Starring Gareth Thomas as Roj Blake, Sally Knyvette as Jenna Stannis, Paul Darrow as Kerr Avon, Michael Keating as Vila Restal, David Jackson as Olag Gan, Jan Chapell as Cally and Peter Tuddenham as Zen
with Jacqueline Pearce as Servalan and Brian Croucher as Travis

Blake is dragged around the alien headquarters

14 Redemption

The origins of the Liberator are explored with mixed results. On the one hand the alien civilisation is a bit mad, but on the other what other explanation could there be? The first half has some good scenes as the ship turns against the crew, and the second half combines some very good model work with decent doubling from a nuclear power station. It's very slick, but does feel more than a little redundant and surprisingly lightweight.


15 Shadow

Chris Boucher's first script for the show (and the first not written by Nation) sees the shades of grey occasionally glimpsed in his script-editing pushed the the centre. The crew try to link up with drug-dealing gangsters, with Gan and Cally both clearly reluctant. The latter is, sadly, sidelined in another possession storyline which feels like padding and gets in the way of the tidy enough story elsewhere.


Cally threatens Space City's security

Servalan, Travis and IMIPAK

16 Weapon

A very dicey episode. IMIPAK makes no sense whatsoever when you stop to think about it (the thing must need so many settings as to be impossible to use), the Clone Masters stuff is similarly dodgy (why, when the Federation could make an excellent copy of Avalon by themselves?) and Brian Croucher makes a shaky debut as Travis. Jacqueline Pearce's sheer bad-girl charm drags a lot of it along, as does John Bennett - convincingly off-the-rails as a weapons designer who's not much better than those he's running from. It's a mess, though.


17 Horizon

A lecture on colonialism that isn't so much bad as very, very boring. Avon's blooming characterisation is worthy of some note, but the rest of it is slow, slow, sloooow - the crew teleporting down in dribs and drabs to much the same end result is especially blatant padding.


The Commissonar and Ro interrogate Blake

It's an empty room, Blake...

18 Pressure Point

Well-written and beautifully executed. Chiefly known for the death of the likeable but completely useless Gan, this one has a lot more to offer than just the ending. Croucher is growing as Travis, and there are some fine, tense action sequences despite the low budget. The revelation about Control being a myth is a real sucker-punch - moreso, as you ask, than the death of someone who'd been a regular thus far.


19 Trial

One of those ones with two plot-lines that just about intersect, but this one is handled pretty well. The Blake plot with Zil is the more tedious of the two, though the parasite is a fair attempt at making an alien-alien rather than a human in a jump-suit. The Travis plotline is much more interesting, with some good politicking - Croucher's thuggish take arguably works better as the embittered Travis than the more dashing Greif would have done. And while the plots intertwining is contrived, it's forgivable due to the irony of Blake accidentally saving Travis.


Travis on trial

The virus strikes down Gambol

20 Killer

A great little script. The standalone nature feels a little weird in the middle of the Travis stuff, especially as the search for Star One will soon take over, but it means a good little story can do its' thing. Holmes does well with Avon and Vila, while there are more of those shades of grey with the amiable scientists. This one gets bonus points for the costuming, which gets more outrageous as more base personnel are seen.


21 Hostage

This one should be terrible. Blake suddenly gets some relatives we've never heard of (and snogs his cousin), while Travis is backed up by a few podgy blokes in wetsuits called Crimos who are stopped by John Abineri shoving polystyrene rocks on them. But "Hostage" remains strangely watchable due to the ever-game Thomas, a very pissed-off Jenna (she vents by teleporting a Crimo into space, something she enjoys far too much...) and Travis becoming even more of a bastard.


Jenna teleports Molok into space

Del and Avon try to stop the bomb

22 Countdown

Another one I've always enjoyed despite the vague feeling I probably shouldn't. The real time aspect fails to come off due to the blatant cheating with the countdown itself, but it's nice to see Avon front and centre. Provine's antics are also strangely compelling, though why he tells Blake anything is anyone's guess. Plus Tom Chadbon puts in a good turn as the mercenary Del Grant.


23 Voice from the Past

Now, this one is utter tosh. The script reads like bad fanfic, and it looks like a bad fan film too. I can generally turn a blind eye to spaceships held up by string or power stations doubling as Federation bases, but when the show can't even do a stab wound without a wobbly knife... What exactly Travis is doing here, and where he gets the resources to pull this kind of rubbish, is beyond me. It's also badly acted by pretty much everyone involved.


Servalan reveals her deception

Trantor sets Vila up for some Speed Chess

24 Gambit

Rather good fun. Tacky, of course, but it knows it and it's a nice change. Aubrey Williams has a great time, as does Jacqueline Pearce. It's great to see the script basically taken over by Avon and Vila going on a jolly while Blake and the girls scamper around in the background trying to find out where Star One is. Good jokes, and some good characterisation, even if it is just a macguffin chase.


25 The Keeper

And, from the ever-reliable Allan Prior, an example of how badly the macguffin plot can be done. Badly acted (everyone goes over the top here), boring, punctuated by leaden fight scenes and of questionable relevance to the ongoing plot without being fun either. This feels like the first time Jenna's had a decent role all year, and considering the script you can see why Sally Knyvette left...


Gola shows off to Jenna

Avon discovers what's going on at Star One

26 Star One

Despite several gaping plot holes (How does Travis link up with the aliens? How does he get to the planet so quickly? How the Hell do you mine space? What the Hell happens to Star One when the team there dies of old age if no-one knows where it is?), this is a fantastic end to the season as Blake is forced to chose between the Federation or obliteration. Avon is very much the lead (even getting to finish Travis), and the action is tense and well-directed. It's the most dramatic of the cliff-hangers too.