DOWN TO EARTH

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Bounty Hunters are a popular affair, probably spawned by the Fetts of Star Wars, but it is good to see the transfer of 2000ADs Strontium Dog to Audio.

The Galactic Crime Commission finds one job too dirty for them, Bounty Hunting, GCC lets the Strontium Dog’s (Mutants from a strontium fallout) do this. One such Strontium Dog is Johnny Alpha. Their are slim pickings in the world of bounty hunting, parking offences do not pay well so when a bounty is put on Johnny’s partner in crime (busting), Wulf Sternhammer, after Wulf is captured by a rogue bounty hunter Johnny has to rescue him. The trail leads to Earth.
Well, the first thing that is obvious is that this audio is the fact that there is a lot more swearing than the Dredd series to date. Indeed the whole thing seems to have a grittier feel than the Dredd, I don’t think that the play loses anything for this though. My mind drifted to whether there is (or should be) a classification board, or guidelines for audio production. In cinematic terms I believe this would not cross the PG mark.

Simon Pegg is brilliant as Johnny Alpha he really brings out the moody seriousness of Johnny; despite his comedy background he is a very good serious actor (a trait that is becoming more and more obvious in comedians, Mark Gattis springs to mind after his recent Big Finish adventures).
As an introduction this seems soother than that of Dredds, there doesn’t seem to be any obvious devices used in the introduction (news casts, rookie bounty hunter) indeed I am starting to prefer over Dredd. This is probably due to the fact it seems to have gelled better. Again the story touches on issues that are relevant to today? society (race/mutantism), but these are not dwelled upon.
The production is, again, just great. The music is more appealing than that of the Dredd plays and with the narrative strongly carries by the dialogue and no annoying Enigma Smith type postings, the play does run a lot smoother. Director John Ainsworth has pulled together a great cast and a involved story.
The 2000AD series is carrying along nicely, but I would like to see more of Johnny and next month is play is a Dredd. It would be wonderful if Big Finish could produce a Dredd story and a Strontium story each month, and indeed start a story arc in both. But, unfortunately this isn’t so. The pressure on BF would be too much if they were to attempt it and with Rogue Trooper starting in August I am wondering if BF should have done, say, a four episode season of each rather than dispersing the audios in no particular order.
Definitely worth a listen, but you won’t be able to hear another Johnny story for a while yet, shame.]]>

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