From the VHS release:
On the flight deck of a civillian ship, the Ortega, the pilot, Rafford, is attacked and the controls sabotaged. Some time later, Blake and Jenna discover the ship drifting in a circular orbit. Blake, Avon and Cally teleport aboard to find Rafford dead and the rest of the crew unconscious. Someone has fitted a canister of sono vapour to the air supply.
The remaining crew are revived: Dr. Kendall, Mandrian, Sonheim, Pasco, Grovane, Sara and Levett. The ship's flight engineer, Dortmunn, is found to be missing and a search of the ship shows a life rocket has been launched. Blake and Kendall check on the ship's cargo: a neutrotope needed to alleviate a fungal infestion that is causing a famine on the crew's home planet, Destiny. Avon checks the damage to the ship and finds the ison crystal is damaged and cannot be replaced. The ship will have to stay at sublight speeds, meaning it will take five months to get back to Destiny, meaning the planet will miss the planting season.
Blake offers to take the neutrotope to Destiny in the Liberator. Mandrian and Sonheim are both opposed to the idea but the majority of the crew vote in favour of the idea. Avon and Cally remain behind to assist with repairs. Cally sees Mandrian place an electronic box in Sara's luggage and later overhears Mandrian and Sara arguing. She heads to the stores for parts needed for the repairs. Sonheim follows her and together they find Dortmun's body.
Avon theorises what happened: The killer expected Rafford to be unconscious like everyone else but he had the air supply to the flight deck turned off. The killer then needed a scapegoat and intended to kill Dortmun and launch his body in a life rocket. When the task proved too difficult, Dortmun's body was hidden and an empty life rocket launched.
Someone sabotages the filtration plant and kills Mandrian. Sonheim is found standing over his body but Avon quickly realises he is innocent, since he didn't have the tools needed for the sabotage on him. He also reveals the last clue to the puzzle: A message scrawled in blood by a dying Rafford, believed to be the number 54124 is actually the letters SARA. Sara reveals her true colours, pulling a gun on the rest of the crew and locking herself away in the flight deck.
The Liberator has to travel through a meteor shower in order to get to Destiny. After the crossing, Blake and Gan check the box supposedly containing the neutrotope only to find it empty. Blake realises the neutrotope is still on the Ortega and reverses course back through the meteor storm.
Sara has the neutrotope and Avon realises the box Cally found is a homing beacon, which has allowed the people she is selling the neutrotope to to get a fix on the ship's orbit. A fight is staged to convince Sara her associates have arrived and boarded the ship, luring her out of the flight deck where she is overpowered and the neutrotope recovered.
Blake returns and heads down to the airlock while Avon and Cally prepare the crew for evacuation. However, Sara rips off her teleport bracelet at the last minute and is left behind. Everyone else watches from the safety of the Liberator as the Ortega explodes when another ship docks with it, the result of Blake rigging an explosion to the entry hatch. Blake orders Zen to take them all to Destiny, with Vila requesting they go the easy way.
- Blake - Gareth Thomas
- Jenna - Sally Knyvette
- Avon - Paul Darrow
- Cally - Jan Chappell
- Vila - Michael Keating
- Gan - David Jackson
- Zen - Peter Tuddenham
- Kendall - Barry Jackson
- Sara - Beth Morris
- Mandrian - Stephen Tate
- Sonheim - Nigel Humphreys
- Levett - Kate Coleridge
- Grovane - Carl Forgione
- Pasco - John Leeson
- Rafford - Brian Capron
- Dortmunn - Stuart Fell
- Production Assistant - Pauline Smithson
- Production Unit Manager - Sheelagh Rees
- Film Cameraman - Ken Willicombe
- Film Recordist - John Gatland
- Film Editor - Martin Sharpe
- Series Videotape Editors - Sam Upton (Uncredited), Malcolm Banthorpe (Uncredited)
- Visual Effects Designer - Ian Scoones, Mat Irvine
- Electronic Effects - A.J. Mitchell
- Graphics Designer - Bob Blagden
- Studio Lighting - Brian Clemett
- Studio Sound - Clive Gifford
- Special Sound - Richard Yeoman-Clark
- Costume Designer - Barbara Lane
- Make Up Artist - Marianne Ford
- Music By - Dudley Simpson
- Series Devised By - Terry Nation
- John Leeson, who plays Pasco in this story, later appeared as Toise in "Gambit". He is also known as the voice of K9 in all the Doctor Who series and spin-offs.
TV Film Studios. Ealing.
A significant part of the story involves the Liberator travelling to Destiny and encountering a meteor storm that Blake decides would take too long to go around. The ship's energy reserves, toward the end of their passage through the meteor storm, forces them to choose between engines and the force wall protecting them. Once through the meteor storm, they discover their cargo is missing and head back to the Ortega--with no mention of the meteor storm. The Liberator arrives very quickly. Yet at the end of the episode, back on course for Destiny, Vila suggests they take the long way (around the meteor storm).
When Avon looks out of the door to the crew room after Sara has gone, a cable is visible on floor of the corridor outside.
- This is the first episode in which the Federation plays no part in the action at all, merely being mentioned in a conversation between Blake and Kendall. Destiny is the first human colony seen which is not a Federation member.
- Avon would later quote Cally's Auron proverb that "A man who trusts can never be betrayed, only mistaken" in Rescue.
Levett: There are worse things than being alone, Sonheim. Being with you is one of them.
Cally: My people have a saying. A man who trusts can never be betrayed, only mistaken.
Avon: Life expectancy must be fairly short among your people.
Kendall: Someone among us is determined that this mission should fail and frankly I can't even guess at a motive.
Avon: Try greed. It's usually reliable.
Avon: Rafford was dying. It's difficult to be neat under those circumstances.
Avon: (After overpowering Sara) You'd better get her out of here. I really rather enjoyed that.
Home video releases
- 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.