Having just run Rogue Male, BBC7 ran an abridged version of Rogue Justice this week. I (along with generations of others) thoroughly enjoyed the story of the ‘Rogue Male’ and was looking forward to the adaptation of the sequel.
Unfortunately it offered very little in comparison to it’s forebear. Perhaps the best example I can give of this, is when it finished today, I was expecting another 10 episodes. So flat was the ending it merely felt like the end of a chapter.
I think the easiest way to explain why Rogue Justice fails is simply to compare it to Rogue Male.
Rogue male was an intimate battle between our un-named hero and Major Quive-Smith (a German agent, never stated but implied). The hunter and hunted and a certain symmetry of character make this battle engrossing. There is tremendous suspense in the original story, and the narrative and the locations are simple and clear. The drive is the hero’s obsessions and character. The impression given in the book is that the death of his lover was more a catalyst that lead him to become a lone hunter, the personality, the character traits were already there, this is no lame Deus Ex Machina, more a revelation to the character. His symbiotic relationship with nature is a pleasure to read, and a real generator of suspense.
There are no protagonists in Rogue Justice worthy of a mention, just a few nasty Nazi’s (yes it is explicitly Germany this time) . He never pits his wits against the elements let alone someone comparable to Quive-Smith. His lover becomes the overwhelming driver for his revenge on a state, her torture almost out of Sax Rohmer.
The feel is more of an extended travelogue with an occasional fight with ‘the Germans’, a Jewish character is introduced and you feel he may become an outlet for discussions with our hero, but he is just sidelined halfway through.
I guess the main criticism is that it feels like a different character in a different kind of novel, but most importantly, and more simply, there is no suspense and no resolution.
Listenable, absolutely, it passes the time, but once you have heard the original, decidedly ersatz.
BBC7 – Rogue Justice
Radioarchive Rogue Male torrent