Kaldor City 1 - Occam's Razor

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Occam's Razor is an audio play set on the planet of the Doctor Who story The Robots of Death and novel Corpse Marker. It uses characters that are owned by Chris Boucher, including one from the Blake's 7 universe.

Firstmaster Uvanov has a problem. Someone is killing members of the Board, and sending the corpses to him. He might be next - and even if he isn't, if he doesn't solve the murders he's likely to be relieved of his position as Company Chairholder. His assets - a collection of thugs called a security team, and Firstmaster Carnell, a psychostrategist. Like (almost) everyone else on the planet, Uvanov doesn't know exactly what a psychostrategist is, just that Carnell can give useful advice even if he is a "smug, patronising weirdo".

He acquires another asset - Kaston Iago, a professional assassin who is initially suspected of the murders. After that little misunderstanding is cleared up, Iago agrees to work for Uvanov as a security consultant. Between them, Carnell and Iago solve the murders to Uvanov's satisfaction. They're also solved to the satisfaction of Carnell and Iago, although for slightly different reasons...

Iago and Carnell are willing to continue working together as long as it's convenient to do so. It's in both their interests - Iago is the only person on the planet who knows what a psychostrategist is, because Iago is also a refugee from the Federation. A computer specialist on the run from the Federation, ruthless, and played by Paul Darrow. Gosh, I wonder what copyrighted name is on his Federation wanted posters?

I thoroughly enjoyed this one - it's a good drama, with some interesting developments of the society on the planet in Robots of Death. Lots of politics on both the personal and society scales. Be warned that it's violent, contains strong language, and has a tone more in keeping with Blake's 7 than Dr Who. I don't think you need to be familiar with the relevant episodes and novel to enjoy it, but you'll probably get more of a kick out of it if you've seen Robots of Death and Weapon.

Russell Hunter does a wonderful reprise of his role as Uvanov - you wouldn't know that there'd been a two decade gap between recording Robots of Death and Occam's Razor. Scott Fredericks does a nice job of recreating the deliciously camp Carnell, although I thought his voice had changed somewhat in the years between. As for the other main character, I think it's safe to say that Iago is a pseudonym, but I didn't think he actually sounded very much like another renegade Federation computer specialist. Not a problem in itself, since it's only hinted at and one is free to ignore the hint. Unfortunately I found Paul Darrow's performance a disappointment for other reasons - there was more than a slight tendency to ham. I'll be buying more Kaldor City CDs, but Paul Darrow won't be the reason.

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