Avon sets out on a personal vendetta to avenge the murder of his lover Anna Grant, killed by the Federation torturer Shrinker. But Avon is deceived, when he learns Anna is alive and she ... See full summary »

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Episode cast overview:
Paul Darrow ...
Jan Chappell ...
Michael Keating ...
Jacqueline Pearce ...
Steven Pacey ...
Josette Simon ...
Peter Tuddenham ...
Orac (voice)
Lorna Heilbron ...
Sula
John Bryans ...
Shrinker
Donald Douglas ...
Major Grenlee
Peter Clay ...
Chesku
...
Forres
David Gillies ...
Hob
Philip Bloomfield ...
Balon
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Storyline

Avon sets out on a personal vendetta to avenge the murder of his lover Anna Grant, killed by the Federation torturer Shrinker. But Avon is deceived, when he learns Anna is alive and she along with a resistance group have taken Serverlan captive. Written by Daniel Williamson

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25 February 1980 (UK)  »

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Trivia

John Bryans had previously appeared in the "Doctor Who" story "The Creature in the Pit" as well as the "Blake's 7" episodes. "Trial", "Seek, Locate and Destroy". David Haig would go on to appear in the "Doctor Who" story "The Leisure Hive" as Pangol. See more »

Quotes

Avon: Have you murdered your way to the wall of an underground room?
Servalan: It's an old wall, Avon. It waits. I hope you don't die before you reach it.
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User Reviews

My absolute favourite episode
8 August 2014 | by (Ireland) – See all my reviews

It opens with Avon as prisoner on Earth, which is still under Federation control after a failed rebellion during or immediately after the Galactic War. As mentioned in the previous episode, in a nice bit of continuity, Avon intends to kill the Federation's most renowned torturer Shrinker - played very well by John Bryans, who previously played Bercol in "Seek-Locate-Destroy" and "Trial" - in revenge for killing Anna Grant, the only person whom he ever loved whose existence was established in Series Two's "Countdown". In objecting to Avon's plan to kill him in cold blood, Cally once again demonstrates that she is the crew's conscious now that Blake is gone. For his part, Shrinker pleads ignorance and claims that he has never seen her before in his life. He eventually persuades Avon that Anna was killed by another agent, Bartholomew.

This is perhaps the most heart-wrenching episode of the series as Avon discovers that his one true love is still alive but that she was a Federation agent all along. The climactic scene in the wine cellar is my favourite of the entire series. In his best performance, Paul Darrow plays Avon's utter anguish brilliantly when he realises that Anna and Bartholomew are one and the same and is consequently forced to kill her. Dying in his arms, she tells Avon that she did really love him and allowed him to escape for that reason. I believe her. The tragedy is that Avon believes her too and kills her anyway. It has a great resonance with the series finale "Blake" in which Avon kills Blake - who, in spite of everything, was the closest thing that he had to a friend - on the mistaken assumption that he has likewise betrayed him. Brilliant stuff. The final line of the episode is particularly anguishing.

Jacqueline Pearce is even better than usual as Servalan, who is at her lowest ebb when she finds herself chained to a wall in her own palace but still comes back fighting, a fact which highlights her similarities to Avon. Alas, some of the other performances aren't up to scratch. David Gilles is just plain bad as Hob. A very young David Haig is terribly over the top as Forres and Lorna Heilbron - who left acting after her husband Nicholas Clay's death in 2000 and is now a therapist, incidentally - is a bit over the top at times as well. She has a tendency to over-enunciate which is very annoying. I'm also not entirely convinced that the Greenlee and Forres scenes were totally necessary. However, these minor things aren't enough to detract from the episode's quality.


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