End of the line…
First things first: Sue already knows that there are 52 episodes of Blake’s 7. I did consider telling her that there were only three series before we started this blog, so I could text her during ‘Terminal’ with the good news (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, I’ll explain later), but I thought better of it – not only would it have been cruel, I probably would have ended up with a serious injury. However, I did tell her that this episode could have been the last one, but wasn’t. Obviously.
Oh, and she can sing the theme tune perfectly now, which is nice.
Sue: Terry Nation! Long time no see.
Me: This is the last time you’ll ever have to sit through a Terry Nation story, Sue. I promise. It’s the end of an era.
Sue: I’m not sure how I feel about that. Just as I was beginning to like him.
Avon is holding his hands over his face…
Sue: Are they playing Hide and Seek? Are they really that bored?
Meanwhile, Dayna and Cally are playing Space Monopoly in the teleport room. So yes, they really are that bored.
Cally: My game in nine thousand seven hundred and twenty-one moves.
Sue: How long have they been playing for? Six months?
Tarrant wants to know why Avon altered the Liberator‘s course without telling anybody.
Sue: Avon has turned into Blake. This is exactly the sort of thing that Blake would do. He should know better.
Avon has received a secret message.
Sue: It has to be Servalan. She’s poking Avon.
Me: When did you last use Facebook, Sue? The 18th Century?
Avon is so tired, he can’t even be bothered to come up with a decent quip to hurl at Tarrant.
Sue: I bet Terry’s the one who’s tired. He must have been up against a deadline.
Tarrant butts heads with Avon like he’s never butted heads with Avon before.
Avon: Nothing and nobody is going to stop it, you least of all. Now get out of my way, and stay out of my way.
Sue: Ooh, this just went up a notch. I’m not sure whose side I’m on any more. Avon is acting like a right twat. He’s acting like Blake.
Thanks to Avon, the Liberator ends up flying through some liquid particles. According to Zen, the damage to the ship is superficial, but then we cut to what looks like acid eating through the hull.
Sue: Either Vila has just been sick or Zen is faulty and they’re all ****ed.
The Liberator arrives at its final destination: Terminal.
Sue: It looks like a giant egg. I hope there isn’t a giant space chicken in this episode. I wouldn’t put it past them.
Avon is determined to teleport to Terminal alone.
Sue: Is he expecting to take part in a jousting competition? Because those gloves are ridiculous if he isn’t.
Avon: I have recorded a full explanation of everything I am doing. Zen will not issue it until you are in flight. It’s very detailed. The only thing missing is the end.
Sue: Blake did this once, I’m sure of it. And Avon called Blake an idiot when he did it to him, so what’s he playing at?
Avon: Understand this: anyone who does follow me, I’ll kill them.
Sue: Eh? Has Avon been taken over by aliens? Why is he doing this? Has Terry forgotten who he’s writing for? This is a really Blakey thing to do.
Avon isn’t that impressed with Terminal.
Avon: If this is an example of a man-made planet, they should go back to the drawing board and start again.
Sue: I bet it’s gorgeous on a sunny day. It reminds me of the Yorkshire Dales. It’s the weather that’s crap, not the location. Why would you create an artificial planet with bad weather, anyway? It doesn’t make sense…
A rhythmic heartbeat follows Avon’s every move.
Sue: It’s the Sound of Drums. Avon has been summoned to this planet by the Time Lords.
Me: Are you sure you don’t write fan fiction in your spare time, Sue?
Avon retrieves a spherical device from a spherical device dispenser.
Sue: It’s an egg timer. There are lots of egg references in this episode, Neil. Should I be worried? The heartbeat belongs to a giant chicken, doesn’t it?
The spherical device speaks to Avon. And no, it isn’t a Toclafane, Sue.
Sphere: You will follow the indicated route. You are warned that the slightest deviation from this course could result in considerable danger.
Sue: I bet Blake’s 7 fans drive around the countryside with this voice programmed into their Sat Navs. I know I would.
Avon isn’t alone on Terminal…
Sue: Oh no! It’s Jimmy ****ing Savile. There was a time when that would have been funny, but not any more. Now I just feel sick.
An alien enzyme is attacking the Liberator.
Sue: Why hasn’t Zen noticed this yet? The place is falling to bits.
Me: It reminds me of that hotel we stayed in when we went to Amsterdam.
Sue: I’ve told you before, Neil, there was nothing wrong with that hotel. You were tripping your bollocks off.
Avon is steered towards a man-made structure at the top of a hill.
Sue: Either this planet is powered by solar panels or this is a prop from a game show. Which box contains the special cash prize? Choose now!
A hatchway opens and Avon finds himself in an underground complex.
Sue: The direction is really good. It’s very atmospheric. The heartbeat is beginning to freak me out a bit. I just hope it doesn’t turn into clucking.
Two Savile clones are torn to pieces by apes. It’s strangely cathartic, actually.
Sue: And it was going so well… And why do these apes like to eat clothing so much? What’s that all about? Have they got a fabric fetish?
Avon discovers a teleport bracelet.
Sue: Is that an old one…? Wait a minute… Nah, surely not…
Me: Go on, Sue…
Sue: Is he looking for Blake?
Sue’s suspicions are confirmed when Avon stumbles across Blake’s medical records.
Sue: Well, I didn’t see that coming. I’m shocked. However, I bet you anything that Blake isn’t here. Not really. This is a trap. And I bet I know who’s behind it as well, for ****’s sake.
Avon is subdued with a tranquilliser dart.
Sue: Avon must really love Blake if he’s come all this way for him. He wouldn’t go to this trouble for Jenna.
Back on the Liberator, things are going from bad to worse.
Sue: It’s a bit sad, this. It’s as if Zen is dying, the poor thing.
If only Avon hadn’t taken Orac’s key with him.
Sue: This is what happens when there’s no trust. This is very sad.
Tarrant and Cally, who have followed Avon to Terminal against his wishes, are attacked by gorillas in the mist.
Sue: I could do without this scene, thank you very much. Why do they always have to ruin everything with a shit fight or a shit monster? It’s even worse when you get both at the same time.
Cally enters the hatchway, leaving Tarrant to his fate.
Sue: Tarrant is going to die. They won’t need a spare any more if they’ve found Blake.
Tarrant makes it to the hatchway before it closes on him.
Tarrant: From here on, it’s downhill all the way.
Sue: It had better not be!
Avon has been rendered unconscious and wrapped in cling film (“Just the way I like him.”). In the blink of an eye, he wakes up in a completely different room.
Sue: That was a strange edit. They should have inserted a cutaway between those two scenes. Unless the cutaway involved those bloody apes, in which case I understand why they went with the jump cut.
Avon searches for Blake.
Sue: I’m telling you now: Blake won’t be in this episode. It’ll be Servalan instead. It’s obvious.
Avon finds a bearded man lying on a table.
Sue: They’ve hired a double and stuck a beard on him. That isn’t Blake.
Blake: Well, you certainly took your time finding me.
Sue: Oh my God! It’s him! It’s really him! I don’t believe it… Wow… So is Blake in the next series? I’m not sure how I feel about that…
Blake tells Avon that a rescue attempt is out of the question.
Sue: Why didn’t he ask Avon to come for him in three months time, when he could get off the table? Do they come back for him at the end of the next series? Is that it?
Avon is knocked unconscious and wrapped in cling film again. Or is he/was he?
Sue: OK, this is very confusing… Unless Avon dreamt that and Blake wasn’t really there. Am I close?
Avon meets the brains behind the operation.
Avon isn’t surprised to find Servalan on Terminal. In fact, he seems to relish it.
Sue: There’s definitely chemistry between them, and you could easily imagine them as a couple, but it is slightly ludicrous, don’t you think?
Back on the Liberator, Vila and Dayna can’t move for vomit.
Sue: It’ll take more than Jif to clean up this mess. It looks like an explosion in a pizza factory.
Zen admits defeat.
Zen: I have failed you. I am sorry.
Sue: This is ridiculously sad. Why am I so sad, Neil? It’s just a stupid machine, but this is easily the saddest moment in Blake’s 7 so far.
Me: What about Gan?
Servalan offers to exchange Blake for the Liberator, but Avon’s having none of it and he instructs Vila to make a run for it instead.
Avon: Take the Liberator out of here, maximum speed. Go and keep going!
Sue: But he can’t! Oh no, this is going to end badly. I can feel it.
Tarrant and Cally are captured by Servalan’s Savile clones, which forces Avon’s hand.
Sue: She’s going to inherit a disintegrating space ship. This is brilliant – Servalan is going to die!
According to Servalan, Blake is dead.
Servalan: He died from his wounds on the planet Jevron more than a year ago.
Avon has been tricked.
Sue: What a cow. Avon looks like he’s lost the plot. Oh, I could throttle her myself.
But Servalan has one more bombshell left to drop: the apes on the planet’s surface aren’t what humanity evolved from – they are what humanity are destined to become.
Sue: As long as we don’t end up looking like Jimmy Savile, I’m OK with that.
Me: I’m just surprised that Terminal didn’t look like a giant Statue of ****ing Liberty. Seriously, Terry ****ing Nation! There, I said it so you don’t have to.
Servalan bids Avon farewell.
Servalan: We won’t meet again. Goodbye.
Sue: Give him a kiss!
Vila hands the ship over, but before he leaves, he persuades Servalan’s lackey to let him take Orac with him.
Vila: It’s just a pile of junk, really, but it means a lot to me. I built it. It’s a sculpture.
Sue: Clever Vila. I’ve always liked Vila.
Vila teleports to Terminal.
Sue: Hang on a minute… How did that woman know how to work the teleport? She’s strolled onto the ship and suddenly she’s a ****ing expert on how to use a teleport? Oh well, what the hell. Who cares?
Servalan has the one thing she’s always wanted: the Liberator.
Sue: Why hasn’t she commented on the mess they left behind? Does she think that Vila staged a dirty protest when he knew she was coming?
Servalan: MAXIMUM POWER!
Sue: That’s hilarious. She’s completely ****ed!
When the Liberator begins to break apart, Servalan makes a run for the teleport.
Sue: Oh no. She’s going to get away! STOP HER!
The Liberator explodes.
Sue: Oh well, I’m sure they’ll get a new one. It’s Zen I feel sorry for. And Avon’s rock collection, of course; he’ll have to start all over again. And I bet that bitch got away, too.
Tarrant has the last word:
Tarrant: Let’s see if we can’t find a way off this planet. There’s a lot to do.
One by one, the crew exit stage right. Avon is the last to leave.
Sue: I don’t know why he’s smiling. That was all his fault!
Sue: That was ****ing brilliant.
Sue: OK, so the monkeys and the Jimmy Savile impersonators should knock a couple of marks off, but sod it, that was excellent.
Sue: Was that really going to be the last episode? You can sort of tell, I suppose, what with Blake coming back and them blowing up the ship and everything. So what changed their minds?
Me: Well, believe it or not, the Head of BBC Television, Bill Cotton, was watching this episode at home when it was broadcast, and he was so impressed by what he saw, he telephoned the BBC and told them to make an announcement that the series would return the following year. Everyone who was involved with the programme thought it was all over – and then the continuity announcer told them otherwise. Mad, eh?
Sue: Fabulous. That would never happen today, which is a bit sad. actually. And who can blame him? It was a fantastic episode and they had to make more. They could have ended it there, I suppose, but you’d always wonder what happened to them.
If you’d like to ask Sue a question about Series 3 (or her hopes for Series 4) now’s your chance. The best question will receive a signed copy of our book. Please send them to us via our Contact Form. Deadline for your questions: Tuesday 1st July. Cheers.