Travis 2: Electric Boogaloo…
This episode begins with a space ship crashing into a planet.
Sue: Have we skipped a scene? Am I supposed to care about this?
There are two survivors: Coser and Rashel. They have faked their own deaths.
Sue: Are they from Gallifrey?
Sue: Well, they definitely bought their clothes there. It’s the only place in the universe where you can find collars as ridiculous as that.
Wait for it…
Sue: Is it the Master?
Meanwhile, someplace else, a one-eyed man, dressed from head to toe in black leather, is about to get a fright.
Sue: Who’s he supposed to be?
Me: Wait and see.
Sue: Why is this guy dressed as Travis? Has Travis started a fashion trend back on Earth? I’m confused.
Blake confronts the cosplayer.
Sue: Eh? Why is Blake in a church? Oh, I get it: Blake is dreaming this and he’s mixed-up Travis’s face with Elvis’s face. That explains the quivering lip. Clever.
The Elvis/Travis hybrid murders Blake.
Sue: Blake must have eaten some seriously strong cheese before he went to bed.
An old woman named Fen arrives to chide the cold-blooded killer.
Fen: You’re a sad man, Travis.
Sue: Pause the bloody DVD, Neil.
Me: It’s not my fault. I didn’t recast him.
Sue: But he doesn’t look anything like Travis! Even the eyepatch is wrong. It’s too shiny. Why did the other Travis leave?
Me: I have no idea. Do I look like John Williams?
I press Play.
Sue: Please tell me that this old lady isn’t the new Servalan.
Travis: I want the other one.
Sue: Don’t we all, mate.
Travis: Get the other one.
Sue: Yes, for ****’s sake, get the other one!
And then another Blake appears.
Sue: So they’ve made some robots that look like Blake. How predictable.
We cut to the Liberator, which means it’s time for Sue to pass judgement on what the crew are wearing this week.
Sue: Avon is popping out to deliver some chocolates to a beautiful woman on a boat; Cally looks like she’s been in the Liberator‘s sex dungeon with that gold collar around her neck; and thank God Jenna’s broaches aren’t any lower down. I wouldn’t have thought a dress like that would be very practical for freedom fighting. I just hope she’s wearing sensible shoes.
Luckily for them, Coser’s sartorial sense makes Blake’s crew look like catwalk models.
Sue: You know, I’m pretty sure Peter Gabriel wore that outfit when he was in Genesis.
Servalan arrives to chastise Travis.
Sue: Yes! She’s the same Servalan. That’s a relief.
Travis learns that Servalan was using him as a glorified Blake-detector.
Sue: Servalan always looks to me like she’s about to get married.
Travis physically assaults Servalan. She doesn’t seem to mind.
Sue: I’d have him shot for that. The real Travis wouldn’t do something like that. Who is this guy?
Meanwhile, Blake is planning his latest scheme to hurt the Federation. Avon isn’t impressed.
Avon: It is a triple-A security installation.
Sue: It runs on triple-A batteries.
Orac isn’t much help, either.
Blake: Orac, your information on the Weapons Development Base is unsatisfactory.
Orac: Define unsatisfactory.
Sue: Blake gets enough grief from Avon without Orac chipping in with his lip. I still think it’s unfair that Blake has to put up with two stroppy computers. Three, if you count Avon.
Meanwhile, Coser and Rashel find shelter in an abandoned dining room.
Sue: They’ve turned up for their Genesis tribute gig at the Student Union far too early. They haven’t cleared-up after the T-Rex covers band they had on last night.
Coser resents the position he’s been placed in.
Coser: They were trying to take the credit for my work. They were going to steal it right in front of me. As though I were so unimportant or stupid they didn’t even have to pretend it wasn’t happening.
Sue: He’s got a massive chip on his shoulder; I’m surprised there’s room for it with that collar.
Servalan can’t praise the clone makers enough.
Servalan: They are a little awesome.
Sue: They may be awesome, chick, but I wouldn’t trust them to put my make up on. Look at the state of her face.
Servalan is surprised to learn that Fen is a clone too.
Fen: The child was identical in every way to the child that she had once been.
Sue: It doesn’t seem fair for them to be talking about identical looking people when this new Travis is in the same room. It’s very rude.
Me: What do you think of the new Travis?
Sue: It’s too early to tell. It doesn’t help that he doesn’t look or act like Travis. This isn’t Doctor Who, you know.
Blake’s clone doesn’t possess Blake’s memories.
Fen: We have given him some background knowledge, the beginnings of identity, and the basis of understanding.
Sue: Have they told him that he’s a convicted child molester, or did they leave that part out?
Servalan: The Federation needs this man.
Sue: So Servalan’s got herself a toy Blake. Is this a sex-thing or a take-over-the-universe-thing? Or both?
Orac has some exciting news for Blake.
Blake: So something called IMIPAK is missing, together with a Beta class weapons technician named Coser.
Sue: IMIPAK sounds like something you’d shave your legs with.
Coser’s mood hasn’t improved since we last saw him.
Sue: I don’t know what his problem is. He’s stuck in a low-lit room with a beautiful woman who wants to be his slave, and he doesn’t even crack a smile.
Coser is a paranoid, aggressive, control freak with delusions of grandeur.
Sue: Am I supposed to care about this guy, because I don’t. If Blake saves this guy, I won’t be very happy. His companion can stay – she’s lovely – but he’s horrible.
Servalan is visited by Carnell, a brilliant Federation psychostrategist. The flirting is off the chart.
Sue: WHAT IS SHE DOING WITH HER HAND?!
Carnell and Servalan want to steal IMIPAK from Coser.
Sue: Blake’s 7 is a very strange programme. On the one hand, you’ve got all this gritty terrorism going on, and on the other hand you’ve got camp scenes like this that wouldn’t look out of place in Dallas or Dynasty. It’s gritty glam.
Blake wants to get his hands on IMIPAK too, even though he doesn’t know what it is. Vila says he can live without it.
Blake: It’s just conceivable that you can’t.
Avon: Unless of course you want your last words to be, “So that’s IMIPAK.”
Sue laughs so much, I have to pause the DVD. In fact, from this point on, you can assume that Sue’s laughs at everything Avon says.
Sue: Avon gets all the best lines. I bet the rest of the cast hated Paul Darrow.
Carnell is so clever, he can beat a computer at chess.
Sue: If you owned an electronic chess set in the 1970s, you were seriously posh. I don’t trust this slime ball one bit.
Carnell: Always remember, the Officer Corps will forgive anything it can understand. Which makes intelligence about the only sin.
Sue: He reminds me of Francis from House of Cards, pulling the strings behind the scenes.
Me: I couldn’t possibly comment.
Sue: The only difference is I never wanted Francis to die a horrible, painful death every time I saw his face.
Coser is woken from his slumber by the sound of an approaching monster.
Sue: I can’t believe that he didn’t take his collar off before he went to bed. That won’t do his neck any favours. No wonder he’s in such a foul mood.
Coser and Rashel are attacked by a giant claw.
Sue: That claw has definitely been in Doctor Who. Don’t ask me what it’s called, but it’s definitely been in Doctor Who. And if it wasn’t in Doctor Who, it should have been. It’s right up Doctor Who‘s street.
Coser fires IMIPAK at the creature.
Sue: Your gun is rubbish, mate.
Oh no it isn’t. Death is just a button-press away.
Sue: OK, fair enough. I’ll give you that. But it isn’t very practical. What if someone came at you with a gun? You’d have to shoot them, put the gun away, switch on the box and then press the button. You’d be dead before you put the bloody gun away.
Blake’s clone arrives on the scene. Luckily for him, Coser is a fully paid-up member of the Blake’s 7 fan club and he welcomes the terrorist with open arms. He even has a present for him.
Clone: A gun?
Coser: Not just a gun – IMIPAK. It’s called IMIPAK: Induced Molecular Instability Projector and Key.
Sue: IMIPAK! Only 9.99. While stocks last.
Sue: I’m sorry, what’s it called again? I didn’t quite catch that.
Coser: This has a range of up to a million miles. Just think of it! You set the range here. If he’s within a million miles, you can kill a marked man anytime you want without even seeing him again.
Sue: It’s perfect for snipers who faint at the sight of blood, but the name needs work. What about Death Delayer 1000, or something like that.
Servalan arrives, dressed as the White Witch from Narnia. Avon, on the other hand, has teleported to the planet dressed as a lobster.
Sue: I’m not a big fan of lobster, but I think I’ll make an exception in this case.
Coser is killed with his own weapon. It’s called IMIPAK by the way.
Sue: Good riddance to bad rubbish. What a pompous git. Just think: if the real Blake had turned up earlier, this git would have joined the crew. What a nightmare that would have been.
Servalan shoots Travis in the back with IMIPAK when he’s not looking.
Sue: What a cow. Travis doesn’t know what’s hit him. Literally. It’s pretty good, this. So does Servalan get a decent henchman next week?
Avon, Blake and Gan storm the building, their guns drawn.
Sue: Avon has been practicing that. You can tell.
Me: They’re not Charlie’s Angels, but they’ll do.
Servalan has marked all three of them for death, so they do the only thing they can: they run.
Zen: The planet has been seeded with small proximity mines in random orbit. Detection was too late for a warning to be given.
Sue: This is why they need to leave Orac switched on. He can see this sort of thing coming a mile off. Can’t he, Neil?
Back on the planet, Rashel and Blake’s clone turn the tables on Servalan and Travis.
Servalan: I’ll see that you never leave this planet.
Rashel: I know. But make sure you do it from at least a million miles away.
Blake’s clone and Rashel want to be left alone.
Rashel: We could start to explore our planet.
Sue: And after that, we could start to explore, you know, each other.
The episode concludes with Servalan receiving an answer phone message from Carnell.
Sue: Even in defeat, he’s a smug ****.
Carnell: One last thing, Supreme Commander. I must tell you this…
Sue: I really, really fancy you.
Carnell: You are undoubtedly the sexiest officer I have ever known.
This renders Sue speechless. The last thing she expected was a character trumping her in the ridiculous comment department.
Sue: Did he really just say that? I… I… Have you spiked my tea, Neil?
Sue: Now that was more like it. It was insanely camp, but I enjoyed it. I’m not sure about the new Travis but Servalan is always fun to watch. The direction and locations were pretty good, and even though the acting was all over the place, it was never boring. I like Blake’s 7 so much more when the bad guys are actually involved in the plot. Yes, it was a bit silly, but I really enjoyed that one.
Sue: I love the idea that there’s another version of Blake running around, having a nice life. I wonder if we’ll ever see him again.
Warning: Glen’s trailers may include spoilers for the next episode.