Sunday, December 9, 2012

Big Finish - The Killing Zone

The fourth 2000AD release from Big Finish, back in 2002, was Judge Dredd: The Killing Zone. Written by Dave Stone and directed by Nicholas Briggs.

Dredd investigates a secret underground killing game that has become an internet and gambling sensation in Mega-City One. To find those responsible he will have to team up with an undercover member of the  "Wally Squad" and a rogue Psi-Judge. And it won't come as too much of a surprise to learn that Dredd will eventually end up in the Killing Zone himself, although strangely that is a sequence that doesn't work very well in a radio play.

This one didn't engage me as much as the opener Wanted: Dredd or Alive. Amy Steel is absent and Judges Traven and Janus seem less interesting by comparison  Fortunately Toby Longworth is as good as ever and I enjoyed Regina Reagan as the newscaster Enigma Smith, who is a regular in these stories and again helps to fill in the background for listeners unused to the comics. Dredd descending into the Killing Zone would work well in comic format, and there is a similar storyline going on in the Megazine at the moment, but in an audio drama it is just a series of bangs and crashes with little idea what is actually going on.

It all ends fairly abruptly with a bit of a cliffhanger that won't pay off until the twelfth release War Planet, and it seemed rather short. Just 2.5 out of 5 belt pouches and onwards to Death Trap.

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