Blake’s 7 Ghost Ship review: Fourth in the second series of full-cast audio plays from Big Finish

by SteveRogerson

Big Finish continues its series of full-cast Blake's 7 audio plays with 2.4 Ghost Ship, set during the third series of the original BBC television show.

There is something haunting the Liberator, and Vila is alone on the ship with only the computers for company. This ghost story stars Michael Keating as Vila, joined by other original crew members Paul Darrow as Kerr Avon, Jan Chappell as Cally and Steven Pacey as Del Tarrant, with Tom Chadbon continuing his role as new crew member Del Grant.

Blake's 7 2.4 Ghost Ship
Blake's 7 2.4 Ghost Ship
Big Finish

The fourth adventure in the second series of full-cast Blake’s 7 audio plays from Big Finish carries on the arc of the crew trying to find Dayna. Set in the third season of the original BBC television series, 2.4 Ghost Ship sees Avon secretly make contact with a criminal syndicate he thinks has information about Dayna. But the meeting Avon has organised is on a planet believed to be haunted.

Written by Iain McLaughlin, the story has the crew going down to the planet, leaving Vila and Orac on the Liberator. As they approach the meeting place, they discover that communications between them and the ship are being blocked. On the ship, Vila is beginning to notice some strange happenings. Orac’s key mysteriously disappears, Zen stops responding, and Vila realises he is not alone. On the planet, things are also not going well. And where is Avon? Is he on the planet or strangely back on the ship with Vila?


Is Ghost Ship any good?

This is a Vila centric episode and has some amusing dialogue early on between Vila and Orac. The humour continues as Vila goes stumbling around the Liberator trying to find out what is going on. The tension also builds as he becomes more worried. At first he is puzzled but later that turns to fear.

Given how much this episode is Vila only, with some Avon, maybe it would have been better as a Liberator Chronicles story rather than a full-cast audio, as having the rest of the cast available is somewhat wasted given how little they are in the tale.

That said, it is a scary play and the guest stars playing the revenants are suitable menacing as they exploit Vila’s paranoia. The play also shows Avon’s growing ruthlessness that became more apparent during the actual BBC television series. All in all, well done.



The extras open with a trailer for the next episode in the series. The main extras are split into three blocks and start with a blooper and go into producer Cavan Scott and script editor Justin Richards discussing how this episode came about. Michael Keating talks about his starring role, and the three show how with these and the Liberator Chronicles they are delving more into what makes Vila tick. Director Lisa Bowerman adds to the discussion, and says this play was designed as “a good old-fashioned ghost story”.

Something odd happens with the download when imported into ITunes in that the second block of extras appears as a separate album rather than integrated into the main album. Also odd is the inclusion of a trailer for volume nine of the Liberator Chronicles, given that volume ten has been available since last year and volume eleven is due out soon.


Blake’s 7 2.4 Ghost Ship

The play stars Paul Darrow as Kerr Avon, Michael Keating as Vila Restal, Jan Chappell as Cally, Steven Pacey as Del Tarrant and Tom Chadbon as Del Grant. Alistair Lock plays the computers Zen and Orac. Guest stars are Nick Asbury and Susan Franklyn as revenants one and two.

Recorded at Audio Sorcery and directed by Lisa Bowerman, the hour-long Ghost Ship is available from Big Finish both as a single CD and as a download. Its production code is BFPB7FC011 and its ISBN 978-1-78178-407-5. The music was by Jamie Robertson and the sound design by Martin Montague. The cover art is by Grant Kempster. The producer was Cavan Scott, the script editor Justin Richards, and the executive producers Jason Haigh-Ellery and Nicholas Briggs.

The download also comes with a copy of issue 72 of Vortex magazine, which includes an interview with Steven Pacey telling a little about how he originally got the part when they were actually looking for a much older man. And we are given a little teaser into the next episode in this series – 2.5 Devil’s Advocate – which centres on his character Del Tarrant and explores his backstory.


Updated: 03/06/2015, SteveRogerson
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