Kaldor City
Story 5: Checkmate
Magic Bullet
Story 5: Checkmate
Written by Alan Stevens
Directed by Alistair Lock
Sound Design by Alistair Lock

Paul Darrow (Iago), Russell Hunter (Uvanov), David Bailie (Taren Capel), David Bickerstaff (Voc 101) David Collings (Paulus), Trevor Cooper (Rull), Nicholas Courtney (Packard), Brian Croucher (Cotton), Rachel Fishwick (Schraeder), Miles Gould (Attendant), Petter Halliday (Derhaven), Patricia Merrick (Justina), Peter Miles (Landerchild), Tracy Russell (Blayes), Scott Fredericks (Carnell), Alan Stevens (Voice), Robert Lock (Cresswell), Alistair Lock (Yardley), Courtney King (Kellen), Bruce McGilligan (Voc 13), Mark Thompson (Producer), William Johnston (Announcer), Dnany Golem (Ghoul 1), Nickey Barnard (Ghoul 2).

ďCause and effect. It applies to everything.Ē

Taren Capelís legacy is unleashed, and death stalks the streets. As Uvanov fights for his career and life, Paullus contacts a force which could be the salvation of the people of Kaldor -- or their destruction.

With Carnell gone, Iago is the only one who can save the city from its fate -- but to do that, he must sacrifice everything...

Kaldor City - Checkmate uses characters and concepts from Chris Boucherís Doctor Who novel Corpse Marker to tell an apocalyptic tale of subterfuge and revelation.

  • The fifth in a series of original CD drama which use the characters, situations and settings from Blakeís 7 and Doctor Who.
  • Released: September 2003
(drn: 62'30")

Killer robots are rampaging across Kaldor City, and in the confusion, Uvanov and Iago have little time to ponder Carnellís cryptic final message that theyíre all being manipulated by some mysterious force older than humanity itself. On Uvanovís orders, Cotton sends a squad of company security guards to secure Kaldor City Broadcasting and destroy all but two of the killer robots, while Justina holds down the fort at Uvanovís private compound. Not all of the robots have become killers, as Taren Capelís upgrades were carried out ten years ago, and other upgrades carried out in the intervening time have corrupted or cancelled out his previous instructions. Nevertheless, enough killer robots remain to pose a serious threat. Iago therefore edits together a new command from the surviving records of Taren Capelís voice, modifies a killer robotís secondary command channel, and broadcasts a command in Taren Capelís voice ordering all killer robots to cease their rampage immediately. The instruction is picked up and broadcast to all robots who received the original instructions, and soon the rampage of killer robots is over. Now Uvanov must think up a cover story before Landerchild arranges for the board to pass a vote of no confidence in his leadership.

Blayes is becoming concerned about Paulus, who claims to be communing with Taren Capelís spirit through the blank records that they stole from company central. Paulus pacifies her by claiming that heís only speaking metaphorically -- but in fact, something is whispering to him from the static of the recordings and telling him what to do next. Paulus thus addresses the Tarenists, shows them the skull they acquired on the raid, and confirms that it is the skull of Taren Capel; however, he also claims that itís proof that Taren Capel has transcended the limitations of the flesh to become a spiritual being. When the Tarenists perform ďthe ritual of twelve,Ē Capel will be reborn in a new host body to strike down the forces of evil. Even as Paulus speaks, Justina has slipped into a confused, dream-like state and is trying to leave Uvanovís compound. She is prevented from leaving by Uvanovís personal guard staff, and the force within Taren Capelís skull therefore takes direct action, drawing on Paulusí own mental energy to project slithering, snake-like creatures into the compound. Uvanovís security guards are slaughtered, and Justina walks out amidst the chaos.

By the time company security responds to the alert at Uvanovís compound, Justina is gone and Uvanovís personal guards are all dead. The unnaturally rapid decomposition of their bodies suggests that the Tarenists have some terrible new weapon at their disposal. However, Uvanov is more concerned with the coming board meeting, especially when anchorman Daniel Packard, who was himself attacked by one of the killer robots, snaps in mid-broadcast and announces to the world that heís been feeding them lies and propaganda for years. Iago covers by claiming that Packard and his producer were Tarenist sympathisers, and has Packard locked up and the producer killed. He also outs Blayes as the leader of the recent Tarenist attacks, and Blayes decides to flee, leaving Paulus and the Tarenists to their madness. Meanwhile, Landerchild discusses the situation with Cotton, but decides to wait until Uvanov is discredited before acting against him. In the meantime, Cotton visits Stenton Rull in hospital, but Rull has been considering recent events and has deduced that Cotton is working for Landerchild. Cotton tries to kill Rull, but Rull has smuggled a gun into the hospital with him, and he kills Cotton instead.

Justina walks through the Sewerpits to the Tarenistsí meeting hall, easily disposing of the rapists and murderers who confront her in the streets. The Tarenists gather about a pentagram as instructed, but none are prepared for what happens next. Paulus watches in horror as his followers are transformed into nothing more than food for the newborn creature: not Taren Capel, but the Fendahl, which once survived being dropped in the heart of a supernova and has grown stronger from it.

Shortly before the board meeting, Landerchild receives a mysterious package, and when he peruses its contents he discovers that it contains evidence, supplied by Carnell, that Uvanov is behind the recent Tarenist outrages. Landerchild presents his findings to the board, and calls for Uvanov to be ousted from office and placed under arrest for his crimes. Uvanov, however, then presents the board with a similar folder, also supplied by Carnell, containing evidence that it is Landerchild who has been funding the Tarenists. The board must decide whether to believe one, the other, both, or neither; are Uvanov and Landerchild guilty of appalling crimes, or is Carnell lying?

By identifying Blayes as the leader of the Tarenists, Iago has effectively condemned her to death, mainly in order to get rid of a potential rival. Blayes thus tracks him down and tries to kill him, and Iago is mortally wounded in the exchange of gunfire. However, the thing that was once Justina appears to him and offers him the chance to change the past and put things right. Iago accepts the offer, and the creature apparently transports him back in time to Justinaís rooms. There, he destroys Justinaís painting of a red pentagram, and before she realises what heís doing, he shoots and kills her. But Carnell then appears before Iago, and now it seems that itís he, Carnell, who represents the power of the Fendahl. Either Iago has changed history or this is an illusion created by the Fendahl, but whatever the truth, it seems Iago has been outplayed...

Source: Cameron Dixon (with thanks to Fiona Moore for corrections!)

Continuity Notes:
  • The story will presumably continue in the next release, Storm Mine.
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