Click here to return to the main site.

Audio Drama Review

Book Cover

The Scarifyers
For King and Country


Written by: Simon Bernard and Paul Morris
Starring: Nicholas Courtney and Terry Molloy
Cosmic Hobo
RRP: £10.99
ISBN: 978 0 9555158 2 8
Available 05 May 2008

It is 1937, just before the coronation of King George VI, and the bold Scarifyers, Detective Lionheart and Professor Dunning, have another fiendish plot to foil - this time involving the recently resurrected Witchfinder General Matthew Hopkins and Oliver Cromwell. Still it’s all in a day's work for these stalwarts of British pluck...

The Scarifyers: For King and Country (104 min, two discs), written by Simon Barnard and Paul Morris and directed by Simon Barnard, is the third instalment of this most excellent audio play series. Uniting once more Nicholas Courtney as the acerbic Lionheart and Terry Molloy’s, all pomp and good intentions, Professor Dunning for another rip roaring slice of entertaining nonsense. For those of you unfamiliar with the series it is very much a tongue-in-cheek affair - a loving homage to the lost days of innocent boy's own stories. The heroes have stiff upper lips and the villains are evil through and through.

As an aside, I’m sure that whilst the producers of the show obviously had in mind Doctor Who fans of a certain age (Nicholas Courtney played the Brigadier to a number of the original Doctors and the character still gets a mention in this season's Sontaran story and Terry Molloy played the infamous creator of the Daleks, Davros) I hope that The Scarifyers is able to reach out to a wider audience. These characters exist in a quirky world of their own which owes little, if anything, to the good Doctor.

The story is engaging, with our two protagonists spending time pooh-poohing so called mediums and charlatans, until they meet the real thing in the form of Sir Harry Price, played by David Benson. He, it turns out, is the real thing, having built a machine which can resurrect ghosts. Not a bad idea, you may think, until he resurrects that great anti-royalist Matthew Hopkins on the eve of King George's coronation. Whilst I’m sure that most will be able to fill in most of the narrative from this point, what you don’t get from a review like this is just how funny the play is.

Whilst it is true that most of the characters are bonkers, there is nothing wrong with that, this is that hidden English kingdom of the thirties where great living caricatures such as Margaret Rutherford stood proud as colossi of English eccentricity. The jokes come quick and the pace of the story is suitably cracking. The production values are comparable to any other professionally produced show, including the excellent music by Edwin Sykes.

There is a 17 min bonus feature included which looks at the making of the show, and a nice little fold out sleeve with pictures which purports to prove that the cast are all still alive. If you have a sense of humour, enjoy a jolly good adventure, or just know quality when you hear it, then do yourself a favour and get this latest instalment of a most excellent series.


Charles Packer

Buy this item online

We compare prices online so you get the cheapest deal
Click on the logo of the desired store below to purchase this item.

£10.99 (
£10.99 (

All prices correct at time of going to press.