The Harvest of Kairos
The Liberator is orbiting a planet when Tarrant detects two Federation ships heading their way.
Tarrant: It’s an old Federation manoeuvre. Unimaginative, but so’s a punch in the mouth. At least it tells us who sent them.
Sue: Oh no, not again. And it was going so well.
Me: We’re less than a minute into this.
Sue: I know.
Millions of miles away, President Servalan is micromanaging the Federation’s latest attack on the Liberator.
Sue: She’s redecorated her spinning house. It’s a bit grim but at least it shows off her Fairy Godmother outfit.
Servalan can’t wait to bring Tarrant down.
Servalan: This time we get it right.
Sue: She never used to be this hammy. I can’t take her seriously any more. She’s a pantomime villain. I remember when Blake’s 7 used to be gritty and interesting.
Vila and Avon teleport back the Liberator.
Sue: That was a long way to go for a tab.
Sue isn’t very keen on Avon’s extramural activity.
Sue: Is this what Avon has been reduced to now – collecting rocks? I remember the good old days when they were looking for Star One and their lives had some kind of meaning. What is the point of them any more?
People are beginning to think that Servalan looks tired, and one man in particular has been taking the piss out of her below decks. When Sue finally meets Jarvik, he reminds her of a young Timothy Dalton. He’s definitely the strong, silent type.
Servalan: Well? Have you nothing to say to Servalan?
Sue: I bet he doesn’t even have an Equity card.
Jarvik: Woman, you are beautiful.
Sue: He thinks he’s Tarzan. Oh my God. No way!
Sue: Did that just happen? Did he just snog her face off? Is she dreaming this? Am I dreaming this?
Sue ain’t seen nothing yet; just take a look at this (text wouldn’t do it justice):
Sue: What the **** is Servalan doing? Surely the guards should be standing in front of her, not the other way round. This is ridiculous. Who directed this rubbish?
Me: Gerald Blake.
Sue: That’s all we ****ing need! Another useless Blake! I mean, look at her! WHAT IS SHE DOING?
Servalan and Jarvik discuss Tarrant’s tactics.
Sue: Hang on a minute. This doesn’t make sense. They’re talking about Tarrant like he’s a big deal or something. When did that happen? It’s as if they wrote this for Blake and then they did a find-and-replace on the script at the last-minute.
Me: As if!
Tarrant wants the crew to dabble in a bit of piracy.
Sue: So is this what they do now, they fly around the universe stealing rocks? I can’t believe I’m saying this but the crew are flapping about now that Blake has gone. At least Blake had a vague plan. This lot haven’t got a plan at all.
Just like Hank on Breaking Bad, Avon is completely obsessed with his rock.
Sue: I quite like the fact that Avon is having his own little adventure and he can’t be arsed with Tarrant. It’s just a shame that Tarrant is the one who’s having the interesting adventure.
Servalan discovers that Jarvik used to be a Space Captain, but when she searches the Federation’s computer records, she is taken by surprise.
Jarvik: Because I am a human being.
Sue: Er… was that supposed to mean something? Her screen went a bit wobbly and that was it. Am I missing something?
Servalan decides to employ Jarvik as her right-hand man, even if he is a poet with a temper.
Servalan: But first, there is the question of that degrading and primitive act to which I was subjected in the control room.
Sue: (as Servalan) I liked it.
Servalan: I should like you to do it again.
Sue: Oh. My. God. I was only joking!
The last time Sue’s jaw was this slack, Ingrid Pitt was karate kicking a sea monster in the face.
Sue: What the hell am I watching? Because it isn’t Blake’s 7!
Servalan gives the order for the slave workers on Kairos to be left there to die because the Federation have exceeded their baggage allowance.
Sue: What a bitch. I thought a quick shag would have improved her mood.
Down on Kairos, someone is about to fall off a fence.
A particularly nasty guard is also left there to die.
Sue: Ha! Serves you right, you Nazi ****. I enjoyed that.
Jarvik prepares to coordinate his attack on the Liberator.
Sue: This is vaguely exciting, I suppose.
Jarvik: Sit down and shut up.
Sue: Charming. I can’t believe that Servalan is putting up with his nonsense. It doesn’t feel right.
Even though they are under attack, Avon forces Cally to stare at his rock.
Tarrant: Is this the time or the place?
Sue: Tarrant does have a point. What’s got into Avon this week?
Avon: I understand that this ship is the most powerful in the galaxy and that you are the most astute space warfare commander.
Sue: Is that it, then? Has Avon given up? I’m not happy about that. Avon should be the one in charge. That’s silly.
The Liberator evades the Federation’s pursuit ships.
Sue: I didn’t know that the ship could roll like that. Why has it never done that before?
Me: Tarrant must be a better pilot than Jenna because Tarrant is A MAN!
Sue: Don’t you start.
Jarvik: Gently now, Killer Three. Ease your way in.
I can’t stop giggling.
Sue: I bet he’s exactly the same in the bedroom.
When Servalan believes that she’s lost the battle, she throws a temper tantrum. Jarvik has to restrain her on a cream leather couch; no Battle HQ is complete without one.
Jarvik: Lie there and keep quiet until I tell you otherwise.
Sue: This episode is beginning to make me feel uncomfortable. Why are you laughing, Neil?
Tarrant’s gang are in the middle of transferring the Federation’s precious cargo of Kairopan to the Liberator when they are ambushed by security guards.
Guard: Stay exactly where you are, and don’t get excited!
Sue: Not much chance of that, mate.
Avon pops his head into the A-plot and saves the day.
Sue: The director really hasn’t got a clue. I’m beginning to feel embarrassed for the actors.
Jarvik has the last laugh: there are more guards in the Kairopan containers.
Servalan teleports to the Liberator.
Sue: Servalan does have one redeeming feature.
Me: What’s that?
Sue: She’s one of the few people in Blake’s 7 who pronounces Avon’s name correctly. I’m sick and tired of people calling him “Avin” all the time.
Servalan dumps our heroes on Kairos.
Sue: I bet they eat Vila first.
Back at Space Command, Jarvik is tempting Servalan with his unzipped jumpsuit.
Me: There’s some eye-candy for you, love.
Sue: He should be wearing a gold medallion in the shape of the Federation logo.
Servalan: You really are a primitive, aren’t you? Come.
Sue: Stop laughing, Neil.
Kairos is covered in a strange web.
Sue: Haven’t we been here before? Is it the Yeti?
Servalan and Jarvik are enjoying a postcoital glass of Lenor when Jarvik admits that he doesn’t like Mutoids very much, and he certainly wouldn’t want to live next door to any of them.
Sue: Racist and sexist. Such an attractive combination. Give your head a shake, Servalan.
Servalan wants Jarvik to prove his masculinity to her.
Servalan: If you’re to be man enough for me, to be co-ruler with Servalan, you must meet Tarrant face to face, man to man.
Sue: Whoever wrote this episode has some serious problems with women.
Avon discovers a 1960s NASA lunar module in an abandoned aircraft hangar.
Sue: What the hell? Who left that there? Is this episode going to go all timey-wimey now? EH?
Jarvik teleports to Kairos so he can retrieve the crew’s teleport bracelets (Lesley Judd must have been killed in the war).
Sue: Did he raid Blake’s wardrobe before he left? He looks like a right dick.
Jarvik narrowly avoids a giant ant.
Sue: Oh dear. And do you know what the worst thing about that is?
Me: That it looks like a giant hoover bag?
Sue: No. It’s that it probably cost a small fortune to make it. I bet most of the budget went on that… that… thing. What a joke.
Vila is snoring his head off in the lunar module.
Sue: This is the first time I’ve ever been jealous of Vila.
Cut to Vila standing in a field.
Sue: What the ****?
Me: Eat your heart out, Eisenstein.
Avon is still admiring his rock.
Avon: This happens to be the most sophisticated life form that it has ever been my good fortune to come across. Present company not excepted.
Sue: Not only that, you can scrub your back with it in the shower.
Dayna cries out in terror. She is tangled up in a deadly web, helpless against the monstrous insect advancing towards her. At least that’s what it said in the script.
Dayna: Do something!
Sue: Yeah, stop laughing at her. This is serious. Look, pet, just kick your boot off and walk away. Honestly, the direction is a joke. And why is this thing rubbing its arse on the floor like that? That’s what Buffy used to do when she had worms.
Jarvik arrives to save the day.
Jarvik: You, woman. Give it the Kairopan.
Sue: I wish I had some Kairopan. This is giving me a headache.
Avon decides to keep his distance.
Sue: I bet Paul Darrow refused to be filmed anywhere near that thing. Oh look, there’s a static caravan in that field over there. Somebody is doing a self-build on Kairos.
The ant shuffles back the way it came.
Sue: Oh for ****’s sake. Don’t show it again!
Jarvik and Tarrant fight.
Sue: Why are the crew standing there watching this; do they really hate Tarrant that much? It’s four against one! Five if you count Vila. Just walk over there and PUNCH THE BAD GUY IN THE FACE!
Tarrant and Jarvik tussle on the floor while Ken Russell blushes off-screen.
Sue: Why is the director shooting this as a love scene? GET A ROOM!
Tarrant is overpowered by Jarvik’s MALENESS.
Sue: To be fair, I could probably take Tarrant.
Dayna decides to have a go next, leaving Avon to race off to the lunar module, where he finally loses his patience with Tarrant.
Tarrant: There’s nothing I can do with this.
Avon: YOU CAN GET IT OFF THE GROUND!
Sue: Paul Darrow wasn’t acting then.
It’s Dayna’s turn to wrestle with Jarvik on the floor.
Sue: That’s right, Cally, just stand back and watch. Don’t help your friend or anything silly like that. Unbelievable.
The giant ant returns for seconds.
Sue: Just kick it in the face.
Jarvik teleports to the Liberator with Dayna. Tarrant launches the lunar module, just in time to escape a deadly hail of plasma bolts. It doesn’t look good for our heroes but Avon has an ace up his sleeve. Yes, you guessed it. His rock.
Avon: Sopron is a mirror. A distorting mirror. It reflects a slightly greater image of whatever it is that happens to be scanning it. Zen saw a capacity charged brain, because that is what Zen is. Orac saw a highly sophisticated computer, because that is what Orac is.
Sue: And the director is making this look like crap, because that is what he is.
Avon: The question is, what will Servalan see, and will she be fooled by it?
Sue: Given that everybody in this episode so far has been fooled by the bad special effects, I’m going to say ‘yes’.
Tarrant’s bluff works, but because Servalan is a sore loser, she orders Dayna’s execution.
Jarvik: No, wait. There’s no need to –
The security guard accidentally shoots and kills Jarvik. Well, I say ‘accidentally’. It’s staged so badly, it looks like he did it on purpose.
Sue: WHAT THE -? Rewind that. Oh my God. What was the director thinking? That settles it. This is the worst directed episode of Blake’s 7 – or Doctor Who – that I’ve ever seen. It’s dreadful. How was this ever broadcast? Were people still watching Blake’s 7 at this point?
Me: Approximately 9 million people every week. Prime time BBC-1.
Sue: Unbelievable. And nobody complained?
Me: Terry Wogan did. Regularly.
Sue: I’m not surprised. This is shocking. Why are you laughing, Neil?
Servalan evacuates the Liberator.
Sue: So does this mean that an inanimate lump of rock is now a regular member of the crew? They should call it Gan.
Avon is pleased to see the back of Jarvik, but Tarrant mourns for Adonis.
Tarrant: He was a special sort of man.
And for the first time in this experiment, Sue throws a cushion at the television screen instead of me.
Tarrant: Get us out of here. I’ve had enough of this place.
Sue: And I’ve had enough of this ****ing episode! Make it stop!
Sue: Irredeemable sexist crap.
Sue: It was badly directed, offensive, stupid and badly directed. And what made it even worse was the sexist pig was shown to be right ALL THE TIME. I kept waiting for a woman to kill him. I thought there would be a progressive message at the end about the battle of the sexes. Something that might excuse it. But no. I bet the writer has a tiny cock.
Me: Would you like me to subject you to it again?
Sue: Only if you let me slice off your testicles first.
Me: Woman, kiss me!
Sue: **** off, Neil.