Monday, 14 July 2014

Judge Dredd: 'Any Confessions?'

NAME
Judge Dredd: 'Any Confessions?'

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 AD Featuring Judge Dredd Prog 201

DATELINE
28 Feb 81

This prog also featured The Mean Arena, Meltdown Man, Return To Armageddon and Strontium Dog strips, part two of Tharg's Futureworlds Poster and a Judge Dredd cover by Ian Gibson.

PAGE COUNT
7

REPRINTS
The Complete Judge Dredd 19, Judge Dredd's Crime Files 4, Judge Dredd Chronicles Book 25 and Judge Dredd The Complete Case Files 04.

SYNOPSIS
Dredd attempts to have a controversial game show cancelled.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First use of the term "Spont"

INFORMATION
Mega-City One's citiblocks include Jay Silverheels Block, Frankie Joe Haydn Block and Gus Holst Block.

Any Confessions? is a vid-prog game show presented by Corn O'Connor. Contestants competitively confess to crimes to win prizes up to 200,000 credits. Sections include What's My Crime? and Mime That Crime. It reaches number 2 in Mega-City One's TV ratings. Surveillance reveals that the crime rate among future contestants is six times higher than the Mega-City average, however spontaneous confessions are up 4000 per cent and prison admittances have doubled since the show went on air. Following the assassination of Deputy Chief Judge Pepper by a pair of future contestants, the show is cancelled by order of the Supreme Council.

Kneecap testers test kneecaps. A Tando-Chop is a helicopter-style flying vehicle that carries two people.

The Justice Department's spy-in-the-sky surveillance system has at least 774 cameras. Spont is a nickname given to spontaneous confessors. Named Judges: Judge Klugman.


JUDGE DREDD
He dislikes the motive of Any Confessions?, believing it to encourage crime. Dredd arranges for round-the-clock spy-in-the-sky surveillance of all future contestants. It pays off and he interrupts Bern and Mikki Walter in an attempted robbery. He defends the Chief Judge from an assassination attempt by future Any Confessions? contestants. When the Supreme Council bans Any Confessions?, Dredd delivers the relevant documentation personally.

OTHER CHARACTERS
CORN O'CONNOR
Presenter of Any Confessions?

CHARLES & BLENDA DAVENPORT
Contestants on Any Confessions? They confess to multiple vehicle theft. They win the first prize of 200,000 Credits and are arrested for gross vehicle theft, sentenced to eight years in an iso-cube.

IKE & TINA SCHMIDT
Contestants on Any Confessions? They confess to shoplifting, beating up a mock-dog vendor and setting fire to an elevator in the Jay Silverheels Block in 2099 because they weren't given an apartment there. They win a pair of solid golf effect handcuffs as a consolation prize and are arrested, sentenced to at least three years.

ROCKY KNUCKLE
Lives in Mega-City One's District 31. He calls in to Ant Confessions? to feature on the What's My Crime? section of the show. He confesses to, among other things, not paying for his vid calls. He wins 500 creds and is due to be arrested at home and serve between five and ten years in an isolation cube.

BERN & MIKKI WALTER
They have been booked as contestants on Any Confessions? Dredd orders 24 hour surveillance of them and they are apprehended attempting a robbery in the Frankie Joe Haydn Block Plaza. Dredd shoots Bern in the leg and arrests them both.

JEAN & GINO ESCALINO
They have been booked as contestants on Any Confessions? Dredd orders 24 hour surveillance of them and they are apprehended vandalising vehicles in the Gus Holst Block Lower Parking Bays. They are trapped by the attempt at arson. Dredd arrests them both.

BRUTUS & IVY LUPIN
They have been booked as contestants on Any Confessions? They attempt to assassinate the Council of Five from a souped-up Tando-Chop and succeed in killing Judge Pepper. They are trapped by the attempt at arson. Dredd arrests them both.

CHIEF JUDGE GRIFFIN
He is in favour of Any Confessions? remaining on air.

JUDGE McGRUDER
She is in favour of Any Confessions? remaining on air.

JUDGE QUIMBY
He is in favour of Any Confessions? remaining on air.

DEPUTY CHIEF JUDGE PEPPER
He is initially in favour of Any Confessions? remaining on air. After the assassination attempt that leaves him mortally wounded, he changes his mind. He dies.

ARRESTS
Four. The Davenports are arrested for gross vehicle theft and sentenced to eight years in an iso-cube. The Schmidts are arrested and get at least three years. Bern & Mikki Walter are arrested for attempted robbery.

DEATHS
One. Deputy Chief Judge Pepper is shot dead by the Lupins.

BEST LINES
Psi-Judge Ecks (as Judge Pepper lays dying): "I foresaw trouble all along!"

WORST LINES
None.

CATCHPHRASES
None.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Game show host O'Connor shares his surname with Des O'Connor, future game show host of Take Your Pick and Countdown.
Judge Klugman is presumably named after the American actor Jack Klugman (1922–2012), best known for playing Quincy in Quincy, M.E. (1976–1983). Jay Silverheels (1912–1980) was a Native American actor who played Tonto in The Lone Ranger from 1949 to 1957. Frankie Joe Haydn refers to the Austrian composer, Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809), while Gus Holst is obviously Gustav Holst (1874–1934) was an English composer who was best known for his orchestral suite The Planets, written between 1914 and 1916. Ike and Tina Schmidt share their first names with Ike (1931-2007) and Tina Turner, who together released the singles 'River Deep - Mountain High', 'Nutbush City Limits' and 'Ooh Poo Pah Doo'.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: T.B. Grover
Artist: Emberton
Letters: Tom Frame

REVIEW
Judge Dredd takes another swipe at exploitative reality TV before such a thing really existed and the result is fantastic. The most surprising thing about this strip is that following a potentially tense atomic thriller is that what seems like a jaunty comic one-off then in a marvellous turnabout kills off Deputy Chief Judge Pepper brilliantly in a manner that serves the story, the comedy and remains shocking.

Next Prog: When A Lawmaster Goes Haywire!