When Vila Met Gan

Blake's 7: When Vila Met GanYears before the joined the Liberator, Vila and Gan weren’t even friends – though they did become uneasy allies when Gan, a hired hand for the wealthy owner of a secretive business venture, recognized that Vila’s lockpicking skills could help him (albeit indirectly) win the affections of the girl of Gan’s dreams. Gan and Vila set out to pull off a daring heist that could make them both rich – but it involves stealing from Gan’s own employer. Two things happen that Vila and Gan weren’t counting on: Gan’s employer turns out to have top-secret Federation military ties, and a taste for lethal automatic defense systems to match. The other wild card is the rioting that begins when the results of the vote for the President of the Federation are overturned to keep a man called Roj Blake from winning the popular vote. With chaos looming in the background, Vila and Gan have found either the best possible cover to pull off their caper, or the increased police presence will make it much easier for them to be caught and shot on sight…

Order this story on CDwritten by Ben Aaronovitch
directed by Andrew Mark Sewell
music by Alistair Lock

Cast: Michael Keating (Vila Restal), Owen Aaronovitch (Oleg Gan), Alistair Lock (Zen)

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green […]

Point Of No Return / Eye Of The Machine

Blake's 7: The Early Years - Point Of No Return / Eye Of The MachineEye Of The Machine: Brilliant post-grad computer science whiz Kerr Avon meets two people who will change his life forever: renowned artificial intelligence instructor David Ensor, and would-be revolutionary Anna Grant, who is rallying college students to the cause of an unconventional, up-and-coming politician named Roj Blake. Each of these people have their own agendas where Avon is concerned, and both of them will change his feelings on the subject of trust forever.

Point Of No Return: Major Stefan Travis, a rising but unremarkable Federation officer, is specifically requested to head up an investigation into the activities of revolutionary – and suspected terrorist – Carl Varon, and his help has been requested by Varon himself, who insists he is being framed by the Federation. When Travis looks into the evidence records that landed Varon in prison, he does indeed find a few clues that Varon may have been railroaded, enough to put a seed of doubt about the Federation’s motives in Travis’ mind. But when a dead man and a murder weapon turn up, Travis wonders if anyone in this case is telling him the truth. When he discovers that Varon may be planning an attack that could result in a stunning loss of civilian lives, Travis takes no chances.

Order this story on CDPoint Of No Return written by James Swallow
Eye Of The Machine written by Ben Aaronovitch
Point Of No Return directed by Duncan McAlpine
Eye Of The Machine directed by Andrew Mark Sewell
music by Alistair Lock

Point Of No Return Cast: Craig Kelly (Travis), Jake Maskall (Sublieutenant Garcia), Peter Guinness (Carl Varon)

Eye Of The Machine Cast: Colin Salmon (Avon), Keeley Hawes (Anna Grant), Geoffrey Palmer (Professor Ensor)

Notes: The plot point of the Tariel Cells – a common element in all Federation/human technology – is carried over from the original Blake’s 7 TV series; in the TV series, Orac was able to obtain information from almost any Federation computer system via a “back door” left for him in the Tariel Cells by their inventor (and Orac’s creator), Ensor. Orac has not yet been introduced to the reimagined Blake’s 7 as of this CD’s release.

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green […]

Blood and Earth / Flag and Flame

Blake's 7: The Early Years - Blood and Earth / Flag and FlameBlood and Earth: On the planet Auron, the cloned Cally “sisters” are plentiful, but when an aircraft crash leaves one Cally stranded in the woods, out of telepathic communication range and alone, the only voice she can hear in her mind to stave off despair and insanity is that of a woman claiming to be one of the very first Cally clones. With help from “Aunty”, Ariane Cally overcomes her lack of innate survival skills, and she surprises her benefactor by revealing that while she make lack basic outdoor survival knowledge, she can make up for it with ruthlessness.

Flag and Flame: Clone sisters Skate and Merrin Cally are assigned to a uniquely dangerous mission: one of them plunges deep into Federation territory on recon missions, maintaining absolute radio and emissions silence, while relaying her findings back to her paired sister aboard an Auron military ship which isn’t straying outside of Auron space. When Skate’s fighter is spotted and pursued by Federation patrol ships, her sister Merrin can only listen in telepathically as her sister fires the pilot ejection system and drifts slowly though space. But with the Auron authorities convinced that Skate is already dead, Merrin may have to listen in on her sister’s slow, lingering death…

Order this story on CDBlood and Earth written by Ben Aaronovitch
Flag and Flame written by Marc Platt
directed by Dominic Devine
music by Dominic Glynn

Blood and Earth Cast: Jan Chappell (Aunty), Amy Humphreys (Ariane Cally), Barbara Joslyn (Jorden Cally), Julian Wadham (Commissioner Van Reich)

Flag and Flame Cast: Susannah Doyle (Skate Cally), Natalie Walter (Merrin Cally), Michael Cochrane (Commander Gresham)

Notes: Guest star Jan Chappell, the second cast member from the original 1970s Blake’s 7 TV series to appear in B7 Media’s audio reimaginings, played the role of Cally in that show’s first three seasons; she opted out of the fourth season and played her character’s death scene as a voice-over. Composer Dominic Glynn created the music for several episodes of the last four seasons of Doctor Who in the 1980s, including the short-lived Trial Of A Time Lord version of the Doctor Who theme tune.

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green […]

The Dust Run / The Trial

Blake's 7: The Early Years - The Dust Run / The TrialThe Dust Run: Having grown up as a “spacer”, young Jenna Stannis considers piloting a spacecraft to be a pastime… and a profession. This brings her into conflict with a fellow hotshot pilot named Townsend, another spacer, who challenges her to the Dust Run: a hazardous race through a dense asteroid belt in which the pilot has no computer assistance. Jenna’s sure that Townsend just wants to get into her pants, but in fact he’s playing for much higher stakes.

The Trial: Jenna is in Federation custody after things go horribly wrong in a violent attempt to force transparency about the government’s overturning of the recent presidential election won by Roj Blake. Worse yet, her interrogator – and legal advocate – is Townsend, someone who she thought she knew… but also thought she knew he was dead. But everything she knew about Townsend was wrong, and Townsend tries to convince her that everything she knew about her own criminal activities was wrong. He convinces her to alter her story before her trial, and by the time her verdict is handed down, everything Jenna thought she knew about everyone may be wrong.

Order this story on CDwritten by Simon Guerrier
directed by Alistair Lock
music by Simon Russell

Cast: Carrie Dobro (Jenna Stannis), Benedict Cumberbatch (Townsend), Stephen Lord (Nick)

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green […]