Blake’s 7 Fractures review: The first in a new series of full-cast audio plays from Big Finish

by SteveRogerson

The cast of Blake's 7 are back in Fractures, the first of a new series of audio plays from Big Finish.

The BBC science-fiction show Blake's 7 entertained millions of viewers in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Now the cast are back to reprise their roles in a new series of audio adventures from Big Finish. In the first of these - Fractures - the crew of the Liberator are turned against each other by unknown foe. The story is set during the second season of the original television series.

Blake's 7 Fractures
Blake's 7 Fractures
Big Finish

After the success of Warship last year, Big Finish has decided to carry on with its full-cast Blake’s 7 audio plays with monthly releases planned for 2014, starting with 1.1 Fractures, set in the second season of the original television series. The play sees Gareth Thomas return as Roj Blake, Paul Darrow as Kerr Avon, Michael Keating as Vila Restal, Jan Chappell as Cally, Sally Knyvette as Jenna Stannis and Brian Croucher as Travis. Alistair Lock plays the computers Zen and Orac and Bethan Walker plays a mutoid.

Written by Justin Richards and directed by Ken Bentley, the hour-long adventure starts with the Liberator under attack by a fleet of Federation pursuit ships forcing them to take cover in a forbidden area of space known as the Derelict Zone, named as such because it is full of broken down, abandoned spaceships, making navigation tricky. But what caused them to break down in the first place? Why are things starting to go wrong on the Liberator? And why is Blake appearing to behave very oddly?


Is Fractures any good?

Even though being forced into a forbidden area of space is hardly an original idea for Blake’s 7, this version of the theme is done very well. The actors all drop comfortably back into their roles as if they’d never been away.

Once the crew are split up on the Liberator, the messages they seem to be receiving from each other cause a build up of tension, and this is portrayed very well, making good use of the audio-only format. All we as listeners can hear are what the crew can hear as well. As such, the story pulls you into the growing paranoia and suspicion. The result is an excellent suspense story.


Cast interviews

The package finishes with ten minutes of interviews with the cast, mostly reminiscing about the past and what it is like all being back working together again. We also get to hear from writer and script editor Justin Richards. A more detailed interview with Gareth Thomas appears in the issue of the Vortex magazine that comes with the download.


Blake’s 7 1.1 Fractures

Recorded at Audio Sorcery, Fractures is available from Big Finish both as a single CD and as a download. Its production code is BFPB7FC002 and its ISBN 978-1-78178-270-5. The music and sound design was by Alistair Lock and the cover art by Damien May.

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Updated: 02/16/2014, SteveRogerson
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