WRITTEN BY: Roger Parkes
DIRECTOR: Mary Ridge
SCRIPT EDITOR: Chris Boucher
PRODUCER: Vere Lorrimer
DVD: Blake's 7 - Series 4
"Tarrant, what have you got up there apart from yourself, a half-wit and a corpse?"
Vila & Tarrant are on Scorpio en route to the planet Pharos to fetch the Cybernetecist Muller, who was trained by Orac's creator Ensor, while Avon hosts his wife Vena on Xenon. Tarrant teleports direct to Muller's laboratory where he finds Muller and the body of the man he said came for him. He returns with Muller and a box Muller was working on. Muller commands him to send it back and they struggle but Muller collapses when Vila hits him with a tool. Thinking him dead they put him in Scorpio's medicapsule. On Pharos one of the technician's finds Muller's headless body. Vila tries to open Muller's box but Scorpio is rocked by a power surge in the drive unit. He tries again under Avon's instructions and the same effects are felt. Believing Slave responsible they take him off-line for the rest of the journey home. Orac is worried by the cause of Scorpio's problems and suggests quarantining the ship in orbit. Once in orbit they bring Slave back on-line but the life support systems begin to fail. Orac insists they must be left there to protect the base from malign systems influence but Avon refuses. Dayna and Soolin teleport up in survival suits and bring Vila & Tarrant back. While Avon & Vena prepare to teleport to Scorpio something teleports to the base. Orac predicts that everyone will die. Avon & Vena find all systems restored and the resuscitation capsule empty. Orac request Soolin render him inoperative, and hide him until after they have destroyed the intruder. Dayna is attacked and only woken by Avon's call for teleport to the base. They are joined by a recovered Tarrant & Vila. Vena finds her husband and is pleased to see him alive but he kills her. Tarrant attacks him but "Muller" destroys his and Avon's guns. Avon deduces "Muller" can influence electronic circuits Avon & Vila take the box to seek Orac & Soolin while Tarrant & Dayna attempt to distract Muller. Avon leaves Vila in the medical unit to open the box but Soolin finds him. She tells Avon Orac is hiding as Vila opens the box. Dayna & Tarrant attack "Muller" with explosives trapping him under rubble but his now headless corpse rises from the floor demanding to know "Where is Orac?". Inside the box is a head containing immobiliser circuits designed to act as a robot's conscience. The robot that has used Muller's head corners them in the medical unit and demands Orac so he can unite with him. They trap the robot in the medical room and flee outside. Avon devises a trap using an existing hydro plant and Orac as bait so they can attach the head. Avon wires a metal bridge near the hydro plant to the generators within. Soolin brings Orac from the base but he starts to feel the robot's control demanding that he be handed over. An activated but controlled Orac lures the robot over the bridge as Tarrant feeds the power through damaging the android. Avon attaches the head with difficulty but is thrown some distance away. Dayna mines the bridge and destroys the robot and the circuit influencer in contains much to Avon's disgust.
A fairly harmless run around episode. Loved it as a kid but now it's a bit something of nothing. Yes it fits in with Avon's plan to recruit experts to help them, it's not his fault Muller was working on something that went out of control just as Avon & co turn up for him!
Lordy lord those survival suits are rubbish! And speaking of costumes this is the last appearance of the clothes the main cast have been wearing since episode 1 of this series. In previous years the characters have had different clothes for each episode but now, following Doctor Who's example, everyone has worn the same thing every episode. Next episode will change the costumes.... and not for the better in my opinion. I suspect one member of the cast wasn't too happy with theirs as they revert to their early season costume within a few episodes!
Still at least the action is shared round in this episode and Soolin gets something to do hiding Orac.
Guest cast: John Westbrook, Muller, was Treebeard in the animated Lord of the Rings film. Lynda Bellingham, Vena, is a well known TV face (including as the OXO Mum) but sci fi fans know her as The Inquisitor in Doctor Who Trial of a Timelord. Nick Joseph, the Android, was an Animal in the previous Blake's 7 episode Animals.
The Xenon locations in this episode were filmed on Box Hill in Surrey.
This episode of Blake's 7 was broadcast on BBC1 the same night as the Five Faces of Doctor Who started on BBC2 with a repeat of An Unearthly Child episode 1, being shown for the first time since 1963. All 4 episodes of An Unearthly Child was repeated on BBC2 during the week following.
Headhunter was repeated on 09/07/1983. Headhunter was released on video as the first episode on Blake's 7 tape 23 on 1st September 1992. It was paired with the following episode Assassin and alongside Tape 24 Games/Sand. Blake's 7 season 4 was released on DVD on 24th April 2006.