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Audio Drama Review


The Scarifyers
The Secret Weapon of Doom


Starring: Nicholas Courtney, Terry Molloy, Leslie Phillips and Nigel Havers
Cosmic Hobo
RRP: £11.99
ISBN: 978 0 9555 1585 9
Available 08 November 2010

Following an unfortunate accident Professor Dunning is temporarily unavailable to help Lionheart with his secret service work and turns his attention to his writing circle. Meanwhile Lionheart is investigating the death of Jimmy the spiv, with a new partner given to him by his eccentric boss, Colonel Black. As the body count mounts, the unfortunate deaths in Dunning’s writing circle and Lionheart’s investigation into a powerful weapon become the same case; bringing the two friends back together...

The Scarifyers: The Secret Weapon of Doom is the newest in a series of good natured homage and pastiches to radio detective plays of the nineteen forties. The central protagonists - in the form of Professor Dunning (Terry Molloy), an absent minded professor, who often solves puzzles, in spite of himself, and Lionheart (Nicholas Courtney) who is the epitome of the square jawed, no nonsense pre-war hero - join forces to rid the world of dastardly evil, where ever they may find it.

The quality of the previous adventures have always been excellent and this new outing in the series has little trouble maintaining this high level. The plot, as ever, is almost superfluous, although like the previous stories follows a combination of broad adventure, the type usually found in the cheap novels of the period, which is peppered with both contemporary and era specific reference and good character studies.

The central strength of the audio comedy/drama is the sharp witted dialogue written for the characters, which sometimes borders on the bawdy. Molloy and Courtney are perfect in their parts and this time around are joined by Leslie Phillips (Colonel Black) and Nigel Havers, who plays Lionheart’s new partner and housewives’ favourite. Phillips gives an almost show stealing eccentric performance and thankfully the ending of the story leaves the door for him to return in a later episode.

On top of the cast the story offers up robots and mythical creatures to augment the series of unexplained deaths, it also offers the worst joke the writers have come up with so far in the show's closing lines. But that’s all part of the fun and bad puns are peppered liberally throughout.

Never a dull moment and always a joy to listen to, The Scarifyers continue to go from strength to strength.


Charles Packer

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