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Audio Drama Review


Sapphire & Steel
Remember Me


Starring: David Warner and Susannah Harker
Big Finish Productions
RRP: £14.99
ISBN: 978 1 84435 337 8
Available 29 April 2008

“Are you ready for your close-up?” It should have been a good day for Eric Gurney: the faded comedian going back to where it all started, back to the pier where he performed his first shows, filming a documentary about his long career and getting a chance to reminisce. Then people start vanishing, and others start coming back. Something evil is lurking in the darkness. It’s not funny anymore...

Following their escape from the realm of audio recordings in Second Sight (which was not available for review), Sapphire (Susannah Harker) and Steel (David Warner) are back! Warner is in particularly fine sardonic form here. I was surprised but happy when this third series was announced, as I really did think that The Mystery of the Missing Hour was going to be the last one. So too, apparently, did co-producer Nigel Fairs, but, when co-producer/managing director Jason Haigh-Ellery wanted a new series, Fairs brought the elemental detectives back in a most ingenious way.

Once again, the subject matter is entertainment. In Water Like a Stone, it was musical theatre, especially pantomime. In The Mystery of the Missing Hour and Second Sight, it was audio drama. Here it is comedy, particularly in the forms of end-of-the-pier shows and television sitcoms: the voice of Mr Punch and the sound of canned studio laughter are both put to sinister use by director Lisa Bowerman. Sam Kelly, who has appeared in On the Up and Barbara as well as playing innumerable roles in other British sitcoms including Porridge, ’Allo ’Allo! and Black Books, is effective as the resentful has-been comedian, Eric Gurney (though I hope he wasn’t too offended by the implication of the casting!).

Meanwhile, David Horovitch is suitably sinister as the villain of the piece, the Nostalgia. Horovitch adopts a number of voices as the Nostalgia pretends to be various people from Eric’s past, though I did get rather confused when he pretended to be Eric’s daughter at the end of the first episode, as I thought it was Steel somehow being made to do the evil force’s bidding.

The notion of the Nostalgia as a being that exists within every single memory is very similar to that of the Shape (the man without a face) in Assignment IV. However, writer John Dorney makes good use of the opportunity for some philosophical discussions on the nature of memory: how each moment of the present instantly becomes a memory of the past; how our perception of the present is affected by those memories; and how we are lost if those memories are tampered with or we lose the ability to process them.

Remember Me is a most memorable adventure.


Richard McGinlay

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