Seven years after the massacre of his crewmates and the death of Blake on Gauda Prime, Kerr Avon comes out of seclusion to hear a proposition from an anti-Federation rebel named Lydon on a distant, unnamed world. Lydon has contacted Elise, Avon’s sometime-lover, to try to get Avon involved in an attempt to raid a shipment of Federation gold. Avon is skeptical of how Lydon hopes to help the resistance movement with what is essentially an interplanetary train robbery, and upon hearing Lydon’s plan he’s even more incredulous. But Avon still has an ace up his sleeve – he consults Orac to help him devise a more cohesive plan of action. Before any of those plans can be put into practice, Federation troops converge on Avon, Elise and the others, mounting a strike so precise that they must be getting information from Elise, her strong-arm cohort Kelso, or Lydon. Again, Avon comes to believe that the person he wanted to trust most has betrayed him, and he kills Elise. But this time, his actions and even his contingency plans have been anticipated by Federation psychostrategists, and Avon is captured and brought to Servalan, who has reclaimed her seat of power. But as part of her strategy to remain in power, Servalan has decided she needs enemies to keep the Federation distracted, and she intends for Avon to keep the resistance movement alive…even if it means that the man Avon is now will cease to exist.
written by Alan Stevens & David Tulley
directed by Alistair Lock
music by Alistair Lock
Cast: Paul Darrow (Avon), Gareth Thomas (Blake), Jacqueline Pearce (Servalan), Tracy Russell (Elise), Ian Reddington (Lydon), Trevor Cooper (Kelso), Peter Tuddenham (Orac / Slave / Zen), Alistair Lock (Major Brecht), David Tulley (Section Leader), Alan Stevens (Squad Leader #1), Bruce McGilligan (Squad Leader #2), Pete Wallbank (Trooper), Sharon Eckman (P.A. System), Patricia Merrick (Kerrine), Jim Smith (Ric)
LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green
Review: Released the same year as the two BBC Radio plays, The Logic Of Empire was a fan-produced audio play conceived and released by the same writers and artists now bringing the Doctor Who / Blake’s 7-related Kaldor City spinoff series to life. It’s a promising idea – a “whatever happened to…?” adventure which teases us with the prospect of explaining everything about the final episode. Now, it’s just possible that we’ll never get a definitive explanation of Blake, but Logic‘s explanation of that episode’s events are as good as any I’ve heard – in some cases, even better than some fan-hatched theories. Production-wise, Logic is a mixed bag, which can sometimes be the hazard of a fan-made production: there are times when it sounds like Paul Darrow recorded his lines separately from everyone else, as the equalization never quite matches up. Then again, so many of his lines (perhaps too many) are delivered in that trademark low growl, it may have been necessary to boost his audio during editing. That low growl leads to one other complaint – Avon is reduced to something of a single-note character here, and while I can buy that the man has changed since Gauda Prime, Avon was never without his own perverse sense of humor…until now. The script is full of nice little blink-and-you’ll-miss-’em continuity references, as well as flashbacks to “lost scenes” from episodes such as Star One, Terminal and Blake, and while it is a bit of fanwankery to throw out continuity references like that, I think it’s fair to say that the audience of this made-by-fans-for-fans production can handle them. All of this, plus stellar package art by Pete Wallbank and a real mindf**k of an ending – something which automatically gives it more of a real Blake’s 7 feel than either The Sevenfold Crown or The Syndeton Experiment. The cassettes of this play are now coveted by fans across the globe, and perhaps the 25th anniversary year would be an excellent time for Alan Stevens and company to re-release The Logic Of Empire on CD.