Steve Lyons’ script gives most of the cast plenty to do, but this is a story that is primarily about the two Dels – Tarrant and Grant – and their relationship with the former Master of the Universe, the Federation President, once again magnificently played by Hugh Fraser. It’s a rare foray in this batch of stories into the murky world of Federation politics – although Servalan is a constant threat to the crew, she’s not been a major presence throughout – making for a very different sort of story, although still one that is highly personal in places, something that’s been a hallmark of the season. Steven Pacey and guest star Simone Lahbib are given plenty of layers to work with in their scenes together, and it’s a pleasure to listen to their verbal fencing.
One of the great things about the way that the Big Finish stories have expanded the classic Blake’s 7 universe is that they have included characters whose final fates we are not aware of from the TV series – so in this tale, we have no idea whether the crew might succumb to temptation to finish what Blake started and kill the President, or take a very different course of action. It’s very similar to the way in which the Pocket Book writers have expanded the Star Trek universe in the last couple of decades, bringing in characters mentioned in passing in the series or who would be too expensive to use on a regular basis. And it does make me wonder just how long Del Grant is going to stay on board the Liberator… (My vote is for as long as possible – Tom Chadbon’s character is mixing things up nicely.)
Verdict: A nicely convoluted tale of betrayals past and present. 8/10