The Turing Test

Blake's 7The Liberator follows the tenuous trail of a group of brilliant scientists shipped off to a rogue planet by the Federation. Avon, suspecting that the “exiled” geniuses are top cyberneticists, concocts a plan to infiltrate their ranks. Vila poses as a rogue digital memory expert, while the ever-impassive Avon finds it easier to pass as Vila’s creation: a sentient android. The double-act ingratiates them with the isolated scientists enough for Vila and Avon to meet their creation: a real android simply named 14. Poised on the edge of attaining sentience herself, 14 represents a technology that the Liberator crew can’t allow to be put into use by the Federation. When the distant science outpost is attacked by pirates, however, Avon realizes why 14 is named 14: her predecessors, all marvels of technology, have become cannon fodder to protect their creators. At that moment, Avon succumbs to an unusual, Blake-like urge to set the android free.

written by Simon Guerrier
directed by Lisa Bowerman
music by Alistair Lock

Cast: Paul Darrow (Avon), Michael Keating (Vila)

Notes: This is one of the three stories comprising the first Liberator Chronicles box set produced by Big Finish Productions, marking the first new classic series audio stories since the two BBC-produced radio plays in 1999. In much the same format as Big Finish’s Doctor Who Companion Chronicles, only two cast members are featured, with Darrow recounting the story from Avon’s perspective and occasionally performing dialogue scenes between Avon and Vila with Keating. All three stories take place between the first season episodes Project Avalon and Breakdown.

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green […]

Solitary

Blake's 7Vila awakens, locked in a cabin on the Liberator and struggling to remember how he came to be there. He is eventually contacted telepathically by a man named Nyrron – a man who Vila and Cally teleported into the middle of a Federation weapons factory to find. Nyrron, an Auron, tries to talk Vila through his recent memories of that mission, including finding Nyrron to be the only living person in a sea of burned corpses after an accident at the factory. Though Cally feels Nyrron is a promising candidate to join the cause of freedom, Avon and Jenna are less sure; Blake gives Nyrron a chance to prove his loyalty to the rebellion. Nyrron and Vila are sent to another Federation facility to find the communications component that had already been destroyed on the factory planet, but this world has another problem: a non-corporeal life form has taken hold here, capable of inhabiting any mind and copying its memories, essentially assuming its identity. The reason Vila has been locked up after this mission is simple: he isn’t really Vila. But is Nyrron, free to mingle with the Liberator crew, really Nyrron?

written by Nigel Fairs
directed by Lisa Bowerman
music by Alistair Lock

Cast: Michael Keating (Vila), Anthony Howell (Nyrron)

Notes: This is the second of the three stories comprising the first Liberator Chronicles box set produced by Big Finish Productions. All three stories take place between the first season episodes Project Avalon and Breakdown. Nyrron returns in Wolf, a story in the second Liberator Chronicles box set.

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green […]

Counterfeit

Blake's 7Using the communications decryption equipment stolen from the Federation base on Centero, Avon learns of a top-secret mining facility where the Federation is putting some of its smartest prisoners to work on a project to mine an ore that can transform into any other element. Keen to keep this from being used as a weapon, Blake decides he must investigate and interfere if possible. Under the assumed name of Galloway, Blake teleports down to the mining colony and passes himself off as one of the laboring prisoners. But things don’t add up: two years were spent mining a seam of the ore that proved to be useless, a failure on a scale that usually convinces the Federation to stop sending more resources and start sending firing squads. And yet the mine still operates, and Blake has to operate undercover without being able to contact the Liberator. Blake’s cover is quickly blown and his identity becomes known to the senior Federation officer, and worse yet, Blake is told that Space Commander Travis has arrived to personally take charge of the situation. The resistance leader steels himself for a reunion with the one man in the Federation most eager to see him dead, only to discover that it’s not that simple.

written by Peter Anghelides
directed by Lisa Bowerman
music by Alistair Lock

Cast: Gareth Thomas (Blake), Paul Darrow (Avon)

Notes: This is the third of the three stories comprising the first Liberator Chronicles box set produced by Big Finish Productions. All three stories take place between the first season episodes Project Avalon and Breakdown.

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green […]