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B7CA0206_truthandlies_1417

The Liberator crew track Dayna to the satellite defended Appallon Five, where her ship is destroyed before their very eyes.  But when Zen points out the successful deployment of an escape pod, they find themselves infliltrating a Federation complex inhabited by none other than former Federation agent Karine Mellanby and her companion Kramer.

But is all as it appears?  Or is the entire situation an elaborate trap?

The second season of the Blakes full cast audios ends on something of a whimper with this rather utilitarian story, tying up plot threads and striving to offer each of the cast members a few minutes of airtime while ultimately going nowhere. 

Essentially plot driven, the action is contrarily rather static, comprised in its entirety by a brief crawl through the air ducts for Vila and Grant and a front door approach for Avon, Cally and Tarrant succeeded by a pair of lengthy if insubstantial chats with our two effective “guest cast” members (who appear to be essayed by members of the Blakes team pulling double duty). 

Karine spills the beans on the true story behind her long ago betrayal of family and friends, seeking a measure of redemption.  Kramer turns out to be more than at first appears, but spends his time in a rather silly narcissistic discussion with “Orac”, who is actually the least likely crew member to essay that particular role.  While an amusing idea, time and structural limitations crowd any extrapolation on this silly bit of business into more of an odd, somewhat ill fitting vignette amidst a more serious whole.  In rather short order, our heroes succeed (rather handily, it seems) and roll credits.

So what actually happened here?  And what plot point or bit of characterization did this tale truly hinge upon? 

Sadly, this is where an otherwise run of the mill Blakes tale shows its atypically flimsy construction – you can practically hear the script editor handing down the plot points to address, and the author scrambling vainly to squeeze something entirely different between.  Can I make it a heist-style infiltration tale, ala It Takes a Thief?  Can I build it into a tongue in cheek mistaken identity comic piece?  Should I craft a dramatic character piece about naivete and redemption?  Hey, let’s toss in all three and hope it sticks!

It’s unfortunate that such a strong season evaporates into ephemerality in its concluding chapter, but them’s the breaks, I guess – every run has its weak points.  And while it’s certainly listenable enough and the actors and actresses give their level best to the material provided, there just isn’t enough time and attention given to any of those vignettes to build this into a proper standalone story. 

Hopefully next season will show a return to the generally strong form of the rest of this recent run, but when it comes down to brass tacks, this one’s for completists only.

Truth, no lies.

http://www.bigfinish.com/releases/v/truth-and-lies-1089

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