How to find a brain surgeon when you’re in the middle of a space battle.
TELEVISION REVIEW BLAKES SEVEN SEASON ONE EPSODE TEN BREAKDOWN
Gan (David Jackson) finally gets to be the central focus of an episode here, beginning when his inhibitor chip malfunctions, causing him to go psychotic against Blake (Gareth Thomas) and other members of The Liberator crew.
Too many episodes have featured the crew being possessed or going deranged for some reason or other, and this was just Gan’s turn.
Much of the episode deals with efforts to capture and subdue the giant, as he rampages round the Liberator, and once finally subdued he gets to be a comatose sleeper for the remainder of the episode.
Blake realizes that the inhibitor has to be repaired (its removal seems impossible). Gan wears it to stop him from giving in to his rage and killing others. Blake and the crew decide to get a doctor from a neutral territory space station. The medics there has no alliance with the Federation or the Rebels led by Blake.
Avon (Paul Darrow) is exasperated by the move, and decides to abandon the crew to make his own pat. As Blake approaches the medics to get them to come to The Liberator and offer aid for Gan, Avon treacherously negotiates the sale of the Liberator itself with the medical crew still on the station. He does at least negotiate safe passage for his former crewmembers.
On the Liberator, the chief brain surgeon, played by Julian Glover, makes a more overt move to get the Federatin to take over the Liberator and capture its crew. He plans to botch his operation on Gan and kill him, but Villa (Michael Keating) shows an uncharacteristic heroism for his friend, and points a gun at the doctors until the operation is done right.
Blake shows considerable ruthless ness here by threatening to crush the doctor’s hands if he should fail to save Gan.
The medics fall out after the operation is completed, over the pact made with the Federation, ad Julian Glover’s doctor kills his friends in a fit of rage. He is himself killed when a photon torpedo meant for the Liberator hits the medical centre on the space station.
This story could have said much more about the complexities faced by neutral planets and peoples caught up in The Federation V Rebel wars. The medical station seems to be in the middle of nowhere. Too much time is wasted in set up for this with Gan’s rampage, capture, escape and follow up rampage all taking place before the doctors are drawn in.
The ruthless streak shown by Blake is quite chilling, though Avon and Villa’s behaviour are less in character. A Curate’s Egg of an episode that could have offered considerably more than it does.
Another silly touch is the operation on Gan itself. We see the large forceps tweezers going into his head through a thick mop of hair (such surgery would involve shaving the head0. We seethe tweezers on a TV screen, working on a microchip that seems to be about the size of hose brick. Just how this fitted in Gan’s head and left room for any brains at all is unclear.