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Starring: Paul Darrow (Avon), Jan Chappell (Cally), Michael Keating (Vila), Steven Pacey (Tarrant), Josette Simon (Dayna) and Peter Tuddenham (Orac/Zen).
Guest-Starring: Jacqueline Pearce (Servalan), Gareth Thomas (Blake), Gillian McCutcheon (Kostos), Heather Wright (Reeval), Richard Clifford (Toron) and David Healy (Sphere Voice).
Crew: Stuart Fell (Stunt Co-Ordinator), Pauline Smithson (Production Assistant), Sheelagh Rees (Production Unit Manager), Joy Sinclair (Director’s Assistant), Antony Root (Assistant Floor Manager), Peter Chapman (Film Cameraman), Ian Sansom (Film Recordist), Sheila S. Tomlinson (Film Editor), Steve Drewett/Jim Francis (Visual Effects Designers), A.J. Mitchell (Electronic Effects), Doug Burd (Graphic Designer), Brendan Carr (Technical Manager), Dave White (Senior Cameraman), Shirley Coward (Vision Mixer), Bryn Edwards (Vision Supervisor), Sam Upton/Malcolm Banthorpe (Principle Series Videotape Editors), Brian Clemett (Studio Lighting), Malcolm Johnson (Studio Sound), Elizabeth Parker (Special Sound), Nicholas Rocker (Costume Designer), Sheelagh J. Wells (Make-Up Artist), Dudley Simpson (Music), Terry Nation (Series Deviser), Chris Boucher (Script Editor), Jim Clay (Designer) and David Maloney (Producer).
Trivia: Lasting for over 54 minutes, this is by far the longest episode of Blake’s 7. Season one averaged at 51.34, season three 50.89 and season two 50.32 minutes. The season with the shortest episodes was the final season, which averaged at 49.03 minutes and didn’t have a single instalment that lasted 50 minutes or above.
Gareth Thomas reprises his role as Blake, with a cameo that lasts for 96 seconds of screentime.
Story: Avon has been on the flight deck of the Liberator for more than thirty hours after receiving a signal from Blake. He suspects it might be a trap, though orders the crew out of the flight deck and takes the ship to the signal anyway. The signal emanates from an artificial planet constructed by united planet scientists 411 years ago, code-named “Terminal”. Originally positioned in the solar orbit out towards Mars, they now find it at Delta 7 14 in Sector 6, with the nearest life-supporting planet being Disentastra.
Avon soon learns that the signal really came from Servalan, and using drugs and electronics she temporarily convinces him that Blake is still alive. Eventually she reveals Blake is dead, and orders him to hand over his ship. After agreeing to the crew being allowed to live, and her giving him her own damaged ship, Avon does so, and Servalan prepares to leave on the Liberator. However, the Liberator had earlier passed through minute fluid particles, which corroded the ship and cause it to break up, with Servalan teleporting away before it is destroyed. Avon smiles at their predicament, stranded on Terminal with seemingly no way of escape…
Blake: Avon shows eerie foresight about Blake when he notes “I always thought his death and mine would be linked in some way.” Servalan later tells Avon that the vision of Blake was a drug-induced and electronic dream, and that Blake had died more than a year ago on Jefron. Although the events of Blake tell us she was lying, the date for her lie to work would still have to be accurate. This means that it’s been over a year between this episode and the events of Aftermath/Powerplay.
Avon: Avon holds some resentment to all the crew, with a belief that “you and the rest of them owe me.” His utter contempt of Tarrant finally comes to the fore with “Nothing and nobody is going to stop it, YOU least of all. Now get out of my way, and stay out of my way!” Later, during a confrontation he holds a gun to Tarrant and threatens to kill him. It’s notable that after this episode Tarrant is a lot more reticent to argue with Avon, and more willingly accepts him as leader.
Game: The Monopoly-like game seen in Dawn of the Gods is again played here, with Vila boasting to Dayna that he plays it to “Galactic Master Standards”. However, after taking his advice Dayna loses, with Cally winning in 9,721 moves.
“From here on it’s downhill all the way.”
It’s a cheap shot, and the most famous line from the episode. A way to take a snide dig at season four, it’s also largely undeserved, and unfair. But I used it anyway. As for Terminal, Terry Nation’s final script for the series, then it’s one of his best.
Tarrant’s Terminal speech is one of the worst cases of exposition in the programme (pure Nation), while Paul Darrow looks porky in his binliner outfit, particularly in the studio shots. The Links look a little daft, though are probably a witty 2001 reference. Yet the ominous beating of the artificial planet adds a real sense of foreboding to proceedings, and it’s nice to see Vila taking control and using his intelligence when aboard the ship with Dayna.
A smashing episode overall, but would it have made for a classic last-ever episode as was intended? Personally I’m glad we got to finish with Blake, just as I am that Mary Ridge, making her series debut here, was given a shot at five more episodes with the series reprieve.