Oggy! Oggy! Oggy! (No! No! No!)
Sue: Animals… I hope Pink Floyd do the music.
Tarrant is ferrying Dayna to the planet Bucol Two so she can visit an old teacher (and I do mean old).
Tarrant: Will he remember you?
Dayna: I should hope so.
Dayna smiles knowingly. I tut loudly.
Sue: What’s wrong?
Me: What’s wrong? Dayna is supposed to be sixteen, or thereabouts, I think, and she was even younger when she made a big impression on her teacher, if you know what I mean.
Sue: Don’t be so bad-minded, Neil. Maybe Dayna was an A-star student, and that’s why her teacher will remember her. Don’t be so quick to judge.
Dayna teleports to the planet and meets a strange creature covered in fur.
Sue: It’s a cross between a Yeti and a hatstand. Is that her teacher? Does he train all the local Jedi?
The Scorpio is ambushed by Federation pursuit ships.
Sue: It’s absolutely fine. Tarrant can outrun them with his super-duper new engine.
The Scorpio is hit by a plasma bolt.
Meanwhile, Dayna finds herself surrounded by furry animals.
Sue: They’re cute. They look like horny Ewoks.
Dayna shoots one of them in the face.
Sue: What the ****? What did she do that for? He only wanted a cuddle!
The Scorpio suffers several direct hits and Tarrant is lucky to escape with his life.
Sue: Avon is going to be furious when he finds out.
Slave: Main teleport system is damaged to a degree as yet unspecified. Navigation systems register first warning of malfunction. Main detectors show fifty percent is functional. Further damage is under assessment.
Sue: They’ve only just got the bloody thing working! If only Slave had spotted those ships a little earlier. They need better radar. That’s their next upgrade – better radar.
Dayna, who is now stranded on the planet, is being chased by the titular animals.
Sue: Stop ****ing killing them!
She is rescued by a man in his early fifties. His name is Justin.
Sue: Justin time! Sorry. I won’t do that again, I promise.
Justin is extremely pleased to see Dayna.
Justin: Here, let me look at you. My little pupil Dayna, lovelier than ever.
Sue: Er… I beg your pardon?
Me: I did try to warn you, Sue. I’m really sorry, but this is going to get very rough, very soon. Why do you think I’m cradling a bottle of Jim Beam? Here, do you want some?
Sue: No, that would be cheating.
Justin: You look quite beautiful…
Sue: Oh my God, this is really dodgy.
Dayna: I think it’s disgusting.
Sue: Join the ****ing club!
Dayna isn’t referring to Justin’s advances, she’s talking about her mentor’s experiments on some animals he’s bred – the loon! – the most intelligent of which is called Og.
Sue: What kind of name is Og? Is he taking the piss or what?
Dayna tells Justin about her gang, and how they are currently scouring the galaxy, recruiting experts to help them in their never-ending war against the Federation.
Sue: Well, that’s certainly news to me. When was that decided?
However, Justin isn’t interested in joining a rag-tag band of terrorists.
Justin: Of course, if you wanted to stay on your own, that would be different.
Sue: Will somebody please call the police! Or Operation Yewtree! Anybody!
Oh look, it’s Commissioner
Sue: What happened to her giant space crocodile? Her new spaceship looks like a Bingo hall.
A Federation captain delivers a classified report on Bucol Two.
Sue: How can he possibly read that thing? It’s just shapes! And why is Servalan fondling a thermostat? Why is she even in this episode? Still, things must be bad; I’m sure this is the first time I’ve seen her wear the same thing twice.
Back on Bucol Two, the animals are revolting.
Sue: I feel sorry for them. They’re bloody terrible singers, though.
Justin is still trying to get into Dayna’s pants.
Justin: You came here expecting more, a young love resurrected.
Sue: Oh, for God’s sake. Stop it!
There was a time when the Federation wanted to use Justin’s animals as shock troops.
Sue: The enemy would get a shock all right. And then they’d die laughing. This is preposterous, Neil.
Justin: Those animals can go into any of the devastated sectors of the war zone and the radiation won’t kill them. They can work on simple projects already.
Sue: Now if only we could get them to stop flinging their own shit at each other, I’m sure they’d be brilliant.
Justin’s work is almost complete.
Sue: Never trust a man with thin lips. And his top lip is so thin, it’s practically invisible.
Tarrant limps back to Xenon base in a battered and bruised Scorpio.
Sue: That’s the last time Avon will give Tarrant the keys to the car. He’ll ground him for this.
Sue used to be a hairdresser, which probably explains why she’s drawn to the sculptured hairstyles which seem to be all the rage within the Federation’s ranks.
Sue: That’s one hell of a graduated bob. Is that what all the fashionable vampires are wearing these days? Graduated bobs?
Me: I don’t even know what that means.
Sue: Is Servalan still pretending to be somebody else?
Me: **** knows.
Sue: But it’s ridiculous. It would be like Margaret Thatcher faking her own death and coming back as Mrs Hatcher, hoping no one would notice as she became Prime Minister again. She hasn’t even dyed her hair!
Justin bitterly regrets turning Federation deserters into furry animals with silly names.
Sue: Those animals are the least of your crimes, mate.
When Justin says he wants Dayna all to himself, Dayna breaks into a huge, self-satisfied grin. Which is weird because you’d think she’d throw up.
Sue: What the ****?
Servalan arranges to meet Ardus, an ex-Federation officer who knows everything there is to know about Bucol Two. The poor man lost his eyes during the war.
Sue: He’d have to be blind to leave the house wearing glasses like that.
I pause the DVD.
Me: Don’t you recognise him? I’ll give you a clue: “Paaaaaacker…”
Sue: Oh yeah. He’s been in Blake’s 7 before. Is he playing the same character?
OK, I lied. This episode’s got enough problems without me telling the truth.
Ardus eventually recognises Servalan’s voice.
Sue: It took him long enough. I thought he was deaf as well as blind.
Ardus immediately regrets mentioning Servalan by name.
Sleer: Very well. I await your information.
Sue: Sorry, I mean (in a gruff, deep voice) Very well. I await your information.
Ardus tells Servalan everything she needs to know about Justin.
Sue: Doesn’t anybody know his surname?
Back on Bucol Two, Dayna offers to talk to the Og on Justin’s behalf.
Dayna: If he won’t trust you, perhaps he’ll trust me.
Sue: Yes, he’ll trust you because you killed his friends – right in front of him! Has Dayna been taking the stupid pills?
Justin fondles Dayna’s hands.
Sue: I think I’m going to be sick.
Justin: I’ve been on my own on this planet so long now…
Sue: Oh dear. He’s been shagging all the animals. He basically just admitted it.
Back on the Scorpio, Vila prepares to drown himself in a tank full of shit.
Sue: This has nothing to do with the other plot. They are just killing time until that other pile of steaming shit finishes. What Vila’s doing here is a metaphor for what we are going through right now.
Sue trusts Justin as far as she can throw him.
Sue: Justin isn’t everything he seems.
Me: He’s exactly what he seems. That’s the ****ing problem, Sue!
Dayna extends the hand of friendship to Og. She promises Og that he won’t be hurt if he returns to Justin’s loving arms. Og points to his head.
Dayna: Not hurt. Not your head. Not hurt.
Sue: It’s all right. You can tell me. Show me where the creepy old man touched you.
Just as Dayna believes she’s about to make a breakthrough, Og throws her over a cliff.
Sue: Wow. She was even more wooden than usual. Anyone would think they threw a doll over that cliff instead. Actually, what the hell has happened to Dayna? I used to really like her. Now I can barely stand her.
Meanwhile, in the other shit-stained plot, Soolin places a blue box next to Orac.
Sue: Is that Orac’s girlfriend? She doesn’t say very much. Still more animated than Soolin, though.
The Scorpio blasts off again.
Sue: Avon should sit down when they take off. It can’t be safe to stand up like that, especially the way Tarrant drives.
Dayna is interrogated by Servalan. Every time Dayna lies to her, Servalan presses a button on her chair and Dayna is subjected to a very intense orgasm.
Sue: I don’t know what Servalan is doing to her, but it looks all right to me.
Servalan asks Dayna if she loves Justin. Dayna denies it, but Servalan’s magic chair can detect the horrible truth. I swallow a bit of sick.
Sue: There should be a caption at the bottom of the screen: ‘My Teacher Molested Me And Now I’ve Fallen In Love Him’. Seriously, though, this episode is giving me the creeps.
Servalan offers to support Justin’s research, on one condition:
Servalan: That I use the animals in the way I think fit.
Sue: She’ll probably skin them and turn them into a nice dress.
Dayna refuses to cooperate with Servalan.
Sue: She’s holding out for one more orgasm.
Servalan switches to Plan B. By the time she’s finished with her, Dayna will hate Justin with every fibre of her being.
Sue: Is there anything that chair can’t do? If you sat in it, Neil, could I make you love me more?
Me: Give it a rest, love.
Justin is so distraught when he discovers that Dayna has disappeared, he briefly considers suicide before hitting the bottle.
Sue: SHIT! That was the Fairy Liquid!
Servalan’s aversion therapy has been a complete success – Dayna now hates Justin as much as we do. Good for Servalan.
Servalan: You really hate him now, don’t you?
Sue: Remember that Maths lesson, when you were only fourteen and he –
Me: Stop it, Sue.
Dayna: I hate him.
Sue: I’m fairly sure this isn’t what the writer intended. I think we’re actually supposed to feel sorry for the old pervert.
I feel it’s only fair to tell Sue that this episode was originally written for Cally.
Sue: That’s no excuse. They should have realised the implications as soon as the problem presented itself. Soolin would have been just as bad – even though it would have given her something to do – so they should have sent Tarrant instead. That would have been much more interesting. But either way, they should have ditched the randy teacher routine. It just isn’t right.
Servalan storms Justin’s base with three snowmobilers equipped with graduated bobs. She tells the women that they can wing Og if they have to – but they can’t kill him.
Sue: Are they allowed to snap one of its horns off?
Avon, Tarrant and Soolin teleport to Bucol Two. It’s pissing down and they are drenched in seconds.
Sue: Paul Darrow’s hair gel is dripping into his eyes. This is not a good look for him. It looks like his head is melting… And now he looks like David Ginola from that angle. And not in a good way, either.
Servalan’s troops find and restrain Og.
Sue: Poor Og. The next time we see him, he’ll have a graduated bob.
When Avon blasts his way into Justin’s base, he… well, let’s just say it’s worth watching again. And again. And again.
Sue: Wow. What a recovery. Paul Darrow almost ended up on his arse but he remained super-cool. What a professional. That takes real talent, Neil.
Me: It serves him right for kicking that ****ing chair!
Sue: Rosie didn’t have anything to do with this shambles, did she? No? Oh, thank God for that.
When Justin agrees to Servalan’s demands, Dayna is taken to the magic chair again.
Servalan: You love him, Dayna. You love him, Dayna. You love him. Dayna…
Sue: I feel like I’ve been sat in that chair for years. “You love Blake’s 7, Sue. You love Doctor Who, Sue. You love
Og has been tied to a stump in a field.
Sue: Aww, he reminds me of that Shetland pony I see on the common on the way to work. He can only walk around in circles as well, poor thing. It always makes me sad when I see him.
Me: Og is basically Li’l Sebastian. Aww.
When Avon, Tarrant and Soolin mount a rescue mission, Og is killed in the battle.
Sue: Damn it. Og was the best thing in this stupid mess!
Servalan’s ship blasts off.
Sue: **** me. What a brilliant shot! What’s a brilliant shot like that doing in a pile of shit like this?
Justin didn’t make it either, and the episode ends with Dayna weeping buckets of tears for her dead teacher/mentor/mad professor/lover/abuser (take your pick).
Sue: MAKE IT STOP!
Sue: **** me, that was shit!
It’s official. Animals is as bad as Trial.
Sue: I’m only giving it a mark for that crane shot at the end. It was seconds away from a big fat zero. What a load of shit.