Scimitar is the first in a new series of full cast Blake’s 7 adventures set during the shows third (or ‘C’) season. This means no Blake or Jenna but some new crew members, such as Del Tarrant (Pacey) and Del Grant (Chadbon), the latter of whom has been included in both the Liberator Chronicles and other titles. This balances out the fact that Josette Simon hasn’t returned (as far as we know) to reprise the role of Dayna.
Any launch of a new series needs to both set the various balls rolling for the series and produce a solid, entertaining episode in its own right. Suffice it to say Scimitar manages both in some style.
Although an arc isn’t essential for a series, it does make it more interesting for listeners as long as it doesn’t dominate at the expense of individual stories. What works here is that the non-availability of Josette Simon has been taken as the heart (as far as we know for now) of the series – where is Dayna? The story starts with the crew looking all over the ship but not finding their comrade. This does give Michael Keating some excellent moments as a drunken Vila and, in the main, most of the crew get something tangible to do, though as ever it can be a squeeze. The Liberator follows a trail into an asteroid field where it finds the remains of a Federation battleship, the Scimitar. As the crew investigate, they face the challenge of surviving the dangers of the asteroids. Cue plenty of big soundscape as the characters explore a ship in danger of destruction from colliding rocks.
Behind the scenes, Big Finish has made some changes to the production team. Cavan Scott takes over as series producer, having written many previous Blake’s 7 audios. Lisa Bowerman also takes over directing, having directed the small cast Liberator Chronicles range. In some way this echoes the crew changes taking place within the series – fans should rest assured that the quality remains high and it’s all ahead time distort 10.
The second series of full cast Blake’s 7 is off to a good start, roll on next month!