Advent Reviews Day 6: I Love Judge Dredd by Jonathan Morris
Welcome to Day 6 of Advent Reviews, where I bring to you a Judge Dredd audio drama this time. This is actually the second Judge Dredd audio drama review by me, the first was written two days ago for a guest spot on A Fantastical Librarian, where I was interviewed yesterday (my first interview!), and will be going up tomorrow (edit: slight snafu by me here, the review is already up here). The reason I’m mentioning is to skip the usual intro stuff I write, explaining how I got into a franchise like this. Suffice to say that I’m quite the fan of Judge Dredd and that these audios by Big Finish are just plain excellent overall.
I Love Judge Dredd is the third Judge Dredd audio drama I’ve listened to, and it’s easily one of my favourites. What sets it apart from most of the others is how satirical this one is. It pokes fun at pretty much everything in a social commentary sort of way (if that makes sense), and it delivers a really interesting and fun plot in terms of its scope.
The story starts with a celebrity show, where “tonight’s” guest of honour is none other than Judge Dredd, the premier Judge of Mega City One. Hosting him is noted television celebrity Tark Pastry (the guy’s called Pastry, what’s not to like? Plus, on the mp3 his name sounds like “tart pastry”, even better!), who has been the host of the show for several years. Tark Pastry has just spent two days running around all over the City after Dredd, following him like a shadow and recording two days in the life of Judge Dredd. There are civil rights political demonstrations by Robosexuals (people who believe in love/sex with robots of the hard-edges, boxy-shapes variety), a murderous meeting with a mineral water magnate, a face-off against the deranged leader of a revolutionary group, a former celebrity attempting to commit suicide, and more. Morris has packed this story with a ton of really fun stuff which is very clear in its objective: to get the listener to have fun, and be fun (and snarky, and satirical) itself. Easily one of the best Judge Dredd stories I’ve come across. Fantastic pacing, with a fantastic turnabout at the end which makes for a twist I never saw coming.
The voice acting, as is always the case with Big Finish audio dramas, is excellent. Toby Longworth as Judge Dredd is a downright gem, and his Radish Timberlake, the aforementioned deranged leader, is also gold. I don’t know what it is about Toby that makes him so darn good at what he does. Suffice to say, that in my experience, he is the best voice-actor I’ve ever heard, bar none. Nicholas Briggs’ Tark Pastry is just hilarious, whether its drawn out, heavy accent, or just the way that Briggs performs. You really do believe that Tark Pastry is a real celebrity TV show host. There are some other minor characters on the audio drama of course, but front and center it is always Dredd and Pastry, who make for a good “team”.
Overall, with its excellent production values such as all the background sounds and chatter, I Love Judge Dredd is a light-hearted comedy in a harsh dystopian world, and it is superb.
Posted on December 6, 2012, in 2012 Reading Challenge, 2012 Writing Challenge, Book Reviews and tagged 2000AD, Advent Reviews, Audio Drama Reviews, Audio Dramas, Big Finish, I Love Judge Dredd, Jonathan Morris, Judge Dredd, Reviews. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.