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The Mark Of Kane

Blake's 7: The Mark Of KaneBusted out of the ranks of the Federation Space Command after his trial, Travis is on the run and out for revenge – on all of humanity, if necessary. He makes contact with an alien force from beyond Earth’s galaxy and offers to join them in an attempt to enter and conquer Federation space. To make that possible, however, Travis must track down a neurosurgeon named Docholli, the only man who is said to know where the Federation’s top secret central control is. During his attempts to track down Docholli, Travis runs afoul of a pair of bounty hunters out to collect the Federation’s price on his head. Only one of them, Kane, survives the ensuing firefight, and he promises to get his revenge on Travis, no matter how long it takes. Some years later, Kane joins another bounty hunter, who he doesn’t realize is former freedom fighter Roj Blake, on the lawless planet of Gauda Prime. Blake is looking for Lafayette, a pirate whose attack on an arms shipment resulted in the death of former Liberator crew member Jenna Stannis. Kane, however, is still hoping to catch up with Travis. And when he learns who Blake is, and that Blake got to Travis before he did, Kane will leave an indelible mark of his own.

written by Alan Stevens & David Tulley
directed by Alistair Lock
music by Alistair Lock

Cast: Gareth Thomas (Blake), Brian Croucher (Travis), Tracy Russell (Valisha / Blossom), Terry Molloy (Kane), Christina Balit (Mutoid Pilot), Bruce McGilligan (Alien), Steven Allen (Stenner), Alistair Lock (Customer), Pete Wallbank (Royce), Alan Stevens (Morik), Peter Halliday (Barkeeper), Daniel Bowers (Tando), Peter Miles (Lafayette)

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green

Review: A clever tying together of the events of several TV stories, The Mark Of Kane has the potential to devolve into first-degree fanwankery. The first side of the tape (to date, this audio play has only been released on cassette) does precisely that, spending an awful lot of time on Travis’ conversations with one of the mutoids assigned to him at the end of Trial. It’s good to hear Brian Croucher back as Travis, but a pity that the first side’s story pivots around a point of continuity that even some fans may have forgotten, and even then may not seem that significant. The real meat of the story is on side two, which gives us a glimpse of Blake after the Liberator; many of the odd dangling ends of Blake are cleared up here, such as the cause of Blake’s nasty scar and the identity of fellow bounty hunter Tando. Foreknowledge of that final episode isn’t crucial to understanding the story, and indeed the second side has the happy effect of making it sound like it’s telling its own story, rather than trying to create a Moebius strip out of the show’s continuity. It’s a pity that the team behind Mark Of Kane and Logic Of Empire didn’t produce more Blake audio stories.

Timeline: The first part of the story, subtitled War Crimes, happens prior to, during and after the second season episode Gambit, written around that episode’s events. Part two, Friendly Fire, happens after Blake’s departure from the Liberator (between Star One and Aftermath) but before Blake, as it explains the scar on his face in the final episode; by this time, Jenna has already died in the gun-running incident Blake mentioned in the series finale.

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