A new gripping hour long episode ‘Blake’s 7: Fractures’ has been written by Justin Richards and directed by Ken Bentley. It’s full of cliff-hanger creepy moments and quite the tour de force. This is not an audiobook but has all the bells and whistles of an original adventure without the shaky sets. In other words, it’s pretty damn good.
After a slightly bruising encounter with the mysterious leather-clad Travis, loyal to the Federation and its head, Servalan, Blake and his motley crew head off into a derelict zone and attempt to repair the ship whilst being aware of how exposed they are. As they cruised past the ghostly ships, Jenna thinks they catch a life-sign but they get no response to their hail. They continue but something stirs in the teleport room and now they are not alone.
What follows is a classic locked-door story, complete with sinister noises and excellent music effects combined with the sound of Avon being more deep and dark than ever. Get that man into ‘Dark Shadows’ I say.
This is altogether a successful hour and an educated use of the characters in their setting. Justin Richards shows his skills in dialogue that describe character and the actors with their own unique voices add the rest. How can we forget the pitiful whine of Villa contrasted with the cultured sarcastic tones of Avon? What helps dramas like this to be distinctive is that the voices never merge but and they are so idiosyncratic that listening is a pleasure.
I like the conclusion as it draws on many of the traits of the series that made it so successful. Although the story is not completely original – what story can be in this multiverse – it draws on the strengths and delights of each individual character.
Included on the disc or download is ten minutes of extras in the form of cast interviews as they share their inside info on why they feel right at home in the studio. My only disappointment is that it is Travis Mark 2 and, although he’s lovely (you know what I mean), Travis Mark 1 was my guilty crush. It is a complete joy to hear the majority of the original cast interacting on audio and I look forward to ‘Battleground’, the next offering from Big Finish.
(pub: Big Finish. 1 CD 60 minute story plus extras. Price: CD: £10.99 (UK), Download: £ 8.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-78178-270-5)
cast: Gareth Thomas, Paul Darrow, Michael Keating, Jan Chappell, Sally Knyvette, Brian Croucher and Alistair Lock
check out website: www.bigfinish.com