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Being a fan of Blake's 7 and having just discovered the recently produced full cast series of audio episodes now available, I first delved into this newest of series of Blake's 7 audio offerings in the form of Warship. I was suitably impressed by the quality of this and went straight for the "Fractures 1.1" episode which I found equally entertaining and well produced. So, now it's onto "Battleground 1.2" and I'm pleased to say that the story and production are both of top quality. All the cast are present and if it were not for the broader scope of the story in terms of visual effects needed to have it as a TV episode then it could well be one of the original TV shows in audio format.
I will not go into the details of the plot itself but can say that the story concept is in the ilk of the TV series of old and shows just how brutal the Federation is. This has always been a key element to what I liked about the original TV series; The no holds barred way in which the stories would have characters shot before our eyes at the hands of a Federation officer or more likely the cold ruthlessness of Servalan. Looking back over the TV shows in this regard and the fact that it was produced by the BBC and was to all intents and purposes aimed at the younger audience, I am amazed at how gritty and brutal the story concept was at times. Especially when you consider the time at which this series was originally produced. Back then most TV was "soft" and we didn't see people killing each other with casual disregard for life by cruel and power hungry dictators ruling a totalitarian regime. I'm not even sure that such a science-fiction series could even be produced by the BBC today for fear of being "Non politically correct".
Battleground is entertaining with the high production values now expected in this current series of full cast audio productions and the immersive sound effects place the listener in the middle of the story and helps paint the mental pictures necessary to make the experience of listening satisfactory and enjoyable.
Battleground is well written, well performed and a polished audio episode that now differs from the previous in the series by leaving us at a cliff hanger that leads on to a sequential set of linked stories moving forward just as was the case in the TV series for the most part.
Like the previous in this series, there is also a supplementary featurette giving background information that is worth inclusion and of interest.
If you enjoyed Fractures 1.1 then you will enjoy this one too.
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