Synopsis[edit | edit source]
From the VHS release:
Plot[edit | edit source]
The London leaves Earth's solar system en route for Cygnus Alpha and Commander Leylan instructs his first officer, Raiker, to inform the prisoners of the rules: the voyage will last for eight months and the prisoners are restricted to the seating area and an adjoining recreation area, which contains beds, tables and chairs, though not enough of all of them for everybody at once. Blake talks to Jenna, Vila and another prisoner, Nova, and is introduced to Kerr Avon, a computer expert who attempted to defraud millions of credit from the Federation banking system.
Some weeks into the journey, Blake has managed to find a way out of the prisoners' area: Vila and Gan distract the guard, Dainer, while he clambers along a crawl space that leads to a computer room. He then convinces Avon to make the journey and take control of the computer, which will give them control of the ship. However, when Avon makes the journey, he finds a technician on duty. Worried by the delay, Nova goes after him but the section he is crawling through is holed by a meteorite and filled with quick-setting sealant, killing him.
Avon manages to overpower the technician and block out the security cameras but is attacked again before he can do anything else. When the guard on the prisoners notices the camera fault, Gan overpowers him and forces him to let them out. Blake sends Gan and the others to find the armoury while he and Jenna go to find Avon. Leylan notices the fault and Raiker and Artix have a brief encounter with Blake and Jenna before they manage to seal themselves in the computer room with Avon, who has overcome the technician and gained control of the computer.
Gan overpowers two more guards and instructs Vila and another prisoner to grab their guns. However, when Dainer appears, Vila misunderstands an instruction to drop the weapon, allowing Dainer to kill the other armed prisoner and take them all prisoner again. Blake engages in a stand off with Leylan but Raiker forces him to surrender when he begins killing the other prisoners in retaliation, shooting one every thirty seconds until Blake acquiesces.
With the prisoners secure again, the London detects signs of a battle between unknown forces before stumbling across a seemingly derelict and deserted spaceship. Leylan and Raiker elect to salvage it, but the London loses contact with the three crewmembers who board it. Raiker suggests sending Blake, Jenna and Avon across instead, with promises of their freedom; as they are prisoners, they are expendable. As they prepare to board, one of the previous boarding party, Krell, emerges from the airlock, having been driven insane. Crossing a boarding tube, they find the other two crewmen, Wallace and Teague, are both dead.
A security device on the flight deck attempts to draw them in with false images of their loved ones but Blake, whose is projected images of his dead siblings, sees through the illusion and destroys it. He then instructs Jenna to get the ship moving. Raiker attempts to cross the boarding tube but, after a brief encounter with Blake, is killed when the ship breaks free of the tube, sending him hurtling out into space. Blake instructs Jenna to follow the London to Cygnus Alpha, intending to free the other prisoners and then fight back against the Federation.
Cast[edit | edit source]
- Blake - Gareth Thomas
- Jenna - Sally Knyvette
- Avon - Paul Darrow
- Vila - Michael Keating
- Gan - David Jackson
- Commander Leylan-Glyn Owen
- Raiker - Leslie Schofield
- Artix - Norman Tipton
- Teague -David Hayward
- Krell -Brett Forrest
- Nova -Tom Kelly
- Dainer - Michael Mackenzie
- Garton -Bill Weston
Crew[edit | edit source]
- Stunt Co-ordinator - Frank Maher
- Production Assistant - Pauline Smithson
- Production Unit Manager - Sheelagh Rees
- Film Cameraman - Ken Willicombe
- Film Recordist - Bill Meerkums
- Film Editor - M.A.C. Adams
- Series Videotape Editors - Sam Upton (Uncredited), Malcolm Banthorpe (Uncredited)
- Visual Effects Designer - Ian Scoones
- Graphics Designer - Bob Blagden
- Studio Lighting - Brian Clemett
- Studio Sound - Tony Millier
- Special Sound - Richard Yeoman-Clark
- Costume Designer - Barbara Lane
- Make Up Artists - Marianne Ford, Eileen Mair
- Music By - Dudley Simpson
- Series Devised By - Terry Nation
Story notes[edit | edit source]
- This is the first of two episodes to feature Leylan and Artix.
- This was the first episode of Blake's 7 to be filmed but the second in broadcast order.
Ratings[edit | edit source]
Filming locations[edit | edit source]
TV film studios, Ealing.
Production errors[edit | edit source]
When Raiker is giving the prisoners his pep talk, a boom microphone is briefly visible in one shot, after his line "If you have any complaints, I don't want to hear them" .
When Vila, Gan and the rest of the prisoners are captured, the top of the corridor set they are marched into is visible.
Continuity[edit | edit source]
- This episode marks the first appearances of Avon and Gan. It also marks the first appearance of the Liberator, although the ship is not mentioned by name.
- Jenna's surname, Stannis, is mentioned for the first time in this episode when she introduces herself to Raiker.
- The security device aboard the Liberator would appear again in "Dawn of the Gods".
- Blake informs Jenna and Avon of his brainwashing by the Federation, as referenced in "The Way Back".
- Vila gives the sum Avon attempted to steal from the Federation as five million credits and Avon later dreams of stealing a hundred million. However, in "Ultraworld" the figure is given as five hundred million.
Quotes[edit | edit source]
Avon:[on Vila's nervousness] You've got an army of five, Blake. Five and him.
Vila: I've got this problem with confined spaces. There's a medical name for it.
Home video releases[edit | edit source]
- Edited version as part of compilation video The Beginning in 1985.
- Original BBC video release (Volume 1) in 1991.
- Fabulous Films video reissue (Volume 1) in January 1998.
- DVD release as part of the Series 1 box set on 1 March 2004.
[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Nazzaro, Joe & Wells, Sheelagh (1997). Blake's 7: The Inside Story, p. 12. Virgin Publishing, London. ISBN 0753500442.