Scorpio (Blake's 7)
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Scorpio, a Wanderer-class transport
|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 II "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 Liberator crew later kill Dorian in self-defence, occupy the Xenon base and use Scorpio for their own purposes.
When not in use, Scorpio was docked in an underground silo within the Xenon Base. When in flight, only the flight deck part of the ship would normally be pressurised and if the crew needed to go to another part of the ship during flight they had to pressurise that area first. Unlike Liberator, which was superior in speed and weaponry to the Terran Federation's finest warships, Scorpio was initially disadvantaged in comparison. It was slow, ungainly and has little 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 (Dorian had started to create a teleport himself but failed). In the episode "Star Drive", Scorpio is fitted with a new, experimental engine called the 'photonic drive', developed by Doctor Plaxton. This vastly increases the ship's speed to the equivalent of Time Distort 15 but in real time (i.e. without the need for the ship to move into a "time-distorted" dimension) thereby 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.
|Blake's 7 character|
|Portrayed by||Peter Tuddenham|
Slave is Scorpio's intelligent onboard computer. The character was created by Chris Boucher and voiced by Peter Tuddenham, who also voiced Orac and had previously voiced Zen (the Liberators computer). Tuddenham thought of Slave as "...a Uriah Heep type of character...".
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.
- Tony Attwood; et al. (1994). Blake's 7: The Programme Guide. London: Virgin Books. p. 225.
- Tony Attwood; et al. (1994). Blake's 7: The Programme Guide. London: Virgin Books. p. 182.