This audio drama is based on X-Files graphic novels (I'm not sure which ones) and structured like a collection of X-Files episodes, complete with most of the original voice actors, the X-Files theme song, and narration outlining the location and time. Most of the episodes are alien or black oil episodes, as Mulder and Scully go back to the FBI and look into incidents involving amnesia-causing bright lights, appearances from people who supposedly died a long time ago, and potential threats against Scully's son. However, the second one is more of a "random monster" episode, featuring the Flukeman, a creature from Mulder and Scully's past.
This had been on my wishlist for a while, but I never felt like spending a credit on it back when I had an Audible subscription. When I heard recently that it was on sale, I snatched it up. Even if it wasn't great, I figured that it'd be worth it for the nostalgia alone.
And boy was there a lot of nostalgia. It went beyond hearing so many of the original actors (there were only one or two characters who I think were voiced by other people). I know the title was Cold Cases and all, but it still seemed a bit too closely tied to things from the original series - almost everything that happened involved something supernatural or extraterrestrial that fans of the original series would probably remember. I found myself wishing that the authors had been more willing to work something new into the story.
One big issue for me was that I was never a fan of the X-Files story arcs that dealt primarily with aliens. One-shot stories that dealt with aliens were okay, and I really enjoyed the "random monster" episodes, but the episodes where black oil became more and more important or when Scully got abducted just didn't work as well for me. Unfortunately Cold Cases was almost exclusively focused on this sort of thing. It also didn't help that I've never been a fan of the Mulder and Scully romantic pairing. I was mostly able to forget about this, except for the occasional moment where one or the other of them said or did something that reminded me.
The one aspect of this audio drama that absolutely won me over was the casting. It was wonderful to hear so many people I remembered from what used to be my top favorite show. Gillian Anderson, in particular, did a fabulous job. David Duchovny...less so. I thought he sounded a bit bored at the beginning, particularly during a part where he found Skinner potentially trying to kill himself - none of the emotions I would have expected Mulder to be feeling were conveyed in Duchovny's voice. Thankfully he got better as the drama progressed.
The audio drama format resulted in occasional awkward moments, as the characters described what they were seeing during moments that would usually have relied on visuals in the original TV series. Basically: "Excuse me while I describe aloud everything that I'm currently seeing, since the audience can't see these mysterious lights themselves."
Other awkward moments included those times where characters briefly explained references to events and characters from the original series, so that newbies and fans who hadn't seen those episodes in ages could keep up. Although it made the dialogue more than a bit strange, I admit to appreciating those explanations, since the last time I saw much of the original series was over 10 or 15 years ago. Even then, I found myself checking fan wikis multiple times in order to get my bearings.
I don't think I'd ever recommend this to people who weren't already fans of The X-Files, and it didn't really have anything in the way of new content for fans, but the nostalgia of it worked for me. I imagine I'll re-listen to this at some point just to hear everyone again, even though the stories themselves were only so-so.
(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)
This is another great series that I love. A recently widowed woman with a teenage daughter who lives the country club life and somehow, someway keeps running into mysteries and murders.
A fun, entertaining, cozy mystery series that has never failed to disappoint me.
Thanks to Henery Press and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
Meet the suave and debonair Charles Turner. A gentleman and solicitor of impeccable manners who has a fondness for pretty young ladies. He wines them, he dines them, he surrounds them with his wealth and musical taste and introduces them to his large detached residence in the country. There is just one problem with Mr C he is partial to erotic asphyxiation, enjoys the thrill of strangulation, and has a fixation with his dear departed mother her elegant party dresses and the smell of her lavender perfume. DI Gravel is having a bad day with a serial killer on the loose, the body count mounting, and his only daughter Emily about to step into the jaws of a crocodile when she accepts a job at a respectable local firm of solicitors Harrison and Turner.
I really enjoyed this book and unusual in the fact that the reader knows very quickly who the killer is. There are some well defined characters namely DI Gravel and his unhealthy life choices, his very able assistant Detective Sergeant Laura Kesey and a dangerous predator who will stop at nothing to feed his depraved sexual lust. Many thanks to netgalley for a gratis copy in exchange for an honest review and that is what I have written. I will certainly be reading more by John Nicholl as I enjoy his witty and fast flowing prose.
This is novel is an artifact of the interwar years of Great Britain and a satire of the great and small English authors who wrote so passionately about the deep and rich life of the rural poor. I confess I'm not as familiar with the authors Stella Gibbons is lampooning in Cold Comfort Farm as I should be, other than Austen, I've read a novel and a half of D.H. Lawrence and Thomas Hardy apiece, and I'd never heard of Hugh Walpole until I had to find out who she was mocking in the preface. Other popular writers of the time were more responsible for the content and the character of the Starkadder Family and Cold Comfort Farm itself were so bludgeoned into obscurity I can't bring myself to name them here.
The plot involves one Flora Poste, an elegant and educated girl of 19 who finding herself without parents and knowing the stigma attached to living off of friends, decides to foist herself on some unknown relatives in Sussex. She finds the Starkadders of Cold Comfort Farm to be hampered with ignorance, psychosis, stifled ambitions and general uncleanliness. One by one she begins to transform them to her liking.
It is all very contrived and patronizing, but a few cuts come in close and I can't say Gibbons was wrong. It was entertaining and passed a few cold evenings. I read the Folio Society edition and was disappointed, for the first time, in Quentin Blake's illustrations. They didn't do anything for me or for the story. Happily, the text carries itself.