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Adventures with the Wife and Blake»Archive for February 2014

Archive for February 2014

Series 1 Overview

The Scores

The Way Back: This is cheerful.7/10

Space Fall: This is much better than Doctor Who. – 8/10

Cygnus Alpha: Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, Brian Blessed turns up.7/10

Time Squad: What a load of shit.3/10

The Web: It’s just a man sticking his head through a hole in a wall.1/10

Seek-Locate-Destroy: That was better than the last one. Still not very good, though.5/10

Mission to Destiny: Please tell me that didn’t happen.3/10

Duel: Why can’t they all be like that? Let Douglas Camfield direct every episode.9/10

Project Avalon: They have to stop ending episodes like this.7/10

Breakdown: Yet more faffing about when they should be blowing up the Federation.4/10

Bounty: An old man DJ-ing for half an hour.3/10

Deliverance: Captain Kirk would have shagged her by now.5/10

Orac: It was worth it to see Avon smile.5/10

Nicol has done the maths and Series 1 of Blake’s 7 has a mean average score of 5/10. Which is distinctly average. And pretty mean.

Sue: That sounds about right. It could be better and it could be worse.

Me: Very early on, you said Blake’s 7 was a much better show than Doctor Who. Do you still believe that?

Sue: Yes, I do. Definitely.

Me: Really? I’m surprised.

Sue: It’s the characters and the premise that I like. The execution could be a lot better, but the idea itself is solid. It’s more like Babylon 5 than Doctor Who, and I like that aspect to it. I like story arcs and anti-heroes and stuff like that. As long as Avon doesn’t leave, Blake’s 7 is miles ahead of 1970s Doctor Who.

7 Questions

Here are the best seven questions asked by you, our readers:

Hugh Dunne: If you could swap one Doctor Who companion with one Liberator crew member, who would it be and why?

Sue: That’s a very good question. The crew could do with a decent scientist, so I’d probably pick Romana. The first Romana because she’d look good in Robin Hood clothes. I’d swap her for Cally because Cally is ****ing hopeless.

The next question was also asked by Dean Jacobs, Brian Ferguson, and Ellie.

Matt Dolphin: If you had to kill off one of the crew, who would you choose?

Sue: Are all of these questions going to be about getting rid of members of the crew? OK, it’s a toss-up between Cally and Gan. Gan because I trust him about as far as I can throw him – and his sex face disturbs me – and Cally because she’s ****ing hopeless!

Steve Trimingham: What do you think the series says about the politics (social and sexual) of the 1970s?

Sue: I didn’t think I’d have to write an essay tonight; I’m not at work now, love. OK, let’s see: the IRA were big in the 1970s, so terrorism was very topical. As was paedophilia, or so it seems. So yes, Blake’s 7 basically reflected how grim things were back in the 1970s, while the costumes reflected how silly things were back in the 1970s. As for its sexual politics, it’s complicated. On the one hand, you’ve got strong women in powerful roles, but at the same time you’ve got women being punched in the face, acting as damsels in distress, or falling at men’s feet. But it’s Terry Nation so what can you do?

Many of you asked the next question, including Jess Patton, Paula, Travis’s Eyepatch, Steve Desmond and Jason U:

Steven Sharp: If you were making a re-booted version of Blake’s 7, who would you cast?

Sue gave this question a great deal of thought before she finally settled on:

Sue's 7

So that’s Stephen Mangan, John Simm, Michelle Collins, David Mitchell, Nick Frost, Patsy Palmer, Graham Norton, Paul Darrow, Joanna Lumley and Mark Gatiss. Actors who didn’t make the final cut included: Benedict Cumberbunch (sic) as Blake, Jane Horrocks as Jenna, Russell Tovey as Vila, Jamie Lee Curtis as Cally, Peter Capaldi as Travis, Joan Collins as Servalan and Miranda Hart as Gan.

Me: You do realise that you’ve cast Blake’s 7 as a sitcom, don’t you.

Sue: It needs a lighter touch. It’s too bleak.

Dave Sanders: If you were put in charge of Federation security, what would be your strategy to capture Blake?

Sue: That’s easy. I’d tell Blake that I wanted to negotiate with him on a deserted planet somewhere, and I’d offer to wipe those poor kid’s memories so they don’t think they’ve been molested any more, and because Blake is naive, he’d turn up, and that’s when I’d shoot him in the head. No messing about. Just shoot him in the head.

Me: But then you’d turn Blake into a martyr.

Sue: So don’t tell anyone that you’ve shot him in the head. Put out a story that he died raping a child. There you go. Easy. And the same advice goes to Blake. The next time you find yourself in the same room as Servalan or Travis, just shoot them in the head. Job done.

Robert Dick: Which cast member do you think would cope best with having a pint spilled on their good suit? And which one would react the worst?

Sue: Well, I’d like to think that Paul Darrow would handle it well, just in case I meet him, but I suspect that he’d punch me in the face. So I guess the actor who plays Vila would probably handle it best; he’d make a joke out of it. Orac would react the worst because he’d short-circuit.

And finally, dozens of you asked subtle variations on this:

Rebecca Harris: What would you do differently if you were the producer of Blake’s 7?

Sue: I’d put an apostrophe in the logo for a start, and then I’d hire Robert Holmes to write all the scripts, and I’d get Douglas Camfield to direct all the episodes. How hard can it be?

And there you have it. Sue has decided that the best question was posed by Hugh. Congratulations, Hugh, you’ve won a signed copy of our book and we’ll be in touch with you later this week. Many thanks to everyone who took the time to ask a question. We’ll be doing this again at the end of Series 2, probably as a podcast.

Me: Before I loosen the restraints, can you sum up Blake’s 7 so far in seven words.

Sue: Bleak; well-acted; engaging; political; convoluted; enjoyable; cheap.

Me: And finally, what would you like to see happen in Series 2?

Sue: I want Blake to clear his name because that’s been bugging me; I want to see more tension between Avon and Blake until they end up wrestling on the floor; I want to see Servalan booted out of the Federation for exceeding her reach, and I want her to join Blake’s crew; I don’t want to see Travis any more – he’s blown it too many times for me to take him seriously; I want Blake to concentrate on bringing down the Federation – none of this “let’s explore a planet like we’re in Star Trek” nonsense; and I don’t want Terry Nation to write any more scripts, but that’s cheating because you’ve already told me that’s happening. Thank God.

Next Time:

I had hoped to get Series 2 up and running this Friday, but I’m going away for a few days this week which means I can’t update the blog until Tuesday March 4th. Sorry about that. I’m a very bad man.

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Orac

The Box of Delights…

OracA very sweaty Gan walks through a door on the Liberator.

Sue: I’d leave it ten minutes if I were you.

Gan is feeling unwell.

Sue: It’s probably the space curry he had last night. And is it just me or is Gan always ill?

Avon is summoned to a private meeting with Blake.

Sue: Oh no, Avon is wearing his circus costume again. This is not a good start.

Blake tells Avon about their most recent adventure.

Sue: Yes, he knows. He was there.

Blake’s recap includes clips from the last episode.

Sue: Does Zen film all their adventures for them?

Blake also tells Avon about Orac.

Sue: They didn’t have the iPlayer back in the 1970s, so I can see why it’s taking them five minutes to get everyone who didn’t see the last episode up to speed, but you’d never get that today. They didn’t have a recap at the beginning of Series 2 of House of Cards and it took three episodes for me to remember what the hell was going on.

OracJenna isn’t feeling well, either.

Sue: She’s far too young to be getting hot flushes, so it has to be the space curry.

Blake and Avon watch a replay of Ensor’s ship exploding in Deliverance.

Zen: The explosion registered one point three. Disturbance peaked at one one five.

Sue: The weirdest thing, which they haven’t mentioned yet, is that you can see smoke rising up. In space.

Cally – who Sue now regards as the Liberator‘s resident doctor – discovers that Avon, Vila, Gan and Jenna are all suffering from radiation sickness.

Sue: I’m glad.

Me: That’s a bit heartless.

Sue: They said the planet was radioactive – Zen made a big deal out of it last week – so I’m glad they followed up on that. I don’t want them to die. Well, not all of them anyway.

The Liberator heads to the planet Aristo in the hope that Ensor’s father possesses some space drugs. Vila throws up.

Sue: The Liberator must reek of vomit and diarrhoea this week. I hope the furniture is stain resistant.

OracOn Aristo, an old man is tending to his fish.

Sue: I hope he isn’t Orac. You can’t have a geriatric terrorist on top of everything else.

It’s Ensor Snr. and he’s not feeling very well.

Sue: Do you think Terry was suffering from IBS when he wrote this. Everybody is sick. I can imagine Terry writing this episode on the toilet.

Sue fails to notice Professor Yaffle in Ensor’s lab, mainly because she’s too busy staring at an old man’s naked chest.

Sue: He’s basically a decrepit Tony Stark, and he needs someone to jump-start him.

Ensor communicates with an unseen “colleague”, but Sue isn’t listening to him. She’s listening the background hum.

Sue: I suppose he needs a bee to pollinate his plants, but that would get on my tits if I had to work there. I’d want to swat it.

The voice belongs to Orac.

Sue: He sounds like he could be dishy. When do I get to meet him?

Servalan and Travis have arrived on Aristo to steal Orac.

OracSue: I can’t help it, but whenever I see Servalan, I always think of Marc Almond.

Avon is familiar with Ensor’s research.

Avon: He engineered and developed a lot of radical new concepts in computer technology, so that even the most advanced computers are based on his work.

Sue: He’s Bill Jobs.

Me: Yes, Sue. That’s exactly who he is.

Avon and Gan are saving their energy by reclining on the Liberator‘s deck chairs.

Sue: Where are they anyway? Is this the Liberator‘s spa room?

The planet Aristo has seen better days.

Zen: The level of the oceans is constantly rising and they now virtually cover all traces of the cities built by early civilizations.

Sue: A bit like southern England right now.

Zen: Life is evolving in the oceans. An amphibian species have begun to develop.

Sue: I bet it’s full of Sea Devils.

Back in the teleport room, Sue notices that the crew are running low on bracelets.

Sue: Lesley Judd should knock up some replacements.

OracYes, we watched Blue Peter‘s ‘Make Your Own Blake’s 7 Bracelet’ extra on the Series 1 DVD before we started this episode. Sue thought the piece was charming, and Lesley was a consummate professional when it came to handling sticky-backed plastic and silver foil, but she also thought the relationship between the two programmes was a little odd to say the least.

Sue: I don’t see how the BBC can target a show about a convicted child molester turned terrorist to children. Or maybe that’s just me. What’s next? Peter Purves shows you how to make a sawn-off shotgun from The Sweeney out of a washing-up bottle?

Blake and Cally teleport to the surface of Aristo.

Sue: They made a right mess of the Ready Brek effect. You’d think they’d be getting better at that, not worse.

Blake and Cally run straight into a force field.

Blake: It’s a force barrier. The question is are we on the outside unable to get in or….

Cally: On the inside unable to get out.

Sue: It’s a bit like Under the Dome, only less shit.

Travis and Servalan are deep underground.

Sue: I hope Servalan has stocked up on Vanish, because she’ll need it when she gets out of here. But why is she here in the first place? Why didn’t she just send Travis to sort this out with an army of space vampires. You wouldn’t see M chaperoning James Bond like this. Travis must be even more incompetent than I thought.

OracTravis explores a gap in a rockfall while Servalan waits nervously for him to return.

Sue: (singing) And now I’m all alone in bedsit land…

Servalan is groped by a lizard. Travis shoots it in the face.

Sue: Servalan had a little wobble, there. I’m surprised by that. First, Travis has a heart, and now Servalan shows her vulnerable side. What an odd scene.

Servalan crawls over the rocks, but the next time we see her she’s…

Sue: Completely spotless. Unbelievable.

Meanwhile, Blake and Cally are twiddling their thumbs on a beach when they are suddenly confronted by…

Sue: An Angry Bird.

The flying object instructs Blake and Cally to follow it, but not before it has demonstrated its firepower.

Sue: So far, Blake’s 7 has predicted Walkmen and Attack Drones. That’s not bad, actually.

Meanwhile, on the Liberator…

Sue: Avon is projecting liquid out of every orifice right now. At least he’ll never wear that silly costume again. He’ll never get the smell out.

A groaning noise is coming from behind the empty bracelet dispenser.

Sue: Gan just evacuated his bowels again. This is bleak.

OracBack on Aristo, Blake and Cally step into a transporter, although it does take them five minutes to find the entrance.

Sue: This is just padding. The script must be under-running for them to piss about like this. JUST GET IN THE BLOODY THING!

Me: It’s a portaloo, for christsake, not the monolith from 2001!

Travis and Servalan avoid more lizards in the tunnels.

Sue: That one looked really good, actually. When they don’t move and the camera doesn’t dwell on them, and you can barely make them out, the monsters aren’t that bad.

Blake and Cally meet Ensor.

Sue: The water in that fish tank is filthy. He needs a filter. What kind of computer genius doesn’t invent a filter for his fish.

Cally tells Ensor that his son is dead.

Cally: I’m sorry. He tried desperately to reach you. He did everything he possibly could.

Sue: (as Cally) Including trying to blow my head off.

Ensor gives Blake his supply of anti-raditation drugs.

OracEnsor: Can’t stand them, myself. Filthy things, drugs.

Sue: That’s why he’s growing space ganja: for medicinal purposes.

And then, the moment we’ve all been waiting for – Orac arrives. On a trolley.

Sue: So Orac is a massive Raspberry Pi. Well, I wasn’t expecting that.

Ensor bigs up his box of flashing lights.

Ensor: Orac has access to the sum total of all the knowledge of all the known worlds.

Blake: You mean it can draw information from any other computer without a direct link?

Sue: So it’s got wireless. Big deal. And if Orac is a computer, what does ORAC stand for?

Me: Orac doesn’t stand for anything. But you can stand things on Orac.

Travis and Servalan are still navigating Aristo’s tunnels.

Sue: If Servalan had any sense, she would have killed the son and brought the power cells directly to the old man, just like Blake has. She could have rang the door bell, walked it, and took it. Job done. She made this far too complicated for herself.

Travis blasts his way into Ensor’s base. Blake goes to investigate while Cally and Ensor beat a hasty retreat with Orac.

Sue: Orac is basically Wikipedia in a box.

Cally: Can you help me carry this?

Sue: (as Ensor) Yes, love. I’m having a massive heart attack but I’ll help you carry this massive box. Why the **** not.

OracFor the record, Sue didn’t notice anything unusual during the infamous “missing Travis” scene. But as soon as we finished this episode, we watched the extra feature where Vere Lorrimer and Stephen Greif explain just what the hell happened.

Sue: I thought the whole episode was badly directed, so I didn’t notice. Sorry.

Avon drags Vila out of his sickbed/deck chair. Vila smacks his head on a door. This gets the biggest laugh of the series so far.

Sue: That was brilliant. Poor Vila.

Avon snaps at Vila, when he really should be snapping at the person responsible for continuity, because an unconscious Gan keeps moving around the set.

And then Vila’s foot teleports into a puddle.

Sue: Avon and Vila make a great double act. I can actually see the point of Vila, now.

Ensor warns Cally about the lizards in the caves, but he doesn’t think they will harm them.

Sue: Yeah, but they will want to hump your leg. Just go with it and try not to shoot them in the face. It puts them off their stride.

Ensor drops dead. It was probably carrying that heavy box that did it.

Cally: Just a little longer and we might have saved you.

OracSue: Come and see what you could have won.

Blake and Cally leave Ensor’s corpse behind.

Sue: That’s right, let the giant lizards eat him. That’s nice.

Me: They have to save Avon, remember.

Sue: OK. Fair enough. Run!

Blake and Cally reach the surface, but Travis and Servalan are waiting for them.

Me: When I was eight years old, this was the most exciting thing I’d ever seen. And I’d seen Star Wars.

Sue: You were very easily pleased back then. Actually, nothing much has changed.

Me: I definitely knew that this was the final episode of the series, and that meant that anything could happen. I have incredibly vivid memories of this episode. Especially this bit.

Avon shoots Travis’s hand off.

Blake: Good shot, Avon.

Avon: I was aiming for his head.

Sue: That’s the best line in Blake’s 7 so far.

Travis’s hand is left in tatters. Again.

Sue: It’s back to space traffic for you, Travis. They’ll probably replace your hand with a large ‘Children Crossing’ sign.

Back on the Liberator, the crew prepare to switch Orac on.

Sue: Zen won’t be very happy about this. He’s seething with jealousy in the background.

Orac is even more unhelpful than Zen on a bad day, and after an exasperating conversation that goes round in circles, Avon throws Orac’s key away.

OracSue: That’s 100 million credits down the drain. Well done. Still, it was worth it to see Avon smile.

But Orac has predicted that the Liberator will be destroyed.

Sue: What’s Orac basing this on?

Me: The scripts for Series 2.

The crew watch helplessly as the Liberator appears to explode on their scanner screen. Sue yawns.

Cue credits.

Sue: Oh, sorry, was that it?

The Score:

Sue: That didn’t do anything for me. Some of the performances were nice, and Avon was brilliant as usual, but what was it about? Terry just banged that out. Yet more filler.

5/10

Me: Are you mad? That was the season finale!

Sue: You try telling Terry that. I mean, what actually happened? They found another unhelpful computer, they let Travis off with a warning, and they got some half-arsed premonition about something they’ll definitely avoid next time. So what?

Next Time:

This weekend, we’ll take a look back at Series 1 and I’ll publish the results next Tuesday. If you want to ask Sue a question, you’ve got until Saturday morning to do so. Just don’t ask her which member of the crew she would like to see die first. We’ve had lots of those. The best question will win a signed book and postcard. Thanks.

Series 2 will then begin on Friday 28th February, so there’s plenty of time to catch up with the series if you want or need to.

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Deliverance

The weekend they didn’t play golf…

DeliveranceThis episode’s title causes some concern.

Sue: I hope nobody gets raped.

Me: I hope Dudley knows how to play the banjo.

A space ship is heading for the planet Cephlon.

Sue: We’ve definitely seen that space ship before. Am I supposed to remember that? Ooh, that was a nice camera move into the cockpit. Very ambitious.

Meanwhile, on a space station somewhere…

Sue: And this is Servalan’s space station. Do I get a prize for knowing that?

Servalan is eight minutes behind schedule, but she couldn’t care less.

Sue: Shouldn’t the stars in that window be moving if the space station is revolving? How hard would it be to set up a roller with some stars on it. Come on, pull your bloody finger out.

Sue gets her first good look at the space ship’s pilot, Ensor Junior.

Sue: Oh yes, he was in EastEnders. It’s Fat Pat’s husband, Ray.

Me: Roy, actually. Or Tony Caunter to his friends.

Sue: His co-pilot looks like Prince Joffrey. I’d better keep my eye on him, just in case.

DeliveranceThe ship is caught in Cephlon’s gravity well and Ensor struggles to maintain control.

Sue: The director is really trying here. There’s a sense of urgency that’s been missing from some of the other episodes. It’s not Douglas Camfield, but it’s close.

Just when Ensor believes that the worst is over, an explosion tears through his ship.

Sue: Aww, they went through all that rigmarole for nothing. Exciting, though.

This crew of the Liberator witness this catastrophe first-hand.

Avon: She’s entering the atmosphere. Beginning to burn up.

Sue: Avon has changed back into his sensible clothes, thank God. I thought he’d gone permanently insane.

Two escape capsules jettison from the stricken ship.

Sue: Are the capsules made by Samsonite? Have they diversified into this sort of thing in the future?

Servalan is extremely pleased with herself when she’s informed about Ensor’s “accident”.

Sue: She’s gorgeous. I bet Servalan had a huge gay and lesbian following.

Me: Straight men fancied her too, you know.

DeliveranceAvon prepares to teleport down to the surface of Cephlon.

Sue: It’s oven-ready Avon. But at least he’s getting involved in the action for a change, so I shouldn’t complain. I bet Avon had a big gay following as well.

Me: Yes, and straight men fancied him too.

I think I’ve said too much.

Avon, Gan, Jenna and Vila teleport to the surface of Cephlon to find the escape capsules.

Sue: Imagine how slow Blake’s 7 would be if they couldn’t teleport anywhere. Actually, that doesn’t bear thinking about. It’s not exactly racing along as it is.

When Sue spots one of the planet’s hirsute natives, she pulls out her virtual banjo.

Sue: Dinga ding ding ding ding ding ding ding.

The Federation space surgeon named Maryatt didn’t survive the journey, but Ensor did. Just about.

Avon: There’s nothing we can do for him here. We must get him up to the Liberator.

Vila: Will he live through the teleport stress?

Sue: Why don’t they just teleport the capsule back to the Liberator?

Me: Because you can’t wrap a bracelet around that capsule.

Sue: But what if they daisy-chained lots of bracelets together? Would that work?

DeliveranceMe: It’s a nice idea, but they’ve only got four bracelets left.

This week’s alien planet is covered in a light dusting of snow.

Sue: Do they ever go anywhere sunny in Blake’s 7? It’s a very cold universe so far.

Me: It’s probably a metaphor for something. Or they filmed this in the winter. You choose.

The planet’s natives appear to be restless.

Sue: They had better not make Avon squeal like a pig, that’s all I’m saying.

Jenna retrieves Maryatt’s ID from the wreckage.

Sue: I like Jenna, but she’s a boring character. She never seems to do anything, even when she’s actually doing stuff, she doesn’t really seem to do anything. Does that make sense? She’s just there. Terry can’t write for women. Actually, he can’t write for men, but you know what I mean.

Speaking of women who have nothing to do, Cally is chilling out on the Liberator with her Space Walkman.

Sue: Cally’s listening to Big Band Swing. There’s hope for her yet.

Avon, Gan and Vila teleport back to the Liberator with a badly injured Ensor. It takes a while for them to notice that they’ve left Jenna behind.

Sue: That’s the second time they’ve done that. How can they fail to notice when one of the seven are missing? I know that Jenna is a kitten fart in a parka, but that is ridiculous. It’s like that time you stranded all those students in Whitby because you couldn’t count them back onto a bus. It’s unprofessional at the end of the day.

The natives have knocked Jenna out.

Sue: Why are the Neanderthals searching her pockets? What are they looking for? Extra-strong mints? Her credit card? What?

DeliveranceWhile Ensor recovers in the Liberator‘s medical bay, Blake and Cally search through his possessions.

Cally: What are those?

Sue: They’re contact lenses in a jumbo-sized matchbox, obviously.

Cally and Blake examine Maryatt’s ID.

Cally: According to his ID he was a Space Surgeon in the Federation Medical Corps. He’s got a double-A security clearance! He’s got a pass for any area in Space Command!

Sue: If Roy is working for the Federation, they should let him die.

Me: That’s a bit harsh.

Sue: There’s a war on. Blake needs to toughen up.

Ensor: Tell him… Federation have agreed… all terms. Will pay… one… hundred million credits for… Orac.

Sue: Right. I know that Orac is the last of the seven because you named a hedgehog after him, so this is quite exciting now.

Me: What are you expecting Orac to be like?

Sue: I think Orac will be the galaxy’s greatest bounty hunter, and the Federation will hire him to kill Blake, because Travis isn’t up to the job, and it’s going to cost them a fortune. But Orac will betray them and he’ll join Blake’s crew. There, that’s what I think will happen. What do I win if I’m right?

DeliveranceAvon, Gan and Avon teleport back to Cephlon to search for Jenna.

Me: Oh, that reminds me – Jenna is pregnant.

Sue: Oh no, what’s Gan done now.

Me: No, the cat is pregnant. Nicol’s been doing some research and Jenna is showing all the signs.

Sue: That means Blake is the father. That doesn’t feel right.

We think Jenna will give birth in the middle of Series 2, so stay tuned for that, and feel free to suggest names for the litter while you’re waiting.

Meanwhile, in Blake’s 7, Ensor has recovered enough strength to take Cally hostage.

Sue: You ungrateful sod. After everything she’s done for you. I knew they should have left him to die. The IRA would have kneecapped him by now.

Ensor instructs Blake to break orbit.

Ensor: Do it!

DeliveranceSue: It’s like that time he got really angry and told Pat that her earrings were shit. He’s quite a good actor, actually.

Back on Cephlon, Vila laments the fact that the Liberator has buggered off without them again. To be fair, it is becoming a habit.

Avon: That’s largely academic at the moment. Let’s hope they’re back on station when we find Jenna.

Sue: Paul Darrow’s monotone is incredible. His delivery of those lines should be ridiculous, but somehow it’s electrifying.

And then Travis turns up.

Sue: Things must be serious if old leather pants is involved. Servalan fancies Travis so much, she –

Me: STOP IT!

Travis’s handling of the Blake affair has resulted in a demotion for the former Space Commander.

Sue: He probably has to deal with space traffic these days. It’s a bit of a come down.

Servalan lets Travis into her latest wicked scheme.

Servalan: Ensor showed me plans of his father’s creation – Orac. It is a brilliant achievement. There is nothing else like it in the universe.

DeliveranceSue: Hmm. It sounds to me that Orac could be a robot. Like Data in Star Trek, or a Cylon in Battlestar. That could be interesting. And is Servalan drinking crème de menthe?

Servalan kicks back on her couch.

Sue: She’s like Don Draper, lying on a sofa, drinking on the job in the middle of the afternoon, plotting and scheming. It’s Mad Ma’am.

Servalan: It occurred to me that if Ensor didn’t get back in time, then in a very little while his father would die. So I took the precaution of placing a small explosive device in his ship.

Sue: What a bitch! She’s actually getting off on this. She’s definitely tipsy.

Servalan and Travis make a pact to claim Orac for themselves.

Sue: It’s like that time Michael Moon and Janine Butcher got together. Pure evil.

But even Travis has second thoughts when he learns that the space surgeon Servalan sent to their death was responsible for replacing Travis’s bionic space eye.

Sue: I knew Travis had a heart, deep down inside. He’s not all bad, you know. I know exactly how this will end: Travis will change his mind, he’ll save Blake’s life – killing Servalan in the process – and then he’ll join the crew. That’s what I would do if I was writing this.

The indigenous cavemen attack our heroes with a ferocity that borders on the comical.

Sue: This is a bit lame. It’s very Monty Python, don’t you think?

Me: They’re being stoned to death by the Time Bandits.

DeliveranceOur heroes find their way into an underground bunker, where a woman in blue dress bows down before Avon. Her name is Meegat and she has been expecting him.

Avon: Are you alone here?

Meegat: Yes, Lord. Everything is as it was written. One waits.

Sue: And now it’s turned into The Life of Brian.

Jenna has been taken prisoner by the natives.

Sue: Jenna has been kidnapped by Ronnie Wood. It’s not good, this. She’ll probably sprain her ankle, next.

Avon shows incredible self-restraint for a man who is being worshipped as a god.

Sue: Captain Kirk would have shagged her by now.

Me: Are you disappointed or relieved?

Sue: As long as he doesn’t punch her in the face, I’m happy.

The underground bunker houses the controls for a rocket that contains the race banks of Meegat’s people.

Sue: So it’s a giant sperm bank in space. Right…

Sadly, Jenna doesn’t get a look-in while this is going on.

Sue: Avon has been sidetracked by a beautiful woman, and now he couldn’t care less about the other beautiful woman he’s lost. Unbelievable.

Avon prepares to launch the rocket.

DeliveranceSue: Has Avon actually checked that Jenna isn’t trapped in that rocket? I know she isn’t, but he doesn’t know that, and she could have wandered in there by mistake. You know what this lot are like.

Avon decides to continue his search for Jenna.

Sue: Hallelujah!

Meanwhile, back on the Liberator, Ensor is losing the will to live.

Ensor: I’ve put the energizer onto automatic. If I let it go, it will spring back and the gun will fire. If I pass out, the gun will fire by itself. Now you make certain that I don’t go to sleep.

Sue: I’d stop talking if I were you, Blake; that’s bound to send him off. Ask Zen to pipe some Big Band Swing through the ship. That will keep him awake.

Avon and Meegat have a very special relationship.

Sue: They’re holding hands! Aww, that’s sweet. Although you could argue that Avon is taking advantage of someone who is obviously not quite right in the head. It’s a tricky one.

Gan warns Avon that he can’t get involved in Jenna’s rescue.

Gan: If it comes to killing, remember my limiter implant.

Sue: WHAT IS THE POINT OF YOU, GAN?

Even Vila gets stuck in while Gan looks meekly on.

Sue: Gan is the biggest member of the crew, and yet he can’t do shit. They should ditch him the first chance they get. Just drop him off at a space circus. They’ll look after him.

Gan only gets involved when all the hard work has been done and Jenna is safe.

Sue: He’s giving these two cavemen a big drunken bear hug. “I really, really, really love you, mate!”

Limiter or not, the natives are easily overcome.

Sue: They’re so useless, I bet they couldn’t even make a pig squeal like a pig.

DeliveranceGan finally makes it back to the bunker.

Sue: I thought he was going to bang his head on the door on his way in. That may have helped him, actually. It could have dislodged the chip in his head that makes him such a waste of ****ing space.

Back on the Liberator, Ensor drops dead. But before he shuffles off this mortal coil, he makes his last, and somewhat curious request.

Ensor: The microcells… get to father…

Sue: **** you, mate! Blake should sell those cells to the highest bidder, and then he should dance on his bloke’s father’s grave, because he’s a **** and Blake is a terrorist. So there.

Blake: Zen, direct route for the planet Cephlon. Maximum speed.

Sue: What is maximum speed? Have we ever established that? I feel like I should know, but I don’t and it’s driving me mad.

Avon prepares to launch the rocket. According to Jenna, Avon is about to become a legend.

Sue: Don’t be daft. Avon was a legend long before he landed on this shit hole.

The rocket is launched, and then Avon instructs Zen to scan for suitable planets for it to land on.

Sue: Don’t you think he should have done that before he launched the rocket into space? For all he knew, he could have been firing it into a black hole.

Meegat is nowhere to be seen.

DeliveranceSue: Where the hell is she? They didn’t even say goodbye. What a load of rubbish. TERRY, YOU ****!

Blake asks Avon what it was like to be a god.

Avon: Don’t you know?

Blake: Yes. I don’t like the responsibility, either.

Avon smiles.

Sue: I wouldn’t be too sure about that, Blake. I think Avon loved it. I’d watch my back if I were you.

Cue credits.

The Score:

Sue: That was pretty good, then it was awful, and then it was quite good again, and then it was just irritating. Basically anything that involved the cavemen was rubbish, and anything that involved Avon and Travis was all right. I didn’t understand the plot with the rocket at all. It felt as if the episode was a set-up for something else, and Terry was treading water. I’m looking forward to meeting Orac, though. I hope he’s dishy.

5/10

Ask Sue

We’ve nearly reached the end of Series 1, and I want to evaluate how Sue is coping with the series so far. So if you’ve got a question you’d like to ask her about this series, or the next, please send it via our contact form. The best question will win a signed book and postcard combo. Closing date: Tuesday February 18th.

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Bounty

I Feel Love…

BountyThe episode begins with Cally evading Federation troops in a rattlesnake-infested forest (or maybe that’s Dudley).

Sue: The Federation are in this one. Good. Blake might blow something up.

Blake approaches Cally’s location, his trusty red picnic box by his side.

Cally: (telepathically): Guards. Don’t speak or make a sound.

Blake: I’d forgotten how useful telepathy is.

Sue: So had Terry Nation.

A vintage car speeds down a country lane.

Sue: Is that Bessie? Have Blake’s 7 borrowed Bessie and given her a paint job? They can’t do that, can they?

Me: You said Blake’s 7 and Doctor Who should share their resources. Well, here you go.

Sue: At least Jon Pertwee isn’t driving it. In fact, I think this lot are on their way to a sci-fi convention dressed as the third Doctor, Jo Grant, and some extra off Blake’s 7.

BountyShe’s wrong. It’s President Sarkoff.

Sue: Is he the president of a motoring club?

Blake and Cally follow that car.

Sue: That bloody cooler box again. Give me strength. Do they have to keep their bracelets below room temperature or something?

The Federation troops are on high alert. Sue thinks the perspex on their helmets should turn a subtle shade of red to reflect this fact, and she’s disappointed when they don’t.

Sue: At least we’re back on Earth again. I expected them to make a big deal out of that, but Blake has just waltzed straight back home.

Me: This isn’t Earth. At least I don’t think it is.

Sue: But there’s an antique car, a medieval castle, and, well, it looks like England on a miserable wet afternoon in November.

Me: It’s definitely an alien planet. They just confirmed it.

Sue: Couldn’t they tint the sky or paint in an extra moon or something? That’s lazy.

BountyPresident Sarkoff is played by the one and only TP McKenna.

Sue: He’s famous.

Me: If you tell me his name, I’ll give you a foot rub.

Sue: Julian Assange.

Meanwhile, on the Liberator…

Sue: What the **** is Avon wearing? Oh no, that won’t do at all. He’s got a massive silver arrow pointing at his cock.

At least Avon has made an effort.

Sue: I’m sure Gan hasn’t changed since we started this. I bet he stinks. And I bet everyone is too afraid to tell him that he stinks, just in case he goes mental and tries to kill them all again.

An unidentified ship is heading towards the Liberator.

Avon: If it turns out to be hostile, we’ll do a part orbit and lose it.

Sue: I’m sorry, but I can’t take him seriously when he’s dressed like that. He looks like he should be dangling off a trapeze.

BountyAvon: As a matter of fact, I don’t like the look of it either.

Sue: Did he just catch sight of himself in a reflective surface?

The unidentified ship is broadcasting a distress signal so Gan offers to teleport over there to investigate. If it turns out to be a trap, the crew have his permission to blow him to pieces.

Sue: Gan’s head needs seeing to again. It’s becoming a bit of a theme.

Back on the planet, Blake removes some rope from his cooler box. There’s no room left in the box for anything else, which makes Sue roar with laugher.

Sue: Un-****ing-believable.

Gan has teleported to the mysterious ship, and Avon instructs Vila to prepare to fire on it, just in case.

Sue: Seriously, though, what the **** is Avon wearing?

Gan assures the crew that everything is fine.

Sue: That isn’t Gan. He’s even more wooden than usual.

Vila tries to warn Avon but it’s too late.

BountyVila: It’s not Gan! Avon? Jenna? Answer me, one of you. I shall come out in a rash.

Sue laughs. Yes, she’s finally coming round to Vila, who is furious when he realises that he’ll have to investigate the incursion personally.

Sue: That’s what you look like when I ask you to empty the bins.

Sue isn’t impressed with the interior of Sarkoff’s castle.

Sue: Dear oh dear, what kind of restoration job is that? You can’t paint a castle silver! Kevin McCloud would go mental if he saw that. What happened to the natural brick work? I’m appalled.

Me: It’s a space castle. Space castles are silver.

President Sarkoff owns an impressive collection of vinyl records.

Sue: It’s all gone a bit weird now.

Doesn’t stop her from singing along to Tommy Steele, though.

Sue: They should have played something a bit more contemporary.

Me: Like what?

BountySue: Some disco.

Sarkoff owns the finest private collection of 20th Century Earth objects anywhere in the galaxy.

Sue: It’s basically Kiwi Alan’s second-hand shop down the road, but painted silver. I’ve told him to keep an eye out for any missing episodes by the way. No news yet, but I’ll keep you informed.

Now that he’s taken his hat off, Sarkoff reminds Sue of somebody else.

Sue: He isn’t Julian Assange, he’s Liberace.

Me: He’s a wonderful actor and it’s a travesty that you can’t tell me what his name is.

Sue: He’s very good. Far too good for this nonsense.

Cally climbs the castle wall.

Sue: The wooden panelling on the windows is driving me mad. It looks so cheap. I’m surprised they got planning permission for that.

The Federation troops saunter past Cally without a second look.

BountySue: The Federation are completely hopeless. The only reason this bloke knows what’s going on is because he’s the only one with enough common sense to push his helmet up.

Blake wants to take the exiled president back to his people, so he can unite them against the Federation.

Sue: This happened a lot in the 1970s: exiled revolutionaries hanging around foreign countries, biding their time. This is Terry Nation trying to be topical.

Sarkoff’s assistant, Tyce, doesn’t have any time for the president’s self-pity.

Tyce: He ran away and hid. Here on this empty, nameless planet which the Federation so generously provided.

Sue: Terry couldn’t even be bothered to come up with a name for the planet. That’s how spent he is.

Blake convinces Sarkoff to leave his self-imposed exile behind.

Blake: We captured a Federation cipher machine. Now before they changed the code, we picked up a lot of information. Our computers have been unravelling it ever since.

Me: See, there is a story arc. Terry knows what he’s doing.

Sue: How much have you had to drink, Neil? Again?

BountyTyce has a soft spot for Sarkoff.

Tyce: He was a very special man. Brilliant and proud.

Sue: Is he her sugar daddy, because their relationship is a bit weird if you ask me. Is it just the two of them stuck in this castle? No wonder he doesn’t want to leave.

It’s a moot point anyway, because the Liberator isn’t responding to Blake’s calls.

Sue: They’re off having a much better adventure than he is. It wouldn’t be difficult.

Sarkoff contemplates his fate.

Sue: His taste in music isn’t very inspiring. He should have put some Donna Summer on.

Let’s see if she’s right: (alternate link via YouTube)

[jwplayer player=”1″ mediaid=”6718″]

A massive improvement, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Sue: This is tedious. I’m sick of this guy moaning and feeling sorry for himself. If anyone should be feeling sorry for themselves it’s me for watching this rubbish.

Sarkoff: I should have realised that Tyce wouldn’t stay with me. Not now.

Sue: They are definitely shagging. On his antique electric blanket, surrounded by his antique teddy bears and his antique Goblin Teasmaid.

Me: Don’t forget his antique cock.

Sarkoff really doesn’t want to leave. We know this for a fact because HE KEEPS TELLING US.

Sarkoff: Where else would I go? This is all I have left.

BountySue: He can’t bear to part with his collection of glass ashtrays. Just think, if they still had that cooler box with them, they could save a couple of carriage clocks at the very least.

Blake destroys Sarkoff’s priceless Donna Summer 12-inch, and then he threatens to destroy Sarkoff’s precious butterfly collection as well.

Sue: Don’t worry, Blake wouldn’t hurt a fly. Even if it was already dead.

Sarkoff decides that enough is enough and he agrees to leave; it’s only taken Blake twenty-five minutes to convince him.

Sue: I don’t get it. If he loved those butterflies so much, why didn’t he take them with him? It’s not as if they need feeding.

Tyce cranks Bessie into life.

Sue: This is ****ing weird. Doctor Who could get away with this kind of madness, but in Blake’s 7 it sticks out like a sore thumb. I keep expecting the Autons to jump out of the bushes.

Bessie races away from the castle.

Me: Put your helmet on, we’ll be reaching speeds of three!

Blake begs the Liberator to teleport them to safety, but nobody’s home. However, as the car approaches a Federation checkpoint, the teleport finally kicks into life and Bessie explodes. Honest.

BountySue: They crashed the car with a sound effect. Is that because they weren’t allowed to blow Bessie up for real? That’s a shame. I would have enjoyed that.

The Liberator is seemingly deserted.

Sue: So who let them on board?

Me: **** knows, I’m drunk.

Blake: Where are they, Zen?

Zen: Please specify question more precisely.

Sue: Zen is such a dick. I don’t know how they put up with him. I bet he runs on Windows.

Blake finds Jenna in the teleport area, and she has some devastating news:

Jenna: They’re all dead.

Sue: Eh? What? No!

But it’s only a ruse and Blake is gassed by a mysterious assailant.

Sue: Is Avon doing that to Blake? Is this the mutiny he’s been planning? Is he finally going ahead with it? At least he had the decency to change his clothes first.

But it isn’t Avon, because Avon has been taken prisoner as well. And not only that – Jenna is now working for the enemy!

Sue: Why didn’t we watch that episode instead? They’ve been up to all sorts of exciting stuff while we had to watch an old man DJ-ing for half an hour.

The crew have been seized by the Amagons. Or as Sue so eloquently puts it:

BountySue: Space Sheiks.

Their leader, Tarvin, flirts with his new ally, Jenna.

Sue: Could there be less sexual chemistry between these two? What’s this episode called again?

Me: ‘Bounty’.

Sue: They should have called it ‘Turkish Delight’ instead.

Tarvin is a money-grabbing misogynist.

Sue: This isn’t racist at all. Absolutely not.

Zen: Information: Federation ships are now within scanner range.

Sue: Zen gives more information to the bad guys than he does to Blake. Whose side is he on anyway?

Jenna shows her true colours when she overpowers an Amagon. Sue is neither surprised nor impressed.

Sue: It’s as if two pantomimes have accidentally double-booked the same stage, and now the casts of Robin Hood and Aladdin have to fight it out to see who gets to put their show on. It’s insane.

BountyMeanwhile, Vila is trying – and failing – to extricate the crew from the explosive collars that have been placed around their necks.

Vila: I told you I couldn’t do it.

Avon: I believed you all along.

Sue: Ha! That was brilliant. Avon makes even the stupidest episode worthwhile.

Jenna overpowers her second Amagon of the day.

Sue: Right in the space nuts. Nice.

Gan wants to rip Tarvin’s head off.

Sue: Can Gan murder people again? You know, since his operation. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. I wouldn’t leave my bedroom door unlocked if I was Jenna, that’s for sure.

Blake and his crew escape from their prison by throwing a disabled collar at an Amagon. He is killed instantly by an explosion of bright twinkly stars.

Sue: If you rub that collar really, really hard, you get three wishes.

Jenna takes down her third Amagon. Sue lets out a half-hearted cheer as she checks her watch.

BountyOn the Liberator‘s flight deck, Tyce tries to take control of the situation.

Sue: (singing) And here’s to you, Mrs. Robinson, Jesus loves you more than you will know…

Unfortunately, she fails miserably and Tarvin threatens to blow her head off.

Tyce: Shoot him, father. You owe it to me.

Sue: EH? WHAT? So now they tell us that she’s his daughter. Why did they take so long? Why make it look like they were involved in some sort of sordid sex thing? ****ing hell, Terry!

Me: And that’s why you shouldn’t ship. I did try to warn you.

Sarkoff shoots the nasty, greedy, selfish, sexist space Arab in the nuts, and all’s well that ends well.

Sue: Nope. Not even remotely racist.

The episode concludes with Sarkoff and Tyce teleporting back to their home planet Lindor, which Terry named after a chocolate bar he was eating while he wrote this.

Sue: Another two bracelets they’ll never see again. It was hardly worth the effort.

Me: He’s ousted two days later for committing incest, and the planet is plunged into chaos.

Cue credits.

The Score:

Sue: That was a bit weird. And not in a good way. At least it had something to do with the Federation, so it gets a few marks for that, but it didn’t do anything for me. It wasn’t serious or exciting enough for me to care about anyone, and the panto villains turned the whole thing into an uncomfortable farce at the end. And I hate it when Avon disappears for twenty minutes like that. It’s crazy.

3/10

Ask Sue

We are galloping towards the end of Series 1, and that seems like a good time to evaluate how Sue is coping with the series so far. So if you’ve got a question you’d like to ask her about this series, or her hopes for the next one, please send it via our contact form. The best question will win a signed book and postcard combo. Closing date: Tuesday February 18th.

Next Time:

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Breakdown

Emergency Ward XK-72

Sue: How many Terry Nation episodes is it now?

Me: This is Terry’s tenth script in a row.

Sue: I’ll be the one having a breakdown if this goes on much longer.

The Liberator is cruising through space…

BreakdownSue: Ooh, they’re pushing the boat out with a half-decent model this week. That’s nice.

On the flight deck, Gan is behaving very strangely indeed.

Sue: Is he having a stroke?

Me: The bells! The bells!

Sue: The chip in his head must have shorted out. See, I have been paying attention to this nonsense.

A crazed Gan attacks Jenna.

Sue: This is you when our broadband stops working, only you beat up the router instead.

Blake is the next victim of Gan’s violent assault.

Sue: Gan looks like a really mean Elvis when he curls his lip like that. Nice handheld camera work, though. We’re right in the middle of the action. I like it.

Blake’s crew subdues the giant oaf with some tranquillisers.

Sue: It’s too late for nicotine patches now.

Gan is in a bad way.

Sue: Aww, poor Gan. Unless this is what he’s like when he doesn’t have that thing in his head, in which case, I hope Gan dies.

Gan is taken to the Liberator‘s medical unit.

BreakdownSue: Why is this part of the ship on film?

Me: I’m not entirely sure. I think it’s something to do with them having to use up their filming allocation every episode or else they’d lose it.

Sue: Typical BBC bureaucracy. They should have done a deal with Doctor Who and come to some kind of arrangement to save some cash by sharing things. At least they’ve cleaned it up a bit. They could release this on Blu Ray. Well, this scene anyway.

Cally tends to Gan.

Sue: I had a curly perm like Cally’s. They were all the rage back then. She could do with some product in it, though; it’s looking a bit flat. I don’t know what it is about Cally but she reminds me of a miserable, anorexic Jamie Lee Curtis.

Avon chastises Blake for suggesting that Zen could give them a quick tutorial in brain surgery.

Avon: Oh, come on, Blake! This is not something you do by numbers, not even highly sophisticated ones. This is an area that has remained the exclusive province of specialists.

Sue: Avon is so cool. He says every line as if it’s his last. I still can’t quite believe that Paul Darrow said my name on a podcast; so much better than speaking to Tom Baker on QVC. I’d love to meet Paul Darrow in real life. I bet he’d be a right laugh.

The ship’s medical computer delivers its diagnosis.

Medibot: Severe neurological disturbance centered in the zero three zone sub four section of the cerebrum.

Sue: So is that computer one of the crew now, like Zen? Is that seven now?

Me: Don’t be ridiculous.

Sue comes up with the perfect solution to Gan’s predicament.

Sue: Just turn him off and back on again.

BreakdownMe: Turning Gan on is the last thing you want to do. Trust me.

Gan repeatedly clenches his fist.

Sue: Was Gan a dairy farmer in a previous life? Is he dreaming that he’s milking a cow?

Blake and Avon look for the nearest space hospital which specialises in space medicine for space diseases. In space.

Sue: It must have taken them ages to set up that perspex map. I bet they wasted hours getting it to stand up properly. No wonder Gan is almost dead.

Avon suggests that they head for a secret space laboratory called XK-72, even though it’s situated on the far side of some prohibited space.

Blake: Zen. Set navigation computers for direct route to space laboratory XK-72. Speed Standard by Six.

Sue: Make it Speed Standard by Seven – it’s quicker and your friend is dying. Or are you worried about being caught for speeding. Get a bloody move on!

The Liberator alters its course.

Sue: If that’s Standard by Six, I’d hate to see Standard by One. You could walk quicker than that. Look at it! It’s pathetic! Why doesn’t the ship go WHOOSH! as it rushes by. Come on!

BreakdownZen is his usual helpful self.

Zen: Attention. Liberator is entering prohibited zone. All primaries and auxiliary computer functions are now aborted.

Sue: What a ****.

Vila: What you see on the screen is exactly what’s there. Absolutely nothing. Why should I find nothing terrifying?

Sue: Because you’re a dick?

Me: Still no love for Vila, I see.

Sue: He’s growing on me. The problem with Vila is that he isn’t a real character. He’s a joke. A walking comedy cliché. I need to see another side to him before I can take him seriously.

Avon suddenly realises that they’ve made a grave error of judgement.

Blake: Because computer control is –

Avon: – part of the basic design concept!

Sue: Could we have that in English, please?

BreakdownMe: I think it means they’re too stupid to fly the ship without Zen’s help.

Sue: Now that I believe.

The Liberator tears through space…

Sue: One minute it’s a nice model, then it’s a cartoon. One minute we’re on video, and now we’re on film. There’s no consistency to Blake’s 7. It’s all over the place.

Back in the medical unit, Gan begins to stir.

Sue: Do I really have to look at Gan’s sex face? It’s putting me off my tea.

Me: If I ever form a band, remind me to call it Gan’s Sex Face.

Avon attempts to bypass Zen’s auxiliary computer systems.

Blake: Have you done it, Avon?

Avon: I can talk or I can work, but I can’t do both.

Sue: Avon can’t multi-task. Typical bloke. Get one of the women to do it!

Blake: Reduce to standard by three, Jenna.

Sue: That’s about 3 miles per hour, give or take.

Me: Or 80 billion spatials a second.

Sue: Terry ****ing Nation.

BreakdownGan shows us his world-famous impression of a pig, which miraculously ceases when Cally returns to the medical unit.

Sue: He’s acting like he’s been caught masturbating.

Sue doesn’t trust Gan any more.

Sue: If he can control his urges like that, he can’t be that ill. He’s just a raving sex pest at the end of the day.

Gan strangles Cally with a massive grin on his face.

Sue: That was horrible! Now I understand why we don’t have a cat called Gan. It’s the same reason we don’t have a cat called Peter Sutcliffe.

Gan’s next victim is Avon.

Sue: Blake’s crew is ****ing useless, especially when you consider what they’re trying to do. Which, incidentally, is what I want to see instead of this bullshit. I want to see Blake taking on Earth and clearing his name, and maybe blowing some stuff up. This is just filler.

Me: (singing) ‘Cause this is filler, filler night…

Have I mentioned that I’ve been drinking heavily throughout this episode?

Jenna is worried about a nearby gravitational vortex.

BreakdownSue: The hand-on-hip acting is off the scale in this episode.

Even Avon has had enough.

Avon: I’m finished. Staying with you requires a degree of stupidity of which I no longer feel capable.

Blake: Now you’re just being modest.

Sue: That was ****ing brilliant. Who needs Travis as your arch-enemy when you’ve got Avon standing next to you.

The Liberator enters the gravitational vortex.

Jenna: Standard by Twelve, still rising.

Sue: Standard by Twelve! **** me! I didn’t know that the ship could go that fast! Why have they been pissing about with Standard by Seven all this time. Put your bloody foot down!

The crew are attacked by a sheet of Mirrorlon, which, I’m surprised to learn, Sue has never encountered before.

Me: You work in TV Studio production and you’ve never wobbled a sheet of Mirrorlon at anyone? Wow.

Sue: Neil, it’s the 21st century. Things have moved on quite a bit since Blake’s ****ing 7. And besides, a sheet of tin foil is much cheaper.

When the Liberator arrives at XK-72, Blake tries to pass himself off as a Federation captain.

Blake: Tell them we’re an experimental ship out of Earth on a proving flight.

Sue: Whatever you do, don’t tell them I’m a convicted child molester. That never goes down well.

Jenna has dressed for the occasion.

Sue: Jenna is hitting the space disco as soon as they dock. I hope she’s wearing sensible shoes.

BreakdownAnd then, thirty minutes into the episode, Julian Glover turns up.

Me: Who’s that, Sue?

Sue: I have no idea – he’s got his back to me. Wait – oh yes! It’s… it’s… it’s him. He’s been in loads of things, including Doctor Who. He’s very good.

I remind her that he likes to get his testicles out on Game of Thrones and she nods sagely.

Sue: He’s very cutting. Can you imagine Avon and this guy living together? Actually, I’d pay good money to see that.

Blake teleports to the Liberator with Professor Kayn.

Blake: Avon, send someone across to collect Professor Kayn’s assistant, will you?

Sue: Stop calling him Avin! No wonder he wants to leave.

Before he teleports to XK-72, Avon asks Vila a very important question.

Avon: Why do you stay with Blake?

Vila: I like him.

Avon: That isn’t a good enough reason.

BreakdownSue: Is Avon planning a mutiny? Is that what’s he’s doing? Sounding out the crew before he decides to stay or go?

Blake escorts Kayn to the medical unit, which is now on video instead of film.

Sue: Make your mind up, for ****’s sake!

Kayn examines Gan with the same sort of disdain that my doctor reserves for complaints about my irritable bowel syndrome.

Kayn: Tell me why this man has a limiter implant.

Sue: Well, in a nutshell, our ship is crewed by convicted sex pests and murderers. It’s very embarrassing but what can you do?

Avon tells Vila that he won’t be coming back to the Liberator.

Sue: He’s going disco dancing with Jenna. The pair of them are going to get trolleyed.

Avon meets with XK-72’s administrator.

Farren: Who are you?

Sue: We’re Blake’s 7 and we’re a bunch of ****wits. Is it OK if I stay with you instead? You wouldn’t believe the idiotic shit we get up to.

Kayn decides to call the nearest Federation base.

BreakdownSue: Just as soon as I finish this game of Candy Crush.

Three Federation pursuit ships respond to Kayn’s call.

Sue: Is it Travis? It’s about bloody time.

Farren asks Avon to move in with him.

Sue: They’ve only just met!

Kayn delays the life-saving operation. He even places his feet on Gan’s operating table, which elicits a very loud tut from Sue.

Sue: The NHS has really gone downhill under the Federation. Blake needs to sort that out. He should put it on his list of things to do.

Vila decides to hurry things along by waving a gun in Kayn’s face.

Sue: Finally! Vila did something heroic. That’s exactly what I was talking about earlier. Vila is human after all.

The Liberator can’t move while the professor operates, even though the Federation are already heading their way.

Sue: I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but this is vaguely exciting. And, unlike some people I could mention, I haven’t been drinking.

Blake threatens to damage Kayn’s hands if he doesn’t cooperate.

Sue: He’s a very polite terrorist, but he’s still a terrorist.

Another doctor named Renor is much more accommodating.

BreakdownSue: They should take this guy with them when they leave. They need a doctor. You can’t fly around space, getting into battles, without a doctor – that would be insane.

Kayn finally agrees to operate on Gan.

Sue: There’s no sense of urgency. I’ve seen Man United take injury time corners quicker than this. And does this mean that Gan is out of warranty now?

Me: It’s the second time he’s been jailbroken this series.

The operation is a success and Blake escorts Kayn off his ship.

Blake: Is there any way we can thank you?

Kayn: You could try getting caught.

Sue: I bet Avon wishes he’d said that. No wonder he can’t wait to get shot of him. There’s only room for one sarky bastard on this ship.

Kayn teleports back to XK-72.

BreakdownSue: Another bracelet gone. They’re practically giving them away now.

Kayn isn’t happy with this turn of events and he takes his anger out on Farren, bludgeoning him to death in a fit of pique.

Sue: That was a bit random. But I suppose it’s difficult for a character to make much sense when he’s on screen for less than ten minutes.

XK-72 is accidentally blown to smithereens by the Federation’s pursuit ships.

Sue: What a waste. They were only a few weeks away from finding a cure for space cancer.

The Federation ships turn towards the Liberator.

Avon: Zen, increase speed to Standard by Eight.

Sue: No! Standard by Twelve, you idiot. Standard by Twelve!

Thankfully, Gan is back to his usual self and all’s well that ends well.

Blake: Oh, by the way, welcome back.

BreakdownThe crew guffaw with laughter.

Sue: How is that even remotely funny? Neil?

Me: Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Sorry, what was that?

Cue credits.

The Score:

Sue: That was rubbish, but on some strange level, I enjoyed it. Isn’t that weird? It’s all down to the performances because the plot was utter shite. Yet more faffing about when they should be blowing up the Federation and saving the world and stuff like that. And Gan gives me the creeps now. I wouldn’t like to beam down to a planet with him on my own, that’s for sure.

4/10

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