Avon hatches a risky plan to take over the planet Syndexia, the last remaining source of the hyperdrive fuel substance called Syndeton. But the already delicate plot is unraveled when Vila gets drunk in a bar on another planet and mentions Syndexia as the crew’s next destination. Vila is only barely rescued by the others as a Federation squadron moves in. Thanks to Vila’s carelessness, Servalan is alerted to Avon’s next destination, yet he presses on. Avon’s concern with Syndexia is not just with the coup to be gained by taking over the supply of Syndeton, either – in so doing, he intends to overthrow Madame Gaskia, Syndexia’s ruler, who once betrayed Avon to the Federation long before he joined Blake. Servalan is interested not only in the power to be harvested from Syndeton, but from its potential as a mind-controlling substance as well, an ability she tests by taking over Tarrant. Before long, the chase is on to find Dr. Rossum, a missing Federation scientist whose research into Syndeton could unlock its dangerous mind-control abilities. Scorpio’s crew finds Rossum first, but at the last minute, Avon insists on conceding this battle to Servalan – and the spoils could be control over every life form in the galaxy.
Cast: Paul Darrow (Avon), Michael Keating (Vila), Steven Pacey (Tarrant), Jacqueline Pearce (Servalan), Angela Bruce (Dayna), Paula Wilcox (Soolin), Peter Tuddenham (Orac / Slave), Judy Cornwell (Gaskia), Peter Jeffrey (Doctor Rossum), Graham Padden (Vledka)
Original BBC Radio 4 broadcast: December 17, 1998