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Adventures with the Wife and Blake»Archive for March 2014

Archive for March 2014

Killer

Squeaky Bum Time…

Sue: I never thought I’d say this, but the theme tune is probably my favourite part of the programme now.

She likes it so much, she insists on singing along to it whenever we sit down to watch an episode. She always loses it towards the end – she’s at least two octaves too high – but she’s getting closer each time.

Sue: Ooh, Robert Holmes wrote this one. The odds of this episode being any good just shot through the roof.

Avon and Vila teleport to an alien planet with their backs to the camera.

Sue: How very odd. You’d never catch Captain Kirk doing that.

KillerThey find themselves on desolate, windswept beach.

Sue: They’ve teleported to Seal Sands.

A Q-Base looms out of the fog.

Sue: It’s definitely Seal Sands.

You have to live in our neck of the woods to get that reference. Sorry about that. Google it.

Avon and Vila sprint across the beach.

Sue: At least Blake and Avon have something in common: they both run like girls.

The Liberator‘s crew detect an ancient spacecraft heading their way.

Sue: Haven’t they done this plot before? Mysterious ships like this are always bad news. Just shoot it out of the sky.

The Q-Base launches a space craft to intercept the derelict ship.

Sue: Good use of stock footage, there. I actually believed that.

It’s what’s residing inside the Q-Base that she can’t get her head around.

Sue: Why is the planet infested with leather cockroaches, Neil?

Sue doesn’t recognise Ronald Lacey as the Federation technician Tynus.

KillerMe: Raiders of the Lost Ark. Remember?

Sue: No.

Me: You must remember. Played a Nazi. Burnt his hand. Face melted off at the end. That really funny bit with the coat hanger. Toht.

Sue: Don’t you tut at me. He looks like my first boyfriend, if that’s any help.

Avon and Vila have infiltrated the Q-Base, but before they go any further, Avon instructs Vila to don a protective cape.

Vila: What do you call this, then?

Sue: It’s the sort of thing you wear when you visit Niagara Falls. The only thing missing is a nice leather fisherman’s hat.

Tynus and Avon are old friends.

Tynus: Kerr Avon! How the devil did you get here?

Sue: Curly Avon? Was that his nickname at school?

Me: Kerr Avon. That’s his name, remember?

Sue: Not really, no.

I remind her that the crew have forenames and surnames. Except for Cally, Zen, and Orac. She can’t understand why Jenna and Vila use their forenames while Blake and Avon strut around using their surnames.

Sue: It must be an ego thing.

KillerBut, as you might expect, it’s June Hudson’s costumes that dominate the discussion.

Sue: The sound department must have had a nightmare with all this creaking leather on set. No wonder the actors are trying to stand as still as possible when they deliver their lines. And can you imagine going to the toilet in that?

When Tynus leaves the office, his cape smacks against the door frame with a loud, leathery slap.

Sue: There had better be a good reason for wearing that.

Me: I think it’s supposed to protect you against something.

Sue: The only thing it would protect you against is having sex with another human being. It’s impossible to look attractive in that. Even Avon looks ridiculous in it, and he’s been known to dress as a lobster.

Vila: I always knew you had a friend. I used to say to people, “I bet Avon’s got a friend, somewhere in the galaxy”.

Avon: And you were right. That must be a novel experience for you.

Sue: It really is a shame about the stupid costumes, because the script is really good. You’ve got Robert Holmes writing for Avon and Vila. You can’t go wrong with a combination like that.

Avon took the rap for Tynus when the Federation arrested him for fraud.

Sue: That’s the thing about Avon – he’s loyal. Even if he hated your guts, he’d stand by you if he thought he owed you. And that’s why Blake isn’t lying dead on an alien planet somewhere.

A doctor named Bellfriar puts the landing bay under quarantine after he receives an anonymous tip-off from Blake.

Sue: I’m sorry, Neil, but this is ridiculous. You can’t hear what they’re saying for the squeaking and creaking. It’s really off-putting.

Avon and Vila have come to the Q-Base to steal a special crystal.

KillerAvon: Without that crystal we’ll never break the Federation pulse code. We need to read their messages if we’re to stay ahead of Servalan.

Sue: We’ve got this shit-hot computer that’s worth a million credits, but, would you believe it, it’s completely useless when it comes to breaking codes. We can’t even take it back to the shop.

Me: Maybe Orac needs the special crystal to crack the code?

Sue: **** off! He can’t be that good if he needs a plug-in.

Speaking of plug-ins…

Sue: I don’t understand why Orac doesn’t have a simple on/off switch. The dongle they have to slot into it to make him work isn’t very practical. They’re bound to lose it one day.

Blake informs Jenna that he’s wants to teleport to the Q-Base on Fosforon, just in case.

Sue: There’s no sexual chemistry between Blake and Jenna at all. I’m surprised by that.

Me: I’m relieved. Your shipping is bad enough as it is.

The derelict space ship lands on Fosforon.

Sue: Either this planet is hosting a Formula 1 race, or the costume designer is taking the piss.

KillerMe: June Hudson modelled these costumes on the Michelin Men on purpose.

Sue: That doesn’t make it any better! The only way those costumes would make any sense is if the suits were filled with oxygen and that way… oh, who am I kidding? They are ****ing ridiculous!

The Michelin Men search the ship while Bellfriar observes their progress on a monitor back in his lab.

Sue: This reminds me of Aliens. Any minute now the monitor will go black and somebody will scream their head off. It’s way ahead of its time, this.

Tynus shows Avon and Vila the Q-Base’s A-line converter.

Sue: Just when I thought these costumes couldn’t get any worse, they put goggles on them. I bet the actors were straight on the phone to their agents when they turned up for work that morning.

Back in Tynus’s office, Vila helps himself to a refreshing drink.

Sue: That drinking fountain must be important. That’s the second time the director has lingered on that drinking fountain.

A decayed corpse is taken from the derelict ship to a quarantined laboratory for a post-mortem.

Me: You won’t believe this, but the guy doing the autopsy directed Tomb of the Cybermen.

Sue: Really? I didn’t like that very much, did I?

KillerMe: Don’t you remember all the insults and death threats we received that week? Oh how we laughed.

Sue: At least the Blake’s 7 fans don’t overreact.

Me: Yes, well. Anyway…

Sue: He’s a much better actor than he is a director. I bet this turns into The Thing.

Me: It might turn into the dog from The Thing.

When Morris Barry turns his back, the corpse wakes up and attacks him.

Sue: This is for Tomb of the Cybermen, you bastard!

The corpse falls silent again.

Sue: So it’s basically a Space Mummy. They had Space Mummies on Doctor Who, didn’t they. Our shelves are littered with the bloody things. I mean, how many Space Mummies from Doctor Who do you actually need, Neil?

Avon is mentally preparing himself to sabotage the A-line converter.

Vila: Nerves getting a little frayed?

Avon: There are a quarter of a million volts running through that converter. I make one false move, I’ll be so crisped up what’s left of me won’t fit into a sandwich.

Sue: Brilliant. Robert Holmes was born to write for Avon. This is great fun.

Avon and Vila discuss Blake’s altruistic nature.

KillerAvon: Blake takes risks to help other people. Sometimes people he doesn’t even know. One day that great big bleeding heart of his will get us all killed.

Vila: Unless somebody ditches him first.

Sue: They keep hinting that Avon is going to turn against Blake. It’s been bubbling away ever since they met. It has to come to a head soon. But Avon’s loyal, you see. I don’t think he’ll do it.

Bellfriar and Blake discuss Morris Barry’s fate, but once again the relentless squeaking and creaking proves to be very distracting.

Sue: Did June Hudson think they were making a silent film?

Two technicians have died under mysterious circumstances.

Sue: It’s really good, this. It’s proper scary.

Avon and Vila head for the A-line converter while the rest of the base are preoccupied with a fire.

Sue: You have got to be joking. The fire brigade are dressed as fried eggs! Were they on their way back from a Fun Run?

Just in case you don’t know what she’s talking about, watch this:

[jwplayer mediaid=”8205″]

Sue: That trooper isn’t dying from smoke inhalation, he’s collapsed because he’s laughing too much and he can’t carry on with the scene.

Bellfriar has a deadly virus on his hands.

Blake: It must be airborne.

Sue: The disease is spreading through the drinking fountains. That must be it!

The virus attacks your memories.

Me: What’s Avon’s first name, Sue?

KillerSue: Er…

Me: I’m calling a doctor.

Vila finds a message that Tynus has sent to the Federation.

Vila: Listen to this: “Servalan, Federation HQ, Urgent. Liberator in orbit, Fosforon. Detaining ten hours. Make speed. Tynus, Q-Base.”

Avon is furious.

Sue: Avon is going to kill the two-timing bastard. Excellent.

Blake suspects that the virus could be a form of germ warfare.

Sue: It’s a bloody good job that flatulence isn’t the first symptom of the virus, because this lot sound like they’re farting every time they move.

Blake offers a possible solution to the outbreak.

Blake: On board the Liberator, I have the most advanced computer ever designed.

Sue: We never use it because it’s a pain in the arse, but we’ve definitely got one.

Panic sweeps through the base. Tynus, who has enough on his plate with the A-line B-plot, is informed about the situation via a comlink.

KillerVoice: The men are falling like flies!

Me: They look like they’re auditioning for Tiswas when they croak it!

Avon retrieves the crystal, but he is interrupted by the treacherous Tynus. With a little help from Vila, Avon punches his old friend in the face.

Sue: Take that, Ian! You bastard!

Me: Ian?

Sue: My first boyfriend.

Tynus stumbles into the A-line converter, which means he’ll be so crisped up what’s left of him won’t fit into a sandwich.

Me: It’ll be a bloody big sandwich.

Sue: What?

Me: Nothing.

Bellfriar has come up with an antidote to the virus, but as he transmits the formula to the Liberator, something terrible happens.

Bellfriar: I’ve forgotten how to read!

Sue: What a brilliant twist.

Me: It reminds me of Pontypool.

Sue: Does it? I’ve never been there.

KillerBellfriar’s hands erupt in blisters and he dies.

Sue: Oh no. I really liked him. This is very bleak.

Blake wants to put a plague warning around the planet.

Avon: Listen, Blake, Servalan is on her way here. She lands on Fosforon, she gets the plague, she’s off our backs for good. You cannot put out a warning.

Blake ignores Avon and does the decent thing.

Sue: I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m on Blake’s side this week.

Cue credits.

The Score:

Sue: I really enjoyed that. And I’m and not just saying that; I’m sure liking this episode has pissed somebody off somewhere. Whatever. Anyway, I’ll have to knock some marks off for the ridiculously impractical costumes, and the direction wasn’t that great, either. However, the performances were very entertaining and the script was excellent. But of course it was. Robert Holmes wrote it. And Avon was front and centre this week, which is exactly where I like him. Yes, I’ll give that episode two Michelin stars.

8/10

Next Time:

We’re taking a short mid-series break until Friday April 4th.

Warning: Glen’s trailers may include minor spoilers for the next episode.

Back
Next

Trial

Crimes against television…

TrialSue: No Terry Nation this time. That’s a shame.

Me: Are you feeling all right?

Sue: Oh look, it’s Servalan’s house.

The Supreme Commander’s space station is very busy today.

Me: Do you remember them?

I’m pointing at Bercol and Rotane, who we last saw in Seek – Locate – Destroy.

Sue: Vaguely. They’re the bad guys, I think. I definitely recognise this guard, though. What have I seen him in before?

Me: The Bill. It’s Tosh Lines.

Sue: So it is. He’s very good. I like the way we’re getting a different perspective on things with these two guards. I hope they stick with that. It’s different.

Me: I say, I say, do you recognise this guy?

I’m pointing at John Savident.

TrialSue: I feel like I’m attending a police identity parade. Yes, he’s famous. Just don’t ask me what’s he’s been in. I haven’t got a clue.

Sue is more Walford than Weatherfield, although having said that, she doesn’t remember Brian Croucher as Ted Hills in EastEnders, either. It must be the eyepatch.

A trial is about to take place.

Sue: Are they going to charge Travis with incompetence, because he lets Blake escape ALL THE TIME?

Servalan briefs a woman named Thania.

Sue: Servalan is looking very beautiful today. I’ve noticed that Federation women are very androgynous. Maybe these two are lesbian lovers and…

I can’t bring myself to type the rest.

Sue: The courtroom set is nice. The costumes are very striking, too. They’ve spent some money on this one.

Travis is charged with the murder of over one thousand unarmed civilians. The defence requests that the names of all the victims be read out in court.

TrialSamor: Do you realize how long that will take, Major?

Sue: Oh no. This is going to be a fun episode.

Travis doesn’t bat an eyelid.

Sue: He looks like he’s going to have a power nap. I think I might join him.

Meanwhile, on the Liberator, Blake is knocking back the crème de menthe and bickering with Avon.

Sue: Is Blake still in charge? Has Avon taken over the ship yet?

Blake wants to teleport to an uninhabited planet for some serious me-time.

Avon: One of your followers – one of your three remaining followers – might have to risk his neck to rescue you.

Sue: So we’re back to Blake’s 3 again? Brilliant.

When Blake gently places his hand on Avon’s shoulder, Sue starts shipping.

Sue: Get a room.

Me: Get a Livejournal account.

TrialZen: Status is firm.

Sue: Yeah, I bet it is.

Jenna enters the flight deck in a pair of tight leather trousers.

Sue: Blake’s 7 caters for just about everyone when it comes to bums in tight leather. However, if Vila starts wearing PVC, I’m out of here.

The crew on the flight deck can hear Blake chatting to Cally in the teleport room.

Sue: Why do they have a baby monitor on the ship?

Blake teleports down to the planet.

Sue: Is this really the best time to go camping, Blake? And what’s in your man bag? A packed lunch? What the hell is going on, Neil?

Back on Servalan’s space station, Rontane and Bercol discuss the Supreme Commander’s plan to have Travis executed so he can’t testify against her at an inquiry that’s been set up to investigate the Blake affair.

Bercol: A Presidential stay of execution so that Travers can give evidence?

Sue: Travers? Who the **** is Travers?

Bercol: Servalan picked Travers.

Sue: He said it again! First they can’t get his face right, and now they can’t get his name right.

Rotane: Servalan’s ambitions threaten us all. And the President particularly dislikes being threatened.

TrialSue: Are they the President’s men?

Me: Yes.

Sue: What, all of them?

Me: That’s probably the worst joke you’ve ever made.

Sue: I’m sorry. I’m bored. When does this episode get going?

Blake has teleported to some undisclosed coordinates, which puzzles the Liberator‘s crew.

Vila: I wish Gan was here.

Avon: Oh, yes, of course. He would be able to work out exactly what was going on.

Sue: (laughing) That’s cruel. Gan’s corpse isn’t even cold yet. Funny, though.

Blake has left a message for his crew. In short, he’s given them an opportunity to abandon him on an alien planet if they really want to.

Sue: Blake is a terrible captain. He should hold regular team meetings for a start. He has to stop all this going behind their backs nonsense. He’ll never earn their trust that way. And he’s a coward, too. He should have had this conversation ON THE SHIP!

Blake’s self-imposed exile begins with him being squirted in the face. Yes, really.

Sue: Is he on Candid Camera?

Or Game For a Laugh if you’re under the age of 40.

Sue: Is a plant is pissing in his face?

Blake notices a strange creature hiding in the undergrowth.

Sue: What the hell was THAT? That was bloody weird.

TrialMeanwhile, Travis is relaxing in his cell when Trooper Par (try saying that quickly) arrives bearing gifts.

Sue: Why has he brought Travis some Hugo Boss aftershave? Is he trying to tell him something?

Par has a soft spot for Travis.

Par: You could always rely on him not to get you killed unnecessarily.

Sue: Unlike some people I could mention. Oh look, here he is now.

Blake is pursuing the strange creature through a jungle.

Sue: This is beginning to get on my tits, Neil.

The creature unnerves Sue.

Sue: What the hell is this? It’s a cross between Gollum, a chicken and a lizard. What a mess. This had better not be Gan’s replacement.

Meanwhile, on the Liberator…

Sue: THERE ARE TOO MANY PLOTS! This episode is jumping all over the place. Pick a story and tell it.

Me: Which of the three plots would you like to get rid of?

Sue: All of them.

The creature known as Zil educates Blake about the ways of the world.

Zil: Everything lives. The Host lives. To live is not enough for Blake and Zil. Blake and Zil woke.

Sue: I really can’t be arsed with this, Neil. This is dreadful.

TrialZil offers Blake something to eat.

Blake: What is it?

Zil: Life.

Sue: Lice? No thanks!

Me: Not lice. Life.

Sue: I can’t understand a word she’s saying. It’s nonsense.

Zil becomes more and more distressed.

Sue: It’s Lady Ga Ga on a bad night out.

Meanwhile, Avon has come up with a plan to save Blake from being eaten alive by the planet he accidentally went camping on, but can Cally pull it off?

Avon: It will be up to you to hit the main switch and complete the process. You’ll have to concentrate. He’ll appear and disappear in one short flash.

Cally: And if I miss it?

Avon: He’s gone for good.

Sue: Look at Avon’s smile. He’s almost daring Cally to miss Blake on purpose. That way they could all **** off and become millionaires.

Zil is eaten by the planet.

Sue: Who cares? This is ****ing dreadful. I’ve lost my patience with this.

Cally successfully teleports Blake back to the ship.

TrialSue: So what did that solve, exactly? It’s just proved once again that Blake is a hopeless, selfish leader. I don’t understand why Avon didn’t let the idiot die. He should demote him at the very least.

Back on the space station, Travis and Thania are arguing over who gets to make the opening declaration.

Sue: You know, it’s hard to take someone who looks like Alvin Stardust seriously.

Blake calls a team meeting.

Sue: Maybe he learned a valuable lesson, after all.

Blake’s plan is very simple:

Blake: A high-speed attack. A single strike run. We’ll be on them before they know and away before they can respond.

Avon: Where?

Blake: Servalan’s headquarters.

Sue: My mistake. He’s learned nowt. So who’s he going to get killed this week?

Travis addresses the courtroom with a damning defence of his actions.

Sue: Come on! Love-a-me too. Won’t you be my Coo Ca Choo?

Me: Eh?

Sue: It’s his black leather glove that does it.

Travis starts yelling and screaming.

Sue: YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!

Meanwhile, Federation ships are approaching the Liberator.

TrialSue: Here we go. Finally, some action.

But the ships sail right past them, thanks to a detector shield invented by Avon.

Sue: That pretty much sums up this episode. Nothing is happening. Nothing at all.

Vila: They missed us! Avon’s gadget works!

Avon: It just occurred to me, that as the description of a highly sophisticated technological achievement, “Avon’s gadget works” seems to lack a certain style.

Sue turns to me and frowns.

Sue: Even Avon can’t save this episode. Come back Terry Nation, all is forgiven.

Servalan wants Travis dead.

Servalan: It really is a pity he’s got to die. He’s so much better than anything I’ve got left.

Sue: Why don’t they just make a deal? They are obviously lovers, so why don’t they just cover each other’s backs and get each other off.

Me: I beg your pardon?

Sue: The charges, you idiot. And then they can have sex together.

Travis is sentenced to death.

Sue: I don’t believe this. Blake is going to save Travis’s life, isn’t he? The idiot!

TrialTravis: The Federation is run by hypocrites and supported by fools. I’m glad to be rid of you all.

Sue: Travis would be a good replacement for Gan. In fact, I’m even more convinced that will happen. Blake’s got to get his numbers back up.

The Liberator fires on the space station, hitting the courtroom, but Travis jumps through a closing door just in time to escape the cold vacuum of space.

Sue: Wow. His jumping is almost as subtle as his acting.

Blake tells Zen to get them the hell out of there.

Sue: What? WAIT! Come back and finish them off! Two more shots and they’ll all be dead. What are you doing?

Travis makes his way to Servalan’s office.

Sue: It’s all kicking off, now. Better late than never, I suppose.

Servalan allows Travis to continue his pursuit of Blake as an outlaw.

Sue: What a load of shit. They could have set that up in the first ten minutes. What a waste of an episode.

Back on the Liberator, Blake and Avon are talking about Zil.

TrialAvon: I would quite like to have met this Zil of yours. It’s not often that one comes across a philosophical flea.

Sue: I told you it was lice.

Blake and Avon laugh their heads off.

Sue sticks her fingers down her throat and retches.

Cue credits.

The Score:

Sue: I hated that episode.

1/10

Me: 1 out of 10? Are you on crack?

Sue: It was rubbish! Don’t tell me that you actually liked it, Neil.

Me: The bits with Travis were all right.

Sue: Are you on crack?

Me: Seriously, though. 1 out of 10? Really?

Sue: It irritated me. Blake didn’t learn a damn thing and this version of Travis is a complete joke. Even Avon bored me to tears. And as for all that crap with Lady Ga Ga? Forget it. I’ll give it a point for the costumes and the courtroom, and that’s it.

Me: Are you sure you’re feeling OK?

Here’s a picture of a kitten to take your mind off Sue’s score:

Kitten

Next Time:

Warning: Glen’s trailer includes minor spoilers for the next episode.

Back
Next

Pressure Point

Gan’s gan…

Pressure PointThis episode immediately squeezes Sue’s pressure point.

Sue: Oh no! Terry ****ing Nation! Why, Neil? Why?

Resistance soldiers are being spied on from a cottage.

Sue: That’s quaint.

She quickly changes her tune when we enter the cottage.

Sue: Oh my God. What have the Space Vampires done to the place?

Her disappointment with the Federation’s restoration work dissipates when she realises that Travis and Servalan are in this one.

Sue: Is Servalan on her way to Ascot?

Travis and Servalan are preparing to spring a trap on Blake.

Servalan: I have waited for 18 days!

Sue: So Travis and Servalan have been cottaging for 18 days? I wonder how they passed the time…

Me: Stop it, Sue.

Pressure PointSue: Poor Servalan. She can’t tilt her head back because her hat will hit the back of her collar. That must be really irritating.

The resistance soldiers are blown to bits in the Forbidden Zone.

Sue: That looked all right. In fact, that was pretty horrific.

Meanwhile, Blake is preparing to return to Earth.

Sue: Here we ****ing go. About bloody time.

Blake wants to locate Control.

Blake: Two hundred years ago, when the Federation began expansion and conquest, the Administration established a computer complex to monitor information: political, civil, military – everything. That computer is the nerve center of all Federation activity.

Sue: Oh no. Not another computer. Hasn’t Blake got enough computers already? What does he want another one for?

Blake wants to smash this particular computer to pieces. Its destruction will throw the Federation into chaos.

Sue: There are no words to describe how stupid Vila looks this week.

Me: But you’ll have a go anyway.

Pressure PointSue: He looks like a JCB driver who’s been interrupted as he takes his safety jacket off.

Me: Right…

Sue: Apart from that, this is a good start. A rest has done Terry the world of good.

Servalan and Travis disagree about the best way to spring their trap.

Sue: I like the direction in this episode. Plenty of meaty close-ups. And this set must have been a nightmare to light. Everything is so white. No, it’s very good, this.

Blake wants to know if Avon will help him.

Sue: He’s got no chance. Look at Avon’s body language – arms folded, no eye-contact.

Avon: Well, of course. I am surprised you ever doubted it.

Sue: Eh?

Avon has an ulterior motive.

Avon: The resistance movements on Earth will launch an all-out attack to destroy the Federation. They will need unifying. They will need a leader. You will be the natural choice.

Sue: He wants the ship.

She guesses right.

Sue: You know, Avon is even more handsome when he smiles.

Pressure PointBlake: Could be you’re planning just a little far ahead.

Avon: Perhaps. But sooner or later, I will have my chance.

Sue: Ooh, you can cut the tension with a knife. I know it’s still early, but this is easily the best episode of Blake’s 7 so far. Don’t **** it up, Terry.

The Liberator enters Earth’s orbit.

Jenna: It’s been a long time.

Sue: Far too long. About eight episodes too long, actually.

Servalan has captured the resistance leader, Kasabi. The pair have previous.

Sue: Bloody hell, she just pushed Servalan over. I think Servalan’s hat must have unbalanced her.

Back on the Liberator, the crew are waiting for Kasabi’s signal.

Sue: There’s more than enough room for them on that sofa if everyone budged up a bit. There’s no need for them to sit on the floor like that.

Travis uses a truth drug to extract the details of Kasabi’s planned rendezvous with Blake.

Sue: I’m actually impressed with Travis this week.

Servalan gives Travis a smack when he tries to stop her from killing Kasabi. Sue laughs.

Pressure PointSue: And now I can’t take him seriously again.

Before she dies, Kasabi puts Servalan in her place.

Sue: She wasn’t a very good actress. That scene could have been so much better, but you can’t blame Terry for that. The script is really good.

Blake prepares to teleport to Earth. He tells Avon to put him down a mile away from the homing beacon.

Avon: What’s the matter, Blake? Don’t you trust your friends?

Blake: Of course. I trust them the same way I trust you.

Sue: Blake’s people management skills are horrendous.

Blake teleports to Earth.

Sue: Could Avon put Blake down in a tree if he wanted to?

Blake takes cover in some bracken.

Sue: There he goes, crashing about the place like a baby elephant. And speaking of baby elephants…

Gan is down and safe.

Me: Have you noticed anything unusual about this episode so far?

Sue: It’s really good?

Me: What about the music?

Sue: There isn’t any. Good, isn’t it?

Pressure PointBlake and Gan enter an abandoned church, where they find Kasabi’s daughter, Veron. She drops her gun and faints.

Sue: Was that supposed to be a toy gun? When it hit the floor it sounded like it was made out of wood.

Back on the Liberator, Avon is feeling jumpy.

Avon: I have a feeling that we are not being careful enough.

Sue: You wouldn’t get this half-cocked shit with Avon in charge. If Blake screws this up, Avon should make the crew vote for a new captain.

Gan treats Veron’s wounds.

Sue: Is it Gan’s turn to be the ship’s doctor? Was Orac teaching him First Aid last week? And where is Orac anyway? They never turn him on when it’s important.

Veron rests her head on the church’s muddy floor.

Sue: Teleport her back to the ship! Cally wouldn’t let her sleep on the floor like that. Come on, Gan, that’s rubbish.

Avon and Vila prepare to teleport to Earth. Vila doesn’t want to go.

Vila: I don’t feel well. I’m going to be a big handicap.

Avon: I’m used to that.

Sue: Vila only really works as a character when he’s stood next to Avon. They work so well together. I could easily watch a show with just these two in it. And Avon really suits oxblood leather. Just saying.

Pressure PointAvon tests the Forbidden Zone’s security system. A field of automated mines stand between them and the entrance to a blockhouse.

Sue: Just teleport right outside the door. Come on, it’s not rocket science.

Avon and Vila are teleported to the church a split second before the Forbidden Zone erupts in an almighty explosion. Avon isn’t surprised to discover that Blake was lying when he told him that everything was fine.

Sue: Blake’s gone rogue. You can’t lie to your crew like that. That must be the final straw. Bad Blake.

While Blake considers his next move, Veron leaves the church for some air.

Sue: Kids with guns; that’s not very nice. And either she isn’t what she seems, or she’s a really bad actress. Or maybe she’s both.

Blake alters his plan.

Blake: All right then, we teleport right up to the door of the entry blockhouse.

Sue: There you go! See, that wasn’t so hard, was it?

However, before they can implement this plan, they are overcome by a gas grenade. Veron removes their teleport bracelets and does a runner.

Sue: Why isn’t the gas affecting her? Is she a robot or something? Listen, you can still hear the gas coming out of the grenade.

When Blake and his crew regain consciousness, they discover that they have been locked in the church with no means of escape.

Sue: They should put an extra bracelet on their ankles from now on – you know, for back-up – so this never happens again. I bet they won’t, though.

Pressure PointVeron has been doing Travis and Servalan’s dirty work under duress, and when Travis violently assaults the young girl, Sue rose out of her chair in anger.

Sue: ****!

Servalan: I’ll deal with her. You just bring me Blake.

Sue: Servalan looks like she’s auditioning for a part in a Morecambe and Wise Christmas Special.

Gan uses his strength to open the church door.

Sue: Gan actually did something useful for a change. Will miracles never cease?

Travis arrives at the church to find Blake gone.

Sue: I’m sorry but this Travis isn’t as good as the other one. This Travis is a bit silly.

Blake and his crew prepare to make a run for the blockhouse.

Sue: Fifty yards in eight seconds. That’s easy enough, although Gan might struggle.

Blake makes the first run. However, when Vila makes his dash, Gan decides to follow him.

Pressure PointSue: That’s Gan dead, then.

Incredibly, Gan survives.

Gan: I needed a pacemaker.

Vila: Me too. Implanted in my heart.

Sue: Love it.

When Avon makes the final run, he trips and falls.

Sue: No! Avon! No!

With a little help from Blake, Avon eventually makes it to the blockhouse.

Sue: Avon looked like an idiot, there. Vila should have been the one who fell over. Still, that was pretty exciting.

Our heroes descend a ladder which leads to the bowels of the computer complex.

Sue: The set looks great. This is much better than them running around some power station. The ladder makes the studio look enormous.

A few moments later, Blake’s crew descend another ladder, only this time the set has been bathed in red light.

Sue: OK, the ladder does look good, but it’s not that good. Actually, I should show this to my TV studio students.

Me: To show them how imaginative lighting can maximise your sets when you’re working on a tight budget?

Sue: No, I thought they could do with a laugh.

The crew come up against an electrified floor. However, just when you think they will have to turn back, they notice some handrails above them.

Pressure PointSue: Handy!

Unfortunately, one of these handrails snaps when Gan puts his weight on it.

Sue: That’s Gan dead, then.

Incredibly, Gan survives.

And then the ladder makes another cameo.

Sue: I wonder which colour will be next. I’m going with green.

Sue is biting what’s left of her nails when Blake finally reaches his goal.

Blake: We’ve done it! We’ve done it! We’ve done it! I’ve done it!

Sue: Interesting use of the word ‘I’ve’, there. Blake is a raving egomaniac.

But the room is empty. There’s nothing there. When Blake realises this, he collapses into Avon’s arms.

Sue: Blake has completely lost it. Time for Avon to take over, I think.

Travis arrives to explain the trap.

Travis: You see, it’s the great illusion, Blake. You give substance and credibility to an empty room, and the real thing becomes undetectable, virtually invisible.

Sue: That’s clever. I didn’t guess that. I just assumed that Federation security was rubbish.

Even Travis doesn’t know where the real Control is.

Sue: I bet Orac knows. Ask Orac.

Pressure PointAnd then Servalan turns up.

Sue: A dragonfly is tweaking Servalan’s nipples. I’ve seen it all now.

But that’s the least of Servalan’s problems.

Sue: Jenna may have out-smarted her, but she’ll never out-dress her.

Travis takes this turn of events extremely badly.

Sue: Every. Single. Time. I almost feel sorry for him. And even though he isn’t as good as the other Travis, he does have a very nice arse.

Blake makes a run for it.

Sue: Don’t forget to shoot Travis and Servalan in the head before you leave! Oh, wait, too late.

Servalan slaps Travis across his face. Hard.

Sue: Ooh, it’s all go this week!

Travis throws a strontium grenade at the escaping terrorists. And then Servalan and Travis run after it.

Sue: Don’t run towards the explosion, you idiots!

The roof comes crashing down.

Sue: That could have been directed a lot better. I didn’t really follow that. I thought it was Travis’s foot under that rubble for ages.

Pressure PointIncredibly, Gan doesn’t survive.

Sue: He can’t be dead. He looks fine to me.

As Gan slips away, Sue turns to me with a confused look on her face.

Sue: Is Gan really, really dead?

She’s so shocked by this, she doesn’t notice that David Jackson is still breathing heavily. And I’m not going to point it out to her.

Vila: Where’s Gan?

Blake: Gan’s dead.

Sue: Oh, I’m not that bothered. It’s sad, but he didn’t do very much. He was the most expendable member of the crew. I’m sorry, but that’s just the way it is. Still a bit of a shock, though. I didn’t expect them to go through with it.

Me: I believe the original plan was for Vila to die.

Sue: Oh no. That would have been awful. And why did they have to kill one of them? Was the wage bill spiralling out of control?

Travis and Servalan are trapped underground.

Travis: They’ll dig us out eventually.

Servalan: Oh, yes. They’ll dig us out eventually. And then I’ll bury you.

Sue: What a brilliant line. Maybe Avon and Servalan should get together…

Me: Stop it.

Pressure PointAs the Liberator breaks orbit, Blake stares at Gan’s empty chair.

Sue: Gan bloody loved that chair. Blake will have to step down now. He’s gone too far.

Cue credits.

Sue: Poor Gan. They didn’t turn the music off, and they didn’t play a sad version of the theme tune on the piano, either. That is sad.

The Score:

Sue: That was excellent. Probably the best episode yet. I’m sorry that I didn’t say very much towards the end – I was enjoying it too much. The acting was a bit dodgy at times, but the regulars were great, and the direction was excellent, too. I can’t believe Terry Nation wrote that one. Well done, Terry. Why can’t they all be like that?

9/10

Next Time:

Warning: Glen’s trailer includes minor spoilers for the next episode.

Back
Next

Horizon

Flat as a pancake…

HorizonMe: The official Blake’s 7 fan club is called Horizon.

Sue: They must really like this one, then.

The episode begins with Vila and Jenna’s faces superimposed over some stars.

Sue: Eh? What was that in aid of? Is Vila dreaming this episode?

Our intrepid heroes are falling apart.

Cally: Your headaches are from the same source as Vila’s stomach cramps and Avon’s back pains: over-stress.

Sue: I’m not convinced. Avon probably put his back out during a visit to the ship’s sex dungeon.

The crew need a holiday.

Sue: The crew need a decent plan of action. That’s what they need.

Vila: I’m going blind staring at these detectors.

Sue: They should set up a table tennis table and a dartboard in one of the empty rooms on the ship. And then they should programme Zen and Orac to monitor the detectors. Take some time off. Chill out. Relax. I don’t see the problem.

As the crew contemplate a week somewhere nice, a Federation freighter appears on their detectors.

Sue: They say there’s no rest for the wicked, and they are terrorists, so there you go.

The freighter is heading for a planet codenamed Horizon.

HorizonBlake: Population?

Zen: Negative information.

Blake: Is there any information on Horizon?

Zen: Negative.

Sue: No wonder Blake has a headache. Here’s a tip for you: ASK ORAC! You know, the computer that can see into the future and is supposed to be the answer to everything. He’s worth a million credits, for ****’s sake.

Blake wants to follow the freighter to Horizon.

Blake: That freighter’s gone to Horizon for some good reason.

Avon: Which is more than you can say for us.

Sue: Brilliant!

Meanwhile, Orac is teaching Gan a thing or two.

Me: What do you think Orac is teaching Gan?

Sue: Anger management, probably. Actually, it could be anything. Knitting, cooking, cleaning. Where do you want me to start?

A visibly exasperated Jenna (who, according to Sue, looks like Maid Marion crossed with Olivia Newton-John this week) detects something in their path.

HorizonSue: Is that ship blowing smoke rings at them?

It’s a magnetic barrier and the Liberator flies straight through it.

Sue: Oh no. Gan is making his sex face again.

The magnetic bombardment exacerbates Vila’s stomach condition.

Sue: Vila is suffering from chronic IBS. He’s showing all the classic signs.

Me: What are you looking at me for?

Cally treats Vila with a special medicinal compound.

Cally: One-third adrenalin, two-thirds soma.

Sue: One-third Gaviscon, two-thirds Buscopan is what he really needs. Actually, what Vila really needs is a poo.

Blake and Avon bicker over their next move.

Sue: They can’t go on like this. This has to come to a head sooner or later. There will be tears before bedtime, you mark my words.

Blake wants to investigate Horizon.

Blake: What are the surface conditions?

Zen: Detectors indicate that surface conditions are tolerable.

Sue: Yes, but does he need a coat? Come on Zen, be more specific, you useless piece of shit.

HorizonJenna and Blake have a good bitch about Avon before they teleport to Horizon. Blake expects Avon to run away with the Liberator in his absence. What he doesn’t expect is Avon walking in on him when he says this.

Sue: Awkward.

Blake and Jenna teleport down to the planet.

Sue: The first thing they should now say is: “Did he hear me? Do you think he heard me? What if he heard me?” But they don’t even acknowledge it. That isn’t very realistic.

Horizon isn’t very hospitable.

Sue: They’ve arrived on another shit hole. What a surprise.

The ruler of Horizon is a man named Ro.

Sue: It’s the Asian Rowan Atkinson.

She didn’t even know that his name was Ro.

Sue: I had a red velvet jacket like that, although mine wasn’t as nice as his. His jacket is nicely tailored and mine was probably made out of velour.

Blake and Jenna are attacked by natives welding blowpipes.

Sue: Ooh! Right in the bum. Nasty.

Meanwhile, Vila is knocking back a glass of green on the Liberator.

HorizonSue: You should never mix drugs with alcohol, and that’s definitely crème de menthe. He plays a good drunk, though. Something tells me the actor has had a lot of practice.

Me: We’ve watched 16 and a half episodes of Blake’s 7 and you still don’t know the actors’ names.

Sue: Well, there’s Paul Darrow and Gareth somebody. And… And… No, I don’t. Sorry.

When Cally offers to teleport to Horizon to check on Blake and Jenna, Gan guilt-trips Vila into going instead.

Gan: You wouldn’t want to send Cally in your place, would you?

Sue: Eh? How is sending a pissed Vila better than the only person on the ship who knows how to look after herself. How sexist is that?

Either way, Avon is sitting this one out.

Avon: I am not expendable, I’m not stupid, and I’m not going.

Sue: I love it.

When Gan and Vila teleport to Horizon, Vila quickly gets into trouble.

Sue: Avon teleported Vila into that puddle on purpose. He couldn’t resist it.

Vila is taken out with a dart from a blowpipe. His backwards fall has to be seen to be believed:

[jwplayer mediaid=”7949″]

Sue: OK, I get it. Vila’s funny.

And then, for a significant portion of the episode, Sue says nothing at all.

Sue: I’m trying to follow the plot. It’s quite interesting, but I know what’s going to happen. This guy will come good, Blake and his crew will have a nice holiday on this planet, and everyone will laugh down the camera lens at the end. You’ll see.

HorizonWhen Ro interrogates Blake, he discovers that an old friend on the same prison ship as Blake.

Sue: What are the chances of that. Did we ever meet him?

Me: No.

Sue: It must have happened during those missing months we never saw.

Ro is visited by two Kommissars from the Federation. They don’t appear to notice that Ro’s prisoner is the most wanted man in the galaxy.

Sue: Blake can’t be that famous, then. Which is strange because Vila made a big deal out of that at the beginning of the episode. Maybe Blake is a Z-list celebrity. Maybe everybody’s talking about Avon instead.

Blake’s crew are sent into Horizon’s mines.

Sue: Great. A story set in a mine. Just what I wanted.

Blake immediately takes control of the miners’ rations.

Sue: Blake always has to be the boss. He’s a raving egomaniac. He’d be completely useless on Survivor. They always vote the know-it-all out first.

Cally teleports to Horizon. She is captured within seconds.

HorizonSue: They are completely hopeless. They may as well teleport themselves straight into a prison cell.

The next time we see Vila and Blake, they are both topless.

Me: There you go, Sue: some eye-candy for you to feast on.

Sue: Don’t make me laugh! If I want to look at a pale, out-of-shape mess, I can stare at you. Oh look! Blake’s got moobs.

When Cally fails to answer his calls, Avon makes his move.

Avon: I think it’s time to leave.

Sue: No! You can’t do that! No!

Cally is interrogated by Ro. She tells him that the Kommissar killed his father.

Sue: What’s really funny about this is he thinks she’s got these amazing telepathic powers, when in actual fact she just read this stuff off a piece of paper before she left. That sums up Cally in a nutshell.

The Kommissars discuss Ro’s ability to control Horizon.

Me: The assistant Kommissar was Elisabeth Sladen’s husband.

HorizonSue: I didn’t know that Elisabeth Sladen married Ridley Scott.

Kommissar: Blake and his crew are the most sought after criminals in the galaxy.

Sue: Ah, so he did know about Blake, after all. If only I still cared. This is really slow, Neil.

Alone on the Liberator, Avon has an important decision to make.

Sue: Avon won’t go. He’d get bored if he didn’t have someone to take the piss out of. Orac wouldn’t be half as much fun as Vila or Gan. There’s so much more to work with.

She pretends that it’s a foregone conclusion, but she still bites her nails while Avon considers his options.

Sue: Look, just call the show Avon and be done with it. I’ll be honest with you, Neil. If it wasn’t for Avon I’d probably struggle with Blake’s 7. I think he’s great.

Me: Really? I never would have guessed.

With Federation pursuit ships heading their way, Avon decides to do the decent thing.

Sue: I knew he wouldn’t leave. But it was fun to see him think about it.

Avon teleports to Horizon.

HorizonSue: Sometimes, Avon is the spitting-double of Pete Beale from EastEnders. The original, I mean. It’s uncanny.

Avon makes short work of the Federation’s security measures.

Sue: I thought he was going to blow the tip of his gun after he shot that guard. He’s so cool, he doesn’t even bother with camouflage. He’s dressed as a giant bicycle reflector.

Avon almost shoots a half-naked Blake in the head. The expression on Avon’s face says it all.

Sue: He can’t take his eyes off Blake’s moobs.

Me: All right, Treacle.

Our heroes teleport back to the Liberator.

Sue: Breathe in, Blake. Breathe in.

Back on Horizon, Ro’s lover urges him to do the right thing.

Sue: She looks like his twin sister. That’s really weird.

Me: They say you’re attracted to people who look like you.

Sue: God, I hope not. That would mean I look like you.

Ro changes into a ceremonial dress and helmet and then, with a little help from Blake, he shoots the Kommissar with his blowpipe.

HorizonSue: At least he’s got a nice chest.

Ro tells Blake that he’s welcome on Horizon any time.

Sue: Why would he ever go back there? It’s a dump!

The Federation’s pursuit ships are about to arrive.

Sue: Finally! Some action!

Blake holds firm and the enemy ships are destroyed by the planet’s magnetic barrier.

Sue: Well, that was an anti-climax. Thanks for that.

Vila: I’ll tell you this, though: it beats work.

Sue: Really? That was bloody hard work if you ask me.

Cue credits, which Sue doesn’t read. Sigh.

The Score:

Sue: That was boring. It started well, and the scenes with Avon were great, but I knew what was going to happen; there were no surprises. And the guest actors didn’t do it for me. They were so dull. No, I didn’t like that one at all. I’m really sorry, Blake’s 7 fans, but ‘Horizon’ is shit.

3/10

Next Time:

Warning: Glen’s trailer includes a MASSIVE SPOILER for the next episode.

Back
Next

Weapon

Travis 2: Electric Boogaloo…

WeaponThis episode begins with a space ship crashing into a planet.

Sue: Have we skipped a scene? Am I supposed to care about this?

There are two survivors: Coser and Rashel. They have faked their own deaths.

Sue: Are they from Gallifrey?

Me: No.

Sue: Well, they definitely bought their clothes there. It’s the only place in the universe where you can find collars as ridiculous as that.

Wait for it…

Sue: Is it the Master?

Meanwhile, someplace else, a one-eyed man, dressed from head to toe in black leather, is about to get a fright.

Sue: Who’s he supposed to be?

Me: Wait and see.

Sue: Why is this guy dressed as Travis? Has Travis started a fashion trend back on Earth? I’m confused.

Blake confronts the cosplayer.

WeaponSue: Eh? Why is Blake in a church? Oh, I get it: Blake is dreaming this and he’s mixed-up Travis’s face with Elvis’s face. That explains the quivering lip. Clever.

The Elvis/Travis hybrid murders Blake.

Sue: Blake must have eaten some seriously strong cheese before he went to bed.

An old woman named Fen arrives to chide the cold-blooded killer.

Fen: You’re a sad man, Travis.

Sue: Pause the bloody DVD, Neil.

Me: It’s not my fault. I didn’t recast him.

Sue: But he doesn’t look anything like Travis! Even the eyepatch is wrong. It’s too shiny. Why did the other Travis leave?

Me: I have no idea. Do I look like John Williams?

I press Play.

Sue: Please tell me that this old lady isn’t the new Servalan.

Travis: I want the other one.

Sue: Don’t we all, mate.

Travis: Get the other one.

Sue: Yes, for ****’s sake, get the other one!

And then another Blake appears.

Sue: So they’ve made some robots that look like Blake. How predictable.

WeaponWe cut to the Liberator, which means it’s time for Sue to pass judgement on what the crew are wearing this week.

Sue: Avon is popping out to deliver some chocolates to a beautiful woman on a boat; Cally looks like she’s been in the Liberator‘s sex dungeon with that gold collar around her neck; and thank God Jenna’s broaches aren’t any lower down. I wouldn’t have thought a dress like that would be very practical for freedom fighting. I just hope she’s wearing sensible shoes.

Luckily for them, Coser’s sartorial sense makes Blake’s crew look like catwalk models.

Sue: You know, I’m pretty sure Peter Gabriel wore that outfit when he was in Genesis.

Servalan arrives to chastise Travis.

Sue: Yes! She’s the same Servalan. That’s a relief.

Travis learns that Servalan was using him as a glorified Blake-detector.

Sue: Servalan always looks to me like she’s about to get married.

Travis physically assaults Servalan. She doesn’t seem to mind.

Sue: I’d have him shot for that. The real Travis wouldn’t do something like that. Who is this guy?

Meanwhile, Blake is planning his latest scheme to hurt the Federation. Avon isn’t impressed.

WeaponAvon: It is a triple-A security installation.

Sue: It runs on triple-A batteries.

Orac isn’t much help, either.

Blake: Orac, your information on the Weapons Development Base is unsatisfactory.

Orac: Define unsatisfactory.

Sue: Blake gets enough grief from Avon without Orac chipping in with his lip. I still think it’s unfair that Blake has to put up with two stroppy computers. Three, if you count Avon.

Meanwhile, Coser and Rashel find shelter in an abandoned dining room.

Sue: They’ve turned up for their Genesis tribute gig at the Student Union far too early. They haven’t cleared-up after the T-Rex covers band they had on last night.

Coser resents the position he’s been placed in.

Coser: They were trying to take the credit for my work. They were going to steal it right in front of me. As though I were so unimportant or stupid they didn’t even have to pretend it wasn’t happening.

Sue: He’s got a massive chip on his shoulder; I’m surprised there’s room for it with that collar.

WeaponServalan can’t praise the clone makers enough.

Servalan: They are a little awesome.

Sue: They may be awesome, chick, but I wouldn’t trust them to put my make up on. Look at the state of her face.

Servalan is surprised to learn that Fen is a clone too.

Fen: The child was identical in every way to the child that she had once been.

Sue: It doesn’t seem fair for them to be talking about identical looking people when this new Travis is in the same room. It’s very rude.

Me: What do you think of the new Travis?

Sue: It’s too early to tell. It doesn’t help that he doesn’t look or act like Travis. This isn’t Doctor Who, you know.

Blake’s clone doesn’t possess Blake’s memories.

Fen: We have given him some background knowledge, the beginnings of identity, and the basis of understanding.

Sue: Have they told him that he’s a convicted child molester, or did they leave that part out?

WeaponServalan: The Federation needs this man.

Sue: So Servalan’s got herself a toy Blake. Is this a sex-thing or a take-over-the-universe-thing? Or both?

Orac has some exciting news for Blake.

Blake: So something called IMIPAK is missing, together with a Beta class weapons technician named Coser.

Sue: IMIPAK sounds like something you’d shave your legs with.

Coser’s mood hasn’t improved since we last saw him.

Sue: I don’t know what his problem is. He’s stuck in a low-lit room with a beautiful woman who wants to be his slave, and he doesn’t even crack a smile.

Coser is a paranoid, aggressive, control freak with delusions of grandeur.

Sue: Am I supposed to care about this guy, because I don’t. If Blake saves this guy, I won’t be very happy. His companion can stay – she’s lovely – but he’s horrible.

Servalan is visited by Carnell, a brilliant Federation psychostrategist. The flirting is off the chart.

WeaponSue: WHAT IS SHE DOING WITH HER HAND?!

Carnell and Servalan want to steal IMIPAK from Coser.

Sue: Blake’s 7 is a very strange programme. On the one hand, you’ve got all this gritty terrorism going on, and on the other hand you’ve got camp scenes like this that wouldn’t look out of place in Dallas or Dynasty. It’s gritty glam.

Blake wants to get his hands on IMIPAK too, even though he doesn’t know what it is. Vila says he can live without it.

Blake: It’s just conceivable that you can’t.

Avon: Unless of course you want your last words to be, “So that’s IMIPAK.”

Sue laughs so much, I have to pause the DVD. In fact, from this point on, you can assume that Sue’s laughs at everything Avon says.

Sue: Avon gets all the best lines. I bet the rest of the cast hated Paul Darrow.

Carnell is so clever, he can beat a computer at chess.

Sue: If you owned an electronic chess set in the 1970s, you were seriously posh. I don’t trust this slime ball one bit.

WeaponCarnell: Always remember, the Officer Corps will forgive anything it can understand. Which makes intelligence about the only sin.

Sue: He reminds me of Francis from House of Cards, pulling the strings behind the scenes.

Me: I couldn’t possibly comment.

Sue: The only difference is I never wanted Francis to die a horrible, painful death every time I saw his face.

Coser is woken from his slumber by the sound of an approaching monster.

Sue: I can’t believe that he didn’t take his collar off before he went to bed. That won’t do his neck any favours. No wonder he’s in such a foul mood.

Coser and Rashel are attacked by a giant claw.

Sue: That claw has definitely been in Doctor Who. Don’t ask me what it’s called, but it’s definitely been in Doctor Who. And if it wasn’t in Doctor Who, it should have been. It’s right up Doctor Who‘s street.

Coser fires IMIPAK at the creature.

Sue: Your gun is rubbish, mate.

Oh no it isn’t. Death is just a button-press away.

Sue: OK, fair enough. I’ll give you that. But it isn’t very practical. What if someone came at you with a gun? You’d have to shoot them, put the gun away, switch on the box and then press the button. You’d be dead before you put the bloody gun away.

Blake’s clone arrives on the scene. Luckily for him, Coser is a fully paid-up member of the Blake’s 7 fan club and he welcomes the terrorist with open arms. He even has a present for him.

Clone: A gun?

WeaponCoser: Not just a gun – IMIPAK. It’s called IMIPAK: Induced Molecular Instability Projector and Key.

Sue: IMIPAK! Only 9.99. While stocks last.

Coser: IMIPAK!

Sue: I’m sorry, what’s it called again? I didn’t quite catch that.

Coser: This has a range of up to a million miles. Just think of it! You set the range here. If he’s within a million miles, you can kill a marked man anytime you want without even seeing him again.

Sue: It’s perfect for snipers who faint at the sight of blood, but the name needs work. What about Death Delayer 1000, or something like that.

Servalan arrives, dressed as the White Witch from Narnia. Avon, on the other hand, has teleported to the planet dressed as a lobster.

Sue: I’m not a big fan of lobster, but I think I’ll make an exception in this case.

Coser is killed with his own weapon. It’s called IMIPAK by the way.

Sue: Good riddance to bad rubbish. What a pompous git. Just think: if the real Blake had turned up earlier, this git would have joined the crew. What a nightmare that would have been.

Servalan shoots Travis in the back with IMIPAK when he’s not looking.

Sue: What a cow. Travis doesn’t know what’s hit him. Literally. It’s pretty good, this. So does Servalan get a decent henchman next week?

WeaponAvon, Blake and Gan storm the building, their guns drawn.

Sue: Avon has been practicing that. You can tell.

Me: They’re not Charlie’s Angels, but they’ll do.

Servalan has marked all three of them for death, so they do the only thing they can: they run.

Zen: The planet has been seeded with small proximity mines in random orbit. Detection was too late for a warning to be given.

Sue: This is why they need to leave Orac switched on. He can see this sort of thing coming a mile off. Can’t he, Neil?

Back on the planet, Rashel and Blake’s clone turn the tables on Servalan and Travis.

Servalan: I’ll see that you never leave this planet.

Rashel: I know. But make sure you do it from at least a million miles away.

Blake’s clone and Rashel want to be left alone.

Rashel: We could start to explore our planet.

Sue: And after that, we could start to explore, you know, each other.

The episode concludes with Servalan receiving an answer phone message from Carnell.

Sue: Even in defeat, he’s a smug ****.

Carnell: One last thing, Supreme Commander. I must tell you this…

WeaponSue: I really, really fancy you.

Carnell: You are undoubtedly the sexiest officer I have ever known.

This renders Sue speechless. The last thing she expected was a character trumping her in the ridiculous comment department.

Sue: Did he really just say that? I… I… Have you spiked my tea, Neil?

The Score:

Sue: Now that was more like it. It was insanely camp, but I enjoyed it. I’m not sure about the new Travis but Servalan is always fun to watch. The direction and locations were pretty good, and even though the acting was all over the place, it was never boring. I like Blake’s 7 so much more when the bad guys are actually involved in the plot. Yes, it was a bit silly, but I really enjoyed that one.

8/10

Sue: I love the idea that there’s another version of Blake running around, having a nice life. I wonder if we’ll ever see him again.

Next Time:

Warning: Glen’s trailers may include spoilers for the next episode.

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Shadow

Carried away by a Moon Disc Shadow…

ShadowChris Boucher’s name elicits a round of applause from Sue.

Sue: Thank God for that.

Me: Don’t get too excited. You didn’t like Chris Boucher’s Doctor Who episodes very much.

Sue: Oh.

This episode begins with two tramps (Bek and Hanna) who are being taunted by a Bond villain named Largo (what are the chances of that?) with jellied treats made by Heston Blumenthal. Or at least that’s what it says in my notes.

Sue: He’s famous.

She’s pointing at Karl Howman.

Sue: I recognise his voice. Who is he?

Me: Karl Howman.

Sue: That doesn’t help.

Bek and Hanna turn the tables on Largo and they escape with a big bag of tasty Heston treats.

Bek: You stupid murdering scumball.

Sue: He’s a Space Cockney! Come on, Neil, pause the DVD and tell me who that is.

Karl HowmanMe: I’ve already told you – it’s Karl Howman. OK, do you remember a BBC sitcom called Brush Strokes? Theme tune by Dexys Midnight Runners (also missing an apostrophe, by the way). He played a cheeky painter and decorator. Late eighties. A bit shit.

Sue: Never heard of it.

It must have been the way I described it, because she remembered it quite fondly when I loaded up the title sequence on YouTube.

Sue: Oh yeah, he was quite dishy in that. Has he been in anything else?

Me: Well, he was in a long-running series of TV adverts.

Sue: Oxo.

Me: No.

Sue: Beer.

Me: No.

Sue: Creosote.

Me: What? No.

And then she listed practically everything that has ever been advertised on British television, including dog biscuits, toilet paper, Tango, toothpaste, and crisps. And then she gave up.

Me: Flash cleaning products. Remember?

Sue: No.

She does when I fire up YouTube:

Sue: Oh yeah. Him. I wish I’d never asked now.

While Bek and Hanna consider their next move, the Liberator can be seen through the window behind them.

Sue: That was a nice touch. I really liked that. It gives the place a sense of scale. The direction is a lot better already.

The action switches to the Liberator‘s flight deck.

Sue: Now that’s how you light a set. And isn’t it nice to see them all together in the same shot like that.

ShadowMe: Yeah, they’re one big happy family.

Sue: I like the way Blake gets the comfy seat.

Zen: All systems functioning. Status is firm.

Sue: Too much information, Zen.

Blake: So, that is Space City.

Vila: Also known as the satellite of sin.

Sue: Or Las Vegas in Space. Am I right?

Vila’s costume raises an eyebrow.

Sue: Has Vila been fencing?

Me: Not the sort you mean, no.

Meanwhile, on Space City, Bek and Hanna are arguing over a drug-addled corpse.

Sue: This is a bit bleak. Where are the dancing girls and roulette tables?

Me: This isn’t Las Vegas in Space, it’s an Edinburgh Housing Estate in Space.

Vila desperately wants to visit Space City.

ShadowSue: Vila’s sideburns are enormous. I bet Space Elvis is playing at Space Vegas tonight and Vila’s a big fan. That’s why he can’t wait to get over there. By the way, I don’t rate the actor who plays Vila. He’s over the top.

Me: I love you to bits, Sue, but you are completely wrong about Vila. Just so we’re clear on that.

Cally sees through Vila’s pathetic attempt to get off the ship.

Sue: Anyone would think she was a telepath.

So Vila persuades Orac to operate the teleport instead.

Vila: Don’t start sulking again, or I shall switch you off and throw away the key.

Orac: Soon, that will no longer be a problem.

Sue: Orac is going to take over the ship! I knew you couldn’t trust him. And Vila didn’t notice because he’s too busy thinking about Space Elvis. Oh dear. This won’t end well.

On Space City, Blake, Avon and Jenna are bargaining with an amused Largo, who claims that the drug-running Terra Nostra are a myth.

Sue: You can’t bribe the Mafia with paperweights, Avon. Everybody knows that.

To illustrate this point, Largo takes Blake and his crew hostage.

ShadowLargo: Amateur.

Sue: You can’t really argue with that. Blake is very naive. I’m surprised that Avon agreed to go along with this stupid plan.

Orac has been a very naughty boy.

Zen: The one called Orac is not concerned for the safety of the Liberator.

Sue: Hark at Zen! “The one called Orac!” Zen’s nose has definitely been put out of joint. I can’t wait to see Zen and Orac bickering with each other. It’s bound to happen sooner or later. And is Cally going to a medieval banquet tonight or what?

Cally makes radio contact with Vila.

Vila: (off-screen) What do you want, Cally?

Sue: Cut to Vila in a Space Brothel, surrounded by Space Prostitutes.

Cally: I want you back here. Get ready to teleport.

Vila: (off-screen) You’re wasting your time, Cally. I’m not wearing a bracelet.

Sue: He’s not wearing anything, Cally. Unless you count his sideburns.

Blake, Avon, Gan and Jenna have been imprisoned in Space City with Bek and Hanna. Bek isn’t impressed with Blake’s decision to employ Gan as his lookout.

Bek: I mean, he’d really blend into the background, wouldn’t he? What did you do, put up a sign?

Sue: The script is a big improvement on the rubbish we usually get. This is shaping up nicely.

ShadowLargo tests Blake by asking him how many shuttle craft he has on the Liberator, and then he puts the same question to Cally on the flight deck.

Sue: If she was a proper telepath, she’d know the answer to that.

Cally extracts the answer from Blake with her telepathic powers.

Sue: Bloody hell! They remembered that Cally is a telepath! This gets better and better.

Cally threatens to blast Space City to smithereens if they don’t release her friends. Space City think she’s drunk, so she blows up one of their ships.

Sue: Proper terrorism for a change. About time.

The crew teleport back to the Liberator, leaving Bek and Hanna behind.

Sue: (as Blake) Thanks for your help and everything but we’re off. Try not to get killed. Bye!

A few seconds later, Blake comes back for them.

Blake: I changed my mind.

Sue: Aww, bless.

The Liberator leaves Space City in its wake.

ShadowSue: I really enjoyed that. That episode flew by.

Me: We’re only half-way through.

Sue: Oh. Bollocks.

Vila is recovering from the mother of all hangovers, so Avon has to resort to insulting Gan instead.

Gan: Can’t find Orac. Even tried calling his name.

Avon: Oh, I’m sorry I missed that. It’s the kind of natural stupidity no amount of training could ever hope to match.

Sue: I don’t know why they put up with him. I mean, I love Avon to bits but you have to ask yourself: why don’t they throw him off the ship? His main function seems to be putting people on edge and winding them up.

And then Avon takes the piss out of Blake’s decision to intimidate the Terra Nostra with force.

Avon: Law makers, law breakers, let us fight them all. Why not?

Sue: Because it’s stupid?

Cally searches for Orac, who is playing hard to get.

Sue: You can’t count Orac as one of the Seven if he’s a baddie. This has completely ruined the title of the programme again.

The next thing we know, Cally is trapped in a metaphorical box.

ShadowSue: What the ****? Has Cally been on the Shadow? Is this what Shadow does to you? The last thing they need is a drug that makes them more paranoid than they already are.

Cally is in a catatonic state, but Blake isn’t bothered by that. He’s too busy planning his takeover of the Terra Nostra’s supply of Shadow.

Sue: He’s going to do a Heisenberg. It’s turned into Blake-ing Bad.

The Federation are in cahoots with the Terra Nostra.

Sue: That’s interesting. I like it when the Federation are involved. I feel like we’re actually getting somewhere. I have a lot more faith in this programme now that Terry’s left.

Me: It’s only been thirty minutes!

Sue: I feel like I’m watching a completely different programme.

Cally is trapped in Orac’s head. Or as Sue so eloquently puts it:

Sue: What the ****?

Orac: Obviously, she’s insane.

Sue: First he can predict the future – or so he says – and now he makes one of the crew go mad. I’ll ask you again: what the ****?

Blake, Jenna and Avon prepare to teleport to Zondar, the planet where Shadow is grown and harvested.

ShadowSue: (as Blake) But let’s have a quick fencing tournament, first.

Once on Zondar, Sue remembers where’s she’s seen Blake’s pyjamas before.

Sue: He’s come dressed as Luke Skywalker. They’ve even landed on Tatooine. Off-season by the look of it. Why didn’t George Lucas sue them?

Me: He was too busy suing Battlestar Galactica.

Gan has been left on the Liberator to sulk.

Sue: Gan is pissed off because they don’t have any cream pyjamas in his size.

Gan: All system are functioning normally. Status is firm.

Sue: Seriously, that is too much information!

Blake, Avon and Jenna explore Zondar’s surface.

Sue: Blake isn’t afraid to show off his chest. Avon, not so much. That is a shame.

Me: Jenna’s nipples are enormous.

Sue: I beg your pardon?

Me: The cat. Her nipples are enormous. You know, because she’s about to give birth. Actually, I don’t know why I felt the urge to say that.

Sue: I can take a bloody good guess.

The planet is populated by Moon Discs.

Sue: They look like wood-turned oyster boxes.

Me: We’ll just have to take your word for that.

Meanwhile, Orac is still driving Cally (and Sue) mad.

ShadowOrac: Listen to the voice of Orac. Remember the touch of hands and laughter and the warmth of open minds. Remember these things for they are gone. You are alone.

Sue: OK, now I’m really confused.

Blake discovers a series of reflecting mirrors in the sand which provide shade for the Moon Discs.

Blake: All we’ve got to do is plant these sensors in some form of rough circle. The battle computers will put together a complete picture of what’s there.

Sue: Sensors? They’re tent pegs!

The Shadow gardens are patrolled by men dressed in what Sue describes as the best example of restricted vision on a helmet ever. And there’s plenty of competition for that title on Blake’s 7. Blake makes short work of them, probably because they can’t see him.

Sue: What a bunch of Space Jesses.

Meanwhile, back on the Liberator, Orac is going nuts.

Sue: Quick! Pour some coffee over him!

Cally teleports to the surface of Zondar, and it isn’t long before she’s rolling around in the sand, surrounded by Moon Discs.

Sue: This planet would be a great place for a spa. You could train the plants to work as hot stones.

ShadowOrac electrocutes Hanna to death when she tries to switch him off.

Sue: At least there’s no blood for them to clean up. All that scrubbing and rinsing…

The Liberator is going to crash on the planet below.

Sue: Blimey, it’s all go. I don’t know what’s happening, but I think I’m enjoying it.

Cally sorts it out, and then she has a lot of explaining to do. It appears that Orac was taken over by a creature from another dimension, and Cally used the Moon Discs to repel it. The Terra Nostra were unavailable for comment.

Cally: Their telepathy gave me courage. Perhaps it gave me strength, too.

Sue: So the drugs do work. And you’d have to be on drugs to make sense of that. I mean, what the ****?

Blake promises to return for Bek in three years.

Sue: I bet he bloody doesn’t.

Before they leave Zondar behind, Blake offers Bek a way to avenge Hanna’s death.

ShadowBlake: Bek, that button burns the President’s garden. It won’t hurt him much, but it’ll sting a bit.

Me: Blake does all the hard work so you don’t have to.

Bek moves to press the button. Cue credits.

Sue: So they murdered all the telepathic plants. The plants that helped Cally. Well there’s gratitude for you.

The Score:

Sue: That was a step in the right direction. The dialogue was a massive improvement, the acting was pretty good, and everything Avon said was hilarious. It was still a bit of a mess, though. The Space Mafia were interesting but they didn’t go anywhere with it. I could have done without the Cally subplot completely. It didn’t make any sense. And I wanted to see more of Space Vegas. I wanted to see Space Craps.

6/10

Sue: And I don’t trust Orac.

Me: It wasn’t Orac’s fault. He was possessed.

Sue: Hmm. I’m not convinced. That was Orac’s first attempt at a hostile take-over. Quantum space monster my arse.

Next Time:

Warning: Glen’s trailers include mild spoilers for the next episode.

Good News!

Jenna has given birth!

Jenna and her five kittens are doing well. I’m a nervous wreck but they’re fine.

We’re trying not to get too attached to the kittens because they will be re-homed in a few weeks, but for now we’re calling them Alta 1, Alta 2, Alta 3, Alta 4 and Gan.

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Redemption

Now completely spoiler-free…

RedemptionSue: The title sequence hasn’t changed. That’s disappointing.

It’s not the only thing that remains the same.

Me: Ouch.

A cushion bounces off my face.

Sue: TERRY ****ING NATION!

Me: I told you that Terry didn’t write all the scripts for Series 2. I never said he didn’t write any of them.

Sue: I really hate you sometimes.

Blake is still watching the Series 1 cliffhanger.

Me: I didn’t mention this at the time, but as John Williams pointed out in the comments, it was the first time a television drama series ended on a cliffhanger. Impressive, eh?

Sue: That is quite interesting, I suppose. Shame I can’t read the comments.

This gave me pause for thought, because even though it doesn’t affect Sue – she reads these posts before I publish them – if anyone has decided to follow us and is watching Blake’s 7 for the first time, they can’t participate in the discussion below without being spoiled. Sometimes, the comments are about anything but the episode we’ve just seen! So from this point on, I’ll be moderating the comments for spoilers. Any comment that mentions a future episode, or even hints at a future development, will be edited or removed.

Sorry about that. It’s my fault for not implementing a spoiler policy in the first place.

Redemption Right, where were we?

Sue: How long has Blake been waiting for the Liberator to explode?

Me: I have no idea.

Sue: Give John Williams a call and find out.

Cally is doing some maintenance work in the teleport section.

Sue: Cally’s had her hair cut, so quite a lot of time must have passed between this one and the last one. The only other explanation is that Cally thought to herself: “Imminent destruction? I know, I’ll get my hair cut!” And that would be silly.

Me: What do you think of her new hair style?

Sue: I like it. It suits her. She needs to put some weight on, though. I worry about her health.

Everyone has decided to change into something more comfortable while they wait for certain death.

Sue: Blake has dressed for a fishing trip, Jenna is off night-clubbing again (nice boots by the way), Gan has joined the priesthood and Avon is heading for a session in the ship’s sex dungeon. I’d love to see the Liberator‘s wardrobe – I bet it’s mental.

Relations between Avon and Blake are extremely frosty.

Sue: (as Blake) For the last time, Avon, could you at least try to dress as a good guy. Black leather sends the wrong message, and you look like Travis from behind.

RedemptionMe: I thought I told you to stop shipping.

Avon tells Blake to watch the Series 1 cliffhanger one more time.

Sue: They are definitely getting their money’s worth out of this special effect. And I’m convinced that several months must have passed between this episode and the last one.

Me: What makes you say that?

Sue: Because Blake has lost weight. His clothes don’t fit him any more. Look at his jacket flapping about. Maybe he put Gan’s costume on by mistake.

Avon explains that the Liberator can’t explode if they never visit the exact position in space where the explosion occurs. And then an explosion occurs and Blake and Avon are thrown to the floor.

Sue: Avon gave Blake a sneaky cuddle, there.

The Liberator is under attack.

Sue: Nothing important will happen in this episode. I can just tell.

Me: Eh?

Sue: It’s going to be one of those ****about episodes. You know, where they get distracted by pointless nonsense for 40 minutes. And the direction is appalling. It’s so flat. Everything is shot straight on. Douglas Camfield directed a scene like this once and it was brilliant. This is hopeless.

Blake: Zen, identify the hostiles.

Sue: And put a microphone on Gan while you’re at it. I can’t hear a word he’s saying.

RedemptionZen suggests that they head for a nearby planet.

Sue: Look at the muck on this film. I can barely see anything. And why didn’t Orac predict this? What is the point of Orac if he can’t predict this?

Sue grumbles when the action on the Liberator keeps switching from video to film, and when we are on video, she complains that it’s over-lit.

Sue: I can’t get into this. Did Terry find a spare script in the bottom of a drawer? This is just more of the same. I expected Series 2 to be better than this. In fact, you promised me that Series 2 was better than this.

At least Vila and Avon provide some light relief.

Vila: When you get Zen working, ask him to prescribe something for a headache, will you? I’ve got this shocking pain right behind the eyes.

Avon: Have you considered amputation?

Sue: Poor Vila. This is basically workplace bullying. Funny, though.

Avon: Those ships should have been able to knock us out completely. Why didn’t they?

Sue: Ask Orac. I thought Orac was supposed to be the answer to all their prayers. All he’s done so far is make everyone paranoid.

Elsewhere, on Spaceworld…

Sue: It’s a jumpgate from Babylon 5.

A woman in a skin-tight blue Lycra bodystocking is, er, I’m not quite sure. I got distracted.

Sue: This is your favourite episode, isn’t it, Neil.

I fidget uncomfortably in my seat.

Sue: Even Kate Bush would think twice about wearing that. Nice arse, though.

RedemptionBlake has lost control of the Liberator, so he heads to the subcontrol room to sort it out.

Sue: What a stupid place to put a gear stick.

Blake is threatened by some sentient wiring.

Sue: It’s like The Abyss, but with electric instead of water.

Me: I think you mean it’s abysmal.

Sue: No, it’s all right. It’s quite scary. I like the idea of the ship turning on them. I just don’t understand why it’s taken so long.

Zen is no help at all.

Sue: Is Zen in a huff because he’s jealous of Orac? I bet that’s it. He hasn’t been the same since they turned Orac on.

Cally replaces a computer component on the Liberator‘s flight deck.

Sue: They’re trying to turn Cally into Romana. They’ve even given her a sonic screwdriver. Has Terry forgotten which programme he’s writing for?

The component shorts out.

Cally: It’s rejecting the replacement.

Avon: It’s more fundamental than that. We are the cause. It is rejecting us.

Sue: Maybe it was something you said? Perhaps if you promised to clean the toilets more often, the ship will let you off with a warning.

RedemptionAvon arrives in the subcontrol room to help Blake.

Avon: The ship is working against us. From now on we are just passengers.

Blake: The question is, where to?

Sue: They’re going to the one place they can’t go, obviously. Maybe Orac is doing this to prove himself right. I trust Orac about as far as I can throw him, which is probably quite far, but you know what I mean.

Avon distracts the computer and Blake escapes. When the door slams shut on Avon, Sue gasps.

Sue: For a second there, I thought Blake had locked Avon in that room on purpose. I honestly thought Blake was using that opportunity to get rid of Avon. You wouldn’t get that on Star Trek.

Meanwhile, Gan has buggered off somewhere.

Cally: He tried to reconnect one of the servo links and it burned his hand.

Sue: Typical Gan. Always on the sick.

Gan is ambushed by unwelcome visitors in the teleport room.

Sue: They’re using the same guns as Blake. Wait a minute… I know what’s happening. Either the BBC have run out of money and they’re recycling props, or this lot have come back for their ship.

Me: Are you excited that you’ll find out who built the Liberator?

Sue: I couldn’t care less. I hadn’t given it a second thought.

RedemptionAt least the Liberator‘s supply of bracelets has been replenished.

Sue: Lesley Judd’s been busy.

Cally searches for Vila, who went missing searching for Gan.

Cally: Vila? Vila!

Sue: Cally – the only telepath who needs to shout.

The Liberator‘s walls are splattered with blood.

Sue: It’s turned into The Texas Chainsaw Massacre now. Listen! you can hear a chainsaw starting up.

Me: That’s Dudley’s maracas, love.

Sue believes that Blake should give the Liberator back to the aliens.

Sue: Well it is their ship. Maybe if they asked nicely, Blake would give it back. He’s a very reasonable terrorist.

Blake switches Orac on.

Sue: Finally! What took you so long?

Blake: Orac’s systems are entirely independent of the Liberator‘s.

Sue: So Orac is basically a laptop. If they made Blake’s 7 today, you’d fit Orac in your pocket. And you could probably play mp3s on him, too.

RedemptionSue didn’t notice that Orac’s voice has changed between series, but she has noticed that the same actor voices Zen as well. This doesn’t surprise her.

Sue: Anything to save a bit of money.

The Liberator‘s flight deck is taken over by aliens, and Blake is subdued with a gun-nozzle to the face.

Sue: So Terry Nation invented the taser. I bet they didn’t know their guns could do that, which is funny when you think about it.

The Liberator is taken to Spaceworld.

Sue: I like it when the women are in charge. Although if these women were really in charge, the men would be the ones walking around in skin-tight cat suits.

Sue is impressed by Sheila Ruskin’s screen presence.

Sue: She has a very nice voice. She reminds me of Diana Rigg. She’s got a nice arse like Diana Rigg, too.

Me: I would have got a cushion in the face for that.

Orac makes a funny noise.

Sue: Orac sounds like a kitten begging for a cuddle.

Armed guards escort Blake’s crew into the depths of Spaceworld.

Sue: What is it with this programme and fetish gear? Why do all the bad guys look like they’re on their way to a sex dungeon? Avon must think that all his Christmases have come at once.

RedemptionBlake is interrogated by the System.

Sue: This is all Blake needs. Now he’s got two sets of bad guys to worry about. That doesn’t seem fair.

Alta 1: State the circumstance by which you came to be aboard Deep Space Vehicle II.

Sue: What a boring name.

Alta 1: State the astral location in which you found DSV II.

Sue: What sort of name is DSV? They don’t deserve the ship if that’s the best name they can come up with.

Me: What if they called it spaceQuest DSV, would that be any better?

Sue: No.

Blake is sentenced to death, so he fights back. He even manages to disable Alta 2.

Sue: You can punch her in the face if you like – she’s a robot. At least I think she’s a robot. Although why you’d make a robot with a nice arse is beyond me.

I say nothing.

Blake shoots at a guard on a gantry above him.

Sue: That was an incredible fall. Was that Stuart Fell?

Me: I don’t know.

Sue: Text John Williams.

Blake finds himself in a dead-end.

Sue: I’m sure this is a map on Call of Duty.

A slave provides him with an escape route.

RedemptionMe: It’s Roy Evans.

Sue: Oh no, not again.

Me: No, it’s the real Roy Evans this time.

Sue: He’s no spring chicken, but I bet he’s still a thousand times better than Gan.

Vila frees Jenna and Avon from Spaceworld’s cells, but not before Avon accidentally punches Vila in the stomach.

Sue: I don’t care what you say, Avon enjoyed that. This is just a regular Thursday night on the Liberator.

Avon: Come on!

Sue howls with laughter when Avon growls “Come on!”

Avon, Jenna, Gan, Cally and Vila run for their lives.

Sue: (as Avon) Come on!

A System guard fires on them.

Sue: I’m surprised they were allowed to set off explosives in a gas works. The risk assessment for this episode must have been a nightmare.

At least Roy Evans can shoot straight.

Sue: Taxi for Gan!

But Roy doesn’t make it – he’s shot in the back.

Sue: No! You can’t do that! He’s the best thing in this!

System guards teleport to the Liberator, armed with grenades. But they are teleported back to Spaceworld before they can throw them and the hapless guards end up attacking their own base. Sue laughs so much she spills her tea.

RedemptionSue: They make the Federation look good.

The Liberator escapes from Spaceworld.

Sue: That looks like an airport runway at night. Oh wait… it is an airport runway at night. Hang on… where are the Liberator‘s wheels?

The System sends a ship after them.

Zen: Sensors register secondary launch, a space vehicle in pursuit. Speed Standard by Fourteen.

Sue: Speed Standard by Fourteen? **** me!

The Liberator‘s sister ship is destroyed by Orac. His prophecy came true after all.

Sue: What a cop out. At least they didn’t drag it out for a whole season, I suppose.

Blake congratulates Orac.

Sue: Orac is the most useful member of Blake’s crew and he’s strapped to a ****ing trolley.

RedemptionBlake tells Zen to take them back to Earth sector.

Sue: About bloody time.

And then he tells Avon to return to his post.

Sue: If looks could kill, Blake would be having an aneurism right now.

The Score:

Sue: I struggled with that. I couldn’t get into it at all. The direction was horrendous, and did we really need another group of jackbooted villains? Hasn’t Blake got enough on his plate? And I bet we never see the Sisters again, so what was the point?

Me: System.

Sue: Sisters. System. Whatever. The episode was a complete waste of time. Avon was good, and the end was quite exciting, but this is still really, really cheap. I’m sorry, but that was disappointing.

4/10

When it was all over, I showed her this video by Gareth Roberts and Clayton Hickman. Embedding is disabled by request, the swines.

Sue: Very clever, and a massive improvement on the original.

Next Time:

Warning: Glen’s trailers can spoil specific plot points in the next episode, so please play with caution.

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