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Horizon was the fourth episode of Series B first broadcast 30 January 1979.


From the VHS release:

Just what is the connection between the Federation and the mysterious planet 'Horizon'? Blake is curious, and Zen and Orac have come up with a blank. Could it really be the bolt-hole they all need? The only way to find out is to go down...


Cally believes the Liberator crew are on the point of exhaustion but Blake decides to follow a Federation ship. Zen can find no information on its destination other than that the planet is codenamed Horizon and the Federation only visit it once a year. With such a rare presence, it might make a useful hiding place. Following the Federation ship's course, the Liberator passes through a magnetic shield which it only survives because the force wall was raised. Blake and Jenna teleport down but are knocked out with tranquiliser darts by a guard in primitive native dress, who is supervised by a Federation trooper.


The Kommissar, the Assistant Kommissar and Ro.

The occupant of the new ship, the Kommissar, is greeted by the Assistant Kommissar: They are the main Federation presence on the planet. Blake and Jenna are interrogated by Ro, the planet's hereditary ruler who was "re-educated" by the Federation and is now little more than a puppet. He is shocked by Blake's claim that a childhood friend who "failed" re-education was executed en route to Cygnus Alpha. At the Kommissar's insistence, Ro sends Blake and Jenna to join the slave workers mining monopasium-239, the Federation's main interest in the planet. There, they meet Selma, a member of the planet's nobility who was meant to marry Ro but was sent there because she didn't fit in with the Federation.

Gan decides to teleport down to investigate the loss of contact, taking Vila with him but they too are soon ambushed, with Gan being shot multiple times. His tranquilised body is hung up as a reminder while Vila joins the others in the mines. Cally also teleports down after Orac finds information she believes Blake should know and is soon captured but plays on Ro's belief she is a shaman, telepathically telling him that the Kommissar killed his father.

Avon Orac Horizon

Avon muses leaving with the Liberator.

The Kommissar has already deduced the identity of Blake and the others and requested Federation reinforcements to capture the Liberator. Alone on the ship, Avon consults with Orac and concludes he can live out his life on the ship and cope with anything less than an attack by three Federation ships. As he is about to leave orbit, Zen reports three Federation ships are en route to their position. After finding a way to avoid the security cameras that captured the others, Avon teleports down and manages to defeat the troopers guarding the mines in a brief gun battle, freeing Blake and the others.

Selma is freed and returned to Ro's side but when she tries to flee the palace she is captured. The Kommissar forces Ro to order her torture and Ro is shocked the Kommissar would have killed him if he'd refused. He confronts the Kommissar in his traditional regalia. Blake teleports down and kills the Assistant Kommissar as he is about to shoot Ro, allowing Ro to kill the Kommissar with a poisoned dart.

Blake leaves Ro and Selma in control of the planet, determined to resist the Federation if they try to occupy it again. He orders the Liberator to hold position as the Federation ships dive to attack, only to explode when they hit the magnetic barrier: Blake correctly guessed that, since it wasn't mentioned in the Federation records Zen retrieved, they would be unaware of it.



Story notes[]

  • This is the first episode to be written by Allan Prior, the most prolific writer after Terry Nation and Chris Boucher.
  • The episode was originally intended to come later in the season, after "Pressure Point". As a result of the change, Gan had to be added to the script, resulting in him spending a large part of the episode unconscious.
  • Blake's original line upon being rescued by Avon was, "Can't you tell your friends from your enemies any more?" Gareth Thomas changed it to "Missed".
  • The freighter seen in this episode is a re-use of the model of the "London" from "Space Fall".
  • Although a few years apart, both Paul Darrow and Darien Angadi attended Haberdashers' Aske's Boys' School in Elstree, Hertfordshire.
  • The show's official fan club took its name from this episode.



Filming locations[]

Clearwell Scowles, Gloucestershire

Production errors[]

To be added.


  • Blake apparently met Ro's friend Porah during the events of Space Fall, although this was not seen at the time.


Vila: What's the point of being famous if you can't get a last minute booking?

Blake: Is the information on Horizon classified?
Zen: Negative information.

Blake: That freighter has gone to Horizon for some kind of reason.
Avon: Which is more than you can say for us.

Avon: If it hadn't been for the force wall, we would be a cloud of agitated atoms.

Villa: I wish I was a cloud of agitated atoms!

Cally: (After giving Vila a sedative) He'll be sleepy now for about half an hour.
Avon: That will be nice.

Villa: I'd say she knows a few things that even you don't understand. Well, I'd say so, anyway.

Avon: A fifth-grade ignorant, and you would say so, would you?.

Villa: Well, I never had a chance, did I?. I chose the wrong parents.

Ro: You're forever telling me to behave like a ruler, when I do you say I'm wrong!

Ro: You were wrong about Blake. The Federation doesn't frighten him.

Blake: (After Avon accidentally shoots at him) Missed.

Avon: More last minute heroics?
Blake: I thought that was your strong suit.

Zen: If they hit the same spot, there is a possibility the Liberator could be destroyed. The battle computers advise against allowing them to do that.

Avon: It was reasonable for you to hope that routine pursuit ships would be unprotected, but in future, I would prefer something a little more reliable than hope.

Avon: I'm not stupid, I'm not expendable and I'm not going.

Cally: And we thought we were tired before.

Villa: I'll tell you this though, it beats work.

Home video releases[]

Series 2 DVD

DVD cover

  • Original BBC video release (Volume 9) in 1991.
  • Fabulous Films video reissue (Volume 9) on 7 September 1998.
  • DVD release as part of the Series 2 box set on 17 January 2005.

External links[]