Soldiers of Love
Part Thirteen - Revelations

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

Our hapless heroes discover Arran's horrific plans for the people of Xoolian Major. Meanwhile, Cindy and Caelys get to know each other better - but should she tell him that she has only a short time left to live? And Ytzabub finds out why Arran placed his mind inside a drinks machine...

As with Part Eleven, there's more of an emphasis on drama than on comedy in this instalment of the sci-fi comedy drama. With this "season" approaching its conclusion, Revelations proves to be a very appropriate title, as we discover, amongst other things, the reason why Dr Proctor (Niall Stuchfield) wants revenge on Turnidus (Nicholas Courtney) and the identity of Madame Deephole's (Jacqueline Pearce) son. He is not at all the character I was expecting him to be.

Some satirical commentary about the cruelty of battery farming also seems fairly dark and gruesome by comedy standards. Some appalling images are conjured up in the mind of the listener by the events that transpire. Still, this makes for a logical extension to Chickenskin's subjugation of the Xoolian people, while also providing ample opportunity for wordplay about mincing!

Towards the end of the CD, I began to suspect that writer/director/producer Mark J. Thompson had managed to write Colin Baker, the original incarnation of Arran Arkenstein alias Arran Hammond alias The Editor, back into the story (following an absence of eleven episodes). I was mistaken - not that I don't find Gareth Thomas' pantomime villainy just as entertaining. However, I suppose it remains a possibility for Part Fourteen, which will be the last in this unique series...

Richard McGinlay