Blake’s 7 [Redux] // S01E08 – Duel

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EXT. but really INT. – a stormy, misty, polystyreney set magically manages to stay upright long enough for a hag and posh model to spout cryptic nonsense about the balance of power on their desolate planet.

The hag moves around a lot to keep warm, asking the posh model if it’s really time or if she should go back to her Roy Chubby Brown vid.

‘Everything is in place.’ The posh model points to the stars. ‘Those three ships with huge flashlights are laying a trap for he who cannot die.’

‘Then we’re bringing them down here?’

‘Soon.’

The hag rubs her hand up and down her wooden staff, staring at the posh model’s white gown.

‘What is it?’

‘You look cold.’

‘I am ethereal.’

‘They gave me a cloak and I’m ethereal too.’

‘You are the dark power, destruction.’

‘Wow…you’re really in character…is that the only way to get through this?’

The posh model coughs, bending down to the hag. ‘I’m wearing a thin gown in the middle of winter…cos Terry said it would look ethereal.’

‘Luv, you can see your nipples from Albania.’

‘I know that.’

‘Ask for a cloak.’

‘I tried.’

‘Ask again. Don’t take no for an answer. Don’t take ‘it’s in the post’ either. Cos it’s not.’

‘I’ll try.’

The hag walks round the back of the posh model and leans in close to her ear. ‘And don’t go to the female changing room. It’s a trick.’

‘Trick?’

‘As in it’s not really a changing room.’

‘But the sign says…’

‘A lie. Change in the dance studio across the road instead. It’s safer.’

‘Noted.’

 

###

SWITCH TO – THE COCKPIT OF TRAVIS’ SHIP

Travis sits behind two S&M vampire officers, one of whom doesn’t speak, while the other occasionally puts kiwi juice inside her jacket.

He sits forward and points at the screen.

A dot flashes.

‘Is it him? Blake?’

‘Confirmed.’

‘Aha, I was right…the federation ships pushed him into this galaxy and he had no choice but to do a pitstop at this planet.’

Travis pauses, going back over his line.

‘Shall I tell the other two ships to flank us and prepare to attack?’ asks the female vamp.

‘Hang on…they pushed him into this galaxy?’

‘Sir?’

‘That can’t be right…can it, Terry?’

There is a seat on set with Terry Nation scribbled on the back, but it’s empty. Travis turns to the director, who shrugs, saying he’s from advertising.

Deflated, he settles on the female vamp.

‘Does it make any sense to you?’

‘It is my first time to hear the line, Sir. I have not processed it yet.’

‘Fuck processing, how can we be in a different galaxy…that would take millennia…even at light speed…why not just say a different solar system? Or different sector would suffice…’

‘Sir, I am afraid I can’t comment.’

‘Why not?’

‘I’m contracted for several episodes…’

‘Ah, fear. I understand. They didn’t listen to me either when I said this eyepatch made no sense. Now we’re pissing about across galaxies, with re-animated corpses as officers and they can’t even get me an artificial eye. Cos then you wouldn’t know I’d lost an eye. And there’d be no visual cue for my sociopathy. Which is a bit degrading to people with one eye now I think about it…’

‘With two eyes, you might look like an aristocrat, Sir.’

‘This fucking series…fucking cheapskate BBC…even this spaceship looks like a closet…don’t know if I can last much longer with all this-…’

Terry appears at the side of the camera, waving some photos.

‘What’s that?’

‘Your contract,’ says Terry, a little bit louder than he intended.

Travis coughs. ‘Yes…my trap…flank the two ships and err…shoot him when he’s out of orbit…in orbit…’

‘Confirmed, Sir.’

 

###

SWITCH TO – LIBERATOR BRIDGE

Blake and the gang are at their stations, trying not to look at the couch, trying not think about what went down in episode 7.5. Especially Vila. Instead, they’re flicking through the episode script.

‘It really does say galaxy,’ says Jenna, frowning.

‘Waa…’ says Gan.

‘See…Travis’ line here…federation ships pushed us into this galaxy…’

‘Bloody Nora. Even I know you can’t just cruise over to another galaxy, and I’m 6’5”.’

‘Must be a new writer…’ mutters Blake.

‘Or the one who did The Web…’ adds Callie.

‘Wait up…’ Jenna frowns even harder. ‘Who’s Nipple Fairy?’

The male crew leans in, as does Callie.

‘One of the character names, in the descriptions…Nipple Fairy scolds Hag Voyeur and continues being ethereal…’

‘Which page?’

‘Numerous.’

Blake flicks through the script until he finds the right one. He examines it for a moment then says, ‘nah, they wouldn’t. This goes out at teatime.’

‘You’re right, perverts don’t exist at teatime,’ says Avon, a bit sociopathic, a bit smug.

‘Okay people…forget the script…what about this planet onscreen?’

Jenna plays about with her console, then nods. ‘It’s similar to Earth. One half nightmarish mountain top, one half English forest.’

‘Great. Vamos restar aqui por unas few minutos…’

‘We’re almost out of power,’ says Avon.

‘A few hours then.’

‘Might need a bit longer than that, if we’re talking about a full re-charge.’

‘Zen…how long do we need for a full recharge?’

’48 hours of uninterrupted nothingness.’

‘Not a few minutes?’

‘That would be sufficient to keep the lights on.’

‘Fuck. Okay, we’ll go into the lowest possible orbit around this deserted planet and lay low for a bit…maybe do some gym work…or amateur theatre…there’s an old Earth movie called ‘Animal Instincts 3’ that I’ve always wanted to recreate…’

‘Never heard of it,’ says Vila.

‘It’s a classic. All about voyeurism and the nature of individual privacy. Callie you can be my wife, Jenna, you’re slut 1 and slut 2, Avon you can be slut 3, Gan, the guy who steals my camera, and Vila…you can wank in a cup off-screen.’

Jenna coughs into her hand. ‘Blake, you reminded me to remind you…in event of downtime….’

‘Yes, yes, Portuguese, I know, but I did that earlier…’

‘Talvez você deva fazer um pouco mais…’ says Avon.

‘Tal what?’

‘Maybe you should do some more,’ says Jenna.

Blake folds his arms and stews for a while, then raises a finger. ‘Why don’t we go down to the planet and get some fresh air?’

‘Beats slut duty…’ says Avon, getting his bag.

‘Not you. You’ll divide attention. Jenna, Gan…’

‘Great, I’ll bring my notes on season 5.’ Jenna reaches under the pilot console, pulling up some well-organised pieces of papers. ‘I have an idea for a kind of thematic tussle between Servalan and either me or Callie…’

‘Very good.’

‘I’ll bring the Sunday Sport,’ adds Gan.

‘Very, very good.’

‘What about the rest of us?’ asks Vila.

‘Look concerned. Except you Avon.’

‘Buried concern?’

‘With a steady brow.’

‘Got it.’

 

###

SWITCH TO – TELEPORTER ROOM

Vila sits behind the switchboard and asks where they’d like to be put down.

‘New Forest, obviously.’

‘Rightcha.’

Vila moves a switch forward like he’s driving a boat and Blake, Jenna and Gan vanish as cheaply as possible. Then reappear on the nightmarish mountain top. Apparently, humans do have a soul and it’s a white outline.

‘Feels more like Yorkshire than a forest…’ says Gan, tucking the Sunday Sport inside his medieval jacket.

‘Vila fucked up.’

‘Can you call him up and tell him to relocate?’

‘Risky. Might end up in Hull.’

‘Can you at least tell him not to fall asleep?’

Blake talks to his watch. ‘Vila, we’ve landed in the Seychelles…you twat. Stay awake up there. Be ready to pull us out. Vila?’

‘I heard you. Jeez…’

‘Okay, Blake out.’ He hangs up his watch. ‘Right, let’s have a wander and see what we’ve got…’

Blake and Jenna stare out at the matte painting in the background, wondering if they nicked it from Trek or actually commissioned someone to do it fresh. After much thought, they decide on ‘nicked.’ Then after some more thought, they realise that the cracks between the polystyrene rocks are so thin that what they’re actually looking at is a mix of black and purple curtains.

Gan pulls out the Sport on Sunday, or the Sunday Sport, and is about to look at the Jane Asher spread when he spots two figures watching him from across the set. His jaw drops as he realises what the posh model is wearing…

‘Blake, look…tits…’

Blake spins fast, excited, followed by Jenna, weary, and scans the set. The two figures are gone.

‘Waa…’ moans Gan. ‘I saw them, they were right there.’

‘Details?’

‘One hag, possibly in make-up, and a posh-looking bird in a gown…a very thin gown…’

‘The tits?’

‘Yes, two of them.’ He stares off at a human-shaped rock. ‘They were perfect. There, but not there. Sanguine. Bold. No sag. Solid radius…good under-curve…’

‘Nipple Fairy,’ mutters Jenna.

‘…but now I’m not so sure,’ continues Gan. ‘Maybe my limiter is malfunctioning…’

Blake looks around, a bit depressed, then turns back to the statue holding up two broken weapons. Or with both hands chopped off [can’t remember which].

‘Looks like there was some kind of war here…’

‘Who do you think won?’

‘Capitalists, probably.’

‘Or them.

Gan points up at the sky and the three of them see Travis’ ships moving toward the Liberator, stadium-style lighting cloaking their advance.

‘Vila, get us back up…’

No answer.

‘Villllllllaaaaaaaa…’

 

###

SWITCH TO – TELEPORTER ROOM

Vila is staring at a cup, a Breton-esque look of nihilism etched on his eyeballs.

‘Villllllaaaaaaa…’

‘Yeah, yeah…’

Vila pulls back a random switch and Yaphet Kotto appears on the pad. His shirt has been ripped and his pants are missing.

‘Who are you?’

Yaphet staggers forward, half speaking, half gargling, ‘call Ridley…’

‘Stay back.’

‘The Met…wire cutters…lube…’

Vila panics and flicks the switch forward again, making Yaphet vanish and the other three take his place.

‘You took your fucking time…’ says Blake, perm a little frizzier than usual.

‘Black man…’ splutters Vila.

‘What?’

‘Black man…here…’

‘You idiot, that’s season 3…’

‘No, here…now…’

Blake ignores him and tells Jenna and Gan to get to the bridge. ‘Tell Avon that high-wattage federation ships are bearing down on us.’

‘I’m sure he already knows…’

 

###

SWITCH TO – LIBERATOR BRIDGE

Avon and Callie are sitting on the couch, staring at a connect 4 apparatus with one yellow piece at the bottom left side.

‘Your move…’ says Callie.

‘I’m thinking.’

‘It’s been 3 hours…’

‘Quiet.’

‘Fine, I’ll work on my Sweeney role then.’ Callie pulls out a script and starts reading. ‘What you lookin at, copper? Hey, you can’t do that. Get your fingers off me. Hit me again and I’ll have ya. You fuzz, all the same. Hit me harder, you coward. In the kitchen, up against the stove. You a gorilla or what? Sodding caveman. Got a light? Don’t leave me. Where’d me knickers go?’

Avon finally picks up a red piece and puts it on top of the yellow one. ‘Your move, telepath.’

Gan runs in, followed by Jenna and Blake, screaming at them to get the ship moving.

‘We’re recharging, remember?’

‘Federation ships, on screen.’

Avon looks over and sees the three glowing dots approaching. ‘We’re doomed.’

‘Zen, options,’ shouts Blake.

‘All possible escape vectors have been cut off, power is still low, top speed is 20mph for forty minutes.’

‘I told you, we’re doomed.’

‘Not yet we’re not…’

‘You have a plan?’

‘Yes. We do whatever Zapata would’ve done in this situation.’

‘Get shot to death?’

Zen announces that one of the ships has fired a plasma boat.

‘Bolt?’

‘Boat.’

‘Okay.’

‘Quickly, raise the fourth-wall,’ yells Avon.

‘Force-wall.’

‘Yes, yes, raise it, now.’

‘Not yet,’ says Blake. ‘It’ll drain power. Wait until the plasma…boat…is right on top of us then do it.’

The plasma boat gets right on top of them and Blake says now. Luckily, Vila is not operating the controls and the force-wall goes up, absorbing most of the damage.

‘Another plasma boat has been launched. And another.’

‘Okay, keep doing the same thing with the force-wall while Avon, Callie and mostly me come up with a strategy.’

Blake, Callie and Avon gather by the couch and do etch-a-sketch on the main screen. A white circle is drawn around the third ship, and another around the ship that isn’t firing, which Blake guesses must be Travis’.

‘He really is quite predictable…’ says Avon.

‘Usually it would work, but I have blind luck, and the willingness to ram his ship with the Liberator.’

‘Yes, then we can make a run for it,’ says Callie.

‘Exactly.’

‘It’s a good plan.’

Blake pats her on the shoulder. ‘I like women who agree with me.’

‘I know.’

‘This plan is infantile…’ says Avon.

‘You have a better one?’

‘Based on my previously established character profile, yes. Based on this moment in this episode, no.’

‘Then you agree with my plan?’

‘Do I have a choice?’

‘Yes.’

‘Then I agree.’

Everyone gets back to their positions. Blake informs Jenna that she is to ram Travis’ ship.’

‘Wait, what?’

‘It’s our only chance.’

‘That would cripple our ship. And Travis would fire plasma bolts at close range and-…’

‘Boats.’

‘…make things even…plasma boats, okay…things even worse. Then the other two ships would fire on us and that’s it, finished.’

‘Yeah, well, I think it’ll work out.’

‘I have a better idea. We could shift our obit to the poles of the planet to disguise our location then dip in and out of the atmosphere in order to launch surprise attacks on each of their ships. If we focus on Travis’ ship alone, and assume the other ships use up their energy firing shots after us, then we should prevail.’

‘Or…’ says Vila, picking up the thread, ‘…we could teleport two of us directly onto Travis’ ship, shoot him in the face and come back.’

‘Rubbish…’ screams Blake, slamming his hands down on the console.

‘Which part?’

‘If it were truly viable, it would be in the script…’

‘Like the nipple fairy?’

‘And pushing us into another galaxy?’

‘Fuck it, no more plans. I’m Zapata, let’s ram into something. Zen, top speed, force-wall on rotation, flashing headlights for distraction…now!’

The liberator heads towards Travis’ tiny model ship and, just before they’re about to collide, an intern grabs the camera and presses the ‘shaky slo mo’ button.

Blake and gang, plus Travis and vamps, hold their ears as if Christian rap is being injected aggressively into their temporal lobes.

A few seconds later, Blake and Travis are teleported down to the nightmarish mountain top. Nipple Fairy and Hag Voyeur are there to greet them.

‘Oh baby Judas…’ cries Blake, seeing what’s in front of him.

‘Blake…’ says Travis, instantly trying and failing to shoot him with his ring-laser. ‘You weirdly permed bastard.’

‘Your weapons won’t work here,’ says Nipple Fairy.

‘Travis…don’t talk to them…don’t look at them…they’re trying to drag us down to base depravity…back to our early 70’s selves…’

‘What are you blathering on about?’

‘He is alarmed by our presence,’ says Nipple Fairy.

‘Yes, yes…’ adds Hag Voyeur.

‘The women on his ship wear jackets, mostly, but here he is confronted with de facto nakedness. He is afraid that he will revert to what he was in previous episodes, or what he is when he clocks off work, or what he is when he-…’

‘Enough. Why did you bring us here?’ asks Travis. ‘Who are you?’

‘Oooohhh,’ says Hag Voyeur, ‘he’s so primitive, so eager to dominate…’

‘I am a federation officer, not the good kind. If anything happens to me, a fascist in a white gown similar to yours will come and destroy your planet.’

‘Oooohhh, we’re not scared of you…your eyepatch is cardboard…’

Nipple Fairy turns to Blake. ‘Are you one note too?’

Blakes takes a few breaths, regains his composure. ‘I am not part of the federation. They are corrupt, aristocratic, devious…they treat Jamaicans like shit…I intend to destroy them and create something nicer.’

‘You are a criminal and will be brought to justice,’ replies Travis. ‘Now, if you’ll put us back on our ships and let me deal with Blake, I’ll tell the federation not to start importing the opium lollies.’

‘Oooohhhhhh he’s so arrogant, so violent, so eager to kill…’

‘We were like you once. Adversarial, self-righteous, dressed for warmth…we created weapons you haven’t yet dreamed of and then fired them at each other on this planet.’

‘On one planet?’ asks Travis, eyebrow raised.

‘Destruction followed. Relentless destruction.’

‘Woman, we hop between galaxies like we’re crossing the road…apparently…maybe dial down the superiority complex a tad.’

Nipple Fairy ignores his outburst and continues with her lines. ‘The pattern was fixed. First, sanctions. Then, mercenaries dressed as charity workers. Then, sweatshops. And finally, death squads full of men who missed being able to say ‘bitch’ and the ‘n’ word.’

‘Err…that’s terrible,’ says Blake, looking at the ground.

‘Soon, all that was left was tech billionaires, bankers and Peter Thiel.’

‘Get to the point.’

‘We destroyed ourselves and after watching the Gorn episode of Trek, we now want to watch the two of you fight in a forest.’

‘Is that a theme of some kind?’ asked Blake.

‘Possibly.’

‘Care to explain…?’

‘To the crew on both your ships, you may watch and listen on your screens in order to provide cutaway scenes…and one of each of your crew will join these two hairy creatures so they will know what it’s like to lose a friend.’

‘I’ve lost all my friends,’ says Blake, confused. ‘Brutally.’

‘I don’t care about anyone,’ adds Travis.

‘You do not understand yet, but you will.’

‘We’re telling you now, we understand the lesson. There’s no point to any of this. Please, I don’t want to do the night scene in the tree, it’s below zero out there…’

‘Let it begin.’

 

###

SWITCH TO – THE NEW FOREST, SOMEWHERE NEAR SOUTHAMPTON

Blake rematerializes first, shivering a bit as the winter wind hits him, then begins wandering.

Hag Voyeur watches him, rubbing her wooden staff, then makes Travis appear. The Christian rap returns, but this time it only affects Blake, disorientating him as Travis sneaks up and attacks.

He easily beats Blake, much to Hag Voyeur’s delight.

‘Come on, Blake…you’re fighting like a drunk pharmacist…’

Blake gets up, fumbles a grab for Travis’ neck, and quickly gets knocked back down again.

Travis holds him in a headlock and puts his play-sword to his neck. ‘Goodbye Blake.’

‘Get off…’

‘Looks like Avon’s gonna be the leader now…’

‘No…’

‘He’ll undoubtedly add more nuance…’

‘Zap…’

‘What’s that?’

‘Zapata…based on…’ Blake struggles for breath. ‘Historical…’

Nipple Fairy intervenes, scolding Hag Voyeur, wiping Blake’s and Travis’ memory and sending them to different parts of the forest.

 

###

SWITCH TO – LIBERATOR BRIDGE

Avon, Vila and Callie stand at their stations, watching Blake wandering around a new part of the forest, while Gan sits on the couch, flicking through the paper.

‘Logan’s Run…43 minutes in, Jenny Agutter shows full breasts in a mid-shot…’

‘How can you read the paper at a moment like this?’

Gan looks up, surprised. ‘We’re back on?’

‘For the last two minutes.’

Gan shoves the paper down the back of the couch cushions and jumps to his feet, trying to figure out what he should be doing. ‘Hey, where’s Jenna?’

‘Pilot console.’

‘No, she’s not.’

Avon spins round, skeptical, followed by Callie, terrified.

‘She must be down on the planet…’

‘Or in one of the changing rooms…’ says Callie, legs going faint.

‘No, look…there she is…walking in the forest…’

‘Oh, thank god.’

They all look at the screen as Blake springs out of a bush and says, ‘Jenna, what are you doing here?’

‘Nipple Fairy sent me down, probably as the friend to be sacrificed.’

‘You heard all that?’

‘Yeah. They’re quite hi-tec.’

‘Great, it’s freezing here, we can hug for warmth later.’

Jenna grimaces.

‘Well, I’ve been walking around here for minutes and there doesn’t seem to be any sign of Travis. Or anything.’

‘He’s probably in his trailer.’

‘If I have you, then I assume he has someone from his ship too.’

‘Not a friend, obviously.’

‘No, but if it’s one of those vamps, things might get tricky.’

‘I’ve heard they can put their hands together and then push them outwards and no matter how far away you are, you’ll instantly be knocked unconscious.’

‘The ‘watcha’ attack…yes.’

‘We better scout the area, find some place to shelter, make some weapons too.’

Blake glares at her.

Jenna self-corrects. ‘Sorry…what should we do now, Blake?’

‘It’ll probably be dark soon. I suggest examining the area, locating some place to use as shelter, and constructing some weapons, too.’

‘Good thinking.’

 

###

SWITCH TO – ANOTHER PART OF THE FOREST

Travis and the female vamp officer make basic weapons and talk about the possibility of their ship coming to rescue them.

‘It’s unlikely…’ says Travis, sharpening a stick. ‘These two women seem to be incredibly powerful. Almost over-powered…’

‘Then we should hunt down Blake and his friend?’

‘But then…how exactly does the federation operate? What power do we possess? How can we traverse galaxies in our ships but have such limited weaponry compared to-…’

‘Sir?’

‘What?’

‘Blake and his friend…’

‘No…we won’t hunt them. We’ll set a trap and let them come to us.’

‘But, isn’t that what you always do?’

‘And?’

‘Perhaps you should try to go against your typical instincts, make yourself harder to predict.’

‘No…I don’t like that idea.’

‘Sorry, Sir.’

‘Dressing up as an Afghani cattle herder and stapling leaves to my dick would be unpredictable, but it wouldn’t do much good, would it?’

‘A reasonable example…’

‘Besides, my traps usually work…assuming there’s no supernatural trickery getting in the way…’

‘Yes, Sir.’

‘Now, you keep sharpening these sticks…I’m gonna go somewhere and think about some things…’

Travis tosses his stick down and wanders off.

The female vamp picks it up and sees that it’s not sharp at all, not even close. She puts it back down, goes round the back of the tree and makes a call.

‘It’s me. I’m in the New Forest. A vampire…kind of. Yes, I know. I know. Look, just get me the audition. I don’t care how small it is…just…any role, I don’t care. Doesn’t matter. I’m serious. Fuck, sci-fi. You’re either subordinate or…basically nude. I’m not joking. Seriously. One actress is wandering around in a see-through gown. Yeah. I know. Even Minder’s better than this. At least it’s real. Some kind of character. Wait. Gotta go. Lighting guy’s making another run at me.’

 

###

SWITCH TO – MORE NEW FOREST

Blake hands Jenna a sharpened stick and says, ‘it’s not exactly a twirly whirly gun, but it’s better than nothing.’

Jenna stares at the stick. ‘Not much better though.’

They wander around, finding nothing but trees and shrubbery. Blake leans against a tree and wheezes.

‘I feel like a pensioner…’

‘Me too.’

‘Maybe I should cut down to 40 a day…’

‘Lay off the pints too.’

‘Good idea.’

‘Speaking of pints…I saw a pub back there. If you wanna get inside and warm up a bit…’

‘How far?’

‘A hundred metres.’

‘I think I can make that.’

 

###

SWITCH TO – THE COCK AND SHAFT

Blake and Jenna walk into a typical pub full of farmers and rich people who walk the perimeter of farms to look down on the farmers in person.

‘Bartender, I’ll have a pint of the black stuff and a G&T for my woman.’

‘Ignore him,’ says Jenna. ‘I’ll have a pint of whatever’s on tap.’

They sit down and look around at all the farmers. Something about their faces tells a sad story. Either the agricultural economy is tanking or they’re up on domestic abuse charges again.

‘These damn new laws…’ says Blake. ‘Criminalising things that never used to be criminalised. Shitting on traditional values.’

‘Wasn’t your mum abused by your Dad?’

‘Shh…I’m trying to fit in.’

‘You said you were a new man two episodes ago…’

‘It’s true, I said it last episode too.’

‘So maybe act like it?’

‘Argh, you’re right.’ Blakes stands up on the table. ‘You muck-shovelling, miserable little-…’

He stops, staring at the corner table.

‘Jenna, look…it’s Travis…’

‘What’s he doing here?’

‘I don’t know, but he’s with Terry.’

Blake and Jenna creep over to the corner and take a seat by the table next to Travis and Terry Nation. Lucky for them, the two men are deep in conversation.

‘…not that I’m against it per se…it’s just strange…’

‘The concept is sound,’ replies Terry Nation.

‘But that’s just it…it’s not. It doesn’t make sense. How can he be pushed into another galaxy…it’s ludicrous. The distances involved are off the scale, the required velocities…’

‘This is the far future, Travis. We have to make this federation immense, spanning the entire universe…’

‘No, no, that doesn’t make sense either.’

‘Well, Asimov did it.’

‘How could a galaxy-spanning federation still have its HQ on Earth? How could it still be a single entity? It’s insane. Even spreading out to nearby solar systems would lead to new nations, distinct new cultures…and the idea that one central govt could manage all that, across galaxies…’

‘I think you need to calm down, my friend. Have another beer. Maybe something stronger. Take that vamp actress to the BBC canteen for a date…’

‘I can’t…be part of something ludicrous, Terry. Please let me redo the line…just that one word…’

Terry pats Travis on the shoulder and lays a photo on the table.

‘Who’s that?’

‘You know who it is.’

‘Why’s he covered in foam?’

Terry looks at the photo, coughs and replaces it in one smooth motion with a different pic.

‘Ahhh…that old chestnut.’

‘Do you understand?’

‘Technically he’s the one doing something illegal, not me.’

‘Travis…’

‘Fine.’

‘Good. Now get back outside and do your tree scene…’

Travis finishes his pint, puts his eyepatch back on and leaves the pub. Terry Nation follows a few seconds later.

‘Travis is more complicated than I thought,’ whispers Jenna.

‘That photo…’

‘Yeah, I saw it. Couldn’t recognise which Tory politician it was though…’

Blake downs his pint and glares at a random farmer.

‘Looked a bit like Heath…’

‘We should probably get back. They need to film more wandering shots…’

‘Right, boss.’

They both get up to leave, ignore the mutterings of ‘fucking ponce’ from the farmers and exit into freezing evening air.

‘Right, where did those cameras get to…’

‘That way.’

Just as they get to the little bridge crossing back over towards the forest, a huge figure jumps out from behind a tree and screams ‘help.’

‘Yaphet?’ says Jenna, while Blake scans manically for a nearby bush to dive into.

‘Met…wire cutters…they’re after me…can’t escape…’

‘What happened to your shirt?’

‘Shirt?’ asks Blake, pointing downwards. ‘Where are his pants?’

‘Took ‘em, man. Tore my shirt up with the cutters…’

‘Who? Travis?’

‘Don’t know who that is…’

‘Tall man with an unconvincing eyepatch, says ‘Blake’ a lot…’

‘No…was the cops…’

‘Federation?’

‘Ridley said they were okay here…but they’re just like back home, man. They ragged on my movies too…’

‘You do movies?’

‘Said Blue Collar was patronising…my bond villain was articulate, but stupid…Friday Foster was blandly pedagogic…’

Jenna grabs a jacket from one of the cameramen and drapes it over Yaphet Kotto. Five seconds later, he swings his hands, trying to swat her away.

Blake almost laughs. ‘My god, man, that was the most delayed reaction I’ve ever seen…and we work with Gan.’

‘Gun?’

‘Gan. Big guy. Federation killed his woman. Drinks a lot.’

‘I don’t know no gun. All I know is…I gotta get away from here, through this forest.’

‘That’s what we’re gonna do too,’ says Jenna. ‘We’re about to film a night scene in one of these trees. You can sit in a higher branch, just out of shot.’

‘Fuck that, where’s the airport?’

‘Hundreds of miles away.’

‘Shit. Shit.’

‘Yaphet, it’s fine, you can sit with us on the tree.’

‘On a higher branch,’ adds Blake.

‘I don’t know, man. Is this tree safe?’

‘BBC says so.’

‘BBC…what’s that?’

‘Bunch of bigoted cheapskates. And misogynists. And pedoph-…’

Blake grabs Jenna dramatically and points towards the forest. ‘We have to go. Travis could be anywhere.’

‘He could also be back in the pub…’

‘Come on, this way…you too, Poitier…’

 

###

SWITCH TO –  TREE BRANCHES, NIGHT TIME

Travis sits casually on a branch, staring at the feet of the female vamp.

‘Let me ask you something…do you remember who you were before?’

‘I don’t understand the question.’

‘Before you heard that fucking galaxy line…’

‘No.’

‘Do you ever take photos?’

‘A few years ago.’

‘Full spread?’

‘Never.’

‘Me neither.’

 

###

SWITCH TO – ANOTHER TREE

Blake and Jenna shiver on two separate branches, trying to discuss why the federation always seems to win and whether or not they’re destined to lose, but they can’t get it done cos Yaphet Kotto is sitting on the branch above, asking them over and over exactly how far the airport is.

‘Yaphet, we need silence for a few minutes. After that, I promise we’ll take you to the nearest US embassy.’

‘No, no embassies…don’t trust them.’

‘Okay, where then?’

‘I don’t know. Ghana maybe. That’s a solid country. Or Japan. They’re covertly racist there, that’s manageable. No demon cops.’

‘Okay, well, until then, how about I take you back to my place?’

‘I don’t know…’

‘You can sleep between my thighs.’

Blake’s eyeballs almost shoot out of his head. ‘Jenna…’

‘70’s joke, sorry. Not my fault though, I’ve been around men my whole career. Learned behaviour.’

Blake’s expression mutates from shock to awe to appreciation. ‘You’re adapting well.’

‘Guys, the scene,’ says the director, rubbing his hands together to try and keep warm.

‘Okay,’ says Jenna, ‘but we better gag Yaphet first, he’s too distracting.’

The director tosses some masking tape to an intern and gestures towards the tree.

The scene plays again.

‘Maybe that’s why the federation always wins…’ repeats Jenna.

‘Maybe,’ answers Blake.

‘But what choice do we have but to fight.’

‘None.’

In the background, muffled sounds from the branch above almost derail things, but are quickly explained away in dialogue as creatures native to the planet.

 

###

SWITCH TO – LIBERATOR BRIDGE

Gan stares goggle-eyed at page 37 of the Sunday Sport.

‘What is it, Gan?’ asks Callie.

‘It can’t be…’

‘What?’

‘Jane Fonda…she put the Vietnamese flag up her pussy…and got it to roll out bang in the middle of a protest march.’

Avon, Vila and Callie all close their eyes.

‘We’re back on?’ asks Gan, looking around, confused.

 

###

SWITCH TO – FOREST, DAYTIME

Travis picks up some dead plastic things off the ground and asks the female vamp if she knows anything about it.

‘I was hungry during the night.’

‘You literally drink blood?’

‘If there’s no kiwi juice.’

‘I’m full of blood. Are you going to drink me?’

‘You are my superior.’

‘That’s right.’

‘But I should warn you that if I don’t get more blood soon, my ability to chop rope will diminish alarmingly.’

‘Don’t worry, you can drink Blake’s friend.’

The female vamp puts the finishing touches to the trap, a wood/spike combo, and lifts it up to the area above.

‘Great, now go and get her.’

 

###

SWITCH TO – FOREST, DIFFERENT PART

Blake and Jenna [and occasionally Yaphet Kotto whenever he accidentally wanders into shot] look around for signs of Travis.

‘I’ll climb up this tree, you wander over there and get kidnapped.’

‘Gotcha.’

Blake climbs the tree, Jenna wanders over there. The female vamp appears out of nowhere, raises both hands and swings them outward, knocking Jenna out cold. Blake says he can see smoke and climbs back down, shouts ‘Jenna’ a few times then runs off.

Yaphet appears from behind a tree, glimpses the sea of white faces gawping at him, doesn’t spot any Harry Dean Stanton lookalikes, and flees.

 

###

SWITCH TO – THE TRAP ARENA

Blake hides behind a tree in a thinly wooded area and spots Jenna tied up next to a huge trunk.

He also spots the wood/spike combo above, but sees little choice.

‘Jenna, I’m here…’ he shouts, running over. ‘Swooping in like a fucking welsh hero.’

‘Now…’ yells Travis, hiding nearby.

The female vamp starts chopping the rope holding up the trap.

‘Blake, it’s a trap,’ says Jenna.

‘It’s okay. Blind luck, remember?’

Blake unties her and they dive out of the way just as the trap comes crashing down. Travis runs in with his wooden log and pretends to act surprised that his plan failed.

‘That’s it, Travis…’ shouts Blake, grabbing his own log, ‘no stunt doubles…just me and you…’

‘Fine by me.’

‘…holding giant figurative cocks…’

‘Even better.’

In a cut scene, the female vamp attacks Jenna, gets pushed away with the slowest leg kick since Seagal in CARE HOME DEATH SQUAD, then reels back and runs face first into the tree trunk.

With that out of the way, both of them sit down, light up and get ready to watch something marginally less dynamic.

‘I’m going to enjoy braining you with this giant log, Blake.’

‘I’m going to enjoy cutting your nuts off and feeding them to Gan.’

‘I’m going to enjoy selling your sperm to desperate fishermen.’

‘Murderer!’

‘Socialist!’

Blake charges, screaming at first then quickly panting due to fatigue. Travis gets in a few good hits, but then Blake gets a second wind, wheels out the gymnastic throws, followed by a leg trip and it’s all over.

‘Wait…’ shouts Travis, holding his hand out to the side.

An intern chucks him a gorn mask, he puts it on and Blake raises his log up in the air, letting out as much noise as his lungs will allow.

Then he throws the log down and clears his throat. ‘No, I won’t do it. I won’t kill him. His face would literally be caved in. I’m not good with blood.’

In the background, Yaphet Kotto runs between trees, screaming for help, demanding to know where the Ghanaian embassy is.

 

###

SWITCH TO – NIGHTMARISH MOUNTAIN TOP

Nipple Fairy and Hag Voyeur interrogate Blake about his actions, curious as to why he spared the fascist.

‘He’s a friend of my uncle. Besides, if Travis is the one chasing me, I know I can beat him.’

‘Maybe you didn’t need to learn this lesson after all.’

‘Well…I’ll be honest, I still don’t understand the theme of this episode.’

‘Destruction leads to an eternity of virtually transparent white gowns.’

‘Yes, but why did I have to fight Travis in a forest?’

‘To not do destruction?’

‘I wasn’t going to do that anyway.’

‘Ooooohhhhh,’ said Hag Voyeur, ‘what about your threat to destroy the federation?’

‘They’re fascists, what do you want me to do?’

‘Good point.’

Blake nods at his own wisdom. ‘Before I go, can I have a word with you behind those rocks over there?’

Nipple Fairy shakes her head. ‘My scenes are at an end.’

‘Meet you in the female changing room later?’

‘My husband is picking me up at 5:30.’

‘Big guy?’

‘Lawyer.’

Blake nods and turns to Hag Voyeur. ‘You?’

‘Oooooohhh he wants to fuck a pensioner…’

‘Forget I asked. Jenna, let’s go.’

No answer.

Blake turns and hears noises behind a nearby rock. He wanders over and sees Jenna fake punching Yaphet Kotto, both of them laughing like teenagers.

‘Jenna, time to go.’

‘Oh right, is it?’

‘Very much so.’

‘Can Yaphet come too?’

‘Come where?’

‘To the Liberator. The cops are still looking for him and both the US and Ghanaian embassies are refusing him entry.’

‘Err…I don’t know.’

‘He can join the crew.’

‘We already have Gan.’

‘No, as an engineer.’

‘Yeah, man, I fixed stuff on the Nostromo. Did some crate stacking too, a little programming here and there…’

‘Fine, but no attempted coups.’

‘You’re the boss, man.’

‘I am Zapata.’

‘Okay, then I’m Patrice Lumumba.’

‘Wait, who am I? ‘asks Jenna, excited.

Blake ignores her, eyeballing Yaphet. ‘I’ll be watching you, Lumumba.’

 

###

SWITCH TO – LIBERATOR BRIDGE

Gan is sitting with his legs up on the couch, focusing very hard on the back pages of the Sport.

‘Jesus on a ropebridge…Dion Dublin has a 16 inch cock? Hey guys, did you know about this? Dion Dublin has a-…’

Blake and Jenna walk in, with Yaphet Kotto close behind.

‘Who’s that?’ asks Gan, noting Yaphet’s size.

‘Don’t worry, Gan, he’s an engineer. If we need someone pummelled, you’re still the man.’

Gan sits back down, a little reassured but not much.

‘Actually, he’s also being pursued by the authorities so I told him he could stay with us. Avon, get him a cocktail. Vila, show him how to elevate the end of the couch. Callie, get his attention away from Jenna.’

‘What happened down on the planet?’

‘Didn’t you watch it all?’

‘We missed the end.’

‘Ah, the Nipple Fairy turned up and praised me. Said I performed like a true Mexican revolutionary.’

‘Was she pretty?’

‘Stunning. Wasn’t she Jenna?’

Jenna slurs a response.

‘Well, it’s time to sit on the couch and sum things up. Maybe get to know Yaphet a bit. Did you know he’s done movies, too…’

‘Too?’

‘As you know, I have done my fair share…as has Avon…Vila, didn’t you say you played a snitch in a Terence Stamp movie?’

‘Oh yeah, I forgot about that.’

‘You had two scenes, right?’

‘Yeah…one at a nightclub, the other a corpse with his knob cut off.’

‘So, you see Yaphet, you’re in good company.’

‘Man, you guys all sound so British. Do they program you with that shit or what?’

‘We all trained with the RSC.’

‘The Russians?’

‘What? No.’

‘You sure?’

‘Fairly.’

‘Thank god, man. Apart from Chekhov and the space dog, those motherfuckers are all…motherfuckers. Except Tarkovsky. He’s alright, too.’

Blake nods and looks around, spotting Gan’s paper on the cushion next to him. ‘What’s this?’

 

###

SWITCH TO – TRAVIS’S SHIP

Travis sits in his seat, glaring at the back of the female vamp.

‘Sir, the liberator is already halfway to the next galaxy…’

‘So?’

‘Shall I lay in a pursuit course?’

‘Obviously.’

‘Are you angry with me, Sir?’

‘Of course, your pitiful rope chopping messed up my whole plan.’

‘I saw you fight, Sir, it was a poor performance.’

‘I was still in shock…’

‘Besides, I told you if I didn’t drink blood, my rope chopping ability would diminish.’

‘Rararara…’

‘Will you have me court martialled?’

‘I don’t know yet.’

‘Would it help if I put on a thin white gown?’

‘No.’

‘What about a perm?’

‘Silence.’

‘I believe with practice I can mimic his accent to an acceptable level…’

‘I said silence.’

‘Yes, Sir.’

Travis gets up and walks off the set, smiling at the intern as he passes, then getting pulled back by the sleeve.

‘What?’

‘Still one more line.’

‘Fuck. Not galaxies again…’

‘No, the fatal mistake one…’

Travis grunts and goes back to his seat, looks around, focuses just left of the main camera and says, ‘Blake made one fatal mistake. He didn’t kill me.’

‘Good,’ says the director.

‘With his long, thick log…’ mutters Travis, rubbing his thigh.

‘Delete.’

 

FADE OUT

 

MUSIC

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