Monday, 10 February 2014

D10 Gold

BROADCAST: 30/11/1981
WRITTEN BY: Colin Davis
DIRECTOR: Brian Lighthill
SCRIPT EDITOR: Chris Boucher
PRODUCER: Vere Lorrimer
DVD: Blake's 7 - Series 4

"Yes, they're clear all right. Aren't they, Avon. We've just risked our lives, for nothing."
"Not for nothing, Tarrant. We risked our lives to make Servalan rich!"

Avon is contacted by his "old friend" Keiller who has a plan to steal the gold that the Space Princess, the starship he works on is due to be carrying. There's just one snag the gold has been processed on the planet of it's origin, Zerok, to turn it into a worthless black metal. When they attempt to raid the processing complex, to obtain the code used to process the gold, Avon & Soolin are feared killed but have been force to hide and return to the ship with the required information. Avon discovers Keiller used to serve a Federation President and is intrigued which one. Keiller's plan is put into action with the security system diverted while Avon & Keiller steal the gold and Dayna, posing as a passenger, being infected with a virus so she requires returning to to Zerok. Scorpio answers the Space Princess' mayday and dock to take Dayna, lying on a gurney containing the stolen gold, aboard. However the break in is discovered and Avon is trapped in the disconnecting transfer tube between the two ships only to be saved by the Teleport. Avon makes the Rendezvous with Keiller's buyer for the gold, who is willing to pay them 10 billion for it and the processing code. The exchange is made but Avon forces the buyer to reveal herself, Servalan, and abandons Keiller to her whom she kills. Once back on the ship Orac tells them that Zerok has seceded to the Federation: Servalan has the means to process the gold and make a profit and what's more the Zerok currency they've been paid in is now worthless.


Ah a top notch caper episode enlivened by some fab model work and a top turn by the late great Roy Kinnear as Keiller. Entertaining if not especially challenging or thought provoking.


Loved the sequences of Scorpio docking with the superb Space Princess model, it's just a shame when I see it now I can see HUGE CSO masks on the screen whenever they appear. I've got memories of watching the repeat of this episode on a black & white TV set at my Grandmother's house in Cornwall one holiday! In fact, before m'learned colleagues at Roobarb's DVD Forum dug up the repeat dates for me this was the only episode I was reasonably sure I knew when it was broadcast because my brother had managed to fall of a slide in Helston and break his arm on his 8th birthday. The problem I had was I recall him getting a Return of the Jedi Gammorean Guard figure that day, which dated it to 1983 or after, and I couldn't think of why it took the BBC a year and a half to repeat S4. But they did!

When I blogged Doctor Who episode 564 Four to Doomsday Part One I mentioned how the big black spheres, with camera lenses sticking out of them, scared me as a child. There's one here in this episode!


Fab exchange between Avon & Servalan at the end, the first and only time they actually get to meet this series! And yes, it's all a big con and Avon's just made Servalan very very rich.


Soolin gets a lot to do for the second time inn three episodes. It's a bit Vila light this episode, as many recent ones have been, but his big moment comes next week.

Anthony Brown, playing the Doctor, is a Former ITN news reporter and father of BBC news reporter Ben Brown Norman Hartley, the Pilot has two Doctor Who's to his name: The Time Meddler as Ulf and The Invasion as Sergeant Peters. He also appeared in Dempsey and Makepeace (with Soolin's Glynis Barber) as Dan in Silver Dollar.

This is the first of two Blake's 7 episodes for Director Brian Lighthill but the only one for writer Colin Davis. I think he's done enough to be afforded a return if the series had have come back for a fifth series.

Poole Refuse Disposal Centre, now gone, was the ZVP gold processing plant while a nearby quarry provided the Beta 2 surface.

This episode of Blake's 7 was broadcast on BBC1 the same night as the Five Faces of Doctor Who repeat of Logopolis episode 1 was shown on BBC2. The whole of Logopolis was repeated on BBC2 during the week following.

Gold was repeated on 06/08/1983. It was released on Video as part of Blake's 7 tape 25 on 5th January 1993 where it was paired with the following episode Orbit while the final two episodes Warlord & Blake were presented on Tape 26 released the same day. Blake's 7 season 4 was released on DVD on 24th April 2006.

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