REVIEW: CAGED – BLAKE’S 7 / AUTHOR: MARK WRIGHT, CAVAN SCOTT / PUBLISHER: BIG FINISH / STARRING: GARETH THOMAS, PAUL DARROW, MICHAEL KEATING, JAN CHAPPELL, SALLY KNYVETTE, BRIAN CROUCHER, ALASTAIR LOCK, HUGH FRASER / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
Caged by Mark Wright and Cavan Scott is the final instalment in the first full cast series of Blake’s 7 stories from Big Finish. It follows their previous story Cold Fury which was released in May and the two combine to make a single two-part adventure.
Thanks to his treachery, Travis has the Liberator and the bulk of the crew are imprisoned. With the scene shifting to a Federation base, there are few pieces of business left to resolve: Travis needs to torture Avon, the Federation need to dismantle the Liberator to learn its secrets and Blake must come face to face with the President.
There is plenty of action in this story, which revolves around a set of small vignettes, a well-executed mix of Liberator crew and Federation villains. If there is one weakness with the series arc it is that we know what happens next and therefore we know that the crew survive this apparently inescapable challenge. Parking this, we have a well-paced and gritty set of tales that entertain and add to the show’s canon.
There are many memorable moments in this story and not only is Hugh Fraser’s President nailed as a performance but Croucher also gets to show his talents in the scenes with Avon (Darrow). Not every character gets something vital to do but this doesn’t matter and is true to the TV shows. The final observation is that once again Cavan and Mark have proved that they are excellent writers of what could be labelled as pure science fiction and their oddly (for audio) visual style is to the fore, triggering the listener's imagination. The season is over but we're pleased to say a new one has been announced for November.