Scorpio Attack

Written by:
Trevor Hoyle
First Published: 1981
Page Count: 156
Availability: Try Amazon

The shortest of the three series novelisations, Scorpio Attack sees Hoyle detail three season four episodes over eighteen chapters. Getting six chapters (and 45-49 pages) each are Power, Traitor and Stardrive. As these weren't exactly red-hot scripts in the first place then we perhaps can't expect Hoyle's novel to be first rate, and on that level, at least, he doesn't let us down.

Yes, following on from the traditions of Project Avalon, Scorpio Attack is another concoction of vaguely-sketched scripts, mixing bland and convoluted descriptive passages with deceptive ease. (Mind you, like I'm one to talk - that last line was a bit of a mouthful, wasn't it?) Disappointingly, there's very little in the way of stuff we didn't see on screen. If anyone was following Blake's 7 solely as a book series (though, let's be honest, who in their right mind would be?) then there's no explanation of where Blake's gone, where Gan's gone, where Jenna's gone… nothing. There's just a new ship, a new purpose and two new crewmembers - get used to it. However, one thing that is new in terms of Hoyle's writing is an increasing voyeurisitc prose style. Dayna, in particular, gets regular descriptions of her toned body and face, and she can't even gaze down a hillside without her legs being "splayed". Soolin manages to just get away with "lovely eyes" and a "beautiful, flawless face." (What, can't Trevor see all those covered spots and puppy fat?) It's like seeing Blake's 7 through the eyes of a dirty old man - which I'm sure, of course, Trevor Hoyle isn't, lawyer fans.

Overall, this is definitely the weakest of the three pretty mediocre bunch, though for what it is I still can't hate it. Okay, Soolin's holding her gun like a sap on the copy I own (pictured) and "Scorpio Attack" is a completely stupid, not to say meaningless title. But despite all this it still scrapes an average merchandise rating of…