‘Exegesis’ (SOL) (Audio)


Please feel free to comment on my review.

Catching Up With Turnidus

Does this ‘Soldiers of Love’ episode top up on the previous one?

Well, yes and no. It depends on how you look at it. ‘Exegesis’ is the seventh episode of the ‘Soldiers of Love’ series. It follows up with answering all unanswered questions that were in ‘Haunted Lives’. I enjoyed how this episode resolves things and takes a back-seat with filling in the blanks of the story.

‘Exegesis’ tells the story from King Turnidus’ point of view on what happened since he was on his own in the race on Xoolian Major in ‘Planet of Death’. It also explains how our other heroes, Cilla, Gamak, Cindy, Yztabub and Frag got trapped aboard The Nick of Time spaceship in ‘Haunted Lives’.

Yes, this is essentially Nicholas Courtney’s show as Turnidus recounts all that happened in the gap between ‘Planet of Death’ and ‘Exegesis’. The CD cover states Nicholas Courtney and Gareth Thomas are the main stars of the show. Anna Karen, Sarah Sutton and Jacqueline Pearce are in this one too.

I do like how this episode explains what happened to Turnidus and how he saved the lives of his friends with help from Hywel Hammond. Listening to these ‘SOL’ episodes again have enabled me to gain more clarity as to what’s going in the series so far and joining all the dots with paying attention.

However, I wish that there was more of Sarah Sutton as Colonel Franklyn to appear alongside Nicholas Courtney as King Turnidus. There is a scene between these two. But from the look of the behind-the-scenes photo of Nicholas Courtney and Sarah Sutton, you’d think they did more scenes.

I’ve had the CD cover of ‘Soldiers of Love: Exegesis’ signed by Sarah Sutton at the ‘York Unleashed’ event at the York Racecourse in York, August 2017. I showed the CD covers of ‘Exegesis’, ‘Forced Entry’ and ‘Breaking Loose’ to Sarah as she signed them for me whilst at the ‘York Unleashed’ event.

And in case you’re wondering why Sarah Sutton’s image isn’t on the front cover of ‘Exegesis’, trust me, she is in this audio episode of ‘Soldiers of Love’. Sarah’s name is inside the CD cover where the cast list is. There’s also this beautiful profile photo of Sarah on the back CD case cover for ‘Exegesis’.

Sarah Sutton as Colonel Franklyn in ‘Exegesis’.

I’ve cropped this photo image of Sarah from the back CD case cover for ‘Exegesis’ to add it to my collection. The photo compliments Sarah beautifully and makes me wish she had a larger role to play in the ‘Soldiers of Love’ series than she seems to. I would like to devise my own TV series for Sarah.

In this episode called ‘Exegesis’, we have a follow-up to the cliff-hanger scene in the previous episode where Jacqueline Pearce as Madame Deephole with Major Grondlepuss and Violet Goodgrip overpower the Pallbearers attacking them. They soon escape as they go off to rescue Crispin Caelys.

And that’s the last we hear of Jacqueline Pearce in this episode. I’m not kidding here. Jacqueline Pearce has only one scene in this episode and it’s at the very start. I’m sure I speak for Jacqueline Pearce fans that they’d be disappointed if they found she’d only one scene featured in this episode.

But then again, Madame D is likely to return in the next instalment. I know I’m speaking ahead of myself at this point. But so far, I don’t feel Jacqueline Pearce’s character has made a massive impact on me in the series. Perhaps she’ll make a better impression on me in later instalments to come up.

Meanwhile, on board The Nick of Time spaceship, Cilla, Gamak, Cindy, Yztabub and Frag demand an explanation from King Turnidus on what’s been going on. Thankfully he’s not the villain as it seemed to be the impression given in the previous episode. But of course I knew Turnidus wasn’t the villain.

Anyway, Turnidus has everyone sit down with food and drink aboard The Nick of Time spaceship to tell them what’s he been happening. I like how the episode cuts from Turnidus telling the story with other characters asking questions to the events of what happened on Xoolian Major with Turnidus.

But here’s something that I’m a little disappointed with. Anna Karen appears in this episode as Cilla Hammond. Now, she’s there when Turnidus is telling the story and she has some dialogue early on in the episode. But for the rest of the episode, Cilla says nothing as everyone else asks the questions.

I’m not kidding here. Anna Karen’s character says nothing for most of the time Turnidus is telling the story. I would have expected Cilla to say something to remind us that she’s still there in the room. I mean it seems hinted that Cilla might be quietly angry or furious with his relatives Arran and Hywel.

But honestly, Cilla could have said something at that point. It makes it seem like that Anna Karen wasn’t available to record lines meant for her during the Turnidus telling the story to everyone scenes. Perhaps she wasn’t. But I’d like to have known that Anna Karen as Cilla was still in the room.

Like I’ve said, this is Nicholas Courtney’s show as Turnidus. I really like how this episode explores more of Turnidus’ character and it makes up for the lack of character development I seemed to have felt with him in previous episodes. Nick Courtney balances the humour and drama of Turnidus well.

In this episode, Turnidus gets to meet up with spider-like creatures including Septimus and Zalia who help him on Xoolian Major. He also reunites wit Panakol, the boy who was in the race in ‘Planet of Death’. And Turnidus also gets to have… (Pause) …sex with the half-lesbian, half-octopus Dr. Proctor.

Thankfully I don’t need to go into too much detail about that. But it was pretty disturbing to listen to, especially as Turnidus gets forced into it by Proctor. It also feels strangely weird that Turnidus would have sex with Proctor, considering he’s male. But then, Turnidus is an alien so I can let it pass.

But the first most important person Turnidus comes across in this episode is Gareth Thomas as Hywel Hammond. I actually don’t mind that Gareth Thomas isn’t playing Arran in this one. I would like to know what Arran is up to at this point in the series since we haven’t heard him. But I can wait.

Gareth Thomas again delivers an impressive and often amusing Welsh accent as Hywel. I enjoyed how Hywel helps Turnidus with saving his friends. This involves a lot of transmatting from ship to planet surface on Xoolian Major as well as journeying to planet Medicworld to get some medical help.

At this point in the series, I’d like there to be a scene where Hywel and Arran actually meet, as it’d be great if Gareth Thomas would play both characters in the same scene with each other. It’d also be intriguing if Anna Karen as Cilla interacted with them too. Will it happen? We’ll have to wait and see.

The second most important person that Turnidus meets in this episode is of course Sarah Sutton as Colonel Franklyn. And thankfully, this is the real Colonel Franklyn. Not the android one from ‘Planet of Death’ and ‘Haunted Lives’. She happens to be a prisoner on Xoolian Major since ‘Metamorphs’.

The scene between King Turnidus and Colonel Franklyn is my favourite out of the episode. Not surprisingly because this is the only time Nick Courtney and Sarah Sutton have a scene together. As I said, I wish there were more scenes with these two as Nick and Sarah were good friends in real life.

I did like the in-joke when Turnidus asks Franklyn if she’s a part of NISA and she corrects him saying she’s of NASA. That’s clearly a reference to Sarah Sutton’s character of Nyssa in ‘Doctor Who’. I had to play that scene twice from the CD to hear the amazing dialogue from Nick and Sarah’s characters.

Sadly Colonel Franklyn doesn’t get to go with Turnidus when he’s released out of his prison cell by Dr. Proctor and she has to stay behind. Turnidus asks Proctor to let him take Franklyn with him. Proctor refuses. Turnidus promises to return for Franklyn. Will we ever hear Colonel Franklyn again? 😀

It gets revealed that Mydas Mydason was in fact killed during the gun-shoot at the end of ‘Planet of Death’, as I suspected. Again this is such a shame as I feel Michael Keating never got a good send-off. But then, he was not the real Mydas as the real one happens to be on Earth and with Mrs. Blubber.

Cindy Rellar returns in this episode, voiced by Mark J. Thompson. I still find her new voice grating on the ears, but I’ve been able to visualise Sammie Winmill still in the role. It was intriguing to discover what happened to Cindy when she was so badly ill and what Turnidus and Hywell did to rescue her.

Mark Preston returns as Yztabub. I liked it when Yztabub asks Turnidus to tell them all that ‘it isn’t true’ he’s the villain and Turnidus simply replies, “It isn’t true”. Everyone seems to accept that willingly. It was also nice that Yztabub seemed keen wanting to know what happened with Turnidus.

Mark J. Thompson returns as Galileo Gamak. I have to assume by this point that Gamak is a new regular member of the ‘Soldiers of Love’ team if I can call it that. Like everyone, Gamak wants to know what Turnidus did and what became of his friends. He’s pleased to hear Hywel got to survive.

Mark Preston also plays Frag Timpkin in the episode. It was equally interesting to hear how Frag managed to end up with everyone aboard The Nick of Time and how she got stuffed inside a giant dead cat’s earwax (Yuck!). Apparently it was for her own survival since she was also badly wounded.

The guest cast also includes Mark J. Thompson as Major Grondlepuss and Panakol Floorunner. There’s also Alison Taffs as Violet Goodgrip; Mrs. Blubber and spider-like Zalia. There’s Shaun Liddell as spider-like Septimus, Niall Stuchfield as Dr. Proctor and Steven Degattis as Didelious Davenport.

Alison Taffs also returns as Maureen, who became a monster at the end of ‘Planet of Death’. In this episode, Maureen is bandaged up before she unveils herself before Turnidus and Hywel on Medicworld. Maureen has clearly gone mad and is murderous. What will happen with her next time?

Again like last time, there aren’t any songs featured in this ‘Soldiers of Love’ episode. I like to think that the rest of the series will have episodes with no songs to slow down the story. But I may speak too soon, since apparently there’s this Galactovision Song Contest coming up on Medicworld later on.

The episode ends on a point where King Turnidus is still telling the story to everyone. I wonder why Turnidus’ story couldn’t have finished before the episode ended. But anyway, Panakol is now just a brain, an ear and a voice box as Turnidus and Hywel desperately try to save the lives of their friends.

‘Exegesis’ is not a bad instalment in the ‘Soldiers of Love’ series. I like how it deals with Turnidus explaining things about what happened when he and Hywel rescued the lives of their friends. But I wish there were more scenes with Nick Courtney’s Turnidus and Sarah Sutton’s Franlyn in the series.

I wonder how the series will continue and how Turnidus’ story will end before they continue onwards with stopping Arran and his evil plans. Will Colonel Franklyn ever be rescued? Will King Turnidus keep his promise and rescue her? I look forward to the next instalment to find out the answers.

‘Exegesis’ (SOL) rating – 8/10

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