|Size:||A5, 52 pages|
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From the Author
This zine is my reponse to the 'The Sevenfold Crown' and 'The Syndeton Experiment'. I got so cheesed off by Barry Letts' lack of knowledge of the characters and the B7 universe that I decided to see if I could do any better. You can judge for yourself whether the result is any good. Unfortunately, Brian Lighthill returned it unread ('not looking for any scripts at present'), so I decided to publish it as a fanzine. It's a 4th season story and all of the charcters have a part to play - including Blake. This zine is in script form and works quite well if read by a group of fans all taking different parts. I've tried this a couple of times with good results - people enjoyed themselves. I've deliberately printed the zine in a cheap A5 format so that multiple copies are cheap if you want to try this. 
Reactions and Reviews
Another new small genzine that just came out is ALL CHANGE, and it is Judith Proctor's radio play (print copy)--an alternate to the two Blakeless BBC ones (the Sevenfold Crown and The Syndeton Experiment audio plays--neither one of which I personally like). ALL CHANGE is set in fourth season... And, no, I have no clue why it's called ALL CHANGE. Is that a British term? 
This work is the result of its author's inspiration by the two BBC B7 radio plays, which she 'didn't like' very much, an opinion I share, particularly regarding the second. This inspiration was quite effective, the resulting work being far superior. It is set in the fourth season, when Orac intercepts a Federation message confirming its willingness to buy a new teleport system developed by a Zebulon Probert for a neutral corporation. Determined that the Federation should not gain such technology, Avon decides that he and his crew will kill Probert and destroy the machine.
Unknown to them, Probert is a disguised Blake. We are also introduced to Deva, his second-in-command in Blake, who has discovered Blake's secret and wants to join his cause. Blake is very well portrayed, already exhibiting signs of the exhaustion that would become obvious by Blake, the result of years of fighting and hiding:
DEVA: If you don't think you can achieve anything, why keep on fighting?
BLAKE: (passionately) How can I not? (apologetic) Sorry. I get carried away sometimes. It's so rare to find someone who cares, these days.
There is a well-written sense of desperation in the work about Avon's plans to kill Probert and destroy his invention, even if it means killing everyone on a neutral station:
AVON: We're not here to play games. If the Federation get the teleport then we're dead in the water.
Later, when a character accidentally kills some Federation troopers - to the indignation of another - Avon observes that 'We all have blood on our hands'. This is all very much in keeping with the tone of the fourth season.
The main characters are all well portrayed - Tarrant being a pleasant surprise to someone who doesn't like him a lot - the dialogue being good and witty. There is a lot of nice background information, and the full story - which I shall not reveal - is very convincing.In short, the play was far superior to the two BBC ones, and far cheaper, being well worth the sum I paid for it. As a result, I have no hesitation in recommending that my fellow fans acquire a copy as soon as possible. 
Most people vented their disappointment in the two Blake's 7 radio plays written by Barry Letts in scathing remarks, or protesting letters. Judith Proctor did something more constructive and at the same time countered the criticised writers last defence - You do better!"
Well, Ladies and Gentlemen, she did. The audioplay ALL CHANGE has the same premise THE SEVENFOLD CROWN and THE SYNDETON EXPERIMENT had: its set in the fourth season, and the task of the Scorpio Crew is to find, destroy or win a device before the Federation can. There is a third party involved, that fourth-season archetype, the mysterious scientist. But the result is startlingly different.
For starters, this Blakes 7 drama actually has Blake in it, masquerading as inventor Dr. Probert. The device in question is equally known to the audience - its the teleport system Blake has been developing as Probert, trying to recreate the one from the Liberator. Secondly, Soolin and Dayna are their old selves from the TV series, instead of acting as damsels in distress (one of Letts more annoying blunders). As a matter of fact, the characterisation of everyone is spot-on, not a big surprise if one is familiar with Judiths fanfics. What did surprise me - knowing her to be primarily a Blake and Avon fan - was that the character who gets deepened the most in comparison with canon is Tarrant. He has a touching scene with Dayna in which we learn a lot about his background and the reason why he originally deserted.
Also getting some depth is Deva, previously known to us only through the last episode, BLAKE, and not exactly popular among fans, probably due to his status as the OTHER computer expert in Blakes life. His joining up with Blake and the tentative friendship developing between them show both the similarities and the differences between Fearless Leader in the first two and in the last season. Blake here is more cynical, more ruthless and less given to trust, but just as passionate about his Cause, and still willing to risk everything for his friends.
In this way, and many more, ALL CHANGE also serves as a prequel to the final episode, with which it shares the sense of Blake and Avon circling around each other. Judith has to use some frustrating accidents to prevent them from actually meeting or the rest of the Scorpio Crew noticing Probert is Blake in order to keep faith with the canon, but still manages to let them save each other and gets in a classic remark:
Blake: Let me introduce you to Orac.
Deva: What is it?
Blake: Its an extremely useful pain in the neck. Speaking of which, wheres Avon?By the time one finishes this audioplay, the only thing one regrets is that this isnt what the BBC gave us. Read and enjoy!