AUDIO DRAMA
(Blake's 7/Doctor Who related)
Kaldor City
Hidden Persuaders

Starring: Paul Darrow, Russell Hunter and Scott Fredericks
Magic Bullet Productions
RRP 10.99, US $16.00
Available now


Terrorism is on the increase in Kaldor City, and it seems no one is safe from the Tarenists - followers of the cult of the deceased madman, Taren Capel. But who is behind the cult's remarkable success, what will be their next target, and who really has the most to gain...?

"Tarenist" sounds a lot like "terrorist", doesn't it? It becomes clear that this is no coincidence, especially when Uvanov (Russell Hunter) declares a "war on Tarenism"! The script, by Jim Smith and professional anthropologist Dr Fiona Moore, has a troubling real-life resonance regarding the political manipulation of public fears about terrorism. But Uvanov's own machinations blow up in his face, just as the West's supply of weapons to corrupt regimes in the past now poses a threat to Western nations.

In addition to the usual stars, this thriller also features Nicholas Courtney (Doctor Who's Brigadier) David Collings (who played Silver in Sapphire and Steel and who also guest-starred in three Who stories, including The Robots of Death) and Jasmine Breaks (alias the Girl in Remembrance of the Daleks). They each play only brief roles, however.

But this is a good adventure for Brian Croucher's character, the unsubtle security operative, Cotton. He is briefly recruited by Uvanov to stand in for Iago (Paul Darrow), with amusing consequences. (Fear not, Darrow fans - Iago is by no means absent from this story.)

Once again, the Magic Bullet team have provided us with an intriguing and intelligent tale, although it doesn't stand out quite as much as the previous two did. Nevertheless, it sows plenty of seeds for intriguing future developments, including a character who might just prove to be Iago's equal...

Richard McGinlay