Listening to this audio, I was reminded of a conversation I had over a decade ago with the producers of the new Battlestar Galactica. At that point, they were about to start filming the original miniseries, so the shape of the series was by no means set in stone. But one thing they were very clear about: this was no longer going to be a cozy 1970s sci-fi show. While Blake’s 7 was never a “cozy” show in its TV incarnation, this audio is one of those which shows the much darker side to carrying out a rebellion against an all-powerful force.
Simon Guerrier’s script takes Michael Keating and Jan Chappell to places which the TV show would have probably steered clear of – shave off some of the sci-fi elements, and this would have made a good episode of Secret Army. Whether it’s masquerading as a married couple, or dealing with a Federation sadist, the pair work well together. You do have to wonder though quite how bright Gemma Whelan’s Arta is if she’s fooled by some of the chicanery on display (literally); however, people do have a tendency to see what they expect to see.
Verdict: Some truly shocking moments in a hard-edged tale. 8/10