Reviewed By: gold1104
Review Date: 6/29/14 6:30 pm
1 out of 2 found this review helpful.
Another outstanding LIBERATOR CHRONICLE from James Goss which gives a highly convincing answer to the question: "what if Blake had overthrown the Federation?" This being BLAKES 7 the answer does not include a peaceful, utopian society (as in STAR TREK) or happy endings, but does provide lots of interesting food for thought.
The way in which this alternative narrative is laid out is neat and economical. This set up is so good that it leads me to wondering if in LIBERATOR CHRONICLES yet to come (or even perhaps in full cast plays), the enigmatic aliens - the Dream Makers - who grant individuals the chance to look into simulated potential futures might be re-used. Although given the mean little twist at the end of SPOILS, perhaps it would be better if this were not the case as repeat appearances from the Dream Makers might cheapen their impact here.
Gareth Thomas gives a brilliant and fascinating performance showing us the many facets of Blake's conflicted character, going from idealistic rebel to heartless dictator who can give orders like "increase the levels of Pylene 50 in the dome air supplies - so what if some of them die..." As in THE HARD ROAD, he proves that with the right material he is an awesome actor.
SPOILS really is something special and ranks alongside PRESIDENT, THREE and INCENTIVE as one of the best of the CHRONICLES. The reason I'm giving it a 9, and not a 10 is because I thought it was something of a shame this was not a full-cast play. Jemma Churchill and Dan Starkey are decent actors and (mostly) recognisable taking over the parts of Jenna, Cally, Servalan, Vila and Avon. In fact you have to admire their range and malleability in taking on all these varied roles! But how much more emotionally resonant would it have been to have to have had the originals playing opposite this very different version of Roj Blake? Doubtless budgetary restrictions and availability of the actors were deciding factors and we should be grateful that SPOILS is as good as it is - but the experience of thinking (for instance) "Jacqueline Pearce would have been so much more chilling delivering those lines" weighed on me somewhat.