Sunday, February 17, 2013

Big Finish - Dreddline

Released in March 2003: Dreddline by James Swallow, directed by John Ainsworth.

Judge Dredd is sent to Brit-Cit to pick up an extradited criminal and accompany him back on the Trans-Atlantic zoom train. A gang of terrorists seize control of the train and only Dredd can stop them from destroying Mega-City One.

This is a story that borrows heavily and wears its sources on its sleeve. Die Hard, Speed and Under Siege all get referenced, or ripped off depending on your point of view. It also happens to be the scond Big Finish story in a row to mention Flux Capacitors, weird! There are also certain problems with its portrayal of Dredd. First of all the job of accompanying a minor criminal back to MC1 seems a bit beneath a senior Judge of his stature. Then there is the ease with which he gets surprised and over powered by the terrorists. And there are several moments when he doesn't behave as we have heard him do in other Big Finish stories. This is the first story written by James Swallow and maybe he just hadn't grasped the essentials of Dredd yet.

Toby Longworth even sounds a bit more cartoonish in this adventure which may be down to the writing, and the rest of the cast are just caricatures, and somewhat offensive ones at that. All in all a bit of a drawn out disappointment. 1 star only. However if I haven't put you off it is still free over on the BBC's cult comics site.

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