Top audio adventure company Big Finish, perhaps best known for their Doctor Who productions, has just made a long-awaited return to the 2000AD universe with a brand new series of adventures in crime and space.
Judge Dredd: Crime Chronicles finds the iconic lawman of Mega City One starring in four new stories where he faces off against foes old and new and, for the final story, partners up with a fellow Judge played by Doctor Who’s Louise Jameson, who played companion Leela in the 1970s.
Officially licensed by Rebellion, each story is a dramatic reading, with full sound design and a specially drawn cover by 2000 AD artist Cliff Robinson, and features Toby Longworth as Judge Dredd.
The series begins with Stranger Than Truth, written by former 2000AD editor David Bishop and told by Brit-Cit academic, Eliza Blunt (Helen Kay). Captured and imprisoned by Judge Dredd, author Truman Kaput has spent years in the Mega City One iso-cubes, his work banned. His crime: writing lurid detective novels in which the ficticious Slick Dickens repeatedly outwits the cowardly bully, Judge Dredd. Now a new Truman Kaput novel is being serialised, and each chapter predicts an imminent murder with chilling accuracy. Has Slick Dickens escaped the page to commit real crimes in Mega-City One? Is a serial killer using the chapters as templates for their crime?
Where does fiction end and the truth start? And, perhaps most importantly: can Dredd stop the plot before his nemesis fulfils the finale of Slick Dickens: I Killed Judge Dredd?
In Blood Will Tell by James Swallow, due for relese in November, a frenzied mutant attack on Mega-City One’s shield wall is revealed to be the cover for a group of infiltrators. Judge Dredd tells the story of how he was forced to face a deadly opponent from his past: Garris Hale, a man whose life he destroyed. Back from exile in the radioactive wilderness of the Cursed Earth, Hale has possession of a dark secret – a secret so explosive that it could plunge the entire city into anarchy and chaos! With his judgement in question and the future of his city in the balance, Dredd must face a lethal enemy intent on revenge at any cost…
The third tale, to be released in December, The Devil’s Playground by Jonathan Clements, is narrated by Wendy Plainfolk (Gemma Wardle) and finds Judge Dredd hunting a killer on the loose, his only lead a girl who’s never seen the sky or the streets. Raised in a religious commune, locked in a closed farming habitat in the heart of the city, Wendy Plainfolk knows nothing of the temptations and dangers of Dredd’s world. But she is the only link to a double homicide in a place she calls the Devil’s Playground: Mega-City One.
January 2010 see Louise Jameson narrate James Swallow’s Double Zero in the guise of Judge Anderson. On the Mills-Wagner scale of psychic potentiality, the Double Zero rating is ranked as the lowest possible level of human telepathic receptability and/or psionic ability.
When a strange premonition draws Psi-Judge Cassandra Anderson to her fellow law officer, Joe Dredd, what begins as an inkling of something sinister soon becomes a matter of life and death. With telepathic secret agents from a dozen city-states infiltrating the Big Meg in search of a psychic weapon called ‘the pariah’, Anderson and Dredd find themselves in a race against time to save the life of an innocent child – with the power to start a war…
• The Judge Dredd: Crime Chronicles are priced £9.99 per CD and £7.99 for an MP3 download. Subscritions are also available from www.bigfinish.com/Judge-Dredd:-Crime-Chronicles