Blake’s 7 [Redux] // S01E03 – Cygnus Alpha

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Trying to phase out the sleaze, but it keeps creeping back…

If you can’t be bothered checking the categories at the side, here’s where the other Blake’s 7 reduxes are:

The Way Back

Space Fall

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EXT: SURFACE OF PENAL COLONY, CYGNUS ALPHA

A man dressed like a monk raises a machete and chops a cooked animal in half. There’s a noise nearby and a woman also dressed like a monk appears, telling the man that the federation ship has arrived in the sky.

‘That shooting star up there?’

‘It’s a big ship.’

‘Well-lit, too.’

‘’tis true.’

The man frowns, wondering if any of the new prisoners are either a] bigger than him or b] sexier than him.

‘I guess I’ll leave dinner here and go tell Brian Blessed that the new prisoners have arrived.’

‘The new believers…’ corrects the woman.

‘Huh?’

‘They are believers, not prisoners.’

‘Right. What is it we believe again?’

‘Indulging Brian Blessed.’

The man rubs his nose bridge. ‘He did the Iago monologue last night.’

‘Soft then loud but never really soft?’

The man nods. ‘As if I  were at the back row of a stadium.’

‘You did the Lord’s work. Now go.’

‘Going.’

The woman swishes her hand leftwards and the man trots off in that direction. After staring up at the sky for a bit, the woman walks the opposite way, off the quarry set and straight into a barrage of ‘show us your crystal balls, luv.’

She shakes it off, reminding herself over and over that it’s not just here, it’s everywhere.

 

INT: PENAL SHIP COCKPIT, SAME ONE FROM SPACE FALL

The young lieutenant walks through a door with Flight Control Deck stencilled on it and tells the captain that the prisoners are all high as fuck and looking forward to Cygnus Alpha.

‘A little too late in the day, I’m afraid. We should’ve drugged them at the start of the trip…’

‘But then Raeker would’ve survived and killed you and raped Jenna and…’

‘Send this report to RADA.’

The lieutenant accepts the report and takes it to a machine off-camera. ‘This won’t be good for my command ambitions…’

‘You’re lucky, you’re young enough to live down your part in it. I’m the one who sent Blake and the others over to the alien ship.’

‘You could blame Raeker, Sir.’

The captain rubs his forehead as if it’s the sole thing keeping the ship together then says, no, send it.

The lieutenant sends it then asks if the federation will go after Blake or just let him piss of to Thailand.

‘Thailand, probably.’

‘Err…’

‘They have no choice. They have to chase him, set weak traps, sexualise Jackie Pearce. Did you know I was in the running to play Travis?’

‘That’s a little hard to believe, Sir.’

‘It’s fact. I did a scene with Jackie. She said ‘Catch Blake…’ and I said ‘Blake’ in a world-weary kind of tone and…’

‘Rubbed your forehead, Sir?’

‘I did.’

The young lieutenant grimaced and looked at Cygnus Alpha on the viewscreen. ‘Right, I think I’ll go stretch my legs outside, see what’s on the surface…’

‘That’s in our next scene, lieutenant.’

‘Ah.’

 

INT: THE DRIVE SECTION OF THE LIBERATOR

Blake, Avon and Jenna try out the guns [again] and Avon gives a visual cue for his character by aiming his gun at Blake’s hair.

‘You’re a free man,’ says Blake calmly.

‘I want your seat.’

Blake ignores him and walks over to Jenna’s pilot panel. Avon lowers his gun, annoyed for the moment but confident that Blake will quit after the shit monster episode. And, if not then, definitely after the “alien invasion” from the Andromeda Galaxy. No man can see a screen of cardboard brushes and dustpans and continue putting his name to this shit. No man except Paul Darrow of course! But, thinks Avon, I will employ the Republican strategy of blaming the other guy. And grow larger hair. In time, people will forget.

‘Okay, Jenna…you could theoretically press the self-destruct button, but fuck it, press something and let’s see if the ship moves.’

‘Luckily, the previous owners of this ship also used buttons.’

‘Futuristic buttons…’

‘Conceptually alien,’ adds Avon.

‘Like nothing we’ve ever seen.’

Jenna presses a button and the three lead actors do a series of one shots, their faces being dumped in front of an industrial fan. Jenna manages to reach over and press the off button, and their faces return to normal.

‘That was a bracing experience,’ laughs Blake.

‘Floor’s freezing…’ whines Avon.

‘Okay, Jenna try another button.’ Blake puts his hand on her top. ‘How about this one?’

Jenna looks at the director for help, but he’s frozen to the camera.

She looks around at the all-male crew and suddenly gets an intense feeling of claustrophobia as well as the terrifying thought that Callie is actually a guy’s name and the crew from Time Squad are from a soft porn background and…

‘Relax, Jenna, I didn’t really touch your chest. It was all a dream. I’m Blake, leader of men, remember?’

Jenna blinks and realises Blake is back in the scene. Did that really happen? Was she imagining things? Maybe. Sometimes she focuses so hard on remembering dialogue that she forgets what is happening around her. She presses another button and her hand gets stuck. ‘Blake, I can’t move my hand.’

Blake’s eyes light up.

‘Help…’

‘Okay, first thing, let’s get you out of that costume.’

‘Enough…’ shouts Jenna.

A computer voice says ‘hola, que tal?’ and everyone turns round to look at some yellow rectangles flashing on the main screen.

‘Who are you?’

‘Number 7.’

‘Isn’t that the ship?’

‘No. I am Zen. The 7th member of your gang.’

‘I’m not part of his gang,’ says Avon.

‘If you’re not, you would’ve shot him five minutes ago.’

‘I might still. I might shoot him at any point in the next 2 seasons, we don’t know, no one knows, I’m completely unpredictable.’

‘You love him.’

‘No, I don’t.’

‘You loved the way he said ‘you’re a free man.’

‘Did not.’

‘You love the way his sleeves are like wings sometimes.’

Avon turns to Blake. ‘We need to shut this computer off. Get Jenna to do the ship navigation dialogue.’

‘You do that, I’m gonna head to the teleporter set, see what the CGI is like.’

 

INT: PENAL SHIP DRIVE SECTION

The lieutenant stands up and coughs.

‘Right, Sir, I’m gonna go outside and stretch my legs a bit.’

‘We’re leaving in 30 minutes.’

‘But Sir, we’ve been in Space for 8 months, I’m tired of that stencil, I’m tired of the grey walls, I’m tired of wanking over the promo shot of Servalan. There’s a real woman out there and I’m gonna go harass her.’

‘You and the rest of the cast. Sit down, lieutenant. Cygnus Alpha is a shithole, you’ll probably get mugged. Worst case scenario, Brian Blessed corners you and does ‘Gordon’s Alive?’ No, we need to get out of here and hope no one dwells on the 8 months bit.’

‘Now that I think about it…’

‘Don’t.’

‘Raeker died 7 months and 28 days ago. Which means Blake and the others have been on the Liberator for the same amount of time, but…’

‘Release the prisoners…’

‘…they’re acting like they’ve just got on the ship still…they pressed one button, discovered Zen, found the teleporter room, the ship stopped and they were already at Cygnus Alpha along with us. Sir…’

‘Give me that report, back, lieutenant.’

‘Sir?’

‘I need to make some edits.’

Unlike Greg Henry, the lieutenant understands implied threat and immediately leaves to release the prisoners.

The captain starts to rub his forehead then stops when he remembers his Travis audition. He spits on the fake ship console. ‘Should’ve grabbed her tits like Raeker said,’ he mutters.

 

EXT: CYGNUS ALPHA SURFACE

The prisoners are released and Vila annoys everyone almost instantly. One prisoner called Arko threatens to nut him, but Gan tells him that if he tries it, he’ll find himself with two broken arms.

‘Man, you really like this guy?’

‘8 months is a long time. And I appreciate that ‘architecture is early maniac line, so…’

‘Can I nut him after he’s said that?’

‘Maybe.’

The woman appears in the mist and beckons the prisoners over to her so she can get a closer look at Gan.

‘Welcome to the cult. Gan, let me give you a hug.’

She moves forward and kisses him. Gan doesn’t resist. After she’s done, she tells them all to follow her to the castle.

‘That’s a castle?’

‘Castle-esque.’

‘How did you build it?’

‘Brian Blessed’s great, great, great grandparents laid the first brick and the BBC matte painters did the rest.’

All the prisoners willingly follow the woman, no hint of sleaze, except for Villa who’s clearly expecting castle sex.

 

EXT: PLANET SURFACE

Blake beams down again and sees the early maniac castle in the distance. It’s the only structure visible so he runs off towards it, prepping himself internally for the upcoming Brian Blessed interrogation scene. In the script the words look normal, but he knows Blessed, he knows the cadence will be erratic, he knows he’ll have a distracting beard, he knows he’ll steal the episode from under him if allowed to talk for more than forty seconds straight.

Maybe, thinks Blake, I can pay the cameraman to pan down to his feet, show everyone his brand new white trainers…

 

INT: THE LIBERATOR, TELEPORTER ROOM

Avon stares at Jenna, Jenna stares back.

‘We should leave.’

‘But Blake’s down on the planet.’

‘He’s a crusader, he’ll lose and we’ll all die. Or we could sell the jewellery that the aliens were hoarding and hide on Fiji.’

‘I’ll think about it.’

‘Why bother?’

‘Officially, so I can live with myself, unofficially, so you don’t shoot me and take control of the ship yourself.’

‘You’re far too female to kill.’

‘Not you too.’

‘Hey, it’s the 70’s…’

Jenna backs away from Avon and his leer and tells him she’s gonna go and explore the ship, maybe visit the treasure room.

‘I just referenced that.’

Jenna bites her lip. ‘I’ll go see it again.’

She turns and walks off, putting her back to him cos he won’t really do anything, he’s in for the long run, but he might try to fuck her off-camera, they all might, and things are getting so bad that she can’t afford to wait until Callie appears and shares the threat, she has to act now.

EXT: PLANET SURFACE

Jenna beams down, tracks Blake to the early maniac castle, hits him over the head as he’s taking a fag break, feeds him some acid then goes to the BBC reception and calls Raeker. It takes him a while to turn up, but when he does, he’s ready for sleaze, so she hands him the script, says it’s just a bit of fun, then gets him and the drugged-out Blake to cruise around to Gareth Thomas’s house, climb up a tree and say sexy things while looking at Blake’s sister, Blake’s mum, Blake’s neighbour, Blake’s cat, then pause and ask Jenna if this is really okay to say, before spitting out the final line, ‘[redacted]’. Raeker finishes the script, then goes improv, creeping up behind Blake’s sister and groping her before running away and telling Jenna that he knows a back alley round the corner, would she like to come and look over the script with him. Jenna says later, Raeker leaves, Blake is taken back to Cygnus Alpha and slapped a bit until he comes to and says, man, that was the weirdest dream.

He stands up and tries to walk but straight away he gets a flash of his cat in a Jenna wig being fingered in his garden by…but he’s dead…Raeker went out the airlock in episode 2…it can’t be…can it? Hang on, I’m not really Blake, I’m Gareth…I’m Gareth…am I? Blake looks at his outfit, the alien environment and…

‘My ancestors built this cult, and a shoe factory, and I am its God, so worship me, marvel at my cadence, be amazed that this whole place only seems to have one woman and seven men…’

‘Wait,’ says Blake, confused. ‘Am I supposed to be in the dungeon?’

Brian Blessed hesitates a moment then answers [semi-boom]. ‘We are between dungeon scenes. Now, tell me how this gun works and give me control of your ship.’

‘I had a horrible dream.’

‘This is no dream. Give me your ship.’

‘Never.’

Brian Blessed roars and tells his hulking servant to take Blake back to the dungeon and give him time and space to win over the others. The hulking servant nods, asking if he will soon be rewarded with a promotion as he’s been sharpening knives in the dungeon for seven years and he could clearly take the cult over by force if he wanted to, but he hasn’t cos then someone more hulking than him could come off the next prison ship and do the same to him, and he wouldn’t have any logical way to defend his own coup and logic is important to him, or the script says it’s important to him, or it did initially, now it’s changed, it just says, hulking cult member obeys cos he’s intimidated by Brian Blessed, intimidated? The guy’s just loud, can’t beat someone up with your voice.

‘You will definitely be rewarded,’ says Brian Blessed, ‘as long as you don’t expect to fuck my woman.’

‘Hey,’ says Blake, ‘that’s not a real line.’

‘We’re all thinking it.’

Blake shrugs, agreeing, but then an image of Raeker and his sister appears and he starts to feel sick. ‘No, we can’t…more respect…’

‘Respect? This is 2770…a prison colony…my dick should be pushing her around like a wheelbarrow. But I’m not. I’m with you, yapping about God and spreading the word and space ships. Christ, it’s not even implied we’re sleeping together.’

‘No,’ shouts Blake,’ it ends here. I’m gonna talk to Terry, get him to cut out all the sleaze.’

Terry coughs, appearing off-camera. ‘That was all you, Gareth. The script’s clean, apart from the Raeker stuff in the last episode.’

Blake rubs his head. ‘I don’t feel well.’

‘We give her jackets, and long pants, and clever lines. Some clever lines. I feel great about all of it. I love actresses. I write them as characters, not walking tits. Though Jenna does have tits so maybe we should acknowledge that at some point…’

‘Are we still on an alien planet?’ asks Brian Blessed, checking the script.

‘Sorry, Brian, just trying to clear up some politics.’

‘Can I stab Gareth now?’

‘Later.’

 

INT: THE LIBERATOR

Jenna relaxes on the seat in the teleporter room, smoking a joint. Avon comes in and tells her he’s looked through all the Men’s Health mags, now it’s time to get out of here.

‘What’s the rush? These are the only moments I get to feel like a character.’

‘You mean the moral dilemma thing?’

She nods, blowing out smoke. ‘And no one pawing at my chest…’

‘No one pawing at anyone’s chest. Far as I can tell, I go four seasons without taking my top off. This whole thing is all very asexual.’

‘Maybe they think we don’t have sex in the future?’

‘Maybe. Are we leaving or not?’

‘And go where?’

‘Fiji.’

‘No thanks. I’m staying. I like Blake…now…and the next episode’s called Time Squad. Should be exciting.’

Avon sneers, trying to block Jenna from using the teleporter.

‘What are you doing? It’s time to bring him back.’

‘I want more character time, will I kill you, will I not, will I think of a new argument to make, will I break the teleporter machine…’

‘Ah, me too. Will I be killed by you, will I not, will I consider your new argument, will I fix the teleporter machine…’

‘You see, we should wait.’

Jenna nods and lights another joint. A door opens off set and Yaphet Kotto comes in and sits down next to her, saying he’s filming Alien next door and was wondering if anyone had any coffee.

‘Weed okay?’

Yaphet shrugs and takes a new one, lighting up and saying, man, in the US, I’d probably be shot for this, luckily in the UK there is no racism whatsoever and the police don’t even-…

Four cops enter and whack Yaphet over the head with a truncheon then drag him out, apologising to Jenna for not arriving sooner.

‘I think he’s an actor…’

‘Stupid tart, he was trying to perv on you,’ says one of the cops.

‘Err…’

Yaphet comes to and mutters something.

‘What did he say?’

‘Should’ve brought Harry Dean and Tom with me…’ Yaphet repeats, a little clearer.

‘Who are they? Dealers?’

‘White guys.’

The police drag him out and Jenna and Avon are left alone. Avon sighs and says, ‘maybe we should’ve done something?’

‘He’ll be alright.’

‘He could’ve replaced Gan.’

‘In Season 2?’

Avon rolls his lip, thinking. ‘Or Vila.’

 

INT: PLANET CULT HQ, DUNGEON

Blake rallies the other prisoners to beat up the next bunch of guards who come in and then beat up everyone else too. Arko and Vila protest, saying they need to take a drug every day to stay alive, but Blake says, nope, don’t care, we have to do this otherwise there’s no show.

Arko sighs. ‘Is there any viable way I can survive this?’

‘Unlikely. You exude silent pervy menace.’

‘Tis true.’

‘Okay, lads, let’s get ready, the guards will be here soon. Gan, you lead, we’ll be right behind you. You guys, extras, you coming too?’

The prisoners who weren’t paid enough to get a speaking line groan, so Blake spins round and tells them to get ready again cos he’s run out of lines.

 

INT: THE LIBERATOR

Jenna and Avon continue to smoke weed, space weed, and rub their fingers down each other’s arms.

‘I almost feel like having sex,’ says Jenna.

‘Me too.’

‘But our characters…the script…the craft…’

‘Yes.’ Avon coughs, sitting up straight. ‘We have to leave him, he’s a radical, revolutionary. We’re the pragmatists, with a bit of subtext.’

‘I want to leave, a second side of me wants to leave, but my core tells me to stay and be a revolutionary. Can you tell that? Look at my face, can you tell that?’

‘It looks like you are thinking…’

‘Self-debate…’

‘Thinking about stuff…’

‘The primal, self-interest vs the greater good…or is it philosophical…I don’t know. This script, these scenes, they’re so unlike Star Trek. I wish I could live in this acting moment forever, showing two thoughts at the same time…’

‘Thinking face…’

‘Thinking deeply face. Yes.’

‘Look, I’m doing something…can you tell?’

‘You want to kill me, but you also don’t know if you can…’

‘No, my eyes…I’m looking left…I’m thinking five different things: should I kill you, should I break the teleporter, should I beam back Blake, should I pursue a romance with Blake, should I try chasing you, should I rescue Yaphet…ah, six things, it’s even greater than I thought. I must sustain this for at least 2 seasons…’

‘I must figure out a way to make sitting next to a teleporter seem like character development. Maybe if I sit in different ways…’

‘Guys, we’re almost ready to beam up,’ says Blake’s voice on the ship comm.

‘Where are you?’ asks Jenna, snapping out of her trance.

‘Watching Gan lying down on a stone slab.’

‘Huh?’

‘Never mind, just get ready. Or get prepared. I’m sick of ready.’

 

INT: THE SACRIFICE ROOM

Brian Blessed raises a huge machete above his head and prepares to stab Gan. The woman seems hesitant as she’s not sure if she can fuck a corpse, and Gan really intrigues her with his big working class muscles and posh British accent, what strange, alien creature is this?

‘Raise the hands, worship the bread, eat your feet, respect the fishing industry, God is made of wood, daba, daba, daaaa baaaa…’

Brian Blessed looks over at Blake and winks at him for the fiftieth time, but Blake is too busy trying to pull his hood over his perm.

‘For fuck’s sake, man, attack…I’m running out of cultish shite to say…’

Blake roars and attacks. Gan kicks the hulking guy across the room, punches Brian Blessed in the neck then looks at the woman as she gets a spear in the gut. He runs over and holds her in his arms. ‘Our romance was edited out on the first pass, but…’

‘I would’ve fucked a post box if it’d been wearing your clothes…’

Gan leaves her and grabs a teleport bracelet, as do Vila and Blake. Arko almost gets his hands on one, but is stabbed accidentally by Blake as he’s rehearsing his forward leap and roll. Unlike Trek, one of the characters actually remembers that Arko exists and says, ‘they killed Arko’.

Blake moves on, tells Gan and Vila to run and hide between some rocks outside, even though the cult members can seemingly move with the mist and appear anywhere on the planet surface [see earlier, Blake trying to escape and bumping into them everywhere].

Gan and Vila try to stop Blake going back into early maniac, telling him he’ll never out-shout Blessed.

‘I’ve been practising gymnastics all week, I have to do this.’

Blake runs in [I forget why, pick up the gun?] and relies heavily on the two guards not jabbing upwards as he flies past them. Unfortunately, he lands in the dungeon with Brian Blessed, who manages to grab hold of the twirly whirly. He cackles at Blake before being beamed up to the Liberator.

INT: THE LIBERATOR

Confusion reigns as Blake, Gan and Vila beam up and then Brian Blessed appears from behind the camera with the gun aimed at everyone.

Was he beamed up first and put off screen? Or did he beam up, point the gun at Avon and Jenna, tell them to beam up the others while he waited off screen?

It all happens so fast in-show that I’m not sure. Perhaps Avon and Jenna were so high they thought Blessed was Blake?

Blake uses passivity to make Brian Blessed speak and speak and explain how the drug thing was bullshit and with that leverage gone he steps back onto the teleporter pad, raises his fist, proclaims himself mightier than Marshall Applewhite and gets teleported into deep space where he morphs into a robe-less mannequin and explodes.

INT: LIBERATOR BRIDGE/COCKTAIL LOUNGE

Gan and Vila check out the consoles as if they’re milling round B&Q, while Blake tells Jenna that although it’s the 70’s, he’s done trying to feel her up and proposition her and from this point on he will show her respect by treating her no different from one of the consoles.

Jenna nods.

‘Blake, there’s a lot of jewellery and weed on this ship, shall we set course for the nearest pawn shop, try and hawk some if it?’

‘No.’

‘What about the weed?’

‘Jenna can deal with it. There’s gonna be some lonely hours in that teleporter room.’

‘Do you all know something I don’t?’ asks Jenna.

Blake ignores her and continues with his favourite topic. ‘First up, we’re gonna fix the ship, make sure we understand everything about it, then…after I’ve double checked Zapata’s tactics on wiki…we’re going to fight.’

‘But the Federation has millions of soldiers.’

‘Most of them implicit.’

‘There’s five of us, we’ll be killed within 4 seasons.’

‘I’m resolute.’

Avon glowers at Blake, channelling a mix of Men in Love and the Dirty Dozen and 2 guys meet in park and fuck no edits.

Gan and Jenna glance at each other, both stuck in the background, both wondering if Brian Blessed will end up with more acting meat in one ep than they’ll get all season. Gan comes up with a maybe not, Time Squad introduces a pain inducer in his brain, stopping him from doing what he was recruited to do i.e. strangling people to death, that’s something to play with, whereas Jenna comes up with a definitely, you can’t keep someone in a teleporter room forever, it’s not logical, which person would ever accept that in real life?

Blake gets a drink and sits down on the couch.

‘What do we do now?’ asks Vila.

‘Get to know each other. Play Uno. See what they’ve got in the ship archives film-wise.’

Avon accesses the computer and pulls up ‘The loneliness of the long distance runner.’

They all watch it and start to cry.

‘I played Polonius, Hamlet, Ophelia…’ mumbles Avon. ‘What am I doing here?’

‘Don’t be defeatist. If Shakespeare were here, this is what he’d be writing.’

‘You think so?’

‘I do.’

‘How can you be so sure?’

Blake jabs himself in the chest. ‘Based on Zapata.’

‘And us?’ asks Jenna.

‘Zapata’s mates.’

Jenna straightens up and for a brief moment feels a sense of pride. I’m a criminal who doesn’t unzip her jacket too far down. Maybe this isn’t a waste of time. In fact, there’s a chance the political allegory could be expanded and branch off into more philosophical directions and one day French people will look at this and see it as a work of genius and just being attached to that genius will elevate me, elevate us, to the same level as Sidney Poitier and Albert Finney and Bette Davis and Gena Rowlands.

Maybe the sleaze really is finished with…

The director calls ‘CUT’ and tells everyone to take a break, they’ll come back in an hour to start up on ‘Seek, Locate, Destroy.’

Jenna comes down from the background and gets a drink, taking a seat next to Gan and far away from Blake [instinctive reactions are hard to break].

She’s about to get out the UNO cards, when a familiar voice sounds out from the side.

‘Alright, tossers. It’s eleven in the morning, I’m out of work, Jenna’s here, Blake’s cat’s in the car, how bout we get started?’

The whole crew stares at Raeker, who has bloodshot eyes, reconstruction era hair, the same uniform from the previous episode and a VIP pass hanging round his neck.

Raeker grins back but doesn’t grin long as he is pushed to the side by Harry Dean Stanton, Tom Skeritt and Sigourney Weaver.

‘What’s this shit, Albanian sci-fi?’ asks Tom, staring at the set like a puzzled raccoon.

‘BBC.’

‘Shit…your lighting looks like someone literally just flicked on the light-switch.’

‘What do you want, yanks?’ asks Raeker, getting back to his feet and noticing the tall lady glaring at him. ‘Krist, woman, you’re so tall I don’t know if I could even reach your…’

Anticipating the rest of the sentence, Sigourney Weaver punches Raeker in the eye and pushes him into one of the consoles. He doesn’t get up. She goes to stamp on his head, but he’s faking unconsciousness and grabs her foot, spinning her round and bringing her down on top of him. They wrestle for a while with no clear winner. Forty years later, they remake the scene and have her punching his head clean off.

Tom and Harry and Richard Benjamin walk down towards the couch and ask if anyone has seen Yaphet Kotto.

‘Big guy with a bandana tied round his forehead?’

‘Yup.’

‘Police got him.’

‘Shit. For what?’

‘Being in a teleporter room while black.’

The Americans sigh and sit down on the couch. ‘Tough charge. We told him not to go anywhere without us. Argh. Never mind. We can still save him by force. You and you, get this shit moving, set course for the local police station.’

‘This isn’t your ship,’ says Blake, standing up and flapping out his shirt so his arms are visible.

‘Not your couch either,’ said Avon.

‘Fine. Be rebellious. We’ll just tell the BBC to reduce your budget, block your crew from getting food, tell the media to call Terry Nation a tyrant then get the guy who wrote that Cylon shit to stand up as the new head writer of your show. Then we’ll see whose ship it is.’

Blake looks at the others and grimaces. ‘This is going nowhere. But I don’t know how to end this scene…krist…who brought Yaphet Kotto into this? Why?’

‘Don’t worry, based on Zapata, you’ll think of something.’

‘Shut up, Avon.’

‘Maybe the cheapness of the set will wear them down spiritually and they’ll just leave…’ says Vila.

Harry Dean Stanton slouches back on the couch and stares up at the ceiling. Then looks around at the set. ‘Why do you have a couch in your drive room?’

There’s a noise from the corridor and the police come back in, calling the three Americans IRA sympathisers and taking them away.

Blake lights up a joint and breathes out in relief.

‘Are we still gonna rescue Yaphet Kotto?’ asks Jenna.

‘No,’ shouts Gan, making everyone jump a couple inches off the couch.

‘Okay, focus on the federation then. When’s Servelan coming in? I like her. She’s evil yet strangely willing to open her legs for the 70’s.’

‘That’s disgusting…’ says Jenna.

‘Just a joke. Your fault if you don’t like caveman humour.’

Avon examines Blake carefully, perfecting his human computer look that he’ll use over the next 2 seasons until he gets promoted to anti-hero in command. ‘I can’t tell if you’re pandering to the right or the left…’

‘I’d fuck a panda, at least they don’t nag you all the time like her kind does.’

‘Never mind.’ Avon pours another drink. ‘So…Time Squad?’

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