Blake Revisited, an appraisal of a sci-fi series by F. Teagle - Part 3

Blake Revisited

An appraisal of a science fiction series

Third Edition, July 1993 - Copyright Frances Teagle



RAVELLA (The Way Back) It is Ravella who starts the ball rolling by inveigling Blake into coming "outside". Never again can he retreat into the city, his fate is sealed. Gillian Bailey plays an earnest revolutionary most persuasively.

BRAN FOSTER (The Way Back) Leader of the underground movement who reveals to Blake his obliterated past and the real fate of his relatives. A colourful personality, in contrast with the uniform city dwellers, played with great presence by Robert Beatty.

DEV TARRANT (The Way Back) Mysterious federation agent provocateur (is he related to Del and Deeta?), arranging the massacre of the dissidents and the elimination of Varon and Maja. Jeremy Wilkin is blandly treacherous.

VEN GLYND (The Way Back) Arbiter General from the Justice Department who co-ordinates the false charges against Blake. Instructs the defending attorney to do his best for Blake, knowing full well that the evidence is rigged. Two-faced cunning from Robert James.

DR. HAVANT (The Way Back) Venal physician and crony of Glynd, who hypnotises children in his clinic into believing they have been molested by Blake. He also practices his art on Blake himself in the prison, to further condition and confuse him. Peter Williams depicts a suavely confident head of department.

ALTA MORAG (The Way Back) Prosecuting attorney who masterminds the phony charges at Blake's trial. Susan Field presents a relentless bulldog of a woman.

VARON & MAJA (The Way Back) Blake's defence attorney and his wife. They investigate the frameup in an attempt to prevent Blake from being sent to Cygnus Alpha. An eager young couple, not realising that success is their death warrant. Michael Halsey and Pippa Steel are very touching.

COMPUTER OPERATOR (The Way Back) Accepts Varon's bribe to retrieve information about the movements of Blake's alleged victims, then betrays him to the security guards. An acid-etched vignette from Nigel Lambert.

RAIKER (Space Fall) Malevolent first officer of the London. Makes dishonourable advances to Jenna and blackmails Blake into surrender by shooting unarmed prisoners. Sucked out of the transfer tube when Jenna closes the airlock and moves Liberator away. Convincingly nasty performance by Leslie Schofield.

LEYLAN (Space Fall) Captain of the London. Basically fair-minded but weak enough to agree to give Raiker a free hand in dealing with the rebels, although he knows the man is capable of savage behaviour. Glyn Owen plays a worn and rather demoralised man, ending his career on a prison ship.

NOVA (Space Fall) Friendly convict who helps Blake in his escape attempt. His reward is to be trapped and suffocated by "sealing gel" while crawling along the service duct. Such an innocent looking lad (Tom Kelly), how did he earn his passage on the London?

VARGAS (Cygnus Alpha) Megalomaniac high priest ruling the penal colony, deservedly teleported into empty space by Blake when he attempts to seize the Liberator. Outrageous performance by Brian Blessed, who makes it a rule to enjoy this kind of thing.

KARA (Cygnus Alpha) Vargas's beautiful lieutenant. She develops a soft spot for Gan and saves his life at the expense of her own. Pamela Salem.

LARAN (Cygnus Alpha) Convict squad leader who tries to kill Blake on his first brief teleport trip. He is no "believer", more power is all he wants. Robert Russell.

THREE ALIENS (Time Squad) Protectors of the genetic banks on the small spaceship the crew salvage on their way to blow up the reactor on Saurian Major. Programmed to destroy any form of life they deem threatening, they give Jenna and Gan an unpleasant time while the others are away doing their sabotage. Tony Smart, Mark McBride and Frank Henson.

NOVARA and GEELA (The Web) The strangely remote brother and sister whom Blake contacts when he teleports down to meet "The Lost". They prove to be laboratory-constructed creatures manipulated by their makers to run the research laboratories. Miles Fothergill and Ania Marson.

SAYMON (The Web) A withered body immobilised in a life-support solution that houses the corporate identity of the Auron exiles known as "The Lost". They fled Auron to continue their unethical experiments unhindered, but now they are running out of power. Richard Beale supplies the corporate head.

THE DECIMAS (The Web) Naturally breeding descendents of experimental creatures that got out of control, they are mutating into fully sentient people and "The Lost" want to put a stop to their independent existence. Deep Roy, Gilda Cohen, Ismet Hassam, Marcus Powell, Molly Tweedley and Willie Sheara.

RAI (Seek, Locate, Destroy) Handsome young officer at Servalan's HQ. He is obviously on terms of intimacy with the Supreme Commander but when he ventures to criticise her choice of Travis to pursue Liberator's crew, she is furious. Ian Oliver.

DR KENDALL (Mission to Destiny) Leader of the Destiny mission, bringing home the neutrotope to save the planet from the deadly fungus. Crew quarrels (Sonnheim and Levett) and a murderer on board are making his life difficult. Barry Jackson.

LEVETT (Mission to Destiny) Aloof, sardonic and husky-voiced, she sparks a momentary glint in Avon. A pity we didn't see more of her. Kate Coleridge.

SONNHEIM (Mission to Destiny) Moody Ortega crewman who gives Cally a fright by sneaking up on her in the store room. Levett has obviously rejected him and his intense bitterness is evident to all. He is suspected of being the murderer until Avon's investigations clear him. Nigel Humphreys' black scowl gives the character credible depth.

SARA (Mission to Destiny) Petite, enterprising and murderous. How did she get Dortmunn's body on top of that cupboard? Beth Morris.

MANDRIAN (Mission to Destiny) Sara's lover, who finds out that she is not quite as fond of him as he thought she was. He protests against Kendall's plan to entrust the neutrotope to Blake, but soon realises who the criminal must be. Stephen Tate.

GIROC (Duel) An unregenerate old bag (Patsy Smart) who heartily enjoys Travis's vicious display of savagery and is not above interfering in the action, to the fury of her colleague ----->

SINOFAR (Duel) The beautiful supernatural being (Isla Blair) who arranges the duel between Blake and Travis (seconded by Jenna and First Mutoid).

FIRST MUTOID (Duel) Cool, emotionless Travis subordinate, revealed as a pitiful victim when Travis taunts and threatens her. Carol Royle.

SECOND MUTOID (Project Avalon) Not at all pitiful, going about her work with cheerful alacrity. Dangerous little madam. Glynis Barber's first role.

AVALON (Project Avalon) "Another idealist, poor but honest" says Avon mockingly, but Avalon has been a busy woman, starting resistance movements on 30 Federation planets. Travis is after her network of helpers besides using her to snare Blake. Julia Vidler looks perhaps a bit young to have accomplished so much.

CHEVNER (Project Avalon) Avalon's devoted lieutenant who guides Blake to the Federation HQ for the rescue attempt. Knowing Avalon so well, he is not deceived by the robot, who promptly kills him. David Bailie

ROBOT AVALON (Project Avalon) A descendant of the false Maria in Fritz Lang's `Metropolis', created to spread a plague among the crew. Gives Gan a horrible fright as she overpowers him aboard Liberator. Julia Vidler.

PROFESSOR KAYN (Breakdown) Treacherous neural surgeon who betrays the crew to the Federation while he is supposed to be operating on Gan at the neutral XK-72. Blake is so riled that he threatens to destroy his hands. One can always depend on haughty superiority from Julian Glover.

FARREN (Breakdown) Administrator of the XK-72 space laboratory with whom Avon arranges to take refuge (and make a fortune out of selling teleport secrets). Ian Thompson portrays a fussy but rather endearing little man trying to preserve neutrality and control the egotistical Kayn.

RENOR (Breakdown) Kayn's assistant. A good-natured fellow with a roving eye ("This ship's full of pretty girls"), he finds his chief's behaviour thoroughly shocking. Christian Roberts.

SARKOFF (Bounty) Ex-President of Lindor, held in genteel captivity by the Federation. Blake wants to return him to the fray and is pained to find that he is not at all keen. T. P. Mackenna depicts a charming but self-pitying personality.

TYCE (Bounty) Loomingly tall daughter of exiled ex-president Sarkoff, chafing at his acceptance of his fate and ripe for rebellion. Carinthia West.

TARVIN (Bounty) Amagon smuggler/pirate, ex-colleague and lover of Jenna, who entraps the crew for the bounty. Enjoys his work, proud of the price on his head. Played with a swagger by Marc Zuber.

ENSOR Jr (Deliverance) Rescued by the crew after his sabotaged ship crashes on Cephlon, he is so obsessed with getting the power cells to his father that he hijacks the Liberator but dies of his injuries, though not before telling Blake and Cally about Orac. Tony Caunter.

MARRYAT (Deliverance) He it was who saved Travis's life when Blake shot him years before. Travis is not happy when he learns that Servalan has sent him to his death, and posted him as a deserter, which will result in his family being sent into slavery. James Lister.

MEEGAT (Deliverance) Priestess on Cephlon, awaiting "the nameless lord" who will deliver her people. A naive and trusting lady who embarrasses but captivates Avon who fulfils the prophecy for her. Suzan Farmer.

ENSOR (Orac) Irascible elderly inventor who tries to sell his last brainchild Orac to the Federation for a hundred million. Servalan plans to cheat him. Orac has taken on many facets of Ensor's personality. Played with relish by Derek Farr (who also provides Orac's voice in this episode).

ALTA ONE and ALTA TWO (Redemption) Icy, inhuman ladies clad in skin-tight blue Lycra, who transmit the orders of "The System". One (Sheila Ruskin) is elegantly remote, Two (Harriet Philpin) has a strident voice and a mad, unblinking stare.

SLAVE (Redemption) He helps Blake escape from the System's guards. Resignation seems to be his chief characteristic, Roy Evans plays him with a sad dignity.

LARGO (Shadow) The epitome of a loathsome drug baron, forcing addicts to commit robbery for a fix, suitably eliminated by his own henchman. Splendidly vicious performance by Derek Smith.

BEK (Shadow) Forced to steal for the Terra Nostra in order to finance the drug habits of Hanna and Peety, he rebels when Largo pushes him too far and throws his lot in with Blake. Karl Howden gives a sympathetic performance as a young man struggling to protect his doomed siblings. It is perhaps a trifle unkind of Blake to return him to Space City.

HANNA (Shadow) Ghostly pale drug addict who helps Avon and Gan to overpower Largo's enforcer. Killed by Orac/Alien when she tries to disconnect him. Adrienne Burgess gives a heartrending portrayal of an intelligent girl enslaved by Shadow.

ENFORCER (Shadow) "You're just an enforcer, paid for your gun, not your brain" says Largo contemptuously when his bodyguard questions his actions - his last and worst mistake. Archie Tew creates a character who, one feels, will not be so careless.

CLONEMASTER FEN (Weapon) Herself a clone, she creates two clone Blakes (or maybe more) for Servalan. Her profession has strict ethics (the "Rule of Life") and she is revolted both by Travis's destruction of the first clone, and Servalan's hypocrisy. Kathleen Byron.

COSER (Weapon) Psychotic weaponry technician who murders his colleagues, destroys all research records and makes off with his prototype IMIPAK, plus a slavegirl to carry the bags. John Bennet smoulders magnificently.

RASHEL (Weapon) Slavegirl who turns the tables on Servalan and is rewarded with the Blake clone and a whole world to call her own. Candace Glendenning projects a bewildered but determined character.

THE CLONE BLAKE (Weapon) "This man is a copy of Blake, a physical copy only, because he was not grown from a cell taken from Blake... We have given him some background knowledge, the beginnings of identity and the basis of understanding." says his creator, Clonemaster Fen. He quickly acquires more Blake characteristics and breaks away from Servalan's control to frustrate her plans, to the sardonic amusement of an increasingly insubordinate Travis.

CARNELL (Weapon) Wickedly attractive psycho-strategist ("puppeteer") employed by Servalan to track Coser and Blake and predict their behaviour. They clearly find each other fascinating. Scott Fredericks enjoys himself.

KOMMISAR (Horizon) Mentor of Ro, native chieftain. Tortures Blake, Jenna and Cally (Vila confesses immediately). Ro reverts to primitive and kills him with a blow-dart. Oily hypocrisy from William Squire.

RO (Horizon) Chieftain of Horizon (once Silmarina). Reluctant to provoke the Federation, he acquiesces to their mining operations and the enslavement of his people. At the Kommissar's behest he orders the torture of Blake and the other captives, but Cally convinces him of his personal danger and he revolts. Darien Angadi.

SELMA (Horizon) Ro's betrothed. Having rejected Federation "training" and fomented trouble, she is given the choice of knuckling under or working till she drops in the mines, which is where Blake and Co. meet her. Ro cannot forget her and defies the Kommissar to bring her back, marking another step towards rejection. Souad Faress.

KASABI (Pressure Point) Cadet school tutor turned freedom fighter. Hated by Servalan, the pupil who shopped her for treason. Captured and fatally interrogated by Travis and Servalan. Ravaged performance by Jane Sherwin.

VERON (Pressure Point) Kasabi's daughter. Pathetically young to be mixed up in such affairs, she is blackmailed into betraying Blake and Avon by Travis holding her mother hostage, but then helps Jenna to rescue them. Yolande Palfrey.

ZIL (Trial) Strange alien who tries to explain the facts of life as a parasite on a planet-sized life-form, believing that she is protecting a newly-hatched youngster. She does manage to re-awaken Blake's fighting spirit. Claire Lewis.

SAMOR (Trial) Federation Fleet Warden General whom Servalan appoints as arbiter in Travis's court martial. She is hiding behind his unimpeachable honesty to avoid the consequences of her own folly in messing up Travis's ambush. John Savident brings an imposing but restrained presence to the part.

BERCOL and RONTANE (Seek, Locate, Destroy & Trial) Acid-tongued Federation officials keeping a beady eye on Servalan for the President. Presumably killed in Blake's lightning attack on Servalan's HQ. Amusing double act by Peter Miles and John Bryans.

THARNIA (Trial) Travis' defence lawyer. She is conspiring with Servalan to get him condemned, but her opening defence statement is convincing enough to rouse Travis to violent protest. Victoria Fairbrother, lean as a yard of pump-water, makes a striking figure.

TROOPER PAR (Trial) The only person who ever manifests a soft spot for Travis. He smuggles liquor to him in prison, and cannot quite bring himself to pull the trigger when his ex-commander escapes. Kevin Lloyd gives a convincing and sympathetic portrait of a man who's only home is the army ("I'm a 20-year man, I wouldn't recognize freedom if I fell over it").

TYNUS (Killer) Slimy ex-accomplice whom Avon blackmails into helping steal TP crystals for deciphering the latest Federation code system. Attempts to betray him to Servalan, the fool. Ronald Lacy.

DR. BELLFRIAR (Killer) Affable virologist who, with Blake's help, identifies the space plague and suggests a cure for it, alas, too late to save himself. Paul Daneman makes him very likable.

GAMBRILL (Killer) Bellfriar's assistant, who would rather not meet a hostile exomorph. He is pardonably sceptical when Blake tells him he teleported into the base ("You said this base was full of psychotics, wait till you hear this one"). Colin Farrell.

DR WILER (Killer) The pathologist who performs the autopsy on Wardin's corpse, which is interrupted when it comes to life and breaks his neck. A rather amusing cameo by Morris Barry of an investigator who will not be hurried.

INGA (Hostage) Blake's cousin, the hostage of the title. Judy Buxton puts as much spirit as she can into the conventional role of female captive.

USHTON (Hostage) Inga's father. Forced to betray Blake's rescue attempt to Travis, he later seizes his opportunity distract the crimos and kill them, saving Blake's bacon. John Abineri has a good innings as a wily and formidable guerrilla fighter.

MOLOK (Hostage) Chief of Travis's crimos (criminal psychopaths) who teleports aboard Liberator using the captured Vila's bracelet to seize the ship for Travis. Cally and Jenna use a neat trick to teleport him into empty space, almost too good a fate for such a monster. James Coyle gives him a spinechilling personality.

PROVINE (Countdown) Federation major who orders the radiation bomb to be triggered during the Albian rebellion. Blake gets some vital information on the whereabouts of Star One from him as he lies dying. A coldly narrow-eyed performance from Paul Shelley.

DEL GRANT (Countdown) The mercenary hired by the Albian insurgents to direct their attack on Federation Control. He accuses Avon of abandoning his sister Anna Grant to the mercies of Federation torturers and swears to kill him, so naturally they end up trying to defuse the bomb together. Tom Chadbon is naturally pugnacious.

VEN GLYND (Voice from the Past) The Arbiter General from the first episode (different actor) who has defected to the opposition with evidence of corruption. However, his motives are less than pure and he is controlling Blake with an artificial telepathy device (manufactured on Auron) which triggers previously implanted hypnotic suggestions. He intends to play eminence grise to Blake's puppet leader, but he falls foul of Travis's trap. Richard Bebb is convincingly crafty.

GOVERNOR LE GRAND (Voice from the Past) Idealistic governor of Outer Gall who wants to use the annual governor's meeting to overthrow the corrupt Terran administration and install Blake as President. Servalan heartily loathes her and plots her undoing. Wide-eyed optimism by Frieda Knorr.

DOCHOLEE (Gambit) Fugitive neural surgeon who has information on the location of Star One control centre, now drinking himself into oblivion in Chenie's bar. A grizzled and weary performance from Denis Carey.

KRANTOR (Gambit) High camp proprietor of the Big Wheel casino who engages to deliver Docholee and Travis into Servalan's hands, not realising that she has laid a trap for him too. Further misfortune follows when Avon and Vila take the casino for ten million credits, using Orac to work out the moves. Aubrey Woods makes him hilariously horrid.

TOISE (Gambit) Krantor's equally campy lieutenant, given to flamboyant headgear. John Leeson pouts petulantly.

CEVEDIC (Gambit) Krantor's hired killer or rubbish collector, as he styles himself. Makes the mistake of underestimating Travis (who went to a better school). Soft-voiced menace from Paul Grist.

CHENIE (Gambit) Blond bar proprietress with regulation soft heart, who shelters Docholee from Cevedic. Maternal warmheartedness from Nicholette Roeg.

THE KLUTE (Gambit) Speed Chess expert at the Big Wheel whose reward when he wins is to press the button on the electric chair his opponent sits in. Undefeated until the cheating trio of Avon, Vila and Orac passes his way. Heavy-lidded malevolence from Deep Roy.

JARRIERE (Gambit) Servalan's very Irish-sounding new lieutenant, to whom she can explain the intricacies of her plans to trap and destroy pretty well everyone she can think of in one go. Travis rudely calls him a powder puff. Rather engaging performance from Harry Jones.

GOLA, Charl of the Goths (The Keeper) Crude tribal leader who might have vital information on Star One's whereabouts. He and his brother Rod (Shaun Curry) deposed their father, then turned on each other. He falls victim to Jenna's charms and his sister's vengeance. Bruce Purchase enjoys his antics.

TARA (The Keeper) Seeress and elder sister of Gola and Rod, who manoeuvres a duel to the death between them and makes sure neither party survives by poisoning the winner. Last seen chortling merrily on the throne. Freda Jackson gleefully brings her immense authority to the part.

FOOL (The Keeper) He has the unenviable task of keeping Gola entertained. Jealous of Vila's success, he gets him flung into the dungeons by a trick. He doesn't know it, but Lurgan has implanted the secret location of Star One in his mind. Cengiz Saner.

STOT (Star One) Chief of Star One's volunteer personnel. He turns out to be a shape-shifting Andromedan alien masquerading as Stot who's task is to sabotage Star One's systems, causing chaos in the Federation and neutralising part of the defence minefields. He tries to persuade Lurena, the only scientist to escape assimilation, that she is going mad. David Webb makes him a rather pompous figure.

LURENA (Star One) Star One technician. Realises what is afoot when she finds the bodies of her colleagues hung up in a cloakroom, while outside they are still walking around trying to kill her. Turns herself into a walking bomb to finish them off. Jenny Twigge brings intensity to the part.

HAL MELLANBY (Aftermath) Weaponry designer who fled from the Federation after involvement in a failed rebellion. Now living in exile with his young daughter Dayna in a submerged space station on Saron, he shelters Avon and Servalan after the Galactic War. She recognises him. Cy Grant makes him a dignified and commanding figure.

CHEL (Aftermath) Bloodthirsty chieftain of the Sarons, whose favourite sport is hunting fugitives across the dunes. Avon nearly gets his throat cut and Servalan is strung up to a frame. Left cursing on the beach as Avon and Dayna teleport back to Liberator. Plenty of rough vigour from Alan Lake.

LAUREN (Aftermath) Mellanby's adopted daughter and life-long companion of Dayna. In her zeal to protect them, she stays out alone to watch for another Saron attempt to break the door down and falls into Chel's hands. Sally Harrison.

KLEGG (Powerplay) Leader of the death squad who board the empty Liberator after the galactic war, only to find they cannot get Zen to take any notice of them. Tries to force Avon to hand over control when he returns, but gets his neck broken by Dayna. Michael Sheard gives a grim portrayal of an embittered NCO.

NURSE (Powerplay) Sugar-sweet angel of mercy aboard the Chengan hospital ship that picks up Cally and Servalan after the battle. Apparently sympathetic to Cally, she brushes off Servalan's attempt to exert authority, but she's hiding a nasty secret from her patients. Catherine Chase.

LOM (Powerplay) Chengan `primitive' who tries to save Vila from the hunters but is himself struck down by a drug dart. Fortunately his companion Nol (Michael Crane) gets him to safety. As played by John Hollis, he is kindly and by no means unsophisticated.

ZEE and BAR (Powerplay) Bounty hunters keeping the supplies coming for the Chengan organ bank, who con Vila into thinking their intentions are kindly. Primi Townsend and Julia Vidler twinkle merrily over their deception.

HOWER (Volcano) Leader of the Pyroans of Obsidian and one-time friend of Hal Mellanby. He executes his disobedient son and hits the global destruct button when Servalan attacks. Michael Gough excels in patriarchal sternness.

BERSHAR (Volcano) Son of "first citizen" Hower. Insufficiently indoctrinated for the quiet life, he chafes at being a "peace puppet" and makes a deal with Servalan to capture the Liberator then pays the price when his father finds out. One cannot help a sneaking sympathy for Malcolm Bullivant's disaffected young man.

MORI (Volcano) Servalan's Supreme Commander designate. He boards Liberator by a trick but is so absorbed by Avon's guided tour that he doesn't notice Zen being given some crucial orders until it is too late. He comes to a nasty end (well, somebody had to fall into that volcano). Ben Howard.

THE THAARN (Dawn of the Gods) The demon figure of Cally's childhood come to life. In honeyed tones he tries to persuade her to be his consort and rule the galaxy with him after he has subdued it with his gravity machine. Marcus Powell.

THE CALIPH (Dawn of the Gods) The Thaarn's chief executive. A dandyish figure in his curly-brimmed topper, sporting a walking cane containing some unpleasant weaponry, his jovial manner masks a ruthless nature. Tarrant and Dayna bear the brunt of his interrogation, but manage to hide Orac's true nature from his lie detector. Sam Dastor plays the part with gusto.

GROFF (Dawn of the Gods) Once a crew member of a Zatanar survey ship, he is now the Thaarn's chief designer. When Tarrant and Avon are put to work in his department, he aids their escape by putting the gravity field into reverse. Terry Scully plays a sad exile.

JARVIK (The Harvest of Kairos) Tarrant's one-time commander from his Federation days, who captures the Liberator for Servalan. The only man to throw Servalan around and get away with a whole skin ("That disgusting and degrading act to which I was subjected in the control room ... I should like you to do it again"). A macho but humorous performance from Andrew Burt.

BAYBAN THE BERSERKER (The City at the Edge of the World) A raider. He was working his way up the Federation's `Most Wanted' list before Blake crept out of his creche, but then, he did have the encouragement of his mother "wonderful woman, truly evil person". Vila kowtows respectfully before Colin Baker's handsome young maniac.

NORL (The City at the Edge of the World) Priestly leader of the apparently passive inhabitants of Kezarn, who is manipulating Bayban to find a cracksman to open the door `to this world and the next'<. Valentine Dyall's magnificent saturnine presence rivets the attention even when the famous bass voice is silent. (That same voice is used for the recorded message Vila and Kerrill hear aboard the starship.)

KERRILL (The City at the Edge of the World) Bayban's best gunfighter. Upset by Vila's criticism of her personal hygiene, she goes off for a bath and change before accompanying him through the secret door. Believing that they are trapped on the starship with the air running out, she proposes to pass the time agreeably. Vila doesn't say no. Carol Hawkins.

SHERM (The City at the Edge of the World) Not Bayban's best gunfighter. "You stupid son of a slime-crawler" rails Bayban when something goes wrong yet again. The poor man cannot cope with events, blind loyalty must be his only asset. John J. Carney.

CLINICIAN FRANTON (The Children of Auron) Head of the bio-replication unit where Servalan proposed to clone herself in exchange for `medical aid' to overcome the plague she herself started. A sympathetic lady, helpful to Cally and her twin Zelda, she is dedicated to her career and ends up holding 5,000 babies. Sarah Atkinson.

GINKA (The Children of Auron) Plotting subordinate, resentful of being passed over for promotion. He thinks he can manipulate Servalan and live to tell the tale. Ric Young projects a character any superior officer would love to murder.

SHRINKER (Rumours of Death) Federation torturer. Burly and self-assured when he introduces himself to a captive Avon in his cell, cringing and exculpatory when the tables are turned and he is called to account for Anna's death. Under Avon's merciless interrogation he shows some flashes of professional pride "There wasn't one that died without telling me what I wanted to know" he says, but he does manage to convince him that he never saw Anna. Unmoved by his pleas, Avon metes out justice ("just and sweet"). John Bryans is nastily convincing in a role that this modern world is all too familiar with.

SULA/ANNA GRANT (Rumours of Death) The lady with the multiple personalities who so fascinated Avon, he was prepared to endure five days of Federation `interrogation' to find her supposed murderer. Soignee and smiling as the Anna of his dreams; dark and shadowy as Bartolomew, the Federation's top secret agent stalking his movements like a cat; sarcastic and efficient as Sula, wife of High Councillor Chesku, plotting to overthrow Servalan. In their final confrontation, she tries to convince Avon of her continuing love, but fails. Lorna Heilbronn.

COUNCILLOR CHESKU (Rumours of Death) First seen rehearsing a sycophantic speech for Servalan's reception, the Councillor does not elicit much sympathy from his wife or the audience, but her ruthless betrayal of this wretched dupe evokes a certain commiseration. Peter Clay.

INTRUDER (Sarcophagus) The apparently dead alien who regenerates herself by linking telepathically with Cally and using her powers to seize Liberator and enslave the crew as her "intelligent menials". Jan Chappell makes the most of the opportunity to display the fireworks (literally!) normally denied to the level-tempered Cally.

PRIESTESS IN BLACK (Sarcophagus) She conducts the last rites for her deceased mistress in an eerie occult ceremony, climaxing with the evocation of visions of masked figures who will play their part in her reincarnation. The uncredited actress in this mute role is far more striking with her balletic gestures than the average walk-on.

THE ULTRAS (Ultraworld) Three blue-skinned shaven-headed executives who manage Ultraworld, the artificial planet-cum-computer with a giant living brain which constantly requires human sacrifice. Their smooth lies trap Cally and Avon, but when they propose that Dayna and Tarrant should satisfy their curiosity about the `human bonding ceremony', unaware of the lady's habit of keeping explosives on her person, the result is messy. Peter Richards, Stephen Jenn and Ian Barritt.

RELF (Ultraworld) His mind is encapsulated in a glass jar but his body is being used as a zombie/menial by the Ultras. Tarrant gets some vital information from the glass jar, Avon gets zapped by the body. Ronald Govey.

GROSE (Moloch) Renegade warrant officer of the Fifth Legion, famous for its brutality. "It isn't the information as such," he tells Avon as his men work him over "but the fun of extracting it." He means to use the Sardoan matter transformers to replicate a battle fleet and Servalan's flagship will do nicely as a pattern. Jovial sadism from John Hartley.

DORAN (Moloch) Convict from Calchos penal colony recruited by Grose for his army. Seldom sober, he takes a liking to Vila, who is masquerading as a colleague, and brings him a woman ... Servalan. Davyd Harries portrays a rather likable sentimental oaf with glimpses of something nastier.

MOLOCH (Moloch) Unwisely created by Colonel Astrid who fed a computer projection of two million years of human evolution into a Sardoan matter transformer, the result is a malignant mannikin sitting inside a computer. Grose has lured Servalan to Sardos in order to copy her flagship, but Moloch is using Servalan to lure Avon to Sardos to seize the Liberator. Deep Roy makes his third appearance in Blake's 7 (well, part of him does).

DEETA (Death-Watch) First Champion of Teal and Tarrant's elder brother. Far more serious and reflective than Del, he is a professional gladiator, scenting something strange about his opponent yet not taking advantage of his turned back, fatally chivalrous as it turns out. Steven Pacey portrays a private man of considerable depth.

MAX (Death-Watch) Kind-hearted diplomat fussing over Deeta while he waits for the combat to begin, anxiously enquiring after his health every few minutes. Stewart Bevan.

VINNI (Death-Watch) First Champion of the Vandor Confederation who kills Deeta Tarrant. Unknown to himself, he is an android, part of Servalan's plot to start an all-out war and annexe both planets for the Federation. Mark Elliot makes him an obnoxious yuppie.

COMMENTATOR (Death-Watch) A caricature of a well-known type, preparing the viewers for the coming combat. His bitchy exchanges with his unseen (and uncredited) programme controller leaven the first part of the episode. David Sibley.

KOSTOS (Terminal) Servalan's henchwoman on Terminal. Dressed in surgical whites, her enjoyment is evident as she administers the hallucinatory treatment that causes Avon to believe he has seen Blake. Snapping her fingers to direct her underlings, she struts arrogantly to her fate aboard the disintegrating Liberator. Gillian McCutcheon.

DORIAN (Rescue) In this paraphrase of Wilde's `Picture of Dorian Gray', the portrait in the attic is replaced by a saurian creature in the basement which cleanses Dorian of "time and appetite" and keeps him young indefinitely. His vices have so accumulated over two centuries that it is no longer enough to feed the creature with one victim at a time, he needs a closely-knit group to form a gestalt. Geoffrey Burridge progresses convincingly from glib and grubby salvage operator to repellent degenerate, "mad, bad and dangerous to know".

GUNN-SAR (Power) Chieftain "by right of combat" of the Hommiks of Xenon. Somewhat simple-minded, he relies on the support of his counsellor and his wife and when neither is present, he loses a fight with Dayna who has the covert telekinetic aid of two Seska. This ruins the orderly male succession. Dicken Ashworth.

PELLA (Power) Leader of the Seska remnant. Locked in a battle she cannot win, she decides to use Avon and Vila, under the pretence of helping them with her telekinetic powers, to gain access to Scorpio and abandon Xenon forever. Juliet Hammond Hill portrays a bitter man-hater, ready to kill anyone who stands in her way.

NINA (Power) Wife of Gunn-Sar and once a Seska leader. A mature and loving person, she will lead the bereft Hommiks away from their barren warrior cult towards a normal society. Jenny Oulton.

LEITZ (Traitor) The eponymous traitor. Commissioner Sleer's aide de camp who is directing the rebels into ambush under the guise of friendship. Overreaches himself when he attempts to blackmail Sleer into making him President of Helotrix by threatening to reveal that she is really the deposed Servalan. She smiles sweetly and disposes of him on the spot. Malcolm Stoddard plays a sleek self-satisfied rat.

COLONEL QUUTE (Traitor) A Federation "pacifier" who, with his black eyepatch bears a passing resemblance to Travis. Enjoys his job. Christopher Neame.

HUNDA (Traitor) Leader of the Helot underground. He plans to tunnel under the Magnetrix Terminal and blow it up, but Leitz persuades him there is an easier way. Robert Morris.

FORBUS (Traitor) Discoverer of the pacification drug Pylene-50. Sleer has forced him to manufacture it for her by administering a poison and doling out the antidote somewhat irregularly to keep him in line. He plans a `bombe surprise' for her next visit and is happy to supply Dayna and Tarrant with the antidote to Pylene-50. He also alerts them to Leitz's treachery. Edgar Wreford.

DR. PLAXTON (Star Drive) Once the Federation's chief space drive designer, begetter of the Photon Drive. She has ventured into the Space Rat's den and between the vicious Atlan and Avon at his most ruthless, she stands little chance. Lovely Barbara Shelley, queen of the horror movies, plays against type as a harassed but stubborn scientist.

ATLAN (Star Drive) Leader of the Space Rats, although not really one of them. Whereas his followers exist only for "sex and violence, booze and speed", Atlan wants to use the Photon Drive for conquest (what else?). A psychopath's psychopath played with eye-rolling relish by Damien Thomas.

JUSTIN (Animals) A geneticist. Once Dayna's much-loved tutor, the questionable ethics of his current experiments (engineering a crossbred creature who can work in areas of high radiation) horrify her. Peter Byrne (also playing against type) portrays a precariously balanced, over-brighteyed man whose loneliness has blurred the distinction between right and wrong.

ARDUS (Animals) Blind ex-Intelligence officer whom Sleer drags out of retirement to extract information about Justin's research programme. His memory also stretches back to the sound of the ex-President's voice, so she arranges an accident for him. Kevin Stoney's splendidly seamed face is always worth watching.

VENA (Headhunter) Ladyfriend of the cyberneticist Muller, who has come to Xenon base to arrange his defection from the rather sinister cartel he is working for. Alas, she is killed by the robot as it searches for Orac. Linda Bellingham portrays a mature comfortable personality, so much to Vila's taste, that Avon packs him off in Scorpio to get him out of the way.

MULLER'S ROBOT (Headhunter) The creation of Ensor's pupil, a walking Orac. Realising that restraint should be exercised on such a powerful machine, Muller had prepared a head containing strong inhibitory circuits, but the robot pre-empts him by killing him and taking his own head to masquerade as Muller while it searches for Orac in order to unite with him and enslave all organic life. Although a terrifying threat, it is rather naive in its dealings with humans, and succumbs to trickery. Dayna destroys it with an explosive charge, to Avon's fury. John Westbrook plays the whole robot and Nick Joseph the headless one.

BENOS (Assassin) Domo pirate/slave trader who thinks he has captured a great prize when he lays his hands on Avon. Not his day really. Peter Attad.

NEBROX (Assassin) Quick-witted elderly slave who retrieves Avon's teleport bracelet from Benos. Unfortunately, he is perceived as a danger by the assassin and promptly terminated. Richard Hurndall.

VERLIS (Assassin) Queen of the slave traders of Domo. Dressed up like Cleopatra, she presides over the slave auction where Avon is sold to an eager Servalan ("You'll have to bid for him like everyone else"), and nearly swallows her cocktail stick when the merchandise teleports away. Betty Marsden is clearly having fun.

CANCER (Assassin) This black-clad killer with a very sinister beard is not what he seems, although John Wyman certainly looks the part.

PIRI (Assassin) When Avon and Tarrant discover her aboard Cancer's spacecraft, she seems to be a victim of circumstances. Her little girl act arouses protective instincts in Tarrant and Nebrox but grates horribly on the less sympathetic Soolin and Avon. She eventually reveals herself as the real Cancer, transforming into a gloating assassin as she moves in for the kill, assuring her victim that it is an agonising death. However, Soolin evades her first try and turns the tables by knocking the venomous spider off Avon and onto its mistress. Caroline Holdaway.

BELKOV (Games) Mining engineer on Mecron who has been diverting priceless feldon crystals into his own coffers, which are guarded by his highly idiosyncratic computer `Gambit'. Having crossed a standard machine with a pleasure planet gaming computer, his security system poses severe problems to interlopers. Stratford Johns gleefully presents a mischievous rogue, revelling in his own trickery.

GAMBIT (Games) Belkov's computer, "his bodyguard, his companion, his playmate - his friend". Orac is positively shocked by its almost human personality, "That implies an emotional tie which is no part of a computer's function". Belkov has endowed it with a feminine voice (Rosalind Bailey) and quirky personality to match his own, but it has acquired another human trait, resentment, and when he orders it to begin the self-destruct sequence as he flees, it betrays him.

GERREN (Games) "Greedy, avaricious and a crook" says Avon rather admiringly of his current ally. He wants the crew to help him relieve Belkov of his stash, but he is no match that games player and he has the further misfortune to fall foul of Servalan in a particularly merciless mood. David Neal.

REEVE (Sand) Federation investigator who accompanies Servalan to Virn to discover what happened to Keller's expedition five years ago. Arrogant and ambitious, he reveals that he knows her real identity when she brushes off his lecherous overtures. She is spared the necessity of murdering him when he loses a shootout with Tarrant. Stephen Yardley.

KEILLER (Gold) Crooked purser of the pleasure cruiser Space Princess. He informs his "old friend" Avon that this merely a cover for transporting gold incognito and proposes that they should steal it. In fact, Servalan is using him for her own purposes. Roy Kinnear is a past master at portraying sly rogues.

EGRORIAN (Orbit) A mad scientist. A giggling psychopath who torments his frail assistant, he plots with Servalan to acquire Orac in exchange for his invention the Tachyon Funnel, the ultimate death ray. He then sabotages the shuttle Avon and Vila are travelling in, calculating that the Tachyon Funnel will survive the impact. An enjoyably over-the-top performance from John Savident.

PINDER (Orbit) Once a "golden-haired stripling", the mathematical prodigy who fled from the Federation with Egrorian was exposed to Hoffal's radiation and aged 50 years. Now he is the object of contempt and violence, but he takes the opportunity to turn the tables. Larry Noble

ZUKAN (Warlord) Warlord of Betafarl. He joins the anti-Federation league organised by Avon to manufacture and distribute the Pylene 50 antidote, and resist the "pacification programme". However, he is already conspiring with Servalan to ambush Avon and destroy the Xenon base. Roy Boyd plays him as a latter-day samurai with a rigid, but cracked psyche.

ZEEONA (Warlord) Daughter of the warlord Zukan, who secretly comes to Xenon base to be with Tarrant and falls foul of her father's double-cross. Surprisingly Soolin connives at her deception and Dayna shows no jealousy. However, she doesn't survive long enough to join the crew on their final trip to Hell. Bobbie Brown.

ARLEN (Blake) Gauda Prime outlaw who is captured by Blake in his persona as bounty hunter. A savage fighter, she passes the test and is recruited to his cause, with fatal results. Sasha Mitchell gives her a vindictive personality.

DEVA (Blake) Co-ordinator and supervisor of Gauda Prime's bounty hunters and Blake's secret confederate. He is justifiably anxious about Blake's risky methods of recruitment. David Collings.

Go to Part 4

Frances Teagle