From the VHS release:
Feldon crystals - the most powerful energy source in the galaxy, only found on the planet Mecron. One man alone supervises the mining there for the Federation - Belkov, the master gameplayer. The temptation proved too much for Avon and now Scorpio's crew must play along with Belkov to stand a chance of surviving at all...
Avon shows the crew footage of an explosion caused by a misuse of feldon crystals, a vast energy supply the Federation are beginning to exploit. He proposes hijacking the supply from the mine on Mecron 2. However, the planning is cut short by a message from someone called Gerren, who states he is making his move, and Avon orders Scorpio to launch.
From his command centre on Mecron 2, Belkov and his computer Gambit watch as Gerren and two associates break into the orbiting station where the feldon crystals are kept. A computer screen shows images of the trio firing weapons at themselves; Gerren is injured and the other two killed. Gerren is retrieved by Scorpio: He is a mineral expert who Avon discovered was guilty of insider trading and blackmailed into helping them. Gerren went in early because the Federation had learned Belkov was storing the feldon crystals and have sent Servalan to take charge.
Servalan lands on Mecron 2 and takes over the mines, but the natives attack her troopers. Belkov explains the natives consider the feldon crystals sacred and believe only those favoured by the gods can wear them: He used a necklace of crystals and a concealed laser gun that killed all others who tried to wear it to convince them he was so favoured. Belkov contacts Scorpio and offers the crew the crystals in exchange for safe passage. However, he also offers the crew to Servalan in exchange for being allowed to leave.
Tarrant, Vila, Dayna and Gerren teleport down and navigate their way through the conflict between the Federation and the Mecronians. Avon decides to shift Scorpio's orbit to avoid Belkov's detectors, even though it means going out of teleport range. Vila stays on watch while Tarrant, Dayna and Gerren meet with Belkov. Belkov betrays the trio and locks them in a silo.
Vila sneaks into the base and overhears Belkov instructing Gambit to self-destruct once he's clear, in order to dispose of the evidence. Vila uses this fact to convince Gambit to surrender a circuit board needed to beat the traps on the orbiter and to release the others. Tarrant and Dayna join him and return to Scorpio, but leave Gerren behind when he is injured by a Federation trooper. Gerren is taken to Servalan, who asks her if he can tell her anything to save his life.
Scorpio docks with the orbiter and Avon, Tarrant, Vila and Soolin board it with Orac and the circuit board. Dayna remains on Scorpio and reports pursuit ships are on their way. Orac guides them through the traps and tests: Soolin beats the gun test, Tarrant scores on a flight simulator and Vila lifts a finger print to defeat a safe lock. The last test requires them to complete a sequence of stars but Avon realises that doing so will cause them to be sucked into the black hole of Cygnus XL and the crystals were never on the orbiter to begin with.
Belkov, leaving the planet in his own ship, orders Gambit to transfer control over to him but Gambit refuses, even though it means he will die. Wanting a more satisfactory end, Belkov instead orders Gambit to lock his controls and the orbiter onto Cygnus XL. Gambit complies, then self-destructs. With Scorpio caught in Cygnus XL's pull, Avon orders the main blasters fired at the orbiter: The feldon crystals absorb the energy and create a pull opposite to that of the black hole, cancelling it out. Vila reveals he took Belkov's crystal necklace, noting Belkov won't need it anymore, but Avon reveals it is a fake.
- Avon - Paul Darrow
- Vila - Michael Keating
- Dayna - Josette Simon
- Tarrant - Steven Pacey
- Soolin - Glynis Barber
- Slave/Orac - Peter Tuddenham
- Servalan - Jacqueline Pearce
- Belkov - Stratford Johns
- Gerren - David Neal
- Guard - James Harvey
- Gambit - Rosalind Bailey
- Production Manager - Henry Foster
- Production Associate - Frank Pendlebury
- Production Assistant - Christine Fawcett, Julia Hanrahan
- Assistant Floor Manager - Kevin Mann
- Film Cameraman - Fintan Sheehan
- Film Sound - Stuart Moser
- Film Editor - Sheila S. Tomlinson
- Videotape Editor - Sam Upton
- Visual Effects Designer - Jim Francis, Mike Kelt
- Video Effects - Robin Lobb
- Graphic Designer - Iain Greenway
- Properties Buyer - Francis Smith
- Technical Manager - Terry Brett
- Senior Cameraman - Dave White
- Vision Mixer - Nigel Finnis
- Studio Lighting - Warwick Fielding
- Studio Sound - Trevor Webster
- Special Sound - Elizabeth Parker
- Costume Designer - Nicholas Rocker
- Make Up Artist - Suzanne Jansen
- Music By - Dudley Simpson
- Series Created By - Terry Nation
- A model shot of Belkov's ship exploding was left out of the finished episode, resulting in some confusion as to his fate.
- Also removed at a late stage were a sequence of Scorpio being attacked by the pursuit ships and references to Mecron 2 being sucked into the black hole.
Winspit Quarry, Winspit, Dorset, near Worth Matravers in the Isle of Purbeck
To be added.
- This is the fourth episode in which Servalan uses her Sleer alias, after Traitor, Animals and Assassin.
- This is the only episode in which Vila deliberately shoots and kills someone, a Federation trooper outside Belkov's control room. He previously stabbed one of Vargas' followers in Cygnus Alpha.
Avon: He is also greedy, avaricious and a crook.
Vila: Has he got any faults?
Dayna: I wouldn't trust him as far as I could throw him.
Vila: That wouldn't be very far.
Vila: What's going on?
Gerren: High pressure reduction process.
Vila: Yeah, but what's going on?
Vila: (after Tarrant throws a guard into a rock crusher) Nasty way to go. All that dust. Very bad for the chest.
Vila: They're after blood! My blood!
Dayna: Tell them you've already given.
Home video releasesEdit
- Original BBC video release (Volume 24) in 1992.
- Fabulous Films video reissue (Volume 24) on 4 October 1999.
- DVD release as part of the Series 4 box set on 24 April 2006.