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Terminal

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.

TerminalAvon 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.

TerminalTarrant 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?

TerminalAvon: 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.

TerminalAvon 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.

TerminalTwo 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.

TerminalTarrant 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.

TerminalBlake: 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.

Sue: NOOOOOOOO!

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.

TerminalSue: 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?

Sue: Who?

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!

TerminalAccording to Servalan, Blake is dead.

Servalan: He died from his wounds on the planet Jevron more than a year ago.

Sue: ****.

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.

TerminalSue: 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:

TerminalTarrant: 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!

Cue credits.

The Score:

Sue: That was ****ing brilliant.

10/10

Sue: OK, so the monkeys and the Jimmy Savile impersonators should knock a couple of marks off, but sod it, that was excellent.

And breathe…

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.

Ask Sue!

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.

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90 comments

  • Visit site
    June 28, 2014 3:12 amPosted 3 years ago
    Dave Sanders

    What a hypnotically freakish episode – ominous repetitive background beats, a drug-induced hallucinagenic nightmare, hostile primitive throwbacks in an artificial outdoor environment, and foul overpowering liquid that gets everywhere and renders all vehicles useless. But now Glastonbury’s gone to bed, so let’s stick Terminal on.

  • Visit site
    June 28, 2014 3:12 amPosted 3 years ago
    Dave Sanders

    Poor Terry’s been finding this tiring,
    All cylinders no longer firing.
    But wait! It gets better,
    This script is quite meta;
    The ship really *is* polystyrene.

    • Visit site
      June 28, 2014 11:01 amPosted 3 years ago
      Anniew

      Mega!

  • Visit site
    June 28, 2014 3:55 amPosted 3 years ago
    Chris Allen

    “Avon must really love Blake if he’s come all this way for him”

    I think he actually kind of does (just look at his reaction when Servalan tells him that Blake is dead).

    And Avon seems to be consciously delivering his own epitaph with the line “sentiment breeds weakness. Let it get a hold of you and you are dead”.

    Blake being dead at least would explain the almost total lack of communication (for over a year!). In “Aftermath” Avon learns from Zen that Blake has been in touch. After that, nothing.

    Being a prisoner (or dead) would explain that. If Blake knew about the destruction of Star One he’d want to get back to Earth double quick. If he was too ill, he’d certainly want to return to the Liberator’s medical unit (and he’s not going to get any better offers in the middle of a war zone).

    “He wouldn’t go to this trouble for Jenna”

    Poor Jenna. She’s been incommunicado for just as long as Blake. I guess she must be dead too (maybe she ended up as a load of spare parts on Chenga).

    One thing the episode gets dead wrong is evolution. Evolution does not have a preset direction, it is a reactive phenomena, there’s no predefined “road map” in our DNA that would inevitably lead to the Links. If humanity lived on Terminal and experienced all the exact same conditions, then maybe you’d get the Links at the end of it all, but different conditions would cause humanity to evolve in different ways. And with humanity living on many different planets, there are many different ways human evolution could go.

    “Avon has turned into Blake”

    It certainly seems that way. Which episode am I describing?

    The leader of the Seven begins behaving strangely, changing course without telling anyone, refusing to give any explanation, asking them to “try trusting me”. This odd course of action ultimately leads the crew straight into a Federation trap, with the series villain actually boarding the Liberator.

    At least Blake in “Voice from the Past” had the excuse that he was under external telepathic influence!

    And as for Avon’s line “”You could try trusting me”, I can’t help but recall his response to Blake’s similar plea: “He’s used a number of ploys to get his own way, but, ‘Just try trusting me’, that’s weak even by his standards”.

    Tarrant: From here on, it’s downhill all the way.

    Has he seen the early scripts for series 4 by any chance?

    “Servalan’s Savile clones”

    I remember thinking they looked a bit like JS way back in 1980. It was sort of funny back then. But let’s face it, if anyone is going to clone Mr. Savile, it’s the Federation.

    • Visit site
      June 28, 2014 1:21 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Frankymole

      Perhaps they wanted to determine what Earth life would become in a particular set of circumstances – much the same thing climate change models try to do for the climate, but on a whole-ecological scale, with specific selection events programmed in the Terminal control computers (maybe that explains something about the next episode which I can’t mention for spoilers). After all, there’s clearly something very weird going on with the animals’ instantly-changing DNA. Maybe they are some kind of real-life computer construct – the artificial planet is artificial even down to its “life”, the whole thing a morphic plasmic environment. Life itself – external life – wasn’t meant to visit the surface, only the control chamber. And Servie and her Saviles could use part of the “hallucinogenic” modelling equipment – the image structuraliser thingummy – to programme the Blake illusion. Explains why she chose this planet.

      • Visit site
        June 28, 2014 1:30 pmPosted 3 years ago
        Frankymole

        The Jimmy Saviles are probably gangers… the real technicians stuck in a chamber somewhere.

      • Visit site
        June 29, 2014 9:19 pmPosted 3 years ago
        wyngatecarpenter

        You’ve almost certainly thought about B7 in more detail than Terry Nation. I would even go as far as to say you’ve thought about it in more detail than Chris Boucher.
        Is there any plot hole that you haven’t been able to come up with a convincing explanation for?:-)

        • Visit site
          June 30, 2014 7:03 amPosted 3 years ago
          Frankymole

          They say truth is stranger than fiction, and it’s true. The plot holes I can’t explain, or plot points I find least convincing, ar all parts of this thing we call “real life”. Especially on the News.

          • Visit site
            June 30, 2014 7:04 amPosted 3 years ago
            Frankymole

            ^ “are” not “ar”. To be fair, I have had slightly more time to think about it than Boucher got…

  • Visit site
    June 28, 2014 4:20 amPosted 3 years ago
    Katie c

    Yes I find it hard to understand why Avon has turned into Blake from Voice from the Past and why he doesn’t care about the Liberator anymore. Once you push all that to one side it’s a good episode.

  • Visit site
    June 28, 2014 4:22 amPosted 3 years ago
    Katie c

    Avon’s cockups are humungous
    And poor Zen has got Terminal fungus
    At least Vila saved Orac
    But hey watch your back
    Series 4 Avon’s amongst us

    • Visit site
      June 29, 2014 2:59 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Anniew

      Long live limericks

  • Visit site
    June 28, 2014 4:24 amPosted 3 years ago
    Ian Banks

    Me: What about Gan?

    Sue: Who?

    Are we sure Sue hasn’t been watching ahead?

  • Visit site
    June 28, 2014 4:25 amPosted 3 years ago
    Dave Sanders

    If the head of BBC1 hadn’t decided to renew Blake’s 7, would that have made it a Billy Cotton banned show?

    • Visit site
      June 28, 2014 1:11 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Fiona

      oh…groan…..

      • Visit site
        June 28, 2014 1:23 pmPosted 3 years ago
        Frankymole

        Things would’ve gone a lot better had Avon listened to that show’s advice – “Wakey, WAAAKEY!!!”. With the titular hero’s reported funeral, it’s all a bit Blakey-wakey.

    • Visit site
      June 29, 2014 1:14 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Anniew

      I rather enjoyed that!

  • Visit site
    June 28, 2014 4:33 amPosted 3 years ago
    Harriet

    I’m still curious to know whether Sue would regrade earlier episodes now she’s tuned into the series… On the other hand, she’s got series four to wade through.

    Clever Vila. I’ve always liked Vila.

    Of course you have!

    It was a good thing I never realised this was supposed to be the final episode (and was told another series was coming at the end of it). It never really struck me as a satisfactory ending; too downbeat, despite the various high points. Now, that Mr Boucher knows what I like!

    • Visit site
      July 3, 2014 11:47 pmPosted 3 years ago
      The Grouchybeast

      If Sue were to regrade earlier episodes, this is probably the optimal point at which to do it.

  • Visit site
    June 28, 2014 7:07 amPosted 3 years ago
    Fiona

    As soon as Avon laid eyes on Blake, up went the intensity. If only Gareth had never left. God damn all those snooty critics who make a living haughtily mocking the things ordinary people like and making everyone feel inferior. Clive James was the very worst for this. And those RSC people as well.
    Make Gareth feel ashamed of being in such a great show and entertaining so many…fuck those people to death.

  • Visit site
    June 28, 2014 8:24 amPosted 3 years ago
    Anniew

    Went to bed feeling a bit like the Liberator after a hard day working, getting ready for big family do, dealing with a nits invasion ( very like Liberator) and finally giving up on a screamingly awful female singer on the Glastonbury TV broadcast and a distressingly arch bearded presenter. Resigned that Neil’s mojo was shivering in a tent and next update would be Monday and that family do was to be washed out by violent rain storms resulting in 40 people cramming in a house designed for 25 max. Then RESCUE. Sunshine and the wonderfully Un-arch Sue and very witty Neil. Lovely!

  • Visit site
    June 28, 2014 10:47 amPosted 3 years ago
    Rob

    Wonderful episode and the first time that viewers were treated to a spectacular death of an iconic spaceship. This was edge of your seat telly when it was first broadcast though none of us had any idea that ‘Terminal’ was supposed to be the final ever episode and the Bill Cotton last minute rescue wasn’t made public until a few years after the series ended.

    Fantastic isn’t it that Bill was such a fan? There’s a lovely story about him seeking out the actor who played Dorian (possibly spoiler) at a BBC party to tell him how much he enjoyed his performance in that episode. This late rescue does result in quite an iffy first block of stories for season 4 but I honestly believe that the latter half of it is genius and worth sticking with.

    Zen’s death scene is still powerful stuff all these years on which is odd considering he was ‘just’ a computer with flashing lights. I also loved the fact that despite how sophisticated the Liberator was, it was eventually undone by a mysterious cloud of fluid particles – a reminder that the Universe is full of unknown dangers – something that is lost in so many other sci-fi shows including modern Dr Who (with the exception of ‘Midnight’).

    Anyway, some lovely model work coming up in the next few eppys and an increased budget (though obviously none of this helps Ben Steed).

    • June 28, 2014 12:08 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Mat Dolphin

      Rob, you are spot on with your overview of series four! We’ve still got some of the very best episodes to come…

    • Visit site
      June 28, 2014 1:15 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Fiona

      I was nearly crying at the disintegration of the ship and when computers begin to malfunction and say weird stuff its always chilling. It was horrid when Zen died like that. I forget which episode..was it the one with the bumper car disguised as a shark…the one where Avon and Tarrant were like put in detention and made to do math problems…some guys went to start cutting up Liberator and it was awful enough…this was just heart-breaking.

      And Avon…what a complete screw-up. There’s the fatal flaw right there. Got to do it all alone.

  • Visit site
    June 28, 2014 11:04 amPosted 3 years ago
    Anniew

    The trailer for Rescue is awesomely brilliant. The funniest and cleverest

    • June 28, 2014 12:03 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Mat Dolphin

      Seconded! That’s one of my favourite trailers.

  • Visit site
    June 28, 2014 11:56 amPosted 3 years ago
    Lawrence McIlhoney

    Loved that episode and glad Sue did too! Your reviews still make me chortle. 🙂

  • June 28, 2014 12:11 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Mat Dolphin

    Wow Sue has really got with this series recently. No tens, and then we get three coming along at once. To be fair though, she picked the right ones! Hope she enjoys series four.

    Oddly, she doesn’t seem too mystified by how the show will continue now that the invincible liberator is no more…

    • Visit site
      June 28, 2014 1:27 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Frankymole

      Sue’s right though, they’ll probably get another one, we’ve already seen one more (plus the pursuit pods from the same System).

    • Visit site
      June 30, 2014 5:09 pmPosted 3 years ago
      DPC

      I hope she enjoys series 4 as well. It’s terribly underrated (IMHO), even if some of the earlier episodes are cobbled too hastily.

  • Visit site
    June 28, 2014 1:40 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Gareth M

    What I don’t understand is can everyone on Terminal hear the weird heartbeat sound or is it just part of the odd sound design?

    I liked that Vila tries to get Zen to work out what’s wrong, turning off the auto-repair and try and come up with a solution.

    Nice to see Sue’s finally enjoying Vila.

    It’s odd that Avon doesn’t cotton on sooner that it’s all a setup. Or maybe he just really *really* loves Blake and would obviously go through space particles to get to him.

    It does make me wonder though, presumably Servalan flew that path to get to Terminal, so her ship would have flown through the particles as well. Or maybe she just drew some lines on the space map to get Avon to fly some odd route.

    This episode is weird, but after some of the episodes this season it’s not out of the ordinary to have some weird episodes here and there.

    Sue’s score, excellent, though they really did push it for this one. Weird direction, odd sound design, Blake is back, there’s location shooting, they drop the lighting right down on the Liberator set and there’s that seesaw thing on the Liberator when it all goes tits up and explodes, and they destroyed the Liberator model. I wonder was that the only model they had of the Liberator that they blew up?

    • Visit site
      June 28, 2014 2:52 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Mat Dolphin

      They kept the big model. I saw it on display at Collector mania – complete with terminal damage…

      • Visit site
        June 28, 2014 4:55 pmPosted 3 years ago
        Rob

        Mat’s right. Seems odd that they used the three foot definitive model when they could have used one of the smaller less detailed models for the Terminal damage. The BBC effects chap Matt Irvine has managed to scrape off some of the rust effect but the model is in quite a sorry state. It has fared better than Scorpio that is now presumably buried in a landfill site somewhere in England.

    • Visit site
      June 28, 2014 4:39 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Fiona

      “I would go through space particles to get to you”….could be quite the Valentine’s Day card. Hallmark take note.

    • Visit site
      June 29, 2014 3:22 amPosted 3 years ago
      Frankymole

      Servalan was directing Avon’s course via several checkpoints. It’s unlikely to have been direct. And she herself could have come from a different start point. Plus, she’s been there some time, and no longer seem to have a ship in the area anyway, using only the Liberator for her team to leave on – doesn’t she mention she’s taking it to her main scientific team somewhere to work on replicating it? And idea she probably got in “Moloch”,

  • Visit site
    June 28, 2014 4:39 pmPosted 3 years ago
    San

    Excellent. Loved the ominous industrial beat, great touch. Felt gutted about Zen and the ship, but how brave to let it all fall apart (although I gather they didn’t have much choice, as the set was giving out).

  • Visit site
    June 28, 2014 5:15 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Geoff

    I was affected by the death of the Liberator for ages when I first saw this in 1980 aged 7. When series 4 began I really hoped we’d see Avon and the crew trawling through the wreckage of the Liberator on Terminals surface. Of course what comes next is totally different….

  • June 28, 2014 6:04 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Mat Dolphin

    Sue: Hang on a minute… How did that woman know how to work the teleport?

    When Jarvik captured the Liberator, his crew must have studied and recorded the flight controls. They were then able to pass the info back to Specialists in Servalan’s spinning space house.

  • Visit site
    June 28, 2014 7:53 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Richard Lyth

    I never thought Sue would give a Terry Nation story 10 out of 10! Even Genesis Of The Daleks only got a 9! She’ll be begging Neil to watch Survivors next…

    The atmosphere is what makes this story, it’s more than half an hour before you find out what Avon’s really up to, which creates a wonderful sense of mystery. It would have worked better if they’d spent the whole season chasing after rumours of Blake, which would also have given it something of an arc plot, but that’s more Boucher’s fault than Nation’s.

    As a season finale, this does a good job of closing off a chapter in the show’s life, but as a series finale it would have been incredibly frustrating, leaving far too much unresolved. Although it would have allowed someone to make Blakes 7: The Next Generation, with the crew still stuck on Terminal after thirty years until their children finally manage to fix Servalan’s ship and head out into the galaxy. Come to think of it, I’d quite like to see that…

    • Visit site
      June 28, 2014 9:57 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Robert

      Sue would probably love Survivors.

    • Visit site
      June 29, 2014 9:44 amPosted 3 years ago
      Tim Pieraccini

      They’ve already watched Survivors, though there isn’t a blog for that.

      • June 29, 2014 12:19 pmPosted 3 years ago
        Neil Perryman (Author)

        “What would Greg do?”

        • Visit site
          July 1, 2014 11:12 pmPosted 3 years ago
          Nick

          “What would Greg do?”

          Throw up on a horse’s saddle, probably.

          Then there’d be another series of “Finding Greg”

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    June 28, 2014 8:22 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Annie's

    I have wondered whether we were supposed to conclude that Servalan’s messages to Avon carried a subliminal conditioning because apart from desperate greed or desperate love for Blake it’s difficult to account for his choices and behaviour this episode. desperate greed doesn’t work because the Liberator had ‘millions’ in the treasure room. Desperate love works better but seems out of character. Heart beat sound suggests conditioning perhaps. Apparently the ‘shit’ fight between Tarrant and the baby link damaged Deep Roy who played him. links seem totally superfluous to story except that they do add a bit of action. destruction of Liberator so sad. Best spaceship ever and Zen the coolest computer. dim lights surely result of space viral thingy damage. Also (but barely and badly ) explains why Servalan fails to spot the space slime. Doesn’t Villa turn them down just before he teleports them up. For same reason.

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      June 29, 2014 3:29 amPosted 3 years ago
      Frankymole

      In the script, Servalan does spot the space slime and general grottiness when she arrives on board, and comments “I didn’t realise we were pushing them this hard” before making for the flight deck. But with the episode being a nightmare to get shot with so much needing to be done in that studio session, the line was dropped for reasons of time. Plus now it seems Servalan is blinded by triumph, which is a nice satirical touch.

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        July 1, 2014 4:06 pmPosted 3 years ago
        NICK GRIFFITHS

        This is also the longest episode of Blake’s 7 clocking at just over 54 minutes, seems like this was a very long script to begin with!

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        July 1, 2014 11:16 pmPosted 3 years ago
        Nick

        I can see that… unlike Servalan… 😉

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      July 3, 2014 11:53 pmPosted 3 years ago
      The Grouchybeast

      Desperate love works better but seems out of character.

      Given that Avon trailed around after Blake for two whole series, carping and complaining while rejecting every chance to leave and saving Blake’s life at every turn, I think desperate love is pretty much a given.

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        July 4, 2014 12:48 pmPosted 3 years ago
        Anniew

        Don’t buy it. Doesn’t leave Horizon cos Orac has told him he can’t survive 3 ship attack. Cue 3 ship attack which he could outrun this time but which demonstrate he’s pretty vulnerable in the ship on his own. Doesn’t leave on Fospheron cos they’ve betrayed his trust so he knows he can’t trust them and he will be less safe there than on liberator. Stays for the liberator and ( I think) to use crew to enable his revenge for Anna – says that sooner or later the crew will want Blake to leave cos he’s too dangerous ant that will be his chance. Tells us he wants to be free of Blake. ( I know possible homo erotic undertones but don’t buy it). Devastation on Terminal cos his judgement has let him down.

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    June 29, 2014 1:24 amPosted 3 years ago
    wyngatecarpenter

    One of my favourite ever episodes , can’t disagree with Sue’s score or pretty much anything else she said about it. The script is pretty simple, with Terry just sticking to what he’s good at, but the atmospheric direction lifts it.
    Avon does seem a bit out of character but I can just about buy it. Perhaps since the revelations about Anna he has come to the conclusion that the most trustworthy person he knew was Blake. Blake apparently gets in contact and better still is offering him the opportunity to get rich. Avon may or may not be rich on the basis of what’s stashed on the Liberator but that doesn’t matter – Avon is paranoid and living dangerously, high on the Federation’s wanted list, so in his mind he probably can never have enough money. Hence he rushes into the trap without stopping to think as he usually might.
    I surprised no ones commented on the moment when he tells Dayna and Vila to escape in the Liberator and abandon him. This really does seem uncharacteristically heroic, but maybe it’s also pride – he doesn’t want the others to die because of his mistakes. If it was because of their own mistakes he’d be much less bothered.
    As has already been noted Nation has a dubious grasp on the theory of evolution. The again this is the man who came up with “icecanos” , so his grasp on science seems a biy shakey.
    Why have the crew randomly attacked by men-in-rubber-suit monsters? It’s a Terry Nation scipt, he doesn’t need a reason.

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      June 30, 2014 5:12 pmPosted 3 years ago
      DPC

      He’d probably just seen “Planet of the Apes” or something… Nation had some creative ideas, but they weren’t always rooted anywhere near science reality. Which is sad when science reality would disprove his claims and the reality was determined long before he created his scripts. Still, creativity does not operate in the purview of staunch, stolid reality.

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        July 1, 2014 8:01 pmPosted 3 years ago
        wyngatecarpenter

        Probably true. I think being Terry Nation he probably also wanted to add that extra dollop of bleakness ie not only are the Liberator crew screwed, but so is the whole of humanity – one day, anyway.

      • July 1, 2014 11:11 pmPosted 3 years ago
        Chris Limb

        He used a similar idea in the story “We Are The Daleks” written for the Doctor Who 10th Anniversary Radio Times Special – the planet Ameron being the equivalent of Terminal…

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    June 29, 2014 1:24 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Anniew

    ‘Why does Avon tell Villa to abandon him?’ He wouldn’t want Servalan to have the Liberator and make an invincible fleet from it. Even if she let him go he’d be dead in a week once she had her hands on it. Probably figured he was dead either way so get it over quickly and have a bit of revenge on Servie in the process. Of course we can always interpret it as noble or even despair at losing Blake ‘I always thought his death and mine would be linked in some way’. Cue much angsty fan fiction.

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      June 29, 2014 9:14 pmPosted 3 years ago
      wyngatecarpenter

      ” Probably figured he was dead either way so get it over quickly and have a bit of revenge on Servie in the process. ”

      Maybe, but my theory is it’s down to his superiority complex. He’s usually the one who steps in and sorts out the mess when others dump themselves in the shit, and he likes them to know. On this occasion he’s been duped and dumped everyone in the shit in the process. Time for a heroic gesture to restore his self image. Maybe. Great scene, whatever the explanation.
      It’s the first time that it’s occured to me that throughout Season 3 (with the possible exception of Rumours Of Death ) Avon has seemed increasingly infallible, but Terminal neatly turns that on it’s head. That’s a big raeson why it makes such a good Season finale (and indeed finale to the whole of B7, as that’s what was intended).
      Even more reason why I’m not convinced by Avon smiling at the end. I think he should have pulled his jackret over his head and bounced around on the floor like Basil Fawlty at the end of The Psychiatrist.

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        June 30, 2014 7:07 amPosted 3 years ago
        Frankymole

        Yes! Once again Boucher’s maxim about always giving Avon two possible explanations for his behaviour comes to the fore. Heroic or self-aggrandizing, philanthropic or selfish – you, the audience member, decide.

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        June 30, 2014 11:19 amPosted 3 years ago
        Fiona

        I would have paid large large money to see that. As soon as I read it I could see it very very visually. got many streaming tears now…

        It is amazing to see Avon fuck up like that. Good writing. Got used to Avon generally saving the day and so, to see him duped and making bad decisions (drive right through those particles) was a surprise.

        Such a good show, Blake’s 7, although this particular series did meander about in a lost style.

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        June 30, 2014 9:40 pmPosted 3 years ago
        Anniew

        Why should he pull his hat over his eyes? As far as he’s concerned he’s killed Servalan. That’s why he’s smiling. He admitted failure: I gave her the Liberator – but then watches as she’s apparently blown to hell. Success! He’s had his revenge.

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          July 1, 2014 8:09 pmPosted 3 years ago
          wyngatecarpenter

          He’s had his revenge, but his now stuck on a BBC budget version of Planet of the Apes with no reliable means of escape, and only the crew who may well be planning mutiny at this stage for company. I don’t think Cally will be offering much consolation judging by the way she stared daggers at him.
          Avon enjoys revenge, but from what we know of him he prioritises his own future security more highly.
          Basically, he’s cocked up big time, so the smile jars a bit for me. Not enough to spoil the episode though.

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            July 2, 2014 12:14 amPosted 3 years ago
            Anniew

            Actually don’t know why I’m defending the smile cos I agree with you that it’s out of context somehow. It’s not the ‘oh life’s kicked me in the bollocks again -what to do but laugh’ sort of smile but more self congratulatory and since he’s cocked up so badly a self congratulatory smile seems more than a little mad.

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          July 11, 2014 6:17 pmPosted 3 years ago
          Fiona

          Yes, he’s lost the greatest ship in the galaxy! It would be nice to see him give Vila a little pat on the back for the swift saving of Orac. that was a nice twist: Orac couldnt save them because Avon had the key, deliberately, no doubt at all.

          And really, I swear if I ever met Paul Darrow, I’d have to beg him to do what wyngate said!

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    June 29, 2014 5:08 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Anniew

    And so the end was planned
    But Cotton raised the final Curtain.
    They’ll take their bows again
    But without Zen, of this we’re certain.
    It’s possible that Blake,
    Is alive and sinful Servie
    but Avon’s in the shit – he did it his way.

    Regrets – they’ll have a few
    No soma for a starter
    stuck with unconvincing links and Avon’s crazy laughter.
    He threw the gauntlet down – and all to find his Blakey.
    That icy outer crust is getting flakey.

    The cloud through which they flew
    Bit though all that it could chew
    Cut through the sneers, revealed desire
    Inside the cynic like a fire
    Now Avon knows, the record shows
    He needs it Blake’s way.

    And what is now left? What have they got?
    Apart from Orac, not a lot.
    That Blake is Avon’s Achilles heel
    Is not a comforting reveal
    He’ll sneer much more, keep them at bay
    Protect himself and make them pay.
    I fear to come – a lot more ‘ME’
    And ‘Do it my way’.

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      June 30, 2014 11:36 amPosted 3 years ago
      Fiona

      annie you’re amazing

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    June 29, 2014 8:19 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Sean Alexander

    Superb! I’ve not felt capable of commenting on much of season three, but Terminal has all the elements of an apocalyptic series finale: a trap to end all traps, Avon cutting his ties (once and for all?) with his crew and an ominous heartbeat backgrounding a planet that’s populated by multiple Rowan Atkinsons in gorillagram costumes. Darrow is outstanding, both the ultimate anti-hero by threatening any of his shipmates with death if they follow him and at the other end of the bastard scale showing genuine despair and loss when told by Servalan that Blake has been dead for more than a year. Bill Cotton got it absolutely bloody right and Blakes 7 could never have ended here. The only faults are Servalan’s complete disregard of the melting Liberator as she ascends to majesty, and the pitiful escape clause as she flees for the teleport in grand 80s Davros fashion. But besides these two flaws this was gripping, adult stuff. Maximum Power indeed!

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    June 29, 2014 9:50 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Shan

    Just discovered one of my favourite youtube clips has returned after being blocked for so long. All but perfect and it seems appropriate to go here:

    “Blake’s 7 Series 3 – Acceptable in the 80’s?”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8cEsAX4xaFI

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    June 30, 2014 3:39 amPosted 3 years ago
    Robert Rowles

    Strange, my one childhood memory of watching Blakes 7 is the Liberator turning to gunk, so this episode clearly left its mark. In places it’s very powerful, and I purred at the thought of all Servalan’s dreams turning to dust. But, I rewatched it last year and disliked it for the way Avon’s character is ruthlessly rewritten at the start. Character subordinate to plot, as in bad soap opera (grits teeth to admit some is good). It probably shows just how much I’d come to enjoy Paul Darrow’s performance. And how glaringly bad bits of characterisation can spoil my enjoyment of most stories. Also, if this is a 10, can I expect 11 or 12 for the end of the next season? Hope so.

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    June 30, 2014 11:04 amPosted 3 years ago
    Nick

    One of my all-time favourite epsiodes. Back in the da, I even managed to allow the atmospheric direction get past the Jimmy Savile clones without laughing. It was a genuine shock to see Blake again, even if he was a psycotropic vision. (I seem to recall that Gareth Thomas wasn’t credited in Radio Times to prevent a spoiler).

    I was genuinely sad when the Liberator disentrgrated – and when por old Zen conked out, but I thought then – as now – why the hell hasn’t Servalan noticed the ship’s covered with shit? (I like Sue’s “dirty protest” theory). 😉

    (In fact, I think at the end of Red Dwarf series 8, the production team used the same plot device to ‘write off’ the ship).

    And I was massively surprised when the continuity announcer said that Blake’s 7 would return – this had been flagged up in the press as the last ever epsiode.

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      June 30, 2014 5:35 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Rob

      ‘And I was massively surprised when the continuity announcer said that Blake’s 7 would return – this had been flagged up in the press as the last ever episode’

      I didn’t know that the press were billing Terminal as the final ever episode. Really odd isn’t it when season 3 was getting a regular average audience of 10 million, that the BBC had made the decision to axe it? Bonkers really. Same can be said of Season 4 which was still pulling in big numbers against Corrie. Axing B7 was one of the worse mistakes the BBC ever made. Whilst it could never go on forever like Dr Who has, B7 could easily have run for a few more years.

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        July 1, 2014 11:15 pmPosted 3 years ago
        Nick

        Maybe it wasn’t billed as the “last ever episode” (be fair I’m trying to remember TV previews from 34 years ago!) ;). But I was aware that it was certainly going to be the last one for at least a while.

        But yes, maybe B7 could have run for a few more years, but basically, then (as now), the BBC don’t like Sience Fiction… or popularity, it seems.

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          July 2, 2014 4:19 pmPosted 3 years ago
          Fiona

          I was just looking at a few old clips of The Professionals, Bodie being my other taste-forming male…it’s instinctive good taste, though, isnt it, Bodie and Avon? Isn’t it?

          Anyway, I was so struck by the difference in quality in a show made at the same time. The money spent, the trouble gone to. Really made me respect the B7 team even more, you can just see how clunky it was forced to be. I know The Professionals wasnt BBC but it just goes to show what B7 could have been with just a bit more input.

          Not that it isnt ace, it is, but just a bit more appreciation of a ten million viewer show? Just enough cash to not make hilarious giant ants? Or to hire a few extras to people the empty planet-quarries?

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            July 2, 2014 6:17 pmPosted 3 years ago
            Robert

            There’s not many would hold up The Professionals as an example of a “quality” show…

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            July 2, 2014 6:39 pmPosted 3 years ago
            Fiona

            What why not?? I remember it very very fondly! Of course not seen it for like 30 years or more…still, going off these clips, it was good. Also, I am only a girl, hence, take the eye-candy view. And Bodie and Doyle were certainly that.
            Anyway, think my point still stands. You can see a lot more money has gone into the Professionals. Just having streets with people walking around on them, lots of different locations, complicated and convincing fights…the guys had this very intense thing going on as well, not the Blake/Avon love/hate thing…more like Bodie destroys anyone who hurts adorable hot-headed Doyle…the episodes have had more time gone into the story…it really makes B7 look very short of brass in comparison. It is ludicrous, after all, the way every single planet has no population, none at all, and is made of crumbling limestone.

            (I bet anything now someone will tell me the quarries were granite! People will actually know! Which is cute…)

            No buildings, except whatever ‘base’ is housing whatever two or three inhabitants of an entire world…literally two, at the end of Weapon…and someone should go back and check out the population that Blake Clone and pretty ex-slave girl built. Because can you say ‘inbred’? No, probably not, weird thing with one eye.

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            July 2, 2014 9:48 pmPosted 3 years ago
            Smile

            In fairness, it was easier for The Professionals in one sense in that the settings were all naturalistic and could be done on genuine locations, whereas with Blake’s 7 they were often having to do either alien planets, space ships or futuristic technological bases, which would be quite challenging even for a glossy filmed series.

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            July 3, 2014 7:43 amPosted 3 years ago
            Fiona

            That’s true Smile. Still, a few people walking around would have been something. Its weird the idea that the mighty Federation would go to all that trouble to have Star One set up atmospheres and water supplies and landing pads and all, only to support a ‘base’ with 3 scientists and a security robot.

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            July 3, 2014 9:05 pmPosted 3 years ago
            Geoff

            Sorry Robert but you’re bang out of line and Fiona’s right. You wouldn’t be so brave if Lewis Collins was still with us, he’d lay you out for saying that!

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        July 2, 2014 12:19 amPosted 3 years ago
        Anniew

        Yep a missed opportunity to make the Servalan uses the eggs of a giant space chicken to satisfy Avon’s desperate craving for omlette. Season 5 cliff hanger.

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          July 2, 2014 12:22 amPosted 3 years ago
          Anniew

          Will he wont he be tempted to turn his back on the revolution for a yolk?

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      July 8, 2014 5:30 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Gareth

      “(I seem to recall that Gareth Thomas wasn’t credited in Radio Times to prevent a spoiler).”

      I don’t know what the RT said, but the BBC didn’t try to keep Gareth’s return secret, because they included it in the billings information they sent out to the press. The TV page of my local paper mentioned that Blake was going to be back in this episode, as did the billing in the Guardian, but neither paper claimed that it was due to be the last-ever episode. I was 9 at the time, and at that age you just assume that your favourite programmes will simply keep going.

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        July 8, 2014 5:48 pmPosted 3 years ago
        Nick

        Unless you’ve looked all this up in the British Library’s newspaper archive subsequently Gareth, you were better read at age 9 than I was at age 18, so I defer to your greater knowledge. 🙂

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          July 8, 2014 9:35 pmPosted 3 years ago
          Gareth

          Blake’s appearance in Terminal was the main selling point of the episode, and I definitely knew about it in advance – although probably only as many as the few hours between the local evening paper arriving and the episode starting 🙂

          I looked up the Guardian for the 31st March 1980 online today, just to check what they wrote about it. And just for the hell of it I’ve just looked up the Times for that day, and what do you know, even The Thunderer mentions that Blake will be returning (and they also refer to it as being the last of the “present run”, rather than the supposed last one ever).

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            July 8, 2014 10:45 pmPosted 3 years ago
            Nick

            LOL! Well, maybe it was just my crappy local rag that got it wrong. Or maybe I really can’t remember. Like Sue said a while back in “Wife In Space”, I was probably going out, drinking and having sex at the time.

            Gareth – you are right, I am totally, completely and utterly, horribly WRONG.

            I shall shave my head, don my hair shirt and hie myself hence to the most distant galactic monastery possible.

            That do ya? 🙂

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        July 8, 2014 5:49 pmPosted 3 years ago
        Ian

        Gareth Thomas was credited as Blake in the Radio Times, so those of us with sufficient interest in the series (and whose parents bought the RT!) certainly knew he’d be appearing. What we didn’t know was how big his role would be, whether he’d just come back and take over again, or what.

        Actually I clearly remember a letter in the RT around the same time saying how good series 3 had been and that the only possible cloud on the horizon was ‘the return of Blake, the bionic blancmange’ 😉

        I don’t recall anything suggesting it was meant to be the last ever episode, though.

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          July 8, 2014 10:49 pmPosted 3 years ago
          Nick

          Maybe it wasn’t Gareth Thomas that wasn’t credited in RT – maybe it was Anthony Ainley as the Master. Or the Cybermen. Or K9 or something.

          Does it really matter 34 years later?

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            July 9, 2014 8:17 amPosted 3 years ago
            Ian

            It doesn’t matter a jot 🙂 Just thought it was vaguely interesting context, that’s all 🙂

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            July 9, 2014 10:45 amPosted 3 years ago
            Nick

            No probs Ian. 🙂

            It obviously matters to Gareth though! 😉

  • July 1, 2014 8:17 pmPosted 3 years ago
    encyclops

    I’m late to the party — limited internet access for the past week or so — but I did read this when it showed up in my email and was thrilled to see another episode hit for Sue. I feel like she’s been far more effusive about the Blake’s 7 she’s enjoyed than she was about the Doctor Who she enjoyed. I don’t know if it’s that this show is more her thing, or that all those episodes of Who calibrated her expectations in a way that made this work better for her. Either way, I’m not complaining.

    I never quite understood exactly what was going on with the “was it Blake or just an illusion?” thing. It’s always tough when we see him so clearly; harder to credit that it’s Avon’s point of view, and not the omniscient camera. But this is still pretty terrific and a great way to end the season.

    For a great way to end the show, we have to get through the next set of 13. Which I’ll just reiterate preemptively, I love. Except for that one. And parts of that one. And that one is a little cheesy. Then there are the two which I always get confused because the guest actors remind me of each other a little bit. And of course there’s the Ben Steed…

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    August 29, 2014 9:47 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Jess Patton

    One by one, the crew exit stage right.

    I could never take that shot very seriously, as I had a mental image of one of them having to sheepishly dash back again once they realised they’d forgotten Orac.

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      August 29, 2014 10:21 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Anniew

      I will never look at that scene in the same way again!!!

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