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Audio Book Review


Blake's 7
Cygnus Alpha


Author: Trevor Hoyle
Read by: Paul Darrow
BBC Audio
RRP: £15.65
ISBN: 978 1 40840 988 6
Available 09 April 2009

In a far flung future Roj Blake, a dissident against the corrupt Federation, has escaped the ship which was transporting him to the penal planet Cygnus Alpha. With the help of Kerr Avon and Jenna Stannis they have stolen the powerful spacecraft Liberator and its computer Zen, but their companions remain on the prison ship London. With a ship and a crew Blake and his small companions plot a course to Cygnus Alpha to rescue the remaining prisoners...

Blake’s 7: Cygnus Alpha is the second audio adaptation of the shows novelizations’ by Trevor Hoyle. This time the story is narrated by Paul Darrow, who played Avon, a creation which he endowed with such charisma that the show carried on quite happily when Blake disappeared from the series.

Unfortunately his success as Avon has somewhat blighted the career of this talented actor, much the same thing happened to Tom Baker following his portrayal of the Doctor in Doctor Who. Both actors were able to create complex, larger than life, but equally sympathetic characters.

The BBC three hour, three CD set covers the third and forth episodes of the show (Cygnus Alpha and Time Squared). For the background to the story, read the review for The Way Back.

The first story covers Blake’s attempts to rescue the remaining prisoners who have found them on a barren planet, apparently in the grip of religious fervour with the faithfully being controlled through a drug, a ploy that is likewise used by the Federation, With the rescue successful, Olag Gan and Vila join the crew.

I have to admit to a guilty pleasure here, I love watching Brian Blessed’s boisterous,voluminous performances, so missed him in the story. That said, Darrow does a great job of reading the novelizations’.

The second half of the set sees the introduction of another regular character, Cally. In some ways she is closest to Blake, being a fighter in what she feels is a moral war. I’m not sure how many of the episodes will be released like this, I’m certainly impressed with the first two, but then they have been read by two great voice actors.


Charles Packer

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