Soldiers of Love
Part Eight - Forced Entry

Starring: Nicholas Courtney, Anna Karen, Jacqueline Pearce, Sarah Sutton and Gareth Thomas
RRP 9.99
Available now

Madame Deephole, Violet Goodgrip and Major Grondlepuss attempt to free Crispin Caelys from captivity. Cilla Hammond and Galileo Gamak are obliged to participate in the Galactovision Song Contest. And Maureen Blades finally catches up with her lover...

Like any decent double entendre, the title of this episode has more than one meaning beyond its lewd connotations. It refers to the reluctant performance that awaits Cilla (Anna Karen) and Gamak (Mark J Thompson), as well as to the breaking and entering that is carried out by Madame D (Jacqueline Pearce), Violet (Alison Taffs) and the Major (Thompson). Some of the Madame's - ahem - "gadgets" prove extremely useful in the liberation of Caelys (Niall Stuchfield)!

My suspicions about the similarity between Thompson's Cindy Rellar and Panakol Floorunner voices in the previous instalment have proven to be correct. Once again, writer/director/producer/performer Thompson has turned the disadvantage of an absent former cast member (in this case Sammie Winmill as Cindy) into an exciting plot point. On a similar note, the threat of the alien Retsabs is maintained without the participation of Jan Chappell (who used to play Sharliken), thanks to a story development that owes a great deal to Doctor Who's monstrous Wirrrn.

This CD also sees the return of musical numbers, something that we haven't had since Part Five. With a song contest going on, the performers have the perfect excuse, don't they? This Eurovision spoof invites the almost obligatory impersonation of Terry Wogan, in the form of Kerry Logan (Thompson again). Unfortunately, this is not one of the series' better impressions.

This is a relatively minor glitch, however, and it doesn't really detract from the appeal of all the other colourful characters, including the ever-wonderful Jacqueline Pearce as Madame D and a dual role by Sarah Sutton. It won't take any forcing at all to get me to insert the next disc (I said "disc") into my CD slot!

Richard McGinlay