The ether ship Perbindesh is approaching Mars. Her
passengers are an assembly of the great and the good: Skerrun,
a Martian prince, returning from a sojourn on Earth; Sir Henry
Routledge, the new governor of the British colony; Professor
Golightly, a renowned authority on the red planet. But not
all aboard will live to see Mars...
from Frank Chadwick's role-playing game of the same name,
Space 1889 is a new series of audio adventures set
in an alternate reality in which Thomas Edison discovered
a means to travel through space - or the "ether", as it is
known. The British Empire has expanded, and Queen Victoria's
infantrymen patrol the streets of Syrtis Major, the once-proud
Martian city-state now under British rule. Mars, depicted
here as the home of an ancient but declining culture, takes
the place of India in our own 19th century. This is a fascinating
concept, one that might have been imagined by Jules Verne
or H.G. Wells.
credits contain many names that will be familiar to followers
of Big Finish's audio productions, including director John
Ainsworth, sound designer/musician Steve Foxon, and performers
Ian Brooker, Jo Castleton, Toby Longworth and Katarina Olsson,
so naturally the result is very professional sounding. The
special guest star of this instalment is C3PO himself, Anthony
Daniels of Star Wars fame, who plays the
captain of the Perbindesh.
not surprisingly, given the subject matter, there are a lot
of "English toff" sounding characters, which makes it hard
to tell them apart at times. Fortunately, these are interspersed
by two females of very different temperaments - Georgina Golightly
(Jo Castleton) and Charlotte Wong (Katarina Olsson) - and
the noble Martian Skerrun (Tam Williams).
being the audio medium, we miss out on the visual appeal boasted
by Verne-style productions of the large and small screen,
such as The
League of Extraordinary Gentlemen or the TARDIS
set in the Doctor Who TV
movie. By way of compensation, an attractive and
informative eight-page booklet accompanies the CD, though
I hasten to add that you don't need to read this in order
to follow the story.
1889 promises to be a very interesting series indeed.