AUDIO DRAMA
Soldiers of Love
Part Seven - Exegesis

Starring: Gareth Thomas and Nicholas Courtney
MJTV
RRP 9.99
Available now


Turnidus explains to the understandably confused Cilla, Cindy, Frag, Gamak and Yztabub what went on while they were sleeping...

Part Six was a rather unusual episode, even by Soldiers of Love standards, departing radically from events in the previous instalment and putting several plot developments on hold. This episode picks up on many of those events, the majority of which are conveyed through flashbacks narrated by Turnidus (Nicholas Courtney).

We learn, for instance, what became of Turnidus and Panakol Floorunner (Mark J Thompson) following the wacky race that took place during Part Five. We also hear the welcome return of Gareth Thomas as the camp Hywel Hammond. However, there is a distinct disadvantage to having so much of the story conveyed in flashback, because the listener already knows which characters have survived the calamitous events that are being related. This factor also takes some of the shine off this episode's cliffhanger ending.

This CD is also notable for a high incidence of performers doing impersonations of other actors. For example, as well as enjoying a reference to Roj Blake's "Down and safe" catch phrase, Blake's 7 fans may also notice that Doctor Proctor (Niall Stuchfield) sounds not unlike Brian Croucher's version of Travis. Meanwhile, Medicworld physician Didelious Davenport (Steven Degattis) is strongly reminiscent of Rocky Horror and Crystal Maze star Richard O'Brien. We also catch up with events surrounding Mrs Blubber's (Alison Taffs) discovery of the real Mydas Mydason (Mark J Thompson), and hear Thompson mimicking rather effectively Michael Keating's former portrayal of Mydas.

Thompson's performance as Cindy - who, it is inventively explained, is suffering from a radioactively mutated throat - occasionally sounds a little too similar to the same actor's Panakol voice. But I suspect that this similarity might actually become a clever plot point. (That's all I'll say for now...!)

Due to the flashback factor, forthcoming events may be a little more predictable than usual, but I'm still eager to hear another episode.

Richard McGinlay