‘Hostage’ (Audio)


Please feel free to comment on my review.

And now we come to the main reason why I’ve been watching and listening to ‘Star Cops’ in the first place. Here is the eighth and final episode of the ‘Mother Earth’ series – ‘Hostage’ by Andrew Smith.

And it has Sarah Sutton (who regularly plays Nyssa in ‘Doctor Who’) guest star in it. As soon as Sarah told me in Folkestone, May 2018 that she’d done a ‘Star Cops’, I said “Big Finish, take my money!” 😀

I’d been looking forward to listening to this final episode of ‘Mother Earth’ with Sarah in it. And I’m not joking, this is the best one out of the lot of ‘Star Cops’ audio episodes! Gosh, I sound very biased.

But seriously, I do feel this ‘Star Cops’ episode is the best one of the lot. Not just because of Sarah Sutton’s guest star performance, but the fact that it ties all that has been going on in the ‘Mother Earth’ saga.

Andrew Smith is the script-editor of the ‘Star Cops’ audios of course. So he’s been able to coordinate among the various writers working on ‘Star Cops’ to tie everything neatly together in the final story.

I’m going to first talk about Sarah Sutton’s performance and the character she plays in this episode. First of all, Sarah is pretty brilliant in this ‘Star Cops’ episode. I enjoyed hearing every scene that she’s in.

The character she plays is Mary Ward, who is a worker at a moon outpost. She seems to have snapped under pressure. Mary takes a hostage and threatens people with a dart gun at the work place.

Mary Ward accuses people of trying to kill her. This is especially when the Star Cops come in. They include Priya Basu; Pal Kenzy and a relatively new Star Cop member – Emily Carewe as Sally Newell.

As the episode progresses, it turns out Mary Ward isn’t who she seems to be. Despite making threats and trying to be tough, Mary Ward happens to have this certain link with Mother Earth itself.

It was pretty surreal to hear Sarah Sutton in scenes where she interacted with Linda Newton and David Calder as their characters from the ‘Star Cops’ TV series. They are scenes I particularly enjoyed.

For a time, Mary Ward holds Pal Kenzy hostage and it’s interesting to hear the interaction between them. I liked it when Nathan Spring came in after discovering the truth about Mary Ward’s identity.

It turns out that Mary Ward is actually one of the activist members of Mother Earth. And it transpires that Mother Earth activists have been targeted as victims during recent and certain bombings.

It was interesting to learn that Mother Earth had been peaceful in their approach to stop humanity going out into space. But recently, Mother Earth seems to have been murdering people in their cause.

It turns out it’s actually a criminal organisation that has been manipulating Mother Earth’s activities of late during this audio series’ second half. Mother Earth activists have rebelled against this.

Mary Ward is one of those activists and she almost got killed when her work detail was caught in a bombing recently at her work place. Nathan and Pal piece the details together and they understand.

I enjoyed the twists and turns featured in this episode and how it turns out Mary Ward isn’t the bad person she was assumed to be. It all gets worse when the real nemesis is revealed in the episode.

It turns out that the real nemesis is…William Gaminara as Godfrey Miller who was in the previous episode ‘Moonshine’. Sally Newell is also involved in the conspiracy, but she isn’t good at her job.

It seems that the criminal organisation manipulating Mother Earth has been trying to put a bad reputation on the Star Cops. They would have almost succeeded had Godfrey Miller got his way here.

It was a shock when Nimmy March as Shayla Moss got killed in the episode, self-sacrificing herself to stop Godfrey Miller. For the ‘Mother Earth’ series, she’s been a constant supporter of the Star Cops.

Paul Bailey gets back into the action after he discharges himself from hospital before he and Colin Devis get involved in a ‘car chase’ on the moon. Priya Basu also has some lovely interaction with Pal Kenzy.

Philip Olivier and Trevor Cooper in ‘Hostage’.

‘Hostage’ is a great conclusion to the ‘Mother Earth’ series. I’m glad this was well-worth waiting for. I enjoyed Sarah Sutton’s performance as Mary Ward and how everything tied together in this finale.

The CD extras are as follows. At the end of ‘Hostage’, there are behind-the-scenes interviews with the cast and crew including David Calder; Rakhee Thakrar; Nimmy March; William Gaminara; Sarah Sutton; director Helen Goldwyn; writer/script editor Andrew Smith; etc. There is also another joint interview with David Calder; Trevor Cooper and Linda Newton.

Overall, I’ve enjoyed watching the ‘Star Cops’ TV series and the Big Finish audios in the build-up to the final episode of the ‘Mother Earth’ saga, featuring special guest star Sarah Sutton. It was well-worth it in the end. Part of me wants to rediscover ‘Star Cops’ in its entirety from beginning to end in TV and audio.

It has been an interesting journey to discover the short-lived sci-fi cop TV drama series that’s been revived by Big Finish lately. Despite some shortcomings and aspects of the series that don’t appeal to me, I have found this a fascinating endeavour and I’ve been able to enjoy the characters more and more.

I’ve learnt new aspects of what ‘Star Cops’ is trying to be as a series, especially through the Big Finish audios. I wouldn’t say it’s perfect, both in TV and audio, but clearly Andrew Smith has a set agenda for where the ‘Star Cops’ series can go next. I can only hope that it’ll get exciting in the years to come.

What lies next for the ‘Star Cops’ series with Big Finish in the future? At this point, I’m not certain. Hopefully Big Finish are preparing the next set of ‘Star Cops’ audios with a new banner title. What it’ll be, I don’t know. But I’m sure ‘Star Cops’ fans will be looking forward to it, as the audios have been impressive.

‘Hostage’ rating – 9/10

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Return to The Works of Sarah Sutton
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