In this episode the main aim of Blake and his crew was to teleport down to the planet Centero which houses the main Federation communication centre where they plan to steal a machine which will allow them to monitor all of the communicationsn throughout the Federation which will means that they will abe allowed to know what they are up to and what they are likely to do and what they want to so, so pretty potent stuff for the likes of Blake.
Initially only Blake and Vila teleport down and Vila is able to break in to the complex as his lock picking skills are second to none. Once they are in their Avon, Cally and Gan teleport down to join them. Vila keeps guard whilst Cally is there to hold the remaining guards prisoner whilst the others steal the machine and then set up explosives to cover their tracks. With the strength of Gan they are able to get the machine free. Somehow the remaining guards are able to distract Cally and overpower her.
Once the others had set up the bombs they are all teleported back to the Liberator apart from Cally who manages to lose her teleport braceelet when she is fighting with with Federation guards and is left there when the explosives detonate. They do not notice that Cally is not within them they get back to the Liberator, which shows how much attention that they paid to her in the first place.
However when they realise that she was left back on the planet Blakes decides to go back for her even though Avon points out that by doing this he puts the rest of their lives in danger.
The Supreme Commander of the Federation, Servelan is being interviewd by a couple of very oily Federation officials about how she is dealing with the Blake situation, which is not going all that well as far as the Federation are concerned and she assures him that she is going to find the one person who is going to get the job done. However this is not met with great enthusiasm by the officials who think that the person she has chosen is not a great advert for what the Federation is about even though he is very much typical of what the Federation stand for and that people might want to serve under such a man but Servelan makes it clear that the refusal to work with Travis will be coinsidered Mutiny.
When Travis learns of his new assigment he immediately agrees to do it after the history between the two men. Both men explain about what had happened in the past and it is made clear why Servelan has chosen Travis as her man for the job.
Travis is sent to Centero to the wreck of the communications centre and they soon realise that the cypher machine is missing. They also find Cally who has somehow managed to survice the blast. Much to Travis’ delight he is able to find out that Cally knows Blake and that she will help him find him. Using Cally as bait a message is sent out about a survivor of the centero explosion knowing that Blake will not be able to help himself and return to the planet.
Travis is right in his suppostion about Blake and he paitently waits for Blake to arrive on the planet which he does when Travis is least expecting it by arriving in the room where Cally is when Travis wasn’t there and was able to return them all to the ship. Travis is fuming but will not let this small failure get him down and vows to destroy Blake.
In this episode we meet the wonderfully amoral Servelan, the supreme commander of the Federation who is unique in being a woman in a position of great power, and also of Travis a brutal man who would not leave any stone unturned in his ambitions and his ambitions seem to involve violence and much killing as he can get away with. By the end of this episode however his new amibition was the total destruction of Blake and his crew and nothing else would be good enough.
We do not get to know a great deal of Servelan except that she is an attractive women who wealds a great deal of power and is in a position of authority and is able to basically get away with almost anything and that there are few people who would try and argue with her so that she is able to whatever she wants as there is no one who she seems to be answerable to so that virtually gives her carte blanche to do whatever she believes is necessary to get the job done.
For instance when she is speaking to the two Federation officials Rontane and Bercol she is openly taunting them when she decides to introduce Travis to the equation knowing that they are not going to be happy about it at all but also not caring what they think as she is not answerable to them and that they will just go ahead with whatever she says most likely because they are afraid of her I would say.
Now Travis is virtually an open book from this episode onwards and we find out about the history between him and Blake which is why he know has the one eye and one arm and we also learn quite a bit about Travis’ like and proclivities such as the fact that he prefers to work with Mutoids as they are less likely to answer back and also do not tire easily and will do exactly as he says without questioning which is how Travis prefers it and it seems to work quite well for him.
Travis is the perfect villain for the series and is also the perfect opponent for Blake. He is also probably more like Avon than he is like Blake which makes for an interesting character dynamic between the two of them. It is these two characters which make this episode great as apart from the opening bits when they are trying to steal the cypher machine not a great deal actually happens and there is a lot of exposition about the past histories of the characters which makes for fascinating watching.
At the end of the episode you know this is not going to be the last that you will see of either of these two characters.