Fractures

Blake's 7Following a close call from Travis’ battalion of pursuit ships, the Liberator is forced to take shelter in an area called the Derelict Zone while auto-repair systems patch up the engines. The Derelict Zone is aptly named, densely packed with the hulks of dead ships. But even after the engines are repaired, the Liberator remains unable to move, and Blake and his crew disperse to different parts of the ship to track down the cause. But in the course of communicating with one another in different parts of the ship, each learns that one of their shipmates can’t be trusted – one of them has seized control of Zen and the Liberator and is trying to kill everyone else.

The problem is that each one of them thinks a different person is the traitor. The result is the entire crew, standing on the flight deck, training their weapons on one another. Who is really sabotaging the Liberator?

Order this CDwritten by Justin Richards
directed by Ken Bentley
music by Alistair Lock

Cast: Gareth Thomas (Blake), Paul Darrow (Avon), Michael Keating (Vila), Jan Chappell (Cally), Sally Knyvette (Jenna), Brian Croucher (Travis), Alistair Lock (Zen/Orac), Bethan Walker (Mutoid)

Notes: em>Fractures and the stories that follow it take place shortly after the TV episode A Voice From The Past and prior to Gambit; Blake and his crew know of the existence of Star One, but not its location, and the incident with “Shiban”‘s mind control is mentioned as being not only recent, but still a source of concern.

LogBook entry and review by Earl Green

Review: Utilizing something of a well-worn sci-fi trope turned on its ear, Fractures seems just a little more Doctor Who-ish than Blake’s 7-esque, and yet the cast makes it work reasonably well. It’s kind of an odd opening volley, since it’s a “bottle show” – a story taking place entirely aboard the ship – in a medium where it would be just as cheap, or just as expensive, to do a sprawling epic. But perhaps it’s cannily chosen: Big Finish is signaling, with this release, that the emphasis will continue to be on the characters rather than “opening up the universe”.

If there’s one cast member who surprises me here, it’s Brian Croucher returning to the role of Travis. Much-maligned for taking on the thankless task of being the second actor to play a beloved character, Croucher has one short scene in which no new ground is broken…and yet I’m glad to hear Big Finish going for full second-season fidelity here when some fans might’ve preferred handing the role of Travis back to Stephen Grief. Croucher’s take on Travis had its own charms as the character became more unhinged, so it’s nice to see both the actor and this iteration of the character receive some validation. The thought that he might turn up again in a story designed to let him truly put his own stamp on Travis is an interesting one.