Kaldor City: a Magic Bullet Production

Critical Praise for Kaldor City: Occam's Razor


"The tale (which stands alone successfully, not requiring the listener to do any homework) of unexplained murders and a mysterious ex-assassin is simply but intelligently written and benefits enormously from a cast that knows when to play things down and when to build them up... Paul Darrow's enigmatic Kaston Iago, with his sinister, brushed-metal voice, is frequently brilliant."
--Gareth Jelley, Outpost Gallifrey

"The script is excellent on the whole, with Hunter in particular getting some great, often very funny, lines... it rolls along at a good pace and is consistent and logical throughout. The actors give uniformly enjoyable performances, with Hunter and Darrow obvious standouts and the background effects and music are never intrusive. All in all, a very promising first disc in the series."
--Stuart Douglas, Outpost Gallifrey

"A strong star cast, the performances are energetic, sardonic and full of black humour. There are some fantastic quotes and one-liners throughout the story."
--Damian Christie, Outpost Gallifrey

"Fuses elements of style and tone from these two famous BBC science fiction series [Blake's 7 and Doctor Who] to form a powerful hybrid unique in its own right. Occam's Razor establishes the dark tone of the series superbly, the arresting blend of corruption and power games at the highest levels providing compelling listening as rivalries are created between the different factions and the scene is set for dangerous and absorbing drama."
--Simon Catlow, Shockeye's Kitchen

"First off, I have to say what a totally kick-ass theme tune! The performances are also uniformly excellent with Russell Hunter and Scott Fredericks effortlessly recreating characters over twenty years old and Trevor Cooper, Brian Croucher and Patricia Merrick creating anew some wonderfully entertaining and believable personas."
--Keith Burton

"I thoroughly enjoyed this one - it's a good drama, with some interesting developments of the society on the planet in "Robots of Death". Lots of politics on both the personal and society scales. Russell Hunter does a wonderful reprise of his role as Uvanov - you wouldn't know that there'd been a two decade gap between recording Robots of Death" and "Occam's Razor." I'll be buying more Kaldor City CDs."
--Julia Jones, Lysator

"I have just listened to Occam's Razor. I must say I'm impressed with the quality of the writing, production and acting, and am looking forward to hearing the others."
--Patrick Chapman

"I thought I'd start listening to it just before I went to bed; just *start* it and then listen to the rest of it later. But, by golly, I couldn't stop! What pacing, what plot -- and when that wasn't absorbing me, I was just being fascinated by the voices of Scott Fredricks and a rough-edged Paul Darrow. Whee! Gee that was fun. "
--Kathryn Anderson

"What a breath of fresh air. Can I just start by saying that I thoroughly enjoyed this CD and recommend that everyone give it a go... I liked the fact that it was more character driven and less of a showcase for the Robots, who function as background characters. I had absolutely no problem imagining this as the soundtrack to a sadly lost missing episode. A richly textured, believable world highly reminiscent of both TV series. 5 out of 5!"
--Rex Duis, Time Space Visualizer #66

"I can honestly say that it is one of the best audio spin-offs I have ever heard. The story is pacy, well written, brilliantly acted and explores some excellent ideas. I can highly recommend this release - I've just ordered Kaldor City 2: Death's Head."
--imforeman, Outpost Gallifrey Forums

"Paul Darrow... is at his lip-smacking, sneering, sarky peak as far as his acting is concerned. The feel of "Occam's Razor" is shamelessly blockbusting and eighties comic-strip in approach. It reminiscent in some ways of Dirk Maggs' marvellous productions, which is why I like it immensely. If Terry Nation's misanthropic plot driven style is your bag, dive in."
--GazHack, Outpost Gallifrey Forums

"The whole CD was excellently put together from acting to sound effects, the story was believable and I recommend it to anyone even if they have never listened to Doctor Who or Blakes 7 as I don't feel you need to know of these shows to enjoy what is a great story on its own. I look forward to the next one."
--Paul Taylor, Tenth Planet

"Unfortunately I enjoyed it immensely - as I was looking forward to telling Jim it was shit. but it isn't. Darrow gives a great understated dry performance, getting the best out of the black humour. The script is sharp, the sound wonderful and there's lots of unnecessary violence. Perfect. The only gripe I have with it is that I can't actually SEE Patricia Merrick while I'm listening to it."
--Dave "backrubslut" Whittam, Doctor Who Audio List

"It all starts out very traditionally and has a nice twist at the end. Paul Darrow is superb as well. Best of all it has a cracking theme tune."
--Cavan Scott, Doctor Who Audio List

"It's skill - buy one today!"
--Mark Clapham

"With a fast and fluid script backed up by some familar voices, 'Occam's Razor' draws you into a dark and gritty fantasy world.... all the characters get plenty of opportunities to interact and further their own motives. From Paul Darrow's perfectly fitting (and disturbing) reading of Iago, to Scott Frederick's arrogant and manipulative Carnell, the cast is top-notch and does the gripping script justice.
'Occam's Razor' doesn't depend heavily on its [Doctor Who and Blake's 7] forbearers, choosing to presents its own story and its own macro-universe taking elements from favorites such as Judge Dredd and Sinister Dexter. This give us a funny, mature and satisfyingly violent tale hinting at depths still to be revealed."
--Aonghus Heatley, Psy Online

"The whole production has a real sense of excitement and fun suffusing it.... special congratulations to Russell Hunter for his lovely comic timing. The theme music really rocks as well and the soundscape perfectly conjured up a big budget SF movie in the same way that the old Hitch-Hiker series did. Can't wait for episode two!"
--Gareth Preston, DW Audio Mailing List

"Just listened to 'Occam's Razor'. Absolutely brilliant. Loved it to bits!!!"
--Craig Hinton

"Magic Bullet... have brought together the worlds of writer Chris Boucher's various Doctor Who and Blake's 7 adventures into a violent, tongue-in-cheek political thriller. This ain't for the kids.... While Darrow can never be accused of under-acting, his performance is just what you want from this, the audio version of a Hollywood blockbuster-- pure melodrama with all the trimmings. 'Occam's Razor' points at a series to look out for."
--Patrick Denham, SFX Magazine

"As Uvanov, [Russell] Hunter is every bit as caustic and ruthless as he ever was... The scene in which Iago seduces Uvanov's personal assistant, Justina (Patricia Merrick), is laced with delicious innuendo and is remarkably reminiscent of scenes that Darrow played with Jacqueline Pearce's Servalan. Writers Alan Stevens and Jim Smith have succeeded in capturing the spirit and style of Boucher's best works."
--Richard McGinlay, Sci-Fi Online

"The story really bats along at a great pace and it managed to be excitingly violent without getting gruesome.... I also think it's quite an intelligent story, without getting too 'clever-clever.'"
--Anon. review, DW Audio Mailing List

"[The Robots of Death] donates Russell Hunter's Uvanov, a rounded robo-centric society and the velvet-voiced Vocs themselves.... Like early Blake's 7, Kaldor City is ultra-violent and hard-nosed. Alan Stevens and Jim Smith's episode, 'Occam's Razor', is dominated by... Paul Darrow, as robot programmer Kaston Iago.... As with his most famous creation, Kerr Avon, his performance starts from the crotch and radiates outwards.... Darrow, Hunter and Fredericks are supported by a reliable company of BBC SF players, including Peter Miles, Brian Croucher, Trevor Cooper and Peter Tuddenham. Production is to the Big Finish standard, with Alistair Lock directing and moonlighting in the areas of music and sound design."
--Vanessa Bishop, Doctor Who Magazine

"At last, someone's made an audio drama that unleashes the potential of the medium.... Although it spins off from characters and ideas in Doctor Who and Blake's 7, this isn't some turgid retro nightmare. This is a very modern drama, casting off any TV heritage and using the audio medium to create the sonic equivalent of 'widescreen'. It has an epic feel.... all executed with a dazzling array of sound effects... We're never uncertain of what is going on, Alistair Lock's superb production creates a detailed and clear soundscape that brings Kaldor City to life."
--Steve Buchannon, Avon Club Website

"While retaining familiar elements from the previous stories, 'Occam's Razor' chooses to concentrate on characters rather than taking the easy route of providing a story about murderous robots. Alan Stevens and co-writer Jim Smith weave a complex tale of murder, money, and political wrangling.... Playing a character that you last played nearly 25 years previously cannot be easy, but Hunter pulls it off marvellously and gives a superb performance as a suspicious and paranoid Uvanov."
--Ray Miller, Judith Proctor's Blake's 7 Website.

--Una McCormack


Full reviews of "Occam's Razor" by Lance Parkin, Daniel O'Mahony, Sarah McEvoy and Eddie Robson are also available on this site.

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