Tarrant's twin-brother Deeta is competing in a gladiatorial ceremony, where combatants fight each other to the death in a duel (Interplanetary feuds are settled into combat). When Deeta is ... See full summary »



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Episode cast overview:
Paul Darrow ...
Jan Chappell ...
Michael Keating ...
Jacqueline Pearce ...
Steven Pacey ...
Josette Simon ...
Peter Tuddenham ...
Zen / Orac (voice)
Paul Mark Elliott ...
Vinni (as Mark Elliott)
Stewart Bevan ...
David Sibley ...
Kathy Iddon ...
Karla (as Katherine Iddon)


Tarrant's twin-brother Deeta is competing in a gladiatorial ceremony, where combatants fight each other to the death in a duel (Interplanetary feuds are settled into combat). When Deeta is killed by the android Vinni. Tarrant decides to take on Vinni himself, only to learn Serverlan is acting as a judge and she is manipulating events to trigger off a real war. Written by Daniel Williamson

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Release Date:

24 March 1980 (UK)  »

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Did You Know?


The episode features a reference to 'Star Trek' (1966), one of the creative sources for 'Blake's 7'. In the historical broadcast of the Teal and Vandor tournament the announcer states, 'Space, the final frontier...." This is the opening of each 'Star Trek' episode. See more »


Commentator: [in an ordinary conversational tone] That all right?
Viscast Director: [bored] Fine.
Commentator: Oh, that good, eh?
Viscast Director: Well, what do you want me to say? It was your usual delicate mixture of enthusiasm and dignified cliché.
Commentator: I love you too. What's next?
Viscast Director: [incredulous] You mean you've forgotten? I don't know why we bothered to rehearse.
Commentator: From the way you've been juggling those remotes I didn't think you had.
Viscast Director: If the performer won't move then the camera must.
Commentator: I thought it might confuse you if I moved.
Viscast Director: Oh, you've been *thinking*? ...
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References Star Trek (1966) See more »

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User Reviews

A very good episode which cleanses the palette after the truly dreadful "Moloch"
8 August 2014 | by (Ireland) – See all my reviews

The concept of a war between two star systems being decided by the result of a gladiatorial match in which only one man is killed is very interesting. It is essentially a war without war, which I find fascinating. However, the real strength in this episode lies in Steven Pacey's excellent dual performance as both Tarrant and his brother Deeta. While there was no real reason that Deeta had to be played by Pacey, I am glad that this was the case as it gave him a chance to shine. It is a little funny though that the Liberator has run into identical siblings of two of its crewmembers in such a short period of time! Pacey has no trouble differentiating his two characters, the cocksure Tarrant and the more world weary Deeta. I have to admit that part of me prefers Deeta to Tarrant as he's more of a badass! This episode is unusual as it focuses so much of its attention on a character other than one of the regulars, Servalan or, in earlier seasons, Travis.

As much as I enjoyed the Deeta storyline, my favourite scene is the one between Avon and Servalan on Teal in which he accuses her of sabotaging the combat in the hopes of starting an actual war between Teal and Vandor, after which her fleet will move in and take over. I love the fact that she claims to consider Avon not as an enemy but as a future friend. It's the best examination of their relationship since "Aftermath". Thankfully, Dayna is well treated as well as, for once, she gets something interesting to do. While she has had more screen time in other episodes, this episode features her putting her skills as a warrior to use when she monitors Vinni's fighting style through the receiver and realises that he is an android. I'd even go as far as to say that it's the best use of the character since "Powerplay". The somewhat undiplomatic diplomat Max, as very well played by Stewart Bevan, is one of the nicest and most genuine characters in "Blake's 7" history. Along with Docholli from "Gambit", he's one of the few such characters who doesn't end up dead by the end of the episode.

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