There are 52 episodes of Blake’s 7 and 52 weeks in the year.....
This week: Season Two Episode 6- Trial
(1979) Writer: Chris Boucher / Director: Derek Martinus
Blake takes a hiatus on a seemingly uninhabited planet as he considers the implications of the attack on Control while Travis is on trial accused of war crimes.
In penning `Trial`, Chris Boucher is trying to draw some parallels between Blake and Travis’s respective situations even though there really aren’t any. I suppose you could say they are both on trial except that in Blake’s case it is through his own guilt. Why else would these seemingly unconnected events be brought together in the same episode? The answer only comes at the end when Boucher does manage to link them in a manner so bold yet unlikely that you can only applaud.
|"There's a kickin' club in town if you fancy it, Blakey?" "Bog off shorty"|
The whole thing is so awkwardly written and Claire Lewis looks so utterly silly in her lizard bird costume that all you can do is admire the heat haze effect they’ve put over the picture. The excursion goes round in circles before Blake is rescued and he apparently deduces from his sojourn that the thing to do right now is attack the Federation. That wasn’t what Zil said at all was it? Clearly their encounter has made Blake more unhinged then ever!
Meanwhile what should be the juicier plot is not faring much better. Travis is on trial for ordering the slaughter of thousands; an order he was in all probability given by Servalan. She has set the trial up so Travis is out of the way and can’t blag about what went wrong last week. Only thing is he knows she knows. And it seems half the people at the trial know –or do they? It’s no wonder Travis is a bit crazy.
TV court room drama can either be tense and thrilling or dull and long winded- this one certainly lives up to the episode’s name being full of people thinking they are clever. It is such a trial that frankly you wish someone would come along and try and blow them all up. Then someone does. The Liberator attacks the space station where the trial is taking place allowing Travis to escape because presumably all those highly trained guards are less able to balance when the place is hit than a man with only one eye.
|"Three seater vehicles are not allowed in here"|
If Blake had got Orac to do a full scan of the planet to check there was no life, wouldn’t the latter have detected that the planet was a life form?
If Servalan really wanted to get rid of Travis, couldn’t she just have sent him on some risky mission and had him executed?
Two of the guest actors would go on to become quite well known in later years- Kevin Lloyd (Trooper Par) was Tosh Lines from The Bill while John Savident (Samor) was Coronation Street regular Fred Elliott.