(Terry Nation) reviewed by Marian de Haan


Good, although a bit ruined by Jenna's improbable last-minute rescue. Satisfying though it is to see her save the menfolk, she manages to sneak up to Servalan much too easily.

There are some nice continuities, like Blake taking only Cally into his confidence and Avon being the one to read him best ("I never believed...", cf. Space Fall: "He's a crusader." [The best ever description of Blake IMO] and Duel, where he's the only one to grasp that Blake can't/won't kill Travis). Also, Avon is again performing his old trick of ridiculing the others' decision ("Not very bright, but loyal.") and then happily going along with them.

Kasabi is one of the best guest characters (another of Terry Nation's strong women). The interaction between her and Servalan is great.

Avon and Vila are teamed up again, Gan gets a hero's death and Cally has abandoned her 'Companions for my death' attitude; she's no longer prepared to go on a suicide mission. Blake and Gan take turns in comforting Veron [well, they're both cuddly :-)] and even Avon is politely nice to her. In this episode the disadvantage of Liberator's handguns comes to light: they can kill but not blast through ancient wooden doors. :-)

Avon abandoning caution in suggesting they run through that minefield seems out of character. This is the first time he trips and falls during a dash. The scene where Gan catches him after he's completed the run provides our first chance to notice that Avon's infamous red trousers really are too tight. ;-) Once inside the complex his caution returns: when descending those ladders he makes up the rear but he is firmly in front when they're on the retreat. :-)

The twist of the empty room is a beauty. Blake's failure to notice that fact is unconvincing, though. His crowing about his achievement feels not right either. Avon's duality is never demonstrated better than here, when he kneels beside Blake, hand on his shoulder, silently comforting him while verbally confronting him with the truth.

The end is sloppy - leaving Veron behind in that complex is madness. Even if she doesn't want to join them (provided they'd want her - Blake doesn't consult his crew about it) he should have brought her to a safer place.

Personal appreciation: ***

This one has a lot of good scenes and it is a relief to see the last of Gan, the Series' most underused character. On the first viewing, the shock of his death hits hard, leaving a feeling of unreality (regulars don't die).

Travis is less repellent then in Weapon [or maybe I'm getting used to his changed appearance :-)]. He's becoming steadily more unhinged and Servalan still wanting to make use of him defies belief. [He's suicidal too, as is Servalan, running towards that grenade.]

Avon's slow applause in reaction to Blake's passionate speech is a beauty, as eloquent as the most biting insult. And then we learn he's already decided to accompany Blake. The first time I saw this episode I was totally surprised by this. :-) His reasoning seems flawed, though. Staying safely aboard the ship, waiting for Blake getting himself killed, must be the sensible option. Maybe the events in the previous episode have taught him that he'll end up risking his life anyway. :-) But him still going on when it becomes clear that Blake is keeping back vital information, then coming up with a solution when even Blake seems to be prepared to accept that the mission is impossible... Looks like Avon is as keen as Blake on destroying Central Control.

Regrettably, this episode has my two favourite characters wearing their most hideous costumes: Avon is again in his red leather, and Vila looks like some kind of futuristic traffic warden. On the flight deck, Avon's hair is not only shorter than in his outdoor scenes, it also seems to be bleached. After that ugly dress in the previous episode, Cally is allowed a nice one here, although not many action in it. One must admire Jenna for being able to climb all those ladders in her long skirt (more of an encumbrance here than those high heels), proving that a thousand years from now there will still be women prepared to suffer for fashion. :-( At least Kasabi and her daughter opted for sensible battle dress. Servalan is attired as outrageously and impractical as ever, her white outfit forming a clear target amongst the trees. :-) And isn't it civil of Jenna to give her time to change? [But let's be charitable, maybe Jenna wanted to make sure the lady did not have a weapon stacked away.]

Like with the corridors on the Ortega in Mission to Destiny, the different lighting of the same section of ladders to suggest different levels fails utterly. In contrast, the stark white emptiness of the alleged control room is stunning, probably the best set of the entire Series.


"You want Liberator?" Had Blake really not worked that out yet?

"There's no hurry." What? I thought Blake was rearing to destroy the Federation. :-) Suddenly he doesn't seem that eager to succeed - maybe he never considered his life afterwards?

"This is no time for personal vendettas!" Look who's talking.

"I should have tried to help you." A delightful insult; Kasabi gets the last word.

"I'm sorry." So Avon *can* be nice to a stranger. :-)

What are those gadgets Avon uses for checking out the floor? Standard equipment, or did he have a hunch he would need them? And what made him suspect that particular bit of floor in the first place?

"Who are you?" Apparently Servalan has taken not enough time to study the files of *all* Liberator's crewmembers. :-) (Judith: Or she heard someone coming up behind her before she saw the face.)

Even if Blake is still unwilling to kill Travis and Servalan, how does he prevent Veron from doing it? [It's ironic that Blake's refusal to kill Travis causes Gan's death.]

What Could Have Been Done To Improve It:

- Other costumes for Avon and Vila.

- Show how Jenna finds and overpowers Servalan.

- Explain Servalan's costume change.

- Let them take Veron to a safe place.

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