SOLDIERS OF LOVE - 6 - Haunted Lives

review by Judith.

Jacqueline Pearce is the guest star in Haunted Lives, the 6th Soldiers of Love CD. It's her second appearance as Madame Deephole, a brothel owner.

I have a feeling that some of Jackie's male fans might enjoy this one...

The humour, as it usual for this series, is pretty adult. I'll quote just one exchange to give you the general idea:

Major Grondlepuss: Well, I'll be blowed!

Madame Deephole: (smiling) It'll cost you, dear.

My eldest son found some of the conversations highly amusing. My youngest son (fortunately) didn't get the jokes. (His favourite characters weren't in this one, so he was rather disappointed - they'll both be back in number 7 though.)

For fans of the series, I can tell you that some of the different plot lines are starting to come together and characters in different threads of the story are joining up. One of the villain's motives has come to light - if you're sharp enough to catch the reference. For all the smut and parody, there's some deep plot in this series and it rewards the listener who pays attention. Even minor details are sometimes relevent. It's to Mark's credit that I haven't caught a single continuity error over 6 CDs. When I think I've found a mistake, such as one character unexpectedly sounding like another on the current CD, Mark assures me that there is a reason for it that will come out later on.

Perhaps the best point about this series is that it has high replay value. I often go back and listen to earlier ones and often get some new insights into the plot when viewing things in the light of what happens later.

I didn't find this CD as funny as some of the earlier ones - there were less outright laughs. On the other hand, listening to it for the third time today, I realised that I was smiling most of the time.

This is the first SOL CD with no songs on it. I didn't miss them.

Frag is growing on me greatly as a character. She's one of life's losers, fated to never find the right man. Caelys is also a favourite, which is odd really as he's the kind of brash young man whom I'd probably hate in real life!

Jackie gives a highly enjoyable performance and Madame D is a character I hope to hear more of - and I think we will as she's getting more and more embroiled in the plot. I have a feeling that we will have one or two interesting revelations about her character...


PS. Fans of Jackie might want to know how this CD compares with The Fearmongers. There are pros and cons. I think the Fearmongers has slightly higher production standards and is a very good, straightforward, stand-alone drama (enjoyable even if you aren't a Who fan). It's also suitable for all age groups.

Haunted Lives gives her what I consider to be the more interesting part - I enjoyed Madame Deephole in her first Soldiers of Love appearance, and was glad to see her back again here. It allows us to see a bit more variety in what Jackie can do as an actress, while retaining Servalan's sexual allure. However, if you're offended by explicit adult humour (and I do mean explicit) then you aren't going to like it at all.

Soldiers of Love is an ongoing series, and that's a drawback if you're only interested in hearing Jackie (though earlier CDs have featured Jan Chappell, Gareth Thomas and Michael Keating). On the other hand, there's several good, brief recaps of the plot so far, so if you fancy jumping into the series part way through, this might not be a bad place to try it.

If you're uncertain whether you'll like Haunted Lives or not, (and I find it very hard to predict who will and who will not) then give it a go and if you find that you don't like it, return it undamaged to me and I'll refund what you paid (minus a quid to cover my postage costs).

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