Seek - Locate - Destroy
Forget what the opening voice-over says, according to Sue, this episode begins on the planet ICI.
Sue: This gave Ridley Scott the idea to film Blade Runner in Middlesbrough.
Before I can argue with her, a security robot trundles into view. Sue pulls a face at it.
Me: It could have been a lot worse, it could have been Metal Mickey.
Sue: It could have been a lot better, it could have been Dusty Bin.
The security robot opens fire on some electrical wiring which is flapping harmlessly in the wind.
Sue: Are you sure it’s a good idea to fire a weapon like that in a chemical plant? What does the robot do when it sees a crisp packet? Go nuclear?
Blake contacts the Liberator.
Blake: I’m down and safe.
Sue: Blake always goes down first. If Blake was really in charge, he’d make Gan go down first. I think Blake has a death wish.
The Liberator‘s crew prepares to join Blake on Centero.
Sue: They’re wearing colour-coordinated Millets anoraks. That’s nice.
Me: I’d like an anorak like that. I don’t think the outfits have dated that much.
Sue: That’s why I don’t let you buy your own clothes, Neil.
Vila teleports to Blake’s location.
Sue: It must be really difficult to infiltrate a secret base when the teleport effect has its own theme music. Don’t tell me the robot didn’t hear those trumpets.
Vila doesn’t really want to participate in this mission.
Sue: Vila is basically the Ian Beale of Blake’s 7. I know I’m supposed to empathise with him, but I just want to punch him in the face.
The security robot returns for another sweep, just as Vila attempts to break into a TOP SECURITY area.
Blake: Vila, take cover!
Sue: Where? Behind this ****ing ladder?
Vila eventually hacks his way into the compound.
Sue: Does this scene really warrant the Love Theme from Blake’s 7? Are Vila and Blake an item? That would make sense, actually.
Vila and Blake disable two Federation guards using the ancient martial art known as ‘panto’. Meanwhile, Avon, Cally and Gan, armed to the teeth with explosives, prepare to teleport down to the planet.
Avon: A fraction out and you could put us down in the middle of the security barracks.
Jenna: Don’t tempt me.
Sue: There isn’t a lot of love in Blake’s 7. It’s one big bitch-fest. And what does Blake carry around in those little bum bags on his belt? Extra strong mints? And why are they running around this place anyway? Have we missed an episode? What are they trying to do? How is this going to clear Blake’s name?
Me: This is basically what they do now: they land on Federation planets and they blow stuff up.
Sue: Oh, so they’re terrorists?
Me: Terrorists or freedom fighters, it’s up to you. Remember what was going on in 1978 when the BBC made Blake’s 7.
Sue: Oh right. I see. So Blake is a militant trade unionist.
Me: I’m talking about the IRA.
Sue: Only if the IRA were Welsh. So what does the shit robot represent?
Me: The weak pound.
Blake’s crew steal a Federation cipher machine.
Sue: So this is what Blake does now – he breaks into secret bases and he nicks stuff. Is it supposed to be Ocean’s 7 in Space?
Cally is assaulted by a Federation trooper with an enormous moustache.
Sue: What a terrible fight. What Blake’s 7 really needs right now is Stuart Fell.
Cally loses her bracelet before she can teleport back to the Liberator with the rest of the gang. Sue doesn’t understand why Cally’s bracelet doesn’t teleport back to the ship without her, but she’s silly like that.
Sue: I don’t believe this. They haven’t noticed that Cally is missing yet. They hate each other so much, they don’t realise that they’ve lost a crew member. That really is shocking.
Me: She wasn’t even wearing the red anorak.
Blake takes charge of the situation.
Sue: Why is Blake the boss? Did they ever vote on that? I don’t understand why Avon isn’t the leader; I know who I’d rather follow. I like Blake – he means well – but he’s a bit suicidal.
Meanwhile, on a space station somewhere…
Sue: Is it Servalan?
Me: Yes, love. Yes, it is.
Sue: She’s gorgeous and she isn’t wearing a bra.
Supreme Commander Servalan discusses Blake’s crusade with two men named Bercol and Rontane. The latter is played by Peter Miles.
Sue: He’s a bad guy. He’s always the bad guy. He was in Doctor Who and he was definitely the bad guy.
Me: Thank you. That’s what I wanted to know.
Servalan: I am aware of the danger should Blake become a legend. But let us keep this matter in its correct perspective.
Sue: She talks like Margaret Thatcher. Is that who Servalan is supposed to represent, a sexy Margaret Thatcher?
Me: Servalan isn’t in charge of the Federation, she’s in charge of the Federation’s security services.
Sue: Oh, so she’s a sexy M.
Servalan promises to put her best man on the job.
Rontane: May we know the officer’s name?
Servalan: Yes, you may. Space Commander Travis.
Sue: I was wondering when he was going to show up. Is this why you convinced our Kenny to call his dog Travis, because Travis chases the cats?
It’s true. I did suggest that Sue’s younger brother name his dog Travis, and I didn’t mention Blake’s 7 once. I told him to name the dog after Travis Perkins, the building suppliers. Like that was less sad somehow.
Sue: So, if Servalan is a sexy M, Travis must be a sexy James Bond. Actually, that doesn’t work, does it. Maybe he’s a really ugly James Bond. Anyway, I like her big chair, even if it is a bit mucky round the back.
Blake and his crew have buggered off, speed standard by six, leaving Cally to her fate.
Sue: Unbelievable. Captain Kirk would never leave Scotty or Spock behind like that. And not only that, we’re back to Blake’s bloody 5 again. What a disaster.
Jenna gives Blake a hard time for feeling guilty about Cally’s death.
Sue: She never liked Cally anyway, in the sense that she liked her even less than the other people she doesn’t really like on this ship. It’s a bit bleak, this.
Servalan’s space station reminds Sue of the film 2001: A Space Odyssey, if 2001: A Space Odyssey‘s special effects were made by Blue Peter, that is.
Sue: You can actually see a coat hanger sticking out of the top. Unbelievable.
A Federation officer named Rai questions Servalan’s decision to employ Travis.
Servalan: Travis is an advocate of total war. He carries out his orders with meticulous thoroughness.
Sue: They are really bigging Travis up. If he turns out to be completely useless after all this hype, I won’t be happy.
Travis finally makes his big entrance, and yes, he really is an ugly James Bond.
Sue: It’s Darth Vader meets the Phantom of the Opera meets the Borg.
Travis is given his marching orders: he must search for, find and kill Blake.
Sue: It’s For Your Eye Only.
Meanwhile, on the Liberator, Avon has used the cipher machine they stole on Centero to hack into the Federation’s battle computers. The crew will have to take it in turns to monitor the transmissions, because asking your large supercomputer to do it for you would be fruitless. And then Avon intercepts a transmission that mentions Space Commander Travis.
Blake: Travis! I thought he was dead. I was sure I’d killed him.
Sue: What a brilliant line. Terry just knocked it out of the park. It’s a huge coincidence, but I’m going to go with it.
After a quick Martini, Travis begins his investigations on Centero. He can’t understand why Blake led Federation personnel out of the cipher room before he blew it up.
Technician: I suppose they thought it was safer with us out of the way.
Travis: No. No. There’s something missing. I’m missing something.
Sue: Yes, an eye.
The technician receives a report that something has been found under the rubble. He acknowledges this news by holding a communicator up to his throat.
Sue: Do the technicians on the ICI planet have throat cancer? Is the power plant radioactive or something?
Travis, who Sue believes is dressed as an evil, kinky Superman, extracts Cally from the rubble and reports back to Servalan.
Sue: His peripheral vision must be terrible. Why didn’t they give him a bigger hole? I’ve seen pin-hole cameras with bigger holes than that.
To compensate for this, Travis shows off his massive ring.
Sue: I bet that catches when he does up his flies.
It turns out that Blake and Travis have previous.
Sue: That was nicely done, the way they cut between Blake and Travis like that. They are really trying to build this up, even though this rivalry has turned up completely out of the blue. Sherlock needs Moriarty, the Doctor needs the Master, and Blake needs this guy. Yes, we get it. But would it have killed them to mention his name in the first episode? During Blake’s trial, perhaps? Story arc, my arse!
Blake tells his crew about his quarrel with Travis during a coffee break on the Liberator.
Sue: Did Blake shoot him in the eye? I want to see the flashback where Blake shoots him in the eye.
Back in the good old days, when Blake was public enemy number one, Travis ambushed and killed many of Blake’s friends.
Blake: Travis was already there. He’d been hiding in that basement for more than two days.
Sue: Flashback, please.
Blake: I saw Travis. And I fired. I saw him fall. I was sure I’d killed him.
Sue: We may as well be watching Jackanory.
Cally is placed in the hands of the Federation’s Interrogation Division.
Sue: If she’s was a proper telepath, she might be able to do something useful here. But she’s just a glorified ventriloquist at the end of the day.
Blake decides to return to Centero to save Cally, even though it’s obviously a trap.
Blake: Zen, immediate course change. Direct route to Centero speed standard by six.
Sue: Why not make it standard by seven? If you really cared about Cally, you’d go speed standard by eight!
Zen: Liberator is turning onto new course heading, now.
Sue: Even the computer hates them. There’s no respect. Blake needs to take everyone on a team building weekend after this.
Travis lies in wait on Centero, and aside from pointing out some horrendous and completely unnecessary chromakey, Sue soaks up the details of the trap that has been set for Blake.
Travis: Which leaves just one chance factor: exactly where they’ll teleport down. The odds are against them being able to zero in on the interrogation room.
Sue: He’s a little on the camp side but still very intense. I’m not sure about him yet.
Travis taunts Cally and then he incapacitates her so she can’t cry out to Blake when he arrives.
Travis: Now this won’t hurt.
It definitely hurts.
Sue: Cally will use her ventriloquism to guide Blake in. She’s finally found a use for her naff superpower.
Travis stalks the security compound with a stern look on his face.
Sue: Travis is thinking to himself: we need better architects. Our planets are complete shit holes.
When Travis returns to the interrogation room, Cally has already been freed by Blake.
Blake: I got here first.
Sue: They should have monitored the room for trumpets.
Cally turns the tables on Travis.
Sue: Tell him it won’t hurt and then poke his other eye out.
Blake decides to let Travis live.
Sue: Big mistake. Shoot his other hand off at least!
Sue gasps when Blake shoots off Travis’s robotic hand instead. And then Blake and Cally teleport away seconds before some Federation troops arrive.
Travis: Don’t stand there, you idiots! Launch the interceptors!
Sue: Travis sounds like he’s about to burst into tears. He’s a big baby.
Back on the Liberator, Blake fondles Travis’s tiny gun.
Sue: Well, you know what they say…
The episode concludes with Travis vowing to hunt Blake down.
Sue: Given what I’ve seen so far, I won’t be holding my breath.
Sue: Hang on a minute. How did Blake get through all those security measures? Did Cally do something clever, and I missed it, or did they do the one thing that Travis said they definitely couldn’t do? I’m confused.
Me: Blake arrived there before they put Cally in the interrogation room. He hid there. You know, like Travis did to him in the flashback we never saw.
Sue: Well that wasn’t very clear. Hang on. So Blake was in the room the whole time Travis was in there with Cally? Travis needs to get that eye seen to. He can’t see shit.
Sue: Well, that was better than the last one. Still not very good, though. It was just one big set up because they forgot to do it earlier. But at least it’s going somewhere. I think. But it needs to start bucking its ideas up. Oh, and Avon did sod all again.