Ex game-show host Mydas Mydason wins a trip to the newly discovered
planet of Voltarabia. So does brothel guard Cindy Rellar.
Little do they realise that their "holiday" is part of a diabolical
scheme by the villain known as the Editor...
Online has pigeon-holed this review as "audio drama", but
the term doesn't accurately encapsulate the nature of this
production, the first in a series of ten CDs featuring actors
from the British sci-fi shows Doctor Who, Blake's
7, Red Dwarf and The Tomorrow People. The
CD blurb describes Soldiers of Love as a comedy drama,
but that doesn't quite capture its spirit, either. Neither
would the phrases "camp", "pantomime" or "lavatorial", although
each of these aspects comes into play within a script written,
directed and produced by Mark J. Thompson, who also acts in
to The Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Galaxy spring to
mind, but then they often do when the genres of sci-fi and
comedy are combined. On this occasion, however, the comparison
is justified due to the presence of a sentient and rather
depressed drinks machine (Yztabub, played by Mark Preston)
and the penchant of Voltarabian Customs for excising tourists'
level of innuendo is more reminiscent of a Carry On
film, although the double entendres here are far filthier.
For example, the delightfully seedy Mydas, played by Michael
Keating (better known as Blake's 7's Vila) at one point
angrily rants, "Have you ever had a fist in your mouth?" "Not
in my mouth, no," replies the deadpan Norman Lovett (alias
Red Dwarf's Holly) who plays Cilla, the unwilling transsexual
henchman/woman of the Editor.
by a contract that is a perverse variation of the one between
Prospero and Ariel in The Tempest, Cilla cannot have
his/her female sexual organs back until he/she has fulfilled
his/her service to the evil Editor (a wonderfully over-the-top
celebrity voices include a jovial Nicholas Courtney (Doctor
Who's Brigadier) as the Voltarabian King Turnidus. Courtney
is no stranger to the kind of bawdy humour - and musical numbers
- that are featured here, being a veteran of The Rocky
Horror Show. Meanwhile, former tomorrow person Sammie
Winmill spoofs both Nicola Bryant's Peri and Sandra Dickinson's
Trillian by means of Cindy's deliberately irritating phoney
serial will not be to every listener's taste. Personally,
I could have lived without the Abba-esque "Crew Song" on track
14. However, this production is certainly unique among the
current offerings of the audio drama market.