I Feel Love…
The episode begins with Cally evading Federation troops in a rattlesnake-infested forest (or maybe that’s Dudley).
Sue: The Federation are in this one. Good. Blake might blow something up.
Blake approaches Cally’s location, his trusty red picnic box by his side.
Cally: (telepathically): Guards. Don’t speak or make a sound.
Blake: I’d forgotten how useful telepathy is.
Sue: So had Terry Nation.
A vintage car speeds down a country lane.
Sue: Is that Bessie? Have Blake’s 7 borrowed Bessie and given her a paint job? They can’t do that, can they?
Me: You said Blake’s 7 and Doctor Who should share their resources. Well, here you go.
Sue: At least Jon Pertwee isn’t driving it. In fact, I think this lot are on their way to a sci-fi convention dressed as the third Doctor, Jo Grant, and some extra off Blake’s 7.
She’s wrong. It’s President Sarkoff.
Sue: Is he the president of a motoring club?
Blake and Cally follow that car.
Sue: That bloody cooler box again. Give me strength. Do they have to keep their bracelets below room temperature or something?
The Federation troops are on high alert. Sue thinks the perspex on their helmets should turn a subtle shade of red to reflect this fact, and she’s disappointed when they don’t.
Sue: At least we’re back on Earth again. I expected them to make a big deal out of that, but Blake has just waltzed straight back home.
Me: This isn’t Earth. At least I don’t think it is.
Sue: But there’s an antique car, a medieval castle, and, well, it looks like England on a miserable wet afternoon in November.
Me: It’s definitely an alien planet. They just confirmed it.
Sue: Couldn’t they tint the sky or paint in an extra moon or something? That’s lazy.
President Sarkoff is played by the one and only TP McKenna.
Sue: He’s famous.
Me: If you tell me his name, I’ll give you a foot rub.
Sue: Julian Assange.
Meanwhile, on the Liberator…
Sue: What the **** is Avon wearing? Oh no, that won’t do at all. He’s got a massive silver arrow pointing at his cock.
At least Avon has made an effort.
Sue: I’m sure Gan hasn’t changed since we started this. I bet he stinks. And I bet everyone is too afraid to tell him that he stinks, just in case he goes mental and tries to kill them all again.
An unidentified ship is heading towards the Liberator.
Avon: If it turns out to be hostile, we’ll do a part orbit and lose it.
Sue: I’m sorry, but I can’t take him seriously when he’s dressed like that. He looks like he should be dangling off a trapeze.
Avon: As a matter of fact, I don’t like the look of it either.
Sue: Did he just catch sight of himself in a reflective surface?
The unidentified ship is broadcasting a distress signal so Gan offers to teleport over there to investigate. If it turns out to be a trap, the crew have his permission to blow him to pieces.
Sue: Gan’s head needs seeing to again. It’s becoming a bit of a theme.
Back on the planet, Blake removes some rope from his cooler box. There’s no room left in the box for anything else, which makes Sue roar with laugher.
Gan has teleported to the mysterious ship, and Avon instructs Vila to prepare to fire on it, just in case.
Sue: Seriously, though, what the **** is Avon wearing?
Gan assures the crew that everything is fine.
Sue: That isn’t Gan. He’s even more wooden than usual.
Vila tries to warn Avon but it’s too late.
Vila: It’s not Gan! Avon? Jenna? Answer me, one of you. I shall come out in a rash.
Sue laughs. Yes, she’s finally coming round to Vila, who is furious when he realises that he’ll have to investigate the incursion personally.
Sue: That’s what you look like when I ask you to empty the bins.
Sue isn’t impressed with the interior of Sarkoff’s castle.
Sue: Dear oh dear, what kind of restoration job is that? You can’t paint a castle silver! Kevin McCloud would go mental if he saw that. What happened to the natural brick work? I’m appalled.
Me: It’s a space castle. Space castles are silver.
President Sarkoff owns an impressive collection of vinyl records.
Sue: It’s all gone a bit weird now.
Doesn’t stop her from singing along to Tommy Steele, though.
Sue: They should have played something a bit more contemporary.
Me: Like what?
Sue: Some disco.
Sarkoff owns the finest private collection of 20th Century Earth objects anywhere in the galaxy.
Sue: It’s basically Kiwi Alan’s second-hand shop down the road, but painted silver. I’ve told him to keep an eye out for any missing episodes by the way. No news yet, but I’ll keep you informed.
Now that he’s taken his hat off, Sarkoff reminds Sue of somebody else.
Sue: He isn’t Julian Assange, he’s Liberace.
Me: He’s a wonderful actor and it’s a travesty that you can’t tell me what his name is.
Sue: He’s very good. Far too good for this nonsense.
Cally climbs the castle wall.
Sue: The wooden panelling on the windows is driving me mad. It looks so cheap. I’m surprised they got planning permission for that.
The Federation troops saunter past Cally without a second look.
Sue: The Federation are completely hopeless. The only reason this bloke knows what’s going on is because he’s the only one with enough common sense to push his helmet up.
Blake wants to take the exiled president back to his people, so he can unite them against the Federation.
Sue: This happened a lot in the 1970s: exiled revolutionaries hanging around foreign countries, biding their time. This is Terry Nation trying to be topical.
Sarkoff’s assistant, Tyce, doesn’t have any time for the president’s self-pity.
Tyce: He ran away and hid. Here on this empty, nameless planet which the Federation so generously provided.
Sue: Terry couldn’t even be bothered to come up with a name for the planet. That’s how spent he is.
Blake convinces Sarkoff to leave his self-imposed exile behind.
Blake: We captured a Federation cipher machine. Now before they changed the code, we picked up a lot of information. Our computers have been unravelling it ever since.
Me: See, there is a story arc. Terry knows what he’s doing.
Sue: How much have you had to drink, Neil? Again?
Tyce has a soft spot for Sarkoff.
Tyce: He was a very special man. Brilliant and proud.
Sue: Is he her sugar daddy, because their relationship is a bit weird if you ask me. Is it just the two of them stuck in this castle? No wonder he doesn’t want to leave.
It’s a moot point anyway, because the Liberator isn’t responding to Blake’s calls.
Sue: They’re off having a much better adventure than he is. It wouldn’t be difficult.
Sarkoff contemplates his fate.
Sue: His taste in music isn’t very inspiring. He should have put some Donna Summer on.
Let’s see if she’s right: (alternate link via YouTube)
A massive improvement, I’m sure you’ll agree.
Sue: This is tedious. I’m sick of this guy moaning and feeling sorry for himself. If anyone should be feeling sorry for themselves it’s me for watching this rubbish.
Sarkoff: I should have realised that Tyce wouldn’t stay with me. Not now.
Sue: They are definitely shagging. On his antique electric blanket, surrounded by his antique teddy bears and his antique Goblin Teasmaid.
Me: Don’t forget his antique cock.
Sarkoff really doesn’t want to leave. We know this for a fact because HE KEEPS TELLING US.
Sarkoff: Where else would I go? This is all I have left.
Sue: He can’t bear to part with his collection of glass ashtrays. Just think, if they still had that cooler box with them, they could save a couple of carriage clocks at the very least.
Blake destroys Sarkoff’s priceless Donna Summer 12-inch, and then he threatens to destroy Sarkoff’s precious butterfly collection as well.
Sue: Don’t worry, Blake wouldn’t hurt a fly. Even if it was already dead.
Sarkoff decides that enough is enough and he agrees to leave; it’s only taken Blake twenty-five minutes to convince him.
Sue: I don’t get it. If he loved those butterflies so much, why didn’t he take them with him? It’s not as if they need feeding.
Tyce cranks Bessie into life.
Sue: This is ****ing weird. Doctor Who could get away with this kind of madness, but in Blake’s 7 it sticks out like a sore thumb. I keep expecting the Autons to jump out of the bushes.
Bessie races away from the castle.
Me: Put your helmet on, we’ll be reaching speeds of three!
Blake begs the Liberator to teleport them to safety, but nobody’s home. However, as the car approaches a Federation checkpoint, the teleport finally kicks into life and Bessie explodes. Honest.
Sue: They crashed the car with a sound effect. Is that because they weren’t allowed to blow Bessie up for real? That’s a shame. I would have enjoyed that.
The Liberator is seemingly deserted.
Sue: So who let them on board?
Me: **** knows, I’m drunk.
Blake: Where are they, Zen?
Zen: Please specify question more precisely.
Sue: Zen is such a dick. I don’t know how they put up with him. I bet he runs on Windows.
Blake finds Jenna in the teleport area, and she has some devastating news:
Jenna: They’re all dead.
Sue: Eh? What? No!
But it’s only a ruse and Blake is gassed by a mysterious assailant.
Sue: Is Avon doing that to Blake? Is this the mutiny he’s been planning? Is he finally going ahead with it? At least he had the decency to change his clothes first.
But it isn’t Avon, because Avon has been taken prisoner as well. And not only that – Jenna is now working for the enemy!
Sue: Why didn’t we watch that episode instead? They’ve been up to all sorts of exciting stuff while we had to watch an old man DJ-ing for half an hour.
The crew have been seized by the Amagons. Or as Sue so eloquently puts it:
Sue: Space Sheiks.
Their leader, Tarvin, flirts with his new ally, Jenna.
Sue: Could there be less sexual chemistry between these two? What’s this episode called again?
Sue: They should have called it ‘Turkish Delight’ instead.
Tarvin is a money-grabbing misogynist.
Sue: This isn’t racist at all. Absolutely not.
Zen: Information: Federation ships are now within scanner range.
Sue: Zen gives more information to the bad guys than he does to Blake. Whose side is he on anyway?
Jenna shows her true colours when she overpowers an Amagon. Sue is neither surprised nor impressed.
Sue: It’s as if two pantomimes have accidentally double-booked the same stage, and now the casts of Robin Hood and Aladdin have to fight it out to see who gets to put their show on. It’s insane.
Meanwhile, Vila is trying – and failing – to extricate the crew from the explosive collars that have been placed around their necks.
Vila: I told you I couldn’t do it.
Avon: I believed you all along.
Sue: Ha! That was brilliant. Avon makes even the stupidest episode worthwhile.
Jenna overpowers her second Amagon of the day.
Sue: Right in the space nuts. Nice.
Gan wants to rip Tarvin’s head off.
Sue: Can Gan murder people again? You know, since his operation. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. I wouldn’t leave my bedroom door unlocked if I was Jenna, that’s for sure.
Blake and his crew escape from their prison by throwing a disabled collar at an Amagon. He is killed instantly by an explosion of bright twinkly stars.
Sue: If you rub that collar really, really hard, you get three wishes.
Jenna takes down her third Amagon. Sue lets out a half-hearted cheer as she checks her watch.
On the Liberator‘s flight deck, Tyce tries to take control of the situation.
Sue: (singing) And here’s to you, Mrs. Robinson, Jesus loves you more than you will know…
Unfortunately, she fails miserably and Tarvin threatens to blow her head off.
Tyce: Shoot him, father. You owe it to me.
Sue: EH? WHAT? So now they tell us that she’s his daughter. Why did they take so long? Why make it look like they were involved in some sort of sordid sex thing? ****ing hell, Terry!
Me: And that’s why you shouldn’t ship. I did try to warn you.
Sarkoff shoots the nasty, greedy, selfish, sexist space Arab in the nuts, and all’s well that ends well.
Sue: Nope. Not even remotely racist.
The episode concludes with Sarkoff and Tyce teleporting back to their home planet Lindor, which Terry named after a chocolate bar he was eating while he wrote this.
Sue: Another two bracelets they’ll never see again. It was hardly worth the effort.
Me: He’s ousted two days later for committing incest, and the planet is plunged into chaos.
Sue: That was a bit weird. And not in a good way. At least it had something to do with the Federation, so it gets a few marks for that, but it didn’t do anything for me. It wasn’t serious or exciting enough for me to care about anyone, and the panto villains turned the whole thing into an uncomfortable farce at the end. And I hate it when Avon disappears for twenty minutes like that. It’s crazy.
We are galloping towards the end of Series 1, and that seems like a good time to evaluate how Sue is coping with the series so far. So if you’ve got a question you’d like to ask her about this series, or her hopes for the next one, please send it via our contact form. The best question will win a signed book and postcard combo. Closing date: Tuesday February 18th.