Prog #164: I’ve Always Wanted to Be a Blonde! (The Judge Child, part 9)

Case File

Dredd and crew arrive on the planet Lesser Lingo, where “body-hiring” is a common practice. In order to continue the search for the Judge Child, Dredd must first find the missing President.

331511-19752-125484-1-2000-a-dOl’ Stoney Face

Dredd and his crew are 12 days into their mission. Dredd is still upset by Lopez’s moustache.

Vice-President Kolbec convinces Dredd to take on the Case of the Missing President after offering to obtain the Judge some “Oracle Spice”, which apparently grants knowledge when ingested.

Friends of Dredd

Lopez really wants to keep his moustache, and given there aren’t any regs against it he’s standing up to Dredd about it. I’ll be honest, I didn’t anticipate a Judge’s moustache taking up quite as much plot as this.

The Big Meg (and Beyond)

This episode we touch down on the planet of Lesser Lingo. It’s in the Epsilon System, was colonised in 2055 and has a human population of 250,000. The original race that was there are now relegated to slums and perform menial tasks for the humans. Another in the ongoing series of “Aliens Humanity Has Been Real Jerks To” (see also Tweak’s race). They look kind of like upright vultures.

One of the main features of Lesser Lingo is that “biochipping” is legal, with Dredd implying that it is not in Mega-City One. Essentially, a person’s personality is downloaded onto a computer chip which is then inserted into volunteer bodies for periods of time up to 10 hours – for a fee. Body Broking agencies act as facilitators of this process. Even the Police Chief, Winston Nye, supplements his serve-and-protect salary by renting out his body to the late Mrs Murdston so she can arrest people. He even puts on a nice wig.

President Carlyle, or rather the personality imprint that remains of him, has fallen victim to kidnappers while he was wandering around in the body of popular punk rocker Rocky Rock.

The Alien Zoo

As well as Lesser Lingo’s original inhabitants that live in the cities serving the humans, “wild” aliens also live outside the cities. More about them next episode!

The Law

Lesser Lingo has its own constabulary force comprised of the alien race that inhabited the planet before humans colonised it. They’re dressed in versions of old London police outfits – including helmets and truncheons – and have their wings amputated before they serve. They appear to be led by a human.

Dredd is assigned a member of the constabulary to help him: Number 49.

Hershey accompanies Dredd down to Lesser Lingo with their Lawmasters, and uses a lie detector to determine that Kolbec is telling the truth about the Oracle Spice.

Creeps

The kidnappers who make off with President Carlyle are of the native alien race, but apart from that we don’t know anything about them.

Verdict

There’s just a bit too much going on in this episode for me to completely enjoy it. The idea of the “body-hiring” is very interesting, but I don’t feel like it’s completely clear exactly how it works from what we see here. I’m keen to get back to the actual Judge Child mission, and these episodes are starting to feel a little bit like padding.

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