Mission To Destiny

Written by:
Terry Nation
Directed by: Pennant Roberts
Episode Length: 51'02
Original UK Transmission Date: 13/1/1978
Original UK Ratings: 9.6m
Original UK Chart Position: 46

DVD Availability: Try sendit.com or Amazon

Starring: Gareth Thomas (Blake), Sally Knyvette (Jenna), Paul Darrow (Avon), Jan Chappell (Cally), Michael Keating (Vila), David Jackson (Gan) and Peter Tuddenham (Zen).

Guest-Starring: Barry Jackson (Kendall), Beth Morris (Sara), Stephen Tate (Mandrian), Nigel Humphreys (Sonheim), Kate Coleridge (Levett), Carl Forgoine (Grovare), John Leeson (Pasco), Brian Capron (Rafford) and Stuart Fell (Dortmunn).

Crew: Pauline Smithson (Production Assistant), Sheelagh Rees (Production Unit Manager), Ian Scoones/Mat Irvine (Visual Effects Designers), Terry Nation (Series Deviser), Ken Willicombe (Film Cameraman), John Gatland (Film Recordist), Martin Sharpe (Film Editor), Brian Clemett (Studio Lighting), Clive Gifford (Studio Sound), Richard Yeoman-Clark (Special Sound), A.J. Mitchell (Electronic Effects), Barbara Lane (Costume Designer), Marianne Ford (Make Up Artist), Bob Blagden (Graphics Designer), Dudley Simpson (Music), Chris Boucher (Script Editor), Martin Collins (Designer) and David Maloney (Producer).

Story: The Liberator comes across a Mark Three Galaxy Class Cruiser, a type which went out of production "fifty years ago." Sent from the planet Destiny to research a plague, Avon, Jenna and Blake teleport across only to find one of the crew has been murdered.
With the only clue being "54124" written in blood, no one has any idea who the killer is, until the body count starts rising. Eventually Avon realises that the 54124 was supposed to say Sara ("Raffard was dying. It's difficult to be neat under those circumstances.") and identifies her as the murderer. All the occupants of the Cruiser are given bracelets to teleport them over to the Liberator, where Sara can be taken to trial. However, just before they do so, she removes hers and is left alone aboard the Cruiser. With her mission to steal the research nutratopes for money, Sara awaits her partners who arrive in ships next to the cruiser and prepare to board. However, Blake has rigged a charge on the entry hatch, killing them all.


Viewpoint:
"There's an odd smell… sort of sickly-sweet."

Let's start off with the goofs: there's a lovely boom mike shadow on Blake's face 5'38m into the episode, and look out for a muffed line from Gareth Thomas, his response to "they could be drugged" being "It's possibly." "I don't know," he adds, trying vainly to cover, "possibly." A cringe-worthy moment is the revelation that the cruiser crew come from the planet Destiny, making the episode title a literal cheese.

However, away from such nit-picking shenanigans this is a corny yet bearable murder mystery. But what has all this got to do with Blake's 7? Surely the selfish Liberator crew wouldn't care whodunnit and just go back to their ship? But instead, Avon - with no apparent reward for himself - turns into Miss Marple and tries to solve it. Perhaps this is the only successful part of the episode, as it's the first real attempt at giving Avon the primary role. His infamous woman battery, unsettlingly palmed off with "you'd better get her out of here, I really rather enjoyed that" has become infamous.

Perhaps the daftest part of the story is that the crew suspect each other or a possible stowaway - not a single one accuses the three strangers from the Liberator that have teleported aboard while they were asleep. It's all passable entertainment, despite the fact that you know it isn't really very good.