Blakes 7: Season 4, Episode 11

Orbit (7 Dec. 1981)

TV Episode  |   |  Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi
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The Scorpio crew are summoned by Renegade Federation scientist Egorian who wants to unleash vengeance on the Federation. Egorian wants to trade a powerful weapon in exchange for Orac. But ... See full summary »



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Title: Orbit (07 Dec 1981)

Orbit (07 Dec 1981) on IMDb 8.5/10

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Episode cast overview:
Paul Darrow ...
Jacqueline Pearce ...
Michael Keating ...
Steven Pacey ...
Josette Simon ...
Glynis Barber ...
Peter Tuddenham ...
Orac / Slave (voice)
John Savident ...
Larry Noble ...


The Scorpio crew are summoned by Renegade Federation scientist Egorian who wants to unleash vengeance on the Federation. Egorian wants to trade a powerful weapon in exchange for Orac. But Avon and Vila discover Egorian is working for Serverlan in another bid to take Orac, unaware Avon has given Egorian a fake duplicate of Orac. Written by Daniel Williamson

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Release Date:

7 December 1981 (UK)  »

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Did You Know?


When Avon looks for Vila to throw from the airlock, 'Michael Keating' (I) was filmed hiding, shaking and in tears. These few seconds were not broadcast because the director considered the scene "...too real". Following this episode, Vila becomes very wary of Avon's motives. See more »


Pinder: [introducing himself to Avon] I'm pleased to make your acquaintance, ma'am.
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User Reviews

One of the Finest of the Series
30 June 2009 | by (San Francisco Peninsula) – See all my reviews

Blake's 7 hit many high points during its run, and this easily ranks among its best episodes.

Blake's 7 always tried to remind its viewers that the characters we were seeing, with the possible exception of Blake himself, were not nobly motivated justice-seekers, but significantly ignoble people driven in large part by self-interest, and who saw a certain advantage in joining up with Blake and taking pot-shots at the Federation. A mix of such personalities has certain dark, nearly unavoidable consequences, and the fourth season explored them in fuller measure than the previous three.

Avon and crew have been led to the planet Malodar seeking the missing scientist Egrorian, who has created the Tachyon Funnel -- a super weapon that can annihilate whole planets from halfway across the galaxy. But Egrorian is no philanthropist -- in fact, almost no redeeming qualities of any kind -- and in exchange wants their computer Orac, one of their critical tools for staying ahead of the Federation.

Avon agrees to the trade, but senses a double-cross. His fears are borne out in full measure when they try to leave Malodar and discover their shuttle has been sabotaged and will crash in mere minutes.

So far, all of this seems like any other cross-and-double-cross, race-against-time yarn, and seems fairly run-of-the-mill. Almost lazy, in fact... Right up to the point you learn how much Vila weighs.

For nearly four seasons, we've gotten to know the crew of the Liberator/Scorpio, their interactions, their personalities, and their motives. Over time, we ascribed to Avon a mantle of nobility, one we assumed he had taken as a result of his time with Blake and his encounters with the Federation. And, indeed, he wore it well when it suited him to do so. But throughout the series, no secret has ever been made of Avon's motives, and his actions in this episode are entirely consistent with his history. And yet, we are still stunned.

It is an absolutely brilliant episode.

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