Friday, August 29, 2014

Shhh! You'll Wake the Baby!: Bernice Summerfield - The Green Eyed Monsters Review

After the surreal season three opener The Greatest Shop in the Galaxy, this release written by Dave Stone finally deals with the issue of Benny's newborn child, The Green-Eyed Monsters embracing this thread with both hands, making this the first audio to do so since Peter was born in The Glass Prison, several months earlier. This also marks the final use of the Adventure Is My Game theme. Yay!

The title alone is very apposite for the story that Stone has chosen to tell, representing not only the legends that Benny goes to investigate in the Goronos system, but also the jealousy that epitomises the relationship between the two men in Bernice's life - ex-husband Jason Kane and father of her child the Killoran construction worker Adrian Wall. This subplot really shines with both Jason and Adrian being portrayed successfully; I particularly enjoyed the development of their uneasy alliance as they find themselves holding baby Peter. It is excellently written, making the respect that both come to have for each other seem very real, particularly when it culminates in Adrian admitting something very personal about his feelings towards Benny. However, the Goronos system thread of the plot comes off as lightweight at times, but it's forgivable.

Lisa Bowerman is excellent as ever, showing how Benny copes with being a mother and actually interacting with her half-Killoran, half-Human son. Stephen Fewell's returns as Jason after a with only a few vague references to the novels Twilight Of The Gods (the final Virgin novel released in autumn 1999) and The Infernal Nexus to explain his absence. The love / hate relationship between Benny and Jason has mellowed a little by now, although Fewell makes sure Jason sounds as devious as ever. Fewell's Jason Kane strikes up a good banter with Harry Myers' Adrian Wall which gives their scenes credence as they see each other as rivals for Benny's affections. Lady Ashantra du Lac voiced by Maria Darling is the character that it sounds like Stone had the most fun writing and Darling's performance is a lot of fun; her evil scheme is very ridiculous yet has the faintest sense of plausibility to be workable and Stone uses her as a way to play against convention in how she acts towards Bernice. Steven Wickham gets some good lines as Joseph the Porter, particularly during the opening scene despite being sidelined throughout the story. The sound design and music by David Darlington isn't too shabby either.

The Verdict? The Green Eyed Monsters is an unusual and fun-filled release. Some may be disappointed by this and find it insubstantial, but I think that the richness of the characters and dialogue presented here more than make up for any inadequacies of the story.

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