AUDIO REVIEW: The Scarifyers – The King of Winter

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The Scarifyer’s were last seen in 2012 and after a lengthy absence they have returned on chilling form.

Midsummer, 1938. When a train porter is frozen to his living room chair (then nearly crowned Miss Croydon), MI-13’s Harry Crow (David Warner) and Professor Dunning (Terry Molloy) are on the case. But what links the unfortunate porter to the equally glaciated peer-of-the-realm, Lord Trumpley? MI:13’s investigations lead them to exclusive gentleman’s establishment, The Tartarus Club, whose membership appears to be rapidly dwindling.
What is the secret of the Tartarus Club? Why are the villagers of Thornton Gibbet afraid of a 300-year-old ghost? And why is it snowing in June?
As everlasting winter sets in, Crow and Dunning find themselves pitted against their greatest foe yet… THE KING OF WINTER.

The great thing about the Simon Barnard and Paul Morris’ supernatural comedy series The Scarifyers is that it does not require you to have listened to any previous instalments to enjoy it. Having some sense of the past will enrich your listening experience, but any adventure in this series is an excellent gateway to the world of the Scarifyers.

As always the main cast is superb. Terry Molloy (Doctor Who) is a wonderful as the bumbling Professor Dunning and David Warner (The Omen) gruffs his way through the moody Harry Crow, a character who took over from original lead Inspector Lionheart played by the late and much missed Nicholas Courtney. (Doctor Who)

Scarifyers 9 - David Warner and Terry Molloy

Dunning and Crow are excellent characters, with Molloy playing a character nothing like his most famous role as Dalek overlord Davros. Timid, kindly and highly intelligent Professor Dunning is an excellent opposite to Warner’s Harry Crow, who does not suffer fools gladly, especially if they are spoilt children as heard in a memorable scene from the story.

Brimming with both clever and silly humour, this is an enjoyable comedic romp. If you enjoy brilliant pot shots at well-known public figures and terrible puns, you will be very happy.

But it is not all silly. There are some genuinely creepy moments in the story such as the opening prologue as a man is frozen to death by dark forces and the back-story of the King of Winter himself is deliciously macabre. This is an excellent demonstration of The Scarifyers’ ability to balance humour with horror.

The plot involves an awful lot going on as Dunning and Crow spend most of the time separated but the plot is tightly put together and charges along at a brilliant pace.

There are some very memorable set pieces throughout culminating in a terrific climax when Dunning attempts to thwart the main villain whilst improvising on stage in a Shakespeare play dressed as a tree.

The supporting cast is excellent headed up by Guy Henry (Holby City) as the odious Charles Blackthorn with series regulars David Benson (Doctor Who) and Alex Lowe (Utopia)

Scarifyers 9 - Full cast

Both actors continue their Scarifyers tradition of playing multiple roles throughout the story. Benson is always a joy to listen to as he somehow manages to bring a salacious quality to nearly all the characters he plays. I was somewhat disappointed to not hear him reprise the role of infamous occultist Aleister Crowley as the subject matter seemed fit for that character to return.

Both silly and action packed The King in Winter is an excellent addition to a fantastic series, and I hope it wont be too long a wait for the next episode.

Title: The Scarifyers – The King of Winter

Publisher: Bafflegab Productions

Rating: 5/5

Reviewer: Matt Davis @DecadentGent

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