Rescue was the first episode of Series D it was first broadcast 28 September 1981. It featured a new title sequence, a new spacecraft for the crew; Scorpio and for the first time a base of operations; Xenon Base although the crew wouldn't properly take over it until the following episode.

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

From the VHS release:

Cally is dead - a victim of Servalan's booby trapped bequest of a planet. The Liberator has been destroyed. With Avon colder than ever, the crew must raise the will to fight on for their lives. Cue the enigmatic Dorian with an escape route off Terminal and the offer of friendship...

Plot[edit | edit source]

Dayna and Avon investigating.

Avon and Dayna investigate the spaceship Servalan left behind and see it explode when a Link enters it. Avon realises Servalan will have also booby-trapped the bunker. He is correct: Vila is dragging an unconscious Tarrant from the ruins but before he can go back for Cally the bunker is ripped by further explosions. Avon goes back in to collect Orac and reports Cally dead.

Meanwhile, the spaceship Scorpio arrives on the planet: Its pilot, Dorian, is searching for the Liberator crew. Posing as a salvage expert, he rescues Vila and Dayna from some giant snakes. The crew take him prisoner and order him to take them off planet: However, Dorian is knocked out by an earth tremor and Scorpio's computer, Slave, is programmed only to obey his orders. Tarrant manages to get the ship off planet but it heads on a preset course to Dorian's base, Xenon, a planet that was outside Federation space even before the Intergalactic War. The crew are bothered by the amount of advanced technology on the ship, including a non-operational teleport and clip guns, which they arm themselves with since they only have one Federation blaster between them.

Scorpio touches down at the base on Xenon where the crew meets Dorian's companion, the gunslinger Soolin. Dorian reveals the silo containing Scorpio can only be opened by his voice and is the only way off planet. Leaving the crew to clean up, he descends to an underground cavern in a weakened state, telling the creature there that even with the loss of Cally his plan will work.

Tarrant and Dayna explore the base and stumble across the entrance to the cavern, with Dayna being trapped inside with the creature. Meanwhile, Dorian repairs Orac to try and get information from him about the teleport. He then reveals to Avon that he had Soolin remove the clips from the crew's guns and marches him at gunpoint to the living area. Vila, having overheard that the clip guns are useless, hides. Dorian explains his origin: He came to Xenon two hundred years previous and discovered the cavern which allows him to transfer all the impurities of age and appetite into another, leaving him permanently young and healthy. However, since his subjects are dying faster and faster, he now intends to form the Liberator survivors into a gestalt. Soolin enters, having overheard. Dorian reveals that Soolin trained as a gunslinger under one of the men who killed her family then killed him and the others...but he has also removed the clip from her gun.

The creature.

Dorian takes Avon and Soolin to the cavern, collecting Tarrant along the way. He believes that the bond the crew share will help the gestalt form. As Avon, Tarrant, Dayna and Soolin are affected by the cavern, Vila arrives, having retrieved the Federation blaster, and passes it to Avon, who uses it to kill the creature. Dorian's impurities are reflected back at him, causing him to age to death and leaving the creature as a young man. Soolin slips away as the crew recover.

Cast[edit | edit source]

Crew[edit | edit source]

Story notes[edit | edit source]

  • This was the first episode of Blake's 7's fourth season. As a result of its last minute renewal, there were a number of behind the scenes changes: Jan Chappell was unavailable to return as Cally so recorded a voiceover for Cally's off screen death. David Maloney, who had been producer since the first episode, had also moved on and was replaced by Vere Lorrimer.
  • From this episode, Peter Tuddenham provided the voice of Slave. He was credited simply as "Orac" on all fourth season episodes aside from "Blake".
  • This is the only season premiere not written by Terry Nation.
  • The creature is a reused Sea Devil costume from Doctor Who.
  • The camera script for this episode includes several scenes and lines of dialogue not included in the episode as broadcast:
    • The first scene between Dorian and Slave continued for longer in which Dorian instructs Slave to anaylse the cause of the Liberator's explosion and suggests to Slave his intentions for crew is not simply for a rescue mission.
    • The camp fire scene had addtional dialogue in which the crew discuss the hostile nature of Terminal and Avon's intention to head south with or without everyone else.
    • As Tarrant recovers from passing out he indicates to Avon that he is able to continue walking.
    • After Avon indicates to Dorian that he is taking over command of Scorpio, Dorian moves off to another part of the ship and smiles to himself.
    • An extra line of dialogue from Dorian about his chances of survival was cut after he refuses to help Tarrant pilot Scoprio.
    • When Dorian refuses to respond to Soolin's communication Vila encourages one of the others to respond instead, and Tarrant suspects Dorian of being bounty hunter.
    • Dorian's response to Soolin's communication had addtional dialogue in which he gives the impression he is about to signal that he is in danger but instead simply apologies to Soolin for the delay in responding.
    • The first scene in the Xenon Base crew room continued for longer after Dorian leaves in which Vila flirts with Soolin, everyone then follows Soolin to another part of the base leaving the broken Orac behind in the crew room.
    • At night, Avon returns alone to crew room to find that Orac is no longer there.
    • There was an additional scene at the end of the episode in which Tarrant confirms he is unable to find Soolin, and Dayna announces she has found the armoury. Avon then uses a remote controlled device to destroy the basement area, he then instructs Vila to get the landing silo open, Dayna and Tarrant to continue searching for Soolin, whilst he gets the teleport system working. Before Avon departs, it is agreed that Dorian was insane.

Ratings[edit | edit source]

7.8M

Filming locations[edit | edit source]

Pyrton, Oxfordshire

Production errors[edit | edit source]

To be added.

Continuity[edit | edit source]

  • This episodes marks the first appearances of Soolin, Slave and Scorpio, along with the clip guns and Xenon Base.
  • This is the last episode to feature Cally in any capacity.
  • Dorian claims to have taught Ensor everything he knows, prompting Avon to say Ensor spent the last twenty years of his life in seclusion. However, in Orac Ensor was said to have disappeared forty years ago and in Deliverance Ensor's son referred to thirty years of independence.
  • Avon states that Ensor bequeathed Orac to "an associate of mine" (ie Blake) who bequeathed it to Avon, a slightly slanted reference to the events of Orac and Aftermath.
  • There are many references to the events of Terminal.
  • Soolin's back story is expanded upon in Blake.
  • Although it was hinted at as far back as Shadow, this episode marks Vila's alcohol dependency being used as a regular character trait.
  • The Auron proverb that Avon quotes was used by Cally in Mission to Destiny.

Quotes[edit | edit source]

Dayna: Don't you get bored with being right?
Avon: Just with the rest of you being wrong.

Slave: Thought is beyond my humble capacity, master.
Dorian: True.

Avon: We stand a better chance as a group.
Tarrant: What, while something's eating me you can get away?

Dayna: Cheer up, Vila. You've got a lot of very bright associates too.
Vila: Oh yeah? Name six.

Dorian: I wouldn't poison a good wine, Avon.

Avon: "He who trusts can never be betrayed, only mistaken." Cally once told me that that was a saying amongst her people.
Dorian: Cally?
Avon: Cally was murdered, so were most of her people.

(On learning that Dorian built Slave, the clip guns and the base)
Avon: What did you do in your spare time?

Home video releases[edit | edit source]

DVD cover

  • Original BBC video release (Volume 20) in 1992.
  • Fabulous Films video reissue (Volume 20) on 7 June 1999.
  • DVD release as part of the Series 4 box set on 24 April 2006.

External links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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