Review Orbit: Episode 50

Doctor Omega



Your thoughts on this episode....

The Scorpio crew are summoned by Renegade Federation scientist Egorian who wants to unleash vengeance on the Federation. Egorian wants to trade a powerful weapon in exchange for Orac. But Avon and Vila discover Egorian is working for Servalan in another bid to take Orac, unaware Avon has given Egorian a fake duplicate of Orac.

On to the next episode....


Back to the previous episode....

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Doctor Omega

The episode that breaks the back of the Avon and Vila relationship. It is difficult to see how these two friends can ever work their way back to where they were after the events of this episode.

Holmes cleverly has Avon and Vila in relaxed banter and unity throughout the episode right up until that moment. The Orac moment.

A few words from that cold computer are enough for Avon to immediately (okay, after a few seconds of painful struggle) reach for a gun and hunt his friend down with zero remorse. Funnily, Avon could not have sounded more suspicious if he had tried, calling out in such a friendly, solicitous way to Vila, in tones that he had never used before. In a way that was simply not Avon. Perhaps, subconsciously, he was warning Vila not to respond?

When he was on This is Your Life, John Savident seemed very dismissive of his Blake's 7 appearances. Looking somewhat embarrassed.

In that infamous book - LIBERATION - it claims that Tarrant is trying to leave Vila and Avon to their deaths. There may be something to this. He, one by one, rejects every single suggestion of ways to save them and even seems reluctant to go into close orbit: "What will that achieve?"

It also says that the original name of the planet was "Turdes", so that there were such lines as Egrorian "sitting on Turdes".

It is also a rare example of dialogue being toned up rather than down, as Tarrant's original line was "I'll be darned!", changed to "damned" for the recording.

Jaqueline Pierce, I feel, gives one of her worst performances in the scene where she is backing away from Egrorian's advances. It is all a little telegraphed and overplayed, as if she knows the audience is there and is striving for comic effect.

Michael Keating said that, from this point on, in the last two episode, he played Vila slightly differently as the character is damaged and hurt by what Avon did and never gets as close again.

Holmes crafted a fine tale here. He knew what he was doing all the way through, with it all building to that 'Vila weighs" moment. Master craftsmanship of a very good writer.

If only we had such quality writers working in British sci fi now.

Despite some quite camp elements, this is still one of the very best episodes of the entire run.


Member: Rank 8
Class from start to finish. Egrorian and Pinder two more brilliant Holmesian double acts.
Yep I agree with what's been said already. Except I thought Jackie Pearce was great in that awkward moment with Egrorian. Savident hammed it up a bit and I thought Tarrant would not have any ulterior motive besides genuinely wanting to rescue the others.
Avon trying to kill Vila was such a shocking twist , BUT totally logical, Avon had no choice and Vila realised this hence he scarpered PDQ. If only they had succeeded in getting the tachyon funnel, now that would have been interesting!!
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Member: Rank 6
Well yes, the bit on the shuttle was good and Avon telling Vila he needed his help (genuine near the end) was chilling but the Egrorian and Pinder stuff on Malodar wasn't good and I remember people talking about it on the Tuesday morning at work back in Dec 1981!