Tuesday, August 8, 2023

REVIEW | The World's of Blake's 7 - Heroes and Villains

This sixth box set in the Worlds of Blakes 7 has grabbed three villains from the television programme and given them all a prequal performance. The Amagon where a bit of a dud in a story that was a bit of a dud – Bounty. But Trevor Baxendale has written a story that is so much better than its source material. Jenna and Cally are both so much cleverer than they were on the tele and their strength of character really shines.

The Deal with Dorian by Mark B Oliver lets us have a look at Dorian before he met the crew after the destruction of the Liberator. The recast of Dorian by Matthew Grabelle necessitated by the early passing of the original actor has been so well done. Dorian is far more dangerous here – and we know what is coming.

And finally Andrew Smith shows his love of the show in a love letter, of sorts, to the torturer Shrinker who we only met briefly in Rumours of Death. Although he must wait for the TV story for the character to get his comeuppance this is a pretty good start. 

Sally Knyvette and Jan Chappell are both brilliant. They have recreated their characters with ease but also pushed beyond many of the limitations that the show placed on the as women of the ship. There is no doubt that they are more than capable of taking on any many – good or bad – and won’t be left behind to make the tea any longer.

Lisa Bowerman, as always, is an actors director and you can hear the dialogue sing through her notes. Unusually sound design and music is done by a different pair of hands for each story and due to the quirky way the website combines everything together in box sets (shame) it is hard to tell who did what on what. But Jamie Robertson, Benji Clifford and Alistair Lock are all so reliable and accomplished it doesn’t really matter that there isn’t one consistent sound designer and musician across each story. All the stories just work.

Blakes 7 is a joy and these sets continue to entertain and extend the universe. Long may they continue.

Philip Edney

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