Sunday, 9 March 2014


The events of Pressure Point lead directly on to Trial. It is a clever name for a clever story, because while the title directly refers to Travis, who is on trial this episode, it could also refer to Blake, who has put himself on trial because he feels guilty about Gan's death.

The body language on display here shows that Gan dying has deeply affected everybody on the Liberator. Blake blames himself and Avon blames Blake too. So Blake teleports down to a planet to see if Avon and the others want to rescue him from the trouble he will undoubtedly get into.

Avon doesn't seem too concerned about Blake at first, and talks about leaving him on the planet - though we have seen him talk about leaving Blake before without him ever having actually done it.

Avon gets more worried about Blake when they find out just how dangerous the planet is really (to the surprise of nobody) and they decide to rescue him.

Blake, meanwhile, is on location meeting Zil and trying not to get nomed by the planet. He is worried too.

Travis is on trial for being more of a baddy than the other baddys want him to be, although this is politics because he is really on trial for failing Servalan at last week's plan to catch Blake. He meets Par, played by Kevin Lloyd who was Tosh Lines in The Bill. Par is a minor, one-off character with a distinct personality, which is a specialty of the writer Chris Boucher in his Blakes 7 episodes.

Blake gets rescued so things are more friendly on the Liberator again, but it is not the end of the episode yet. Blake decides there still time to fit in an attack on the Federation.

Travis defends himself at his trial. He tells his judges that if he is a baddy, then so are all of they.

This is one of Brian Croucher's best scenes as Travis, and Trial is probably his best episode.

The judges reject Travis's argument, in such a way that suggests not every manny in the Federation is a baddy like Blake seems to think.

The judges find Travis guilty, but then the Liberator attacks and it allows Travis to escape from the explosions it causes. He meets Par again on the way out and neither of them shoots the other, which may be the closest Travis ever gets to having a friend.

The episode ends with Avon and Blake laughing at Vila, strongly reminiscent of the 'everybody laughs at Mr Spock' endings to many Star Trek stories.

But, because Trial has Chris Boucher writing it, the joke is really on them as they have unwittingly saved Travis and set in motion the chain of events that will lead inexorably to Star One.

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