Honours are shared on the narration between Paul Darrow’s Avon and Jan Chappell’s Cally for this second story, which picks up threads from Defector and introduces another new antagonist for the series – David Warner’s Solvin Tavac. Given the revelations at the very end of the episode (and as ever you don’t want these spoiled before you’ve heard the story), there’s a lot more to explore with him than is revealed in Planetfall, which is at its heart an action adventure tale.
Cavan Scott and Mark Wright’s script changes tack abruptly halfway through the story, turning what has been an intriguing mystery/spy story (who has contacted Liberator? Can he or she be trusted?) into a disaster movie. Avon and Cally are separated for much of the second half, with Paul Darrow providing his side of the story and voicing the young worker who comes to his assistance, while Chappell and Warner play off each other for theirs. It’s one of those stories which can be made or broken by the sound design and music, but Lisa Bowerman, Martin Montague and Jamie Robertson bring their A game to create the jeopardy required. In particular, the sound effect for the vibroknife is very cleverly used.
Verdict: An intriguing new character at the heart of a jeopardy-filled tale. 8/10