Strontium Dog
Down To Earth

Starring: Simon Pegg, Toby Longworth and Jacqueline Pearce
Big Finish
RRP £9.99
ISBN 1 903654 82 3
Available now

A mysterious patron offers a huge bounty for the capture of Wulf Sternhammer. Though it's against the
bounty hunters' code, a fellow Strontium Dog goes rogue and turns him in. If Johnny Alpha wants to save his kidnapped partner, he will have to break the law. He must risk his freedom, face his past and go back down to Earth...

Big Finish's Judge Dredd new range of audios are exceptionally good, but they were always going to have to live with the fact that they would be compared to Dirk Maggs' Radio One productions. With Strontium Dog, another excellent strip brought to life from the pages of 2000AD, Big Finish gets to finally set its own pace.

Simon Pegg, writer and star of Spaced, is an inspired choice to play Earth's most respected Strontium Dog. He settles into the role straight away and not for one second did I think of him as anyone other than Johnny Alpha.

Mark McDonnell is a wonderfully brutal Middenface McNulty and the chemistry between him and Pegg is spot on. No forced lines, no ham acting, this is a joy to listen too. And Patricia Merrick's Gronk is about as cute as they get - certainly not annoying like Walter the Wobot or Jar Jar!

Oh yes, there is a plot, with a nice twist at the end, but that plays second fiddle to the comedic elements. This production is head and shoulders above its Judge Dredd production (which is also of exceptional quality). Alpha has a likeable quality that the tough Dredd just doesn't command.

I always used to marvel at the production values of Dirk Maggs' audio adventures, but I'm afraid even he would find it near impossible to top John Ainsworth's direction, helped greatly by Jonathan Clement's fantastic script.

If you want to enjoy yourself for an hour you really should buy this, unless you live in Essex. Tharg would be proud.

Darren Rea


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