A direct sequel to Solitary, the second story of the first volume of The Liberator Chronicles, this is an unusual audio, in that it features a story by Nigel Fairs that is plot-driven far more than character-led. It’s a twisty and devious tale, which benefits from the three narrators – Cally, Servalan and Nyron – and their perspective on events.
Director Lisa Bowerman gets a strong, restrained performance from all three actors – Jacqueline Pearce, in particular, keeps Servalan’s predilection for melodrama in check, even when given some wonderfully over the top material to deliver. Jan Chappell seems to slip more easily into character here than in The Magnificent Four, while Anthony Howell holds his own in scenes that could easily have seen his character overshadowed.
Of course, at the core of the story is an examination of what made and makes Servalan into the woman she is: flashbacks hint at a trauma that hopefully we’ll hear more about down the line. It’s not an easy play to listen to: there’s a torture sequence, in particular, involving Servalan that goes on longer than is comfortable, but of course that’s the point of such moments. They highlight a side to the character that sometimes gets lost in memories of the camp diva.
Verdict: A strong conclusion to another good batch of stories. 8/10