Episode 4 – Reign of the Robots by Simon Guerrier
Dan Dare returns to earth, but not the Earth that he left, and it is far from the home coming that he expects. In this the fourth episode of the Big Finish re-imagining of the Space Ace for Britain, we see the story pick up pretty much where it was left in Volume 1 concluding episode.
Dan and Peabody and Digby are faced with an Earth that is now under the complete control of the Mekon, he has turned it into a desolate wasteland, imagine Mad Max meets Roman Empire, and that is the picture it paints for me. The population as been enslaved and works tireless for the Mekon are rather dastardly plan for his desired future for Earth. Dare and co. are soon the prisoners of the Mekon and face servitude at his hands. Digby on the other hand decides on a rather different fate, and appears to side with the Mekon, becoming one his trusted generals that rule the human workforce and seems to have no issue or be at odds with the Mekon’s plans for the Earth. Of course this is the plan all along and as the story unravels we see that there is a way that Dare can save the Earth from the Mekon once again.
What a cracking episode, and once again proving what a really good job B7 media have done with the adaptation of the this classic British Sci-Fiction character. This is dark, for a start, and I would not recommend this for children, there are some scenes in this which even I thought were a little out of keeping with the fact that ultimately this was a 50’s and then late 80’s comic book hero aimed at the teenage boy. Perhaps I being a little over conservative in my listening. but the scene where there is an execution is quite clinical. However, that aside that is what is so good about this release, fresh, new and brings the character some credence if you where to stand him alongside his contemporaries, yet it still does not loose that overall quality, you can tell that B7 have crafted this and it’s real labour of of love. Fantastic first episode of Volume 2.
Episode 5 – Operation Saturn by Patrick Chapman
Operation Saturn is the middle story of our trilogy and after the wrecked havoc that it Earth, it is all about rebuilding and when the space ship Nautilus appears a wreck Dare, Digby and Peabody are sent to investigate, they find that they are dealing with a megalomaniac other than the Mekon, he however is a lot more of a psychopath who has some really awful methods of what he thinks are ways of creating a society, and making the existing species that inhabitants of the universe really suffer for his perverse art. This is a rather dark story it also bridges the gap of Dare and Mekon, you feel that the writers are stretching their legs with this to allow us to cool down, until we hear the last episode, and it set’s up the last episode wonderfully, where we know that the Mekon will be back for a joust again with Dare. This episode for me was very strong, and it leaves you thinking that surely this has legs to become a serious reappearing range. Fingers crossed.
Episode 6 – Prisoners of Space by Colin Brake
The final episode of this release sees the Mekon back in the fray. This time an over enthusiastic military student ends up by accident sending himself and Digby of into space. With Dan, Peabody and an older custodian of the space race tagging along to try and recover Digby and the over excitable student. It soon appears that the Mekon has taken over the spacestation. The Mekon takes Digby and his companion into imprisonment, using them as a barter so that he can finally capture Dan Dare. His intention is to put Dare into a prison cell, set it afloat into space where the air will run out and Dare will die, and the cell will become his tomb. There is however a bigger story playing out here, and that is the it is appears that the governments of Earth have made their own arrangements with the evil little alien, and it is a double cross that you will not believe. The ending is rather clever and leaves the door open for hopefully a Volume 3 of the Dare adventures, as these have simply stunning. Enjoyed this releases so much, it is fantastic that B7 can make Eagle comic creations to life.