Blakes 7 Wiki

Duel was the eighth episode of Series A of Blake's 7 first broadcast in 1978.


From the VHS release:

Travis has tracked down Blake and trapped the Liberator, but a power-draining forcefield from a mysterious dead planet forces the two men into single, hand-to-hand combat - a duel to the death.


On a desolate planet, an elderly woman, Giroc, and a younger woman, Sinofar, watch the arrival of the Liberator in orbit. The ship has taken refuge in the area and needs to recharge its energy banks. While the recharge takes place, Blake has Vila teleport himself, Jenna and Gan to the surface, where they discover a mass graveyard and a war memorial. Gan briefly sees Sinofar and Giroc but they disappear when he calls for the others.

Suddenly, they see the arrival of a trio of pursuit ships commanded by Travis and teleport back to the ship. Low on power, the Liberator can only uses its force wall to deflect their blasts. Consulting with Avon and Cally, Blake decides their best chance is to head straight for Travis' command ship to try and break through the cordon. However, moments before impact all the ships are frozen by Sinofar and Giroc, who transport Blake and Travis to the planet's surface. There, they explain how the planet was ravaged by war: One side finally developed a weapon that wiped out the other but they were left effectively sterile, their planet unable to support life. Rather than have everyone on the ships die, they intend to have the two leaders battle each other hand to hand, after which everyone else, viewing the duel onboard their ships, can leave the area. To teach them about the death of a friend, they also transport Jenna and Travis' Mutoid pilot to the surface.

Giroc transports Blake to the battle ground then weakens him telepathically and transports Travis close to him. Travis easily overpowers Blake but Sinofar freezes events before he can kill him. Giroc convinces her to wipe their memories of the incident and separate them.

Blake meets up with Jenna and they began searching the area while Travis and his Mutoid begin setting a trap. However, the Mutoid is weakened by a lack of blood serum. After spending a night in the forest, the Mutoid captures Jenna as bait for the trap: She is tied up under a set of spikes held aloft by a rope. Blake arrives but the Mutoid is too weak to cut the rope in one blow, giving him time to get himself and Jenna out from under them before they fall. While Jenna gets free and defeats the Mutoid, Blake and Travis fight. Blake wins but refuses to kill Travis.

Sinofar and Giroc transport Blake and Jenna away, informing them they have recharged the Liberator. After the ship has departed, they also transport Travis and the Mutoid back to their ship. Travis orders his crew to set off after the Liberator again.



Story notes[]

  • This is the only episode in which Travis appears without Servalan.
  • Stephen Grief named this as his favourite episode.
  • This is one of two episodes to not have music by Dudley Simpson. Director Douglas Camfield bore a personal grudge against Simpson and refused to work with him, and so used library music. The tracks concerned are 'Countdown' and 'Space Panorama' from the library album Terrestrial Journey and Genesis by John Cameron.
  • Including main, guest, and background characters, this is one of only two episodes in which nobody dies.



Filming locations[]

Suters Cottage/Shave Green/Hazel Hill, New Forest, Hants.

Production errors[]

To be added.



Vila: How can you doubt me?
Blake: It isn't easy but somehow I manage it.

Avon: Logic says we're dead!
Blake: Logic has never explained what dead means.

Blake: This is going to be rough.
Vila: I don't mind rough. It's fatal I'm not keen on.

Blake: My crew are with me by their own choice.
Avon: Really?

Blake: How do you demonstrate the death of a friend to a man who hasn't got any?

Avon: I have never understood why it should be necessary to become irrational in order to prove that you care - or indeed why it should be necessary to prove it at all.

Blake: Another reason why I didn't kill Travis. I would have enjoyed it.

Home video releases[]

Series 1 DVD

DVD cover

B7 VHS Australian Duel full

Australian VHS cover full.

  • In edited form as part of combilation video Duel in 1986.
  • Original BBC video release (Volume 4) in 1991.
  • Fabulous Films video reissue (Volume 4) on 14 April 1998.
  • DVD release as part of the Series 1 box set on 1 March 2004.

External links[]