It is a silly place…
Sue: This better be good.
Yes, after weeks of teasing we are finally on our way to Star One. It says so in the title.
Sue: Thank **** for that. Oh, I wanted Terry to come back for the season finale. I’m not sure about this Boucher guy.
Me: It’s pronounced Boucher.
The episode begins with a disaster in space. And that’s just the special effects.
Sue: I feel like I’m listening to the shipping forecast.
A passenger cruiser and a transport ship collide, killing thousands of innocent civilians.
Sue: Oh dear, that was terrible. Have they run out of money?
When Servalan is briefed about the accident, she’s given more bad news to deal with.
Durkim: Climate control has gone disastrously wrong on all the frontier worlds.
Sue: Every planet in the galaxy has been turned into a shit hole. Not that we’ll ever be able to tell the difference. They always go to shit holes. And how will they survive without their tropical fruit? It doesn’t bear thinking about.
Durkim believes that Star One may have gone tits up. But if that’s true, Servalan can’t send in any engineers to fix it.
Servalan: No one knows where Star One is! No one at all!
Me: Told you.
Sue: I knew this would happen. That’s one hell of a design flaw. Anyway, lots of people know where Star One is: Blake, Travis, that jaundiced jester. Everybody knows!
And then Sue has a brainwave.
Sue: I know what’s going to happen. Blake will fix Star One and he’ll save the Federation, because it’s either that or soaking wet planets, space ships dropping out of the sky, and no pineapples. Blake will do the right thing for the wrong people. It’ll be really ironic, just you wait and see.
Blake is still searching for Star One.
Jenna: These coordinates are not precise enough.
Sue: Really? They sounded pretty precise to me last week. Don’t tell me that this is going to be another episode where they have to look for the bloody place. I bet this episode ends just as they find it. Typical!
Avon is in a foul mood.
Avon: When Star One is gone it is finished, Blake. And I want it finished. I want it over and done with. I want to be free.
Cally: But you are free now, Avon.
Avon: I want to be free of him.
Sue: Bloody hell. This is a bit tense. And brilliant.
Blake wants to blow Star One up.
Sue: But won’t blowing up Star One make things worse? What about the pineapples? He hasn’t thought this through.
Oh yes he has.
Cally: Many, many people will die without Star One.
Blake: I know.
Sue: Think of the pineapples!
But Blake won’t listen.
Blake: We have to win. It’s the only way I can be sure that I was right.
Sue: What a twat. It’s always about him, isn’t it. He’s worse than Servalan!
We cut to deep space, where a camera pans slowly right, revealing…
Sue: Star One! At last!
Me: That isn’t Star One.
Sue: Oh, it’s Servalan’s house. They had me going there for a second.
Servalan has a lot on her plate. There’s a coup to organise for a start.
Servalan: Space Command no longer recognises the authority of the President or the Council.
Sue: She’s gone rogue. Well, even more rogue than usual. She’s gone roguer.
Servalan orders Durkim to find Star One.
Durkim: There isn’t enough data. I can’t even guess where Star One is.
Me: He’s got about as much hope of finding Star One as I have of getting hold of GoDaddy’s technical support.
Servalan believes that somebody is up to no good on Star One.
Sue: It’s obviously Travis. Hasn’t she worked that out yet? They mustn’t be speaking to each other this week.
Servalan: I will not be President of a ruined empire.
Sue: You can’t tell me that Maggie Thatcher didn’t watch Blake’s 7. Of course she bloody did!
Meanwhile, on Star One – yes, Star bloody One! – something has gone terribly wrong.
Sue: David Tennant’s ugly brother has been a very naughty boy. And where’s Travis? He must be behind this.
Sue likes the look of Star One.
Sue: The sets are great. They actually spent some money on the place. It reminds me of the Big Brother house.
The Liberator approaches a planet orbiting a dying star.
Sue: The Liberator never looks the same to me. One minute it looks like it’s made from plastic, then wood, and now it looks like it’s made from solid metal. I like the metal one.
Blake: Maximum scan, Cally. Look for anything unusual or out of place, sudden temperature variation, anything. They’re bound to have left some clue as to where they put that installation.
Sue: You could always ask Orac. Just a thought.
Avon notices that the area has been seeded with mines designed to keep any visitors from the nearby Andromeda galaxy at bay.
Blake: That must be the biggest antimatter minefield ever put together.
Sue: How would a minefield in space work? Couldn’t you just go around it? Or over it? Or under it? Seems a bit odd to me.
Meanwhile, a Star One technician named Lurena realises that she is the lone survivor in a battle against alien body snatchers.
Sue: How did the baddies know where Star One was? I bet it’s Travis. He’s doing a Master and he’s working with the aliens. I bet they betray him. And if there really is a minefield around Star One, how did this lot get in?
Jenna is worried that Blake might be rushing into things.
Avon: Blake is an idealist, Jenna. He cannot afford to think.
Sue: I don’t think I’ve ever seen a programme undermine its lead character as much as this one does. It’s incredible, really.
Blake, Avon and Cally teleport to the planet below.
Sue: Oh look, it’s a shit hole. Now there’s a surprise.
Blake and Jenna enter Star One where they are met by the alien invaders. Avon finds himself outside as a space craft approaches his location. Sue can’t stop biting her nails.
Sue: It’s really good, this. Sorry. I don’t know what else to say.
Jenna: Orac, operate the teleport as instructed.
Sue: Orac is just a glorified doorman these days. What a waste.
The aliens have mistaken Blake for Travis, even though he doesn’t look anything like him.
An Elderly David Walliams: And the eye patch, what happened to that?
Sue: Don’t worry about that. Travis has this habit of not looking like Travis. You get used to it. Sort of.
Speaking of Travis, guess who’s skulking around outside? Go on, guess!
Sue: Come on, Avon, shoot him in the face! What are you waiting for? You wanted to do it last week and nothing’s changed. Stop chatting to him and kill him! Oh, it makes me so mad.
Avon: Talk or scream, Travis, the choice is yours.
Sue: He usually does both at the same time. It’s really annoying.
Lurena mistakes Avon for an alien and Travis escapes during the confusion. But not before he whacks Avon over the head with his Obi-Wan Kenobi cloak.
Sue: This is what happens when you don’t shoot Travis in the face.
Sue: The next time you see him, SHOOT HIM IN THE FACE!
Avon shoots an alien impostor in the chest instead.
Me: It’s the GP from Jam.
Sue: I don’t even know what that means. Although he does look like he’s made from jam. Look at all that blood!
The alien transforms into a mushy puddle of snot.
Avon: They’d be difficult to love.
Sue: Oh, I don’t know. If one of them took over Avon’s body, I think I’d manage.
Me: I am sitting right here, you know.
The alien invasion fleet enters the Liberator‘s detector range.
Me: Rumour has it that Terry Nation wanted the Daleks to be the aliens.
Sue: Really? That would have been brilliant. Terry was years ahead of his time to come up with a crossover idea like that. Terry could have been the 1970s Joss Whedon.
Travis shoots Blake with his finger. Blake goes down hard.
Me: Blake’s dead.
Sue: Don’t be silly. (pause) Is he? Is he really?
Me Yes. Avon takes over now.
Sue: Don’t be ridiculous. I wish!
Me: I’m not joking!
Sue: I don’t believe you. You can’t kill Blake; his name is in the title of the programme.
Blake is still lying motionless on the floor.
Me: See! He’s definitely dead. Sad, isn’t it?
Sue: Well if he is dead – and I don’t think he is – I can’t say that I’m disappointed. What a shit, pointless death. He couldn’t even die properly. (pause) And he isn’t dead.
The alien fleet moves closer.
Sue: Just think how much better this would be with the Daleks in it.
Me: You’re right. Some things could be better with the Daleks.
Sue: There’s no consistency in the design of these alien ships. It looks like a model maker dumped a drawer of spare parts onto the floor. They’ve definitely run out of money.
Back on the Liberator, Jenna decides to warn Servalan about the impending alien invasion.
Sue: Is Jenna reading her lines off a cue card? I think she is, you know. And she’s doing it really badly, too. Oh dear.
Travis betrays humanity.
Sue: The mad ****.
Travis is shot in the back!
Me: Oh look, Blake isn’t really dead.
Sue: I knew it! You can’t kill Blake. Vila, yes. Blake, definitely not.
Blake: Is Travis dead?
Avon shoots Travis again and the leathered loon falls head first into the health and safety nightmare that takes up half the room.
Avon: He is now.
Sue: He’ll be back.
Me: He won’t.
Sue: Yeah, like I’m going to believe you.
A little later, when we watch the Ballard Of Travis II extra on the DVD, and when that scene is played out in slow-motion, Travis bleeds sand. Actual sand. This just convinces Sue that this Travis isn’t the real Travis. Bless her.
She is right about one thing, though.
Blake: We must warn the Federation!
Sue: I knew it. I can see where this is going: in the next series, Blake and Servalan will team up to kill all the aliens. It’s obvious.
There’s just one problem: Blake has already primed Star One to explode.
Cally: It’s too late!
Cally and Avon race around Star One, gathering up the bombs. Sue is rapidly running out of nails to bite.
Blake: There’s another explosive charge. They don’t know about it. I’ve got to get it out! I put it in section four on one of the panels.
Lurena rushes off to find the bomb, but when she arrives in section four, she can’t find it.
Sue: He could have been more specific! There are panels everywhere! Argh!
Sue: If only these bombs came with an off-switch. What a shame.
Sue: They’ll never taste another pineapple again. What a massive cock-up.
When our heroes return to the Liberator, Avon decides to hold back the alien invasion fleet until the Federation’s reinforcements can arrive, hours from now.
Jenna: Why, Avon?
Avon: Why not?
Sue: Brilliant. I knew that Avon would save the day. Avon is so cool.
Avon: Zen, put up the force wall.
Sue: This is what I’ve been waiting for. A big fight in space. Yes!
Blake discharges himself from the medical unit to see if he can help. He can’t. But before he goes back to bed, he has a message for Avon:
Blake: Avon, for what it is worth, I have always trusted you, from the very beginning.
Sue: Aww, that was really sweet. But Blake is completely useless. Is he really that ill that he can’t sit there and press the odd button to help get them out of this mess? What a twat.
Vila turns down the lighting on the flight deck, which creates a nice and cozy ‘we’re all about to die’ ambience before the battle commences.
Sue: These aliens don’t look that threatening to me. They look like a right shambles. The Liberator can take this lot easily. I mean, who are they?
Tension is etched into the faces of the crew. Except for Cally. Cally looks bemused. Oh, and Blake. Blake is probably lying in bed somewhere, reading a magazine and eating grapes.
Sue: No! Wait… But… What? You can’t end it there!
Sue is stunned.
Sue: I’m not having that. Put the next episode on.
Sue: That was very good. Things seemed to happen for a change, the direction was pretty good, the sets looked great, and the actors didn’t annoy me. Oh, and Avon kicked arse. Big time. But there were a few things that irritated me. Like, when did Travis find the time to organise this big alien invasion? And how did he find them? And why? That seemed a bit far-fetched and out-of-the-blue. One minute Blake’s fighting the Federation and now this lot turn up. And the alien ships weren’t threatening enough. Now, if they’d been the Daleks, that would have been a completely different story. Now stick the next one on.
Sue will reflect on Series 2 on Wednesday April 30th. If you’ve got a question you’d like to ask her, please send it here. The best question will win a signed copy of our book. The deadline for questions is Monday April 28th.
Series 3 will commence on Friday May 2nd, so there’s plenty of time for you to catch up with the series if you’ve fallen behind.
And please remember that spoilers in the comments will not be tolerated. Thanks.