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Filter: fannish.

I finished listening to the first box set of The Liberator Chronicles, this morning. Overall, jolly good fun. I'd give 'em 8 out of 10, overall. Totally worth the $20 for the download (wish I'd known about that before I plunked $40 on the CDs at Gally!)

Properly speaking, they're audiobooks, rather than plays. One or two actors, and the story is told from the first person POV and are all set during the first season of the show.

Once I got used to the character POV - it was a bit disconcerting at first, as I live on a steady diet of BFA's Doctor Who plays - I rapidly chewed through the set.

All three stories qualified as jolly entertaining and, given the first-person POV, a chance to rummage around a little further in the characters' psyche than previously possible.

The Turing Test: (by Simon Guerrier) Avon, androids, a tiny speck of sentiment and Michael Keating damn near stealing every scene he was in. I suspect some fans might have a hard time buying into Avon-as-anything-but-completely-black-hearted but, c'mon, even I (relentless Avon fangirl) find that a bit boring. For Avon, a teeny-tiny bit of compassion is a sufficient change from the previously-established norm as to be noteworthy.

Solitary: (by Nigel Fairs) Vila, a telepath, assorted horrors and, unfortunately, a "twist" that's pretty clearly broadcast right at the beginning of the story. But how they get there was enjoyable enough and, yeah, sometimes the journey is more important than the destination. Of the three, this one is my favorite because Vila gets a chance to express some emotional range beyond cowardice and greed. Plus some of the creepy bits are really quite creepy...

Counterfeit: (by Peter Anghelides) Blake, a backwater planet and some folks of dubious moral repute. Plus bonus snark from Avon. Not so interesting in terms of character as Blake is simply Blake all the way through - if any character is pretty much set in amber, imho, it's him...

The high point of Counterfeit is - perhaps unsurprisingly - the aforementioned snark. The story's conclusion is a tiny bit implausible - even for a space opera - but it seems that even the writer (Peter Anghelides) seems to acknowledge that with Avon's grumbling about "Beating the Federation at fancy-dress".

By whatever means - sheer force of will and/or luck - Michael Keating and Paul Darrow still sound practically the same as they did during the TV years. Darrow's clearly heeding to the when-in-doubt-growl school of delivery and Keating is, I suspect, blessed to sound like he's no more than 40 for the rest of his life. Gareth Roberts' voice, however, hasn't held up as well. Now, these fellas are all in their 60s and so, honestly, two out of three ain't bad! But it did jar while listening to Counterfeit to hear Blake as an old man, so to speak - especially when interacting with Avon. The show ending the way it did, one can't even stretch one's sense of disbelief muscles into accepting the notion that Blake's just recounting the tale, say, thirty years on... Oh well, a minor quibble.

Production quality, overall, is fantastic. Admittedly, I've come to expect that from Big Finish.

The second set is schedule for May of this year and I'm definitely going to order it. I'm particularly interested in Wolf, which will feature Cally, Servalan and a character from Solitary who's story was definitely left unfinished.

Date: 2012-03-15 10:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Of possible interest is this Jacqueline Pearce interview from last Sunday (it's at the beginning of the podcast):


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aka Britgeekgrrl

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