City at the Edge of the World
Are we there yet?
Tarrant 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”?
Sue: 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.
Sue: 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!
Vila 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.
Sue: 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.
Vila: 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.
Norl: 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.
Vila 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.
Bayban’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.
Meanwhile, 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.
Vila 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.
Sue: 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.
Sue: 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.
Sue: 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.
Sue: I loved that.
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?
Warning: Glen’s trailer includes MASSIVE spoilers.