Flat as a pancake…
Me: The official Blake’s 7 fan club is called Horizon.
Sue: They must really like this one, then.
The episode begins with Vila and Jenna’s faces superimposed over some stars.
Sue: Eh? What was that in aid of? Is Vila dreaming this episode?
Our intrepid heroes are falling apart.
Cally: Your headaches are from the same source as Vila’s stomach cramps and Avon’s back pains: over-stress.
Sue: I’m not convinced. Avon probably put his back out during a visit to the ship’s sex dungeon.
The crew need a holiday.
Sue: The crew need a decent plan of action. That’s what they need.
Vila: I’m going blind staring at these detectors.
Sue: They should set up a table tennis table and a dartboard in one of the empty rooms on the ship. And then they should programme Zen and Orac to monitor the detectors. Take some time off. Chill out. Relax. I don’t see the problem.
As the crew contemplate a week somewhere nice, a Federation freighter appears on their detectors.
Sue: They say there’s no rest for the wicked, and they are terrorists, so there you go.
The freighter is heading for a planet codenamed Horizon.
Zen: Negative information.
Blake: Is there any information on Horizon?
Sue: No wonder Blake has a headache. Here’s a tip for you: ASK ORAC! You know, the computer that can see into the future and is supposed to be the answer to everything. He’s worth a million credits, for ****’s sake.
Blake wants to follow the freighter to Horizon.
Blake: That freighter’s gone to Horizon for some good reason.
Avon: Which is more than you can say for us.
Meanwhile, Orac is teaching Gan a thing or two.
Me: What do you think Orac is teaching Gan?
Sue: Anger management, probably. Actually, it could be anything. Knitting, cooking, cleaning. Where do you want me to start?
A visibly exasperated Jenna (who, according to Sue, looks like Maid Marion crossed with Olivia Newton-John this week) detects something in their path.
Sue: Is that ship blowing smoke rings at them?
It’s a magnetic barrier and the Liberator flies straight through it.
Sue: Oh no. Gan is making his sex face again.
The magnetic bombardment exacerbates Vila’s stomach condition.
Sue: Vila is suffering from chronic IBS. He’s showing all the classic signs.
Me: What are you looking at me for?
Cally treats Vila with a special medicinal compound.
Cally: One-third adrenalin, two-thirds soma.
Sue: One-third Gaviscon, two-thirds Buscopan is what he really needs. Actually, what Vila really needs is a poo.
Blake and Avon bicker over their next move.
Sue: They can’t go on like this. This has to come to a head sooner or later. There will be tears before bedtime, you mark my words.
Blake wants to investigate Horizon.
Blake: What are the surface conditions?
Zen: Detectors indicate that surface conditions are tolerable.
Sue: Yes, but does he need a coat? Come on Zen, be more specific, you useless piece of shit.
Jenna and Blake have a good bitch about Avon before they teleport to Horizon. Blake expects Avon to run away with the Liberator in his absence. What he doesn’t expect is Avon walking in on him when he says this.
Blake and Jenna teleport down to the planet.
Sue: The first thing they should now say is: “Did he hear me? Do you think he heard me? What if he heard me?” But they don’t even acknowledge it. That isn’t very realistic.
Horizon isn’t very hospitable.
Sue: They’ve arrived on another shit hole. What a surprise.
The ruler of Horizon is a man named Ro.
Sue: It’s the Asian Rowan Atkinson.
She didn’t even know that his name was Ro.
Sue: I had a red velvet jacket like that, although mine wasn’t as nice as his. His jacket is nicely tailored and mine was probably made out of velour.
Blake and Jenna are attacked by natives welding blowpipes.
Sue: Ooh! Right in the bum. Nasty.
Meanwhile, Vila is knocking back a glass of green on the Liberator.
Sue: You should never mix drugs with alcohol, and that’s definitely crème de menthe. He plays a good drunk, though. Something tells me the actor has had a lot of practice.
Me: We’ve watched 16 and a half episodes of Blake’s 7 and you still don’t know the actors’ names.
Sue: Well, there’s Paul Darrow and Gareth somebody. And… And… No, I don’t. Sorry.
When Cally offers to teleport to Horizon to check on Blake and Jenna, Gan guilt-trips Vila into going instead.
Gan: You wouldn’t want to send Cally in your place, would you?
Sue: Eh? How is sending a pissed Vila better than the only person on the ship who knows how to look after herself. How sexist is that?
Either way, Avon is sitting this one out.
Avon: I am not expendable, I’m not stupid, and I’m not going.
Sue: I love it.
When Gan and Vila teleport to Horizon, Vila quickly gets into trouble.
Sue: Avon teleported Vila into that puddle on purpose. He couldn’t resist it.
Vila is taken out with a dart from a blowpipe. His backwards fall has to be seen to be believed:
Sue: OK, I get it. Vila’s funny.
And then, for a significant portion of the episode, Sue says nothing at all.
Sue: I’m trying to follow the plot. It’s quite interesting, but I know what’s going to happen. This guy will come good, Blake and his crew will have a nice holiday on this planet, and everyone will laugh down the camera lens at the end. You’ll see.
When Ro interrogates Blake, he discovers that an old friend on the same prison ship as Blake.
Sue: What are the chances of that. Did we ever meet him?
Sue: It must have happened during those missing months we never saw.
Ro is visited by two Kommissars from the Federation. They don’t appear to notice that Ro’s prisoner is the most wanted man in the galaxy.
Sue: Blake can’t be that famous, then. Which is strange because Vila made a big deal out of that at the beginning of the episode. Maybe Blake is a Z-list celebrity. Maybe everybody’s talking about Avon instead.
Blake’s crew are sent into Horizon’s mines.
Sue: Great. A story set in a mine. Just what I wanted.
Blake immediately takes control of the miners’ rations.
Sue: Blake always has to be the boss. He’s a raving egomaniac. He’d be completely useless on Survivor. They always vote the know-it-all out first.
Cally teleports to Horizon. She is captured within seconds.
Sue: They are completely hopeless. They may as well teleport themselves straight into a prison cell.
The next time we see Vila and Blake, they are both topless.
Me: There you go, Sue: some eye-candy for you to feast on.
Sue: Don’t make me laugh! If I want to look at a pale, out-of-shape mess, I can stare at you. Oh look! Blake’s got moobs.
When Cally fails to answer his calls, Avon makes his move.
Avon: I think it’s time to leave.
Sue: No! You can’t do that! No!
Cally is interrogated by Ro. She tells him that the Kommissar killed his father.
Sue: What’s really funny about this is he thinks she’s got these amazing telepathic powers, when in actual fact she just read this stuff off a piece of paper before she left. That sums up Cally in a nutshell.
The Kommissars discuss Ro’s ability to control Horizon.
Me: The assistant Kommissar was Elisabeth Sladen’s husband.
Sue: I didn’t know that Elisabeth Sladen married Ridley Scott.
Kommissar: Blake and his crew are the most sought after criminals in the galaxy.
Sue: Ah, so he did know about Blake, after all. If only I still cared. This is really slow, Neil.
Alone on the Liberator, Avon has an important decision to make.
Sue: Avon won’t go. He’d get bored if he didn’t have someone to take the piss out of. Orac wouldn’t be half as much fun as Vila or Gan. There’s so much more to work with.
She pretends that it’s a foregone conclusion, but she still bites her nails while Avon considers his options.
Sue: Look, just call the show Avon and be done with it. I’ll be honest with you, Neil. If it wasn’t for Avon I’d probably struggle with Blake’s 7. I think he’s great.
Me: Really? I never would have guessed.
With Federation pursuit ships heading their way, Avon decides to do the decent thing.
Sue: I knew he wouldn’t leave. But it was fun to see him think about it.
Avon teleports to Horizon.
Sue: Sometimes, Avon is the spitting-double of Pete Beale from EastEnders. The original, I mean. It’s uncanny.
Avon makes short work of the Federation’s security measures.
Sue: I thought he was going to blow the tip of his gun after he shot that guard. He’s so cool, he doesn’t even bother with camouflage. He’s dressed as a giant bicycle reflector.
Avon almost shoots a half-naked Blake in the head. The expression on Avon’s face says it all.
Sue: He can’t take his eyes off Blake’s moobs.
Me: All right, Treacle.
Our heroes teleport back to the Liberator.
Sue: Breathe in, Blake. Breathe in.
Back on Horizon, Ro’s lover urges him to do the right thing.
Sue: She looks like his twin sister. That’s really weird.
Me: They say you’re attracted to people who look like you.
Sue: God, I hope not. That would mean I look like you.
Ro changes into a ceremonial dress and helmet and then, with a little help from Blake, he shoots the Kommissar with his blowpipe.
Sue: At least he’s got a nice chest.
Ro tells Blake that he’s welcome on Horizon any time.
Sue: Why would he ever go back there? It’s a dump!
The Federation’s pursuit ships are about to arrive.
Sue: Finally! Some action!
Blake holds firm and the enemy ships are destroyed by the planet’s magnetic barrier.
Sue: Well, that was an anti-climax. Thanks for that.
Vila: I’ll tell you this, though: it beats work.
Sue: Really? That was bloody hard work if you ask me.
Cue credits, which Sue doesn’t read. Sigh.
Sue: That was boring. It started well, and the scenes with Avon were great, but I knew what was going to happen; there were no surprises. And the guest actors didn’t do it for me. They were so dull. No, I didn’t like that one at all. I’m really sorry, Blake’s 7 fans, but ‘Horizon’ is shit.
Warning: Glen’s trailer includes a MASSIVE SPOILER for the next episode.