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Blake's 7 - Breakdown

episode 1.10

UK 1978
produced by
David Maloney for BBC
directed by Vere Lorrimer
starring Gareth Thomas, Michael Keating, Sally Knyvette, Paul Darrow, David Jackson, Jan Chappell, Julian Glover, Christian Roberts, Ian Thompson
written & created by Terry Nation, music by Dudley Simpson

TV-series
Blake's 7

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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When Gan's (David Jackson) inhibitor, that prevents him from becoming a raving psychopath - a device only infrequently hinted at in earlier episodes - malfunctions & turns him into a raving psychopath, Blake (Gareth Thomas) & crew - Avon (Paul Darrow), Jenna (Sally Knyvette), Vila (Michael Keating) & Cally (Jan Chappell) - decide to take him to the nearest neurosurgeon in their spaceship The Liberator - once they have detained him, of course. But on their way to spacestation CK 72, where the surgeon resides, the ship's computer deliberately turns itself off, claiming they are passing a forbidden zone. And what do you know, the ship really has to pass some anomalies like a Black Hole-like vortex, & even Gan manages to free himself & roam the ship as a raving psychopath once again, but is restrained once again, too.

The spacestation CK 72 meanwhile proves to be neutral ground (& Avon even considers leaving his friends for a peaceful life on the station), but the neurosurgeon Kayn (Julian Glover) himself is rather in cahoots with the federation & betrays Blake & crew, at the same time watching emotionless as Gan gets closer & closer to death, even though his assistant Renor (Christian Roberts) begs him to help the man. Only when, independently from one another, both Vila & Avon - the latter being tipped off by the station's co0mmander (Ian Thompson) - get behind Kayn's evil scheme, is he forced to operate on Gan, & The Liberator can leave CK 72 just before the federation's ships arrive for the kill.

Obviously disappointed they missed Blake by a hair, they blow up CK 72 instead, rather spoiling Avon's plans to spend his pension there.

 

This episode falls into 2 narratives that are only very loosely linked to one another - the passing through the forbidden zone & the betrayal of the surgeon. & apart from obvious problems concerning to keep up the suspense while having one story following the other, the main flaw of this episode is that neither of the stories is really interesting: The forbidden zone is presented as merely a fun concept  where the problems that arise can be solved rather by coincidence (when they are pulled into the vortex they decide to just fly straight through it to see what happens - & nothing happens), the subplot of the treacherous neurosurgeon just fails to explore its own potential, effectively leaving the man's motives in the dark, rather just claiming he is a tad evil - which doesn't help the story at all..

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Tales to Chill
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Tales to Chill
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Out now from
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On the same day
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and your Ex wants
to make up ...
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you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
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starring
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out now on DVD