Blake’s 7 Crossfire Part 1 review

Blake’s 7 are back on audio in the form of Vila, Avon, Cally, Tarrant, Zen, Orac and Dayna, with Yasmin Bannerman now cast in place of Josette Simon, who declined to return to the role. This boxset marks the start of a set under the banner of Crossfire, and does a good job of introducing some themes and telling some solid stories as well.

First up, is Paradise Lost, and regular writer Steve Lyons brings the Liberator to the legendary pleasure planet of Erewhon, and it’s seen better days. None of this stops the crew as they land to assassinate an old enemy. Instead what they find sets up the arc for the series. Where this story works well is in not treating the revelation as the core of the story, it is a bonus ending to a solid tale that reminds fans just why they love the series.

Simon Clark (who wrote Night of the Triffids, as well as some other Big Finish) puts Cally in the centre of True Believers, a story that makes an excellent job of exploring the role of religion in the Federation, in the quest for the Singing Grave. Jan Chappell turns in one of her best performances and there are plenty of dark moments before the end.

Big Finish stalwart Mark Wright digs into the show’s own mythology in Resurgence. It’s a ship under siege story with Abi Harris as Alta-Sixwho threatens the very future of the Liberator. Avon must lead while the crew struggle with an implacable foe. It’s all very satisfying, and worth a revisit at some stage.

Finally, new writer (to Big Finish) David Bryher brings Servalan into the mix, and while the story does serve to cement her participation in what we assume will be the Crossfire arc, it’s much more than that as Vila is the hero of the piece, as long as Cally’s telepathy can help him overcome his natural self-preservation instincts. Michael Keating is wonderful as Vila the hero, and it makes a great motif for an action-packed story.