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Podcast / The Minister of Chance

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"In the beginning was the data, and the data was complex and dynamic, and from the data came forth all the laws and forces of the world. And first amongst these was Causation: for every effect there is a cause."
The Theory of Fields

The character of the Minister of Chance was first introduced in the 2001 Doctor Who webcast Death Comes to Time. In 2013, he returned in a six-part podcast, played by Julian Wadham instead of Stephen Fry this time. Unlike Death Comes to Time, which is explicitly set in some version of the Doctor Who Expanded Universe, any connection between The Minister of Chance and that continuity is oblique at best.

Despite being entirely crowdfunded, it has attracted an impressive cast (including former Doctors Sylvester McCoy and Paul McGann) and won a Parsec award for best short-form audio drama. A short film version of the prologue episode is currently in post-production, with a feature-length adaptation of the whole series proposed as the next step.


The Minister of Chance contains examples of:

  • A God Am I: General Lord Rathen.
  • Action Girl: Kitty, who looks like a breakable young girl but astonishes everyone with her great strength. Usually by kicking their heads in.
  • Ambadassador: Durian's Establishing Character Moment.
  • Another Dimension: The Minister and people like him can move between worlds and even take humans with them.
  • Assassin Outclassin': Thanks to a tip-off from Rathen, Durian evades an undercover assassin, and even goes on to use her as a political tool against both the Witch Prime and Jura.
  • Book Burning: By the Sezians, as part of the campaign to impose their magic-based belief system on Tanto.
  • Cool Teacher / Mentor Archetype: Professor Cantha to Kitty.
  • Doorstop Baby: Kitty, who was found in the woods and raised by an innkeeper. Leading to Muggle Foster Parents, to the limited extent to which she counts as a non-Muggle.
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  • Eccentric Mentor / Fair-Weather Mentor: The Minister to Kitty.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The Minister, the Horseman and the Sage of the Waves.
  • Friend to All Children: Subverted with Durian, whose playful teasing of the young Tanto princess is heart-meltingly sweet - right up until his true colours are revealed. All the more chilling that he keeps chatting to her in the same playful way moments after putting his Evil Plan into action.
  • Human Sacrifice: A young woman is drowned every full moon as a gift to the Sage of the Waves, not that she notices or cares.
  • Language of Magic: Possibly Codeka Alba, as spoken by the Minister and the Horseman.
  • Magic from Technology: Quite possibly. Clarke's Third Law is explored through the reality warping powers of the Minister's people, but clear answers as to how exactly it all works are never forthcoming.
  • The Magocracy: Sezuan, ruled by so-called witches and headed by the Witch Prime.
  • Only One Name: Sunflower, which she freely admits is a pseudonym.
  • Portal Door: Opened by the Minister and the Horseman in order to move between worlds.
  • Reality Warper: The Minister, his people, and General Lord Rathen.
  • Rebel Leader: Sunflower.
  • Super Strength: Kitty; her strength may or may not be straight-up superhuman, but it's certainly unusual.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Durian, who is so popular and charming that the Minister concludes it can only be the result of superhuman powers.
  • Writing Around Trademarks: No mention is made of the Minister's origin as a Time Lord, due to the lack of a Doctor Who licence for this production.
  • You Look Familiar: Fans who followed the Minister from the Doctor Who universe will immediately notice the highest-profile actors in this production, the former Doctors playing the Witch Prime and Durian.

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