Reviewed By: traves8853
Review Date: 9/3/15 6:21 pm
2 out of 2 found this review helpful.
he Scorchies is a Companion Chronicles audio drama that was recorded on 19 October 2012. Written by James Gross who also wrote 'the Time Museum', this musical is just as original and inventive. This features Katy Manning and Melvyn Hayes.
Disembodied entities the Scorchies (so called because the burn the invaded planet) have possessed puppets in a TV studio with the aim of enslaving or destroying the host planet. They came from a planet where their chief scientist Professor Baffle had recently discovered television. This led to widespread apathy and complacency. Extra-terrestrial forces invaded by transmitting themselves through the television signals and through their TVs. The invading force burned their home planet. Professor Baffle found a way to transmit the population to other worlds in the same way the invading force had arrived, and the Scorchies copied the invading forces enslaving Professor Baffle in order to make him watch the terrible things they did. And now they have captured Jo Grant. What next?
Being a musical the acting and music often merge, but if I recall right there were three songs. The first one is called 'Jo is making a thing' and is self-descriptive really. It's an enjoyable cheery ditty that goes nowhere and is used in the Scorchies trailer which is on Youtube
The second song adds to the narrative as it is the cliff hanger, the both songs are briefly repeated in the second part. Thankfully they fit in here perfectly. So, singing sock puppet sadists that force their creator to live vicariously through their actions. Nope, can't say that one has been done before!
Melvyn manages to make the Scorchies head honcho sound subtly menacing. Katy is always going to be a winner but can you imagine any other companion making a go of this in the same we she does? It’s made for her. Their voices are passed through filters where necessary and the audio production is top notch. All the voices sound varied, but Katy just can't do male voices. There are a few instances where she has to imitate the Doctor or the Brigadier. Which is totally weird, as I don't remember Jo ever having an interest in doing impressions!
It's plot light but at 50 minutes that’s to be expected and when it's packed with lines like "the reversed polarity polarity reverser was actually reversing the unreversed polarities" then all is forgiven. Have no fear however as the Scorchies later return in 'Jago & Litefoot' series 7 and 8. How they would fit into the gothic tone I have no idea but I do want to find out. Energetic and postmodern yes, but I feel there is an attempt at humour here that I am just not getting. Still I can't fault it for what it is, great fun! Is this why the Maser was watching the Clangers in the Sea Devil.
So now ring out the Klaxons!
We must be worse than Axons!
Because he’s returned to ruin our show!
We thought that we’d rehearsed it!
But now the Doc’s reversed it!
Like the polarity of the Neutron Flow!