Book Review: Anthology, A Blake’s 7 collection by RA Henderson, MG Harris and Gillian F Taylor

by SteveRogerson

The latest Blake's 7 book from Big Finish is a collection of three novellas, written by Gillian F Taylor, RA Henderson and MG Harris

Anthology from Big Finish is a collection of three short stories set during the first season of the BBC television series Blake's 7. "Trigger Point" by Gillian F Taylor tells of the crew helping a rebellion, "Beserker" by RA Henderson sees Blake accidentally releasing a powerful weapon, and "Cold Revolution" by MG Harris has Avon and Cally as election monitors in a tale of politics and intrigue.

Anthology
Anthology
Big Finish

The latest Blake’s 7 book to come from the Big Finish publishing team is Anthology, which – as its name suggests – is not one story but a collection of three short stories – “Trigger Point” by Gillian F Taylor, “Beserker” by RA Henderson and “Cold Revolution” by MG Harris.

 

“Trigger Point” by Gillian F Taylor

Set shortly after the season-one episode “The Web”, the story tells how Cally convinces a not totally willing crew to go aid the rebellion on Belzanko. The aim is to disrupt the production of Federation pursuit ships but when Avon hacks into the computer system he discovers something more interesting.

This novella provided a good opportunity to see an early Jenna getting used to flying the Liberator, something the TV series only touched upon briefly. We are also given insight into Cally’s emotions and drivers, an advantage of the power of words over visuals.

And this is the type of story that gets to the heart of what Blake was trying to do with the Liberator, and that was helping the rebel forces on the ground in an attempt to undermine the Federation; it is a shame that more of the television episodes did not follow this pattern.

Also worth a mention is how well the author dealt with the action scenes, keeping them realistic and the reader involved as the tension builds.

 

“Beserker” by RA Henderson

The mysterious Station Amber had been the flagship of the Federation’s weapons development policy, but suddenly all mention of it was dropped from official reports. Blake was curious and, with Zen’s help, tracked down the station and found it apparently deserted. But Travis was tracking Blake, and to Travis’ annoyance Servalan told him to keep his distance; she was happy to let Blake get his hands on whatever was inside the station.

The author cleverly weaves flashbacks to when the station was running with the present-day action. Even what seemed at first an irrelevant aside – Servalan taking a shine to one of her dressmakers – is part of the plot, something to be revealed later. The result is an entertaining and gripping story.

 

“Cold Revolution” by MG Harris

A revolution in Kartvel has brought in a new government to replace the Federation, and Blake is pleased, because he has a plan, especially as the temporary man in charge – Shevard – wants Blake to be a monitor for the forthcoming election. Blake throws Shevard off slightly when he sends Avon and Cally to do the job, and they are soon worried about a warlord with his own ambitions.

This is a solid political story, with a chunk of religion thrown in for good measure. Everyone appears to be double-crossing everyone else on this planet that in its own way seems to deserve Federation rule. The interplay between Avon and Cally is very believable, hinting more than strongly that their feelings for each other could grow into something more than comradely.

 

Conclusion

After the rather disappointing novel Lucifer, Big Finish is back on track with its Blake’s 7 publications. This book contains three well-written novellas that each in its own way taps into the essence of the television series. What was impressive with all three stories was how well the authors painted the familiar characters. A good collection.

Anthology (ISBN 978-1-78178-259-0, ebook 978-1-78178-260-6, 224 pages), published in 2013 by Big Finish.

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Updated: 12/22/2013, SteveRogerson
 
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