diffident, cold and unsympathetic, not easy to get on with. Marnie is quick witted, but also quick tempered and impatient. She’s also empathetic, something Amanda definitely isn’t. Packard wheels and deals his way through the story but provides a humorous antidote to a dour landscape.
Amanda is the victim of her own talent, which has created something that could benefit the whole planet. As with a lot of potentially money-spinning great ideas, if they’re public and successful, somebody else often wants ownership.
One contemporary subject that crept into the writing was isolationism, both personal and political. This theme, I believe, reflects the current political climate and is a dangerous policy, whether it’s on a global scale or just the fact that you’re not talking to your next-door neighbour. This is something that Callum of the Forman Corporation doesn’t understand. Amanda is similar, but she at least, via an emotional journey, comes to closer to understanding that engagement is vital for survival.
Creating the play
I’ve always been interested in sound. Whether it’s music, or the sound of wires vibrating in the wind, tonal layers of air vibration have always fascinated me. Creating radio/audio drama was something I relished doing. Making this kind of thing is a challenge though. Yes, you can take your script to far off places and have your characters live something out of this world without spending huge amounts of money. But at the same time, you only have sound with which to illustrate or at least intimate what’s going on in the story. In a film one can sum up even just a feeling using photography.
I set out to create a mysterious piece that uses layers of sound to create a strange, seductive atmosphere. Traditionally, film and radio media treats music and sound effects as different separate layers; I’ve always believed in melding the two together to create one soundtrack and this is something we did try and do with Dilation.
March 29, 2019
© 2019 B7 Media / Par-sec Productions. All Rights Reserved.