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Judge Dredd Crime Chronicles:Stranger than Truth by David Bishop

01/12/2009. Contributed by Sue Davies

Buy Judge Dredd Crime Chronicles:Stranger than Truth in the USA - or Buy Judge Dredd Crime Chronicles:Stranger than Truth in the UK

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pub: Big Finish. 60 minute CD. Price: CD: 8.99 (UK), download: 7.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-84435-415-3). Cast: Toby Longworth and Helen Kay.

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The novelist Truman Kaput has been safely locked away in years ago by Judge Dredd. He's still in the Mega City iso-cubes but his creation, Slick Dickens, is alive and well and killing. Which is odd for a fictional character.

Kaput devotee and academic, Eliza Blunt (Helen Kay), is there as the chapter unfolds. A new novel is being published and each chapter, source unknown, results in death. Slick Dickens seems to be alive and well and on a killing spree. Slick follows his instructions to the letter. Eliza must help Judge Dredd to track down this supposedly fictional character and stop him before he gets to the final act, killing Judge Dredd.

In this variation on the successful 'Doctor Who Companion Chronicles', this is a two hander for the new Dredd audios, following on from Dredd series produced a couple of years ago by Big Finish. This is a tighter format which allows a new listener in without having to hold too many characters from the Judge Dredd world. The narrative is a twisty one as we come to expect from the Big Finish boys. The two leads play off well against each other and the ending is a little bit creepy.

Toby Longworth offers up a drawling Dredd who has a hint of the Sylvester Stallone that made the stone-faced Judge Dredd flesh in the movie of 1995. With a possible re-make in the pipeline, it's not a 'dreddful' time to get involved with a popular character. The original film had underused potential and the Big Finish plays are bright popcorn-and pop art creation that deserve a wider audience. If you slip into this 'Crime Chronicle' then take the time to look up Dredd in his full audio plays, you will have a great deal of fun listening.

Sue Davies
November 2009

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