I was pleasantly surprised.
"I thought there'd be more pain. My patients have always complained of more pain..."
Doctor Carson Beckett finds himself in an uncomfortable situation when he becomes a patient in his own infirmary. After a disastrous mission, Beckett is brought back to Atlantis with a broken leg – and a bad case of amnesia.
But that's the least of his troubles. Cared for by Doctor Gilbert, Beckett watches as a strange affliction overcomes his friends and colleagues. One by one, members of the Atlantis crew are brought in, unconscious and unresponsive yet with no sign of trauma. What's causing this peculiar illness? And why doesn't anyone want to hear what Carson has to say about it?
Publisher: Big Finish Productions
Release Date: July 2008
Despite the fact that the audiobook is from Carson's POV and features only two actors, I was drawn in straight away. The mix of the diegetic (in story) audio and Paul McGillion's fabulous voice acting was more than enough to keep me intrigued for the hour or so duration. What enhanced the experience further however was the fabulous story.
I can't say too much without spoiling the twist, but I was very much reminded of the Torchwood Radio play 'House of the Dead'.
I've seen some reviews saying that the twist was obvious, and that Carson was really slow, but it wasn't entirely obvious actually, and Paul does say once or twice that Carson was doubting himself because he couldn't remember what had happened to him. I'm therefore not taking anything away from that. To do so would be like saying the episode Phantoms didn't work because they all had an idea that the machine was affecting their perception, and so shouldn't believe what they saw.
I personally found the story to be fantastically engaging, and certainly one I'm going to have to listen to again, at least once if not more. It was mind bending and really felt like a lost episode of Stargate Atlantis. If anything I was a little disappointing that I couldn't see it. Paul McGillion does an amazing job, and you can really feel Carson's confusion and panic in the way he speaks. It was a really great piece for Dr. Carson Beckett and gave the character well deserved time to shine.
The only negative would be that the audio quality of the bonus interview with Paul was pretty terrible. That said, I'm reviewing the story, not the product itself, so to speak.
I'm therefore giving Perchance to Dream a well deserved 4.5 stars. I'm tempted to give it 5, but the story was a little obvious (Still a shock and very entertaining, but you can tell something's not quite right), and the audio levels in the story were off at times and it was a struggle to hear a few of Paul's lines.
I would highly recommend the audiobook to any fan of Stargate Atlantis and/or Carson, who's looking for a riveting drama.