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Adventures with the Wife and Blake»Archive for May 2014

Archive for May 2014

Children of Auron

Scraping Foetus Off The Wheel…

Children of AuronSue: Oh no. Not her again.

This episode is hemorrhaging marks before it’s even begun.

Sue: So what’s her crackpot scheme this week?

There is some good news, though.

Sue: She really suits the colour black. I was tired of seeing her dressed in white all the time. And her sparkly dog collar is very kinky. I bet you fancied Servalan, Neil.

Me: I was only ten at the time. Although I did have a poster of Debbie Harry on my bedroom wall. And Joanna Lumley, too. Maybe Servalan wasn’t my type.

Sue: It still looks like she’s late for a cocktail party, but it’s an improvement on her being late for a wedding.

Servalan has two right-hand men this week. The first is a young stud named Ginka.

Sue: Space Ninjas! Is that her latest plan? I she going to attack the Liberator with Space Ninjas? She’s had crazier ideas.

Her second right-hand man is a middle-aged chap named Deral.

Sue: ****ing hell, Neil! That’s your dad!

Children of AuronOh. My. God. She’s right.

Sue: OK, he isn’t smoking a tab and complaining about his IBS, but it’s definitely your dad. It’s uncanny.

Me: Stop it! Blake’s 7 is weird enough as it is.

Servalan wants to attack an Auron space ship with her – gasp! – ionic beams.

Servalan: I want that pilot alive. Alive and vulnerable.

Sue: And in sparkly handcuffs, if you’ve got them.

Meanwhile, on the Liberator…

Sue: I wish Cally would do something about her shaggy perm. I hate shaggy perms. The number of shaggy perms I had to deal with when I was a hairdresser in the eighties. Unbelievable. Everybody wanted a shaggy perm.

Me: Did you have a shaggy perm?

Sue: Of course I ****ing did.

Sue is so obsessed with Cally’s hair, she misses a vital plot point and I have to rewind the DVD. Yes, the crew are heading back to Earth so Avon can exact revenge on a Federation thug known as Shrinker.

Avon: One of his victims was a young woman called Anna Grant. She was important to me.

Me: Do you remember Anna Grant?

Sue: No.

Children of AuronMe: Yes you do. The one where Avon had to defuse a bomb with Duggan from Doctor Who. Remember?

Sue: Oh yes. He left her to die. He hasn’t mentioned her in ages.

Me: Yes, well now he’s out for revenge.

Sue: Why not. They’ve got sod all else to do.

The Auron space ship is attacked by ionic beams.

Sue: Hey! Flash Gordon wants his space suit back.

Me: Do you recognise the pilot?

Sue: Yes, it’s Flash Gordon.

Me: I’ll ask you again when he takes his helmet off.

Sue: Is it a young Stephen Fry?

Me: (exasperated) He’s the son of a Doctor.

Sue: Is he one of the Troughtons?

Me: Yes, very good! But which one?

Sue: I don’t know. There were loads of them, weren’t there? Christmas must have been a nightmare for Patrick.

Me: Yes, Sue, BUT YOU’VE ONLY MET ONE OF THEM!

Sue: Oh! Yes! It’s.. it’s… Michael Troughton!

Children of AuronTo learn more about Sue’s epic encounter with Michael Troughton, please buy our book Adventures with the Wife in Space: Living with Doctor Who. While stocks last. I mean, come on, it’s less than four quid on the Kindle. You can’t buy a packet of tabs for that, and our book won’t give you cancer.

Sue: He’s such a lovely man. And I love his silver life jacket. I’m not sure how that would work in space, but there you go.

Back on the Liberator, Cally is telling Tarrant about her guerrilla past.

Tarrant: Where you exiled?

Cally: Yes. Why do you imagine I’ve never gone back? Affection for him?

Cut to Avon.

Sue: They’re having a lover’s tiff. Cally is jealous.

Me: (sighing) Of Dayna, I suppose.

Sue: No, stupid. She’s jealous of Anna. Avon is prepared to risk everything to avenge his ex-girlfriend. That won’t turn Cally on. Don’t you know anything about women, Neil?

Me: I’ll bear that in mind the next time I avenge an ex-girlfriend.

Back on the Auron ship, all hell is being reflected back at us with Mirrorlon.

Sue: Did they lace Michael’s drink with LSD? Because this is a bit weird.

Michael Troughton has definitely seen better days.

Children of AuronSue: So Servalan has unleashed the bubonic plague. What a bitch. That’s low, even for her.

Me and Sue: URGH!

Sue: Oh my God, Michael Troughton is leaking custard. Thanks for that image. CUT!

Cally is freaking out on the Liberator‘s flight deck.

Cally: They’re all dying. Dayna, they’re all dying!

Sue: There’s custard everywhere!

The planet Auron is in the grip of a deadly epidemic.

Module Six: First case was an hour ago. It started with the children.

Sue: And I thought Happy Valley was bleak. Jesus…

A woman named Zelda is instructed to prepare Auron’s genetic stock for evacuation.

Sue: That woman looks like Cally.

Me: It’s her twin sister, silly.

Children of AuronSue: Of course it is. I should have known that because Cally never stops talking about her. It’s Zelda this, Zelda that, all the time. She never shuts up about her.

Cally convinces the crew to divert to Auron.

Zen: Confirm course change to zero three one zero. Destination: the planet Auron. State speed.

Tarrant: Standard by Six.

Sue: No rush. Take your time.

Servalan is interested in Auron’s ability to clone DNA.

Deral: It does seem a little… excessive. To afflict the whole planet merely to indulge –

Servalan: Indulge nothing! This, Deral, this is merely a bonus. My primary objective for Auron’s affliction, as you call it, is to seize the Liberator.

Sue: OK, let me get this straight: Servalan is going to wipe out an entire planet just so she can get her hands on a space ship that isn’t that good in the first place? It keeps getting damaged and it’s taken over every five minutes. And she’s going to clone herself while she’s doing it? Did she come up with this idea in the shower?

Meanwhile, Tarrant is giving Avon a lesson in compassion.

Children of AuronTarrant: As long as Cally is part of this crew, she has full call on your loyalty and support, no matter what the risks.

Sue: Is he having a laugh? What about Vila? You hypocritical knob! Unbelievable.

Orac explains how Auron could have succumbed to an epidemic.

Orac: Auron has had a policy of neutrality and isolation, the planet has now been kept completely free of all disease for more than three decades.

Avon: Without disease there would be no natural resistance to infection.

Sue: After thirty years? That seems a bit quick, but I can’t be arsed to go to Wikipedia and check.

Ginka cures Auron’s replication expert, Franton.

Ginka: There’s a mirror to your left.

Sue: It’s just like 10 Years Younger. Or Not What to Wear. Or that Gok Wan one where everyone was naked. And why does Servalan have an art gallery on her space ship?

Me: What?

Children of AuronSue: There, on the walls. She’s decorated her space ship with abstract paintings.

Ginka says he can only cure six people at a time.

Sue: That’s all right. There’s probably only six people on that planet anyway. In fact, the Liberator could probably beam them all up.

Me: “Beam them up!” For ****’s sake, Sue!

Deral is fed up with Ginka’s bad attitude.

Deral: I’m tired of your insubordination. I’m tired of your not very subtle attempt to undermine my authority.

Sue: Is this what your dad was like when he was the shop steward in his factory? I bet he was.

Me: Stop it.

Servalan wants to replicate herself.

Sue: Broody and vain. This is a recipe for disaster.

Avon contacts the Liberator to see if Orac has come up with a cure yet, but Vila can’t hear him because he’s got his helmet on. Sue laughed at this, whereas a week ago she would have tutted. So that’s good.

Ginka’s men storm Auron’s control room and Tarrant, Avon and Cally are taken prisoner.

Sue: Space Ninjas! He may be an irritating dick with an attitude problem, but at least he gets the job done.

Servalan’s DNA is injected into a synthesised placenta.

Children of AuronSue: Are you sure they’re not just making Yorkshire puddings in there?

Deral looks at the basting tray and contemplates a future filled with mini-Servalans.

Sue: It is a scary thought. I don’t mean to be funny but Servalan doesn’t really strike me as Mum of the Year material.

Deral teleports to the Liberator to negotiate its surrender, but Dayna ambushes him.

Vila: You tried to trick us, Servalan. Naughty. One hostage to us.

Servalan: And three to me.

Sue: It’s pretty good, this. Just as long as they shoot Tarrant first.

Avon and Cally manage to escape after a skirmish with some Federation guards.

Sue: Here we go. Here’s this episode’s rubbish fight scene, right on cue.

Servalan is so distraught by this unexpected turn of events, she flings an empty cup at an impotent guard.

Sue: He should have stood there and taken that cup in the face. He acted like she’d just thrown a hand grenade at him.

Children of AuronOur heroes head for the replication plant – the only place Servalan won’t obliterate from orbit.

Me: I have a very vivid memory of this episode. Especially this scene where they’re running across the dam with all the explosions going off.

Sue: Really? What’s so special about it? Did it make you scared of dams? Did it put you off dams for life?

Me: What’s so special about it is I’m in my late-twenties, I’m living in Christopher Street, and I’m watching this episode on UK Gold, in bed. It’s 1994 or 1995, I think, and it’s a Sunday afternoon; I think Glen Allen did the continuity. Anyway, you walked in on me while I was watching it.

Sue: I knew it. You did fancy Servalan.

Me: My hands were definitely above the covers. And I remember asking you to watch it with me.

Sue: What did I say?

Me: You said I had to hold a ladder steady for you. Just think, we could have got this out of the way twenty years ago if you’d been more open-minded.

Our heroes make it to the replication planet, where they are shown Servalan’s surrogate womb.

Sue: Servalan’s biological clock is ticking. And now that Travis is gone, this is the next best thing, I suppose. And she’s never going to shag your dad. No offence.

Cally and Zela are finally reunited.

Sue: I hope Zelda doesn’t have a curly perm.

Dayna teleports to Auron so she can save the day.

Sue: I love Dayna. She’s my second-favourite character in Blake’s 7. She’s game for anything. They could use her a lot more.

Children of AuronGinka tells Servalan that Deral swapped her placentas with his. Yes, really. Servalan orders her giant crocodile to fire on the replication plant.

Sue: Hang on a minute. When did he find out about that? Who told him that? That doesn’t make any… Wait a minute… I think he’s making it up!

Thanks to Dayna’s initiative, Franton, Tarrant, Cally and Avon are teleported to safety. However, Zelda stays behind to save Servalan’s babies. Sue bites her nails.

BOOM!

Sue: Bloody hell.

Cally feels her sister die.

Sue: How bleak is this?

And then Servalan feels her children die.

Sue: ****ing hell.

Children of AuronServalan is fighting back the tears.

Sue: Is this really happening, Neil?

Servalan kills Ginka with the flick of a switch.

Sue: She’s a Bond villain. But instead of feeding her henchmen to the crocodiles, she flies around in one.

Deral is teleported into Servalan’s extremely disappointed clutches.

Sue: Servalan just killed your dad, Neil. How do you feel about that?

Me: I think I might put a poster of her on our bedroom wall.

Sue: You’ll have to take Debbie Harry down first, love.

The Liberator heads for pastures new.

Zen: Course zero three two zero for the planet Kaarn.

Avon: Kaarn?

Me: KHAAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNNNNNNN!

Sorry.

Dayna wants to know if Cally will leave the series or not. No one would blame her if she did.

Children of AuronAvon: Cally will stay with us. We are closer to her than they are. Besides, a nursery of five thousand, would you want to go with them?

Dayna, Tarrant and Vila: HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA HA! HA!

Sue: Is that really appropriate after what’s just happened? If Cally was a real telepath, she’d have heard that.

Cue credits.

The Score:

Sue: That wasn’t bad at all. I’m sorry if I didn’t say very much in the middle, I was enjoying it too much.

8/10

Sue: That was Servalan’s best story so far. We saw a different side to her.

Me: Yeah, we saw the hitherto hidden baby-murdering side to her. Lovely.

Sue: I still felt sorry for her. I know, I know! It’s mad, isn’t it. I can’t explain it.

Me: Still no 10 out of 10, then?

Sue: No. It was a bit too bleak for me. And Michael Troughton wasn’t in it enough.

Next Time:

Back
Next

City at the Edge of the World

Are we there yet?

City at the Edge of the WorldTarrant is bullying Vila.

Tarrant: I can toss you off this ship.

Vila and Sue: What?

Tarrant: You’re no use to me.

Sue: Why is Michael Ball in charge? Did we miss a meeting or something?

Tarrant puts the fear of God into Vila.

Tarrant: I can dump you any time. The others wouldn’t stop me. And you couldn’t, could you?

Sue: What the hell is going on? Has Tarrant been taken over by aliens?

Vila: All my life, for as long as I can remember, there’s been people like you.

Tarrant: And I thought I was unique.

Vila: You’re not even unusual, Tarrant.

Sue: Poor Vila.

I pause the DVD. Did I just imagine that or did Sue just say, “Poor Vila”?

City at the Edge of the WorldSue: I don’t like the way that Tarrant struts around the ship like he owns the place. He shouldn’t talk to Vila like that. That’s Avon’s job.

Me: So it’s OK if Vila is bullied, just so long as Avon is the one doing the bullying?

Sue: It’s funny when Avon does it; he’s earned it. It’s horrible when Tarrant does it.

Vila has been exchanged for some crystals.

Sue: So the locals want to borrow him?

Me: Yes, Tarrant did a deal with them for Vila’s services.

Sue: So they’re time-sharing Vila.

Sue came up with that joke two hours after she watched the episode, but what the hell.

Tarrant: We’ve no reason to think they’ll harm him.

Avon: And less reason to care.

Sue: See! It’s funny when Avon does it.

Vila is escorted to a city by two men who haven’t paid their Equity dues.

Sue: The Steve Hillage Band will do anything to round up an audience.

When Cally teleports to the planet to pick-up the crystals, she narrowly avoids a booby trap.

Sue: Tarrant has set them up. He wants to take over the ship and he’s trying to be sneaky about it. I’ve gone right off Tarrant.

Tarrant’s put Sue in such a foul mood, even Avon can’t escape her wrath.

City at the Edge of the WorldSue: He desperately needs a haircut. It looks like he’s wearing a wig.

The locals told Tarrant about a place with an unpronounceable name.

Tarrant: Apparently it means The City at the Edge of the World.

Me: Not to be confused with The City at the Edge of Forever.

Sue: Or The Restaurant at the End of the Universe.

Me: How do you know about that?

Sue: Are you serious? I’ve lived with you for twenty-one years, Neil.

Vila finds himself in an underground bunker.

Sue: This is a very nice corridor. That effect was done with mirrors, you know.

Me: If they ever re-release these episodes on DVD, you should do the production notes, Sue.

Vila curses Tarrant for getting him into this mess.

Vila: I’ll get you for this, Tarrant. I’ll tear your arm off and beat you to death with the wet end.

Sue: (laughing) Come on, Vila!

Me: Finally! It’s only taken you 31 episodes!

City at the Edge of the WorldVila meets a beautiful mercenary named Kerril.

Kerril: Pick up your box and let’s go, little man.

Vila: You should try taking a bath sometime, you smell terrible.

Sue: Vila has all the best lines this week. It’s pretty good, this.

Good? Good? GOOD!?

Sue: IT’S COLIN!

It bloody is, you know.

Sue: It’s Colin Baker from Doctor Who!

That’s right. Not “Whatshisface from that thing we use to watch”, or “He’s famous”, or “Thingamy from whatyoumacallit”. It’s Colin Baker from Doctor sodding Who!

Bayban: You must be Vila. It’s an honour, sir.

Vila: The honour’s mine.

Bayban: That’s what I meant.

Sue: The script is brilliant this week. Absolutely brilliant.

I didn’t make any notes for the next five minutes. We just laughed and forgot about what we were supposed to be doing. We simply enjoyed the episode. Sorry about that.

City at the Edge of the WorldSue: Colin is so much better as the bad guy. You can’t take your eyes off him. He shouldn’t have been cast Doctor Who; he should have been the Master.

Bayban: I had a mother. Wonderful woman. Truly evil person. She had a saying. “Babe,” she used to say. She called me Babe. “Babe,” she used to say, “treat every hour as though it’s your last.”

Sue: Now shut up and eat your bran flakes.

Back on the Liberator, Avon is mildly annoyed with Tarrant.

Sue: At least I could empathise with Blake. At least Blake had a heart. Tarrant is just a posh twat with a perm.

Cally and Avon teleport to the planet to search for Vila.

Sue: These two are definitely shagging.

Me: I thought you’d stopped shipping. Especially after that talk we had.

Sue: Oh, come on, Neil! It’s right there on the screen. Just look at them. I wonder if Dayna knows…

Vila tells Kerril about how he plans to open the planet’s vault.

City at the Edge of the WorldVila: The energy threshold of this force field is zero-zero-two. Anything more that zero-zero-two gets chucked back at you, right? This will push a probe into the field very slowly. Maximum energy zero-zero-one. When the probe reaches the door, the field will collapse.

Sue: Vila is saying words that aren’t just punchlines this week. I never thought I’d see the day. He is a real person, after all.

Me: Are you having second thoughts about Vila?

Sue: Only because the script writer has.

Kerril may stink to high heaven, but Sue loves her outfit.

Sue: She’s got this Suzi Quatro look going on. I keep expecting her to start singing ‘Devil Gate Drive’.

Cally and Avon investigate the locals.

Sue: You can’t beat a bit of mediaeval sci-fi, can you. For ****’s sake.

And then Stuart Fell falls over and everything’s all right again.

Sue: The bad guys remind me of the Sontarans. They’re just as thick.

The planet’s elder, Norl, watches as Vila breaks into the planet’s vault.

Vila: What were you looking so pleased about? Bayban isn’t going to share whatever’s in there.

City at the Edge of the WorldNorl: That’s true. Bayban will not share it.

Sue: He has a lovely voice.

Me: Don’t you recognise him?

Sue: Not really.

Me: I’ll give you a clue. (in my best Valentine Dyall voice) Turlough!

Sue: He doesn’t look anything like Nyssa.

Me: Turlough, you must kill the Doctor! Or I will peck your eyes out with my hat.

In the end, I have to pause the DVD and show her a picture.

Sue: Oh yeah. Blimey, I never would have guessed. He looks nothing like him. There’s nowt on him!

Me: I can’t believe you’ve lived with me for twenty-one years and you didn’t recognise the voice of Deep Thought. I’m very disappointed.

Sue: And yet I can still remember that time I caught you watching Deep Throat. Funny, that.

Kerril has changed into something a little more comfortable and a little less stinky.

Sue: Ha! The comedy sound effect was hilarious. Either Vila’s probe is on the blink or he’s extremely pleased to see her.

Me: Carol Hawkins was probably used to that. She’d been in a couple of Carry On… films. And Bless This House: The Movie.

Sue: She’s very funny. And you’d have to have a sense of humour to flirt with Vila.

City at the Edge of the WorldVila can’t take his eyes off Kerril. It should be creepy but it isn’t. Actually, maybe it is a bit.

Sue: Vila’s eyes are out on stalks. And I thought she looked sexier in tight leather, but what do I know.

The force field protecting the vault finally collapses.

Kerril: You did it!

Vila: Of course! For a little man I’m a wonderful mover, wouldn’t you say?

Sue: Just like Ernie Wise.

Meanwhile, on the planet’s surface, Avon and Cally have rounded up some of Bayban’s mercenaries.

Avon: We’ve lost a friend of ours. We think you can tell us where to find him.

Cally: That’s what we think.

Avon: WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Sue: Oh, Avon, I ****ing love you.

City at the Edge of the WorldBayban’s right-hand man, Sherm, reminds Sue of someone else.

Sue: It’s Billy Mitchell gone wrong. I wish he had a helmet. The Sontarans were never this ugly.

Vila and Kerril explore the vault. What doesn’t surprise Sue is Vila’s decision to leave Kerril to face whatever traps the designer has in store for them. What does surprise her is that he goes back for her when she screams the place down.

Sue: That is totally out of character for Vila. Thank God.

Kerril and Vila are transported to a room which is equipped with its own exposition machine and two skeletons. Sue listens patiently as Valentine Dyall explains the plot to her.

Exposition Machine: Once in every thirty-five generations, they will gather near the city at the edge of the world, and one will be found who can enter the vault. My people will know peace only if he returns. He will return only if the ship has reached its destination.

Sue: It’s a very convoluted way of going about things. Why have they made it so difficult for themselves? Why doesn’t the ship send a message when the ship arrives? Why do they have to randomly kill people? And if the ship landed the day after somebody died, they would have to wait thousands of years to try again. It’s crazy.

Vila believes that he will suffocate to death because the ship hasn’t reached its destination yet. Kerril decides to go out with a bang.

Sue: Now she’ll know for sure whether Vila is a “little man” or not.

City at the Edge of the WorldMeanwhile, Tarrant and Dayna are busy infiltrating the city.

Sue: Tarrant thinks he’s James Bond. He isn’t. He couldn’t be less like James Bond if he tried. He’s the guy who dies in the pre-titles sequence and doesn’t even have a name. Have I told you that I don’t like Tarrant any more?

Dayna uses a drone to take out Bayban’s men.

Sue: That’s how the Cybermats should have behaved. I like Dayna. She doesn’t piss about.

You can’t say the same for Bayban and his humongous gun.

Sue: Well, you know what they say…

His gun is so massive, Bayban needs help moving it.

Sue: Here’s some advice for you: try pointing it at the door while you’re assembling it next time.

Vila and Kerril are still in the land of the living.

Sue: Did she leave her boots on? Kinky.

Me: I don’t know about you but those skeletons would have put me off my stride.

City at the Edge of the WorldVila and Kerril are actually on an alien planet.

Sue: Oh look, somebody left them with a beach ball to play with.

Sue isn’t very impressed with Vilaworld.

Sue: Just think how brilliant it would have been if that door had opened out onto the South of France. Or a sunny beach. Or a field somewhere. It looks like someone has decided to stage Play School in a garden centre.

Avon and Cally end up fighting Bayban and his men.

Sue: The fight scenes always let Blake’s 7 down. They’re never very realistic. I dread the fight scenes, I really do.

When Bayban is overpowered, Avon threatens to put him out of his misery.

Bayban: Go ahead. You’d be famous. The man who killed Bayban.

Cally: I’d quite like to be famous, too. How about the woman that killed Bayban?

Dayna: Or better still, the girl who killed Bayban.

Sue: Or worst of all, the posh twat who killed Bayban.

When Vila prepares to leave Vilaworld, Kerril doesn’t take the news lying down.

City at the Edge of the WorldSue: Vila, you idiot. You’re supposed to be Adam and Eve, now. You’re practically married to her.

Vila tries to get his end away one last time before they leave.

Sue: I know I should hate this episode, but I can’t.

Vila, reeking of sex, is welcomed back with open arms. Well, sort of.

Avon: Every silver lining has a cloud.

Sue laughed so hard at that, she spilt her tea.

Sue: That’s the funniest line in Blake’s 7 so far. That was brilliant.

Norl is very happy, too.

Norl: My people are coming. They are summoned to enter the city.

Sue: All six of them. This has been a lot of trouble just to open an airport for six people. And surely they are just moving from one shit hole to another. I don’t see what they’re getting out of this. Wait until they see where they’ll be washing their clothes tonight.

Norl: Vila, you’re a clever man, and brave. My people thank you.

Sue: Aww, that was so sweet. Good old Vila.

Me: You’ve changed your tune.

City at the Edge of the WorldSue: He was a real person for a change. I’ve warmed to him. And it makes me hate Tarrant that little bit more. They should take Tarrant’s bracelet off him and leave him here.

Kerril decides to leave with Norl.

Sue: No! You should join the crew. You would be great. You could even call it Vila’s 7, if that’s what turns you on.

Vila has a big decision to make.

Sue: Let’s put it this way: Vila will never get a better offer than this. However, it doesn’t really make any sense for them to leave for that planet. She’s gone from a hardened warrior to a helpless sex-starved princess awfully quickly. It’s a bit dodgy when you stop to think about it, so I won’t.

Vila: I like you, Kerril, more than anyone. Anyone I’ve ever known.

Kerril: The difference is, I love you.

Sue: Vila must be amazing in bed. That’s all I’m saying.

And that’s when Bayban interrupts the party. Kerril makes it inside the vault and Vila teleports back to the Liberator as Bayban turns his massive gun on the force field. A deranged Bayban blows himself and the city to smithereens.

City at the Edge of the WorldSue: Nice impression of an angry turtle at the end there, Colin.

Vila may have lost the girl but at least he got the crystals.

Avon: I’m impressed.

Sue: I can’t believe I’m saying this, but so am I.

Vila is worried that he may have made the biggest mistake of his life.

Orac: I would predict that there are far greater mistakes waiting to be made by someone with your obvious talent for them.

Vila: Shut up, Orac. Still, it’s a comforting thought. Let’s hope they’ve all got good legs.

I had planned to cough over Vila’s final line, but I needn’t have worried. Sue laughed her head off.

Cue credits.

The Score:

Sue: I loved that.

9/10

Sue: The plot was a bit bonkers but I loved the dialogue. And I’ve changed my mind about Vila. He was brilliant in that.

Me: Isn’t it time you gave an episode 10 out of 10?

Did I mention that ‘City at the Edge of the World’ is my favourite episode of Blake’s 7?

Sue: The fight scenes let it down a bit. And Avon was just a supporting character, so it wasn’t perfect. It was pretty close, though. Why? Is that as good as it gets?

Next Time:

Warning: Glen’s trailer includes MASSIVE spoilers.

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The Harvest of Kairos

Rock Bottom…

The Harvest of KairosThe Liberator is orbiting a planet when Tarrant detects two Federation ships heading their way.

Tarrant: It’s an old Federation manoeuvre. Unimaginative, but so’s a punch in the mouth. At least it tells us who sent them.

Dayna: Servalan.

Sue: Oh no, not again. And it was going so well.

Me: We’re less than a minute into this.

Sue: I know.

Millions of miles away, President Servalan is micromanaging the Federation’s latest attack on the Liberator.

Sue: She’s redecorated her spinning house. It’s a bit grim but at least it shows off her Fairy Godmother outfit.

Servalan can’t wait to bring Tarrant down.

Servalan: This time we get it right.

Sue: She never used to be this hammy. I can’t take her seriously any more. She’s a pantomime villain. I remember when Blake’s 7 used to be gritty and interesting.

Vila and Avon teleport back the Liberator.

The Harvest of KairosSue: That was a long way to go for a tab.

Sue isn’t very keen on Avon’s extramural activity.

Sue: Is this what Avon has been reduced to now – collecting rocks? I remember the good old days when they were looking for Star One and their lives had some kind of meaning. What is the point of them any more?

People are beginning to think that Servalan looks tired, and one man in particular has been taking the piss out of her below decks. When Sue finally meets Jarvik, he reminds her of a young Timothy Dalton. He’s definitely the strong, silent type.

Servalan: Well? Have you nothing to say to Servalan?

Pause.

Sue: I bet he doesn’t even have an Equity card.

Jarvik: Woman, you are beautiful.

Sue: He thinks he’s Tarzan. Oh my God. No way!

Yes way.

Sue: Did that just happen? Did he just snog her face off? Is she dreaming this? Am I dreaming this?

Sue ain’t seen nothing yet; just take a look at this (text wouldn’t do it justice):

[jwplayer mediaid=”10441″]

Sue: What the **** is Servalan doing? Surely the guards should be standing in front of her, not the other way round. This is ridiculous. Who directed this rubbish?

Me: Gerald Blake.

Sue: That’s all we ****ing need! Another useless Blake! I mean, look at her! WHAT IS SHE DOING?

Servalan and Jarvik discuss Tarrant’s tactics.

Sue: Hang on a minute. This doesn’t make sense. They’re talking about Tarrant like he’s a big deal or something. When did that happen? It’s as if they wrote this for Blake and then they did a find-and-replace on the script at the last-minute.

The Harvest of KairosMe: As if!

Tarrant wants the crew to dabble in a bit of piracy.

Sue: So is this what they do now, they fly around the universe stealing rocks? I can’t believe I’m saying this but the crew are flapping about now that Blake has gone. At least Blake had a vague plan. This lot haven’t got a plan at all.

Just like Hank on Breaking Bad, Avon is completely obsessed with his rock.

Sue: I quite like the fact that Avon is having his own little adventure and he can’t be arsed with Tarrant. It’s just a shame that Tarrant is the one who’s having the interesting adventure.

Servalan discovers that Jarvik used to be a Space Captain, but when she searches the Federation’s computer records, she is taken by surprise.

Servalan: Why?

Jarvik: Because I am a human being.

Sue: Er… was that supposed to mean something? Her screen went a bit wobbly and that was it. Am I missing something?

Servalan decides to employ Jarvik as her right-hand man, even if he is a poet with a temper.

The Harvest of KairosServalan: But first, there is the question of that degrading and primitive act to which I was subjected in the control room.

Sue: (as Servalan) I liked it.

Servalan: I should like you to do it again.

Sue: Oh. My. God. I was only joking!

The last time Sue’s jaw was this slack, Ingrid Pitt was karate kicking a sea monster in the face.

Sue: What the hell am I watching? Because it isn’t Blake’s 7!

Servalan gives the order for the slave workers on Kairos to be left there to die because the Federation have exceeded their baggage allowance.

Sue: What a bitch. I thought a quick shag would have improved her mood.

Down on Kairos, someone is about to fall off a fence.

Sue: STUART!

A particularly nasty guard is also left there to die.

Sue: Ha! Serves you right, you Nazi ****. I enjoyed that.

The Harvest of KairosJarvik prepares to coordinate his attack on the Liberator.

Sue: This is vaguely exciting, I suppose.

Jarvik: Sit down and shut up.

Sue: Charming. I can’t believe that Servalan is putting up with his nonsense. It doesn’t feel right.

Even though they are under attack, Avon forces Cally to stare at his rock.

Tarrant: Is this the time or the place?

Sue: Tarrant does have a point. What’s got into Avon this week?

Avon: I understand that this ship is the most powerful in the galaxy and that you are the most astute space warfare commander.

Sue: Is that it, then? Has Avon given up? I’m not happy about that. Avon should be the one in charge. That’s silly.

The Liberator evades the Federation’s pursuit ships.

Sue: I didn’t know that the ship could roll like that. Why has it never done that before?

Me: Tarrant must be a better pilot than Jenna because Tarrant is A MAN!

Sue: Don’t you start.

Jarvik: Gently now, Killer Three. Ease your way in.

I can’t stop giggling.

The Harvest of KairosSue: I bet he’s exactly the same in the bedroom.

When Servalan believes that she’s lost the battle, she throws a temper tantrum. Jarvik has to restrain her on a cream leather couch; no Battle HQ is complete without one.

Jarvik: Lie there and keep quiet until I tell you otherwise.

Sue: This episode is beginning to make me feel uncomfortable. Why are you laughing, Neil?

Tarrant’s gang are in the middle of transferring the Federation’s precious cargo of Kairopan to the Liberator when they are ambushed by security guards.

Guard: Stay exactly where you are, and don’t get excited!

Sue: Not much chance of that, mate.

Avon pops his head into the A-plot and saves the day.

Sue: The director really hasn’t got a clue. I’m beginning to feel embarrassed for the actors.

Jarvik has the last laugh: there are more guards in the Kairopan containers.

Sue: Idiots.

The Harvest of KairosServalan teleports to the Liberator.

Sue: Servalan does have one redeeming feature.

Me: What’s that?

Sue: She’s one of the few people in Blake’s 7 who pronounces Avon’s name correctly. I’m sick and tired of people calling him “Avin” all the time.

Servalan dumps our heroes on Kairos.

Sue: I bet they eat Vila first.

Back at Space Command, Jarvik is tempting Servalan with his unzipped jumpsuit.

Me: There’s some eye-candy for you, love.

Sue: He should be wearing a gold medallion in the shape of the Federation logo.

Servalan: You really are a primitive, aren’t you? Come.

Sue: Stop laughing, Neil.

Kairos is covered in a strange web.

Sue: Haven’t we been here before? Is it the Yeti?

The Harvest of KairosServalan and Jarvik are enjoying a postcoital glass of Lenor when Jarvik admits that he doesn’t like Mutoids very much, and he certainly wouldn’t want to live next door to any of them.

Sue: Racist and sexist. Such an attractive combination. Give your head a shake, Servalan.

Servalan wants Jarvik to prove his masculinity to her.

Servalan: If you’re to be man enough for me, to be co-ruler with Servalan, you must meet Tarrant face to face, man to man.

Sue: Whoever wrote this episode has some serious problems with women.

Avon discovers a 1960s NASA lunar module in an abandoned aircraft hangar.

Sue: What the hell? Who left that there? Is this episode going to go all timey-wimey now? EH?

Jarvik teleports to Kairos so he can retrieve the crew’s teleport bracelets (Lesley Judd must have been killed in the war).

Sue: Did he raid Blake’s wardrobe before he left? He looks like a right dick.

Jarvik narrowly avoids a giant ant.

The Harvest of KairosSue: Oh dear. And do you know what the worst thing about that is?

Me: That it looks like a giant hoover bag?

Sue: No. It’s that it probably cost a small fortune to make it. I bet most of the budget went on that… that… thing. What a joke.

Vila is snoring his head off in the lunar module.

Sue: This is the first time I’ve ever been jealous of Vila.

Cut to Vila standing in a field.

Sue: What the ****?

Me: Eat your heart out, Eisenstein.

Avon is still admiring his rock.

Avon: This happens to be the most sophisticated life form that it has ever been my good fortune to come across. Present company not excepted.

Sue: Not only that, you can scrub your back with it in the shower.

Dayna cries out in terror. She is tangled up in a deadly web, helpless against the monstrous insect advancing towards her. At least that’s what it said in the script.

The Harvest of KairosDayna: Do something!

Sue: Yeah, stop laughing at her. This is serious. Look, pet, just kick your boot off and walk away. Honestly, the direction is a joke. And why is this thing rubbing its arse on the floor like that? That’s what Buffy used to do when she had worms.

Jarvik arrives to save the day.

Jarvik: You, woman. Give it the Kairopan.

Sue: I wish I had some Kairopan. This is giving me a headache.

Avon decides to keep his distance.

Sue: I bet Paul Darrow refused to be filmed anywhere near that thing. Oh look, there’s a static caravan in that field over there. Somebody is doing a self-build on Kairos.

The ant shuffles back the way it came.

Sue: Oh for ****’s sake. Don’t show it again!

Jarvik and Tarrant fight.

Sue: Why are the crew standing there watching this; do they really hate Tarrant that much? It’s four against one! Five if you count Vila. Just walk over there and PUNCH THE BAD GUY IN THE FACE!

Tarrant and Jarvik tussle on the floor while Ken Russell blushes off-screen.

The Harvest of KairosSue: Why is the director shooting this as a love scene? GET A ROOM!

Tarrant is overpowered by Jarvik’s MALENESS.

Sue: To be fair, I could probably take Tarrant.

Dayna decides to have a go next, leaving Avon to race off to the lunar module, where he finally loses his patience with Tarrant.

Tarrant: There’s nothing I can do with this.

Avon: YOU CAN GET IT OFF THE GROUND!

Sue: Paul Darrow wasn’t acting then.

It’s Dayna’s turn to wrestle with Jarvik on the floor.

Sue: That’s right, Cally, just stand back and watch. Don’t help your friend or anything silly like that. Unbelievable.

The giant ant returns for seconds.

Sue: Just kick it in the face.

Jarvik teleports to the Liberator with Dayna. Tarrant launches the lunar module, just in time to escape a deadly hail of plasma bolts. It doesn’t look good for our heroes but Avon has an ace up his sleeve. Yes, you guessed it. His rock.

The Harvest of KairosAvon: Sopron is a mirror. A distorting mirror. It reflects a slightly greater image of whatever it is that happens to be scanning it. Zen saw a capacity charged brain, because that is what Zen is. Orac saw a highly sophisticated computer, because that is what Orac is.

Sue: And the director is making this look like crap, because that is what he is.

Avon: The question is, what will Servalan see, and will she be fooled by it?

Sue: Given that everybody in this episode so far has been fooled by the bad special effects, I’m going to say ‘yes’.

Tarrant’s bluff works, but because Servalan is a sore loser, she orders Dayna’s execution.

Jarvik: No, wait. There’s no need to –

The security guard accidentally shoots and kills Jarvik. Well, I say ‘accidentally’. It’s staged so badly, it looks like he did it on purpose.

Sue: WHAT THE -? Rewind that. Oh my God. What was the director thinking? That settles it. This is the worst directed episode of Blake’s 7 – or Doctor Who – that I’ve ever seen. It’s dreadful. How was this ever broadcast? Were people still watching Blake’s 7 at this point?

Me: Approximately 9 million people every week. Prime time BBC-1.

The Harvest of KairosSue: Unbelievable. And nobody complained?

Me: Terry Wogan did. Regularly.

Sue: I’m not surprised. This is shocking. Why are you laughing, Neil?

Servalan evacuates the Liberator.

Sue: So does this mean that an inanimate lump of rock is now a regular member of the crew? They should call it Gan.

Avon is pleased to see the back of Jarvik, but Tarrant mourns for Adonis.

Tarrant: He was a special sort of man.

And for the first time in this experiment, Sue throws a cushion at the television screen instead of me.

Tarrant: Get us out of here. I’ve had enough of this place.

Sue: And I’ve had enough of this ****ing episode! Make it stop!

Cue credits.

The Score:

Sue: Irredeemable sexist crap.

0/10

Me: Wow.

Sue: It was badly directed, offensive, stupid and badly directed. And what made it even worse was the sexist pig was shown to be right ALL THE TIME. I kept waiting for a woman to kill him. I thought there would be a progressive message at the end about the battle of the sexes. Something that might excuse it. But no. I bet the writer has a tiny cock.

Me: Would you like me to subject you to it again?

Sue: Only if you let me slice off your testicles first.

Me: Woman, kiss me!

Sue: **** off, Neil.

Next Time:

Back
Next

Dawn of the Gods

Do Not Pass God…

Dawn of the GodsThe episode begins with a quick game of Space Monopoly.

Sue: They’ve definitely given up on Blake and Jenna if they’ve got enough time to play games like this. On the one hand, I’m happy that they are chilling out together, but on the other hand, haven’t they got anything better to do? Like saving the universe, or something like that?

It isn’t all bad news: Avon is wearing a pair of tight red leather trousers this week.

Sue: I was playing tennis with my doubles-partner, Helen, today. And when I told her that I had to watch Blake’s 7 tonight, she screamed “AVON!” at me. I told her to keep her hands off him. He’s mine.

The Liberator isn’t heading where it should be heading.

Sue: The set is knackered. It’s falling to bits. If Avon leans on that console, the whole thing will probably give way. It’s a bit sad, really.

Tarrant: Vila, Cally, Dayna. A full manual check on all systems, weapons, force wall, everything.

Sue: Hang on a minute. Who put posh boy in charge? Avon is in charge; everybody knows that.

Tarrant believes that the Liberator is in the grip of a tractor beam. Avon isn’t convinced.

Tarrant: Just because you don’t know how to build a high-energy traction beam doesn’t mean that no one else knows how to build one.

Sue: It’s as if Blake never left. What a dick.

Tarrant believes that Cally’s people, the Aurons, could be responsible for their sudden change in direction.

Dayna: Do they all have your telepathic powers, Cally?

Cally: Some, to a degree, but our powers are limited.

Sue: You said it, love.

Dawn of the GodsAt least the director, Desmond McCarthy, is doing is best.

Sue: Ooh, that was a very nice focus pull. And not just because we’re now focusing on Avon. That would have been a difficult shot to pull off in that studio. I’m impressed.

According to the sensors, the ship is falling into a sling shot orbit.

Sue: Their sensors are playing the theme from Psycho. Turn it off! Argh!

Tarrant: But there’s nothing there.

Avon: Three guesses, if you need them.

Sue: It’s a black hole.

Vila: A black hole. My god.

Sue: Yeah, it isn’t rocket science. Actually, it probably is, but you know what I mean.

But if the black hole doesn’t surprise Sue, something else does.

Sue: Bloody hell, Vila was quite good in that scene. He didn’t crack a pathetic joke; he looked genuinely upset. There’s hope for him yet.

Avon: If it is a collapsed white dwarf star, gravitational distortion will tear the Liberator apart. Our remains will spread out over the entire surface adding a thickness of a few atoms to its diameter.

Sue: The man from Cosmos (she means Neil deGrasse Tyson) would tarted that up so it sounded more cheerful.

Dawn of the GodsWhile the crew ponder their imminent death, Sue is distracted by something else.

Sue: Why is the top right-hand corner of the screen flashing?

Me: That’s Zen.

Sue: Oh. I thought an ad break was coming.

And the reason why the Liberator is falling into a black hole? Yes, you guessed it: Orac.

Orac: I have noticed that the occupants of this spacecraft have a lamentable lack of interest in the more fascinating aspects of the universe. You must excuse me, I have many observations to make.

Sue: I don’t believe it. Look, if Orac is that interested in black holes, open a window and throw him into one. No one will miss him. He’s useless.

The Liberator is hit by a large sheet of Mirrorlon.

Sue: What the hell is Avon doing? Is he trying to hide under a blanket?

No, he’s trying to put a space suit on so he can do a runner.

Sue: And where is he going to go, exactly? He hasn’t thought it through.

A large eye fills the screen.

Dawn of the GodsSue: And that must be Servalan’s eye. I was wondering how long it would take her to show up.

The ship has taken one hell of a beating; most of the power has been drained.

Sue: They should light the ship like this all the time. It hides the chipped paintwork.

Tarrant isn’t impressed with Avon’s talent for self-preservation.

Tarrant: One day, Avon, I may have to kill you.

Sue: I’ve gone right off Michael Ball. He’s just Blake with a tighter perm.

Orac has been a very naughty boy.

Orac: It has been necessary for me to assume control of the ship. Excuse me. I have many observations to make.

Sue: This has been on the cards for a while now. Orac will be the death of them.

Cally has been knocked unconscious, so the crew take her to a resuscitation chamber. A voice calls to her telepathically. Hey, I’ve just noticed that Cally’s name is in the word ‘telepathically’. Terry Nation, you card!

Thaarn: I am the Thaarn.

Cally: The Thaarn?

Sue: What is it with this show and thongs?

Dawn of the GodsMe: Not thong – Thaarn. You’ve got thongs on the brain.

Sue: I haven’t got a ****ing clue what’s going on in this episode, that’s for sure.

Back on the flight deck, Sue is distracted by something else.

Sue: I’m pretty sure that Dayna just fell down the stairs. She just looked at the camera as if to say, “Are we OK or are we going for a another take? I think I’ve broken my ankle.”

Two more distractions made it practically impossible for Sue to concentrate on whatever it is the crew are waffling on about: namely the interminable ‘clacking’ sound in the background and Vila’s decision to join the Hare Krishnas.

To cut a long story short: the Liberator is outside normal space, and Vila will have to leave the ship to check it out.

Vila: Oh no. Not me. Not a space suit. Nothing, absolutely nothing in the whole galaxy can or will persuade me to wear one. Not a chance.

Cut to Vila in a space suit.

Cut to Sue’s impression of a trombone.

Sue: Give me strength.

When Vila leaves the ship, he finds himself on solid ground.

Vila: We must be on the surface of a planet. It’s hard, and even, like it’s artificial.

Sue: Like a studio floor painted black.

Dawn of the GodsThe voice of Thaarn contacts Cally again.

Thaarn: Cally. Come to me. Come to me, Cally. I need you. Need you.

Sue: This has to be the weirdest obscene phone call ever. Maybe if he cut back on the heaving breathing, it wouldn’t be quite so creepy.

Vila explores the outside world.

Sue: This reminds me of Alien. Even the space suit is similar. It’s quite eerie, this.

Like a facehugger launching itself from an egg, Sue’s next statement takes me by surprise:

Sue: Vila is actually quite good in this.

Vila is blinded by some lights, and for a moment, it looks like it could be the death of him.

Tarrant: I’ll go and fetch him. We can deep freeze his body until we’re back into space, where we can give him a decent star orbit burial.

Sue: They don’t seem that bothered. Still, it was Vila.

Well, that didn’t last long, did it.

A clawed machine is attempting to turn the Liberator into scrap metal.

Sue: So it’s basically WALL-E.

Dawn of the GodsAvon, Tarrant, Cally and Vila decide to investigate further.

Sue: That shot would make a great album cover. The story is a bit rubbish so far, but at least the director is making an effort, especially when you consider what he’s been given to work with.

Desmond McCarthy has been given a bumper car to work with.

Sue: OK, this is officially a bit mental now. And shit. Really, really shit. Have they run out of money already? We’re only four episodes into the season. Oh dear, this is dreadful.

Just when we believe that things can’t get any weirder, the Caliph of Krandor turns up.

Sue: Why is Willy Wonka in this?

The Caliph apologises for the dodgem car. Well somebody has to.

Caliph: We usually use this for rounding up runaway slaves. Oh, quite inappropriate in this instance, but it was the nearest at the time. I do hope you understand.

Sue: And when we aren’t using them for rounding up slaves, we use them as ghost trains.

Dawn of the GodsThe Caliph wants to know where Orac is.

Dayna: There is no person of that name aboard this ship, and never has been.

Sue: And that’s why you shouldn’t count Orac as part of the seven. Although that’s the least of the title’s problems. I don’t even know why I’m still thinking about it.

The crew are locked in a cell, and Cally passes the time by telling everybody a story.

Cally: The story goes back to the mists of Time, to the Dawn of the Gods… blah… blah… million years… blah… blah… rage…blah…blah… chariot… blah… blah… terrible vengeance.

Sue: I bet it took her days to learn all that. And I bet nobody could be bothered to follow it.

Krandor’s senior technician, Groff, makes an appearance.

Sue: EH?

Groff looks like he’s been supervising a card game in a Western Saloon.

Sue: Did wardrobe deliver the wrong costume by mistake or something?

The Caliph wants to know where Orac might be hiding.

Caliph: How tall is he? (Tarrant raises his hand a couple of feet from the floor) A dwarf?

Tarrant: We never think of him as one.

Caliph: What is the color of his hair?

Tarrant: He hasn’t got any. A bald dwarf shouldn’t be too hard to find.

Dawn of the GodsSue: That’s my favourite line in Blake’s 7 so far. Genius.

In Krandor’s gravity generator room, Avon and Tarrant are given some maths homework to do.

Tarrant: Graphite writing stick? I’ve never seen these things outside museums.

Sue: I’ve been to a pencil museum. It’s in Keswick. Fascinating place.

Sue’s mind is definitely beginning to wander. But then something happens that takes her breath away.

Sue: NO! You can’t do that!

The Liberator‘s flight deck is being dismantled for scrap.

Me: You said the ship had seen better days. Maybe it’s for the best.

Sue: Are you mad?

Thankfully, Orac and Zen generate a defence mechanism that stops the salvage crew in their tracks.

Sue: And why have we never seen anything like that before? That could have been really useful loads of times in the past.

Meanwhile, Cally is splayed out on a fur rug.

Dawn of the GodsSue: Now that’s what I call a cell.

The Thaarn tells Cally his plan.

Thaarn: And the great universal force that controls the universe, is gravity. The orbit of the planets, the slow turn of the galaxies. I have built a machine that can generate gravity. When it’s complete, it will be powerful enough to move planets, and stars. He who controls gravity, controls everything.

Sue: My favourite song is about gravity.

Me: (trying to sound interested because I know what’s coming) Is it really?

Sue: Yes. I think you should make all our readers listen to it. I have to watch Blake’s 7 twice a week, so the least they could do is listen to the song.

Me: Very well, if you insist…

Sue: He should sing this to her if he wants to get into her pants.

Me: I’ll try to remember that.

The Thaarn wants Cally to rule the universe with him.

Sue: If I were Cally, I’d be asking him three questions at this point: 1) What do I have to do? 2) What are the hours like? and 3) Can I have a look at your face, please?

Cally manages to trick the Thaarn into turning off the cell’s energy isolators. She blasts the room with her gun and all hell breaks loose in the gravity generator room.

Groff: The energy isolators have been switched off! Get back to your ship! Quickly!

Tarrant: What about you?

Groff: I’ll be alright, get going! But if you could tell them, my family, they were always in my thoughts.

Sue: Just leave with them, you fool! Why are you staying there? YOU DON’T MAKE ANY SENSE!

Avon decides to leave Cally behind.

Sue: She just saved your lives! The way this lot carry on, I’m surprised there aren’t five new crew members every couple of weeks. They go through crew members like they go through bracelets.

Dawn of the GodsCally gets to see what the Thaarn really looks like.

Sue: So the bald dwarf was hiding in that room all the time!

Our heroes rush back to the Liberator, but Vila is caught in the headlights of an oncoming bumper car.

Me: Scream if you want to go faster!

With everyone safely on board, the Liberator re-enters normal space. Sue tuts loudly.

Zen: Detectors indicate that a small spacecraft has left object centered on main screen and is flying on a reciprocal course.

Cally: That must be the Thaarn. I should have killed him.

Sue: If that bald dwarf turns out to be the next Travis, there will be trouble. I don’t know how many jokes about Ian Hislop I can make.

Tarrant switches Orac off.

Sue: Now throw his dongle away and stick him on eBay.

Cue credits.

The Score:

Sue: That was dreadful. I’ll give it one mark because Servalan wasn’t in it, and another mark for the direction, which wasn’t that bad, considering. The rest of the episode was a mess.

2/10

Next Time:

There will only be the one blog update this week. I’ve got a man flu and writing this up has almost finished me off. Plus, we are both heading for the Guernsey Literary Festival this weekend, where I will be giving an after dinner talk dressed as Matt Smith. Yes, I know! Follow us on Twitter if you want to see how that pans out.

We’ll be back next Tuesday. But before we go, here’s a trailer for a new interactive computer game starring Paul Darrow.

Sue: He’s still got it.

Volcano

Burning down the house…

VolcanoThis episode begins with two of our heroes teleporting down to the surface of an alien planet.

Sue: Is that Blake?

Tarrant: Safely down.

Sue: Oh, it’s him. He doesn’t half look like Blake. And why is he dressed as a pirate?

Me: We should probably name one of our wild cats Tarrant.

We currently care for four feral cats that still remain nameless.

Sue: Absolutely not. People will think we named the poor thing after Chris Tarrant. We can call one of the girls Dayna. I can live with that.

The planet Obsidian is home to an extremely large volcano.

Sue: The stock footage and this location don’t really go together; they need more yellow smoke if they’re going to sell this to me.

Me: We’ve visited this location. About fifteen years ago, I think. It’s in Ripon.

VolcanoSue: Have we? I don’t remember you mentioning Blake’s 7 at the time. Although it does explain why you were dressed as a pirate.

Deep inside a secret base, two men are monitoring Tarrant and Dayna’s progress on the surface. The older man is named Hower.

Sue: Ooh, he’s really famous. Don’t tell me…. He’s been in loads of films. He plays gay men quite a lot.

Me: It isn’t Ian McKellen.

Sue: Oh.

Me: It’s Michael Gough. He used to be Alfred the Butler in the Batman movies before Michael Caine took over. Remember?

Sue: Oh yes. I do remember. He’s very good.

Me: You may also remember him as The Celestial Toymaker.

Sue: Oh for ****’s sake. You’ve spoilt it now.

A robotic waiter serves Hower a refreshing beverage.

VolcanoSue: You can’t move for idiots like him in Piccadilly Circus.

Dayna and Tarrant continue to search for Dayna’s friends.

Sue: I thought they were supposed to be looking for Blake? Why are they looking for Dayna’s friends? Are they running a taxi service on the Liberator now?

Back on the ship, Vila doesn’t understand why Obsidian survived the recent war unscathed.

Vila: Nobody wanted it, that’s what I reckon. And very sensible, too.

Avon: Let us settle this neurotic little worry. Zen, do you have sufficient information to be able to tell us when the next major volcanic eruption on the planet Obsidian is to be expected?

Sue: He may as well have said, “Sit down, Vila, and let the grown-ups take over”.

While the crew debate the Federation’s motives, Sue issues me with a stark warning:

Sue: Just so you know, if Servalan turns up on that planet, the cushions are coming out.

The crew have another reason for coming here: Blake.

Avon: It’s getting to be a fairly common rumor. We could spend the rest of our lives chasing down the ones we’ve picked up so far.

Sue: What about Jenna? Why don’t you look for her? I thought she was in hospital. Oh no. You don’t think they stole her organs, do you?

VolcanoBack on the Obsidian, Tarrant and Dayna are drenched in a strange liquid that’s been fired from a gun. The mist renders them both unconscious.

Sue: Hang on a minute. Rewind that. Yes, I thought so. How the **** did he fire the gun into the wind like that? His hair is flying backwards. Rewind it again. Yes, there. No, back a bit. There. Look! The steam went straight back into his face! Unbelievable!

I rewind it one more time.

Tarrant: Is it raining?

Sue: Bloody hell, they really are using water pistols this week.

Back on the Liberator, Avon is doing what he does best: putting Vila in his place.

Avon: I think you should get back to recalibrating the weaponry systems.

Sue: If you can tear yourself away from Judo practice. And if Vila is really a black belt, I’ll eat my hat.

Hower examines Tarrant and Dayna’s unconscious bodies.

Sue: The face-stroking is a bit creepy, mate. If Tarrant wakes up with his trousers on back to front, you’ll know who to blame.

Hower eventually introduces Tarrant and Dayna to his family.

Hower: This is my son, Bershar. He has special duties.

Sue: And the man in the silver suit is my other son, Robbie. He’s a huge disappointment to me.

Tarrant assures Hower and Bershar that he isn’t Federation.

Tarrant: We are survivors of a galactic war.

Sue: Survivors of a galactic panto, more like.

VolcanoAnd then, just as Sue is settling into a stupor…

Sue: Oh, for God’s sake.

Me: Please don’t hit me! It’s not my fault they wanted Servalan to take a more active role in the series.

Sue: I preferred it when she was scheming in a ball gown somewhere safe. I can’t believe she’s flying around the galaxy like an evil Captain Kirk. It’s silly.

Me: It would be like Margaret Thatcher driving around in a tank. Actually, that’s a terrible example.

Back on the Liberator, Avon is teasing Vila for fancying Dayna.

Vila: Pretty? Yes, I suppose she is. I hadn’t really noticed.

Avon: We’ve seen you not really noticing, frequently.

Sue: Dayna is so out of Vila’s league, it’s not even funny. Avon won’t feel threatened by this at all. Dayna will probably be a bit creeped-out, though.

Tarrant wants to know if Blake has visited Obsidian.

Tarrant: Hasn’t he contacted you? We heard he’d been here.

Sue: I’ve got it! Blake is hiding in the robot costume.

VolcanoThere’s lots of talk of pacifism and neutrality (“So they are basically Switzerland, then”) but I can tell that Sue’s mind has begun to wander.

Sue: I’m a little tea-pot, short and stout… I’m sorry but this is a bit dull. I don’t know what’s happening and I don’t really care.

Meanwhile, on Servalan’s ship…

Sue: At least she’s wearing something sensible this week. It isn’t very flattering but it is practical. I prefer it when she’s sipping cocktails in a dress, though.

Servalan has instructed a Federation officer named Mori to steal theLiberator. Mori wants to know why Obsidian wasn’t touched during the recent war.

Mori: They were right in the middle of the war zone where some of the greatest battles of the galactic war took place.

Sue: We’ve only got his word for that. It didn’t look that great from where I was sitting. And who is this guy, anyway? He’s very twitchy. And he isn’t even remotely threatening. He looks more like an accountant. Travis wouldn’t give him the time of day.

Servalan joins Mori’s troops on the surface of Obsidian.

Sue: She’d better be wearing white hiking boots. No. Of course she isn’t. She’s wearing heels. On a windswept moor. She makes me laugh.

Servalan is approached by two men who vanish in and out of thin air for no readily apparent reason.

Sue: What the ****?

The two men are brothers – Milus and Natin (which Sue mishears as ‘Nutty’) – give Servalan a small object. Servalan immediately orders their execution, but when Mori gives them a chance to run, they refuse.

Sue: Why don’t the pacifists run away? I thought they’d be really good at that.

volcano11Tarrant tries to do a deal with Bershar.

Sue: He isn’t getting any less posh, but I still like him. Yes, he looks like he’s walked off an amateur production of The Pirates of Penzance, but he at least he’s dishy. The only problem I have with Tarrant is that he looks too much like Blake.

Me: You’d think they would have taken that into consideration when they cast the part.

Sue: I know. It’s almost as if they were trying to replace Blake even though Blake is still in it.

I pause the DVD.

Me: Is he?

Sue: What do you mean?

Me: Haven’t you worked it out yet?

Sue: Yes, Blake is in the robot costume.

Me: No, he isn’t. Blake’s gone.

I suddenly feel as if I’m telling her that one of her kittens has died.

Sue: What do you mean, Blake’s gone? Gone where?

Me: I mean he isn’t coming back. The actor, Gareth Thomas, got fed up. He wanted to direct a couple of episodes but the BBC told him to sling his hook.

BlakeSue: That’s a bit mean. He couldn’t have done any worse than some of the directors we’ve had to endure. Like this one, for example.

Me: Anyway, that’s it. He’s gone.

Sue: So we’ll never see Blake again?

Me: No. Never.

Sue: Even though his name is in the title of the programme?

Me: I know. It’s weird. Just ask Taggart.

Sue: Then again, what can you do? You can’t change the title of the programme in the middle of a series.

Me: Let’s just say that you can. What would you have called the programme? Avon’s 7?

Sue: Don’t be daft. I’d probably call it The Liberators. Or just Liberator. Something like that.

Me: While we’re on the subject, I’ve got something else to tell you.

Sue: Not Jenna as well?

I offer her a tissue, even though she doesn’t need one.

Sue: Did she want to direct an episode as well?

Me: No, she just wanted the writers to give her something to do.

Sue: You can’t really blame her. She was basically a clothes horse in space towards the end. Oh well. I don’t know what else to say. I didn’t see that coming, but I can’t say I’ll miss them very much.

I resume the episode. I know it’s a pain in the arse but what can you do?

VolcanoServalan returns to her ship (“I hope she brought a packed lunch”) so she can contact the Federation’s battle fleet commander.

Sue: It looks like they dragged a tramp off the street and then they made him sit in a cupboard and film this scene. Servalan’s henchman have really let themselves go.

Servalan’s ship has a very striking design.

Sue: It looks like a dead, upside down crocodile.

Me: That’s exactly what they were aiming for.

It’s all kicking off on Obsidian. Mori has captured Dayna and Tarrant, thanks to the treacherous Bershar, and then, because Vila is so highly strung, three Federation troopers are accidentally teleported to the Liberator.

Sue: Vila, you numpty! Quick, flick the switch the other way before they know what’s happening. Oh, too late.

The Liberator is under attack.

Avon: Battle and navigation computers online.

Zen: Confirmed.

VolcanoAvon: Compute an initial evasion course to take the flank ship in delta seven out of line and into strike range.

Zen: Grid one zero four, standard by six.

Avon: Execute. Stand by the force wall.

Sue: Avon doesn’t need a crew. He can manage quite well on his own. Look at him standing there in his black leather, as cool as you like. I’ve changed my mind: call the show Avon.

Cally tries to warn Avon that the ship has been invaded. Given Paul Darrow’s reaction it’s impossible to tell if she’s been successful or not.

Me: I’m a better telepath than Cally.

Sue: That’s news to me.

Me: I know what you are thinking right now: This is shit.

Sue: It’s… average.

With the Liberator damaged and Avon incapacitated, Mori helps himself to Orac.

Sue: Take him. He’s ****ing useless.

Incredibly, Vila is left in command.

Sue: God help them all.

A little later, Vila and Avon assess the damage over a glass of green.

Avon: A mess.

Sue: Blake’s had worse days than this. Nobody died this time.

Sue finally decides who Bershar reminds her of.

VolcanoSue: It’s Richard E. Grant. Not only does he look like him a bit, he sounds like him as well.

She’s right. And this means we can’t take him seriously from this point on.

Bershar: We must defend ourselves or we’ll die, all of us. I don’t want to die, not for a stupid ideal that can never work!

Sue: I demand the best wines in the land! How does it go again, Neil?

Me: I came on holiday by accident!

Sue: Richard E Grant and Tarrant are trying to out-posh each other. They’ll be challenging each other to a game of polo next.

Hower has heard enough and he sentences his son to death.

Sue: So they’re pacifists but they have the death penalty. How does that work?

Hower explains why everybody leaves them alone, besides the fact they are tedious beyond belief, of course.

Hower: There is a nuclear device buried deep in the heart of the planet. One touch of that button and it blows.

VolcanoSue: I bet this episode ends with Alfred blowing up the planet. It’s so obvious.

Me: Switzerland’s heading for Switzerland.

Sue: Where’s Cally at this point? I’ve completely forgotten.

Me: Ah, yes. Cally. I have something else to tell you, Sue. You see, the actress who played Cally always wanted to turn her hand to directing –

Sue: NO ****ING WAY! They got rid of Cally as well? Doesn’t anyone care enough to stick around long enough to film a goodbye scene? For ****’s sake.

When Cally turns up in Mori’s care a few minutes later, I conclude that the cushion was worth it.

Sue: I really hate you sometimes.

Me: Of course you do. We’re watching ‘Volcano’.

Cally uses her unique brand of shit telepathy to guide Tarrant and Dayna to the rim of the volcano.

Dayna: I can hear something. A voice. It… it says to go forward, there.

Tarrant: All right, that’s what we’ll do.

VolcanoSue: I can’t believe he didn’t check to see if she was drunk before he agreed to that.

Dayna throws a grenade, which sends a Federation trooper tumbling into the hot lava.

Sue: Nice try. Looked shit, though.

Meanwhile, the Liberator is completely stuck.

Zen: The energy banks still require two minutes before power will be available to make navigation speed.

Avon: We’ll be dead by then.

Zen: One minute fifty-nine seconds.

Sue: This is worse than waiting for your iPhone to charge.

Down on the planet, Hower presses the big red button and the nuke goes off.

Sue: That’s an impressive body count for a pacifist. I bet Servalan escaped, though. She’s bound to be on the next alien planet they just happen to turn up on.

VolcanoThe episode ends on a bit of a downer.

Cally: She lost, and we lost. Only the Pyroans won.

Vila: If that’s winning, I’ll take losing every time.

Sue: **** off, Vila.

Cue credits.

The Score:

Sue turned to me, shrugged her shoulders and made a funny noise:

Sue: Ewurgh.

Me: What’s that supposed to mean?

Sue: It means, I don’t know what else to say. It was just… ewurgh.

4/10

Me: Bloody hell, that’s generous.

Sue: Nobody cares what you think, Neil. And it wasn’t that bad. I’ve seen a lot worse. And look on the bright side: Blake’s gone.

Next Time:

Back
Next

Powerplay

Empty chairs…

Nicol accidentally joined us for this one.

Nicol: Oh dear, it’s a Terry Nation.

Sue: Actually, that’s a very good omen, Nic.

PowerplayNicol: What have you done to my mother, Neil?

The Liberator has been hijacked by Federation troopers. They are led by Captain Del Tarrant and Section leader Klegg.

Sue: With a name like that, I hate him already.

Sue is too old to remember Michael Sheard as Maurice Bronson from Grange Hill (and Nicol is too young), but she fails to recognise him from his many appearances in Doctor Who, too, which is a bit of shame. Anyway, Avon provides the Federation with a fake name and Tarrant admits that he’s having trouble flying the ship.

Tarrant: Our guess is that before Blake and his crew abandoned ship, the computer was instructed only to respond to recognised voice prints.

Sue: He’s a bit posh. I like him, though. He reminds me of a younger, thinner Michael Ball.

Sue and Nicol can’t Klegg seriously.

Sue: Is he supposed to be South African?

Me: Cockney, I think.

Nicol: He’s way over the top. The way he slapped his arm as he brought his gun up just then: ridiculous.

PowerplayTarrant cracks Avon over the head – which is bad enough – but when he does the same thing to Dayna – guess what? That’s right: Sue doesn’t like it. Even Nicol gasped. Actually, I think she was reading an interview with Alan Pardew on her mobile phone at the time.

Sue: Michael Ball can **** right off.

Avon and Dayna are carried off to a cell as the Liberator intercepts an emergency transmission.

Vila: It’s very lonely where I am, wherever it is. I’m cold and I’m miserable and I’m hurt and I’m hungry.

Sue: You forgot “And I’m pathetic”. Cos you are.

Vila has landed on an alien planet. Alone and afraid, he tries to convince the natives that he commands a huge army. A friendly native named Lom isn’t convinced.

Lom: You do not need to explain to me about communicators; I am quite familiar with them.

Sue: Ha! That was very clever. Hey, it’s really good, this. I wasn’t expecting that at all.

Vila has broken his arm, but Lom can fix it.

Vila: I’m not very good with pain. It’s not that I’m a coward or anything. It’s just that I have a very low pain threshold. Hardly a threshold at all, actually.

Nicol: That sounds like you, Neil.

PowerplaySue: You use that line every time you visit the dentists or the doctors. I knew that Vila reminded me of somebody.

Me: But you hate Vila.

Sue: I know. Troubling, isn’t it?

Dayna apologises to Avon for not saving his arse earlier.

Sue: Avon should be the one apologising. He made a right pig’s ear of that escape attempt.

Avon flirts with Dayna as he picks the lock to their cell.

Sue: There’s definitely some sexual chemistry between these two.

Me: Like that’s ever stopped you before.

Sue: They make a good team. Dayna should become a full-time member of the crew.

When Avon and Dayna escape from their cell, they find a Federation trooper with a knife sticking out of his back.

Avon: That’s a difficult way to commit suicide.

Sue and Nicol roar with laughter.

Avon and Dayna hide in one of the Liberator‘s access ducts.

PowerplaySue: It’s the ship’s darkroom. And I’m talking about photography here, not the other sort of darkroom. Although knowing this programme, it’s probably got one of those as well.

Nicol: What are you talking about, mother?

Sue: Ask your Uncle Gary.

Elsewhere, on another spaceship…

Nicol: Oh look, it’s the Yellow Submarine, if the Yellow Submarine was orange. It’s the Orange Submarine.

It’s a hospital ship and Cally is one of its patients.

Sue: Is Cally a welder now?

The nurses are dressed in green and blue uniforms.

Sue: Maybe they were going to chromakey them in later.

Nicol: They remind me of the Umpa Lumpas.

The hospital ship touches down on a planet so it can pick up another survivor from the recent war.

Nicol: That was a terrible special effect.

Sue: Compared to what we usually have to put up with, Nicol, that looked like something out of Star Wars.

The survivor is none other than –

PowerplaySue: OH NO! Not again! How the hell did she get there? Of all the ships that could have picked her up, it had to be the one with Cally on it. Terry ****ing Nation!

Nicol: But I thought –

Sue: Oh, it’s complicated, Nicol.

Servalan: If you would be good enough to tell your captain I would like to see him. I have a great deal to do and very little time.

Sue: She isn’t even poorly!

Lom warns Vila about the hunters who roam the planet Chenga.

Lom: They live to the north. They come to the forests to search for us.

Vila: Yes, but why?

Sue: It’s a shame that the actor who plays Vila can’t act.

Me: You must be joking.

Sue: I bet he never acted again after this.

Me: He’s the vicar in EastEnders!

PowerplayNicol: Oh yeah, so he is.

Sue: That isn’t even a part-time job. It’s a part-part-part-time job at best.

Don’t listen to her, Michael. You are bloody brilliant and my wife is insane.

Sue: Oh look, it’s the Mysterons!

Meanwhile, back in the Liberator‘s access ducts…

Sue: I bet it stinks of fixer in there.

A Federation trooper named Harmon thinks he’s found Avon and Dayna.

Sue: He looked straight down the camera lens as he walked off the set. The acting from some of the bad guys is a bit dodgy this week.

She’s right, you know:

[jwplayer mediaid=”9836″]

Another Federation corpse is found in an access shaft.

Sue: Something weird is going on here. Why couldn’t Terry write episodes of Doctor Who as good as this? Did he have more time or was he just paid more?

The lights in the forest aren’t the Mysterons, after all. They belong to the hunters.

Sue: These so-called hunters aren’t very stealthy, are they. They should try creeping up on people with their flashlights switched off. You can see them coming a mile away.

Vila follows Lom and his friend Mall (aka Geoff Capes) to safety, but he soon gets lost.

Sue: Vila, you numpty bar!

PowerplayVila runs into two hi-techs, or if you’re Sue:

Sue: One half of ABBA.

Nicol: Why do their guns look like giant mice?

Sue: Oh dear, this is a bit silly.

Back on the hospital ship, Cally is trying to contact Vila with her mind.

Nicol: What’s that all about?

Me: Cally is telepathic. Well, sort of. She can send thoughts but she can’t receive them.

When the hi-techs set Vila’s broken arm, Cally feels his pain.

Nicol: Are you sure about that?

Sue: It depends on who’s writing the episode. I don’t think anybody knows for sure. She’s definitely good at yoga, though.

Servalan spots Cally hiding beneath her welding mask.

Servalan: What a delightful coincidence.

Sue: You should know, you’re the Queen of Coincidence.

PowerplayServalan is determined to get the Federation back under control.

Sue: Send her home to her spinning house. She shouldn’t be running around the galaxy like this. It’s demeaning.

Avon has a theory about the murderer who’s currently roaming the Liberator.

Avon: There’s someone else on this ship that neither they nor we know about.

Sue: Is it Travis?

Me: Travis is dead.

Sue: I don’t believe you. (pause) Is it Blake?

Me: Wait and see.

Nicol: Alan Pardew hasn’t got a clue.

Me: I thought you were going to watch this with us, Nicol?

Nicol: I don’t know who any of these people are. How you expect me to follow it?

Sue: We don’t know who they are, either. And this is a really good episode. You’re missing out.

PowerplayAvon is still tracking down his crew.

Avon: Have you anything on Blake’s whereabouts?

Zen: His last voice transmission reported that he is safe and well and en route for the planet Epheron.

Sue: I like the fact that Avon’s got something to do. Getting the old gang back together gives him a purpose in life. It’s a bit risky for them to let their leading man disappear for a couple of episodes, but I understand what the producer is trying to do.

The planet Chenga looks nice.

Sue: The location reminds me of High Force.

Me: It’s filmed in a gorge in Harrogate. It’s just down the road. We could drive down there tomorrow and re-stage scenes from the episode if you like.

Sue: Let’s not.

Vila has definitely fallen for the hi-techs’ charms.

Sue: Vila is so gullible. He’d agree to anything if he was surrounded by beautiful women. You’d be exactly the same, Neil. Actually, I think you are Vila.

Me: I’ll take that as a compliment.

Sue: Don’t.

PowerplayHarmon catches Avon sneaking about on the Liberator.

Harmon: Stand! Face that wall! Put your hands against it!

Nicol: GET IN THE BACK OF THE VAN!

Tarrant says he recognised Avon as soon as he clapped eyes on him.

Tarrant: An innocent stranger wouldn’t question who was in command.

Avon: A stupid lapse of concentration on my part.

Tarrant: I imagine you’ve been under considerable stress.

Avon: I had hoped for a more inspiring epitaph.

Me: I think that’s my favourite line in Blake’s 7 so far.

Sue: Avon always gets the best lines. It must be written into his contract or something.

Avon accuses Harmon of being the murderous traitor. Tarrant shoots his own man in the back, and then he a confession to make.

Tarrant: He didn’t kill those men.

PowerplaySue and Tarrant: I did.

Sue: I knew it!

Me: No you didn’t.

It appears that the medical facilities on Chenga have been funded with corporate sponsorship.

Sue: At least Mercedes-Benz are still going in this messed-up version of the future.

The hi-techs escort Vila to the nearest Chenga Walk-in Centre.

Sue: Just as Vila is about to get his end away, he’ll teleport back to the ship. Just you wait and see.

Nicol: There’s something very sinister about this. It’s too good to be true.

Vila bids the hi-techs farewell.

Nicol: Has Vila pooed himself?

PowerplayMe: Quite possibly.

The hi-techs smile knowingly at each other as Vila disappears from view.

Sue: Thank God he’s gone. He stank!

Nicol: They fixed his arm but they couldn’t do anything about his explosive diarrhoea.

Cally is admitted to the hospital on Chenga.

Sue: This isn’t sinister at all. Vila and Cally have really landed on their feet. I wasn’t expecting this.

Nicol tuts loudly. Is it Sue or Pardew who provokes her ire? Again, I’m not entirely sure.

Tarrant confesses everything to Avon.

Sue: Hang on a minute… Is Tarrant joining the crew? Blake won’t like that. You won’t be able to tell them apart from the back.

Tarrant opens up to Avon about his shady past.

Tarrant: I had no choice but to bluff it out and pretend I was Federation. The man I got the uniform from outranked Klegg and I trained as a Federation Space Captain so it wasn’t too difficult.

PowerplayTarrant doesn’t realise that one of Klegg’s men is eavesdropping outside.

Nicol: So these metal doors are equipped with hi-tech locks but they aren’t sound-proofed. Right.

Klegg takes Dayna hostage. If Avon doesn’t come out alone and unarmed, Dayna will die horribly.

Klegg: You’ve got five minutes.

Sue: That’s very generous of him. He should have given them five seconds. Now they’ve got plenty of time to come up with a plan, you idiot.

Back on Chenga, Vila and Cally are awaiting treatment.

Sue: Are they supposed to be chilling out in an aviary? What is that noise?

Servalan uses the clinic’s visiting hour to spill the episode’s beans.

PowerplayServalan: Unofficially the staff call this place the slaughterhouse. It’s an organ bank.

Sue: They made a film about this, once.

Me: Yes, it was called Coma and it was released a year before they made this episode.

Sue: Naughty Terry.

Back on the Liberator, Avon is about to sell Tarrant out to Klegg.

Sue: Avon won’t do it. Never in a million years.

Thirty seconds later:

Sue: No way! Avon sold him out!

And ten seconds after that:

Sue: Oh, thank God for that. Avon had me worried there for a second.

PowerplayAvon and Tarrant take a back seat while Dayna breaks Klegg’s neck.

Sue: You know, I’m not sure how I feel about that. She’s a strong, assertive character – and I love that – but that was a bit vicious. Still, that’s what they do in Blake’s 7; I should be used to it by now.

Vila and Cally are teleported back to the Liberator in the nick of time. Avon makes the introductions.

Avon: That one’s Cally. I’ll introduce her more formally when she wakes up. This one is Vila. I should really introduce him now, he’s at his best when he’s unconscious.

Sue: Brilliant. I love it.

The episode concludes on the Liberator‘s flight deck.

Sue: Blake’s back! Oh, sorry, he isn’t. It’s just Tarrant from behind.

Tarrant and Dayna’s voice prints are added to Zen’s databank.

PowerplaySue: Are they full-time members of the crew now?

Me: Looks like it.

Sue: It’s going to be awfully crowded on that ship when Blake and Jenna get back.

Cue credits.

The Score:

Sue: I really enjoyed that. It was exciting, surprising, nicely directed, and the script was great. Well done, Terry. The stuff in the hospital was really creepy and grim, and even if the idea wasn’t anything new, they did it quite well. It’s almost a 10/10 for me but I’ll have to knock at least one mark off because Vila was in it a lot, and Servalan is getting on my tits. Why was she in that episode? I don’t get it.

9/10

Nicol raised an eyebrow and sighed. Alan bloody Pardew. Probably.

Next Time:

Back
Next

Aftermath

May Day Mayday…

AftermathSue: Ooh, there’s a new title sequence.

She doesn’t like it very much.

Sue: So is Blake’s 7 a cartoon now? And who are these three? They look like the Red Arrows. Why are the Red Arrows chasing the Liberator?

Series 3 begins with an explosive montage.

Sue: Is this a recap? I’ve seen that spaceship before; it’s got a face like a sad fish.

The battle between the Federation and the aliens has reached Space City.

Sue: I’ve definitely seen that before. And that. And that. That still looks really shit. I can’t believe they had the balls to show that again.

I pause the DVD and explain to her how this epic space battle was cobbled together using recycled effects shots from the first two series, to save money they didn’t actually have.

Sue: So they’ve spent even less money on this series than the last two? How is that even possible?

Panicked Voice Over: Star One is destroyed. Repeat: the aliens have destroyed Star One.

Sue: That’s the pineapples ****ed, then. And that wasn’t Star One that just blew up. Star One is on a planet and that was a spaceship. At least I think it was a spaceship. It could have been a light fitting.

Space City miraculously turns up again – even though it was destroyed a few seconds ago – and this time it peppers the Liberator with laser fire. The crew are nowhere to be seen.

Sue: The direction is really weird. What the hell is going on?

AftermathWhen Vila reaches the Liberator‘s life capsules, his backside almost catches fire.

Sue: Please kill him off. Yes! Do it! Do it! Oh no, he’s all right. Never mind.

Meanwhile, on an alien planet…

Sue: Brilliant. Medieval Sci-Fi. Just what we need. For ****’s sake.

Avon, Cally and Orac join Vila in the Liberator‘s life capsule bay.

Vila: Where’s Jenna? We haven’t got to wait for her, have we?

Cally: Jenna’s gone with Blake.

Sue: Maybe they’ll finally cop-off with each other.

Avon is knocked unconscious so Vila places him in a life support capsule with Orac. The capsule is ejected into space.

Sue: Suddenly, there’s no sound in space. It’s a bit late for realism!

When Avon wakes, he finds himself plummeting towards an alien planet.

Sue: So is that it for the Liberator? What about Zen? Who’s going to save him? They didn’t even say goodbye.

Avon: Too fast. Too fast. Going to burn up!

Sue: This is a great start. Just don’t kill him.

AftermathTwo Federation troopers have crash landed on the same planet. I wait for an appropriate close-up and pause the DVD.

Sue: Oh look, it’s him. It’s the evil one from UNIT.

Me: There was a time when you didn’t have to narrow that down.

Sue: It’s the traitor, Yates. Yes, that’s who it is: Mike Yates. Are you impressed?

Me: A bit. OK, so who’s his mate?

Sue: He is vaguely familiar. Did he play a policeman?

Me: It’s Eddie Royle. He used to run the Queen Vic. Got killed. Played a Terileptil. No?

Sue: No.

Eddie and Mike don’t last very long.

Sue: Oh, I thought he was going to be a regular character. Did he do that scene as a favour for someone?

Avon is about to meet the same fate as Mike and Eddie – namely getting his throat cut by the local medieval Sci-Fi bad guy – when he is rescued by a beautiful woman armed with a bow and arrow.

Sue: This is very James Bond all of a sudden.

AftermathShe ain’t seen nothing yet, because when Dayna takes Avon to a nearby cave to recover, they end up locking lips.

Sue: She doesn’t mess about.

Avon: I think you’ve cured my headache.

Sue: Avon!

Me: So much for Avon being asexual.

Sue: I’ve changed my mind. I think I prefer him like this.

Dayna leads Avon back to his life capsule.

Sue: You know, I’m sure I recognise this beach.

Me: I think this was filmed on Bamburgh Beach.

Sue: I knew it! I’ve been there. It’s very romantic.

Me: Is it? I’ve never been.

While I ponder this, something mad happens.

AftermathSue: No way!

Yes, Servalan is sprawled out on a nearby sand dune.

Sue: No ****ing way! How the hell did she get there?

Servalan struggles to operate a small hand-held device, but it just buzzes at her.

Sue: I’m saying nothing.

Sue doesn’t understand why Avon is carting Orac around in a bulky flight case.

Sue: Orac should shrink himself so Avon can put him in his pocket, even if it’s just for a few hours. Orac is a very selfish computer.

Dayna tells Avon that she lives beneath the sea.

Avon: I’m not very keen on water sports, even at the best of times.

Sue: I’m saying nothing. Again.

Avon waits for Dayna to check that the Northumbrian coast is clear.

Avon: Well, I hope she’s not totally insane.

Sue: You’re the one who’s talking to yourself, Avon.

Servalan sneaks up on Avon.

Sue: Of all the beaches in the universe she could land on, she had to pick this one. What are the chances? Unless you’re Terry ****ing Nation, of course, in which case it’s inevitable.

Avon and Servalan become embroiled in a tense stand-off.

AftermathSue: It looks like they’re waiting for a beach wedding to start. All they need now is a priest.

Avon and Servalan put aside their differences so they can escape from a marauding horde of Sarrans.

Sue: That was a great scene. Very funny. I knew they’d end up working together eventually, I just didn’t think it would be quite so soon.

Dayna escorts the happy couple to her father’s underwater base.

Sue: This reminds me of James Bond as well. The set is really nice, actually. I love the lighting. Big Brother should model their next house on this theme.

Dayna offers to find something for Servalan to wear.

Sue: Yeah, good luck with that.

Avon meets Dayna’s father: Hal Mellanby. Or, if you’re Sue:

Sue: The man from Boney M.

Hal tells Avon that the recent alien incursion has left the Federation in tatters.

Avon: I only hope Blake survived long enough to realise that he was winning.

Sue: Where the hell is Blake anyway? And the rest of them for that matter. Have they all got the week off? Not that I’m complaining.

AftermathHal Mellanby has been following Blake’s exploits.

Hal: I’ve been hearing reports for the last couple of years. You were magnificent.

Avon: Not from where I was sitting.

Sue: Tell me about it.

Servalan and Dayna get to spend some quality time together.

Sue: I’m beginning to think that Gareth was right. This has turned into a soap opera. I’m waiting for the inevitable cat fight.

Hal Mellanby used to be on the Federation’s Most Wanted List. They blinded him and now he uses a sensor on his chest to relay images to his spectacles.

Sue: He invented Goggle glasses.

Me: I wonder if he can get porn on them.

Sue: Trust you to think of that.

Hal introduces Avon to his step-daughter, Lauren.

Sue: Another beautiful woman for Avon to snog. I bet Avon can’t believe his luck. He’s really landed on his feet.

Me: You ain’t seen nothing yet.

Avon establishes contact with the Liberator.

AftermathSue: I assume that we’ll get to see Blake and Jenna’s adventure next week, and Cally and Vila’s adventure the week after that. Am I right? It’s an interesting way of doing things I suppose, but it means I’m going to struggle with the next two episodes. This one is great, though.

Avon instructs Zen to return for him.

Avon: Keep listening out for Vila or Cally. If either of them come in, give their pick-up priority over mine.

Sue: I don’t understand why they didn’t just stay on the ship in the first place. It looks fine to me. All this aggravation for nothing.

Servalan and Avon share a nice glass of crème de menthe.

Servalan: There’s something you probably don’t know. Star One was destroyed.

Me: You wouldn’t believe what people are doing for a slice of pineapple these days.

Sue: I think we’ve exhausted all the pineapple jokes, love. Give it a rest.

Servalan wants to turn Avon to the dark side.

Servalan: You and I could build an empire greater and more powerful than the Federation ever was or ever could have been. Think of it: absolute power. There is nothing you can imagine that we couldn’t do.

Avon: I am thinking of it.

Sue: Yeah, I bet you are. And what you’re thinking of has nothing to do with running the galaxy.

AftermathThey kiss. Sue gasps. When Avon throws Servalan to the floor, Sue sings the theme tune to Dallas.

Sue: That was a fabulous scene. You couldn’t imagine her trying that on with Blake. This has definitely gone soapy, now.

Rejected by Avon, Servalan finds a weapon hidden in one of Dayna’s bedroom cabinets.

Sue: Dayna’s got anger management issues so she hides her handguns around the house. A bit like Sue Ellen and her bottles of whiskey.

Hal doesn’t have any fond memories of the Federation.

Hal: We were promised a fair trial. Instead, the security forces massacred everyone; men, women, and children. That night I watched them all die. My own wife, my friends, everybody.

Sue: He’s a great actor. It’s really good, this.

Servalan kills Hal Mellanby, but only after she’s humiliated and tortured him first.

Sue: What a bitch! This is even worse than Fight Night in Big Brother 5. There was no need for that. Just as I was starting to like her as well.

Servalan absconds with Orac, leaving Dayna to weep for her dead father.

Sue: Poor Dayna. Avon should take her with him; she’s lovely. I bet she gets killed in a minute.

Avon and Dayna find Lauren’s corpse tied to a pillory.

Sue: How grim is this? You know, this episode would be quite bleak if they’re weren’t running around with giant water pistols.

AftermathServalan is captured by the medieval sci-fi baddies and Avon has to rescue her to get Orac back. Dayna provides covering fire.

Sue: A man just died because some water splashed him on the back of his head. I’m sorry but that was shit.

Avon and Servalan retreat to Dayna’s love cave. Servalan demands safe passage off the planet in exchange for Orac. She also wants a gun.

Avon: There is only one.

Servalan: I only want one.

Sue: Brilliant.

Avon retrieves Orac from the shallow grave Servalan buried him in. He opens the flight case and barks instructions at the computer.

Sue: Don’t get sand in Orac!

The Sarrans attack and Servalan gets thrown to the floor. It’s becoming something of a habit.

Sue: She needs a henchman. And a sensible pair of shoes.

Dayna points a water pistol at Servalan’s head.

Sue: Do it! DO IT!

But before she can pull the trigger, Dayna and Avon are teleported back to the Liberator.

Sue: Oh no. I really wanted her to do it. Sort of. Oh, it’s complicated.

AftermathHowever, there’s a surprise in store for Avon.

Curly Haired Guy: What are you doing on my ship?

Sue: Who the hell is this twat?

Cue credits.

Sue: Another cliffhanger! Come on, let’s put the next one on. Please.

Me: No.

The Score:

Sue: That was probably the best episode of Blake’s 7 so far. If it wasn’t for Servalan coincidentally turning up on the same beach – as if! – and the rubbish space battle at the beginning, I would have given it a 10.

9/10

Sue: It’s turned into The Avon Show. And I like it.

Next Time:

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