(Terry Nation) reviewed by Marian de Haan

Story: This one must have looked better on paper than it turned out. Someone - writer, script editor, producer, director, actors - should have spotted that glaring continuity error of the four vanished months. The prisoners are even less convincing as hardened criminals than in the previous episode. They seem much too easily intimidated by Vargas and his cronies. [All right, blame the 'Curse of Cygnus'! :-)] Another glaring error is the teleport confusion at the end, with Vargas materialising (without apparently Jenna or Avon seeing him) outside the teleport bay. [Well, maybe we must blame Avon's research of the teleport system for that. :-)] On the other hand, the flight deck scenes are great. Jenna's and Avon's antagonism comes over clearly and credibly. Blake is already single-mindedly focussing on his cause ("I need a crew!") without regarding their wishes. Yet another bit of bad choreography: when Blake asks for teleport and Avon doesn't react, Jenna reaches for the switch. Avon stops her and they struggle a bit, then it seems Jenna is winning. We don't see her hand but her arm moves down. The scene moves to the fight in the castle but no-one is teleported from there. When we see the teleport room again, Jenna is still behind the control panel but Avon is standing at the other side of the console. Apparently he has given in to Jenna, but she hasn't activated the teleport yet.

Personal appreciation: ** Vila has some amusing lines and a gorgeous scene with that bloody knife, the distrust between Jenna and Avon sparkles, Blake is stubbornly heroic... Yet Vargas' OTT awfulness takes the whole episode down. Jenna's dithering about leaving Blake behind on Cygnus Alpha ("Give him an hour.") is not convincing - she seems too much a Yes-or-No person for that. Avon looking sheepishly is a treat - he does that so rarely. Makes him look almost human [and that smile!]. Avon's "Oh, come on, Blake, do you think we would leave you down there?" is totally out of character. [Yes, I know it's a writer's trick, the moment you hear those words you know he's going to do just that! :-)] Avon is no hypocrite. On the contrary, he continually goes out of his way to warn people not to trust him. 'What makes you think we won't leave you down there?' would have been a lot more in character. But all comes right in the end - the sheer satisfaction of seeing Vargas being vaporised in space! And what a relief we didn't get landed with Arco and Selman!

Observations: Life on Cygnus Alpha must be very primitive, so how did Kara and Vargas come by those fine clothes? Nearest branch of Marks & Spencer? And where do they get the pills? Is Kara the only woman on the planet? Where did Vargas obtain those tennis shoes? Nicked from a player convicted for killing the umpire after an unfavourable decision? :-) Zen reading Jenna's mind gives us the first example of the women's prerogative in B7 of getting taken over. Zen welcomes Blake and Jenna but not Avon; one gets the impression that it doesn't like him [and the feeling seems to be mutual]. In Space Fall and here Avon is looking much younger than in the later episodes, life with Blake seems to age him rapidly. :-) Jenna is the pilot, yet when the ship's engines stop she runs to Blake like a frightened child. Can't she herself ask Zen what's happening, or check their position? [In Space Fall she is able to lay in a course.] Well, at least she has a nice outfit. :-) Isn't Avon a too careful sort of person for tossing guns about? Or is he hoping it will go off, the shot accidentically killing Blake? :-) Jenna is the pilot, yet she tells Avon to get the ship moving. [All right, she probably fears that Avon will promply teleport Blake and his recruits back the moment she turns her back on him.] Why does Avon give in to Jenna about activating the teleport? Is she stronger than him or does he realise he can't face leaving Blake down there after all? [Or has he just found out that all those jewels are fakes? :-)]

What could Have Been Done To Improve It: - Engage another actor for the part of Vargas. - Find a solution for the missing months. - Do a better job on the erratic teleport scene. - Change Avon's line "Oh come on, Blake..."

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