Series: BBC Television
Season number: 4
Story number: 51
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: Simon Masters
Script editor: Chris Boucher
Designer: Paul Allen
Director: Viktors Ritelis
Producer: Vere Lorrimer
Copyright date: 1981
Broadcast date: 14 December 1981
Format: 1 x 50 minute episode
Previous story: Orbit
Next story: Blake
Publisher: BBC
Script: Warlord


From the VHS release:

With their Pylene-50 pacification programme going from strength to strength, the Federation's expansion continues relentlessly. In desperation Avon calls a conference of all the non allied planets. United they could effectively manage all the necessary anti-toxin. But their shaky alliance hinges on the mighty Zukan, and it is uncertain where his true loyalties lie...


Avon has summoned a group of planetary leaders to Xenon in the hope of forming an alliance against the Federation. He explains to them that he has a vaccine against pylene-50 and is hoping to mass-produce it to stop the Federation's expansion. In the middle of the conference, another warlord, Zukan of Betafarl, who had previously refused Avon's invitation, arrives on Xenon. He has brought with him equipment to set up a manufacturing plant for the vaccine and states that the raw materials needed are being harvested back on Betafarl, suggesting Scorpio go to collect them.

Tarrant and Soolin watch as the technicians from Betafarl install the equipment. They meet with Zeeona, Zukan's daughter, who Tarrant met on Betafarl. She came on the Betafarl transpor without Zukan's knowledge to see Tarrant again and they quickly slope off for a romantic encounter. Zukan and his assistant Finn fit a device inside the equipment and Finn tells Zukan of Zeeona's presence. He quickly puts a stop to her encounter with Tarrant but Zeeona says that she will be travelling back to Betafarl with Tarrant aboard Scorpio.

Zukan asks Avon to take Zeeona and Scorpio to Betafarl instead. Soolin also goes along, since she has taken a dislike to Zukan. As they take off, she tricks Avon into leaving the flight deck, then teleports Zeeona down to Xenon where Tarrant is waiting. She convinces Avon to carry on to Betafarl: If they turn back, Zukan will know they disobeyed him, whereas they can always claim to have lost her on Betafarl.

After the planetary leaders have left the planet, the device Zukan left behind triggers, setting off a series of explosions that damage Orac and trap the crew in the control room, while the technicians are killed by something released in the cargo area. Tarrant and Vila unsuccessfully attempt to dig themselves out while Dayna and Zeeona discover a radioactive airborne virus developed on Betafarl has been released; Zeeona realises Zukan is responsible. Tarrant shuts down the air supply even though it leaves them in danger of suffocation.

Zukan and Finn rendezvous with Servalan's ship: She has promised him control of the other planets in the alliance in exchange for his getting rid of the Scorpio crew, although he hasn't told her the location of Xenon Base. Avon and Soolin land Scorpio in a remote spot and are ambushed by Federation troopers. Avon is taken prisoner but Soolin pretends to be Zeeona. Servalan leaves Zukan's ship, planting a bomb in the airlock. Zukan sends Finn to remove it, then ejects him and the bomb into space: However, the explosion badly damages the ship. Soolin manages to overcome the troopers and rescue Avon.

Scorpio sets off back to Xenon but the air supply will run out before they arrive. Zukan signals them, saying he can tell them how to get fresh air if Scorpio rescues him, but there is no time to reach him before the air runs out and he refuses to believe they wil rescue him if he tells them. Zeeona tries to tell him she is on Xenon but, having heard the report of her being on Betafarl, Zukan refuses to believe it. Avon works out which air vents are safe to reactivate and Zukan is killed when his ship explodes.

Scorpio teleports everyone aboard but Avon wants the base decontaminated. Zeeona offers to go down and do it, wearing a protective suit. Tarrant objects but Soolin tells him to let her do it her way. Some time later, Tarrant frets that she hasn't returned and Avon, in a faux casual manner, agrees he should go after her. Tarrant and Dayna teleport down to find the decontamination finished but Zeeona dead from the radiation: She took her glove off.



Story notesEdit

  • This is the last episode to feature Servalan.



Filming locationsEdit

The Friary Shopping Centre, Guildford, Surrey. Betchworth Quarry, Reigate, Surrey.

Production errorsEdit

To be added.


  • The Scorpio crew acquired the vaccine against pylene-50 in "Traitor".
  • Despite going to the trouble of decontaminating it here, the Scorpio crew quickly abandon and destroy Xenon Base in the following episode, "Blake".


Via: Avon's idea of diplomacy is like breaking someone's leg and then saying "Lean on me."

Zukan: Betafarl has perpetual day, do you know?
Dayna: No.
Zukan: Never sleeps. Perpetual light. All that energy. There are times when I miss the dark. It's hard to live always in the light.

Home video releasesEdit

Series 4 DVD

DVD cover

  • Original BBC video release (Volume 26) in 1992.
  • Fabulous Films video reissue (Volume 26) on 17 January 2000.
  • DVD release as part of the Series 4 box set on 24 April 2006.

External linksEdit

To be added.


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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