The return of Star Cops!

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Controller 2957
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The return of Star Cops!

Post by Controller 2957 »

Very pleased to report that Big Finish are picking up the Star Cops baton!
You see, no-one... NO-ONE escapes the new world!!

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Re: The return of Star Cops!

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If the stories are anywhere near as good as the original ones and with this cast it will be great. Thanks.
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Re: The return of Star Cops!

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I always wished there would be more Star Cops stories. This Is now a birthday request.
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Re: The return of Star Cops!

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Recently a stereo mix for the original series was also found, it was kept by the son of a sound engineer.
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Re: The return of Star Cops!

Post by Nick Cooper 625 »

Spiny Norman wrote:Recently a stereo mix for the original series was also found, it was kept by the son of a sound engineer.
Shame that wasn't available for the DVD. I know the series was transmitted in NICAM (where possible), but at the time there was hardly any domestic receiving equipment (TVS or VCRs) available, if any.
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Re: The return of Star Cops!

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Nick Cooper 625 wrote:
Spiny Norman wrote:Recently a stereo mix for the original series was also found, it was kept by the son of a sound engineer.
Shame that wasn't available for the DVD. I know the series was transmitted in NICAM (where possible), but at the time there was hardly any domestic receiving equipment (TVS or VCRs) available, if any.
Not sure it was even transmitted. From what I understand, he made a stereo mix but it wasn't used. At home he tried to apply it, but couldn't get it synchronized. Today, that problem could easily be solved.
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Re: The return of Star Cops!

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I was hoping this was coming in May but Amazon are quoting 30th June 2018 now; anybody know if that is accurate? Thanks.
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Re: The return of Star Cops!

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A cool CD box arrived from Big Finish. They announced on 3rd June that in general CD's will now only be available for 12 months after release digital revolution
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Re: The return of Star Cops!

Post by AndrewP »

My wife and I finished this set over the weekend. Massively enjoyable - with some really nice elements in the final episode. A terrific continuation of the original series, building successfully on the style and tone set down all those years ago. Looking forward to more! :)

All the best

Andrew

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Re: The return of Star Cops!

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Yes, I've listened once to them and these audio adventures are a very enjoyable continuation of Star Cops with lots of nods to the TV Series. The new characters joining the force feels just the same as before when Anna Shoun arrived midway. As before different writers give their slant to the incidents while continuing the underlying Mother Earth situation. Just a brief hello from Pal Kenzy so far but I'm really looking forward to her involvement in the second part. I've arranged it so I hear the original opening theme tune before each one!
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Re: The return of Star Cops!

Post by Nick Cooper 625 »

I'd probably buy these, if the prices weren't so horrific.
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Re: The return of Star Cops!

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Part 2 arrived on 30th November and the accompanying Vortex pamphlet has a great four pages on it.

... and a week later I've listened to them (just the final track documentaries still to hear). It's very much in the original style of the TV series and a joy to hear these voices again.
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Re: The return of Star Cops!

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I'm really glad that Star Cops came back as full-cast audio dramas (with sound effects and music) with the regular cast including three of the original cast!

Regular Cast:
Nathan Spring - David Calder
Colin Devis - Trevor Cooper
Pal Kenzy - Linda Newton
Paul Bailey - Philip Olivier
Pria Basu - Rakhee Thakrar

Add to this all of Big Finish's experience and it's hardly suprising that bringing the Star Cops back (to the near future) is a great success. As in the 1980's TV Series the individual writers give each episode a slightly different feel but the tone is consistently that of the original. Everyone involved, including script editor Andrew Smith and director Helen Goldwyn, deserves a mention for achieving this. So alongside the persistent threat of the 'Mother Earth' activist group (which acts in audio as a sort of visual anchor) all sorts of cases and characters come along and Mother Earth 2 has a truly great finale. I thought I would now write, one episode at a time, about as many nods to the TV series that I find while enjoying another listen - starting with :

Episode One: One Of Our Cops Is Missing - by Andrew Smith
What a surprise Nathan's old friend Brian Lincoln (Andrew Secombe), one of his earthbound cops from the first TV episode returns! I'm thinking maybe there might be other old 'visiting' characters. This is an opportunity for him to remind Nathan of his astronaut training and scepticism of computer verdicts of crimes. Setting a very familiar scene, "This is where you come in" says Brian when he explains that his undercover detective, new regular character Paul, was last seen on the moon.

The same old Colin still thinks Nathan will be annoyed that Pria banned all EVA on a spacestation. "But it's her case" says Nathan. Colin then explains to new Star Cop Pria that the computer predicts a faulty valve as the most likely cause of a near fatal accident that she is investigating. She disagrees, refusing to rule out deliberate intervention. This is reminiscent of Nathan's scepticism of Brian's assessment, based on computer prediction, of the cause of the man drowning in the first TV episode. The Colin we know from TV then tells Pria he's applied for promotion asking "What do you think about that Sweetheart?". Pria's reply? "Don't call me sweetheart again"!

Pal Kenzy first appears (a great moment) speaking to Nathan about a spaceport at Malmo, Sweden, mentioning that she's "coming your way in a few months" - a nod to her, eagerly awaited by me, appearance proper in Mother Earth 2 (when Linda Newton came to join the cast in the UK).

Pria can be heard talking to a computer (although they must still output visually) which shows how Nathan's 'Box' was ahead of it's time - audio input presumably becoming the norm in this near future.

In a recognisable situation Colin gets carried away saying "Good" before Nathan, concise as always, asks him to "stop talking". Who's been promoted? The scene can very easily be imagined as it would have been on TV!
"Now listen you guys, I don't wish to alarm you but there's some pretty weird things going on out here..."

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Re: The return of Star Cops!

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Episode Two: Tranquility And Other illusions - by Ian Potter

A quiet start with only a reminder that Nathan's father invented box and gave it his voice. Later in the story, as Box helps unravel all the events going on on the moon, I find myself asking if he deserves to be considered as much of a character as the computers in Blakes 7.

Things remain pretty tranquil working on the moon while the new investigation team get to know one another with, of the old show, only a "screen off" and Nathan still having to circumvent amusingly, and succesfully so far, imposed authority.

I shouldn't have been surprised when Colin is lured into being tempoarily off-duty but this time it's not, as on TV, as harmless as one of his exes. Something from Devis's past police work is undeservedly catching up with him but thankfully Pria has been noticing both what he's like and the things that have just been going on, telling him "No-one could like you that much". He doesn't quite agree but is certainly starting to appreciate what others in authority saw in Pria.

Finally a familiar situation; amidst their relief at preventing the final crime of revenge, Nathan reminds the Star Cops of the bigger picture. When a new outfit they justified their existance one crime after another. Now they have the additional job of facing an organisation that isn't going to be so easy to eradicate.
"Now listen you guys, I don't wish to alarm you but there's some pretty weird things going on out here..."

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Re: The return of Star Cops!

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Episode Three: Lockdown - by Christopher Hatherall

Nathan's policing methods are challenged by secret new security being showcased at a conference in Paris by a Mr. Royale who finds him "abrupt and to the point" (much better than my earlier concise). Nathan replies "It served me well" and its good, now that we know Paul and Pria a little, that he can become pretty central in this one.

As what turns out to be two different plots unfold, the accompanying Pria and the coordinator Shayla are soon both prevented from helping as much as they would like. The background to several people they come across needs urgently to be researched. It's not that their mobile technology wouldn't be up to the job, they just don't have the time. So there now starts the great teamwork we remember from TV between two different locations (Colin and Paul not getting to go to Paris) and is something I really like here.

The other thing about Lockdown is that, in very realistically creating the conference venue using lots of great sound techniques, I can quite easily imagine this story as a TV episode.

It's quite amusing how Colin is having a bit of a rest when the others are sorting out pretty basic crimes.Towards the end, before re-assessing where they are with regard to the Mother Earth activists, Nathan learns about one aspect of the 'new technolgy' and he can justifiably say "is that all it is?" 'Abrupt and to the point' will still serve him well.
"Now listen you guys, I don't wish to alarm you but there's some pretty weird things going on out here..."

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Re: The return of Star Cops!

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Episode Four: The Thousand Ton Bomb - by Guy Adams

Colin's snooping in a loading bay on the moon is interrupted by an unlucky would-be bomber. Over and again Colin helps instinctively or, in this case, accidentally. Not one to miss an opportunity to take credit, his account of events suits the sceptical boss fine for filing in a report. The Star Cops had a bad press so its a time to hush this up and restore their image.

Some undercover work, such as by Colin visiting Japan in 'In Warm Blood', was always to be expected. What Nathan gives Paul here seriously risks his life; joining Mother Earth terrorists trying to destroy the Vasco Di Gama spacestation at its VIP opening ceremony. More characteristic of Nathan would be playing dangerous games himself; remember his investigating the crates in 'This Case To Be Opened In a Million Years'? Paul gets more than enough beating up too! Even though I know there are grittier stories to come this one feels, to my mind, least like the TV show.

Nathan has meanwhile been planning two things. He's arranged for a 'friend' to be on the Vasco Di Gama and been doing surveillance on a new arrival that's on the point of being able to take over his authority for its security.

Looking on the brighter side of this one, I did like being reminded of him saying "That bloody woman has reinstated herself" at the end of 'Intelligent Listening For Beginners' when his friend, Pal Kenzy, asks if there's a job!
"Now listen you guys, I don't wish to alarm you but there's some pretty weird things going on out here..."

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Re: The return of Star Cops!

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Episode Five: Dead And Buried - by Guy Adams

Nathan has to remind Colin that homicide was his thing (Conversations With the Dead) after he complains he isn't getting to investigate the burglary of a wealthy man. He then has Kenzy teasing him about who the lady is on the screen (Pria) before being assigned alongside her boss. Yes, Pal kenzy has returned and the old crew know what they can get away with!

On their way they discuss whether the killing of the burglar by the man could ever be justified. Further suspicions about the him arise when Kenzy is once again (This Case To Be Opened In A Million Years) offered good money to work for him.

Meanwhile Colin and Paul, who is grateful for being saved, are to respond to a call by the caretaker about strange irregularities at a cemetary on the moon. Paul brings Colin up to speed about why it's almost impossible that so many of those interred don't have any internet presence. He may be a bit of an IT dinosaur but its Colin that can easily get the caretaker's coffee machine to work.

As the mystery deepens around dead people that may never have existed, they discuss what proper process should be taken if they had the time but opt for initiative! That the background sound can be occassionally ambiguous only increases the suspense. The caretaker has probably had to become a bit of a happy chap (like in The Avengers) but he isn't able to keep that outward appearance while Colin proves the absolute hero of the situation yet again.

Nathan later dreads hearing about all the initiative going on but without any time to do anything to help. Presumably at a distance the experienced Brian Lincoln is involved again. With, so far, little to suggest that there might be a link to the investigation of the burgled man the story beautifully escalates to its exciting finale; a really good one.
"Now listen you guys, I don't wish to alarm you but there's some pretty weird things going on out here..."

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Re: The return of Star Cops!

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Episode Six: The Killing Jar - by John Dorney

Paul has had a tough time since bringing his undercover skills to the team, facing torture, asphyxiation and explosive devices to name but a few. This time, going to a space station to investigate irregularities from an informer, he first has to make a search. Only intended sarcastically, his "Police officer - they let anyone join" does feel like he's putting himself down in front of a suspect but maybe that's just his way of getting results. Can we hope he gets the chance to do this normal work for a while?

Colin, who as we know has done really well, is staying at the base on the moon while his collegues take a shuttle flight which is long enough for them to get some well-earned sleep. He's still got a bit of a grudge about not getting promoted but somehow hides it and even manages to become the local boss for a while. Fortunately for them all he doesn't get round, in the end, to doing everything a boss might have done.

Pria has an important role after her early promotion and is confident. Having had several difficult assignments she's proved herself, as we might have expected, very capable. After being off duty she arrives at the base in the morning and is asked first to check the mail. A memory stick turns up from the informer which leads to plenty of speculation by everyone as to why its contents are encrypted. She then wants to deal with the persistant local press.

Kenzy has settled right back in the job and is given Box to help with the investigation on a space station. Saying "this place has been done over" prompts the always-listening Box to ask which of two meanings, decorated or ransacked, applies to the room. She's finding him a bit infuriating in helping trace the whereabouts of the informer. As useful as it has proved previously bumping into people she knows is almost to be expected. They all have their strengths!

Nathan, after initial instruction, likes to let officers get on with things. It's a bit more than delegating but he does like them to have listened. But there are times he just feels he needs to be hands-on and so he's also on the space station. The latest appointed deputy has got as little preferential treatment as those in the past but he's still rather annoyed to learn that she hasn't been running things after all back at base. He also hasn't found the investigating and preventing that he expected, as they are all forced to deal with as serious a situation as there could be in Space. He's still able to simultaneously figure out how the press covered it all and, as the only one of them who could, puts it to their advantage against Mother Earth.
"Now listen you guys, I don't wish to alarm you but there's some pretty weird things going on out here..."

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Re: The return of Star Cops!

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Episode Seven: Moonshine - by Roland Moore

As in 'Other People's Secrets' a mechanic is struggling to work in the confines imposed out in Space. When Kenzy hears his name and that he has been sent back to Australia she realises she knows him and persuades Nathan that he's no criminal. An Earth police report that he killed himself send her and Colin to investigate. Then Nathan and Pria learn of a man on moonbase with similar problems but at the same time have to deal with a scrutinizing superior, Mr. Miller. Leaving a cringing first impression its interesting to see how his truer personality emerges. As for Paul, he's out of action in a hospital bed.

On Earth Colin has persuaded Kenzy that they say they're a couple. They may be on assignment but there's no doubt they're also enjoying the nature park where things have led them. The atmosphere created through sound relaxes us to envisage their movements in contrast to the machine sounds of the hi-tech space environment. And this maybe contributes to how powerful the drama later becomes. A man appears and questions them. He turns out to be Phil, another aquaintance of Kenzy's (colourful) past or Ex as Colin more bluntly puts it. He's another complex and intriguing character alongside Mr. Miller and also becomes a potential criminal suspect that goes up and down in our minds.

Mr. Miller moves from sexist to obnoxious but, as he talks to Pria on her own, surprisingly seems to be harmless and actually probably just who he says he is. Nathan also seems to agree with Pria about this.

Technical tricks start to be played on Colin and Kenzy as they look at the database of the dead mechanic. Big laugh when Kenzy says "brilliant" about Colin having told the authorities she's the mans sister. I imagine they probably looked nothing like one another but Colin hadn't been bothered to think up anything better.

As I'm listening on I realise more and more that it all works so well because of lots of great little scenes; but still wasn't prepared for how emotional the climax with Kenzy and Phil is. Hope you hear it.

Nathan's alertness saves Mr. Miller from death. What now, surely he can't be serious about a formal investigation?
"Now listen you guys, I don't wish to alarm you but there's some pretty weird things going on out here..."

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Re: The return of Star Cops!

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Episode Eight: Hostage - by Andrew Smith

Sarah Sutton (who of course played Nyssa alongside the fifth Doctor) takes a role in this story and its nice to know she's still involved in Sci-Fi dramas.

In the ISPF (International Space Police Force) a few things help to get you back to work or then through the day. We know about some of Kenzy's ploys for getting back into work but what about Paul's? A white lie about the doctor discharging him does the trick this time; maybe it was a bit hasty. Pria lightens up the situation when she and Kenzy have to start running in this one. Pria says she hasn't had her work out today yet which lets Kenzy tell her that she doesn't believe in them. Colin too shows his sense of humour when keeping his distance while trailing suspects in a moon buggy, saying that if he was any further back they'd be coming round the moon behind him. It reminds me of a joke he made in one of the earlier stories that a bullet fired on the moon could go right round it and still find its target. In this job they need some banter to survive.

Great stuff.
"Now listen you guys, I don't wish to alarm you but there's some pretty weird things going on out here..."

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Re: The return of Star Cops!

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There are more Star Cops adventures from Big Finish! Mars 1 + Mars 2
"Now listen you guys, I don't wish to alarm you but there's some pretty weird things going on out here..."

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