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Blake's 7: Killer

I'm rather fond of this episode. It features some of the silliest clothing that the show ever came up with, but it tells a good story. Two good stories technically, with an A and a B plot that are about equally weighted. Once again Jenna is completely surplus to demands, and apart from one brief piece, so is Cally. That does rankle slightly. It's easily overlooked though; perhaps too easily. The cast clearly is too big, and it's all too obvious that it's the women who get sidelined every time. I'm not going to complain, though. Partly because I'm thirty-four years too late for that, and partly because Avon is more interesting anyway.

Avon and Vila zap down to an isolated scientific colony, where an old friend of Avon's is stationed. He was involved in the crime that got Avon sent off to the prison colony on Cygnus Alpha way back in series one, but has so far escaped justice. Avon plans to blackmail him into helping steal a crystal that will allow the Liberator to decode Federation communications. Meanwhile, on another part of the base, a salvage crew is examining an ancient spacecraft, one of the first human deep space vessels ever launched. Hidden inside it is a deadly virus, which soon begins to spread around the base.

A large drawing of a scientific outpost, which Avon and Vila intend to break into. Possibly this is because drawings are less heavily guarded than actual buildings?

Sorry, there's very little going on here. I just love the image of Avon in his leather and studs, popping up in the middle of a field of buttercups.

Tynus, Avon's friend. Rarely did a man have "Do Not Trust Me" more clearly stamped upon his forehead. Why Avon thinks this guy isn't going to betray him, I have no idea. There is, after all, one very obvious way in which Tynus need no longer fear being turned in by Avon.

How to move about a scientific colony without raising suspicion. Presumably impersonating a giant turtle/spaniel hybrid counts as subtlety in some circles.

An ancient spaceship, under salvage by a crew from the colony. This is the first clue we've had so far about when Blake's 7 is set; albeit only a vague one. Earth's first deep space exploration vessels were sent out some seven hundred years ago, which I guess makes the show set at least eight, probably nine hundred years in the future.

Cally detects a malignant life force onboard. Worried, Blake decides to take a wander down to the (Federation) colony, and warn the (Federation) staff there, in the process telling them that he's wanted by the Federation. For anybody else this would have ended badly, but he manages to stumble upon the only two nice people on the entire Federation payroll.

Doctor Bellfriar and his assistant Gambrill, the afore-mentioned nice people.

Inside the ship is a corpse. A very, very dead corpse. As the coroner begins his examination, his subject hops up off the table and throttles him. Within moments, the members of the medical team are beginning to die of a fast-acting virus. It spreads quickly, and the whole unit is soon in quarantine.

Although for some reason Blake is still allowed to buzz off back to the Liberator to consult with Orac. What makes them assume he's not been infected, when the virus seems to be getting to everybody else?!

In a different section of the base, Avon and Vila set about stealing the crystal.

To the surprise of precisely nobody save Avon, Tynus has betrayed them to Servalan, and plans to kill Avon before he can blow the whistle on their former criminal association. Avon, naturally enough, soon makes mincemeat out of him. Which serves him right, quite honestly, for the outfit even more than for the betrayal.

Doctor Bellfriar, meanwhile, has cracked the secret of the virus, as well as figuring out a potential antidote. Before he can tell anybody, he's overcome, and dies in his lab. Blake alerts the Federation to have the colony declared off-limits, and the gang dash off before Servalan catches up with them. Poor Doctor Bellfriar, and Gambrill as well. I liked them. It's a mark of a good episode when the guest cast stand out so well, and leave you genuinely sad when they meet their ends.


( 5 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )
Aug. 22nd, 2012 05:29 am (UTC)
partly because Avon is more interesting anyway
Sing it, sister
Aug. 25th, 2012 11:45 pm (UTC)

Aug. 22nd, 2012 01:04 pm (UTC)
Now I see where the show's budget went…to the make-up sfx! This one does sounds like a very interesting story. Judging from his past actions, I thought Blake was going to find a way to blow up this entire colony and stop the spread of the disease. :P
Aug. 22nd, 2012 08:43 pm (UTC)
I just found this article on I09, so they really are going ahead with a SYFY channel reboot:

Aug. 25th, 2012 11:41 pm (UTC)
Yes... Not definite yet of course, as they've yet to okay a script. Still, it might work out. The "Battlestar Galactica" remake was hugely popular (even if I did hate it!).
( 5 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )

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