February 27, 2024

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

Blake’s 7 “Headhunter”

Avon goes looking for a cybernetics expert, and he gets way more than he bargained for.

Avon is looking for allies since he knows he’ll need help for whatever the group does to the Federation next.  Instead, he gets something that, given the title of the episode, means something other than what it looks like it means.

Here’s the situation:  Avon, Dayna, and Soolin are entertaining a woman named Vena.  Vena is the, let’s say, girlfriend on a brilliant cybernetics expert named Muller.  Avon believes Muller, a student of the man who invented Orac, will be a valuable ally in his plans going forward.  As such, Vila and Tarrant are off on the Scorpio to pick the guy up, a scenario Vila is just sure is going to be dangerous.

It is.  Oh it most certainly is.

The pair find him in his lab, and I’d be suspicious of any scientist wearing a hooded cloak with the hood up.  There’s also a dead guy, a technician of some kind sent to retrieve Muller.  Tarrant and Muller teleport away with a weird box of some kind, but not long after that, Muller attacks Tarrant.  Vila hits Muller around the shoulders and somehow that seems to kill him.  No life signs exist aside from some minor electric activity when the two men put him in a life pod to try and help him.

Here’s where it gets bad.  Vena can’t believe Muller would do that.  Vila insists he didn’t even hit the guy that hard.  And Slave begins changing course.  Oh, and then Slave shuts off life support.


By then, the Scorpio is back at the base planet the crew currently call home.  Vila and Tarrant did manage to get some space suits on fast enough, and despite warnings from Orac, Soolin and Dayna retrieve them.  They’ll be fine, but Orac seems to keep saying all human life is doomed.  He could be speaking long-term since, you know, everyone dies eventually.  But that’s not it at all.

Orac is scared.

That’s the only way I can read it.  Orac knows something bad is coming, and he doesn’t want any part of it.  So, while Vila and Tarrant recover, Dayna teleports Avon and Vena up to the Scorpio.  They find Muller gone.  When they get back, Dayna was knocked out by something.  And by then, Soolin has unplugged Orac at Orac’s request and went off to hide him.  And if anyone thought Muller was still somehow not responsible, his next act is to murder Vena in front of everyone before causing both Tarrant and Avon’s respective pistols to more or less explode.  Something about Muller allows him to control anything with circuitry in it, and he really wants Orac.

Or, more accurately, the advanced android wearing Muller’s head really wants Orac.  Orac’s warnings that something was going to wipe out the human race seem to be about that android, and even when Dayna manages to hit it with a grenade and destroy the head, it still keeps coming.  So, right now, it’s the crew against a headless Terminator that can control other machines, offering the humans a chance to be slaves or dead.  Neither sounds that appealing.

And yes, when Orac is plugged back in to act as bait to lure the android somewhere else, the android is clearly controlling Orac.

Fortunately, there’s nothing humans can’t really wreck when they put their minds to it.  Avon reasons a nearby disused hydroelectric plant can give off enough juice to take down the android without using any circuitry, sending Tarrant and Dayna off to turn the thing back on.  Vila needs to get some doors open, and Soolin needs to carry Orac around since she knows where she hid the thing.  And sure enough, all that voltage is enough to stun the android long enough for Avon to do his thing:  put the android’s head back on.  That was what was in the mystery box, and the head acts as a restraining device.

Still, even with all that done, Orac says there’s still a big danger…until Dayna uses some explosives to blow the android up.  All clear now.

You know, except Avon thought the thing could still make a good weapon and considers what the others are celebrating as a short-sighted waste.

For a smart guy, he sure doesn’t learn as much as he should.