Soldiers of Love Story Three - Metamorphs

Starring: Michael Keating, Gareth Thomas and Nicholas Courtney
RRP: 9.99
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Space-flight passenger Maureen Mydason suffers a terrible licking from an alien hijacker. Meanwhile, the occupants of the
Nick of Time need to escape from a deadly dose of radiation...

In this series, writer/director/producer Mark J. Thompson has displayed, never more so than during this instalment, the gift of a 1960s' Doctor Who writer: the ability to work his story around the absence of certain principal cast members. For example, Sammie Winmill's Cindy, overcome by radiation sickness, spends the duration of this episode unconscious, while Jacqueline Pearce's Madame Deephole is talked about rather than actually heard.

Having been shot and apparently killed at the beginning of Story Two, the transsexual Cilla (who was originally played by Norman Lovett) is here portrayed by not one but two actors. The first of these is Mark J. Thompson himself, who explains away Cilla's change of voice as being the result of having damaged his/her throat during his/her scuffle with the Editor. In due course, Anna Karen assumes the role of Cilla's fully restored, though far from ladylike, feminine self.

At least the evil Editor is still played by the same actor as last time (Gareth Thomas) although he now reveals his name to be Aaran Arkenstein. The title Metamorphs proves pertinent indeed.

What more can be said of this relentlessly bizarre serial? Well, another **Blake's 7** veteran, Jan (Cally) Chappell, joins the cast and appears to relish her role as the frog-like alien hijacker, Sharliken. Meanwhile, the script continues to deliver its seemingly endless supply of double entendres. These range from the aching coccyx of the crass and crude Crispin Caelys (enthusiastically portrayed by Niall Stuchfield) to the space dentist Teddy's (Thompson again) gleeful anticipation at the prospect of getting his chops around some long, thick, sticky things!

The Gospel-style song on Track 10 isn't bad either - which is high praise coming from someone who isn't that keen on the songs in general.

From a storytelling point of view, connections are now being established between the various strands of the complex plot, as it is revealed that both Galileo Gamak (Thompson yet again) and Colonel Franklin (Sarah Sutton) have had dealings with Aaran before. Things certainly do seem to be coming together (oo-er, missus)!

Richard McGinlay