Pressure Point was the fifth episode of Series B and the final episode to feature Olag Gan. This episode marks a turning point in the series thus far, with Blake out to destroy Control, the Federation's command and control centre – which would bring down the Federation. The mission ends in failure and the death of Gan and the rest of this season is mostly focused on Blake's drive to find Star One, the actual command and control base for the Federation.
From the VHS release:
It's the ultimate challenge! To go back to Earth and destroy Control - the Federation's computer nerve centre. Blake is determined. The rewards are high. But with Servalan and Travis lying in wait the risks are appalling...
Two rebels, Arle and Berg, stake out the Forbidden Zone surrounding the Federation's main computer complex Control on Earth. Disregarding instructions, they enter the zone and are incinerated by a booby trap. The event is witnessed by Servalan and Travis from a nearby bunker: Travis' contacts have told him that both Blake and the resistance group led by Kasabi are behind an assault. Servalan is keen to get her hands on Kasabi; she was Servalan's instructor at the academy and disappeared after Servalan reported her for treasonous teachings.
Blake shocks the crew by telling Zen to take the Liberator to Earth: He had claimed they would only scout the solar system. He explains his plan to take Control, the Federation's impregnable symbol of their superiority. The rest of the crew agree to help, with Avon suggesting Blake would be needed to organise resistance on Earth with Control gone, leaving him in charge of the Liberator. Kasabi and her daughter Veron are leading their rebel group when they are ambushed by Servalan and a group of Mutoids: Most of the rebels are massacred and Kasabi is captured.
Travis uses a truth drug to get Kasabi to give them the information on the signal she was meant to give Blake. Despite getting the information, Servalan gives Kasabi a fatal overdose of the drug. Blake is about to pull out when they get the signal. He and Gan teleport down and are met by Veron, who claims to be the only survivor. Avon and Vila teleport down to scope out the Forbidden Zone. Jenna and Cally teleport them to Blake's location as they are about to trigger the trap.
Blake believes they can take Control without the local rebels but Veron then knocks the four of them out with a gas grenade, locking them in a crypt without their bracelets. She had agreed to betray them in exchange for Kasabi being spared and is devastated to find they are already dead. Travis takes the Mutoids to collect them but they have already broken out. Travis realises they will proceed with the attack on Control.
Avon shoots through the wires at the Forbidden Zone, temporarily disabling the booby traps so they can reach the entrance, although Blake has to shoot it through a second time when Avon stumbles on the way across. Vila is able to open the door and they make it past boobytrapped floors. Servalan disables the defences so Travis can follow. Someone then enters the bunker.
Blake's group reach the centre of Control to find an empty room. Travis and the Mutoids appear and Travis reveals Control is simply a fake, the real computer complex having been moved thirty years ago. Before he can take the group prisoner, however, Jenna and Veron arrive with Servalan as a hostage and she orders Travis to stand down. Blake's group flee but Travis hurls a grenade after them, causing a cave-in which kills Gan. Leaving Veron to continue the fight on Earth, Blake and the others return to the Liberator, with Blake staring at Gan's empty chair as they leave orbit.
- Roj Blake - Gareth Thomas
- Avon - Paul Darrow
- Vila - Michael Keating
- Jenna - Sally Knyvette
- Gan - David Jackson
- Cally - Jan Chappell
- Zen/Orac - Peter Tuddenham
- Servalan - Jacqueline Pearce
- Travis - Brian Croucher
- Kasabi - Jane Sherwin
- Veron - Yolande Palfrey
- Arle - Alan Halley
- Berg - Martin Connor
- Mutoid - Sue Bishop
- Production Assistant - Michael Brayshaw
- Production Unit Manager - Sheelagh Rees
- Film Cameraman - Peter Chapman
- Film Recordist - Ian Sansam
- Film Editor - Sheila S. Tomlinson
- Series Videotape Editors - Sam Upton (Uncredited), Malcolm Banthorpe (Uncredited)
- Visual Effects Designer - Mat Irvine, Peter Pegrum
- Electronic Effects - A.J. Mitchell
- Studio Lighting - Brian Clemett
- Studio Sound - Clive Gifford
- Special Sound - Richard Yeoman-Clark
- Costume Designer - June Hudson
- Make Up Artist - Marianne Ford
- Music By - Dudley Simpson
- Series Devised By - Terry Nation
- Gan is the first regular character to die. Terry Nation had originally suggested killing Vila but David Maloney and Chris Boucher considered the character too popular. Gan and Cally were suggested as alternatives, with Gan being chosen to avoid leaving Jenna as the only female regular.
- Orac does not appear in this episode.
- One proposed storyline for the story had Veron deliberately killing Gan as part of her betrayal and then joining the Liberator, with the murder not being discovered until later in the season.
Church Farm, Abbey House, RAF Abingdon and Upper Croft, all in Abingdon. Hardwick House, Pangbourne.
To be added.
- This is Blake's first visit to Earth since his deportation in "The Way Back". The Liberator will return to the planet (without Blake) in "Rumours of Death".
- The story of Blake's search for Control is continued in "Countdown".
- This is the first episode where Jenna and Servalan meet. It also marks the last time Blake and Servalan meet in person.
Blake: Do you want to tell me why?
Avon: I like a challenge.
Blake: You don't want to tell me why.
Kasabi: A credit to your upbringing. Spoilt, idle, vicious...
Kasabi: You're vicious, greedy, sick!
Kasabi: (Her last words) Servalan? I'm sorry...I should have tried. In the beginning. I should have tried to help you.
Blake: (As Vila checks the lock to Control) How long?
Vila: It's a difficult one. Thirty seconds?
Vila: Times like this I wish I'd gone straight.
Blake: It seems as though we both failed, Travis.
Home video releasesEdit
- 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.