Blake’s 7 Battleground review: Full-cast audio play from Big Finish

by SteveRogerson

The second in Big Finish's 2014 series of full-cast Blake's 7 audio plays sees the Liberator crew embark on a dangerous mission to a Federation training planet.

Battleground is the second of the 2014 series of full-cast Blake's 7 audio plays from Big Finish. Set during the second season of the original BBC television show, it tells of the Liberator crew trying to track down a Federation project that could give them capabilities similar to that of their own computer Orac. But to find out more, they have to embark on a dangerous mission on a Federation training planet.

Blake's 7 Battleground
Blake's 7 Battleground
Big Finish

Big Finish continues its 2014 series of full-cast Blake’s 7 audio plays with 1.2 Battleground, set in the second season of the original television series. The story sees Gareth Thomas return as Roj Blake, Paul Darrow as Kerr Avon, Michael Keating as Vila Restal, Jan Chappell as Cally and Sally Knyvette as Jenna Stannis. Alistair Lock plays the computers Zen and Orac, Dan Starkey plays Voss Ferrell, Tim Bentinck plays Abel Garmon and Abigail Hollick plays Alexa Michelov.

Written by Andrew Smith and directed by Ken Bentley, the hour-long adventure picks up where the previous play – Fractures – left off, the quest to find Alexa Michelov, someone that is believed to be giving the Federation similar capabilities to Orac. Their quest takes them to Straxis, a planet that has the codename Battleground 9, a training ground for Federation troopers. But no sooner have they arrived than the Liberator comes under attack. This is going to be no easy mission.


Is Battleground any good?

Dan Starkey does a good job as the over-exuberant commander Voss Ferrell, and plays well off his battletracer (the person who marks him in the mock battle) Alexa, played by Abigail Hollick. Their conflict is one of the most entertaining parts of an entertaining story. The other aspect of the adventure – Blake’s work with Abel Garmon to attack the Federation – forms a nice contrast to Avon’s attempts at convincing Michelov to help him.

This is very much an action-packed episode. It is also well plotted with the different strands of the story meshing nicely at the end. On the down side, the idea that the Federation tracker implants can be disabled by smearing mud over them is, while useful for the plot, more than a tad unbelievable.

And the story ends on a cliff-hanger. The next adventure – 1.3 Drones – is thus eagerly awaited.


Cast interviews

The CD finishes with three interviews. The first is with writer Andrew Smith, clearly a fan and one who seemed to have fun producing this, and with actors Dan Starkey and Abigail Hollick. The second interview is with Tim Bentinck, who plays a man once high up in the Federation but is now deemed expendable. “He was a great character to play,” said Bentinck. The final interview is with Gareth Thomas, Paul Darrow, Jan Chappell, Sally Knyvette and script editor Justin Richards looking back at the original series. It ends with a little treat, an outtake from the recording. A more in-depth interview with Jan Chappell can be found in the edition of the Vortex magazine that comes with the download.


Blake’s 7 1.2 Battleground

Recorded at Audio Sorcery, Battleground is available from Big Finish both as a single CD and as a download. Its production code is BFPB7FC003 and its ISBN 978-1-78178-271-2. The music was by Jamie Robertson and the sound design by Martin Montague. The cover art is by Grant Kempster.

Blakes 7 (Complete Series 1-4) - 17-DVD Box Set ( Blakes Seven ) [ NON-USA FORMAT, PAL, Reg.2 Imp...

Netherlands released, PAL/Region 2 DVD: it WILL NOT play on standard US DVD player. You need multi-region PAL/NTSC DVD player to view it in USA/Canada: LANGUAGES: English ( Dolb...

View on Amazon

Blakes 7 - Series 1 [Region 2 Import- Non USA Format]

United Kingdom released, PAL/Region 2.4 DVD: it WILL NOT play on standard US DVD player. You need multi-region PAL/NTSC DVD player to view it in USA/Canada: LANGUAGES: English (...

View on Amazon

A History and Critical Analysis of Blakes 7, the 1978-1981 British Television Space Adventure

Blake's 7, Terry Nation's science fiction tale of cosmic freedom fighters, became a hit series in Great Britain when it premiered in 1978. Eight years later, the show quickly be...

View on Amazon

Updated: 02/16/2014, SteveRogerson
Thank you! Would you like to post a comment now?



You might also like

Blake’s 7 Fractures review: The first in a new series of full-...

The cast of Blake's 7 are back in Fractures, the first of a new series of aud...

Book Review: Lucifer by Paul Darrow

A review by Steve Rogerson of Lucifer, a Blake's 7 novel written by Paul Darrow.

Disclosure: This page generates income for authors based on affiliate relationships with our partners, including Amazon, Google and others.
Loading ...