Seek Locate Destroy

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.

The Web

The first thing that Cally does in The Web is to knock out Vila merely for asking her a rather innocuous question. She also tries to sabotage the ship and this concludes with Cally holding Blake, Jenna and Avon at gunpoint. Luckily Gan is able to overpower her before she actually does decide to shoot her new crew mates, which you wouldn’t put past her, especially in this episode. However after this incident Cally does not remember any of it, which is probably best in the long run.

Before long the Liberator appears to drift into some sort of web like substance which they are not able to get away from, no matter how hard they try and boy do they try.

Jenna is then taken over by something asking the crew to go down to the planet. Cally believes that these people are part of a group of her people, The Lost, the Auronar who were exiled from her home planet thousands of years ago. As they do not have much of a choice and that if they do they will remain trapped in the web for ever and ever. Blake teleports down to the planet and is approached by a small creature who he later finds out are called Decimas, who inhabit the planet.

From out of a dome in the middle of a wooded area comes a humanoid with silver skin who kills the creature, which rankles Blake. The humanoid who is called Novara introduces Blake to another silver skinned humanoid, Geela, who tells Blake that they have a fungicide which can destroy the web but that they can’t due to failing power cells which also power their life support systems and that if Blake agreed to give them replacement power cells then they would give them the fungicide to allow them to escape the web.

Blake agrees in principle and gets Avon to get some new power cells and then bring them down to the planet. He soon changes his mind when he discovers what the plans for the Decimas are once they get new power cells. This changes Blake’s mind a little. He does find out that the Decima’s are manufactured life forms, as well as both of the sliver skinned humanoids.

Avon teleports down to the planet and Blake tries to withhold the power cells from Novara and Geela unless they stop their plans to destroy the decima’s. This doesn’t work and the new power cells are fitted. At the moment they are about to activate the radiation then the Decima’s attack the dome and destroy it. Blake and Avon manage to activate the fungicide freeing the Liberator from the web before teleporting back to the ship before they to were attacked by the decimas.

Cally takes centre stage at the start of the epiosde where she is behaving rather strangely, and seems to be in a world of her own, and is obviously up to something that the other crew members would not be very happy about, with Vila getting the rough end of Cally fist merely for asking what Cally was up to. It must have been quite something for her to react in this way.

During the first part of the episode they must have been quite pissed off with Blake for bringing Cally onboard the ship after what happened here but in the end it wasn’t entirely her fault as she had been taken over by other people so perhaps it is unfair to totally blame her for the events of this episode but you can understand why people might blame her.

Not even Jenna gets of scott free in this episode as she is also taken over. It seems that these people can only take control of females of the species as shown in this episode but it is not entirely clear whether or not they can take over males as this is not shown in this episode. They are also from Cally’s home planet, Auron, and we learn a little bit more about Cally and her people, the Auronar, and also meet new creatures called Decimas’s who Blake decides to help when he discovers that they are going to be wiped out just because someone else thinks that they shouldn’t exist.

This moral code of Blake is often at odds with the other members of the crew. For instance, in this episode, the fact that by giving the people in the lab the power cells that they want in return for allowing them to escape the web will mean that they wil be giving them the opportunity to commit genocide does not sit well with Blake.

However to Avon it just means that they will get away from the web and he doesn’t even give the Decima’s a minutes thought but, then again, Avon never gives anyone else a second though until it benefits him in some way or other, which the continued existance of the Decimas over his own life, was certainly not in his best interest but Blake was able to get his own way without it affecting their safety.

Blakes moral dilemma was certainly one of the highlights of the episode and also very much in character for him. Cally’s actions at the start of the episode did seem to make Blake’s decision to let her stay aboard the episode to be a bit of stupid one and it certainly didn’t endear her to her fellow crewmates at all.

The Web is probably the weakest of the episodes so far that we have seen but also has a lot of good character moments between the regulars.

Time Squad

In Time Squad the majority of the crew are thinking that they can now outrun any Federation pursuit ships that they may decide to throw at them, which it has to be said, would be an awful lot of them. However Avon, ever the critic, is not convinced that it is all it is cracked up to be. Blake decides that he doesn’t want to spend the rest of his life hiding from the Federation, which some of the other may have been perfectly happy to stay hidden for the rest of their natural lives (Vila in particular), considering that they are all wanted people, with large prices on their heads.

Blake want to hit the Federation where it hurts, and Blake plans to destroy a major Federation complex where all their signals etc., are received, and directed, and if it was destroyed it would really hurt the Federation and that is what Blake wants to do. So a course is set for the Saurian Major where the complex is, despite any other opinion to the contrary on the subject, but then again the programme would not be called Blake’s 7 if Blake wasn’t the lead character.

On the way to this complex they pick up a distress call from a projectile which is drifting in space which for some reason they decided that they have to go and have a look at it, even if it might be dangerous and not worth their while. Blake and Jenna teleport over there and find that it contains a small crew in suspended animation but nothing else which might be handy to know.

They also realise that their oxygen is running out but the teleport system breaks down right when they need it to work. So, the craft is bought onto the Liberator otherwise Blake and Jenna would have be left to suffocate to death, which probably wouldn’t have bothered Avon one jot, but whether or not the others would follow Avon was probably the reason why he couldn’t leave them over there. When they get it on the ship Avon sets the re-animation unit to wake up the crew to find out a bit more about the craft and its occupants.

Whilst this happens they continue with their plan and Blake, Avon and Vila teleport down to the planet where they try to make contact with the rebels already on the planet, but there is no response. Then, out of the blue, Blake is attacked by a dark- haired girl, named Cally, who turns out to be the only survivor from the rebels who had been quickly killed, and she soon agrees to assist them with destroying the complex, after a little bit of persuasion by Blake.

Back on the Liberator after the crew of the projectile (the same one they that took on board the ship without checking whether or not they might be dangerous) start to wake up both Jenna and Gan are attacked by two of the crew members. On Saurian Major they manage to break into the complex and the generator room and Avon sabotages the computer turning it into a giant bomb. They have to fight some of the Federation personnel in order to do what they set out to do but that is just part and parcel of the gig as a dissident, but luckily the majority of people employed the Federation as a guard tend to be entirely incompetent so it is often much easier for them that it probably should be.

Back on the Liberator the crew of the projectile have connected the craft to the Liberator, and are leeching power from the ship. Despite being attacked from both sides, Jeanna and Gan manage to teleport Avon, Vila, Blake and Cally back to the Liberator, in a nick of time just before the guards actually manage to catch them, which to be honest they probably wouldn’t as they are generally bad at their jobs and are as much use as a chocolate fire-guard.

Cally decides to remain on the Liberator despite some of the others reticence to accept her, and they decide to dump the projectile into deep space, which is the least they could do after what they had just been through, although it might have been easier if they just left it the hell alone in the first place.

It has to be said that the crew are quite enamoured of the Liberator and they are bloody glad that they are on this wondrous ship and not stuck on Cygnus Alpha, even though after the events of the previous episode, it might not actually be as bad as it was before they landed on the planet.

They are also glad that the ship appears to be far more powerful than anything the Federation have at that point and Avon see credits in all of the stuff onboard the ship. Blake, meanwhile, sees it as an opportunity to strike at the heart of the Federation. Vila would rather use the ship to get as far away from the Federation as he possible can and Jenna is not sure if she believes in Blake or if Avon and Vila’s plans do not have just as much merit in than Blake’s plans. It has to be said that Blake probably has much more enmity to the Federation, considering what he was put through by them, than the others do who are more pissed off that they got caught rather than anything else.

For some reason best know to Blake they decide to pick up this small space craft that was floating in space despite other people saying that this was bad idea and that no good would come of it which you would have thought would be quite a sensible thing to do, but no, they decide to take the craft onboard the ship anyway and see what they can find out about it.

In this episode we meet a new character in the shape of Cally who it appears is from a race of telepaths and is also as against the Federation as they are they are especially as when we first meet her, her fellow rebels have all been slaughtered, and it wouldn’t have taken much for her to just decide to off Blake, Avon and Vila as for the entire episode you are not really sure whose side she is actually on and it is only really Avon who is not entirely convinced by her, but then again he would be wouldn’t he.

Blake seems perfectly happy to let her tag along with them to rey and destroy the transmitter and to be honest if I was Blake I would have been a bit more reticent, but then again Blake is quite a trusting person, not always a good thing though, but in the end trusting Cally seemed to work out for them and Blake got away with randomly trusting a stranger who tried to kill him the first time they met.

This is the first time in the series that we see a Federation installation and it doesn’t actually look all that futuristic when you think about and looks like the kind of facility that you might find on any industrial site that you might care to visit.

Whilst Blake, Avon and Vila are enjoying themselves on Saurian Major, Jenna and Gan are not having so much fun on the Liberator when the inhabitants of the craft wake up. It turns out that they are all homicidal, and spend most of the episode once they finally wake up, trying to kill both Gan and Jenna, as well as trying to leach power from the Liberator. So, as it turns out, the people who were against the idea of bringing the ship on board (i.e mostly Avon) was right on the money there.

We find out a bit more about Gan in this episode, and how he ended up on the London, and also about his punishment and how he can no longer be really violent any more, which is not good news when you are fighting for you lives against people, who will not stop until you are dead, but Gan is able to battle through and help out Jenna, who is quite handy as well and is no pushover, and work well as a team in this episode, as without them Blake, Avon, Vila and Cally would eventually have been caught and not very nice things done to them.

Cyngus Alpha

In the third episode of Blake’s 7 Blake, Jenna and Avon try to familairise themselves with their new ship and what it can do, and have a good scout around and find all manner of things in there such as a wardrobe full of clothes for humanoids, so you can expect the ship was originally designed for a humanoid race. They also discover a cache of really cool looking weapons and a teleport facility, the only catch is that they haven’t got a clue in how to operate it properly.

On the penal colony Cygnus Alpha, the London drops its cargo off and scarpers very quickly leaving the prisoners to their fates. On the planet itself the ship was seen entering the planets atmosphere by the locals who seem to be part of a religious cult and it is immediately decided by a high priestess that they are new converts to their religion, whether they like it or not.

The prisoners are released onto the planets surface and are soon captured by the priests who then tell them that they are dying and that they have to take this special medication each day for the rest of their lives and for good measure they lock them up for their own safety.

Avon and Jenna stay aboard the Liberator whilst Blake is transported onto the planet for a test run. He is soon seen by the locals and is ambushed but they are able to return back to the Liberator in the nick of time before he got caught and unmentionable things being done to him.

It’s not long before Blake gets them to put him back down on the planet and to give him four hours to rescue as many of the prisoners as he can, assuming they want to leave of course, but why would they not? What does Cygnus Alpha have to offer them?

Of course Avon is all for leaving him there and taking the ship themselves but Jenna wants to wait for Blake and Avon admits defeat on this occasion and does not try to just take over the ship on his own, knowing that he would probably need more than just him to take over the ship.

On the planet Blake is able to find the others and is told about the disease and that they all need to remain on the planet in order to stay alive. Blake tells them he will try and get them to give them a supply of the drug, or tell them how to make it.

Blake is soon captured and taken to the head priest on the colony Vargas who decides that he will not help Blake but that he will instead take over the Liberator and use that to get more followers.

Cygnus Alpha sees a guest appearance by Brian Blessed as Vargas, the leader of the colony, and this is Blessed at his shouty best and he is really the best thing about the episode, despite him spending the majority of the episode bellowing as loudly as only Brian Blessed can.

Vargas is quite drunk with power and sure of his superiority and his rightful place as the head of the order. There is now doubt in his mind that he will obtain the Liberator, and that Blake will hand it over without a shadow of a doubt, mostly because he is a bloody big bloke who you would think twice about messing with (witness the way he crushed a teleport bracelet with just one hand) and you can imagine will not be the last person to want to nick the Liberator off Blake and his crew, not that it is theirs to offer technically.

Pamela Salem also appears in the episode as high priestess, Kara, and is quite impressive in a very small role indeed and also quite a nice change from a bunch of blokes but she does meet with a sticky end and catches the eye of Gan, for which you cannot entirely blame him, as she is pretty much just there to look pretty. In fact this episode has twice as many female characters than the previous episode has, so there is progress for you.

We meet two other prisoners in this episode Arco and Selman who I don’t recall seeing or even being mentioned in the first two episodes who could potentially be part of the seven considering at the moment that we only have Blake, Avon and Jenna leaving four more places, or three if you could Zen as one of the seven. That leaves three (or four) places for Gan, Vila, Arco and Selman.

Later in the episode both Arco and Selman went the same way as Nova in the previous episode and Gan and Vila are spritied away to the Liberator meaning that now there 5 of them plus Zen, so still a little way of the entire seven but it could quite easily have been Gan or Vila who were killed in the episode rather than Arco or Selman, but I guess that Gan and Vila were more interesting characters than Arco and Selman so that is why they were spared.

We had only met them in this episode so we were a bit more aware of what Gan and Vila were like so I suppose it was the right call in the choice of characters who made it back to the ship. The other prisoners I assumed were just not bothered and were happy to stay on Cygnus Alpha and, as we don’t even know their names, I guess that they don’t really matter in the grand scheme of things.

Jenna and Avon have some good scenes together on the Liberator with Avon trying his best to persuade her that listening to, and going along with, Blake is a lost cause, and that she would better of going along with him and Liberator but he is not able to persuade her, as she, unlike him, actually thinks that Blake has a point and that it wouldn’t be fair on him, and the others, to leave them to rot on Cygnus Alpha.

Meanwhile Avon doesn’t give a damn about the others and is already working out what to spend the money on that he can get from the Liberator but is not able to bring himself to just kill Jenna and then take off in the Liberator, which shows that he is not quite as cold and calculating as he appears to be, or perhaps more pragmatic about his actual abilities, which is probably the most accurate summation of his character.

This is a very interesting episode with some really excellent character moments between the regular characters and further cementing the make up of the seven. Brian Blessed was way over the top, it has to be said, but he is always watchable and it was no different here. We got to see a lot more of the Liberator in this episode and is it certainly a fascinating craft, and a sight to behold, and you can firmly understand why Blake, Avon and Vargas find it so fascinating.