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Terminal was the thirteenth episode of Series C it was first broadcast 31 March 1980. This episode featured Gareth Thomas as "Blake"; a hallucination induced in Avon by Servalan. This was the final episode to feature Zen and the Liberator with its destruction of both in the final minutes of this story. It was also the final appearance of Jan Chappell as Cally, though her voice would briefly be heard in the beginning of Rescue.


From the VHS release:

Has Avon gone mad? Having guided the Liberator to the man made planet of Terminal with no explanation, he's teleported down - alone. Could this be the end at last? It certainly looks that way as Servalan closes in and the Liberator begins to disintegrate...


Avon has shut himself away on the Liberator flight deck, refusing to allow the rest of the crew to relieve him. When Tarrant goes to check on him, Avon seems on the verge of explaining when he receives a mysterious signal and clams up. He finally allows the rest of the crew to enter but has locked off the flight path and instructed Zen not to tell them anything.

Zen detects a fluid cloud in the Liberator's path: He doesn't believe it will cause any damage but advises going around. Avon insists they press on, even going as far as pulling a gun on Tarrant. The Liberator makes it through but fluid particles adhere to the hull. They arrive at their destination, a supposedly empty area of space, and find Terminal, an artificial planet built as an experiment and abandoned.

Avon announces he is teleporting down alone: He has instructed Zen to leave orbit after a certain time and play a recording explaining his actions. He tells the crew not to come back for him and that if anyone follows him down he will kill them. Teleporting to the surface, he is secretly observed by Reeval and Toron. He comes across a sphere which gives him directions. Tarrant and Cally teleport down nearby and begin exploring.

The sphere leads Avon to the entrance to an underground bunker and he descends. Just outside the bunker, Reeval and Toron are attacked and killed by a group of ape-like creatures, Links. Tarrant and Cally use their key to enter the bunker. Avon is knocked out by guards and hooked up to a machine. When he recovers, he explores and discovers his quarry: Blake, who is hooked up to a life support system. Blake confirms he has made a discovery on the planet but is unable to leave the life support. After leaving the room, Avon is knocked unconscious again by guards led by a woman named Kostos.

Meanwhile, Vila and Dayna discover the fluid particles are eating through the ship. With Avon having taken the activator for Orac and the auto repair only slowing down the damage, Vila tells Zen to devote all computing power to solving the problem. However, he is unable to come up with a solution and can only devote power to keeping the teleport operational so the crew can evacuate. Zen finally shuts down for good.

Avon is removed from the machine and dumped back in the corridor so it appears no time has passed. Kostos takes him to Servalan, who is responsible for luring him to the planet. She offers him a deal: If he orders his crew to teleport down and turns over the Liberator to her, he will have Blake, his discovery and Servalan's ship. Avon instead contacts the Liberator and tells them to leave. At that moment, Tarrant and Cally are brought in as prisoners.

Aware of the situation on the Liberator, Tarrant contacts the ship and has Dayna teleport down. Servalan reveals the true nature of what she is giving them: The ship she left behind isn't spaceworthy without repairs...and Blake is dead, Avon's encounter with him being nothing more than a hallucination. She adds that Terminal's evolution was accelerated and the Links are what man will become. She and her party teleport up to the Liberator and Servalan tells Kostos to teleport Vila down. Vila tricks her into letting him take Orac.

The crew watch on the scanner as Servalan tries to take the Liberator out of orbit and the ship begins to break up. Servalan dashes to the teleport chamber shortly before the ship disintegrates. Tarrant announces that they have to find a way off Terminal. The crew file out of the room one by one. Avon is the last to leave: As he does so, he smiles.



Story notes[]

  • This was the third season finale of Blake's 7 and the last episode to be written by Terry Nation, whose nineteen episodes makes him by far the most prolific writer on the series. It was intended to be the last ever episode but the show was given a last minute reprieve. When it was announced that the show would be returning at the end of the episode's first broadcast, none of the cast and crew had been informed.
  • This is the last episode to feature Zen and the Liberator and also features the last on screen appearance of Cally.
  • This is the first season finale not to feature Jenna and Travis.
  • Although Orac appears, he is deactivated throughout, meaning Peter Tuddenham only voices Zen.
  • It was a recurring joke onset that the reason for Avon's cynical nature was that when he was a child, his teddy bear was stolen. While filming Blake and Avon's reunion, Gareth Thomas played a prank on Paul Darrow by producing a teddy bear during one take. This caused Darrow and the crew to burst out laughing.
  • According to Michael Keating, the slime that pours from the damaged Liberator was made from a children's toy that had been banned by The Home Office. The producers bought gallons of the stuff from all over London.
  • Steven Pacey accidentally injured Deep Roy during their fight scene. Pacey hurled him up in the air, causing him to break his collarbone when he landed. His injuries, whilst not serious, were sufficient that he could not go on to his next film project.
  • The meeting between Avon and what he believes to be Blake was also filmed in Pirton Hill, in a nearby church hall. This was because Gareth Thomas had other commitments, which meant he would not be available for the studio recording session.
  • Lasting for over 54 minutes, this is by far the longest episode of the series. Season one averaged at 51.34, season three 50.89 and season two 50.32 minutes. The season with the shortest episodes was the final season, which averaged at 49.03 minutes and didn't have a single instalment that lasted 50 minutes or above.
  • This was originally planned as the final episode of the entire series. Many of the concepts are wrapped up, such as Blake is revealed as dead, the Liberator and Zen are destroyed, Servalan is killed, and the Federation in ruins. However, during the run of the third season from January through March of 1980 the BBC recanted and commissioned a fourth series, which explains the numerous changes in that season and the long gap between (a year and a half rather than only 9 months). According to a retrospective documentary, the cast found out on March 31, 1980 during the broadcast of 'Terminal' when the announcer made this announcement that the series would return for a fourth series. Apparently they were shocked.



Filming locations[]

Pyrton, Oxfordshire.

Production errors[]

  • Avon's black studded gloves disappear between scenes as he approaches the entrance to Servalan's underground base.


  • Blake was last seen in Star One.
  • Servalan's claim that Blake is dead will be proved untrue in Blake.
  • Despite her apparent death here, Servalan reappears in Traitor.
  • Cally kills one of the Links outside the bunker, making this one of only two episodes where she is seen to personally kill anyone, the other being City at the Edge of the World.
  • Even though they will both appear throughout the Series D, this is the last episode in which Vila and Servalan meet.


Vila: You've got to hand it to Avon, he knows how to keep a secret. He probably won't even talk to himself.

Avon: If this is an example of a man-made planet, they ought to go back to the drawing board and start again.

Vila: What are you going to do if he spots you?
Tarrant: Duck.

Zen: I have failed you.
Vila: He never referred to himself before. He never once used the word "I".
Zen: I have failed you. I am sorry.

Vila: You should always be careful about getting a second-hand spacecraft. They can be very unreliable.

Home video releases[]

Series 3 DVD

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 3 box set on 20 June 2005.

External links[]