I listened to the story before from The Robots 3, then started into The Robots 4 and couldn't put it down. Such a lot of mystery and some wonderful world building both, and an opening with Guy Adams still in peak form at writing stories that mess with your head doesn't hurt in the least, but the whole set managed to keep it from seeming like things went downhill any after that, all the way to the end. Really enjoying the series the way they continue to do such great work with it. Top marks for quality and consistency both.
... where we are once more invited into the mind of Ander Poul, and what a disturbed place it is. Guy Adams' opener for Set Four of this really excellent series is so strong, both in its continuation of what we have learned so far, and in its own right, that if - as originally planned - this was to be the final installment of The Robots, I would be very sad indeed. Whilst it is great to know we're just over half way through, it's true to say we really don't know what will happen, or what actually has happened, to the various characters. Very dark, and some nice revelations. This might be the last we hear from Poul - I've only heard this story so far - and if it is, what a way to go. Mind-blowing performances, especially from David Collings, already hugely missed. The location also, is worthy of mention. A gorgeous moment for those who remember Robots of Death.
Off Grid by Sarah Grochala feels like it is in the process of wrapping up an ongoing story-line, there is definitely a hint of finality about this. It's dangerous ground. The characters we've grown to know are now in freefall, and there's no guarantee they'll live to see the end of the story (no spoilers from me!). Of course, that could be said for any episode in this excellent series, but never more-so than now. Happily of course, The Robots is far from over, and it will be interesting to see where things go from here - whether events and intensity continue to grow, or we go back to (slightly) more intimate stories. I'm a fan of both big and smaller tales in this series, because both are handled so well. Again, we get hints and shadows of names and events from the past, and the possibility that Toos' storyline might finally be heading toward that of Liv and Tula (the latter really has a chance to shine here) - and the wonderful Skellen, who we get know a bit more here. The world-building, so often mentioned, continues apace - you really get a sense of 'being' in Kaldor City.
The Janus Deception by Robert Whitelock, who seems incapable of writing a bad story. Attempting to turn sister against sister guarantees some dramatic possibilities. Liv and Tula have proven to be a compelling double act, and their loyalty (and occasional squabbling) has provided a highlight that binds these stories together. A lot of this is of course due to the acting, which is on fine display here as the stakes are raised - so much so that I'm surprised no-one mentioned their previous association with The Doctor (I'm glad that didn't happen though, I like this as a standalone series). I just hope the next 'phase' of The Robots doesn't lose the comparative simple intimacy of some of the stories up to this point. When the stakes are raised, it is sometimes a case that the smaller, more valuable moments are compromised. Lovely stuff.
I guess I missed the announcement, or just forgot, that this was extended to a 6 volume set. I went into this thinking it was the end of the series and was pleasantly surprised that I was wrong. What a fantastic range. I've loved it all.
Finished it. And what can I say- I enjoyed myself. This series continues to be one of the best current BF series, and for me, the main reasons for this are the fantastic leads and the great writing and pacing. I won't spoil the story by going into details. We again dive deep into the world of Kaldor, and of the evolving robots and the development of robot consciousness. This series is a great sci-fi thriller. And Liv is on top of her game.
Overall I really enjoyed this set and it really feels like the plot is actually going somewhere now. I just have a few questions about the first episode that confused me a little bit. How long have toos and poul been robots? Have we been following these copies all the way from volume 2 until now? Also what exactly is the reason for toos and poul making robot duplicates of themselves?
It’s funny really. When this series was first announced as “The Robots”, I thought to myself “That’s a slightly odd title..”. Not even “The Robots of Kaldor”? Bit brief really as just “The Robots”, no? But it has grown on me, I have to say. Particularly given the existential threat robots could conceptually grow to be in society if things went a bit…. awry….
This series continues to be “world building done right”, it really does! Gold stars all round. One of my favourite BF series this year so far.
The interviews on the last story are particularly fascinating listening.
This series continues to impress. I didn't see the twist coming in Closed Loop (which always makes something more enjoyable). I thought Skellen's behaviour at the end of the second episode came out of the blue and was totally out of character and was simply the writer putting the needs of the plot ahead of the characterisation. Having subsequently listened to episode 3, that judgement may have been a bit premature and I will have to relisten with the benefit of hindsight in order to form a settled view.
I assume from listening to this that vols 5 & 6 must have been on the cards for a good while before they were announced as I don't see how they could have ended the series here as (supposedly) originally planned.
Like elkawho, I forgot this was extended into six sets, so when I got to the end of The Janus Deception and it was a cliff hanger, my brain went NOOOOoooo! And then I rushed to the BF site to reassure myself that the additional sets were coming. (But I have to wait till December for the next installment!)
Fantastic, gripping stories. Loved the plot twists, couldn't stop listening, and I can't wait to hear how this will wind up.
I'm going to have to re-listen to the whole series once all the box sets are out.
"You're all irresponsible fools!" Doctor: "But we're very experienced irresponsible fools." _____________________________________
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