Blake’s 7: Bounty

February 28, 2015 in Blake's 7, Guest Blogs by GuestBlogs

A Guest Blog by Hevy782

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Well I guess it had to happen sooner or later, Blake’s 7 has had it’s first real dud for me in the form of Bounty. Now admittedly I didn’t give The Web the most respectable of scores but at least there I appreciated what it was trying to do and still found some enjoyment in it whereas here I just didn’t. I guess with Terry Nation having written all the episodes of the first series he had to slip up at some point and I just hope this is the only occasion as we get closer and closer to the finale. But anyway, let’s save the rest of my opinions for later in the review and instead focus on some facts. As previously stated the episode was written by series creator Terry Nation and it was also directed by Pennant Roberts. Bounty is his fourth and final directorial credit for the series and it’s rather a shame to see him go. While I’m obviously not too fond of his work on this one I still think he was a great director overall as two of his three other episodes are personal favourites of mine. For those who are interested those two episodes are Space Fall and Mission to Destiny. Also, an interesting bit of trivia in relation to this episode is that President Sarkoff’s place of residence was represented by the Waterloo Tower, a bell tower located in Quex Park in Kent. Just a quaint bit of trivia for those who are interested and for those who are more interested in the synopsis then here it is.

The episode kicks off with Blake and Cally trying to locate ex-president Sarkoff, the deposed leader of Lindor, a planet on the verge of civil war. Up until now Lindor has remained neutral but if war does break out then the Federation will more in peacekeeping forces and easily annex it. Blake and Cally then locate Sarkoff’s residence and attempt to sneak in without the Federation guards noticing. Meanwhile, the Liberator answers a distress call from another ship but ends up being hijacked by the notorious bounty hunter Tarvin, a former colleague of Jenna’s. Blake and Cally, however, have much better luck and are able to break in without detection and then head back to the Liberator with Sarkoff and his daughter Tyce. There they are tricked and Blake and Cally end up locked up with the others while Sarkoff and Tyce are held on the bridge by Tarvin. He intends to hand over the Liberator and it’s crew to the Federation in return for the thirteen million credit reward. Blake is able to escape the prison and rushes towards the bridge. Tyce pulls out a hidden gun but Tarvin stops her and the gun winds up in the hands of a reluctant Sarkoff. Blake then arrives and distracts Tarvin, allowing Sarkoff to shoot him dead. The Liberator then drops Sarkoff and Tyce off on Lindor so that Sarkoff can restore order and ensure Lindor’s neutrality.

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Now one big problem this episode has is that it lacks focus. There is obviously a primary plot and a secondary plot here but which one’s which is beyond me. It almost feels like Terry Nation started writing this with just the President Sarkoff plot and then halfway through realised that it wasn’t meaty enough to sustain a whole episode so decided to add another plot in with Tarvin which feels like it could’ve sustained an entire episode on it’s own and therefor leaves that side of the story underdeveloped. A lot of the interesting stuff takes place off screen as well with the Amagon’s attack and Jenna’s apparent betrayal taking simply being explained by Avon rather than actually being seen. Sarkoff’s story line also takes up way much more time than it should’ve done and more time should’ve been left for Jenna’s betrayal which could’ve been the most interesting thing to of happened to her since the series began but is unfortunately poorly realised which also reflects badly on Jenna’s character who’s had a bit of a rough ride up to this point.

A character who hasn’t had a rough ride however is Cally and it was great to see her using her powers of telepathy again at the start of the episode. It’s nice to see her going down to the planet with Blake and getting involved with some of the action and there’s also some nice dialogue between her and Sarkoff. Actually, one of the things this episode does have going for it is the dialogue which is very good for the most part. There are some great lines between Avon and Vila at the start when they are talking about the latter’s opinion and then again towards the end when they’re both imprisoned. There’s even some nice dialogue between the Federation guards at the start and you really do get the idea that they’re not the best the Federation have to offer just from a few simple lines about a rodent and a motion-scanner. Even Tarvin has a couple of good lines but I get the feeling that they tried to make him a loveable scoundrel kind of character but unfortunately it didn’t work out that way. The line about his grandmother was still enjoyable though.

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To sum up, I think I’ve made it quite clear that this is my least favourite episode of the series so far but I also hope that it doesn’t come across as if I absolutely hate this episode with a passion as there is still a reasonable amount to enjoy in it. So it’s a four-out-of-ten from me and with that we can now finally move on to the next episode, Deliverance, which is the penultimate episode of series one but until then be sure to sound off your thoughts on the episode in the comments below.