Blake’s 7, featuring five people and two A.I.s, none of which are called Blake, concludes its third series with a great finale, and two other good episodes (with one weak one…) Let’s take a look!
Still without Blake, the crew of the Liberator continue onward; exploring, gathering resources, and encountering President Servalan…
*spoilers appear from here on out!*
Cast of Characters:
It’s Tarrant! But which one?!
Kerr Avon (Paul Darrow) – Level-headed to the point of seemingly being emotionless, you can tell he does actually care about his crew, not that he’d tell anyone…
Vila Restal (Michael Keating) – Comically cowardly thief who complains about being in danger, despite constantly putting himself in places with danger.
Cally (Jan Chappell) – Reasonable telepathic member of the crew who is back to doing little to nothing.
Dayna Mellanby (Josette Simon) – Tough-as-nails woman who occasionally gets to show it.
Del Tarrant (Steven Pacey) – Arrogant fighter pilot prick who manages to not be such a prick during these episodes, so hooray!
Orac (Peter Tuddenham) – Super intelligent A.I. that chips in with advice, or if the main cast need to figure something out really fast to move the plot forward.
Zen (Peter Tuddenham) – The Liberator’s on-board A.I. that doesn’t really do anything other than steer the ship and occasionally give the crew notice of in-coming threats… which is obviously handy, don’t get me wrong!
Servalan (Jacqueline Pearce) – Head of what remains of the Federation forces. Evil and knows it, also coincidentally keeps running into the Liberator crew… like, all the time.
“She may have out smarted me, humiliated me… but now she’s dead… awww yeah…”
The star of this batch of episodes has to be Episode 13, “Terminal”, where Avon takes the Liberator on a merry chase before teleporting down onto a planet with his own reasons. It is eventually revealed that he was following messages by Blake and finds the titular character on life support. The two exchange a bit of a laugh, but it turns out it was all a ruse so Servalan can finally get her hands on the Liberator. Meanwhile, a second plot sees the Liberator being infected with a corrosive liquid that the leads can’t actually stop. Servalan gains control of the ship just as it breaks apart and explodes. Avon, thinking Servalan had outsmarted him, can’t help but smirk… he may have lost his prized ship, but he got the last laugh. I couldn’t help but smirk along with Avon, just because that was his character down to a tee. It was a really great ride, and all the characters got to at least do something.
Episode 12, “Death-Watch”, was also good. A war between two sides starts up again, and it’s settled by a one-on-one match between one member of each race on a neutral planet, and the fight is broadcast to everyone via glasses that literally put you in the P.O.V. of your selected fighter. Tarrant’s brother Deeta is one of the participants (which is actually just Steven Pacey again with different hair). Anyway, Servalan is involved (of course!) and things go a bit tits up leading to Tarrant having to take revenge for his brother, who as it turns out lost his fight due to fighting an android, and in the end war is averted. It’s a good concept, the old death matches for sport in the future is no new idea but it is done well here. A good episode and dare I say made me hate Tarrant a lot less… just.
Episode 10, “Ultraworld”, is alright. It’s not bad, that’s for sure. The Liberator ends up on board a large artificial planet that has a literal giant brain as a core, and soon some of them end up having their mind stored in a giant system, their bodies soon to be disposed of. Three people known as “The Ultra” serve the giant brain and want nothing more than all the knowledge in the universe, but of course, end up losing. In this case, it’s Vila spouting nonsense and tongue-twisters at Orac’s request that ends up confusing the giant brain and causing it to… randomly explode…. Several times, with some old-school practical oozy effects. It put a smile on my face anyway. The best part of the episode is that Dayna and Vila got to do something worthwhile for the first time in a long time.
“Watch this episode, you must not. Hmmm-mmm!”
Episode 11, “Moloch”, is a confusing mess. It’s written by Ben Steed, the same man whose “manly man-ness” created the awful episode “The Harvest of Kairos” from earlier in the season. While this isn’t quite a sexist, it does still have Servalan (who turns up again! Weird!) get outsmarted by the lead male villain and strung up so his boys can have some fun. Plus Vila ends up befriending a convict who talks quite clearly about abusing, if not full-on raping women, who at the end of the episode dies a heroic death… like we’re supposed to feel sorry for him?! Plus the lead villain turns out to be a muppet who dies by being stupid, and also immediately swept under the carpet. Luckily there are some good things here. A Replicator device is used in interesting ways, and the idea of the planet being hidden by a cloaking device early in the episode was interesting. But yeah, not good. I recently found out that Mr. Steed actually writes an episode in the next series, so why he was brought back I have no idea, but I guess I’ve got that to “look forward to”.
End with a giant brain explosion, that’s what I always say!
Three out of four ain’t bad, as they say, and while none of them were quite as good as “Rumours of Death” in my opinion, Terminal was a great end to the series. I said it in the last review, but Series 4 will have to be something really special to beat this series. In fact any sci-fi show I may watch down the line has a lot to look out for… some Doctor Who seasons notwithstanding (though I tend to look at individual stories rather than full series for that show…) Anyway, good set of episodes, great series overall.
Episodes 12 “Death-Watch” and 13 “Terminal”:
Episode 10 “Ultraworld”:
Episode 11 “Moloch”: