Spy (7.1)

Big Finish Blake’s 7 Liberator Chronicles VII

This story has Vila showing uncharacteristic bravery in the face of possible personal injury. He somehow isn’t afraid, despite having a piece of Cally’s hair on his face to fake a mustache? This seems very odd as he’s the first to run to save his skin, which plays out more realistically in the second story, Disorder. That’s the Vila I expect. This is a rather different Vila.

Though admittedly she is a bit easily fooled, Arla is a rather evil character introduced in this story. She tortures Cally then is on her way to doing the same to the rest of the Liberator crew! Though I’m not sure how this title applies to this story – the Federation people are looking for a spy that sabotaged a piece of equipment. Somehow they have Cally and Gann doing this, Vila being nowhere in the picture. Literally. So he spends his time skulking around the town then “turns in” Cally to help them escape to a location where the Liberator can teleport them aboard. However, it doesn’t really go as he hopes but they ultimately succeed. This is definitely a close call for the Liberator crew but I’m sure they’ve had plenty more that Big Finish will reveal in the future.

I just didn’t really enjoy this story, despite it being a Vila tale from beginning to end. He’s quite good at what he does but skulking isn’t something he’s well versed at so the Federation people are either incompetent or this is early on in the show, before their faces are very well known. The story seems like it would work better for Jenna, for example, as she would stick around with Cally hurt but Vila doesn’t seem like the gallant type at all. It’s all a bit odd and Arla a bit sadistic. Not a bad little story but it just didn’t fit the characters for me.

Jan Chappell (Cally), Michael Keating (Vila), and Gemma Whelan (Arla)

Writer: Simon Guerrier

Director: Ken Bentley/Lisa Bowerman

Release: February 2014

Laura Vilensky 2019