It is the best of times, it is the worst of times. It's
the hottest summer on record and the last summer before the
war. It's the one time Bernice Summerfield has a use for her
otherwise useless boyfriend - but Jason Kane is away on the
far side of the galaxy. The Braxiatel Collection has always
been an odd place to live: a perfect replica of the Palace
of Versailles, stuck on a smallish planetoid, hanging in a
much-disputed area of space. The weather's all over the place,
the neighbours are gathering armaments... and now everyone's
shagging like rabbits. Everyone, that is, except Bernice...
Those of you who read the Bernice Summerfield books
as well as listen to the audios will already be familiar with
the characters of the pressure-suited gardener Hass and the
scruffy scientist Doggles, both of whom were introduced by
series co-producer Simon Guerrier in his short-story anthology
Changed. In Summer of Love, which is
penned by the same writer, the two characters make their audio
debuts, portrayed by Paul Wolfe and Sam Stevens respectively.
Both are good, though Stevens as Doggles sounds older than
I expected him to. In Something Changed, Guerrier described
Doggles as, "A young Cahlian". Maybe Cahlians sound older
for their age than humans do.
Those of you who have read the latest Bernice anthology, Collected
Works, will know that the events in this audio drama take
place in between stories in that collection. Though you don't
need to have read the book in order to follow this production,
the writer throws in various subtle references to put things
in context for those in the know. For example, Peter is said
to have been having "adventures" again (following the events
of the short story Key) and Bev Tarrant (Louise Faulkner)
continues her difficult negotiations with the Draconian and
that are not made any easier by the fact that, for some reason,
Bev is spending all of her time in the nuddie and the staff
and students on the Collection seem to have gone sex mad!
I doubt many children listen to these CDs, but just in case,
please note that this story's frank discussions of a sexual
nature make it decidedly adult material, though it is written
and played with a Carry
style sense of fun.
It's all rather amusing, like The
Worst Thing in the World before it. I infer
from the reference in the synopsis to a forthcoming war that
this is a light-hearted calm before the storm to come at the
end of the current season.
not to love?