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Ultraworld

A Huge Ever Growing Pulsating Bowel…

UltraworldAvon is barking orders at the crew.

Sue: Finally! Avon is finally acting like he’s in charge. It should be like this every week. They should call him sir. Especially Tarrant.

The Liberator has detected a mysterious object floating in space. Again.

Avon: All right, let’s see what this mysterious lump of nothing looks like.

Sue: Cut to Vila.

We cut to Ultraworld instead.

Sue: Oh look, it’s the Sontarans.

It is, in fact, an artificial planet.

Sue: Blake’s 7 has definitely turned into Star Trek. They just drift through space bumping into things.

The crew decide to keep their distance.

UltraworldSue: They don’t usually care about the danger; they usually rush in like a bull in a china shop. This isn’t like them at all. Maybe they’re learning from their mistakes. And we should keep our eyes on Cally. She’s bound to be taken over any minute now.

And then they all go to bed.

Sue: What? Don’t they do shifts? Shouldn’t they pull into a space lay-by if they fancy a quick snooze?

Cally is left alone on the flight deck. Either Zen has decided to throw an impromptu disco or Cally is hallucinating.

Sue: Surprise, surprise: Cally is being taken over again. That is quick, even for her; it’s got be a new record.

Cally balls up her fists and places them in front of her eyes, but when she lowers them again…

Sue: Oh, I expected her to have glowing eyes or at least some weird coloured contact lenses put in. That was a bit lazy.

Dayna seems to be perpetually annoyed with Vila. No wonder Sue likes her so much.

UltraworldSue: Vila must have tried it on with Dayna at some point. It’s written all over her face. And Vila is really annoying in this story. Come on, Neil, admit it: you wouldn’t want Vila on your team. Actually, you’d be the Vila on your team. Forget I said anything.

Cally has been taken to Ultraworld against her will, but Avon isn’t in a hurry to mount a rescue operation, even though Cally is his girlfriend. She is, you know. Sue says so.

Sue: Avon doesn’t suit brown very much. Nice jumbo corduroy, though. And Tarrant doesn’t look that great, either; his costume seems to be based on a mankini.

Tarrant is itching to visit Ultraworld.

Avon: You really believe in taking risks, don’t you?

Tarrant: Calculated ones.

Avon: Calculated on what? Your fingers?

Sue (laughing) I’ve noticed that it doesn’t matter who’s writing the script, Avon always gets the best lines. Either Paul Darrow writes them himself or everybody just gets Avon. No one gets Vila, though. We’ve glimpsed his hidden depths but nobody can be bothered to explore them. It’s a shame, really.

Ultraworldvon, Tarrant and Dayna teleport to Ultraworld, which Avon believes is a giant computer. It isn’t long before our heroes stumble across three humanoid men.

Sue: It’s the Blue Man Group.

Me: Which one is Tobias Funke?

They are the Ultras.

Me: If Nicol was here, she’d tell us that the Ultra nearest to us looks like Richard O’Brien from The Crystal Maze, so I’ll have to do it for her.

Sue: I like their clothes. It’s a very imaginative design. The make-up is a bit dodgy, though. It’s a good job this isn’t in HD.

There then follows an amazing scene where Vila tries – and fails – to school Orac in the art of comedy. And Sue loves every single moment of it.

Orac: Do you have another riddle for me to analyse?

Vila: You’d only spoil it.

Sue: That was very funny. They bounce off each other really well. I’m not sure what that scene has to do with anything but it was fun to watch.

Avon uses his teleport bracelet to contact Vila.

UltraworldSue: Avon is making a shadow puppet of a dove on that wall. It’s the only explanation I can come up with for what he’s doing with his hands.

When Tarrant investigates the Ultras’ control room, he ends up placing a round peg in a round hole. Clever Tarrant.

Sue: What possessed Tarrant to do that? That could have set off the planet’s auto-destruct system for all he knew. It could have done anything!

A man appears on a monitor – Sue reckons he’s a bored accountant – and Tarrant questions him. When the Ultras return, Tarrant hides.

Sue: I hope they don’t check their browser history.

Tarrant confronts the Ultras when he discovers that they have siphoned off Cally’s personality for their own needs, but Tarrant cannot resist the power of the core. Whatever that is. Luckily for him, Dayna sends in one of her explosive drones to blow everybody up.

Sue: Fabulous.

Me: I’d like to know how she hid that bomb in her trouser suit. Actually, it doesn’t bear thinking about…

Avon is keeping watch over Cally when he is attacked by one of Ultraworld’s menial workers.

Sue: Taken down by a bald, middle-aged accountant. Bloody hell, Avon, what are you playing at?

Tarrant has finally worked out the plot.

UltraworldTarrant: Ever seen a lizard suck a bird’s egg dry? Well, that’s what they were doing to Cally’s brain. Draining her memory and personality and transferring them to the memory store.

Sue: If they try that with Tarrant, they won’t get any personality out of him, no matter how hard they squeeze.

The Ultras want to put the Liberator in their museum.

Sue: Everybody wants that bloody ship. It’s more trouble than it’s worth, anyway; they’d spend the rest of their lives dealing with Servalan if they ever got their hands on it. I don’t think she’s in this story, by the way. Good, isn’t it?

Vila is panicking on the Liberator but Orac offers little comfort.

Vila: Oh, shut up you arrogant pile of junk.

Sue: The “Wahaaaaaaa” noise Orac makes when they turn him off always make me laugh. He sounds like a bee falling off a tall building.

Me: Eh?

Tarrant uses a map to determine their location on Ultraworld.

Tarrant: That’s where we are. Here.

UltraworldSue: There’s a Starbucks down on the left. Come on!

When Dayna inadvertently disturbs a menial, he looks straight through her before going about his business.

Sue: They remind me of the Borg, except for the fact that they look like chartered surveyors. If I’m honest with you, the Borg were a bit scarier.

The Ultras want to suck Avon dry.

Avon: First of all you have to make me sleep. I tend to suffer from insomnia.

Ultra 2: You will sleep.

Sue: Make him watch Doctor Who from the beginning. That’ll do it.

Me: They could always make him watch this.

Sue: Don’t you like this story, Neil? I’m rather enjoying it.

Avon: I will not sleep!

Me: I know how he feels. If I wasn’t keeping notes, I’d be out like a light.

UltraworldSue: Maybe I should take over the blog since you seem to be the one struggling with Blake’s 7. Come on, Neil. It’s all right, this.

Dayna and Tarrant find themselves in a room with a conveyor belt.

Sue: Meanwhile, in Ultraworld’s cake factory…

Dayna: They’re feeding something.

Tarrant: But what?

Sue: Cakes.

Not only is Ultraworld alive, this is the place where they feed the dead accountants to it. Tarrant hears a strange, throbbing sound…

Sue: Whatever it is, I think it’s got indigestion.

Tarrant and Dayna search for the planet’s core.

Sue: Are they in the bowels of the planet? And by bowels, I really do mean bowels.

And there it is: a huge ever growing pulsating brain that rules from the centre of the Ultraworld.

UltraworldSue: Are you sure it isn’t a giant colostomy bag?

The Ultras monitor Tarrant and Dayna’s every move. Ultra 1 demands a large pointy stick so he can point out their position on a map.

Sue: You’re sitting right in front of the screen. Use your bloody finger!

It turns out that the large pointy thing can set off explosions in Ultraworld’s tunnels. And it’s great for PowerPoint presentations, too.

Sue: This episode reminds me of Doctor Who.

Me: The giant pulsating brain?

Sue: No, the endless corridors. There’s lots of running up and down for no apparent reason this week. I quite like it, though. It’s just like old times.

Vila is still worried about Avon.

Sue: Why didn’t Vila contact Tarrant when Avon lost contact with him? What has he been waiting for? I’m sorry, Neil, but Vila is completely hopeless. I feel sorry for the actor who plays him.

Tarrant instructs Vila to stand by the teleport.

Sue: Why don’t they just get Orac to do that? He’s more reliable than Vila – and Orac is shit!

Dayna and Tarrant are captured by the Ultras, which leads to a scene that almost makes this adventure worthwhile…

UltraworldSue: The dirty bastards!

Yes, the Ultras want to watch Tarrant and Dayna, you know… do it.

Sue: I know the aliens are blue, but this is taking it to extremes. Is this really happening, Neil?

Ultra 1: We have collected a great deal of information about Earth and its dominant species, with one important omission. We intend to rectify that deficiency.

Me: They’ve collected a great deal of information about Earth but they’ve never downloaded a single porn film. I find that very hard to believe.

Sue: I notice that Tarrant isn’t arguing about this plan of theirs very much. I bet he can’t believe his luck.

Me: I just hope they win a crystal at the end of this challenge.

Ultra 1: Has the bonding ceremony begun?

Sue: Tarrant is always asked that when he’s in bed with a woman.

A camera records their every move.

Sue: The dirty perverts. This is going straight on Ultraworld’s Intranet.

Sue doesn’t understand why the Ultras couldn’t extract the information they needed from Cally.

ultraworld19Sue: Unless Cally is a virgin, of course. And we all know that’s bollocks. And if they are really that desperate to watch people having sex, why didn’t they get their army of bald accountants to put on an orgy for them? It doesn’t make sense.

Tarrant: How’s that, darling? More comfortable?

Dayna: Oh yes. Much better. Thank you, darling.

Sue: But if you ever put it there again, I’ll kill you.

Dayna removes a small object from her mouth.

Sue: She’s picking Tarrant’s pubic hair out of her teeth.

It turns out that Dayna really has been hiding explosive devices in her cavities after all…

Me: I don’t think that was the sort of bang they were expecting.

Sue: At least the earth moved for Tarrant.

As the Liberator is dragged towards Ultraworld, Vila is desperately reciting limericks.

Vila: There was a young man from… from…

Orac: From where? Think.

UltraworldSue: Nantucket!

Cally is about to be fed to the core when Dayna and Tarrant intervene.

Sue: This is officially the worst fight I’ve seen in Blake’s 7. He’s in his fifties! Come on, Tarrant, you can take him!

The pulsating brain/bowel is showing signs of strain.

Sue: When that thing finally goes off, it’s going to spray shit everywhere. It probably ate an accountant who was past his sell-by date.

Tarrant retrieves Avon’s and Cally’s personalities, which have been stored in a couple of jars.

Sue: They should return them to the wrong bodies. That would be fun. They could leave them like that for an episode. It would be interesting. It would be especially interesting to see if they still fancied each other.

Sue is disappointed when the script raises this tantalising possibility and then fails to do anything with it.

Sue: What a waste. They had a new and exciting episode right there and they threw it away.

The core begins to collapse.

UltraworldSue: I’ve heard of acid reflux but this is ridiculous.

The Ultras don’t understand what is causing the core to fail, but they suspect that it must be emanating from the Liberator.

Sue: It’s Vila. Vila is going to save the day because the giant bowel hasn’t got a sense of humour. Genius.

Tarrant kills two Ultras in cold blood.

Sue: How weird was that? Tarrant looked really sad after he killed them, like it was the first time he’d ever killed anyone. Maybe Tarrant isn’t as hard as likes to think he is.

Me: I didn’t hear Dayna complaining.

The Liberator attempts to break free of its display cabinet.

Sue: It’s going to snap in two! You have to take the pins out first!

The ship miraculously breaks free.

Tarrant: Brace yourselves!

Sue: At least they are trying to match the wobbling set with the wobbling model. It’s just a dinky toy, isn’t it? It’s pretty good, though. For its time.

UltraworldThe core explodes and the last remaining Ultra falls to pieces.

Sue: You know, that really wasn’t that bad.

The episode concludes with Vila taking credit for their escape. Avon gives him a backhanded compliment and everybody laughs. Especially Sue.

Sue: That was a lovely scene at the end. You know, I really enjoyed that.

Cue credits.

The Score:

Sue: It was a bit daft, but it was exciting and quite funny, too. I liked the location they used, and the sets were all right. And Servalan wasn’t in it, which is always nice. Yeah, that was fun. Why are you looking at me like that?

8/10

Sue’s scores are officially beginning to worry me.

Next Time:

We’ll be updating on Wednesday and Friday next week. Until then, I’ll leave you with this:

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98 comments

  • Visit site
    June 13, 2014 7:27 pmPosted 3 years ago
    jsd

    Sorry but this was absolute pants. It took me days to get through it, 5 or 10 minutes at a time before I couldn’t take it any more. Just… arrrggghhhhh

  • Visit site
    June 13, 2014 7:34 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Dave Sanders

    “What is this Earth thing you call kissing”
    While the telepath’s brain has gone missing?
    A bit Season Seventeen
    And the Williams regime,
    From the way that they’re taking the pissing.

    • Visit site
      June 13, 2014 8:53 pmPosted 3 years ago
      wyngatecarpenter

      Every Williams story urinates on Ultraworld from a great height (apart from Underworld)

      • Visit site
        June 14, 2014 2:06 amPosted 3 years ago
        wyngatecarpenter

        In fact it occurs to me I should always steer clear of any episode of a sci-fi series if the episode title begins with “U” and ends with “world”

    • Visit site
      June 13, 2014 8:56 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Anniew

      Oh God what have I unleashed. Though actually this is really good. Can I take credit for it?

      ‘Tarrant is always asked that when he’s in bed with a woman’ Genius Sue!

      Wacky details just about save this for me. Avon’s geranium circuitry ( or whatever). The oh so serious chief Bluey. Orac and Villa. The exploding teeth scenario. At least it’s fun!

  • Visit site
    June 13, 2014 7:37 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Glen Allen

    You know Ultraworld is one of Season 3 that I don’t mind . Im not sure I’d have gone as high as an 8 but it really doesn’t bother me at all. There are much worse ones so I don’t quite get why it’s not more popular than it is.

    Its also funny watching them in order again to see how Cally has gone from guerilla fighter to a useless Deanna Troi. “He’s hiding something…but I don’t know what it is”. I’ve been taken over by aliens for 3 weeks running and sitting by the teleport for the rest of it.
    I think she’s a bit fed up

  • Visit site
    June 13, 2014 7:40 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Dave Sanders

    That ‘idiotic tintacks’ comedy class scene is the perfect metaphor for this blog; Orac is the comments section and Vila’s face is Neil reading it. 🙂

  • Visit site
    June 13, 2014 8:09 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Rob

    Wasn’t quite sure if Sue would enjoy this one as ‘Ultraworld’ is a light sci-fi romp and it’s the closest that B7 gets to classic Star Trek (the wobbly 3rd season) but despite the ludicrous plot, this eppy is a lot of fun and I love this exchange:

    ULTRA 2 There is another process involved. Nucleoplasmic absorption.
    TARRANT Oh, well that’s a relief. I thought it might be something complicated.

    Great model work too featuring the 3 foot definitive Liberator model – I do wish that Dinky had got round to making one.

    • Visit site
      June 17, 2014 10:56 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Dan

      Thought exactly the same; this is the Blake’s 7 crew in a Star Trek episode. Going around space jumping into things, facing ludicrously overwhelming odds, with an amusing resolution.

  • Visit site
    June 13, 2014 8:15 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Mark Mark

    You know, the only thing keeping me watching Blake’s 7, which, sadly, I am finding increasingly dull, is these blogs. But I’m confused about Sue – as I get more bored, she seems to be getting more excited – it must have been that sex scene (great commentary) that did it.

    The other thing that occurred to me whilst I was pondering during this was how much better Dr Who was around this time (JNT about to take over).

    Please – when will the pain end ??! I hope this series has an ending as cracking as the last one…

    • Visit site
      June 13, 2014 8:27 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Rob

      JNT’s Dr Who was better??? I found all that JNT Who a bit too dour and poorly acted – JNT was also bitter that B7 was getting a higher budget that year but it was a good call on the part of the BBC as these eppys of B7 were getting an average of 10 million viewers.

    • Visit site
      June 13, 2014 8:50 pmPosted 3 years ago
      wyngatecarpenter

      “I hope this series has an ending as cracking as the last one…”

      I don’t think you’ll be too disappointed on the score

      • Visit site
        June 14, 2014 5:22 pmPosted 3 years ago
        Marky Mark

        I’m going to hold you to that 🙂

    • Visit site
      June 13, 2014 9:05 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Anniew

      You could always fake it like Dayna and still contribute to the blog. Random greats and pants would liven the debate as outraged fans rise up calling for your blood or praising your amazing endowments ( to the debate …although of course you may have amazing……..) And at least you’d save yourself the pain. You could even make up spurious factoids or comment on brilliant or lame plot details that never happened. Think of the potential mayhem. Stop moaning and get creative

      • Visit site
        June 14, 2014 5:24 pmPosted 3 years ago
        Marky Mark

        Get creative – hmm. I was never much good at English at school, although I managed two good ‘O’ levels (that ages me !), probably because, fact fans, I was taught English by Tony Little, who is now Headmaster of Eton College !!!

        Anyway, how’s about this…

        There once was a man called Tarrant
        Who really was terribly arrogant
        He had curly hair
        Just like Lionel Blair
        Whilst Avon just continued being petulant

        • Visit site
          June 14, 2014 9:03 pmPosted 3 years ago
          Anniew

          :-). Now pretend you’ve watched the next one and make up something you found very funny in it! Such fun!

  • Visit site
    June 13, 2014 8:25 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Marcus Sheppard

    “Vila: There was a young man from… from…
    Orac: From where? Think.
    Sue: Nantucket!”

    Hahahahahahahahahahaha.

    • Visit site
      June 13, 2014 9:15 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Anniew

      Oh I just can’t resist

      There was a young man from Nantucket
      Who hid from the Core in a bucket
      When found by a Bluey
      He claimed it was phooey
      That two were needed to f**ck-it.

  • June 13, 2014 8:35 pmPosted 3 years ago
    encyclops

    Best post so far, and that’s saying a lot. So many great lines:

    Actually, you’d be the Vila on your team. Forget I said anything.

    He sounds like a bee falling off a tall building.

    and best of all

    Tarrant is always asked that when he’s in bed with a woman.

    “Pants” is the best word for “Ultraworld” — so silly, so generic sci-fi — and yet I rather enjoy it too. More badassery from Dayna, Orac learning about jokes, and the Periwinkle Man Group (the middle one was actually kind of cute). I feel sad for “Trial,” but I definitely see why Sue enjoyed this.

  • Visit site
    June 13, 2014 8:46 pmPosted 3 years ago
    wyngatecarpenter

    A very dramatic episode featuring probably the most memorable scene in Blakes 7. Yes, I’ve just watched the final episode. Ultraworld on the other hand is a pile of pants. The “sex” scene and the scenes with Vila and ORAC are quite funny, and I think the actors playing the Ultras are quite good. That’s about it. The bit where Tarrant and Dayna are lost and the next second find a map of the whole complex on the wall is lazy writing isn’t it? Not that changing that would rescue the episode.
    I can see the Dr Who comparison , but only just. Dr Who with all the interesting or exciting bits surgically removed. It’s a bad Star Trek pastiche, right down to the logical aliens having a meltdown when faced by human irrationality.
    I hate to bring up this old chestnut but Trial 1/10; Ultraworld 8/10???? Wtf??? Oh suppose it’d be boring if we were all the same.
    Actually no, Sue’s just wrong

    • Visit site
      June 13, 2014 9:33 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Dave Sanders

      Ultraworld is pretty much playing straight the same kind of tropes that were a deliberate pastiche when The Creature From The Pit did it just a few months earlier.

      • Visit site
        June 13, 2014 9:44 pmPosted 3 years ago
        Dave Sanders

        There’s one crucial difference between third-season B7 (all four seasons, in fact) and third-season Trek; there, it’s the first and last episodes that are held to be the really really shit ones.

  • Visit site
    June 13, 2014 8:57 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Frankymole

    I guess Dayna hid her Cybermat-bomb in the same place Captain Jack kept his Trin-ee and Zu-zanna zapping gun in Bad Wold. Ugh.

    The lead Ultra reminds me of Angus Deayton – similar look, diction and sarcasm. Though slightly less kinky.

    • Visit site
      June 13, 2014 9:11 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Frankymole

      ^^ Bad Wolf, not Wold.

  • Visit site
    June 13, 2014 8:58 pmPosted 3 years ago
    wyngatecarpenter

    Ultras are also extreme football hooligan gangs in Europe. I don’t know if any of them dress like these Ultras. I’d like to think they do.

  • Visit site
    June 13, 2014 9:19 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Anniew

    Arghhhh. My ‘fake it, comments were intended for Marky Mark but as usual I’ve managed to post them without specifying.

  • Visit site
    June 13, 2014 9:27 pmPosted 3 years ago
    San

    Snoozefest with cringefest intermission. Bah.

    Looooved the “bee dropping off a tall building”–THAT IS EXACTLY RIGHT and also I intend to use it in the future! I’m running low on my Doppler effect metaphors.

    • Visit site
      June 13, 2014 9:48 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Dave Sanders

      “cringefest intermission….”

      An interlewd.

      • Visit site
        June 13, 2014 10:45 pmPosted 3 years ago
        San

        LOL!

  • Visit site
    June 13, 2014 9:39 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Dave Sanders

    Some of you may be aware that I eke out a niche designing pinball games these days. My project manager has always wanted to do a proper Blake’s 7 machine; however his favourite episode is, er, Ultraworld.

    Oh dear. Should I call Horizon, or ring up social services?

    • June 13, 2014 10:58 pmPosted 3 years ago
      encyclops

      I’m not sure I can think of a better episode on which to model a pinball game, actually.

      Unless the model is Orac itself. Can you imagine flipping a silver ball around inside his circuitry, triggering tetchy little quotes every time you lit it up enough? I’d play the hell out of that.

      • Visit site
        June 17, 2014 2:34 amPosted 3 years ago
        Amy

        THIS. SO MUCH THIS.

        You win the internet.

    • Visit site
      June 14, 2014 2:11 amPosted 3 years ago
      wyngatecarpenter

      I work for social services. If your project manager is an adult and has the mental capacity to do so then he is free to make his own decisions even if they are unwise (as the decision to make an Ultraworld pinball machine clearly is). And anyway we have too much to deal with as it is without dealing with people who think Ultraworld is good.

      • Visit site
        June 15, 2014 6:37 pmPosted 3 years ago
        Fiona

        I think its good! I feel like I am going insane! Will somebody explain to me what was wrong with it? It didnt have any long explanations in the middle. The design of the blue things was cool especially what looked like laser burns on their backs. and the middle one had a scary expression.

        Avon looked great and had plenty of sharp stuff to say. The zombies…the way they really did look like ordinary people, were chilling, I thought, because of that. I thought that was awful the way it looked right through Dayna. I have a vague memory of this episode giving me nightmares.

        Only thing that annoyed me was Cally yet again being taken over. Time to give Cally the Sayonara Airlock, I reckon. I mean, its a hell of a liability on any vehicle, a person who cant control access to their own mind. How many times has she given the ship away now? Running the bathroom cabinet doesnt seem to make up for this.

    • Visit site
      June 14, 2014 4:37 pmPosted 3 years ago
      jsd

      That’s fantastic that you design pinball. I’m a competitive player in a local league. A B7 machine would be amazing.

  • Visit site
    June 13, 2014 9:48 pmPosted 3 years ago
    dpc

    Interesting score! I’d give it a 3. I thought “Kairos” had more than Ultraworld, but mostly because Ultraworld is one cliche after another… She’s comments alone are 10/10, though!

  • Visit site
    June 13, 2014 10:34 pmPosted 3 years ago
    dronid

    Ultraworld is really a cutdown Redemption from Season 2 isn’t it? Even down to Orac scrambling it in the end. And queue another good laugh at the end after a whole civilisation is wiped out…

  • Visit site
    June 13, 2014 10:43 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Katie C

    There once was a writer named Hoyle
    Who imagined a brain like a boil
    Saved the day with bad riddles
    And space porn in the middle
    It’s a wonder the fans are so loyal

    • Visit site
      June 13, 2014 11:04 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Dave Sanders

      I’m waiting for the first Ultraworld limerick to end with ‘Time And The Rani’. No, I’m not writing it.

      • Visit site
        June 13, 2014 11:12 pmPosted 3 years ago
        Dave Sanders

        You’re thinking there’s no point in fighting it,
        Inevitably I’m greenlighting it,
        And rhyming this blarney
        With ‘Time And The Rani’;
        The answer is no, I’m not writing it.

        • Visit site
          June 13, 2014 11:39 pmPosted 3 years ago
          Anniew

          Ok you win the Sophron!

  • June 13, 2014 11:05 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Mat Dolphin

    Bring out your Orb albums! Oh, and how many crystals did they get in the maze?

  • Visit site
    June 13, 2014 11:34 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Chris Allen

    “it doesn’t matter who’s writing the script, Avon always gets the best lines”

    I’m guessing Chris Boucher puts those in. I was thinking that Paul Darrow could have had him do a quick dialogue polish on his book “Lucifer” that I listened to the other day. Avon just doesn’t sound quite right in that book, partly because of the lack of quality “zingers”.

    “We have collected a great deal of information about Earth”

    They know Avon’s name, they know about his computer fraud, they know what what a banking cartel is, but they know nothing of luuurve!

    Sounds very Star Trek. “I did not know it could be like this between people. Is it always so in the place you come from?”.

    “I guess Dayna hid her Cybermat-bomb in the same place Captain Jack kept his Trin-ee and Zu-zanna zapping gun in Bad Wold”

    Gives a whole new meaning to the idea of explosive diarrhea. 🙂

    “Ultraworld is really a cutdown Redemption from Season 2 isn’t it?”

    Spot on.

    A giant structure in space that’s really a giant brain, serviced by blue clad humanoids in thrall to it. The Liberator is swallowed up by it but, thanks to Orac scrambling its thought processes, the crew are able to escape.

    Unfortunately, Blue Man Group do not compare in any way to the magnificence that is Harriet Philpin’s lycra clad posterior. Sorry guys.

    Not a bad episode but kind of uninspired. Nice effects though and a good use of locations (Camden Deep Level Shelter) so overall, I’d give it 6/10.

  • Visit site
    June 13, 2014 11:45 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Katie C

    Dayna said “Tarrant let’s join the circus
    We can show aliens how we work it”
    Avon just said “Wow, but I can’t come right now
    I’m tied up in germanian circuits”

    • Visit site
      June 14, 2014 1:06 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Anniew

      Can Sophron be divided? Would you accept Avon’s artificial Sophron as a prize? If not then you and Dave will have to share. Either alternative months or if that doesn’t work for you you’ll have to get married ( I know you could just co-habit but I’m old-fashioned).

      • Visit site
        June 14, 2014 1:26 pmPosted 3 years ago
        Dave Sanders

        That’s the difficulty with Sopron; by design, somebody’s got to win.

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          June 14, 2014 2:33 pmPosted 3 years ago
          Anniew

          Just a metaphor for modern life then. The bigger the bullshitter the more likely the promotion.

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        June 15, 2014 2:55 amPosted 3 years ago
        Katie C

        Half of a sponge painted black? I would be honoured, however I’ll expect a whole Sopron for my Headhunter limerick..

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          June 15, 2014 2:29 pmPosted 3 years ago
          Dave Sanders

          I’ll consider that a challenge with my Moloch and Terminal ones. I’ve got a Gambit one too but I think Neil would be forced to kill me if I wanted back and applied this to the earlier episodes as well.

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            June 15, 2014 10:34 pmPosted 3 years ago
            Anniew

            The prize for The best Morlock limerick would have to be a metaphorical rubber chicken. Sillies.

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            June 16, 2014 1:03 amPosted 3 years ago
            Dave Sanders

            Or a 16-ton weight.

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    June 14, 2014 2:07 amPosted 3 years ago
    NICK GRIFFITHS

    As others have said, it is pretty a generic sci-fi by numbers episode, having said all that it was quite exciting when I saw it aged 11. Curiously enough this was my second episode of Blake’s 7 and it didn’t put me off.

    Am I correct in thinking the author, other then writing the novelisations, also wrote ‘articles’ for porn magazines?

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    June 14, 2014 11:26 amPosted 3 years ago
    Richard Lyth

    I think this episode probably suffers from coming straight after a run of four really strong character-based episodes. On its own it’s a perfectly decent fun sci-fi romp, probably not worth an 8 but definitely not a stinker.

    Trevor Hoyle’s novelisation of the first four episodes was my first exposure to Blakes 7 – he did a pretty good job of it, though I seem to remember there being more of a focus on the Blake/Jenna relationship than in the actual episodes. He seems to be trying for a Tarrant/Dayna romance in this one, though having them abducted by aliens and forced to have sex is really more of a sci-fi geek’s wish-fulfilment fantasy than anything else. At least she seems more into it than him, otherwise it could have been a bit disturbing.

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      June 14, 2014 12:15 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Frankymole

      I compared it with a Space: 1999 that I saw recently (from the first – supposedly best – season), the one with Anthony Valentine. It has some similarities, but this has a lot more humour and more personable characters, and there’s even a hint that they’re sending up Star trek, so it’s all good. This is, like “Horns of Nimon” in Dr Who, best watched with friends and wine.

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        June 14, 2014 2:44 pmPosted 3 years ago
        wyngatecarpenter

        At last someone who understands how to appreciate Horns Of Nimon! It’s vastly superior to this though. I suppose Ultraworld could have been improved if they’d managed to work in a role for Graham Crowden.

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          June 15, 2014 7:30 pmPosted 3 years ago
          solar penguin

          At last? That’s exactly the BBC’s own website says Horns Of Nimon should be enjoyed.

          http://www.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho/classic/episodeguide/hornsofnimon/detail.shtml
          “Rather wonderful with some friends and a bottle of wine.”

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            June 17, 2014 6:24 pmPosted 3 years ago
            wyngatecarpenter

            OK then – at last at least 2 other people understand how to appreciate Horns Of Nimon.

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            June 17, 2014 7:36 pmPosted 3 years ago
            Dave Sanders

            And those two people were Tom Baker and Graham Crowden.

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    June 14, 2014 12:53 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Dave Sanders

    You know, if the Core was that easy to defeat by throwing bullshit at it, the episode should have been over in about twenty seconds.

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      June 14, 2014 1:07 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Anniew

      Oh! Oh! I’m wounded to the core.

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    June 14, 2014 2:29 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Tim

    “He sounds like a bee falling off a tall building.”

    Fantastic!

    Sort of dreading the next episode though, it’s going to be a volcanic review and I can already imagine the score…

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      June 14, 2014 2:47 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Anniew

      The next episode reaches the most sublime heights of preposterous nonsense ever achieved ever in a TV programme. It should be worshipped, cherished, revisited every week . Even Kairos bows down before it’s magnificent presumption. 11/10. And Sue’s responses will be even better.

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    June 14, 2014 4:20 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Fiona

    I loved it! It was great! Those Ultras were really sinister, especially the one that made Avon sleep. I thought the bit where Cally was trying to get through to them “I don’t know where I am” was absolutely chilling. The Core was obviously crap…but its not their fault they had no money, is it. It was truly scary, the zombies and the conveyor belt and all. And Avon was fabulous. Icy, intense and very pretty and its very rare to see Avon really smile.

    Funny to see Avon turn into a mirror image of Blake in Horizon. “Oh you are curious are you..it could be an experimental war zone, anything…” and in Avon’s then-book, that was enough to consider desertion.

    But New Avon is now the one saying lets take a gander at this unknown spiky alien-made planet…and plus he did not ask Orac! He’s the only one that had the common sense to ask Orac where to land on Horizon.

    Brown isnt Avon’s best colour, true. But it cant spoil him and it was a change. I bet puce couldnt spoil Avon. If I knew what puce was. It sounds nasty though.

    also, I have noticed Blake’s 7 is pretty good at the technology anticipation thing. There are enough for a fan-vid. We have had :
    Travis and Servalan playing Candy Crush and Ipad while chilling;
    Cally and the librarian in The Way Back with Walkmans;
    Greenlee in Rumours clearly texting, totally the body language;
    Blake using a Samsung Galaxy stylus to draw strategy on Zen’s screen..

    and now this business of stored memories…there’s some guy reckons this is very close to reality. Soon we can live forever by downloading our memories and personality via a USB slot behind the ear and then all we need to do is clone ourselves and upload the Store into the new body. It will be ideal for Aspies because we have no souls. This guy thinks it is soon come, really.

    But a super-computer that needs a detachable thingummy to switch on, which can be flung petulantly across the floor by any half-cut simpleton, amazing it didnt slide out of reach under the Hostess trolley..never going to be a winner.

    • June 14, 2014 7:57 pmPosted 3 years ago
      encyclops

      “I don’t know where I am” was absolutely chilling.

      Steven Moffat must have thought so too. Compare what goes on here to “The Bells of St. John.”

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        June 15, 2014 6:23 amPosted 3 years ago
        Fiona

        Who is Stephen Moffat?

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          June 15, 2014 4:10 pmPosted 3 years ago
          Frankymole

          Sadly, he is. And that’s the problem.

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            June 15, 2014 4:10 pmPosted 3 years ago
            Frankymole

            (Only joking. The Avonism was too hard to resist).

          • June 15, 2014 4:38 pmPosted 3 years ago
            encyclops

            Frankymole: nicely done.

            Fiona: Moffat is the current showrunner of Doctor Who.

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      June 15, 2014 11:58 amPosted 3 years ago
      Frankymole

      True, but “New Avon is now the one saying lets take a gander at this unknown spiky alien-made planet…” – Avon did say in “Mission To Destiny” that he can’t abide an unsolved mystery. After the Adnromedans, it might be suicidal for any space-travellers to ignore potential threats to the galaxy now that they know things from outer-outer-outer space can arrive and cause mayhem (the “Sarcophagus” alien would also count as an extra-galactic menace though in that case it would’ve been best to leave well alone – let some future generations suffer instead?).

      • Visit site
        June 15, 2014 6:43 pmPosted 3 years ago
        Fiona

        yeah, but Avon saying that was because the writer seriously couldnt think of any reason to keep Avon there. He had to stay there, but since he didnt care “if the whole planet turned into a mushroom” there was just no reason. “I dont like mysteries” I thought it was double-plus lame at the time.

        Still, yes, good point, should check stuff out I suppose. But Avon was saying they should do it for intellectual reasons, which really is the same as Blake saying “Aren’t you curious?” And Avon said “No’ with an inflection I had never heard before. Never heard anyone get scorn, contempt and finality into one syllable like that.

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    June 15, 2014 2:36 amPosted 3 years ago
    Supersynths

    Nice to see the architect who designed the undercity for Megropolis 3 on Pluto getting the contract for designing Ultraworld. I bet he retired on the profits!!

    Can’t wait for the review of the next episode. I hope you’ve got some ear defenders handy Neil, I think you may need them!!

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      June 15, 2014 6:44 pmPosted 3 years ago
      DPC

      And a shield – I mean a force wall – because I don’t know of anybody who put “Moloch” higher than “The Harvest of Kairos”… well, yet… 🙂

      I can’t wait for the final 3 of series 3 to be reviewed. “Moloch” and hopefully what will be seen as two near-classics…

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        June 17, 2014 1:06 pmPosted 3 years ago
        solar penguin

        Really? I would put Moloch higher than Harvest, since Servalan is almost in character this time. Not quite, but almost. And the John Prescott lookalike makes a great baddie.

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    June 15, 2014 7:34 pmPosted 3 years ago
    solar penguin

    I _always_ get this one muddled up with Dawn Of The Gods. They’re both such generic stories. I’m surprised Sue gave them such different scores.

  • June 16, 2014 4:25 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Alex Wilcock

    Oops. Turn up late and almost everything’s been said. But not quite.

    I misread Anniew’s “Random greats and pants” as “Random grunts and pants”, which it turns out is nearly what this is about anyway. And like encyclops, I though the middle Ultra was kind of cute – bizarrely, I only spotted a couple of years ago that he was in Doctor Who at about the same time, and that I didn’t fancy him at all when he was blond. Only blue. And I’m never going to be able to unhear Orac as “like a bee falling off a tall building.” Awesome.

    Maybe the disconnect for most people – me included – between Sue’s comments and her scores lies in her saying “Blake’s 7 has definitely turned into Star Trek” and whether or not different people think that’s a good thing. I get the feeling pretty much only Sue thinks it is. Maybe the two of you should watch Star Trek from the beginning, with Sue taking notes and pictures of Neil’s face?

    I looked up my notes on this from last time I watched it. Usually I go on for ages. This had only:
    “Fanfic by a 15-year-old straight boy who’d seen and more or less remembered Redemption the previous year, but had spent Summer 1979 watching Star Trek Season Three repeats and got them muddled up a bit.”
    I suppose there’s never much to say about Vere ‘It’ll Do’ Lorrimer’s direction.

    Nick Griffiths’ porny observation about Trevor Hoyle makes sense of that. I’ve just listened to the audiobooks of his (Trevor’s, not Nick’s) Blake’s 7 novelisations, having last read the books themselves probably when I was a 15-year-old not-straight-at-all boy, and three things really stand out:

    – The actors reading really save it, fortunately, because Hoyle’s attempt at hard-boiled writing is no Terrance Dicks

    – They’re very blatantly from Terry Nation scripts before Chris Boucher got to them, which means several plot differences (or holes), most of the witty lines (and most of Avon’s role) missing and descriptions from before the actors were cast (and before they’d decided which way round the Liberator goes)

    – And particularly relevant for his sole televised ‘I want to perve over Dayna!’ script, he leers over every single woman, who are all beautiful and lithe and animal-like, except for the ones who are beautiful but EVIL! (but beautiful). We get a much more briefly described “gargoyle” Vila, though, for example, because there’s no need for men to be sexy. The women need to be tarted up a bit, though – Hoyle doesn’t like prison scruffs. So I did actually laugh when Avon looks up and wonders where a sexy star maiden has come from after she’s visited the Liberator wardrobe. Why, Miss Jenna, you’re beautiful! The drooling’s mainly in Blake’s voice, though. Jenna “was a very beautiful girl, capable and intelligent, and Blake appreciated all her qualities.” Cally is, obviously, a “beautiful girl”, with amazing eyes “the like of which Blake has never seen” but which the author doesn’t describe, so they might boggle out on springs for all we know.

    • June 16, 2014 6:51 pmPosted 3 years ago
      encyclops

      I know what you mean; I only fancy David Haig when he’s an Argolin.

      • June 16, 2014 8:15 pmPosted 3 years ago
        Alex Wilcock

        Is it because that’s the only role where he’s not worn that weaselly ‘tache?

        • Visit site
          June 17, 2014 6:12 amPosted 3 years ago
          Smile

          He doesn’t wear it in Rumours of Death either.

          • June 17, 2014 1:51 pmPosted 3 years ago
            Alex Wilcock

            Foiled!

            OK, the only one in which he has neither that weaselly ‘tache or hair like Rolf from The Muppets…?

          • Visit site
            June 17, 2014 7:53 pmPosted 3 years ago
            solar penguin

            In The Moon Stallion he has a moustache and beard. Does that count?

    • Visit site
      June 17, 2014 5:04 amPosted 3 years ago
      Fiona

      so just apropos of nothing, Alex, just interested, if you were not-straight-at-all at 15…did you fancy Avon? I just wonder if he did have a big gay following…

      • June 18, 2014 1:04 pmPosted 3 years ago
        Alex Wilcock

        Short version (having been spam-trapped for quoting Ms Pearce on the degree of appreciation she inspired in some): too young! I was 6 when the series started, so never really thought of it like that (and tended not to fancy people on the telly anyway). And yet… Always really rooted for Servalan and Avon. Also, coming out and joining a gay youth group at the end of the ’80s, Servalan made a really big impression on the lesbians – and on the gay men, just in a different way…

  • Visit site
    June 16, 2014 9:02 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Rob

    I’m going to guess Sue’s rating for the next one…..0/10 or thereabouts? 🙂

    • Visit site
      June 17, 2014 12:09 amPosted 3 years ago
      Supersynths

      I’m predicting a minus out of ten and a few cushions launched at the tv!!

      • Visit site
        June 17, 2014 2:42 amPosted 3 years ago
        Dave Sanders

        Not all of them I hope or we won’t be able to do the ‘you eventually run out of cushions’ joke when the same head pops over the parapet again for S4E02.

      • Visit site
        June 17, 2014 8:49 amPosted 3 years ago
        Anniew

        Any episode that pairs up Villa and Servalan has got to be worth an 11 for nerve alone. Throw in a melodramatic apple eating scene and the marks go stratascopic.

        • June 17, 2014 3:27 pmPosted 3 years ago
          encyclops

          Plus Sue will have someone to ship Vila with. That’ll be fun.

          • Visit site
            June 17, 2014 5:09 pmPosted 3 years ago
            Supersynths

            Yes, Servilan could be the new Brangelina or Kimye!! 😉

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    June 17, 2014 8:43 amPosted 3 years ago
    Anniew

    ‘ Tarrant is itching to visit ultra world’. Could this be an effect of the mankini?

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    June 17, 2014 12:49 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Nathan

    You know, the patterns and textures version of The Orb’s Ultraworld came with a video with loads of nicked Gerry Anderson clips edited into it – lots of UFO.

    No Blakes 7 though, which was a bit remiss given the inspiration.

    • Visit site
      June 17, 2014 5:02 pmPosted 3 years ago
      wyngatecarpenter

      In sci-fi terms Blakes 7 was probably the love that dare not speak it’s name and The Orb were in the closet.

  • Visit site
    June 17, 2014 5:00 pmPosted 3 years ago
    wyngatecarpenter

    I’ve got a theory. The Ultras are in fact stereotypical sci-fi nerds. They collect huge amounts of information that they don’t appear to have any particular use for. They are already familiar with the regular characters. They seem to have their own model Liberator. The one thing they are curious about that they don’t know much about is sex, and this manifests itself in a fascination with what the Liberator crew might get up to in the bedroom. In fact like fanfic writers they try to contrive a scenario in which a couple of the regular characters shag.

    • June 17, 2014 6:36 pmPosted 3 years ago
      encyclops

      That’s brilliant!

    • Visit site
      June 17, 2014 7:30 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Dave Sanders

      They also live in a basement deep in the bowels of the earth and can’t exist without a parent.

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    June 17, 2014 10:48 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Nick

    Three things I remember about this episode:

    1) Vila teaching Orac jokes and riddles

    2) The Blue Man’s face paint cracking up

    3) Cally getting possessed… again!

    Anyway, Cally’s constant possessions (re-possessions?) are, IMHO, proof that she and Avon are shagging. Otehrwise, why would he keep her on the ship? She gets taken over nearly every episode!

    Nick

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    June 18, 2014 10:03 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Sally M

    It took absolutely ages before I could stay awake long enough to see the giant brain go boom…

  • June 26, 2014 9:48 amPosted 2 years ago
    SpaceSquid

    “He sounds like a bee falling off a tall building.

    Me: Eh?”

    B Flat, surely?

    • Visit site
      June 26, 2014 2:10 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Anniew

      She scores!

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