"The Logic of Empire" Review
by Joe Escobar
"The Logic of Empire" fills a void left by the abrupt demise of Blake's Seven. It answers the overriding question in our minds: what happened to Avon at the climatic shootout on Gauda Prime? Alan Stevens has managed to answer this question and deliver the final chapter in the Blake's Seven saga.
I consider it the final chapter in spite of the fact that the BBC had already issued a paperback novel that supposedly chronicled the further adventures of Avon. The two are not consistent, due to the survival of Vila in the book Afterlife. I give priority to "The Logic of Empire", for two important reasons. The first has to do with legitimacy. "The Logic of Empire" has the cooperation of four of the actors from the series, Paul Darrow, Jacqueline Pearce, Peter Tuddenham (recreating his three roles from the series) and a cameo by Gareth Thomas. Series producer Vere Lorrimer has also acknowledged it. These connections link this project to the series far more directly than Afterlife. The novel's sole claim to legitimacy is the BBC's corporate backing of the project.
Stevens conveys the character of Avon flawlessly. His reactions to the idiotic plans to steal gold from a Federation installation remind the listener of his acerbic retorts to Vila and the rest of his compatriots. The plot, as is usual for a Blake's Seven story, is convoluted. Avon and Servalan are playing a high stakes chess match. Just when you think you have everything figured out, you are thrown another curve.
I suppose I was disappointed that Vila was not there. Both of the BBC books, the Programme Guide and Afterlife, seemed to indicate that had the show continued, Vila would have been a likely survivor. In spite of sentiment, Vila is not really missed here.
This is a must for fans of Blake's Seven. The ironic ending is far more satisfying and yet just as bleak as the non-resolution of "Blake".
Joe Escobar is a Senior English teacher at the college prep level who lives in the USA.