This episode immediately squeezes Sue’s pressure point.
Sue: Oh no! Terry ****ing Nation! Why, Neil? Why?
Resistance soldiers are being spied on from a cottage.
Sue: That’s quaint.
She quickly changes her tune when we enter the cottage.
Sue: Oh my God. What have the Space Vampires done to the place?
Her disappointment with the Federation’s restoration work dissipates when she realises that Travis and Servalan are in this one.
Sue: Is Servalan on her way to Ascot?
Travis and Servalan are preparing to spring a trap on Blake.
Servalan: I have waited for 18 days!
Sue: So Travis and Servalan have been cottaging for 18 days? I wonder how they passed the time…
Me: Stop it, Sue.
Sue: Poor Servalan. She can’t tilt her head back because her hat will hit the back of her collar. That must be really irritating.
The resistance soldiers are blown to bits in the Forbidden Zone.
Sue: That looked all right. In fact, that was pretty horrific.
Meanwhile, Blake is preparing to return to Earth.
Sue: Here we ****ing go. About bloody time.
Blake wants to locate Control.
Blake: Two hundred years ago, when the Federation began expansion and conquest, the Administration established a computer complex to monitor information: political, civil, military – everything. That computer is the nerve center of all Federation activity.
Sue: Oh no. Not another computer. Hasn’t Blake got enough computers already? What does he want another one for?
Blake wants to smash this particular computer to pieces. Its destruction will throw the Federation into chaos.
Sue: There are no words to describe how stupid Vila looks this week.
Me: But you’ll have a go anyway.
Sue: He looks like a JCB driver who’s been interrupted as he takes his safety jacket off.
Sue: Apart from that, this is a good start. A rest has done Terry the world of good.
Servalan and Travis disagree about the best way to spring their trap.
Sue: I like the direction in this episode. Plenty of meaty close-ups. And this set must have been a nightmare to light. Everything is so white. No, it’s very good, this.
Blake wants to know if Avon will help him.
Sue: He’s got no chance. Look at Avon’s body language – arms folded, no eye-contact.
Avon: Well, of course. I am surprised you ever doubted it.
Avon has an ulterior motive.
Avon: The resistance movements on Earth will launch an all-out attack to destroy the Federation. They will need unifying. They will need a leader. You will be the natural choice.
Sue: He wants the ship.
She guesses right.
Sue: You know, Avon is even more handsome when he smiles.
Blake: Could be you’re planning just a little far ahead.
Avon: Perhaps. But sooner or later, I will have my chance.
Sue: Ooh, you can cut the tension with a knife. I know it’s still early, but this is easily the best episode of Blake’s 7 so far. Don’t **** it up, Terry.
The Liberator enters Earth’s orbit.
Jenna: It’s been a long time.
Sue: Far too long. About eight episodes too long, actually.
Servalan has captured the resistance leader, Kasabi. The pair have previous.
Sue: Bloody hell, she just pushed Servalan over. I think Servalan’s hat must have unbalanced her.
Back on the Liberator, the crew are waiting for Kasabi’s signal.
Sue: There’s more than enough room for them on that sofa if everyone budged up a bit. There’s no need for them to sit on the floor like that.
Travis uses a truth drug to extract the details of Kasabi’s planned rendezvous with Blake.
Sue: I’m actually impressed with Travis this week.
Servalan gives Travis a smack when he tries to stop her from killing Kasabi. Sue laughs.
Sue: And now I can’t take him seriously again.
Before she dies, Kasabi puts Servalan in her place.
Sue: She wasn’t a very good actress. That scene could have been so much better, but you can’t blame Terry for that. The script is really good.
Blake prepares to teleport to Earth. He tells Avon to put him down a mile away from the homing beacon.
Avon: What’s the matter, Blake? Don’t you trust your friends?
Blake: Of course. I trust them the same way I trust you.
Sue: Blake’s people management skills are horrendous.
Blake teleports to Earth.
Sue: Could Avon put Blake down in a tree if he wanted to?
Blake takes cover in some bracken.
Sue: There he goes, crashing about the place like a baby elephant. And speaking of baby elephants…
Gan is down and safe.
Me: Have you noticed anything unusual about this episode so far?
Sue: It’s really good?
Me: What about the music?
Sue: There isn’t any. Good, isn’t it?
Blake and Gan enter an abandoned church, where they find Kasabi’s daughter, Veron. She drops her gun and faints.
Sue: Was that supposed to be a toy gun? When it hit the floor it sounded like it was made out of wood.
Back on the Liberator, Avon is feeling jumpy.
Avon: I have a feeling that we are not being careful enough.
Sue: You wouldn’t get this half-cocked shit with Avon in charge. If Blake screws this up, Avon should make the crew vote for a new captain.
Gan treats Veron’s wounds.
Sue: Is it Gan’s turn to be the ship’s doctor? Was Orac teaching him First Aid last week? And where is Orac anyway? They never turn him on when it’s important.
Veron rests her head on the church’s muddy floor.
Sue: Teleport her back to the ship! Cally wouldn’t let her sleep on the floor like that. Come on, Gan, that’s rubbish.
Avon and Vila prepare to teleport to Earth. Vila doesn’t want to go.
Vila: I don’t feel well. I’m going to be a big handicap.
Avon: I’m used to that.
Sue: Vila only really works as a character when he’s stood next to Avon. They work so well together. I could easily watch a show with just these two in it. And Avon really suits oxblood leather. Just saying.
Avon tests the Forbidden Zone’s security system. A field of automated mines stand between them and the entrance to a blockhouse.
Sue: Just teleport right outside the door. Come on, it’s not rocket science.
Avon and Vila are teleported to the church a split second before the Forbidden Zone erupts in an almighty explosion. Avon isn’t surprised to discover that Blake was lying when he told him that everything was fine.
Sue: Blake’s gone rogue. You can’t lie to your crew like that. That must be the final straw. Bad Blake.
While Blake considers his next move, Veron leaves the church for some air.
Sue: Kids with guns; that’s not very nice. And either she isn’t what she seems, or she’s a really bad actress. Or maybe she’s both.
Blake alters his plan.
Blake: All right then, we teleport right up to the door of the entry blockhouse.
Sue: There you go! See, that wasn’t so hard, was it?
However, before they can implement this plan, they are overcome by a gas grenade. Veron removes their teleport bracelets and does a runner.
Sue: Why isn’t the gas affecting her? Is she a robot or something? Listen, you can still hear the gas coming out of the grenade.
When Blake and his crew regain consciousness, they discover that they have been locked in the church with no means of escape.
Sue: They should put an extra bracelet on their ankles from now on – you know, for back-up – so this never happens again. I bet they won’t, though.
Veron has been doing Travis and Servalan’s dirty work under duress, and when Travis violently assaults the young girl, Sue rose out of her chair in anger.
Servalan: I’ll deal with her. You just bring me Blake.
Sue: Servalan looks like she’s auditioning for a part in a Morecambe and Wise Christmas Special.
Gan uses his strength to open the church door.
Sue: Gan actually did something useful for a change. Will miracles never cease?
Travis arrives at the church to find Blake gone.
Sue: I’m sorry but this Travis isn’t as good as the other one. This Travis is a bit silly.
Blake and his crew prepare to make a run for the blockhouse.
Sue: Fifty yards in eight seconds. That’s easy enough, although Gan might struggle.
Blake makes the first run. However, when Vila makes his dash, Gan decides to follow him.
Sue: That’s Gan dead, then.
Incredibly, Gan survives.
Gan: I needed a pacemaker.
Vila: Me too. Implanted in my heart.
Sue: Love it.
When Avon makes the final run, he trips and falls.
Sue: No! Avon! No!
With a little help from Blake, Avon eventually makes it to the blockhouse.
Sue: Avon looked like an idiot, there. Vila should have been the one who fell over. Still, that was pretty exciting.
Our heroes descend a ladder which leads to the bowels of the computer complex.
Sue: The set looks great. This is much better than them running around some power station. The ladder makes the studio look enormous.
A few moments later, Blake’s crew descend another ladder, only this time the set has been bathed in red light.
Sue: OK, the ladder does look good, but it’s not that good. Actually, I should show this to my TV studio students.
Me: To show them how imaginative lighting can maximise your sets when you’re working on a tight budget?
Sue: No, I thought they could do with a laugh.
The crew come up against an electrified floor. However, just when you think they will have to turn back, they notice some handrails above them.
Unfortunately, one of these handrails snaps when Gan puts his weight on it.
Sue: That’s Gan dead, then.
Incredibly, Gan survives.
And then the ladder makes another cameo.
Sue: I wonder which colour will be next. I’m going with green.
Sue is biting what’s left of her nails when Blake finally reaches his goal.
Blake: We’ve done it! We’ve done it! We’ve done it! I’ve done it!
Sue: Interesting use of the word ‘I’ve’, there. Blake is a raving egomaniac.
But the room is empty. There’s nothing there. When Blake realises this, he collapses into Avon’s arms.
Sue: Blake has completely lost it. Time for Avon to take over, I think.
Travis arrives to explain the trap.
Travis: You see, it’s the great illusion, Blake. You give substance and credibility to an empty room, and the real thing becomes undetectable, virtually invisible.
Sue: That’s clever. I didn’t guess that. I just assumed that Federation security was rubbish.
Even Travis doesn’t know where the real Control is.
Sue: I bet Orac knows. Ask Orac.
And then Servalan turns up.
Sue: A dragonfly is tweaking Servalan’s nipples. I’ve seen it all now.
But that’s the least of Servalan’s problems.
Sue: Jenna may have out-smarted her, but she’ll never out-dress her.
Travis takes this turn of events extremely badly.
Sue: Every. Single. Time. I almost feel sorry for him. And even though he isn’t as good as the other Travis, he does have a very nice arse.
Blake makes a run for it.
Sue: Don’t forget to shoot Travis and Servalan in the head before you leave! Oh, wait, too late.
Servalan slaps Travis across his face. Hard.
Sue: Ooh, it’s all go this week!
Travis throws a strontium grenade at the escaping terrorists. And then Servalan and Travis run after it.
Sue: Don’t run towards the explosion, you idiots!
The roof comes crashing down.
Sue: That could have been directed a lot better. I didn’t really follow that. I thought it was Travis’s foot under that rubble for ages.
Incredibly, Gan doesn’t survive.
Sue: He can’t be dead. He looks fine to me.
As Gan slips away, Sue turns to me with a confused look on her face.
Sue: Is Gan really, really dead?
She’s so shocked by this, she doesn’t notice that David Jackson is still breathing heavily. And I’m not going to point it out to her.
Vila: Where’s Gan?
Blake: Gan’s dead.
Sue: Oh, I’m not that bothered. It’s sad, but he didn’t do very much. He was the most expendable member of the crew. I’m sorry, but that’s just the way it is. Still a bit of a shock, though. I didn’t expect them to go through with it.
Me: I believe the original plan was for Vila to die.
Sue: Oh no. That would have been awful. And why did they have to kill one of them? Was the wage bill spiralling out of control?
Travis and Servalan are trapped underground.
Travis: They’ll dig us out eventually.
Servalan: Oh, yes. They’ll dig us out eventually. And then I’ll bury you.
Sue: What a brilliant line. Maybe Avon and Servalan should get together…
Me: Stop it.
As the Liberator breaks orbit, Blake stares at Gan’s empty chair.
Sue: Gan bloody loved that chair. Blake will have to step down now. He’s gone too far.
Sue: Poor Gan. They didn’t turn the music off, and they didn’t play a sad version of the theme tune on the piano, either. That is sad.
Sue: That was excellent. Probably the best episode yet. I’m sorry that I didn’t say very much towards the end – I was enjoying it too much. The acting was a bit dodgy at times, but the regulars were great, and the direction was excellent, too. I can’t believe Terry Nation wrote that one. Well done, Terry. Why can’t they all be like that?
Warning: Glen’s trailer includes minor spoilers for the next episode.