Thern Sorron, the ruler of Kalion, is dead. Federation presidents, both old and new, attend the funeral ostensibly to pay their respects, but whoever possesses the Seal of Kalion, controls the vast Kalion shipyards.
4. 2 Shock Troops by Cavan Scott
As the war between the presidents escalates, new recruits are urgently required. Dayna gains first-hand experience of what life can be like as a Federation trooper as she confronts insurgent forces on a frontier world.
4. 3 Erebus by Paul Darrow
The Liberator is lured to the planet Erebus. There, the former Federation president is colluding with an old acquaintance of Avon’s who is eager for a reunion.
4. 4 The Scapegoat by Steve Lyons
On the Federation world of Astra Valadina, the former President is hatching a plan to discredit his successor and turn the tide of the war in his favour. The unwitting pawns in his scheme are the crew of the Liberator.
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That's a cracking selection of writers they have there. I hope this lifts the series from the slightly unspectacular first Box Set. Let me see - Trevor Baxendale wrote two of my favourite BFs (Something Inside for Doctor Who and Scimitar for Blake). Cavan Scott has co-written some absolute blinders (Project: Twilight and The Eternal Battle for Doctor Who to name but two). Steve Lyons (well ... The Fires of Vulcan, Time Works and Blood of the Daleks, anyone?). That just leaves someone called Paul Darrow. I'm sure I've heard of him, but I just can't remember from where ...
Really enjoyed Funeral on Kalion. Good use is made of all the regulars and, whilst I can see the benefits and advantages of focusing on a handful of crew-members for the purposes of these audios, it's good to hear everyone together. I especially enjoy the bi-play between Servalan and the President - some sharp writing and great acting makes this pair very entertaining, although you get the distinct impression no matter how powerful he is, the President is no real match for Servalan. Nice to hear Vila prove his worth a bit more here too. Cowardly maybe his middle-name, but it is a mistake to portray him as just a wise-cracking coward. Good to hear from Tevor Littledale as well.
Trevor Baxendale is a terrific writer - his Doctor Who story Something Inside remains an underrated gem, in my view - and he writes particularly well for Blake's 7.
Well, Shock Troops is excellent. Rather a departure in style for this range, it is a kind of audio found-footage, crew-lite episode mostly devoid of the usual (and very enjoyable) posturing of strong alpha males Avon and Tarrant. This is virtually an all-female cast and is terrific fun. Also, it features - for the first time, I think - usage of the initials BS for words other than Blake's Seven! This gives the new Dayna centre-stage, which is welcome. Yasmin Bannerman has proven a very good choice for Dayna, and (perhaps wisely) has been used as 'just another crew-member' thus far in order to establish her. That done, she carries much of this on her own and provides a fresh take on both the character and the style of story-telling. Crossfire part 1 took a while to find its feet, whereas on the evidence so far, this second set has hit the ground running. Terrific, gritty stuff.
The President (Hugh Fraser) proves once again that compared to Servalan, he's still a bit of an amateur in the school of villainy. Here, he's putting up with a rather camp robot that initially vies with Series 4's 'Slave' as the most irritating computer in Blake's 7, but quickly grows on you (or me, at any rate. I find him pretty amusing). This is a story full of twists and turns, of political back-stabbing and wondering who can trust who. The character of Eve is very interesting, someone who is something of a match for Avon. In fact, this is quite an Avon-centric story; no surprise when Paul Darrow is the writer (Avon even gets to say 'sweetheart' at one point).
It's a lot of fun, with a line of humour running through it that sometimes works better than others. Some of Darrow's previous fiction has been criticised for not being particularly true to the style of the series; this certainly is. There's lots of good dialogue for everyone, and even ORAC gets a rival of sorts. Crossfire 2 continues very much to impress!
Post by Sir Wearer of Hats on Jan 20, 2018 5:36:00 GMT
I like how shifty (dare I say unctuous) the President is in “Funeral...” , a pure politician who gets by on performance rather then sheer force of personality that Servelan has. He has charisma, but against anyone who doesn’t buy it, like the chancellor of Kalion, he just looks smarmy.