Scorpio (Blake's 7)

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Scorpio
B7Scorpio.jpeg
Scorpio, a Wanderer-class transport
First appearance "Rescue"
General characteristics
Defenses Minimal armour plating
Propulsion Experimental photonic drive

Scorpio is a fictional spacecraft featured throughout the fourth season of the British science fiction television series Blake's 7. It is a freighter, noted by Tarrant as an early Mk IV "Wanderer-class" planet-hopper.

Scorpio was owned by an alleged salvage operator named Dorian, who had a base on the planet Xenon. Dorian rescues the crew of the recently destroyed Liberator, who are stranded on the planet Terminal. The former crew of Liberator later kill Dorian in self-defence, occupy the Xenon base and use Scorpio for their own purposes.

Scorpio was docked in an underground silo within the Xenon Base. Unlike Liberator, which was superior in speed and weaponry to the Terran Federation's finest warships, Scorpio was initially disadvantaged in comparison. It is slow, ungainly and has no weaponry until the crew modify the ship to increase its capabilities. In the episode "Power", Avon and Orac complete construction of a teleport system for the ship, similar to that seen on Liberator, which Dorian had begun to create but had failed. In the episode "Star Drive", Scorpio is fitted with a new, experimental engine called the 'photonic drive', developed by Doctor Plaxton, that increases the ship's speed to the equivalent of Time Distort 15 but in real time - without the need for the ship to move into a "time-distorted" dimension - making Scorpio faster than the Liberator had been. The photonic drive is powered by light rather than plasma.

In the final episode of the series, Scorpio is shot down en route to the planet Gauda Prime where it crash-lands. The crew escapes by teleporting, apart from Tarrant who is injured but survives the crash.

Scorpio's' interior was designed by Roger Cann. The set made use of some panels that had previously adorned the set of the Heart of Gold in the Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy TV series. The exterior model was designed by Jim Francis.

Slave[edit]

Slave
Blake's 7 character
First appearance Rescue
Last appearance Blake
Portrayed by Peter Tuddenham
Information
Species Computer
Gender None
Affiliation Resistance

Slave is Scorpio's intelligent onboard computer. The character was created by Chris Boucher and voiced by Peter Tuddenham. Tuddenham thought of Slave as "...a Uriah Heep type of character...".[1]

Slave was designed and built by Dorian and programmed with a cringing personality, which occasionally irritates the crew. It is constantly apologising for its failings, real or perceived. It addresses Dorian, and later Avon, as "Master", and the rest of the crew as "Sir" or "Madam". It is prone to panic in emergency situations.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Tony Attwood et al (1994). Blake's 7: The Programme Guide. London: Virgin Books. p. 225. 
  2. ^ Tony Attwood et al (1994). Blake's 7: The Programme Guide. London: Virgin Books. p. 182.