Travis: The Final Act

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Fanwork
Title: Travis: The Final Act
Creator: Horizon
Date(s): 1995 or before
Medium: audio cassette tape
Fandom: Blake's 7
External Links:
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Travis: The Final Act is an audio cassette tape produced and sold by Horizon, a Blake's 7 fan club. It was written and produced by Alan Stevens.

the cover art is by Pete Wallbank

Transcript

"The complete transcript of the innovative and surreal audio documentary which provided the background for The Mark of Kane, and ultimately led to the creation of Kaldor City. Through interviews with Chris Boucher, Brian Croucher, David Maloney and Stephen Greif, Alan Stevens, ably assisted by Alistair Lock and Peter Miles, explores the life and background of Travis, the tortured villain of Blake's 7." [1]

Reactions and Reviews

A documentary style tape exploring Travis' background, career and motives. Features interviews with both Brian Croucher and Stephen Greif as well as Chris Boucher (script editor) and David Maloney and is narrated by Peter Miles who played Secretary Rontane.

I'm not a great Travis fan, but I found this tape very interesting to listen to and have played it several times. Some of the tape consists of extracts from relevent episodes. This is in no way a badly assembled patchwork of bits, but a well put together exploration of the character. There's a nice colour picture of Travis 2 on the box as well. Playing time is over 90 minutes. [2]

Travis: The Final Act, is a professionally produced 90 minute cassette tape available from Horizon. The cover is a dynamic color portrait of Travis Two by Pete Wallbank.

The tape is in two parts. The first side covers Travis' life working for the Federation, the second his time spent as an outlaw. The narrator is Peter Miles, who played Secretary Rontane in "Trial", and in this persona, he investigates Travis' life and background. There are extracts from all the relevant episodes (in chronological order), plus interviews with Stephen Greiff (Travis One), Chris Boucher (script editor), David Maloney (producer) and Brian Croucher (Travis Two). Travis' background is that of a man who was practically brought up by the service. Space Command is his family,he really knows no other. His loyalty is to that family, and to Servalan as the head of the family. He plays by the rules, and he sees himself as a good soldier. Even when he is cast out by the Federation, he is still not totally free of its influence.

We see Travis from both the character's viewpoint and the actor's viewpoint. We see Travis" increasing instability after "Trial" and the fact that he was still not fully free of Servalan's influence. His motivation at Star one is discussed. We also have Chris Boucher's comment to the fact that he spent many hours on the script of "Star One" deliberately working to include the line "I am Travis." so that Brian Croucher would be able to speak the line (and thus say that he wasn't Stephen Greiff).

I enjoyed the tape very much. I felt that it gave me a better overview of Travis as a character, and I under stood him better after listening to it. The only thing I didn't care much for was the music. The tape has a specially composed sound track, and it just didn't happen to be my kind of music. My style is folk, this is more electronic — others may well like it. [3]

"He's probably mad, but certainly not a fool" Servalan, Trial

Not before time, a new piece of quality merchandise associated with one of Britain's most undervalued science-fiction television programmes has finally been produced. Unlike Doctor, the Star Treks and Red Dwarf fans, Blake's 7 fans have not had a great deal of goodies produced for them. Now, at last, something really very good has quietly found it's way into the world. The item to which I refer is a 92-minute audio cassette, entitled, Travis: The Final ACT.

The tape has been written and comiled by Alan Stevens, who has innovatively created a drama documentary based upon the life, times and creation of the character who was the second deadliest enemy of the Liberator crew. Combining actual sections of dialogue from the TV series and many contributions from both the individuals who had a part in the creation of Travis and the two actors who played him, Travis: The Final Act is an original idea and a treaty for all fans of B7.

Presented in two parts, Travis: The Final Act opens with the character of Rontane (played here superbly once more by Peter Miles) seeking out information about the origins of Travis, following Supreme Commander Servalan's decision to choose the unorthodox officer to hunt down Blake. Rontane accesses a Federation computer which then proceeds to give him the facts that he requires, via a series of interviews with the likes of B7 Producer David Maloney, script editor Chris Boucher, Steven Grief and Brian Croucher.

The tape traces the history of Travis, from both a factual and fictional point of view. David Maloney discusses the ideas surrounding the casting of the actors and the general production of the series, but Chris Boucher's contribution is by far the most interesing part of the tape. Boucher talks about what made Travis Travis, and looks at his motives and beliefs. On of the main points highlighted by Boucher is that Travis' main reason for being is because he is a soldier. He has been trained to be a soldier, and that this is all that he knows: that his only family is the military. Another interesting idea concerns his relationship with Servalan - for despite all of the disagreements and conflict between the pair, Chris Boucher tells us that Travis could never have killed the Supreme Commander because he simply could not kill a superior officer due to the type of person that he was.

Both Steven Grief and Brian Croucher talk about playing the role, and it is the latter who makes the largest contribution of the two, quite ptobably because more happened to Travis in Season Two than it did in Season One. Croucher seems to have enjoyed playing Travis, and gives some interesting anecdotes about his time in B7. During the second season we see that the incompetance of Travis leads to his dismissal, trial, and his eventual short-lived alliance with the Andromedans. Boucher likens his removal from service to losing ones family, and adds that his ultimate betrayal of humanity could merely have been a sure way of destroying himself.

Overall, the tape is a well-produced, entertaining look at one of science-ficiton's most interesting and engaging villains. Rounded off by a great score by Alistair Lock and some nice Pete Wallbank sleeve artwork, Travis: The Final Act is a must for any fan of Blake's 7. [4]

References

  1. Travis: The Final Act, Archived version
  2. review by Judith Proctor, Blake's 7 - Travis: The Final Act, Archived version
  3. review by Judith Proctor in IMHO* #2 (1995)
  4. review by Chris Orton, Blake's 7 - Travis: The Final Act, Archived version