Taren Capel's legacy has been unleashed and death stalks the
streets of Kaldor City in the shape of killer robots. As Firstmaster
Chairholder Uvanov fights for his career and for his life,
Paullus contacts a force that could bring about the people's
salvation - or their destruction. With the psychostrategist
Carnell gone, Iago is the only person who can save the city
from its fate, but to do that he may have to sacrifice everything...
WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS!
previous Kaldor City releases were standalone affairs,
this one picks up mere moments after the cliffhanger ending
Capel left off. Thus the production kicks off
on a dramatic high - and the excitement seldom lets up after
of the excitement is the revelation of yet another Chris Boucher
creation: one-time Doctor Who foe the Fendahl. Clues
relating to the gestalt creature's presence (the pentagram,
the skulls) had been carefully seeded in previous instalments,
but I managed to miss them until now.
we need now is the inclusion of some characters from Boucher's
Star Cops to complete the set! But I suppose we'll
have to make do with one of that series' actors, Trevor Cooper,
who is as endearingly uncouth as ever in the role of Rull.
Meanwhile, Brian Croucher continues to send up his own shouty
portrayal of Blake's 7's Space Commander Travis as
the newly promoted Cotton. Writer Alan Stevens' use of Uvanov
(Russell Hunter) continues to invite comparison with the reign
of Tony Blair, as the Firstmaster Chairholder defends himself
against a vote of no confidence over allegations that his
policies have been built upon lies. And Kaston Iago (Paul
Darrow) continues to spout blackly humorous lines, such as:
"Congratulations! All those years of mindless paranoia have
finally paid off." Who stalwarts Nicholas Courtney
and Peter Halliday also lend their vocal talents in more minor
(but no less finely crafted) roles, as does Soldiers of
Love's Mark J Thompson, not forgetting the snide-as-ever
with Taren Capel, the CD concludes with a scene that
could either be a cliffhanger or the ending to the entire
series. As it happens, the Kaldor City story does continue,
Mine, though I doubt that the plot pans out
in quite the way that had originally been intended. Whatever
the case may be, developments in the closing scene are very
strange indeed and may well leave you scratching your head
(as indeed might the whole of Storm Mine).
For the most part, though, the thrilling Checkmate
is well worth checking out.