- Takes place between Seasons 1&2
- Full cast, including Michelle Hurd and Jeri Ryan
- 1 hour 39 minutes
- Released 22/02/2022
Raffi Musiker. Seven of Nine. Both women have messy histories when it comes to Starfleet, but both are determined to uphold the principles once embodied by that organisation. And as chaos spreads in the ruins of the Romulan Empire, Raffi and Seven find themselves drawn together once more . . .
I love audio dramas, and it’s great to see more publishers getting involved. When it comes to Doctor Who and Blake’s 7, Big Finish own the market. But that market is growing. The Star Wars universe is now home to three original audio dramas, and now Star trek is getting in on the game as well. There was never a question of whether I would listen to this release. The only question was whether or not it would stand out among the competition. The answer to that is a resounding . . . kind of.
The big draw here is of course the vocal talent. Two of Picard‘s stars reprising their roles in a new story? It’s hard to pass. Especially when fan favourite Seven of Nine has a starring role. For the first hour, Raffi and Seven were almost unidentifiable. Then I realised I was 1.5x speed. Fixing that brought me straight back to more familiar tones. I’m not sure if Hurd or Ryan have much experience with voiceover work, but here they are on fine form. Close your eyes and it would be no different to having them on the screen. The supporting cast do great work too, and it’s nice to meet some of the Fenris Rangers in the flesh (so to speak). Even if it’s the TV names who get first billing, everyone involved deserves praise for their work.
But all the stellar performances in the world can’t elevate what is a rather uninteresting story. I knew going in that the focus was on the burgeoning romance between Raffi and Seven. Romance is well down the list onw hat I want to listen to, but I can work with it if there’s a good story running alongside. In No Man’s Land, there isn’t one. There’s an interesting idea in a Romulan warlord trying to reclaim ancient artefacts, but it’s very much the B-plot. It’s ironic that the search for immortality (in legend or in body) is so short-lived, because it’s the sort of story that would have made for a great story in its own right. Especially given the fate of Picard himself at the end of the first season. But the story ends up as a tragic warning about losing what you love, informing the relationship drama at the audio drama’s heart. That’s not a bad thing, it’s just not what I wanted.
Really, No Man’s Land is an excuse to hang out with some favoured characters again, even if only for a short period of time. In that, it succeeds. But it doesn’t do much more. What it does from my perspective is get Star trek’s foot in the door to the world of audio adventures. Given that we recently had Kate Mulgrew reprise the role of Janeway for the character’s autobiography, this opens the window to all sorts of offscreen storytelling. And to be honest with you, I like the fact that Star Trek does things that don’t work for me. Why? Because it means the franchise isn’t resting on its laurels. It’s trying new things. It’s boldly going. And what that means is that the best is yet to come.
Did you enjoy this audio drama? If so, you might also like:
The Autobiography of Kathryn Janeway, by Una McCormack
Rogue Elements, by John Jackson Miller
The Dark Veil, by James Swallow