“Then there is the planet Carwen in the system of Naeadis. Space travellers are warned to stay away from this planet. Why? Perhaps because it holds a secret which is jealously guarded.”
Cally awakens to relieve Vila from his turn at monitor duty, only to discover the bridge unoccupied. While the men assume he’s slipped off for a nip of spirits, Zen eventually informs the crew that he’s brought them to the all but unheard of planet of Carwen…and transported himself down to its surface.
Could it be another clue as to Dayna’s whereabouts? Or is Vila just seeking eternal life for himself?
“It seems that the translator made one small but extremely significant error, which has been perpetuated by all the works that relied on his translation. The term “water of life” is a mistranslation. The correct meaning is the superficially similar but etymologically distinct term “living water…water that is alive.”
A fairly straightforward piece of speculative science fiction, what starts out appearing to be a showcase for Michael Keating’s Vila Restal quickly turns into one for Jan Chappell’s Cally. Could there be another Auronar survivor? And what is the secret of this mysterious planet, barely referenced in a century’s worth of charting?
Without any strong subtext (beyond an Ozymandias-like demonstration of the futility of vanity and the quest for immortality, and the common enough thought that loneliness is the worst curse life has to offer), Jacqueline Raymer’s Mindset shapes up as a fairly standard episode of Blakes Seven.
Chappell makes the most of her time in the spotlight, and somewhat unusually for this sort of nigh-solo adventure, the entire cast gets a reasonably equal degree of supporting airtime behind her.
The fantasy-SF mystery in space angle certainly holds up and bears a slight Star Trek-style sting in the tale, as it were, but if we’re going to avoid revealing spoilers, there’s nothing particularly grandiose or relevant to chat about here – no grand examination of the human condition, no sweeping politicosocial statement as the series is so oft prone to delivering.
For those seeking a lighter yet still entertaining moment with the Liberator Crew, this is a decent enough watering hole to dive into (puns most assuredly intended).