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Audio Drama Review
So the long wait is finally over with the release of the seventh The Scarifyers audio play. Fans of the stories will be celebrating in the streets as we speak, I kid you not. If, for some reason, you have no idea what The Scarifyers is about then let me open a little window of humour into your life.
Originally started as a pre-war pastiche, the series remains in its comfort zone by placing the new story between nineteen twenty to thirty with the testing of Sir Malcolm Campbell’s Blue Bird in The Horror of Loch Ness (2012). Written by Simon Barnard and Paul Morris, produced by Simon Barnard, with music by Edwin Sykes, this latest adventure carries on the tradition of self-aware, somewhat irreverent style of humour, which lays at the centre of the series.
In this latest adventure Malcolm Campbell (Alex Lowe), real father of Donald Campbell, is testing his Blue Bird when a bank of fog appears, following which both man and machine disappear. Time to call in MI13, that special branch of the intelligence services which deals with anything from the paranormal to the downright weird in the form of Harry Crow (David Warner) and Professor Dunning (Terry Molloy).
The two pitch up in the town of Inverfarigaig, on the loch’s shore, only to find that some very strange things are happening. Aided by a local doctor, Pippin (Philip Madoc), they quickly discover that this isn’t the first strange thing which has happened in the area, in fact strangeness appears to have infested the place since the enigmatic Laird of Boleskine and Abertarff moved into the area.
Through the good doctor the two discover that the Laird is none other than the occultist Aleister Crowley (David Benson), though I’m not so sure of what the real Crowley would have made of his portrayal here. What follows then is their encounters with rabidly competitive Nessie hunters, demons and a particular door in the universe hidden in the fog.
The series had gone through its own evolution. Originally Professor Dunning was partnered by DI Lionheart as played by the late Nicholas Courtney. With his passing Dunning got a new partner, the most excellent David Warner, who has as memorable and resonant voice as Courtney. From the previous adventure he has settled quickly in to become one of the family.
There are few enough platitudes which can be thrown at this series. Pitch perfect in its humour, production values and vocal acting, every new release feels like coming home to an old friend.