After running down an out-of-control luxury Mo-Pad, Dredd finds its owner dead the trail leads to the TV gameshow Sob Story.
Ol’ Stoney Face
As we’ve seen before, Dredd is pretty dismissive of these game shows. He certainly has no problem at all interrupting a live broadcast to interview the host.
The Big Meg (and Beyond)
Overpopulation and overcrowding in Mega-City One that 18 million citizens live in Mo-Pads, mobile homes of different sizes and types, that continually travel the 13 billion miles of highway in the City. There are “Hop-Off” points where the Mo-Pads can briefly stop to pick up or drop off passengers. It’s implied that not many choose this type of life, and the Mo-Pads we see here are covered with signs begging for rooms in the Big Meg.
Sob Story is a live TV gameshow hosted by Johnny Teardrop where contestants come on and tell their tragic personal stories, and the audience decides to either ignore them, send abuse their way or donate money to support them. There’s also an Instant Sob segment where someone in the audience gets 15 seconds to tell their own sob story for cash. The show gets musical support from “The Sob Sisters”.
Disturbingly in a city full of 800 million unemployed and bored people, the show publishes the full address of every contestant at the end of the show.
The villain is still a mystery but they seem to wait for someone to claim a lot of cash on Sob Story and then tracks them down, kills them and makes off with the cash.
This is a bit of a leap for Dredd to make – he has one victim murdered three years ago and a single scrap of paper linking him to the show.
Mr. Hodgis was killed three years ago in his luxury Mo-Pad after winning big on Sob Story. His home on wheels was then set on automatic and cruised the Big Meg until found by Dredd.
The idea of citizens having to live in mobile homes due to overcrowding is really clever. The gameshow doesn’t work for me quite as well, and the episode overall doesn’t have quite enough energy. Why does Dredd assume the next victim will be in a Mo-Pad? The connection between the two halves of the story doesn’t quite fit. Let’s see what Part 2 does.