Emergency Ward XK-72
Sue: How many Terry Nation episodes is it now?
Me: This is Terry’s tenth script in a row.
Sue: I’ll be the one having a breakdown if this goes on much longer.
The Liberator is cruising through space…
Sue: Ooh, they’re pushing the boat out with a half-decent model this week. That’s nice.
On the flight deck, Gan is behaving very strangely indeed.
Sue: Is he having a stroke?
Me: The bells! The bells!
Sue: The chip in his head must have shorted out. See, I have been paying attention to this nonsense.
A crazed Gan attacks Jenna.
Sue: This is you when our broadband stops working, only you beat up the router instead.
Blake is the next victim of Gan’s violent assault.
Sue: Gan looks like a really mean Elvis when he curls his lip like that. Nice handheld camera work, though. We’re right in the middle of the action. I like it.
Blake’s crew subdues the giant oaf with some tranquillisers.
Sue: It’s too late for nicotine patches now.
Gan is in a bad way.
Sue: Aww, poor Gan. Unless this is what he’s like when he doesn’t have that thing in his head, in which case, I hope Gan dies.
Gan is taken to the Liberator‘s medical unit.
Sue: Why is this part of the ship on film?
Me: I’m not entirely sure. I think it’s something to do with them having to use up their filming allocation every episode or else they’d lose it.
Sue: Typical BBC bureaucracy. They should have done a deal with Doctor Who and come to some kind of arrangement to save some cash by sharing things. At least they’ve cleaned it up a bit. They could release this on Blu Ray. Well, this scene anyway.
Cally tends to Gan.
Sue: I had a curly perm like Cally’s. They were all the rage back then. She could do with some product in it, though; it’s looking a bit flat. I don’t know what it is about Cally but she reminds me of a miserable, anorexic Jamie Lee Curtis.
Avon chastises Blake for suggesting that Zen could give them a quick tutorial in brain surgery.
Avon: Oh, come on, Blake! This is not something you do by numbers, not even highly sophisticated ones. This is an area that has remained the exclusive province of specialists.
Sue: Avon is so cool. He says every line as if it’s his last. I still can’t quite believe that Paul Darrow said my name on a podcast; so much better than speaking to Tom Baker on QVC. I’d love to meet Paul Darrow in real life. I bet he’d be a right laugh.
The ship’s medical computer delivers its diagnosis.
Medibot: Severe neurological disturbance centered in the zero three zone sub four section of the cerebrum.
Sue: So is that computer one of the crew now, like Zen? Is that seven now?
Me: Don’t be ridiculous.
Sue comes up with the perfect solution to Gan’s predicament.
Sue: Just turn him off and back on again.
Me: Turning Gan on is the last thing you want to do. Trust me.
Gan repeatedly clenches his fist.
Sue: Was Gan a dairy farmer in a previous life? Is he dreaming that he’s milking a cow?
Blake and Avon look for the nearest space hospital which specialises in space medicine for space diseases. In space.
Sue: It must have taken them ages to set up that perspex map. I bet they wasted hours getting it to stand up properly. No wonder Gan is almost dead.
Avon suggests that they head for a secret space laboratory called XK-72, even though it’s situated on the far side of some prohibited space.
Blake: Zen. Set navigation computers for direct route to space laboratory XK-72. Speed Standard by Six.
Sue: Make it Speed Standard by Seven – it’s quicker and your friend is dying. Or are you worried about being caught for speeding. Get a bloody move on!
The Liberator alters its course.
Sue: If that’s Standard by Six, I’d hate to see Standard by One. You could walk quicker than that. Look at it! It’s pathetic! Why doesn’t the ship go WHOOSH! as it rushes by. Come on!
Zen is his usual helpful self.
Zen: Attention. Liberator is entering prohibited zone. All primaries and auxiliary computer functions are now aborted.
Sue: What a ****.
Vila: What you see on the screen is exactly what’s there. Absolutely nothing. Why should I find nothing terrifying?
Sue: Because you’re a dick?
Me: Still no love for Vila, I see.
Sue: He’s growing on me. The problem with Vila is that he isn’t a real character. He’s a joke. A walking comedy cliché. I need to see another side to him before I can take him seriously.
Avon suddenly realises that they’ve made a grave error of judgement.
Blake: Because computer control is –
Avon: – part of the basic design concept!
Sue: Could we have that in English, please?
Me: I think it means they’re too stupid to fly the ship without Zen’s help.
Sue: Now that I believe.
The Liberator tears through space…
Sue: One minute it’s a nice model, then it’s a cartoon. One minute we’re on video, and now we’re on film. There’s no consistency to Blake’s 7. It’s all over the place.
Back in the medical unit, Gan begins to stir.
Sue: Do I really have to look at Gan’s sex face? It’s putting me off my tea.
Me: If I ever form a band, remind me to call it Gan’s Sex Face.
Avon attempts to bypass Zen’s auxiliary computer systems.
Blake: Have you done it, Avon?
Avon: I can talk or I can work, but I can’t do both.
Sue: Avon can’t multi-task. Typical bloke. Get one of the women to do it!
Blake: Reduce to standard by three, Jenna.
Sue: That’s about 3 miles per hour, give or take.
Me: Or 80 billion spatials a second.
Sue: Terry ****ing Nation.
Gan shows us his world-famous impression of a pig, which miraculously ceases when Cally returns to the medical unit.
Sue: He’s acting like he’s been caught masturbating.
Sue doesn’t trust Gan any more.
Sue: If he can control his urges like that, he can’t be that ill. He’s just a raving sex pest at the end of the day.
Gan strangles Cally with a massive grin on his face.
Sue: That was horrible! Now I understand why we don’t have a cat called Gan. It’s the same reason we don’t have a cat called Peter Sutcliffe.
Gan’s next victim is Avon.
Sue: Blake’s crew is ****ing useless, especially when you consider what they’re trying to do. Which, incidentally, is what I want to see instead of this bullshit. I want to see Blake taking on Earth and clearing his name, and maybe blowing some stuff up. This is just filler.
Me: (singing) ‘Cause this is filler, filler night…
Have I mentioned that I’ve been drinking heavily throughout this episode?
Jenna is worried about a nearby gravitational vortex.
Sue: The hand-on-hip acting is off the scale in this episode.
Even Avon has had enough.
Avon: I’m finished. Staying with you requires a degree of stupidity of which I no longer feel capable.
Blake: Now you’re just being modest.
Sue: That was ****ing brilliant. Who needs Travis as your arch-enemy when you’ve got Avon standing next to you.
The Liberator enters the gravitational vortex.
Jenna: Standard by Twelve, still rising.
Sue: Standard by Twelve! **** me! I didn’t know that the ship could go that fast! Why have they been pissing about with Standard by Seven all this time. Put your bloody foot down!
The crew are attacked by a sheet of Mirrorlon, which, I’m surprised to learn, Sue has never encountered before.
Me: You work in TV Studio production and you’ve never wobbled a sheet of Mirrorlon at anyone? Wow.
Sue: Neil, it’s the 21st century. Things have moved on quite a bit since Blake’s ****ing 7. And besides, a sheet of tin foil is much cheaper.
When the Liberator arrives at XK-72, Blake tries to pass himself off as a Federation captain.
Blake: Tell them we’re an experimental ship out of Earth on a proving flight.
Sue: Whatever you do, don’t tell them I’m a convicted child molester. That never goes down well.
Jenna has dressed for the occasion.
Sue: Jenna is hitting the space disco as soon as they dock. I hope she’s wearing sensible shoes.
And then, thirty minutes into the episode, Julian Glover turns up.
Me: Who’s that, Sue?
Sue: I have no idea – he’s got his back to me. Wait – oh yes! It’s… it’s… it’s him. He’s been in loads of things, including Doctor Who. He’s very good.
I remind her that he likes to get his testicles out on Game of Thrones and she nods sagely.
Sue: He’s very cutting. Can you imagine Avon and this guy living together? Actually, I’d pay good money to see that.
Blake teleports to the Liberator with Professor Kayn.
Blake: Avon, send someone across to collect Professor Kayn’s assistant, will you?
Sue: Stop calling him Avin! No wonder he wants to leave.
Before he teleports to XK-72, Avon asks Vila a very important question.
Avon: Why do you stay with Blake?
Vila: I like him.
Avon: That isn’t a good enough reason.
Sue: Is Avon planning a mutiny? Is that what’s he’s doing? Sounding out the crew before he decides to stay or go?
Blake escorts Kayn to the medical unit, which is now on video instead of film.
Sue: Make your mind up, for ****’s sake!
Kayn examines Gan with the same sort of disdain that my doctor reserves for complaints about my irritable bowel syndrome.
Kayn: Tell me why this man has a limiter implant.
Sue: Well, in a nutshell, our ship is crewed by convicted sex pests and murderers. It’s very embarrassing but what can you do?
Avon tells Vila that he won’t be coming back to the Liberator.
Sue: He’s going disco dancing with Jenna. The pair of them are going to get trolleyed.
Avon meets with XK-72’s administrator.
Farren: Who are you?
Sue: We’re Blake’s 7 and we’re a bunch of ****wits. Is it OK if I stay with you instead? You wouldn’t believe the idiotic shit we get up to.
Kayn decides to call the nearest Federation base.
Sue: Just as soon as I finish this game of Candy Crush.
Three Federation pursuit ships respond to Kayn’s call.
Sue: Is it Travis? It’s about bloody time.
Farren asks Avon to move in with him.
Sue: They’ve only just met!
Kayn delays the life-saving operation. He even places his feet on Gan’s operating table, which elicits a very loud tut from Sue.
Sue: The NHS has really gone downhill under the Federation. Blake needs to sort that out. He should put it on his list of things to do.
Vila decides to hurry things along by waving a gun in Kayn’s face.
Sue: Finally! Vila did something heroic. That’s exactly what I was talking about earlier. Vila is human after all.
The Liberator can’t move while the professor operates, even though the Federation are already heading their way.
Sue: I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but this is vaguely exciting. And, unlike some people I could mention, I haven’t been drinking.
Blake threatens to damage Kayn’s hands if he doesn’t cooperate.
Sue: He’s a very polite terrorist, but he’s still a terrorist.
Another doctor named Renor is much more accommodating.
Sue: They should take this guy with them when they leave. They need a doctor. You can’t fly around space, getting into battles, without a doctor – that would be insane.
Kayn finally agrees to operate on Gan.
Sue: There’s no sense of urgency. I’ve seen Man United take injury time corners quicker than this. And does this mean that Gan is out of warranty now?
Me: It’s the second time he’s been jailbroken this series.
The operation is a success and Blake escorts Kayn off his ship.
Blake: Is there any way we can thank you?
Kayn: You could try getting caught.
Sue: I bet Avon wishes he’d said that. No wonder he can’t wait to get shot of him. There’s only room for one sarky bastard on this ship.
Kayn teleports back to XK-72.
Sue: Another bracelet gone. They’re practically giving them away now.
Kayn isn’t happy with this turn of events and he takes his anger out on Farren, bludgeoning him to death in a fit of pique.
Sue: That was a bit random. But I suppose it’s difficult for a character to make much sense when he’s on screen for less than ten minutes.
XK-72 is accidentally blown to smithereens by the Federation’s pursuit ships.
Sue: What a waste. They were only a few weeks away from finding a cure for space cancer.
The Federation ships turn towards the Liberator.
Avon: Zen, increase speed to Standard by Eight.
Sue: No! Standard by Twelve, you idiot. Standard by Twelve!
Thankfully, Gan is back to his usual self and all’s well that ends well.
Blake: Oh, by the way, welcome back.
The crew guffaw with laughter.
Sue: How is that even remotely funny? Neil?
Me: Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Sorry, what was that?
Sue: That was rubbish, but on some strange level, I enjoyed it. Isn’t that weird? It’s all down to the performances because the plot was utter shite. Yet more faffing about when they should be blowing up the Federation and saving the world and stuff like that. And Gan gives me the creeps now. I wouldn’t like to beam down to a planet with him on my own, that’s for sure.