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Animals
Animals episode
Series: BBC Television
Season number: 4
Story number: 44
Blake's 7 crew: Avon (Paul Darrow)

Vila (Michael Keating)
Tarrant (Steven Pacey)
Dayna (Josette Simon)
Soolin (Glynis Barber)
Orac (Peter Tuddenham)
Slave (Peter Tuddenham) (Uncredited)

Recurring villains: Servalan (Jacqueline Pearce)
Writer: Allan Prior
Script editor: Chris Boucher
Designer: Graham Lough, Roger Cann
Director: Mary Ridge
Producer: Vere Lorrimer
Copyright date: 1981
Broadcast date: 26 October 1981
Format: 1 x 50 minute episode
Previous story: Stardrive
Next story: Headhunter
Publisher: BBC
Script: Animals


SynopsisEdit

From the VHS release:

Intent on recruiting experts in the fight against the Federation's pacification programme, Tarrant and Dayna set a course for Bucol 2 and Dayna's old lover and mentor Justin, renowned genetic engineer. Then the Scorpio comes under attack and Tarrant has to pull out, leaving Dayna down on the planet with Servalan on her way...

PlotEdit

Tarrant and Dayna travel to Bucol-2 aboard Scorpio, intending to contact Justin, Dayna's old tutor. Dayna teleports down to the surface and is attacked by a group of humanoid animals, before Justin gives her shelter in his bunker. Scorpio is attacked by Federation ships and Tarrant takes it out of orbit. With the ship damaged, he is ordered to return to Xenon for repairs. There, Vila is pressganged into entering the flooded engines to effect repairs.

Scorpio's unusual speed draws attention and a report reaches Servalan, who learns a classified Federation project took place on the planet during the Intergalactic War. She contacts her subordinate Borr and has him send Ardus, the only man left alive who knew about the project, to her in secret. Since Servalan is using her Sleer identity, when the blind Ardus mentions her name she realises he has recognised her voice. After learning what little information Ardus has about the project, Servalan destroys his ship as it leaves.

Dayna tells Justin Avon was hoping to recruit him against the Federation. Justin dismisses the possibility but is keen to spend more time with Dayna. He reveals he came to the planet as part of a Federation project to create radiation-proof soldiers by combining human and animal genes. The rest of the scientists were killed when their ship was shot down leaving the planet. Justin now hopes to complete the experiment and use the animals to rebuild areas contaminated by radiation.

Dayna attempts to convince the lead animal, Og, to submit to Justin's experiments but Og becomes enraged and throws her off a cliff. Unable to find her, Justin destroys his research in grief. Meanwhile, Servalan has arrived on the planet and Dayna is captured by her Mutoids. Servalan realises Dayna is in love with Justin and uses aversion therapy to convince her to hate him. As a result, Dayna lets Servalan and the Mutoids into Justin's bunker. Justin agrees to help Servalan gain control of the animals in return for Dayna being returned to normal and Servalan sends the Mutoids to capture Og.

Avon, Tarrant and Soolin arrive at the bunker to find it wrecked. Avon attempts to contact Dayna and, with Servalan distracted reversing Dayna's conditioning, Justin is able to use her teleport bracelet to let Avon know the location of the Federation ship. The trio attack the ship and kill the Mutoids in a gun battle, although Og is also killed by a stray shot. Dayna escapes the ship in the confusion but Servalan kills Justin when he tries to follow, dumping his body outside the ship as she departs.

CastEdit

CrewEdit

Story notesEdit

  • This was the last of five episodes written by Allan Prior, making him the show's third most prolific writer after Terry Nation and Chris Boucher.
  • Kevin Stoney, who appears as Ardus, was previously Joban in "Horizon".
  • Early drafts of the episode had Cally in the role given to Dayna, with Dayna in the role given to Soolin.
  • This is the only fourth season episode to feature Mutoids, last seen in "Moloch", who now have gold wigs rather than the tight helmets seen before.

RatingsEdit

8.9M

Filming locationsEdit

Woodlands near Horley, Surrey

Production errorsEdit

To be added.

ContinuityEdit

  • Servalan's new identity and her disposing of anyone who knew her before was established in "Traitor".

QuotesEdit

Vila: Why do I get all the dirty jobs?
Soolin: Typecasting?

Vila: This isn't fair, you know?
Avon: It's pretty foul, by the looks of it.

Home video releasesEdit

Series 4 DVD

DVD cover

  • Original BBC video release (Volume 22) in 1992.
  • Fabulous Films video reissue (Volume 22) on 6 September 1999.
  • DVD release as part of the Series 4 box set on 24 April 2006.

External linksEdit

To be added.

ReferencesEdit

Blake's 7 Stories
TV Stories:

Series 1: The Way Back • Space Fall • Cygnus Alpha • Time Squad • The Web • Seek-Locate-Destroy • Mission To Destiny • Duel • Project Avalon • Breakdown • Bounty • Deliverance • Orac

Series 2: Redemption • Shadow • Weapon • Horizon • Pressure Point • Trial • Killer • Hostage • Countdown • Voice From The Past • Gambit • The Keeper • Star One

Series 3: Aftermath • Powerplay • Volcano • Dawn of the Gods • The Harvest of Kairos • City at the Edge of the World • Children of Auron • Rumours of Death • Sarcophagus • Ultraworld • Moloch • Death-Watch • Terminal

Series 4: Rescue • Power • Traitor • Stardrive • Animals • Headhunter • Assassin • Games • Sand • Gold • Orbit • Warlord • Blake

BBC Radio Stories: The SevenFold Crown • The Syndeton Experiment

B7 Media Audio Reimagination: Rebel • Traitor • Liberator • When Vila Met Gan • Point Of No Return • Eye Of The Machine • Blood & Earth • Flag & Flame • The Dust Run • The Trial • Escape Velocity

Big Finish Audio Stories: Lucifer • Warship • Fractures • Battleground • Drones • Mirror • Cold Fury • Caged

Big Finish Liberator Chronicles: The Turing Test • Solitary • Counterfeit • The Magnificent Four • False Positive • Wolf • The Armageddon Storm • Promises • Epitaph • Kerr • Logic • Risk Management • Three • Incentive • Jenna's Story • Blake's Story • Spy • Disorder • The Hard Road • President • The Sea of Iron • Spoils

Big Finish Novels: The Forgotten • Archangel

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