Soldiers of Love
Part Eleven - Sting in the Tale

Starring: Nicholas Courtney, Anna Karen and Gareth Thomas
RRP 9.99
Available now

Will Snyder and Gamak be able to set their differences aside for the sake of the Space Patrol? Will our heroes be able to overthrow the android pallbearers? And will they end up facing a different threat that is far from paltry (but rather poultry)...?

As the complex threads of this saga continue to develop and intertwine, the more this tale is driven by its plot rather than its humour. Whether this is a problem or not depends upon whether you favour the "comedy" or "drama" aspects of this sci-fi comedy drama. But things get decidedly angst-ridden and touchy-feely when Snyder (Nick Kirby) and Gamak (Mark J Thompson) surprise each other with revelations concerning Colonel Franklin and the Fandilox affair, while Cindy (Thompson) is offered moral support by Yztabub (Mark Preston) as she contemplates her impending doom.

Who ever thought that the Soldiers of Love series would resonate with echoes of the current situation in Iraq? Whether by chance or by design, writer Thompson's characters find themselves in a similar situation to the peacekeeping forces in that war-torn country. The crew of the Nick of Time must restore order to a people who have taken to looting and who are in desperate need of supplies.

Amid all these serious issues, however, you may rest assured that the camp Hywel (Gareth Thomas) can be relied upon to provide a constant barrage of innuendo, particularly when Chickenskin (Peter Ager) struts back on to the scene to inspire a whole new spate of cock jokes.

And the sci-fi elements continue to take precedence as one of the characters quite literally gets a buzz out of his confrontation with the pallbearers.

The cliffhanger ending doesn't have as much sting as usual, though.

Richard McGinlay