Rewatching Blake’s 7 – Part 7

Season finale special

Well, I’ve reached the end of Season 1.  After this, I’m going to take a break for a while and concentrate on finishing my book, which I hope to have done by November.  After that. I’ll probably make a start on Season 2.

Episode 13 – ORAC

So, after we have a little look at Gan feeling a bit rough and raiding the Liberator’s stores for paracetamol, we are treated to the 1970’s version of ‘previously on Blake’s 7’ as Blake shows Avon a tape recording with himself narrating what happened in the previous episode.  Odd as Avon was there and knows what happened, but it’s helping the home audience to get back up to speed.  Jenna’s feeling a bit rough too, as is Avon even though he’s too cool to admit it.  A little CSI-ing later and Cally informs them that they have radiation poisoning.  There are no radiation drugs aboard so they’re going to have to hope that there are on Aristo.

Meanwhile, on Aristo, Dr Ensor is tending to his plants and enjoying some liquid refreshment from a glass that looks like it came from one of those weird shops on the High Street.  You know, the ones that sell resin poodles and curtain material alongside novelty lighters.  He turns on a golden statue inside a birdcage (don’t ask) and discusses the arrival of two people on a Federation ship.  Wonder who that could be.  Yes, it’s Travis and Servalan.  Yay!  They’re going to try to get into his lab but are going to run into something called ‘Phibians’ if they do.  Doesn’t sound good.  I’m going to stick my neck out and say that we could be seeing something funny in a minute.

Back on the Liberator we learn that Dr Ensor has a mechanical heart, which must explain his need for the micro power cells. Blake goes to the bridge to see Jenna, who’s doing the dying swan at the controls, and gets ready to teleport down.  They get permission from the planet after something takes control of the entire ship in order to talk to them.  Blake gives Jenna the rest of the day off (bonus) and off he goes to teleport.

Arriving on the planet’s surface, they are greeted by the sight of an obelisk like the one outside Embankment station.  This one is by the seaside though, in the middle of nowhere.  They discover a force barrier and then we go back to the tunnels where Travis and Servalan are hearing a wheezy noise following them.  Is it a Phibian?  I hope so.

I knew it!  Travis goes off to investigate something leaving the unarmed Servalan to keep watch.  Sure enough she’s attacked by…

…a child wearing a dinosaur costume with a large plastic bag employed as either wings or a cape.  I only got a quick look at it, for obvious reasons, so that’s the best I can do.  Travis kills it and then they crawl through a gap in the blocked tunnel.  Servalan discovers some skeletons and a flying drone comes to collect Blake and Cally up top.

On the Liberator, Avon and Jenna discover Gan in a cupboard.  Avon nearly flips out at having so many people around but regains his composure and they all sit in the teleport area waiting for something to happen.

Blake and Cally have made it to Ensor’s office and Travis and Servalan aren’t far behind.  Ensor wants his medicine and has the stuff to sort out the rest of the Liberator crew.  He recovers quite quickly from the news of his son’s death (it’s only a 50 minute program) and agrees to go up to the Liberator so they can operate on him and replace his power cells.  All seems good.  Oh wait.. ORAC.  The little box of lights.  They collect it and, after feeding fish and watering plants, off they go.  This is all going too well.

orac

Sure enough, Travis’ tinkering leads him into the complex in time to take a pot shot at a very surprised Blake.  Classic dialogue alert:

Blake – Weapons?

Ensor – I disapprove of weapons.

Blake – So do I but I disapprove of dying even more!

The good bit about this is that it’s not delivered like a pun or a bit of badinage.  Blake’s so impatient with it.  He can be quite callous sometimes.  He’s being especially salty with the professor.  Glad he doesn’t have any elderly relatives.

orac-01

They escape into the tunnels just as Servalan and Travis blast their way into the greenhouse.  I love the way he tells her to stand back and she stands about a foot away from the door.  Unruffled by the explosion, she coolly steps in and picks up the first random piece of paper she sees which just so happens to be exactly what is needed to advance the plot.   Now it’s Blake’s turn in the tunnels.  It’s about time we saw another child/dinosaur thing.

Back on the Liberator, in case we’d forgotten it exists, Avon’s cooking up a plan to save the day.  He’s lost his patience and is being just as prickly as Blake is.  He’s just not directing it at a pensioner he’s never met.

He and Vila teleport down, arriving in front of a picture of some scenery (they’re so not there!!)

In the tunnels, Cally is attacked by a Phibian and Blake wastes no time stoving its head in with a rock.  He’s really on one today.

Sadly, Ensor has flipped his porch light and its just the two of them.  Blake does his best to appear sad but I can tell he’s secretly relieved.  They make it to the surface just in time for Travis to get the drop on them.  Game over!!  No, they have to talk first and that gives Avon the chance to show up and save Blake’s hide.

More classic dialogue:

Blake – Nice shot, Avon.

Avon – I was aiming for his head.

That one was definitely stolen by Joss Whedon for Jayne in Firefly but, of course, Blake’s 7 has nothing to do with Firefly, does it Mr. Admin?  Oh, he’ll never read this anyway.

All’s well back on the Liberator.  Ready to sit around the table and turn on ORAC.  After some conversation, they goad the machine into making a prediction of the future.  It duly obliges by predicting the destruction of the Liberator.  When will this happen?  Cliffhanger alert.

Well, that’s it for season 1.  I really enjoyed this.  I’d forgotten how ruthless and fanatical Blake could be as a character.

See you in the near future for Season 2.  Until then, I’m off to buy my ticket for the Blake event next June in Oxfordshire.  A chance to meet Paul Darrow, Michael Keating and Jacqueline Pearce?  Not missing that!!

Thanks for reading

Richard

 

 

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