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Taren Capel is the fourth audio play in the Kaldor City series. Written by Alan Stevens, it focuses on Iago's attempt to get to the bottom of a scheme apparently instigated by Taren Capel before his death.

Publisher's summary Edit

"The man was a maniac. Now he's a dead maniac. How can a corpse be a threat?"

Strange times have come to Kaldor City. A long-vanished prophet speaks again; a plot is uncovered hinting at corruption among the Founding Families. Even the robots on which the city depends might hold secrets that no one dares imagine.

Carnell must pit himself against an unseen adversary in a game which may bring him face to face with the dead...

Kaldor City - Taren Capel uses characters and concepts from Chris Boucher's Doctor Who novel Corpse Marker to tell a sinister tale of awakening evil.

Plot Edit

to be added

Cast Edit

(in order of appearance)

References Edit

Individuals Edit

  • Carnell considers himself and Iago to be "con-men".
  • Landerchild is a senior member of a powerful founding family, and a prominent member of the Company board. He owns several properties.
  • Iago and Justina are no longer in a romantic relationship.
  • Some commentators say Uvanov is only a interim chairholder of the Company board.
  • Bextor was found dead at his place of residence. He is thought to have died of auto-erotic asphyxiation, involving a piece of fresh fruit. In truth, he was killed to prevent him from incriminating Landerchild further with The Larson Project scandal.
  • Cotton is working directly for Landerchild to aid in undermining Uvanov.

Objects Edit

  • Rull gives Uvanov a painting, from him and "the lads", of a "snake-like creature". The painting is 200 years old, by an artist named Wallbank. It was confiscated. Rull suggests Uvanov hang it behind his desk to “intimidate visitors”.
  • The Tarenists hardware comes from Waste Disposal.
  • An industrial winch was needed in order to get Rull into the emergency vehicle.
  • Carnell has taken Iago's ship to escape Kaldor City. Uvanov is surprised Iago has a ship.

Company Central Edit

  • Over the last few weeks Iago has been going through the divisional archive.
  • Taren Capel's skull and his diary recordings, are stored in the archive room.
  • Uvanov's new office has top of the line secutiry, full communication array, and a massive desk in front of a prism glass window. Its refurbishments took a long time to complete due Iago's security suggestions, which included an electrified carpet and fighting fish.
  • The Tarenists attack company central. The plan is to crash an armoured personnel carrier through the main gate and into the front of the building, this has apparently been attempted before.
  • Rull executes 'Emergency Plan 4a' as the company central building is overrun by Tarenist rebels.

Tarenists Edit

  • The Tarenists believe Taren Capel will return from the dead.
  • A number of secular anti robot groups have joined the Tarenists.
  • Paullus is the head of the Church of Taren Capel cell. If Paullus is captured the entire Tarenist network will be at risk.
  • The Tarenists refer to Taren Capel's diary recordings as his 'last testament'.
  • The Tarenists are used by the Company as a means of social control.

Storm Mine Four Edit

  • Storm Mine Four was eight months into the tour of the desert. There were 9 crew members aboard at the time of the Storm Mine murders. It's been 10 years since then.
  • The surviving crew memebers reported that towards the end Taren Capel dressed himself as a robot.
  • Aboard Storm Mine Four, Taren Capel was engaging in a two phase process to turn fully inhibited Voc and Supervocs into programmed killers. Phase one involved physically altering the central cortex with a laserson probe and creating a 'secondary command channel'. Phase two concerned the transmission of a specially designed program to modify the robots basic operational software.
  • Only a select few know about the Storm Mine murders, the official story was they were attacked by ore raiders.

Taren Capel Edit

  • Iago was at data retrieval researching Taren Capel.
  • Iago reviews Taren Capel's diary recordings. These concern:
    • Borg, who Capel describes as "small minded, obsessive and petty".
    • Uvanov's relationship with Zilda.
    • Poul's behaviour, how he suspects Poul of being an agent for the Company, and how Poul is showing early signs of robophobia.
    • Uvanov playing chess with V9, and how Chub was taunting Borg about a Voc therapist in Kaldor City.
    • Iago observes from the diary extracts that Taren Capel is "calm, controlling, manipulative, egocentric, [and] likes to play chess with people."
    • The diary recordings are found to be blank when acquired by the Tarenists.
  • Taren Capel was raised by robots. In his adult life he became a recluse shunning all human contact. The Company indulged him because he was a robotic genius way ahead in his field, and part of the company's own robot development program.
  • Before turning up on Storm Mine Four, Taren Capel had been missing for 6 weeks.
  • Paullus believes Taren Capel loved humanity and hated robots.
  • Uvanov mentions how Taren Capel was strangled to death by a robot.

Robots Edit

  • Robophobia is endemic in all robot based societies, Kaldor City is no exception. It manifests itself in persons with an extreme sensitivity to the physical signals through which all animals, humans included, convey information about their emotional states. Robots lack this 'body language' and consequently it inspires a phobic reaction.
  • Carnell believes Taren Capel suffered from 'robophobia', and as such it was the driving principal of Capel's existance. In extreme cases the sufferer begins to identify with the cause of the phobia. Capel's belief he was freeing the robots from slavery stemmed from his fear of them.
  • Uvanov's considers Cotton to be "so stupid he'd lose an argument with a dum class robot".
  • Iago's other professional qualification, beside an assassin, is robot programmer.
  • V31, associated with Carnell, is a fully programmed domestic Voc class robot with additional secretarial functions. It was first programmed at the east Kaldor construction centre 6 years and 10 months ago. It's last upgrade took place on 09/01/90.
  • Taren Capel's trigger phrase to activate the killer robots is capable of passing like a virus from robot to robot. Within a few hours of its release every Voc, Supervoc, and Dum in Kaldor City will be infected.

Chess Edit

  • Chess boards are manufactured in Kaldor City.
  • Carnell plays chess with V31:
    • V31 has the white pieces, meaning he has the first move, which Carnell considers to be the advantage. As the game progresses Carnell deduces the pieces represent:
      • White King's Knight is Blayes.
      • Black King's Rook is Company Central.
      • Black King is Uvanov.
      • Black King's Knight is Rull.
      • Black King's Bishop is Carnell.
      • Black Queen's Knight is Iago.
      • Black Queen's Bishop is V31.
      • White King is Taren Capel.
      • Carnell suspects the white and black Queens to be one and the same.
    • V31 takes a couple of hours contemplating its first move of King's Knight to King's Bishop 3.
    • Carnell's first move is Queen's Knight to Queen's Bishop 3.
    • V31's second move is King's Knight to Queen 4.
    • Carnell decides his second move is Queen's knight takes... However he is interrupted by V31 who instructs his second move to be Queen's Knight to King 4.
    • V31 moves King's Knight to King's Knight 6. Carnell deduces this means the Tarenists are attacking 'Company Central'.
    • Carnell: Bishop to Queen 3.
    • V31: King's Knight takes King's Rook.
    • Carnell: King's Knight to Kings Bishop 3. V31 predicts this means the Tarenists are out of Uvanov's control.
    • V31: King's Knight to King's Knight 6. Carnell deduces this means Blayes is returning to base.
    • Carnell attempts to move a Pawn to Rook 4. However, V31 informs him that is an incorrect move. V31 suggests Carnell's next move is Black Queen's Knight to Queen 2. At this point, Uvanov knocks all the pieces off the board declaring game over. V31 restores the chess pieces to the board, but in doing so changes the position of some of the pieces. V31 explains the game has moved on. Carnell observes the White Queen's Knight and the White Queen's Bishop haven't moved all game: a warrior and a priest in some form of allegence.
    • Carnell attempts to move a Pawn to Queen's Rook 4. However, again V31 informs him this to be an incorrect move. V31 suggests the next move should be Black Queen's Knight to Bishop 1. (Foretelling Iago's attempt on Carnell's life.) Carnell observes this to be an illegal move.
  • After Carnell has fled Kaldor, Iago notices that the Black Bishop is now missing from the chess game, he suspects Carnell has taken it with him.

Allusions Edit

  • "That the problem with ambition, it's a useful servant but a terrible master." – Carnell quotes American author Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Notes Edit

  • During Iago and Carnell's conversation about Taren Capel, Iago seems to be drawing a comparison between Carnell and Capel's behaviour. Likewise, Carnell seems to be drawing a comparison between Iago and Capel's behaviour.
  • The copyright notice printed on the CD release of this production states: "Unauthorised copying, hiring, renting, public performance and broadcasting is strictly prohibited or V31 will strangle you."
  • This story was part of a recording block that also consisted of: AUDIO: Hidden Persuaders, and AUDIO: Checkmate.[1]
  • David Bailie reprises his role as Taren Capel from TV: The Robots of Death. Bailie had given up acting and had only started up again just a few months before series producer Alan Stevens contacted him. [2]
  • In preparation for writing this story, Stevens had the moves to the chess game worked out in detail, including several moves that don't appear in the finished script.[3] The equivalents of the chess pieces not stated by Carnell are as follows:
    • White Queen's Rook is Landerchild's Residence
    • White Queen's Knight is Cotton
    • White Queen's Bishop is Landerchild
    • White King is Taren Capel
    • White King's Bishop is Paullus
    • White King's Rook is the Church of Taren Capel
    • Black Queen's Rook is Uvanov's Residence
    • Carnell correctly speculates that the White and Black Queens are one and the same, and are confirmed to be Fendahl/Justina, foreshadowing her fate in AUDIO: Checkmate.
    • Although the Black Queen's Bishop is stated in the play to be V31, it is in fact again Paullus, mirroring his role as the White King's Bishop.
  • Two specially recorded audio trailers were released to promote this story, both in the form of a short monologue, as read in character, one by Paul Darrow as Iago[4], and the other by David Bailie as Taren Capel.[5]
  • The CD cover art was designed by Andy Hopkinson.
  • The third edition of Mad Norwegian Press' reference work AHistory gives a year of 2890 for the events of this story.

Continuity Edit

  • Uvanov is given a painting of a Fendahleen painted by Wallbank, foreshadowing the emergence of the Fendahl in AUDIO: Checkmate. Justina's portrait of the red pentagram in AUDIO: Occam's Razor is also by Wallbank.
  • Carnell mentions Kaldor City is being manipulated and used by something very powerful that has existed for millions of years which has become part of them all. This also foreshadows the emergence of the Fendahl in AUDIO: Checkmate.
  • The bad dreams Justina has been having of "nothing that makes sense" forshadow her place as the Fendahl core in AUDIO: Checkmate.
  • The play closes with a grand piece of misdirection, with Iago managing to convince Uvanov of the danger of the killer robots, and with the killer robots being activated: this created expectations the following plays would deal with a robot-destroyed city. Instead, in AUDIO: Checkmate, this threat is neutralised relatively simply using extracts from Taren Capel's diaries.
  • The story saw the apparent departure of Carnell from the series, although the character may have possibly returned in the following play: it is likely, however, the version of Carnell in AUDIO: Checkmate was a projection of Iago's mind and/or the Fendahl rather than the actual psychostrategist.
  • The events of TV: The Robots of Death occurred "ten years ago".
  • Waiting for the best possible moment to make himself known in a disaster is a technique Uvanov also described in PROSE: Corpse Marker.
  • Paullus states how he met Taren Capel on Storm Mine Four. (TV: The Robots of Death)
  • The characters of Zilda, Borg and Chub are mentioned. (TV: The Robots of Death.)
  • Iago made the security suggestions for Uvanov's residence in AUDIO: Occam's Razor.
  • Iago and Justina's romantic relationship began in AUDIO: Occam's Razor.
  • The character of V31 previously appeared in AUDIO: Occam's Razor.
  • Uvanov's office was previously destroyed in AUDIO: Occam's Razor.
  • The Larson Project is revealed to have been Uvanov scheme to discredit Landerchild. (AUDIO: Hidden Persuaders)
  • The character of Bextor, who is announced to have died, previously appeared in AUDIO: Hidden Persuaders.
  • Carnell plays chess with a robot. As did Uvanov in TV: The Robots of Death, and as will Blayes in TV: Storm Mine. In the Blake's 7 episode Weapon, from which the character originates, Carnell boasts how he has beaten the best chess computer available 6 times in a row.
  • 'The Butcher of Zircaster' whom Iago is said to have killed refers to the Blake's 7 villain Travis. This name was given in the charity audio The Mark of Kane to the character, whom Avon shot dead in the television series. It suggests Kaston Iago is in fact Kerr Avon from Blake's 7 going for his own reasons under an assumed name. As do several other pieces of information given in AUDIO: Occam's Razor. Metafiction plays with the listener's expectation of this idea.

External links Edit

Footnotes Edit

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