This new six-part series from Big Finish/B7 Media is set during Series C and after Big Finish’s own story The Armageddon Storm and the most recent Liberator Chronicles, in which Tom Chadbon’s Del Grant comes on board the ship and joins the crew. While a lack of Josette Simon’s Dayna doesn’t inhibit the audiobook format of the Chronicles, it definitely could be a hindrance to full-cast stories set in the latter part of the show… unless you do what producer Cavan Scott and the team have done, and make her absence the core of the story.
This sort of quest provides the hook for many different types of tale, but Trevor Baxendale’s script confines itself to following a lead (provided for Grant and Steven Pacey’s Tarrant in a very nicely played scene) and sending the crew out to the Desolation – where they run into some unexpected obstacles. The dynamics between the crew are clearly set out – the rivalry for command between Avon and Tarrant, Cally’s overriding concern for her colleagues and anger at the seeming callousness of some of them, Vila’s laissez-faire attitude, Grant’s outsider status and Orac’s impatient sufferance of the lot of them – and director Lisa Bowerman displays an assured touch for both dialogue-heavy and action-based sequences. The latter are aided by some deft work from sound designer Martin Montague and composer Jamie Robertson.
Verdict: A solid start to the new series which amply demonstrates the differences in the series once Blake’s 7 are travelling the universe without Blake himself… 8/10