Sunday, October 14, 2012

Big Finish - Down to Earth

I recently indulged myself with a special offer of 2000AD audios from Big Finish. First up from June 2002 is Down to Earth, written by Jonathan Clements and directed by John Ainsworth.

Simon Pegg plays the mutant bounty hunter Johnny Alpha from the 2000AD Strontium Dog comic strip, and Toby Longworth is his partner Wulf Sternhammer. In this episode Johnny has to return to Earth to rescue Wulf who has been wrongly arrested and subjected to some weird experimentation. Other regular 2000AD characters like the Gronk and Middenface McNulty also appear and there is a fun cameo by Servalan herself, Jacqueline Pearce as the villain of the piece.

One of the great strengths of 2000AD over the years has been the humour that features in even the grimmest of stories, and Jonathan Clements does a good job of carrying that across to this audio drama. He is also well served in this by his cast. Simon Pegg is perhaps a bit too famous now and I tended to see him rather than Alpha when I heard his voice. Toby Longworth has the advantage of us not knowing what he looks like and his voice is perfect for Wulf, and as Dredd in the other 2000AD audios.

The only thing wrong with this story is that it is rather short. I have become accustomed to Big Finish stories being four episodes and I could have done with a bit more here. Otherwise it is just lovely to hear some of my favourite comic book characters brought to life. 4 out of 5 for the first of these 2000AD reviews. You can listen to this and four other stories on the BBC site (if you can tolerate Real player).

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