By Terry Nation
Blake's first strike against the Federation is intended as a big one - Blow up the Federations communications complex. On the way to their target the crew pick up a small space craft in distress, four humanoid aliens who once revived intend to take the Liberator for themselves
These events are unknown to Blake, Avon and Vila who have teleported to Saurian Major and are on their way to the complex. They meet up with Cally a telepathic woman who is the only survivor of the planets resistance group, she agrees to help them with their mission. It is learnt that Cally is from the planet Auron and telepathy is an inherited gene at birth.
Back on the Liberator, the assasins all dealt with, Jenna learns that Gan has a limitor implanted in his head which prevents him from killing anyone whatever the situation.
Vila has no problem with the complex's locks and the party are soon inside the building setting the generator to overload then being teleported out by the Liberator. Due to problems with the last alien on the Liberator Jenna only just teleports the quartet out as the complex blows up.
Cally who is a long way from home is invited to join the crew. Now finally, together with Zen they are seven.
Knowing how the series progresses this feels like the first proper episode of Blakes 7 so far - a space opera with what are essentially terrorist attacks on the Federation. The episodes additional storyline of the intruders aboard Liberator does in my view slow the stories pace and is not needed, it was possibly added to flesh out the stories running time.
The main mission to blow up the communications complex is pure boys own adventure on the lines of Where Eagles Dare or the Guns of Navarone, featuring some superb power plant settings and excellent location work to give the story a huge sense of realism.
By Terry Nation
The Liberator becomes caught in a space web. Blake teleports down to the nearest planet to find a solution where he finds the last survivors of The Lost, people cast out of Cally's planet. The two survivors are in desperate need of power cells to help their systems and in turn free the Liberator from the web.
Blake agrees to help and Avon brings the power cells down to the planet. Blake also discovers others on the planet known as Decimas, creatures created by The lost which have evolved and reproduced and are now capable on their own. Blake finds out The Lost with the aid of the power cells will wipe out the Decimas and he refuses to supply them.
As all this is going on the Decimas mount their own attack on the base of The Lost killing the last survivors so they can now live on the planet in peace. Blake and Avon use the power cells to disable the web and the Liberator goes on its way.
The first episode to feature one of the crew being possesed, i always find these sequences tiresome as they have been done many times before in everything from Star Trek to almost every episode of the first series of Space 1999. It often makes me think story writers have run out of ideas, however here it is only a small section of the episode and there is a point to it as The Lost are communicating with Cally from the planet below.
The crew start to get tetchy with one another and Avon's scheming begins to shine through. This is the first episode to feature non humanoid aliens, in this case the Decimas and their world is made to look creepy and alien thanks to the webbing all over the terrain
By Terry Nation
Blake and the crew arrive on the planet Kentero to steal a Federation cypher machine, unfortunately in an explosion timed to hide the machines theft Cally is accidently left for dead and captured by the Federation.
The Federation sick of Blake's interference, in the form of Supreme Commander Servalan, appoint Space Commander Travis to the task of stopping Blake. His orders to seek, locate and destroy Blake.
It comes to light that Blake and Travis have previous differences. It was Travis who had Blake first arrested five years earlier and Blake seeing his friends massacred shot Travis in the face and left arm. Travis now wears an eyepatch and his arm has been replaced by an artificial limb and weapon combo.
Travis sets a trap using Cally as bait for Blake, with the cypher machines help the crew rescue Cally and foil Travis' plan for now.
My favourite episode of the series so far. Nice to see a cameo from Peter Myles most famous for playing Nyder in Genesis of the Daleks.
The attack on the Federation security compound is done with a sense of realism and the fact that they are filmed in real life places make them more authentic than studio bound sets. This is another episode to feature federation guards and although they are only men in uniform, the uniforms and helmets are iconic and give them a real air of coolness.
This is the first episode to feature semi regular villains Servalan and Travis. Servalan the ice cold supreme commander, Travis the mercyless thug complete with eyepatch makes him the archetypal villain of the show.
Mission to Destiny
By Terry Nation
The Liberator encounters the spaceship Ortega drifting in space. Blake, Avon, and Cally investigate, finding several crew members unconscious and one murdered. Another crew member is missing and the ship has been sabotaged.
When the unconscious crew members have recovered, Dr. Kendall, their leader, tells Blake that they were returning to their home planet, Destiny, after purchasing a neutrotope, "the most valuable objects in our galaxy." It will stop a disease which is threatening to kill all vegetation on Destiny.
As the ship is sabotaged Blake offers to transport the neutrotope to Destiny in the Liberator, while Avon and Cally try and repair the stricken craft and look into who carried out the deed. Whilst doing this the pair uncover more than they wished as other crew members start turning up dead and suspicion falls on them all.
This seems like a second rate episode when watched immediately after the excellent Seek..Locate..Destroy, however the reality couldn't be further from the truth. Although the episode is ship bound it is a tightly plotted affair in the vein of Ten Little Indians, or Five Dolls for an August Moon for giallo fans. Its giallo links also involve Avon playing the "inspector" investigating the murders with Cally his assistant and everyone else being a suspected murderer.
Great reviews all there! Did you catch any of the recent repeats of the radio shows on 4Xtra btw??
CIVILLIANS? I SHIT 'EM
"You better give me back those shoes!!!"
"Unaccustomed as I am to public speaking....where's the exit?"
No, unfortunately i didn't know they were on.
Its my mission to do a guide to every episode of Blakes 7.
By Terry Nation
On a desolate windswept planet the guardian Sinofar summons the keeper, Giroc, together they look to the night sky, where Travis and three persuit ships have the Liberator surrounded and are closing in for the kill.
Blake puts the Liberator on course to ram Travis's ship. Time seems to stop and Travis and Blake are transported down to the planets surface.
Sinofar tells the duo in order to settle their dispute they will have to fight to the death using only a knife as a weapon and can be helped by only one companion. Jenna is assigned to assist Blake and Travis is aided by one of the vampiric Mutoids he uses for crew.
Duel is the first episode to feature Mutoids, vampiric humanoids who need blood to exist, they make an interesting alternative to the usual Federation guards and are popular with Travis due to their lack of emotion.
Unfortunately signs of the BBC's budget limitations show through with this episode as the space battle is only seen from the Liberator crews reactions rather than on screen space assaults. despite this Duel is another strong episode which is exciting throughout especially when it turns into "The most dangerous game". Even the quiet moments as Blake and Jenna contemplate a night in a tree add to the story. The semi smirk on Avon's face as he watches the final duel is worth watching the episode for on its own as he smugly knows Blake will allow Travis to live.
By Terry Nation
On a blizzard swept planet Travis captures rebel leader Avalon. He see's her as the key to getting his hands on Blake and the Liberator.
When Blake arrives for his meeting with Avalon he finds only one survivor, Chevner, who tells him of Travis and where Avalon is being held captive. Naturally Blake and his crew rescue Avalon from her cell in the command centre.
Blake is suspicious once they are safely back on the Liberator, the rescue was a little too easy.
Usually a weaker episode follows one as strong as Duel, this is not the case with Project Avalon which is an excellent action packed episode with a very good shootout as the crew fight it out with Federation guards as they make their escape with Avalon. The opening scenes as the Mutoids slaughter the rebels in the caves is a near copy of the attack at the begining of the first episode except it is executed in claustrophobic cave systems.
This episode features the first meeting between Blake and Servalan, although Travis is still really the main villain in the show. Interestingly the lead Mutoid is played by Dempsey and Makepeace actress Glynis Barber who would later join the crew as the sharp shooting Soolin in the fourth and final series.
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