May Day Mayday…
Sue: 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?
When 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.
Two 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?
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.
She 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.
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.
Sue: 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.
Sue: 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.
Hal 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.
Sue: 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.
They 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.
Servalan 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.
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.
However, 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?
Sue: Another cliffhanger! Come on, let’s put the next one on. Please.
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.
Sue: It’s turned into The Avon Show. And I like it.