Reviewed By: NannaSally
Review Date: 12/8/16 8:34 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.
The third and final episode of Volume 4 focusses on Servalan and Avon. I really have no idea where this story should be placed, except that Blake is still there so it must be before the end of Season 2.
Let me start by stating I am definitely Avon/Paul Darrow fixated – this character, this performer is what drew me to the Blake’s 7 universe as a whole and keeps me wanting to know more.
This episode is really the most powerful in the Liberator Chronicles so far – the
juxtaposition of Servalan’s machinations and Avon’s desire for freedom are extremely well written and superbly acted.
Servalan – as usual – is trying to get control of the Liberator, this time using Avon’s special knowledge and talents. A further part of Avon’s past is explored – 20 years ago he managed another fraud in a gaming establishment, and his then partner is part of the answer to access to Blake’s current location. But – of course – Servalan has underestimated Avon’s abilities even under the restricted circumstances he finds himself. And then there is the Surprise of the Unexpected - an aspect we have come to expect - but what a twist - several times. Still takes us by surprise.
It is a powerful, fascinating story – one I return to over and over. Yes, there is violence – Blake’s 7 is a violent tale of a violent time in and around a violent social structure. But as in all these tales, this is violence with purpose and not just for the thrill of it – which is part of the ongoing satisfaction for the listener/viewer. The insight into Federation medical facilites also points us to the ambition for total control which overides everything the Federation does.
Big Finish again realises a high quality in writing, performance and production. The sound effects and music are non-intrusive but add to the atmosphere and the ability to picture the scene when presented with audio only. This aspect of the whole gets better with each new episode.
Jacqueline Pearce is fascinating – her narrative is suitably cold blooded and can send shivers down the spine with the way she describes quite abominable behaviour in a non-emotional way. Truly the villain, little of the camp style we saw in some of her more Over The Top portrayals – I think this is more in keeping with the character. And far more disturbing.
Paul Darrow as Avon is fascinating as always. He can take the dialogue and use it with amazing competence. His ability to convey the nuances of the character's personality are amazing – Avon’s complex nature is hinted at even though emotion still remains firmly under control. In this production his voice more nearly reprises the tones we heard in the final episodes of the TV series – the distance of time between the performances is less obvious.
This episodes is very satisfying to the listener. Not much humour, but what there is is very wry and appropriate. The characterisations are excellent. No lag between narration and sound. Altogther a superior product.
Thank you again for reading
Nanna Sally Nelson – who is hoping you are enjoying this visit to the Blake’s 7 Universe, and will dip into the performances if you have not already done so.
PS Big Finish offers a sample of each Volume on their website