Blakes 7: Season 4, Episode 1

Rescue (28 Sep. 1981)

TV Episode  -   -  Adventure | Drama | Sci-Fi
7.8
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Marooned on the artificial planet Terminal, Avon, Vila, Dayna and Tarrant finds their only hope of rescue is the space freighter Scorpio commanded by Dorian and his associate, Soolin, the ... See full summary »

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Title: Rescue (28 Sep 1981)

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
Paul Darrow ...
Michael Keating ...
Steven Pacey ...
Josette Simon ...
...
Peter Tuddenham ...
Orac / Slave (voice)
Geoffrey Burridge ...
Rob Middleton ...
The Creature
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Marooned on the artificial planet Terminal, Avon, Vila, Dayna and Tarrant finds their only hope of rescue is the space freighter Scorpio commanded by Dorian and his associate, Soolin, the blonde gunfighter from the lawless planet Gauda Prime. Written by Daniel Williamson

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28 September 1981 (UK)  »

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Trivia

The creature in the cave is actually a repainted Sea Devil costume left over from a 1972 "Doctor Who (1963)" serial. See more »

Quotes

Avon: No good deed goes unpunished.
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"There's Something Suspicious About A Man Who Keeps His Booze Under Lock & Key!"
17 February 2008 | by (Ambrosia) – See all my reviews

The negative response to the new B.B.C. series 'Ashes To Ashes' ( good, but not a patch on 'Life On Mars' ) has revived in this reviewer memories of when the fourth series of the sci-fi drama 'Blake's 7' aired. Like 'A.T.A.', Year 4 was initially met with hostility from fans. It was the first to lack involvement from its creator, Terry Nation, and a new producer - Vere Lorrimer - replaced David Maloney, who had left to produce a well-regarded adaptation of 'The Day Of The Triffids'.

The climax of the previous year necessitated the need for change, with 'Liberator' gone, a ship had to be found for Avon and his crew. Also, Jan Chappell left, which meant 'Cally' had to be written out, and a new crew member - 'Soolin' - substituted. Dudley Simpson's closing theme was rearranged, and some impressive new titles by Douglas Burd ( including a new logo ) appeared.

Over the course of three series, 'Blake's 7' had established a loyal fan base, and a regular audience in the region of ten million viewers ( achieved despite it often going out in opposition to 'Coronation Street' ). The net result of all these changes occurring simultaneously was to cause offence, and soon the letters pages of 'The Radio Times' teemed with protests. One reader likened 'Scorpio' to an 'animated door wedge', while another missed the 'subtle interplays of characterisation' from the earlier series.

'Rescue' begins where 'Terminal' left off, with Avon and co. marooned on the artificial planet of the same name. Servalan has left a couple of booby-traps for them to fall into; one of which kills Cally.

Recovering very quickly from her demise, they face further perils from hostile snake-like creatures. Just when it appears they are doomed, a mysterious stranger named Dorian saves them. Dorian is a kind of intergalactic scrap dealer. The ungrateful Avon takes control of his ship, only to find it is on a pre-programmed flight course to Xenon.

The only other person in Dorian's life is the beautiful but enigmatic Soolin. Searching the underground base, Dayna discovers a secret room inhabited by a hideous alien.

The first twenty-five minutes of 'Rescue' are indeed tremendous; neatly dovetailing into the end of 'Terminal', it crackles along with great dialogue and some decent action scenes ( one thing 'Blake's 7' excelled at was explosions! ), but as soon as we get to Xenon we are plunged into a bland sci-fi remake of Oscar Wilde's 'The Picture Of Dorian Gray'. 'Dr.Who' fans who complained about Russell T.Davies paying homage to 'The Poseidon Adventure' in 'Voyage Of The Damned' need to realise that he was not the first writer on a sci-fi show to plunder the past in search of inspiration.

The late Geoffrey Burridge gives a wonderful performance as 'Dorian', charming and sinister by turns, and you almost wish he'd been made a regular. Sadly, he died six years after this was made. The stunningly beautiful Glynis Barber does not get to make much of a debut, and would be severely underused for much of the early part of this season.

Overall, a fair start to what turned out to Blake's final run. Incidentally, it went out in 1981, the very year in which 'Ashes To Ashes' is set.


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