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The Keeper

Shine like thunder, cry like rain…

The KeeperThis week’s mission seems straightforward enough: steal a thong from a Goth.

Jenna: Lurgen’s brain print is on a thong around a chief’s neck. That’s what Docholli said.

Sue: It could be a lot worse, the chief could be wearing his thong ‘you know where’.

This is all part of a much bigger mission to find and destroy Star One, although Avon is having second thoughts about the destroying it part.

Avon: Through Star One we could control everything. The Federation could belong to us.

Sue: They can barely run a space ship together so running a galaxy is probably beyond their capabilities. And think of all the hours they’d have to put in.

Blake, Jenna and Vila prepare to teleport to the planet Goth.

Cally: There are noxious gases. Anyone who lives above ground will die sooner or later from toxic lung infections.

Sue: Put some bloody helmets on then!

As soon as he arrives on the planet, Blake gulps down the air.

Sue: What is he playing at? Cally just told him that breathing the air will kill him. Blake’s definitely got a death wish.

The Goths emerge from their caves.

The KeeperSue: Oh no. I really hate medieval Sci-Fi. It really gets on my tits.

Me: You were a Goth once, weren’t you?

Sue: I was into The Sisters of Mercy for a couple of months in the early eighties, yes.

Back on the Liberator, Avon believes that he’s spotted Travis’ pursuit ship.

Avon: This is our chance to finish off Travis. He is at our mercy.

Sue: Yeah, cos you’ve never an opportunity to kill him before, and you wouldn’t want to miss your chance because that would be stupid.

When Cally tries to persuade Avon to leave Travis well alone, he barks the co-ordinates of the Federation ship back at her.

Avon: ZERO-SEVEN-THREE!

Sue: Someone got out on the wrong side of the bed this morning. At least the director knows what a focus pull is. That gives me some hope for this episode.

Blake’s team are set upon by Goths.

Sue: Are you sure they’re Goths? They look like ZZ Top fans to me.

Me: They’re based on the Visigoths.

Sue: So they’re Goths from the planet Goth who just happen to look like Goths. Bit of a coincidence, don’t you think?

Vila almost avoids capture, but a rogue sneeze gives him away. Sue does her best impression of a parping trombone as the loveable thief falls into the Goths’ hands.

Sue: It’s like Game of Thrones but with fewer weddings.

The KeeperForget about that. Avon is about to kill Travis. Oh yes he is!

Avon: Goodbye, Travis.

Avon presses a button and the Federation ship explodes.

Sue: Yeah, right. Avon couldn’t even be bothered to check whether Travis was on the ship or not. For all he knows, a Space Vampire could have been flying that space ship. Don’t get me wrong, I want Travis to be dead just as much as the next person, but he isn’t.

When Avon returns for his comrades, Blake teleports back to the ship alone.

Blake: Where the hell were you?

Avon: We just got Travis for you.

Blake: What?!

Sue: (as Blake) But I loved Travis! I won’t be able to live without him following me around the galaxy in those tight leather trousers of his. Noooooo!

Me: Please, stop it.

On the planet Goth, a shouty chief named Gola is entertained by his fool.

Sue: Nice yurt.

The KeeperThe chief is joined by a familiar face.

Sue: Oh look, it’s Travis. What a surprise. It was so obvious that Travis wasn’t dead, the director didn’t even bother to surprise us. Travis simply strolled into the wide shot. He didn’t even get a close-up, that’s how shocking this is.

Gola has the hots for Jenna.

Gola: A beautiful woman. Indeed she is so.

Sue: Pervy git.

Meanwhile, in another yurt somewhere on Goth…

Sue: Right, so Servalan and Travis are at it again. One minute she wants to blow his arm off, the next minute she wants to blow –

Me: Stop it.

Travis attempts to contact his pursuit ship with the galaxy’s largest mobile phone.

Sue: I bet he can’t get Candy Crush Saga on that.

Travis has his sights firmly fixed on Star One.

Travis: Star One is the computer control center. It controls the climate on more than two hundred worlds. Communications, security, food production – it controls them all. It is the key to our very lives.

Sue: Talk about putting all your eggs in one basket. The Federation aren’t very bright, are they.

The KeeperAnd then Sue makes a startling assessment:

Sue: When you think about it, Avon and Travis aren’t that different from one another. They both want the same thing at the end of the day. Actually, I think Avon and Servalan would make a great team. I could see them ruling the universe together. Yes, maybe they will team up and Blake will have to stop them. That’s what I’d do if I was in charge of Blake’s 7: I’d replace Travis with Avon. Simple.

Back on the Liberator, Zen detects a Federation ship leaving Goth.

Avon: That must be Servalan.

Sue: Avon is bloody useless when it comes to the ‘guess who’s flying the ship’ game.

Avon tells Cally to intercept the ship, thereby repeating the same mistake he made just a few minutes ago.

Sue: He really doesn’t give a shit about Blake.

Back on Goth, Blake rescues a rival chieftain from certain death.

Sue: Bloody hell! Blake did something vaguely heroic for a change.

Rod: My name is Rod. Greetings.

Sue: A Goth named Rodney! I’ve seen everything now.

Gola attempts to impress Jenna with his warrior ways.

Gola: The Federation means nothing to me. I live as my ancestors have lived. We are a warrior people! We fight to live and we live to fight!

Sue: Does this guy get all the jobs that Brian Blessed turns down?

I’m sorry to report that Sue cheered when Gola slapped Vila across the face.

The KeeperSue: You made me dress as this jester, once.

Me: Erm…

Sue: You must remember. Marco Polo.

Me: Oh God, yes. The time I made you cosplay as Tutte Lemkow. You’ll never let me forget that, will you. I said I was sorry. Anyway, that isn’t Tutte Lemkow; he just looks like him.

Sue: Well, just so you know, I’m not dressing up as him as well.

Me: What about Jenna?

Sue: Don’t push it.

Jenna spends some quality time with Gola’s sister, Tara.

Sue: At least Jenna got off the ship for a few hours. True, she’s about to be raped, but at least she got some fresh air. Actually, on second thoughts, she didn’t even get that. Poor Jenna.

Tara: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA ETC.

Sue: I’ll have what she’s having.

Gola wants to pair-bond so Jenna lunges for his thong.

Sue: Just get him drunk, pinch his thong, and then teleport out of there – job’s a good ‘un. But I’d get a move on if I were you; you don’t want to end up with the wrong thong.

The KeeperDown in the cells, Blake makes contact with a hysterical old man.

Sue: It’s… It’s… It’s Monty Python!

Meanwhile, Servalan threatens Gola with the full might of the Federation while Jenna and Vila watch from the sidelines.

Sue: Servalan didn’t say hello to two of her greatest enemies. Either we’ve missed an important scene or the writer doesn’t give a shit about these characters.

The fool drops Vila in the shit and the poor sod is dragged off to the cells.

Sue: His screams should be getting quieter as he leaves the set but they’re getting louder and louder. He’s just standing behind that flat, shouting. He’s giving me a headache.

Blake finds Vila behind bars.

Blake: Is Jenna all right?

Vila: She’s pair-bonding with the chief.

Blake: Good.

Sue: EH?

The KeeperCould it be that Jenna is falling for Gola’s charms?

Sue: She’s faking it. And it isn’t the only thing she’ll be faking tonight if this goes the way I think it’s going.

Gola’s sister delights in telling her brother that he’s destined to die.

Sue: She’s the best thing in this story by a mile.

Vila is released from the cells and told to act the fool.

Sue: Vila’s found his true vocation in life. It’s as if this episode was made for him. Actually, do you know what this episode really needs?

Me: Tell me.

Sue: More Avon. Where the hell is he?

The KeeperRod and Gola fight to the death with spiky things on their hands.

Sue: So you don’t have to stab anyone with that thing, you just point it at the other person and scream. Is that how it works? Because if it doesn’t work like that, this fight is a bit shit.

Derek Martinus’ hand-held camera work is singled out for praise, but this doesn’t last very long.

Sue: The director is giving it a bloody good go, but the stunt choreography is a bit shit. And when did Blake decide to walk around with a dead fox draped over his shoulder? What’s that all about?

Gola wins the battle but he loses the war. His victory chalice is poisoned and he falls to the floor.

Jenna: Gola!

Sue: Why is Jenna upset that the man who was about to rape her has dropped dead? I thought she’d be relieved. That’s very weird.

When Blake and Jenna discover that neither Rodney nor Gola are the eponymous Keeper, Tara says it’s probably their dad who’s been banged up in the cells below.

The KeeperTara: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA ETC.

Sue: The vapours must be their version of laughing gas.

Blake reaches the old man, but it’s too late: Travis did a runner with Star One’s co-ordinates ages ago.

Sue: Travis outplayed them all. And Travis is shit, so what does that make Blake?

The old man is on death’s door.

Sue: That guy has been down there for years. If he dies the same day that Blake needs to speak to him, I won’t be very happy.

The old man dies.

Sue: He was perfectly fine five minutes ago! That’s lazy scriptwriting. They didn’t even shoot him first.

However, all is not lost because Lurgen implanted Star One’s co-ordinates in the fool’s brain.

Fool: The location of Star One is at grid reference C one-seven-three-two-zero in the eleventh sector…

Blake: The fool to keep a secret that Lurgen never wanted in the first place.

The KeeperSue: But why he would give him this big secret if he didn’t want anybody to know about it? That’s just asking for trouble. I’m not convinced. It was just a way to string out another bloody episode.

Blake and the gang return to the Liberator with their prize.

Sue: Quick! Write it down before you forget it.

Avon: Another few seconds and I would have left you, Blake.

Sue: I’m surprised Blake didn’t punch his lights out after everything Avon’s done today. Naughty Avon.

Jenna: And on, with luck, to Star One.

Cue credits.

Sue: What’s the next episode called, Neil?

Me: Star One, love.

Sue: Thank **** for that.

The Score:

Sue: It was all right, I suppose. Nothing much happened. Avon was hardly in it again. Blake was bloody useless again. They mentioned Star One a lot again. Do you want me to go on?

Me: Not really.

Sue: OK, so the old woman made me laugh, the direction was a little better than usual, Jenna got to leave the ship for a quick flirt, and Travis wasn’t in it long enough to annoy me. But at the end of the day, that episode was just more filler. I can’t wait for Star One. Can we watch it now, please?

Me: No.

4/10

Next Time:

Warning: Glen’s trailer DEFINITELY includes spoilers for the next episode. Please proceed with caution.

The next update will be published on Wednesday. Thanks.

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43 comments

  • April 18, 2014 8:29 pmPosted 3 years ago
    encyclops

    Sue: Oh no. I really hate medieval Sci-Fi. It really gets on my tits.

    Right??? Mine too.

    Sue: She’s the best thing in this story by a mile.

    Nah…

    Sue: More Avon. Where the hell is he?

    …yep, now you’ve got it. πŸ™‚

    Glen, that trailer…you’ve outdone yourself!

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    April 18, 2014 8:48 pmPosted 3 years ago
    executrix

    Tara’s Theme…I was expecting *her* to turn out to be The Keeper, and for Jenna or, looking at it from another angle, Servalan to figure it out.

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    April 18, 2014 8:53 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Sean Alexander

    I had considered spending at least part of the first day of this bank holiday weekend watching this. But then thought better of it. Instead, the essay on the effects of globalization on both warfare and terrorism is coming on nicely. And writing about sleeper cells, suicide bombers and the Jihadist extremists still seems more of a laugh than this.

    Just let them find f**king Star One, somebody!

  • April 18, 2014 8:56 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Este Ike

    I haven’t watched this one in years, cos its rubbish. Cackling crones and cod-Shakespearean brute-kings give me a rash.

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    April 18, 2014 9:49 pmPosted 3 years ago
    San

    Servalan was fab (but she always is); other than that I’ve nothing nice to say about this one.

    And yes, somebody please slap a moratorium on pseudo-medieval trash for a couple centuries!

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    April 18, 2014 9:50 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Dave Sanders

    That seemed quick. Couldn’t wait to get it over and done with? Don’t blame you.

    The Keeper is basically The Pirate Planet without the cleverness and wit, and every bit as tiresome as that description makes it sound. Leave it to Alan Prior to make the pursuit of ultimate power BORING.

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    April 18, 2014 9:52 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Dave Sanders

    So that’s what David Bowie was high on all these years; helium.

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    April 18, 2014 9:57 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Dave Sanders

    The Wife And Blake is like Game Of Thrones, but more incensed.

    Yes I know I said that joke on Twitter before the Gambit post appeared, but I don’t care. πŸ™‚

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    April 18, 2014 10:45 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Simon Harries

    I watched this episode once, back in the 90s when the VHS came out. It was shit then and I’m sure my opinion wouldn’t change if I saw it again. But with so many other really good things to see, or see again, why would I bother? However your next episode is a good’un!

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    April 18, 2014 10:52 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Robin

    The Keeper is crashingly dull, so dull I’ve forgotten it existed a few hours after watching it. Every time.

    Sally Knyvette received some advice from Bruce Purchase about acting (EDITED FOR SPOILERS). Which presumably went along the lines of ‘if you go back to acting school you can bellow your lines at the moon every week like a good un’.

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      April 19, 2014 3:37 amPosted 3 years ago
      Frankymole

      Purchase was good value in Quatermass and The New Avengers – Sally Knyvette was very keen on him (she still fondly calls him “Brucey Purchasey”). I wonder what he was like in other roles e.g. on stage? Might be surprisingly subtle, like BLESSED can be. However, I do love the Pirate Captain. One of the all-time Who greats – and one of Douglas Adams’s best comic/pathetic characters.

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    April 18, 2014 11:18 pmPosted 3 years ago
    wyngatecarpenter

    Great episode ….just me then…?
    Average script but the late Derek Martinus does a good job with it and the guiest cast are having fun. For once Jenna gets something to do. So Avon’s not in it much, who cares, I’m sure he’ll get more to do in the not too distant future.
    Bruce Purchase does indeed get to do the jobs that Brian Blessed turns down, but I think he’s better (probably never climbed Everest though). I really like the “fool knows everything and nothing scene” as well, but perhaps I just like creepy droning synths. The actor playing the Fool is spot on, the ideal face to play a medieval jester.
    The only thing I don’t like is the inconsistency of Travis and Servalan suddenly being allies again after Gambit. Somehow Travis has never seemed like the kind of person to let bygones be bygones in the past, so why now?
    To summarise, you’re all wrong!

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      April 18, 2014 11:21 pmPosted 3 years ago
      wyngatecarpenter

      I’m drunk by the way, but I rate The Keeper just as highly when I’m sober

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        April 19, 2014 3:39 amPosted 3 years ago
        Frankymole

        When we get to “Power”, I’d love to read your review πŸ™‚

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          April 19, 2014 2:37 pmPosted 3 years ago
          wyngatecarpenter

          Funny you should mention that as I’ve just reached Season 4 and guess what episode I’m about to watch next.
          The last time I watched it I thought it was complete and utter pants, I’m not expecting my opinion to have changed. Not in the same league as The Keeper.

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      April 19, 2014 3:42 amPosted 3 years ago
      Frankymole

      Reading “Liberation”, there’s a theory about what Travis has been up to in-between ‘Gambit’ and this, or even between ‘Voice From the Past’ and ‘Gambit’. So he may already be “playing” Servalan and in his mind isn’t her dupe or ally… more telling is why she should keep going back to him? Merely as a lodestone for finding Blake? Or does he know more about the functioning of Star One than anyone else?

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      April 19, 2014 10:41 amPosted 3 years ago
      Ann worrall

      Avon not in it who cares?? You have to be joking. This episode stinks because it’s boring boring boring.

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        April 20, 2014 11:14 pmPosted 3 years ago
        wyngatecarpenter

        Avon is fine in moderation. Bruce Purchase is better than Darrow though, so Avon is hardly missed in this episode.

        • April 21, 2014 8:05 amPosted 3 years ago
          encyclops

          Bruce Purchase is better than Darrow though

          You, my friend, are nuts!

          I.e. you’re a Blake’s 7 fan. πŸ˜€

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            April 21, 2014 1:13 pmPosted 3 years ago
            wyngatecarpenter

            Thanks! Any comments I make from now on about Darrow should be viewed in the context of the fact that I am now watching Season 4

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            April 22, 2014 4:26 pmPosted 3 years ago
            Ann worrall

            Oh sweetie !! I love season 4. So madly over the top. Which is what makes it memorable. Jack Nicholson in the shining. Alan Rickman in Robin Hood. Paul Darrow in Blakkkke’s Seven. What’s. The. Matter? Enjoying. Operatic. Excess. Too rich for you?

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          April 22, 2014 10:14 pmPosted 3 years ago
          wyngatecarpenter

          You certainly have Darrow’s diction down to a tee! Depends on the excess I suppose, I clearly enjoy the overacting in The Keeper more than anyone else here.
          I will reserve further comments on Season 4 until we get to Season 4 – the moderator is always watching

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            April 23, 2014 11:28 amPosted 3 years ago
            Ann worrall

            I suppose the difference is I don’t care too
            Much for the characters that are overacting ( except when they overact with Villa) because I find Jenna and Blake so boring and dislikeable. And I fancy Paul Darrow. And Alan Rickman and well now you probably get the message!

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          May 11, 2014 3:17 pmPosted 3 years ago
          Fiona

          There should be no moderation when it comes to Avon. Can never have too much.

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    April 19, 2014 12:21 amPosted 3 years ago
    Mat Dolphin

    The Keeper’s job is to lower audience expectations before the next episode. And it succeeds rather nicely!

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    April 19, 2014 3:28 amPosted 3 years ago
    Frankymole

    “When did Blake decide to walk around with a dead fox draped over his shoulder? What’s that all about?” Hmm, a bit of a theme for Gareth Thomas’s future acting suggestions there… no spoilers since he wasn’t allowed to put the dead rabbit on his head anyway πŸ™‚

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    April 19, 2014 6:13 amPosted 3 years ago
    jsd

    I’ve been trying to rewatch all of B7 along with the blog, but I have to admit I only made it 15 minutes into this before I wanted to kill myself. I skipped to the end to see the reveal of the clue but that’s all I could take.

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    April 19, 2014 8:31 amPosted 3 years ago
    wyngatecarpenter

    Sober now, I stand by everything I wrote. As a script it’s filler but the finished result works very well. 8/10 at least

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      April 19, 2014 10:52 amPosted 3 years ago
      Ann worrall

      Are you sure your brain prints not on a thong?

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        April 19, 2014 9:29 pmPosted 3 years ago
        Frankymole

        We’ve got thongs on the brain… πŸ˜€

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    April 19, 2014 11:14 amPosted 3 years ago
    Richard Lyth

    I was expecting Lurgan to turn out to be either the fool or the old man. I guess that may have been too obvious a resolution, but it would have been neater than what they actually did. As it is, Lurgan has become the SF equivalent of Godot, constantly talked about but never seen. Though I doubt Allan Prior was into his Beckett plays, somehow.

    Fairly average episode really, it was good to see Jenna getting more to do but not at the expense of Blake and Avon barely being in it. I do like the idea that Travis and Servalan are now after Star One for their own selfish ends, not just because Blake’s after it – that puts Blake’s gang into more of a heroic role, not just trying to cripple the Federation but trying to stop the bad guys from attaining absolute power. It would have been better if they’d established that a few episodes earlier, but at least it’s there now…

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      April 20, 2014 10:27 amPosted 3 years ago
      solar penguin

      You’re right. It’s an average episode. Not great, but not awful either. It only seems worse than it really is by coming after the brilliant Gambit. I’m surprised so many people here seem to hate it so much.

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    April 19, 2014 1:02 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Robert Rowles

    In comparison with Gambit it’s a let down, but the last few minutes when the fool suddenly starts speaking coordinates, and you realise the irony of Lurgen’s actions, are gripping. For that, Freda Jackson’s cackle,and Bruce Purchase’s bellow, I’d give it 6. Still nowhere near the 9 that Gambit deserved. Sod it, 10.

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    April 19, 2014 2:23 pmPosted 3 years ago
    rob

    Glenn’s ‘next time’ trailer was genius! I’m currently going through a 70’s Bowie vinyl revival at the moment and was very impressed with his Bowie ‘aliens’ impersonation πŸ™‚

    Agree totally with Sue on this one, medieval Sci-Fi gets on my tits too and I remember absolutely hating this eppy when it first aired. The Star One finale really is a gem though.

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    April 19, 2014 10:52 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Katie C

    Glen’s trailer actually was quite sad (SPOILER REMOVED) ok they can be boring, but things will never be the same again…

    Is Nicole going to watch ‘Star One’?

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    April 20, 2014 4:27 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Nick Mays

    This epsiode is so bloody annoying on so many levels. Avon takes the chance to “kill Travis once and for all” Why the hell have they never tried to blast any federation ship that be MIGFHT have been on before? Or shoot him whenever they’ve see him?

    And the inconsistency with Travis and Servalan’s ‘relationship’ really grates by now. Back in the day I was thinking, “Oh I wish they’d kill one of them and be done with it and have one villian in charge”.

    I was beginning to think that Star One would never happen, but I was mildly intruiged that the coordinates were imprinted on the Fool’s brain.

    To be fair, it does set up the finale to Season 2 quite nicely, but that’s all you can say about it…

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      May 11, 2014 3:19 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Fiona

      Blake always lets Travis go on the very thin grounds that “I will always know who is chasing me”.
      Avon just says “I have no problem shooting him in the back”

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    April 21, 2014 10:10 amPosted 3 years ago
    Dave Sanders

    The irony is that the one thing Allan Prior’s rubbish episodes have going for them is that they get the Servalan / Travis relationship the most ‘correct’; being the first appearance since Trial and the last before Star One, and following on logically from each other. Anything else in between? Nah sod it, nobody will notice and they’re all watching for Avon and Vila anyway.

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      April 21, 2014 1:22 pmPosted 3 years ago
      wyngatecarpenter

      You’re partly right but on the other hand I think the Travis story would follow more logically if you had Trial / Gambit / Star One and missed out Hostage / Voice From The Past / The Keeper. Chris Boucher had his work cut out for him.

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    April 21, 2014 2:19 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Mark Mark

    Yawn !

    Loved Glen’s trailer – these are often more entertaining than watching the actual episode…

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    April 23, 2014 4:28 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Gareth M

    What I didn’t get about the whole brain print thing, is the brain print doesn’t have coordinates. Presumedly you’d need a super duper computer (like Orac) to decode the brain print. Or is it just like an NES cartridge blow the dust of and put it into a computer and it’ll take you to Star One.

    Travis’ haircut is still silly in this episode. It’s not so much bad as just not good nor as big, silly or harsh as any of the other characters’.

    The jail set was nice. In the dark bits. In the light parts the rocka looked very styrofoamy.

    Avon seems very determined this episode to kill Travis. Perhaps it’s because all the previous times he’s had Blake around telling him that he can’t do that or they should leave him to get punished by the Supreme commander or something.

    The set design of the huts/tents I seem to recall looked good, as are the Goths’ costumes. Jenna plays being a Goth sex slave really well.

    Lurgen despite dying and everything still wanted someone to know where Star One was. No one with useful information just thinks ‘bugger that, I’m dying and everyone else can F-off’. That would admittedly throw a spanner in the works of many a narrative.

    Sue’s rating makes sense, on one viewing. I think as with a lot of Blake’s 7 it’s a lot better on a second viewing.

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    May 11, 2014 3:09 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Fiona

    Got to agree with Sue. This episode was definitely I.A. Insufficient Avon.

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    May 13, 2014 5:13 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Fiona

    See? full rack of teleport bracelets at about 2 and a half minutes in. Where did they come from?

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