The Liberator is approaching an unknown planet, and is low on power after escaping from pursuit ships, and decided to lay low round this planet whilst the power banks recharge which should take around 48 hours and hide from any more approaching pursuit ships, as you do. However Travis has found them and is his usual gung-ho self and wants to get Blake, and kill him dead, so no change there then.
The Liberator and the pursuit ships play cat and mouse for a while in some very tense scenes, before two inhabitants of the planet put the ships and their crews into stasis and beam Blake and Travis down to the surface so that they can fight it out in a sort of Gladiatorial challenge.
To make things interesting they beam down one person from the ship to help them. In Blake’s case they send down Jenna, which was probably the best choice. I mean both Gan and Cally would also have been quite effective in that particular role in the episode as Vila would have been less than useless, and Avon wouldn’t be that bothered if Blake survived or not, so I guess that they made a suitable choice in Jenna.
For Travis they sent down one of the mutoids which was really neither here nor there for Travis as his only thought was the pursuit of Blake and nothing more or nothing less.
So we get another cat and mouse game between Blake and Travis as they try to find each other using only their wits, and whatever tools that they could find lying about, for the edification of the two mysterious females on the rather desolate planet they found themselves passing by.
This episode was very well directed by Douglas Camfield. and the tension was kept up throughout the episode in both the scenes where the Liberator and the pursuit ships were trying to outdo each other and in the scenes on the planet helped by strong performances by Gareth Thomas and Stephen Greif who were both on top form in this episode.
Once again Vila has some great lines delivered with aplomb by the ever reliable Michael Keating and once more stays on board the Liberator for the duration of the episode, but he is always watchable. Gan at least gets to go down onto the planet for a brief period but that is about it really. Avon has less to do than last week but again gets some good lines and Paul Darrow is always excellent even when he has little to do and is as watchable as he always is.
Duel is very much Blake’s and Travis’ episode and to be honest it is all the better for it.