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on 25 May 2012
I watched Blake's 7 as a child, but can barely remember the era when Blake was in charge of the ship. As such I approached this book with some trepidation. Would I remember enough to follow it? Would I enjoy it? I'm not a huge fan of space set sci fi, so that last point was uncertain. But I needn't have worried. It captures the essence of the TV series well, and is particularly strong on its characterisation of the crew. As I read it I remembered more and more from over 30 years ago, and grew to care for this crew, and the dangers they faced. Best of all it made me want to rewatch the original series, which I haven't seen since it first aired. And I can't give much higher praise than that. Thoroughly recommended, to both old fans and new ones who haven't seen the series before. This is an excellently crafted piece of sci fi.
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on 2 June 2012
This is a joy. It's an episode of Blake's 7 season 1 none of us has seen before, yet belongs completely within that magical first year. While obviously providing a little more depth to the characters, it remains faithful to the show and could easily have been penned by Terry Nation himself. The visualisation of the novel comes easily, with everybody acting and behaving as you would expect. I really can't fault it for entertainment value - the only annoying aspect is having to wait until November to get the next adventure!
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on 9 June 2012
This is a fabulous book. Mark and Cavan have written what reads like the novelisation of a missing Blake's 7 episode - and I mean that in the best possible way. The action sequences are exciting, edge of the seat stuff, and the character scenes are so spot on that it's almost impossible not to read the dialogue in the original actors' voices. It can't be easy adding fresh characters to Terry Nation's universe, but Scott and Wright give us new faces who, somehow, have always been there - just waiting to be discovered. I don't want to give too much away regarding the plot, but the chance for Blake to hold a mirror up to his ambitions gives us a rare glimpse into the darker recesses of his personality, and Avon's self-serving works on many levels. Add to that Vila's not-quite-cowardice and space for the much-maligned Gan to stretch his oversized muscles, and you've got a book you'll find difficult to put down - all written in a style you would easily believe was hammered out of Nation's own 1970's typewriter. In short - if you were ever a fan of the Liberator crew, reading this is like teleporting back to the golden days of the Federation. Nostalgia - standard by 12.
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on 2 June 2012
This book really does seem to be about the same characters as the original series. Yes, some of the themes are a wee bit derivative and sometimes some of the dialogue does seem borrowed from the TV series, but that's not to bad - though it would be good if future books went into slightly new ground. Oh, and whilst I like Servalan, I think we have had quite a bit too much of her.
Anyway, all in all a good trip back in time, a book that keeps you reading without any nasty jars of 'but Blake would never do that' and without the right amount of technobabble
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on 23 September 2015
A Blake's 7 adventure that started well, a mysterious nebula and an abandoned space had all the making of a good story, but then the plot sort of died for me. Space pirates/violent rebels eeking out a living for twenty years, I was hoping for something more mysterious and suspenseful. I'm not saying it's completely rubbish, I just expected more. The one thing that really put me out was the £7 price tag. In my opinion very few e-books are worth over a fiver
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on 30 April 2015
It took me ages to consider buying the big finish B7 books because I really wasn't sure how good they would be. I wish I hadn't waited.
The writer 'gets it' and that is so so important. No matter how good a writer is if they can't capture the spirit of the show and its characters then they are lost. This archives both. It's pretty much a three act story as was Blake's 7 when it was shown. Each episode works that way.there's also I kind of prologue.
It is not dependent on emotion, but the characters are sympathetic and as they should be... if not a little grey, a little dubious... that little streak of the amoral just peeking in, but this is early in the series writing so it's only a vague question.
As for the rest, great story. Fairly simple, very B7- with violence, betrayal, side switching, side switching back again, Travis in a truly unfortunate situation and of course the lovely Servalan. Some brilliant dramatic scenes that make you want to read on, some great cliffhangers and so nice to see Rontain again.
Back to the emotional aspect,much of big finish is concerned with taking apart the characters strand by strand. Stripping them to the audience which is great as the series never did that. In this they stick to.the series, a touch of emotion but not bogged down in relationship rubbish like much of nu who.
So I heartily recommend this book.
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on 22 October 2012
The Forgotten is a very enjoyable book which, as other reviewers may have commented on, reads like the novelization of a televised Blake's 7 story.

It is similar (probably deliberately) in style to Target's range of Doctor Who books in the 1970s and 1980s. For any Blake's 7 fan, how can you not be excited by that?

I love Blake's 7 and I so desperately wanted a novel that would do justice to its legacy and make me feel as though I was reading a missing adventure.

The Forgotten starts off really well. A typical early series 1 opener, with the Liberator crew making a raid on a Federation outpost. The dialogue between the characters is very in-keeping with the series. I could truly visualise every scene and almost convince myself I'd seen the story on TV.

In some respects it feels like a mash up of several B7 episodes (Duel, The Web, Breakdown and Bounty leap to mind), but it has the right vibe and it drew me in. The plot is good and there is plenty of action. In short, it's a page turner.

But the book isn't perfect. About a third of the way in, and (in my opinion) the tone starts to feel wrong. There was no swearing in the TV series, and for me, the bad language in this book is unnecessary and jarring. Also, the casual violence, while not being gory or excessive, just didn't feel very Blake's 7.

The quality of the writing suffers the longer the book goes on. Part of the problem is that the writers try and cover the point of view of pretty much every character in the novel. That stretches the story too thinly, and the result is that some of the character motivations are over-egged in order to make up for the lack of room to do justice to everybody.

A lot of characters snarl and spit their dialogue, when perhaps a simple 'he said' would suffice, if there was more depth to each scene.

I would have preferred to see a story that explored the differences between Blake's revolutionary ideals and that of his counterpart, Lant, in a more subtle and satisfying way. The idea of these two character going head to head is a really good one and it never really got explored on screen. The writers could have made more of it.

It's not an easy thing to do of course, and I can see why the writers went for a broader approach in terms of style and scope. And it was good fun. But if you're pitching a book at the price range that it is in (my copy cost me £7.49), then you need to deliver quality, and that includes a more thorough grammar and typo check.

I'll definitely be buying the next one in the series, which (I think) is written by Paul Darrow! Can't wait.
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on 21 October 2012
The return of Blakes 7 in novel form is to be warmly welcomed. The authors of this volume have written some of my favourite Dr Who audio adventures and have a good stab a Blakes Seven. I think they capture the essence of seasons 1&2 with some of its faults and limitations. So how much you enjoy this book may depend of whether you prefer the eariler or later Blake seven episodes. I am looking forward to the third and fouth books in the series which tell the story of what happend to Blake after the destruction of Star One and what happend to Avon after the last TV episode.
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on 6 December 2012
I crossed my fingers and started reading. By the time I'd finished the authors' foreword I was feeling confident; they obviously love the programme and the characters as much as I do.
I wasn't let down. This was a marvellous read that absolutely captured the feel of the origina series. Everybody was in character, the dialogue was spot on - I could 'hear' the actors in my head as I read the lines. I particularly enjoyed their treatment of Avon. His actions implied one thing to the crew, his lines were ambiguous and only his thoughts revealed his feelings, torn as always between the pragmatist wanting to be safe at any cost and his nagging conscience.
Best of all, the story being set in the early days of Blake's 7, the crew all felt like their early versions and not the harder, more battle weary some of them became.
My kudos to the writers. I'm very much looking forward to their next offering.
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on 2 August 2012
True fans will be reading this in the voices of the TV characters in their head from the first page.
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