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Posted July 21, 2009
This is the 2nd of B7 productions "Early Years" audio CDs. It features 2 stories: "Point of no Return" written by James Swallow focusing on the dogged Major Travis, and "Eye of the Machine" written by the prolific Ben Aaronovitch and focusing on Kerr Avon.
For fans of the old series, "Point of No Return" is mildly difficult to work with. During the run of the original series, Travis was played by 2 different actors who gave markedly different performances. If you are a fan of the original series, you might have a preferred Travis and this might make it difficult to see "your" Travis in this production. As a fan of the original series, I had to turn my nostalgia switch off to properly get into the production.
"Eye of the Machine" is the highlight of this package. Colin Salmon is back as Kerr Avon and once again brings the role to life. He shows great range in his ability to show the character in his early years, yet providing us enough vision of the Avon to come. It's a difficult line to walk and he does it expertly. But the best performance is Geoffrey Palmer as Professor Ensor.
I have to admit that I have always been a Geoffrey Palmer fan and as usual as anything he appears in, his performance is seemingly effortless yet carries great weight. He's a great villain and embodies the "morality" that makes up the Federation.
The sound is a highlight as it helps complete the sound picture that starts with the dialogue and it's a very tight production. There is a good flow from scene to scene and for shorter productions there seems to be less obvious exposition than I would have thought for audio stories of this length.