‘Dead and Buried’ (Audio)

‘DEAD AND BURIED’

Please feel free to comment on my review.

And now we’re on the ‘Star Cops’ CD box set I’ve been looking forward to!

The reason for me purchasing the ‘Star Cops’ TV series as well as the Big Finish audios was so that I can hear what Sarah Sutton (my favourite ‘Doctor Who’ companion) was like in a ‘Star Cops’ audio episode. With the first ‘Mother Earth’ box set out of the way, I could get on to enjoy the second one.

Listening to the Big Finish audios of ‘Star Cops’ is a different experience compared to watching the TV series. Having got into the characters through the TV series and gaining the atmosphere for what the show was trying to achieve, I was able to enjoy the storytelling and the characters more in audio.

I wasn’t sure where the ‘Mother Earth’ story arc was going to go and how it was going to be resolved in the last four episodes via the second ‘Star Cops’ audio CD box set. But I was keen to find out. The episodes themselves feel standalone anyway despite the ‘Mother Earth’ theme permeating in them.

The ‘Mother Earth’ saga of ‘Star Cops’ continues with David Calder back as Nathan Spring; Trevor Cooper as Colin Devis; Philip Olivier as Paul Bailey and Rakhee Thakrar as Priya Basu. Linda Newton also returns as Pal Kenzy since she had been pretty absent in most of the first ‘Star Cops’ CD box set.

The last four episodes of the second ‘Mother Earth’ box set are as follows. There’s ‘Dead and Buried’ by Guy Adams; ‘The Killing Jar’ by John Dorney; ‘Moonshine’ by Roland Moore and ‘Hostage’ by script editor Andrew Smith. All these four episodes of this CD box set are directed by Helen Goldwyn.

We begin of course with ‘Dead and Buried’, the fifth episode of ‘Mother Earth’, by Guy Adams. Guy had previously written ‘The Thousand Ton Bomb’, the fourth story before this one in ‘Mother Earth’.

I did find this episode pretty compelling to listen to, despite some frequent use of swearing and blasphemy featured in this. Guy Adams seems to have taken the original ‘Star Cops’ TV series to heart.

I found that opening scene pretty compelling when Colin Devis and a caretaker named Mac Thirwell discover a bomb inside a coffin. The bomb is about to go off as Colin thought it would be an easy job.

This all cuts to a flashback since we find the beginning of the story happens when Nathan Spring assigns Colin Devis on a mission. Intriguing how this tale starts with a later scene before a flashback.

Apparently the moon’s graveyard for the wealthy called Lunar Interments has a problem. The aforementioned caretaker Mac Thirwell has noticed some extra burial records that don’t seem right.

Nathan sends Colin off to investigate this mystery whilst he and Pal Kenzy go off to investigate a burglary at some rich billionaire businessman’s house. Colin isn’t too happy with the case he’s given.

He wanted to join in on the burglary mystery rather than the moon graveyard mystery. But Nathan is insistent and Colin does as he is told. This all builds to the revelation that there are bombs in coffins.

Incidentally, Priya Basu doesn’t appear much in this episode. She’s off on a training program on Earth and she has a short conversation with Nathan on the intercom before Pal Kenzy enters to interrupt.

Paul Bailey also has a small amount of time featured in the episode, but he at least becomes helpful in Colin’s investigations. Paul looks up computer records for Colin, albeit he takes a little while on it.

It was interesting to hear the interaction between Nathan and Pal in this episode. The two seem to work well together, despite their differences. This is such a contrast to how it all was in the TV series.

The episode has Andrew Fettes guest star as Mac Thirwell. Andrew Fettes has done some ‘Doctor Who’ audio stories, especially with Peter Davison like ‘The Land of the Dead’ and ‘Heroes of Sontar’.

His character of Mac Thirwell is an agitated one and rather highly strung. He doesn’t seem able to get a drink out a drinks machine whereas Colin can. Thirwell is also anxious about these new coffins.

Vikash Bhai guest stars as Ben Alexander, the billionaire businessman who had a burglar come into his house before finishing up dead. This seems to be an accident, but Alexander is hiding something.

The episode also features Amy Downham as Lyra Fox, who becomes the widow of Carter Fox, the journalist who broken into Ben Alexander’s home as a burglar. So this burglar was a journalist then.

I found it interesting how it gets revealed that Ben Alexander seems to have some connection with Mother Earth and that he killed Carter Fox for it. Lyra Fox unfortunately gets killed in the audio story.

Pal Kenzy was meant to protect Lyra Fox whilst Nathan was out. But the attacker/assassin was too strong for Kenzy since she got knocked out. It’s intriguing that the assassin didn’t kill Pal as expected.

I liked that scene where Nathan and Pal were with Lyra as they handle questioning her over the death of her husband. Lyra comes across as being helpful to the Star Cops in solving an investigation.

Nimmy March makes a brief appearance as Shayla Moss towards the end of the episode. It was tense when the space plane containing Nathan and Pal was about to crash into the moon at the end.

Thankfully Colin manages to save the day by smashing the bomb controls with a crowbar. That somehow works. The episode ends with the mysterious and nameless assassin shooting Ben Alexander.

‘Dead and Buried’ is a pretty compelling episode in ‘Star Cops’. I liked how Nathan and Pal are handled as characters in the episode. It was intriguing how Colin solves the case of bombs in coffins.

After the episode’s finished, Helen Goldwyn (I believe) reads out the credits of the cast and crew. This was unusual to discover when hearing the episode. That’s rarely done in a Big Finish production.

The CD extras are as follows. At the end of the ‘Dead and Buried’ disc, there are behind-the-scenes interviews with the cast and crew including David Calder; Trevor Cooper; Linda Newton; Andrew Fettes; Vikash Bhai; Amy Downham; director Helen Goldwyn; etc.

‘Dead and Buried’ rating – 8/10


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