crew's attempts to avert Orac's prediction regarding the destruction
of the Liberator fail miserably when the ship is attacked
by a powerful adversary. The beings who created the Liberator
want their vessel back. Even if Blake and his colleagues manage
to survive this crisis, they still have to topple their Federation
enemies. Could a lonely outpost called Star One hold the answer
to their problems...?
of all, let me assure all those of you who had problems playing
The Complete Series One
that the discs in this box set are not prone to the same error,
which caused some episodes to freeze at the layer transition.
That said, the transitions are in general still rather poorly
placed, usually right in the middle of a scene, even when
a nearby change of scene would have made the pause far less
enough of this technical banter - are the episodes themselves
any good? Well, I might ruffle a few feathers with this opinion,
but I don't like this series quite as much as the first one.
I quite enjoy the pulpy quality of creator Terry Nation's
scripts, but after the first series he turned over most of
the episodes to other writers, such as Allan Prior and script
editor Chris Boucher. There aren't as many conspicuously memorable
lines as there were in the first series - though there are
still a fair few, such as Avon's (Paul Darrow) comments about
a "philosophical flea" in the Boucher-scripted Trial.
of the early episodes, Shadow, Weapon and Horizon,
make rather dull viewing, in my opinion. Shadow features
a very poor early role by Karl (Brushstrokes) Howman,
while Weapon sees the not terribly successful introduction
of Brian Croucher as the new Travis.
Stephen Greif was a hard act to follow, so we shouldn't judge
Brian Croucher too harshly. The cool and calculating Travis
had already begun to crack by the end of Series One. However,
Croucher's vocal qualities make the character seem more whiney
than he ought to be, and he spends too much of his screen
time ranting and raving at the top of his voice. He works
best of all in the episodes Hostage and Gambit,
which see his Travis at his calmest, though the high-pitched
whining tones creep back in towards the end of each of these
a disappointing beginning, the series picks up considerably.
Pressure Point, Trial and Killer are
all excellent. Countdown kicks off a plot arc concerning
Blake's (Gareth Thomas) search for the Federation's all-governing
computer control system, and the drama builds over the remaining
four instalments to the powerful finale, Star One.
My favourite two episodes are those written by Robert Holmes:
the grisly Killer (let down only by the brief appearance
of some Michelin-men-style containment suits) and the deliberately
and extravagantly camp and comical Gambit.
Who fans can enjoy playing "spot the familiar face or
name in the credits" while watching this series. In addition
to creator/writer Nation and script editor Boucher, both of
whom penned scripts for Who, and producer David Maloney,
who rose up from the rank of director, there are oodles of
actors in Series Two who had previously appeared, or would
subsequently appear, in that other famous BBC sci-fi show.
Watch out for the Lycra-clad Sheila (The Keeper of Traken)
Ruskin and Harriet (Genesis of the Daleks) Philpin
in Redemption, Peter (Invasion of the Dinosaurs,
Genesis of the Daleks) Miles in Trial, and Kevin
(The Daleks' Master Plan, The Invasion) Stoney
in Hostage. Meanwhile, it would be quicker to list
the cast members of Gambit who haven't also
appeared in Doctor Who!
first five episodes of this run should really be called Blake's
8 up until the point when David Jackson departs from his
role as Gan in Pressure Point. Once Gan is gone, the
production team count Orac (voiced by Peter Tuddenham) as
one of the crew. And why not? If Zen (also voiced by Tuddenham)
counts, then so should Orac.
special features include audio commentaries on three episodes,
as well as over an hour's worth of vintage and recent interviews
and clip montages. These include a rather inept appearance
by special effects wiz Mat Irvine on Saturday Superstore,
a new interview with costume designer June Hudson (yes, they
really were Michelin men in Killer!), a lovely discussion
with Gareth Thomas and Jacqueline Pearce from a 1991 edition
of Scene Today, and an extremely witty trailer for
I say, this isn't quite as good as Series One, but it's still
well worth liberating from your nearest DVD store.
this item online
compare prices online so you get the cheapest
Click on the logo of the desired store below
to purchase this item.
All prices correct at time of going to press.