A Guest Blog by Hevy782
What a gut punch of an episode that was. Now I don’t usually stress the point that these reviews contain spoilers but because of what happens in this one I would like to say that you will be reading on at your own risk. Now that that’s been said let’s talk about the big topic of this episode and that is, of course, the death of Gan. This means that this episode is the final appearance of David Jackson as Olag Gan, a role he had been playing since the second episode of the series, Spacefall. Jackson himself was not upset when he found out his character was going to die as he felt he had too little to do in many of the episodes. One of the original ideas was that Gan would be killed by a double agent who would then go on to join the crew of the Liberator as a Federation spy but for whatever reason this idea was not gone ahead with, possibly because they crew of the Liberator had grown quite large by this point and replacing Gan immediately after his death would not have solved
this problem. Gan’s death did quite a bit for the show afterwards as it gave an added element of suspense as viewers would now know it was possible for a crew member to be killed off and it also meant that with one less crew member to worry about more focus could be put on those remaining. The man who wrote out Gan was series creator Terry Nation, returning for his second script of the second series. The director, meanwhile, was George Spenton-Foster who had directed Weapon just two episodes earlier. One more bit of trivia before we move on to the synopsis is that the episode is the first to be set on Earth since the very first episode, The Way Back.
After fighting the Federation across the galaxy Blake decides to take the battle right to it’s heart and plans to destroy the main computer nerve centre on Earth. The episode begins with him preparing to meet up with resistance leader Kasabi but unfortunately she is captured by Servalan and Travis and together they set a trap for Blake. After evading the Federation’s trap Blake elects to continue with the plan despite the increased risk now that they don’t have back up from Kasabi. Despite some protest Blake, Avon, Vila and Gan continue with the plan and enter control. Inside they are disappointed to discover that the main computer nerve centre was moved thirty years ago and the whole thing was a trap. Travis prepares to execute them but before he can Servalan shows up, held at gun point by Jenna. She demands that Travis let’s her friends go and he does. They then run in an attempt to get into teleport range but during their escape Travis throws a strontium grenade which brings the roof down on Gan, killing him. His last words to Blake were that he was not worth dying for and he then breaks the news to the others than Gan didn’t make it out. They then leave to get as far away from Earth as possible.
I’m gonna start off by talking about Gan’s death and, as previously stated, it’s a real gut punch. It also follows up on the on going plot line of Blake going too far in his fight to defeat the Federation. Gan’s death is very much down to Blake’s refusal to give up despite the ever increasing risk and no doubt this will have a huge affect on him in the episodes to come. Up until now there were very few consequences to Blake’s actions and now he has lost who was arguably the most loyal of his followers. Ultimately I feel that Gan was the right choice to kill given that his character was far too often given too little to do which ultimately made him the least interesting. This event also links back to Shadow in which Gan was challenging Blake and Blake failed to heed Gan’s warning’s then but just about got away with it. Nevertheless he didn’t learn anything from it and that failiure to learn lead to him repeating his mistakes again with far worse consequences. Gan will be missed but ultimately someone had to go to add some much needed suspense to the show as up to this point the character’s had been in difficult situations but managed to escape unscathed, in future they may not be so lucky.
Now for the rest of the episode which was one of the strongest yet in my opinion. It seems a break was just what Terry Nation needed as after three episodes off he’s back on top form again and writing solid stories. This episode could almost be considered the mid-series finale as right from the start it has that sort of epic quality to it which lets you know something big is going to go down. It also holds nothing back and jumps straight into the story itself which can sometimes annoy me as it means there’s no build up but here it can be forgiven as any time spent on build up would’ve been wasted as the rest of the episode would then have been rushed, leaving a very poor balance of pacing overall. Should it of been a two-parter then? Maybe but maybe not. I personally feel they should built up computer control a bit more over the previous four episodes so that you’d know what it was about here but they’d only of been little mentions so that those stories could still stand very well on their own. Then we have the villains of the piece, Travis and Servalan. Brian Croucher does much better job here as Travis than he did before as he’s tuned down quite a lot compared to his previous appearance which makes him much less pantomime and much more threatening. It feels like he was trying to hard before but at least he’s now found his feet in the role. Then there’s Servalan who is played as wonderfully as ever by Jacqueline Pearce but we also get to dive into her back story a bit through the character of Kasabi who she betrayed. We also find out that part of the reason she is in her position is thanks to relatives in high places which fits perfectly with her character.
In conclusion, Pressure Point is probably the best episode of series two so far and I look forward to seeing the aftermath in the episodes to come. It’s a nine-out-of-ten from me as it’s still not utterly breathtaking and I’m still waiting for the episode that really knocks me off my feet in terms of quality. Maybe the next episode will be that episode as Trial seems to be held in quite high regard by many fans. Will I give my first ten-out-of-ten to a Blake’s 7 episode? You’ll have to wait and see but until then be sure to sound off your thoughts on the episode in the comments below.