Kaldor City
Story 2: Death’s Head
Magic Bullet
Story 2: Death’s Head
Written by Chris Boucher
Directed by Alistair Lock and Alan Stevens
Production and Music by Alistair Lock

Scott Fredericks (Carnell), Nicholas Briggs (Sheen), Robert Lock (Rov), Trevor Cooper (Rull), Brian Croucher (Cotton), Peter Miles (Landerchild), Peter Tuddenham (Strecker), David Bickerstaff (Attendant), Russell Hunter (Uvanov), Alistair Lock (Hume), Paul Darrow (Iago), Patricia Merrick (Justina), Tracy Russell (Blayes), Fiona Moore (Voice 1), Bruce McGilligan (Voice 2).

“Taren Capel? The mad god of the robots. He was famous, briefly, but then, weren’t we all?”

Someone is spinning a web. Links are forming between one man’s need for violence and another’s desire for power; a desert ore processing station and a long dead enemy of the state. Someone, maybe everyone, is being manipulated.

Carnell is the obvious culprit, but who is the psychostrategist working for, and what could their motive possibly be?

Kaldor City: Death’s Head uses the characters, situations and settings that appear in Chris Boucher’s Doctor Who novel Corpse Marker, to tell a complex tale of sex, money and death.

  • The second in a series of original CD drama which use the characters, situations and settings from Blake’s 7 and Doctor Who.
  • Released: April 2002
(drn: 49'12")

Topmaster Stenton Rull, the head of Company security, receives a tip about rebel activity at a research station in the Blind Heart desert, and when he investigates, he finds a cache of weapons in the station. He interrogates the two scientists working at the station, Sheen and Rov, but they claim to have no idea what he’s talking about. He assumes they’re lying and kills them both, only to learn, when he returns to Kaldor City, that Sheen was apparently a personal friend of Uvanov. Irritated, Rull forces his way into the Firstmasters’ oasis to speak with Firstmaster Landerchild, who gave him the tip, but the intrusion angers Firstmaster Strecker, who decides to fire the attendant who interrupted his and Landerchild’s leisure time to report that Rull had arrived. Feeling responsible for the attendant’s predicament, Rull murders Strecker.

A man named Hume visits Uvanov, claiming to have found the skull of Taren Capel. Iago, who is now working as Uvanov’s security consultant, orders Hume to remove the skull from its container before presenting it to Uvanov; however, the skull has been coated with contact poison, and Hume drops dead moments after touching it. Uvanov blames his personal assistant, Justina, for letting Hume into his presence, since she claims to have known him prior to this. He then tricks her and Iago into letting slip that they are sleeping together. Since Rull is busy elsewhere, and Iago is now implicated in the assassination attempt due to his relationship with Justina and hers with Hume, Uvanov assigns on the investigation to security chief Cotton.

Cotton passes on the bulk of the work to his associate, Blayes, who begins by questioning Iago. Iago has deduced that Hume handled the skull because he believed he’d been given the antidote, which implies that he was working with or for someone else. Blayes then tries to find a match for the skull itself, and is surprised to find that it belonged to Sheen. When she jets out to the research station, she finds Rull waiting there, and assumes that he’s trying to cover up his own part in the assassination attempt. For his part, Rull assumes that she’s here to collect the cache of rebel weapons. However, they’ve already been removed, and when Blayes and Rull compare stories, they conclude that some other party passed on a false tip to Rull, got Sheen killed and tried to use his skull as a weapon against Uvanov. But the rumour about Sheen being a friend of Uvanov’s was also false, so what’s really going on?

Naturally, this has all been arranged by the psycho-strategist Carnell. Justina arranged to have the weapons planted on the station in order to discredit Rull and give Iago (and herself) more power, but this seems to have failed. Landerchild passed on the false tip to Rull as part of a plan to kill Uvanov, but this seems to have failed. Uvanov himself was aware of these plans, having arranged them through Carnell in order to keep his enemies -- ie., everyone but himself -- unsettled and confused. Since Blayes has shown herself to be intelligent and resourceful, Uvanov wants rid of her, and he orders Carnell to manipulate her into becoming a rebel leader in such a way that Landerchild’s career will be ruined. Soon afterwards, Iago visits Carnell to pass on his professional compliments at a well-run strategy -- and to warn him that as soon as he lets his guard down, Iago will kill him.

Source: Cameron Dixon

Continuity Notes:
  • The attendant whom Rull “helps” is later revealed, in Hidden Persuaders, to be an agent for the Church of Taren Capel, while the skull of Taren Capel plays a vital role in Taren Capel and Checkmate.
[Back to Main Page]