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Volcano was the third episode of Series C it was first broadcast 21 January 1980.


From the VHS release:

With the Federation in disarray, Tarrant and Dayna are looking for new recruits on the peaceful planet of Obsidian, curiously untouched during the Galactic War. Then Servalan arrives...and it's just like old times...


Tarrant and Dayna teleport down to the planet Obsidian, rumoured to be the location of Blake. They intend to make contact with the planet's inhabitants, the Pyroans, in the hope of forming an alliance. The Pyroan leader Hower witnesses their arrival and sends his son Bershar to tranquilise them and bring them to the group's bunker. Back on the Liberator, Avon, Vila and Cally listen to a report on Obsidian from Zen: The Federation surveyed the planet but never colonised it despite its strategic position and both sides avoided it during the Intergalactic War.

Servalan is also nearby with a fleet of Federation ships and knows of the Liberator's presence. She lands secretly with a group of troopers led by Commander Mori. Avon, who has teleported down to find out what happened to Tarrant and Dayna, sees them and returns to the trip. Servalan is handed a message by two Pyroans, Natin and Milus, and orders Mori to kill them: Neither of the men make any attempt to resist or escape as they are gunned down. Servalan returns to her ship, leaving Mori and his men to carry out her plan.

Tarrant and Dayna speak with Hower, an old friend of Hal Mellanby: He knows nothing of Blake and is uninterested in an alliance, saying the Pyroans have had all aggression bred out of them. Bershar seems more interested however. He takes Tarrant and Dayna outside the bunker where Mori is waiting to ambush them. Bershar hands the pair's bracelets over to the troopers but refuses to let Mori kill them, secretly keeping them prisoner in the bunker.

Mori tricks Vila and Cally into teleporting him aboard the Liberator. He and his troopers attempt to secure the flight deck as the Federation fleet moves in but Avon manages to order Zen to open fire, destroying several Federation ships and forcing the others to withdraw. After a brief gun battle, Mori and his surviving trooper force Vila to teleport them, Cally and Orac back down to Obsidian.

Hower confronts Bershar and has his android assistant kill him, saying he has given in to his animal instincts. He frees Tarrant and Dayna, telling them that a nuclear device is buried in the heart of a nearby volcano and the Pyroans are slowly dying from leaking radiation. Servalan knows any attempt to capture the planet will result in them detonating the device and destroying Obsidian.

Mori takes up position near the volcano and has Orac transmit a homing signal. Servalan departs from the fleet, ordering the Battle Fleet Commander to occupy Obsidian and destroy the Liberator. Tarrant contacts the ship and learns the situation. Mori sets up an ambush but Cally telepathically warns Tarrant and Dayna. Dayna throws a grenade and the explosion kills the trooper and hurls Mori into the volcano.

The group return to the Liberator, which is helpless as the Federation ships converge. At that moment, Hower detonates the nuclear device, destroying Obsidian and badly damaging the Federation fleet.



Story notes[]

  • Early drafts of this episode featured Blake and Jenna in the place of Tarrant and Dayna.
  • Tarrant is referred to as "Captain Tarrant" this appears to be a remnant from the unused traitor storyline originally envisaged for the character.
  • Paul Darrow fell and damaged his ankle, making it necessary for the shooting schedule to be rearranged slightly.
  • Avon sardonically rejects the idea that they're going to spend their time hunting down rumours of Blake. This was a suggested story arc for Series C.



Filming locations[]

Greenhow Hill on Hebden Moor, West Yorkshire. Armscliff Cragg, near Harrogate, Yorkshire.

Production errors[]

To be added.


  • Orac is onboard the Liberator at the start of this episode. He was last seen on Sarran in Aftermath and it is not clear at what point he returned to the ship.
  • Avon apparently fails to hear Cally when she tries to telepathically warn him Mori has boarded the ship, even though she communicates over greater distances in episodes such as Shadow and Death-Watch.
  • Obsidian is considered an ideal place for the Liberator crew to establish a base. This idea previously appeared in Horizon when the titular planet was considered as a possibility. The Liberator crew will later acquire a base on Xenon in Rescue and Blake with setup a base on Guada Prime in Blake.


Vila: Pretty? Yes, I suppose she is. I hadn't really noticed.
Avon: We've seen you not really noticing. Quite frequently.

Cally: I think he's all right.
Vila: Yeah, course he is. There isn't a volcano alive that'd dare to swallow Avon.

(After Mori teleports aboard the Liberator)
Cally: Who are you?
Mori: The winner and new champion.

Vila: You did very well there, I must say.
Avon: Must you?

Cally: She lost and we lost. Only the Pyroans won.
Vila: If that's winning, I'll take losing every time.

Home video releases[]

Series 3 DVD

DVD cover

  • Original BBC video release (Volume 15) in 1992.
  • Fabulous Films video reissue (Volume 15) on 1 February 1999.
  • DVD release as part of the Series 3 box set on 20 June 2005.

External links[]