The name of the place is Xenon Base…
Sue: What the hell is going on?
Stencilled zombies are roaming the planet Zondar.
Sue: Are we watching some performance art?
Bored security guards decide to amuse themselves by murdering a group of these doped-up civilians on an escalator. Even Nicol is disturbed, and she thought The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was a comedy when I caught her watching it aged twelve.
Nicol: It reminds me of that level in Call of Duty where you have to machine-gun all those innocent bystanders in an airport. It’s a bit grim.
Me: It’s basically Dawn of the Dead meets THX-1138.
And that’s when Nicol got up and left. Sue, on the other hand, remained slack-jawed throughout. And then she surprised me:
Sue: I don’t like the direction very much.
Me: What? Are you joking? It’s amazing.
Sue: I hate the Picture-in-Picture effect. It looks cheap. We’re supposed to be watching a drama here, not the ****ing News.
Avon is hosting a conference on Xenon Base, and the delegates are an interesting bunch to say the least.
Sue: Earth, Wind and Fire have let themselves go.
One of the delegates is running a little late.
Chalsa: Zukan isn’t here!
Me: I don’t think Rick James acted again after this.
Sue: Oh, I think he gave up acting long before this, Neil. And Marge Simpson just called. She wants her hair back.
The conference hasn’t exactly got off to a flying start.
Vila: Hardly surprising. Avon’s idea of diplomacy is like breaking someone’s legs then saying, “Lean on me.”
Sue: Have Vila and Avon had a conversation about what happened on that ship yet? I’ll be very surprised if Vila is still talking to Avon, actually.
Avon hopes to forge an alliance that can defeat the Federation once and for all.
Sue: OK, so this is basically Babylon 5, but with even weirder hair. And is he a thawed-out Ice Warrior?
She finds it hard to believe that Avon has managed to stage an important conference like this.
Sue: This must have taken weeks of adventures we haven’t seen. I’m surprised all the delegates weren’t killed before they arrived.
An unidentified spaceship appears on Orac’s radar.
Freighter: This is Betafarl commercial freighter Lodestar.
Zukan: This is Zukan, President of Betafarl.
Sue: President of Paedophile?
It’s safe to assume that Sue thinks Betafarl is a stupid name for a planet, and that they should have changed it when they still had the chance. Just imagine her shaking her head every time somebody says “Betafarl”. And they’ll say it quite a lot.
Anyway, when Zukan arrives at the conference, he formally greets the other delegates.
Sue: Are you sure he isn’t there for the X-Factor auditions?
Me: Hang on, Rick James is attempting to speak again:
Chalsa: But words are no more than… words.
Sue: Jesus Christ. Make him stop!
Sue decides to focus on the delegates’ hair.
Sue: The stylist just went for it. One of them looks like he’s stuck his fingers in a plug socket. And as for the one with the pink knot on his head, I can just imagine how that conversation went: “Yes, you will look ridiculous BUT you will look ten years younger!”
But Sue ain’t seen nothing yet. Just wait until she gets an eyeful of Zukan’s daughter, Zeeona.
Me: (singing) Ooh, I miss my Japanese Boy…
Sue: They’ve run out of money. They’ve obviously spent all the budget on the big guest stars we’ve had recently. They’ve resorted to rank amateurs, now. It’s a shame, really.
Zeeona and Tarrant first met during an untelevised adventure (when the team were running around the galaxy selling conference tickets), and Zeeona must have liked what she saw because she’s travelled a long way to see him again.
Sue: Oh dear. Tarrant’s got a stalker. I’ve got a number he could call…
It isn’t very long before Zeeona and Tarrant end up in bed together.
Sue: Tarrant can’t keep it in his trousers these days.
Me: And aliens aren’t forcing him do this, either. Unless you count her, of course.
Sue: This would make me feel sick.
Me: What? Kissing Tarrant?
Sue: No, the stupid green thing that’s spinning in the background. That would put me right off.
Zukan isn’t very happy when he hears about Tarrant’s extramural activities, and when Avon eventually catches up with the Lothario, he pushes him off the screen and into a corridor.
Sue: That was very funny, but we should have heard Tarrant cry when Avon slapped him across the face for being such a tart.
Zukan forbids his daughter to see Tarrant again and Zeeona cries herself to sleep over a sea of stars.
Sue: Wow… What a cheesy shot. Did that just happen, Neil?
Sue isn’t a fan of Avon’s new uniform, either.
Sue: The copper collar and the patches made from lace doilies isn’t really doing it for me. Put him back in black leather!
Soolin decides to teleport Zeeona back into Tarrant’s loving arms.
Sue: Sutekh will be furious when he finds out.
Zeeona and Tarrant can’t keep their hands off each other.
Sue: Oh, for God’s sake. Get a room!
Zeeona’s father, meanwhile, is definitely up to no good.
Sue: His hair must be giving him a terrible headache, the poor sod.
Soolin’s cupid stunt could ruin everything…
That’s the best sentence I will ever write on this blog. I may as well pack up and go home now. Oh, wait, I’m already here.
Avon: If it comes to a choice between the alliance and Zukan’s revenge, don’t think that I won’t sacrifice you.
Sue: We believe you, Avon. You’ve made it perfectly clear that’ll you’ll throw your so-called friends under the bus.
Zeeona and Tarrant waltz back into the control room, reeking of sex.
Sue: That was quick. Oh wait, they’re going back for another go. It’s probably Tarrant’s third shag in fifteen minutes.
When Orac detects a bomb in the teleport chamber, the earth moves for everyone.
Sue: Ooh, things are very exciting all of a sudden. And just as I was beginning to tune out. That’s lucky.
Xenon Base’s roof caves in on Orac.
Me: Orac’s dead.
Me: I said Orac’s dead.
Sue: He’s a computer, Neil. He’s broken.
Dayna surveys the damage.
Dayna: Channel one dead. Two dead… We’ve got Channel Five!
Me: I love Glen Allen. I just wanted to say that.
Servalan arrives on Zukan’s ship.
Sue: ****’s sake.
Xenon Base’s oxygen will run out in 18 hours.
Sue: Just think of the number of times that Tarrant will be able to shag his new girlfriend before he dies. Hundreds, probably.
Avon and Soolin arrive on Betafarl. It appears to be deserted.
Sue: What was the point of that cheesy effect? The director is over-reaching himself. There was no need for that.
Me: To be fair, he was only trying to disguise the fact that they’ve LANDED ON THE SAME PLANET THEY ALWAYS DO!
A Federation trooper is hiding under a sand dune. Yes, it’s an ambush.
Sue: How long has Rambo been hiding under there? He must be good at holding his breath. Can’t ****ing shoot straight, though, can he?
Federation reinforcements somersault over a ridge.
Sue: Now they’re just showing off.
Avon: Federation guards!
Sue: Guards? They look like they belong in a ****ing circus!
Federation guards start flinging themselves down ravines like there’s no tomorrow.
But our heroes are outnumbered and outgunned, and Sue gasps when Soolin turns the tables on Avon and sticks a gun in his back.
Sue: See! It doesn’t feel very nice when a friend betrays your trust, does it, Avon?
It’s only when Soolin assumes Zeeona’s identity that the penny finally drops.
Sue: Ooh, that’s very clever. Soolin’s far too good for this show. Put her in charge. Let’s see what happens.
When Servalan hears about Avon’s capture, she demands that his corpse be sent to her ship.
Sue: She’s lying. She wants to marry him. It’s written all over her face.
Me: It really isn’t, Sue.
Servalan plants a bomb on Zukan’s ship before she leaves.
Sue: Tarrant’s girlfriend isn’t the only one who’s getting shafted this week.
The Federation guards decide to kill Avon by crucifying him upside down on a sand dune. Well you would, wouldn’t you.
Sue: Eh? What the ****? Surely they can’t be running that low on bullets.
Soolin attacks a guard with her sonic screwdriver; Sue’s words, not mine.
Sue: Ooh, right where it hurts. You go, girl!
Soolin makes short work of the guards, although Sue is convinced that she had to break the laws of physics to do it.
Sue: She’s shooting into the air!
Me: The bullets fall back to earth and land on the guards’ heads. Clever, eh?
Sue: Or maybe the director is out of his depth. I mean, who’s flying the Scorpio right now? Whatever happened to continuity?! The direction is ****ing terrible. Sorry, Neil, but it is.
Vila has his second nervous breakdown of the week.
Vila: WE HAVEN’T GOT FOUR DAYS!
Sue: Calm down, Vila. You’ve been through worse than this. Only a couple of days ago, in fact.
Me: We’re almost at the end of Blake’s 7, Sue. So tell me, has your opinion of Vila changed?
Sue: Yes, it has. I feel sorry for him now; I certainly wouldn’t want any harm to come to him. He’s still a bit of a numpty, though.
Zukan’s sabotage includes the release of a radioactive airborne virus. The swine.
Sue: It never rains but it pours. I’d start shagging Tarrant right now if I were her.
Zukan unloads his troubles onto his loyal assistant, Finn, who is the spitting double of Jeremy Renner by the way, although Sue can’t see it.
Zukan: Get me a drink.
Sue: I’ll have another Kia-Ora if there’s any going.
After Finn tops up the warlord’s fruit juice, he discovers Servalan’s bomb, which then goes off, killing him instantly.
Sue: It’s all gone a bit Top of the Pops. Just because the edit suite has a special effect, it doesn’t mean you have to use it.
When Vila, who is completely pissed by this point, blames Zeeona for getting them into this mess, Tarrant almost knocks his block off.
Sue: Bloody hell! Are the crew taking it in turns to kill Vila? Leave him alone!
I’m not sure if you’ve noticed this or not, but Sue isn’t the director’s biggest fan. Which is funny because I thought she’d love Viktors Ritelis. And then a hand-held camera gets into Zukan’s face as his ship begins to tear itself apart…
Sue: Oh, this is all right, I suppose. I just can’t take the actor seriously. He’s too theatrical.
Zukan wants to bargain with Avon. If he saves his life, Zukan will tell him how the crew can obtain a fresh oxygen supply.
Zukan: If two of them volunteer to die, the oxygen they have left will last the rest of them.
Sue: That’s it? That’s his solution? I’d let him die for that, the sarcastic ****.
Zukan’s ship is on its last legs.
Sue: He’ll never survive fifteen hours like that. He’ll drown in his own vomit.
Zukan refuses to believe that his daughter is on Xenon Base.
Zukan: No! No! You’re not there! I DON’T BELIEVE YOU!
Sue: Switch your audio-only Skype call to video, you fool!
Avon finds a solution without Zukan’s help.
Sue: This bit is quite good, actually. They need to reverse the polarity of the whatsit. Obviously.
Zukan, meanwhile, is haunted by a vision of his daughter.
Me: NO! YOU’RE NOT THERE!
Sue: (singing) Heathcliff, it’s me Cathy!
And then another face appears outside Zukan’s window – Servalan.
Me: NO! SHE’S NOT THERE, EITHER!
When Zukan finally accepts his own death, his does so with his arms outstretched and his mouth wide open.
Sue: He looks like he’s expecting to regenerate. The idiot.
Crash-zoom into Zeeona’s startled face.
Sue: Now I’ve lost count of the number of times the director has annoyed me.
Zeeona volunteers to return to the base so she can fix the damage caused by her father.
Sue: She’s dead, then.
Tarrant isn’t very happy about this, but Sue doesn’t have that much sympathy for him.
Me: I thought you liked Tarrant?
Sue: I did, but he’s turned into a right space slag. He thinks he’s James Bond, shagging his way round the galaxy. But he isn’t.
When the director cuts to another scene with the help of Tarrant’s back, Sue refuses to cut his Rope homage any slack.
Sue: The director thinks he’s Alfred Hitchcock. What a joke. He couldn’t direct traffic. They should have got a woman in to direct this. When will they ever learn?
Tarrant desperately wants to save Zeeona, which makes Avon break into a smile/grimace/God only knows what.
Sue: So what was that look for? Is Avon pleased that Tarrant’s girlfriend is dead? Ooh, what a bastard. Never get on the wrong side of Avon.
Tarrant and Dayna teleport to Xenon Base.
Tarrant: Zeeona! Zeeona!
Sue: It’s too late, Tarrant. SHE ISN’T THERE!
Yes, Zeeona was killed thanks to a rookie mistake. Or maybe she sacrificed herself for Tarrant’s sake? It’s difficult to tell.
Dayna: She took her glove off.
Sue: That will teach her to paint her nails in the middle of a radioactive crisis.
Sue: I didn’t like that episode very much. The direction was appalling, the editing was shoddy, and the acting was all over the place. Some of the action scenes were great, but some of the action scenes were hilarious. It had its moments, I suppose, but at the end of the day it was simply… average.
Me: Orac’s still dead.
Sue: Shut up, Neil.
WARNING: Glen’s trailer includes MASSIVE SPOILERS for the final episode. Please don’t listen to it if you haven’t seen it yet. However, as soon as you have seen the final episode, come back here and press play. You won’t regret it.
We plan to watch the final episode this Monday at 8pm UK time, and I hope to publish the very last (and this time we definitely mean it) blog early next week.