‘ONE OF OUR COPS IS MISSING’
Please feel free to comment on my review.
I’m getting the feeling I might like ‘Star Cops’ after listening to the Big Finish audios!
After watching the short-lived TV series of ‘Star Cops’ on DVD, I was keen to get into listening to the Big Finish audios of the series. I wanted to listen to the audio episode featuring Sarah Sutton (Nyssa in ‘Doctor Who’) as a guest star. I had a way to go, but I was keen to listen to the audios to get there.
This is what I would consider to be the second season of ‘Star Cops’ had it been made for TV and had the BBC not cancelled the series when they did in 1987. This is a brand-new revival of the ‘Star Cops’ series through the audio realm and it was so exciting to discover from watching the actual TV series.
The first ‘Star Cops’ audio season, what we’d call Series 2, has the banner title of ‘Mother Earth’ to it. It comprises of eight episodes in total and is divided into two CD box sets. The first box set contains the first four episodes whilst the second box set contains the last four. Could it not be all in one box set?
I suppose because I’d seen the TV series; got to know some of the characters and identify the atmosphere of where the show was going, I found it easier to get into the Big Finish audios. I know it’s said that you don’t have to watch the TV series before you hear the Big Finish audios themselves.
But personally I like to identify with who’s who and what the situation is when it comes to listening to an audio version of a TV series I’d never seen before. And of course, since ‘Star Cops’ was short-lived, it was worthwhile to watch the 9 TV episodes before hearing and enjoying the Big Finish tales.
The series features the return of David Calder as Nathan Spring with Trevor Cooper as Colin Devis and Linda Newton as Pal Kenzy. Sadly, Erick Ray Evans who played David Theroux died in 1999 as well as Jonathan Adams who played Alexander Krivenko in the ‘Star Cops’ TV series and died in 2005.
Not sure what’s become of Sayo Inaba who played Anna Shoun in the series. As far as I’m concerned she hasn’t been reported dead. She hasn’t done much acting recently mind according to her IMDb page. Whether Big Finish weren’t able to contact Sayo Inaba for the ‘Star Cops’ revival, I’m not sure.
I’m also not sure what’s become of David, Alexander and Anna by this point in the ‘Star Cops’ series through the audios. There’s no mention of them in the first episode as a certain amount of time has passed in between the TV series and the audios. I assume they’ve gone to better careers elsewhere.
There are two new main characters in the ‘Star Cops’ series in audio. They are Rakhee Thakrar as Priya Basu and Philip Olivier as Paul Bailey. Both have played ‘Doctor Who’ companions since Rakhee Thakrar has played Bliss with Paul McGann whilst Philip Olivier has played Hex with Sylvester McCoy.
The first four episodes of ‘Mother Earth’ in its first CD box set are as follows. There’s ‘One of Our Cops Is Missing’ by Andrew Smith, who is also the script editor on the ‘Star Cops’ audios; ‘Tranquility and Other Illusions’ by Ian Potter; ‘Lockdown’ by Christopher Hatherall and ‘The Thousand Ton Bomb’ by Guy Adams. All of the four episodes in the first CD box set are directed by Helen Goldwyn.
So let’s take a look at the first four episodes of ‘Mother Earth’ and find out whether I like this bold new direction of the ‘Star Cops’ series. Who know? Maybe I’ll want some more audio episodes after listening to ‘Mother Earth’ in its entirety. Maybe the audios will be more exciting than the TV series.
We begin of course with ‘One of Our Cops Is Missing’ by Andrew Smith. Andrew Smith of course wrote the ‘Doctor Who’ TV story, ‘Full Circle’. He’s written Big Finish audios of ‘Doctor Who’ since. 😀
Andrew Smith was also a former policeman before he returned to pen ‘Doctor Who’ stories and ‘Star Cops’ episodes for Big Finish. So his police experience should assist here with this ‘Star Cops’ revival.
The episode of course opens with a brand-new theme tune composed by Howard Carter. Now this should be interesting. How have Big Finish done their theme music for their ‘Star Cops’ audio series?
Yeah…um… No disrespect, Big Finish. But I prefer the original theme song by Justin Hayward for the TV series. I mean, that song was very catchy compared to the new theme tune you’ve come up with.
Look, I get it. You need to establish a new identity with ‘Star Cops’. But if you want to have the familiar tone of ‘Star Cops’, you should have the old theme song as well as some of the original cast.
Why didn’t Big Finish use Justin Hayward’s ‘It Won’t Be Easy’ theme song for the audio version of ‘Star Cops’? Didn’t they like it? Was it hated at the time when ‘Star Cops’ first transmitted on TV?
If it was a rights issue or something that prevented Big Finish to use the Justin Hayward theme song, then fine. It’d make sense. But I still think the new audio revival would work great with the old song.
I found the Justin Hayward song for ‘Star Cops’ rather uplifting and it would suit our heroes opposing the Mother Earth group here. The new theme tune from Big Finish does not sound exciting enough.
For your enjoyment, here is a YouTube video by Stephen Ward featuring the Big Finish titles for ‘Star Cops’ while also having the original theme song in the background. It feels a lot better in my opinion.
Anyway, the episode has Nathan Spring reunite with an old friend of his – Andrew Secombe as Brian Lincoln. Brain Lincoln was in the first episode of the ‘Star Cops’ series called ‘An Instinct For Murder’.
I didn’t mention Brain Lincoln in my review for ‘An Instinct For Murder’ because…well, he wasn’t important at the time. He was there when Nathan Spring trained to be commander of the Star Cops.
Apparently, Andy Secombe has said that he would’ve reprised Brian Lincoln for the aborted TV episode ‘Death on the Moon’. It’s taken a while, but he’s managed to reprise his character here. 😀
Brian Lincoln reunites with Nathan on Earth. This is when Nathan and Colin Devis are recruiting more people for the Star Cops on Moonbase. Brian wants Nathan’s help to search for a missing police cop.
That police cop happens to be of course Philip Olivier’s Paul Bailey who went undercover during a drugs smuggling operation on Earth. Nathan agrees to help when he and Brian head off for Sweden.
Meanwhile, Colin Devis meets up with Priya Basu who is a Star Cop inspector investigating a near-fatal spacewalk accident on the space station Rakesh Sharma. Priya Basu is a very intelligent woman.
It’s interesting how Colin and Priya meet for the first time in this episode. I’m not sure if they’re rubbing each other off the wrong way, but I get the impression these two are going to interact more.
Linda Newton makes a brief appearance as Pal Kenzy in this and is apparently engaged to somebody called Phil. Wait! Pal’s engaged! When did this happen? Isn’t she coming back to the Star Cops here?
I do like how Philip Oliver’s Paul Bailey gets introduced in the episode. At first, you’d think he’s working with the bad guy, Ewan Bailey as Martin Collyer. But it soon turns out to be a convincing cover.
The story has Paul Bailey recruited into the Star Cops by the end. Soon Nathan; Colin; Paul and Priya are summoned by Nimmy March as co-ordinator Shayla Moss who warns them about Mother Earth.
‘One of Our Cops Is Missing’ is a good beginning to the ‘Star Cops’ audio series. I like how it reintroduces old characters as well as introduce new ones. I wonder what’ll come next in the series.
The CD extras are as follows. At the end of the ‘One Of Our Cops Is Missing’ disc, there are behind-the-scenes interviews with the cast and crew including David Calder; Philip Olivier; Andrew Secombe; Ewan Bailey; producer David Richardson; director Helen Goldwyn; writer/script editor Andrew Smith; etc.
‘One of Our Cops Is Missing’ rating – 8/10
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