The Blake's 7 Super Test

Blake's 7 Super Test
Blake's Legacy
Blake's Progress
Naming Blake
"Avon: A Terrible Novel"?
Birth Of The Federation
The Blake's 7 Formula
To Kill Or To Stun
The Blake's 7 Drinking Game
Blake's Chicken
Blake's Parrott
ACT VI - Dark Dreams



( Avon stands in a dark corridor. He is surrounded by six Federation troopers who are all aiming guns at him. )

Trooper 1: ( Male voice. ) Surrender!

Avon: I've never been one to give up so easily.

( Avon draws his gun. He aims and pulls the trigger. The gun blows up in his hand. He hisses in pain. )

Trooper 2: ( Female voice. ) Surrender, Avon! Surrender.

Avon: Never.

( Avon leaps to his feet and gallops away from the guards. Shots burn around him, but none of them hit him. He reaches a door and tries to haul it open. It is jammed. )

Avon: Open, damn you! OPEN!

( The troopers catch up with Avon and aim their guns once more. )

Trooper 3: ( Female voice. ) Surrender, Avon. Give in to us.

Trooper 4: ( Male voice. ) Join us. As you were destined to.

( Avon turns and faces them. )

Avon: Destined?

Trooper 5: ( Female voice. ) Join us... join the ranks...

( Five of the troopers pull their helmets off revealing the faces of Jenna Stannis, Olag Gan, Del Tarrant, Dayna Mellanby and Stella Restal. One of the troopers remains masked. Avon's expression collapses into fear and horror. )

Dayna: ...of the DEAD!

Gan: The legion of dead friends...

Avon: NO! Not you!

Trooper 6: ( Female voice. ) Would you prefer me, Avon?

( The trooper starts to pull off the helmet. )

Avon: ( Weakly. ) No... please... not you too...

( Behind the mask is Cally. )

Avon: Cally?

( Cally steps forward and shapes to kiss Avon. Suddenly the door swings open behind him and he falls through into pitch blackness. He scrambles to his feet and runs away from Cally. He suddenly pulls up as a bright light resolves into a giant towering image of Blake's face. )

Avon: Oh no...

Blake: Was it true? Did I betray you?

( Cally and the others surround Avon once more. Avon stares transfixed at the image of Blake. )

Tarrant: Or did you betray us?

( Avon does not answer. He just stares at Blake. )

Blake: Did you betray me?

( Cally, Gan, Jenna, Tarrant, Dayna and Stella raise their guns and aim at Avon once more. )

Blake: Why did you kill me?

( Avon finally turns and looks at the others, then reflexively holds his hands up in front of his face. )

Blake: Why...?

Avon: NOOOOOO-...!!!!!!!

( Shots launch from the guns, engulfing Avon in blinding light. The light clears and Avon sits bolt upright on his bed in his quarters on the Liberator, still howling. )

Avon: ...-OOOOOOO!!!!!!!

( Avon looks around, nervous and hyperventilating. His face is sweaty and twisted in terror. He gradually calms as he realises hes been dreaming. He slumps back on the bed, looking wilted. )


( Liberator orbits the planet Dysentastra. On the Flight Deck, Farin and Vila are on watch. Farin is at the flight console, looking impatient, Vila sits in the pit looking depressed. A close up of Vilas face. There is the sound of Stella's death cry, clearly only audible to Vila, and a brief image of the moment Stella was shot flickers before his eyes. He creases his eyes shut. )

Vila: ( Whispers. ) Why...?

Farin: ( Looks up. ) What?

Vila: Hmm? Oh. Nothing.

( Farin looks at him angrily. )

Farin: Pull yourself together, man! I need to concentrate.

Vila: ( Confused. ) Doing what?

( Farin looks embarrassed as he realises he is only doing a routine watch. )

Farin: I-uh... ( Looks away. ) Just let me concentrate.

Vila: ( Shaking head. ) Heres to you, o eyes and ears.

( Avon walks onto the Flight Deck, still looking shaken but alert. Vila avoids his eyes fearfully. Farin notices how ragged Avons expression seems. )

Farin: You all right?

Avon: Any more word from Hailee, yet?

Farin: Not for an hour. Just routine check-ins so far.

( Avon sits in the pit opposite Vila. )

Avon: This still bothers me. I'd be a lot happier if she'd tell us who this mysterious supplier of hers is.

Farin: I'd be a lot happier if we got out of here and left her behind.

Avon: She knows you would. That's why she insisted on taking Oracs key as insurance. ( Glowers at Farin. ) We could never run into another Federation ship again and you'd still get us all killed.

Farin: She'd be the one to do it. Don't you want rid of her?

Avon: No. She's almost as irritating as Vila...

Vila: Hey!

Avon: ...But she's every bit as useful. She knows the Outer territories better than any of us, and her contacts are handy for staying ahead of the Federation.

Farin: It's probably Feds she's geting the goods from.

Vila: So? We need medicine. We need food. ( Smiles distantly. ) We need soma! Does it matter who we get it from?

Avon: It depends whether or not you want your last words to be "Oh no! I've been poisoned!" I for one would never take a drink from the hands of Servalan.

Vila: Well surely it won't be Servalan she's buying from.

Avon: Why not? Orac says she left Gauda Prime, but it can't say where she's gone.


( Planet Ferno, Federation Supply base. Within the lavish quarters of "Commissioner Sleer", Servalan is lounging on her recliner, sipping idly from a glass of wine. The intercom sounds. She reaches out lazily to receive. )

Vledka: ( V.O. ) Commissioner Sleer?

Servalan: Yes, Captain Vledka?

Vledka: ( V.O.) A courier from Space Command Headquarters is here to see you, ma'am, a Space Major Brecht.

( Servalan smiles knowingly. )

Servalan: Really? Space Major Brecht, indeed?

Vledka: Yes, ma'am.

Servalan: Have them show him in, Captain.

( Servalan finishes her wine and gets to her feet. The door opens and Major Brecht enters. He salutes Servalan. )

Brecht: Commissioner Sleer.

( They shake hands. )

Servalan: Major Brecht. So good to see you again. What brings you out so far?

Brecht: Well...

Servalan: Oh how can you forgive my appalling manners? Please be seated.

( Servalan seats herself and gestures to another chair. )

Brecht: No thank you, ma'am, I'm afraid my reasons for being here...

Servalan: Oh Major, please, there's a time and place for protocol. I like to keep things as informal as possible in my home. Please be seated.

Brecht: (Awkwardly. ) Uh, very well. Thank you, ma'am.

( Brecht gingerly seats himself opposite Servalan. )

Servalan: May I offer you a drink?

( Servalan presses an intercom control. )

Brecht: That really wouldnt be approp-...

Servalan: ( Into comms. ) Captain Vledka? Please have some drinks sent to my quarters. Two... Plitka Martinis, I think.

( A brief pause. )

Vledka: ( V.O. ) Understood ma'am.

( Servalan closes comms. )

Servalan: Have you tried Plitka Martini before, Major?

Brecht: Er, no.

Servalan: ( Smiles. ) I thought not. This should be quite an experience for you.

Brecht: Ma'am I really...

Servalan: Relax, Major. I'm not going to report you for being drunk on duty am I? Not when I'm the one you're drinking with.

Brecht: Very well, ma'am. Thank you.

Servalan: So Major. What exactly are your reasons for being here?

Brecht: I come as emissary from the President himself, ma'am.

Servalan: Really? Then what can I do for the President?

Brecht: It's taken me some time to locate you, ma'am. The President has requested your presence on Earth. I've been asked to escort you in person.

Servalan: I see.

( The door chimes loudly. )

Servalan: Come in.

( The door opens and a servant walks in, carrying a tray with two glasses and a decanter of wine on it. He gently places the tray on a table and starts pouring the drinks. )

Servalan: You'll find this a most charming beverage, Major.

( The servant finishes pouring and ceremoniously serves the glasses to Servalan and Brecht. He then leaves. )

Servalan: Enjoy.

( Brecht takes his glass reluctantly and has a sip. His eyes bulge. )

Servalan: Strong isnit it?

( Brecht nods, too overwhelmed to speak. Servalan looks amused. )

Servalan: Drink up, Major.

( Brecht looks alarmed then does as he is told. He rasps and drops to his knees. Servalan suddenly puts her own glass aside. She still has not drunk any. )

Servalan: Tell me, Major, where is your professionalism? Surely you know you should never accept a drink from someone youire supposed to be arresting.

( Brecht looks up at her in shock. )

Servalan: Oh yes, Brecht. I'm well aware that the President has issued a warrant for my arrest. I also know he appointed you to do the honours. Assuming drunk on duty is your idea of honourable behaviour. Don't worry, it's not poisoned, just potent.

Brecht: H-how did... you know?

Servalan: I have my friends at Space Command... and the High Council come to that. And that means I'm always well-prepared.

Brecht: Wh-Who...?

Servalan: ( Smiles. ) You don't expect me to tell you that do you?

( Servalan gently pushes Brecht to the floor. )

Servalan: Rest, Brecht. Sweet dreams.

( Brecht's eye-lids slowly roll shut. Servalan walks over to the intercom and activates it. )

Servalan: Vledka?

Vledka: ( V.O. ) Yes, Commissioner?

Servalan: Major Brecht is sleeping like a baby, Captain Vledka.

Vledka: ( V.O. ) Already, ma'am? He struck me as being rather tougher than that.

Servalan: Appearances can be so deceptive, Captain. Open communications to Space Command, secure channel. I wish to speak to Colonel Mablar.


( Dysentastra. Hailee is outside a dark warehouse on a small side-street. She is holding a small case. After a moment the door to the warehouse rumbles open. She draws her gun and steps inside. There are lots of crates and boxes in here but nobody is visible )

Bek: ( V.O. ) Drop the gun, Hailee.

Hailee: Convince me.

Bek: ( V.O. ) Well I'm not armed.

Hailee: Convince me.

( Bek steps out of cover and holds up his arms. He is unarmed. )

Bek: Better?

( Hailee puts her gun away. )

Hailee: Better. So where's the gear, Bek?

Bek: It's shy. It doesn't like meeting new people who don't have any money.

Hailee: I have plenty.

Bek: Convince ME.

( Hailee opens the case revealing hundreds of thousands of credits. )

Hailee: Have I ever let you down before?

Bek: You weren't on the Feds' wanted list before.

Hailee: Which means I have to rely on independents even more. You can trust me.

Bek: That's what Largo told me before he killed my brother.

Hailee: And that's my fault is it? I've never even been to Space City.

Bek: It must be the only place.

Hailee: I never went there because it was the only place run by the Terra Nostra.

Bek: Yeah. In some ways it was a good thing the place was destroyed during the War, wasn't it?

Hailee: Spare me the politics, Bek, show me the goods.

( Bek opens a small-sized crate and reveals a sizeable stock of medicines and surgical equipment. )

Bek: Worth eight hundred thousand?

Hailee: As long as it stops Kyben from moaning, yes. I don't want to know how you acquired it.

( Bek closes the crate. )

Bek: Well, stolen of course. The Terra Nostra do business in legal drugs as well as Shadow.

Hailee: Stolen legal drugs.

Bek: Yep.

( Hailee hands over the case of money and takes the crate. )

Hailee: Which you steal from them afterwards. Doesn't sound very legal to me. You've turned as bad as them, y'know.

Bek: You're the merc not me.

Hailee: I'm not judging you. I'm just saying you've changed.

Bek: That's why I wanted you to keep my i.d. a secret. Avon didnt strike me as one of the moral majority when I met him but I don't think he'd approve.

Hailee: Sure, my lips are sealed.

( Hailee carries the crate to the door. )

Hailee: Keep in touch, Bek. We may need to do more business in future. ( Into bracelet. ) Kyben? Teleport.

( She dematerialises with the crate. She appears in the teleport section of the Liberator. Kyben stands from behind the controls. )

Kyben: Did you get them?

( Hailee hands him the crate. It is visibly heavy. )

Hailee: Cool your engines, shell-face. It's all there.

( Hailee put her bracelet away. Avon wanders in. )

Kyben: Whoouff! It's heavy enough.

Avon: It was also expensive enough. When can you start treating Soolin?

( Kyben carries the crate to the exit. )

Kyben: What's wrong with now? On my way.

Avon: Good. The crew needs extra numbers as soon as we can get them.

Kyben: Glad your priorities are so humane, Avon.

( Kyben exits. Avon snaps his fingers and holds out his hand, staring at Hailee stonily. Hailee shoots him an equally-cold look, then pulls Orac's key out of her pocket and hands it over. )

Avon: We wouldn't have left without you, you know. A million credits-worth of provisions is a good enough reason to wait for you.

Hailee: Is that the only reason?

( Avon heads for the exit. )

Avon: I haven't been able to think up any others. Let me sleep on it.

Hailee: Sure. Sweet dreams.

( Avon freezes in the doorway. Again the apparition of Blake's face flickers briefly before his eyes, then fades. )

Avon: That would make a nice change.

( Vila rushes in past Avon. )

Vila: Well? Did you get some?

Hailee: Yes, Vila. I got some soma. Kyben's taken the whole lot to the Medical Unit.

( Vila rushes out again. )

Vila: Greedy, one-eyed son of a starbeast...


( Ferno, Servalan's quarters. Brecht is still lying on the floor, Colonel Mablar's face is on the communications screen. Servalan is talking to him. )

Mablar: I suggest you dispose of Brecht altogether, Madam President. I can arrange a convenient report to keep the false Premier's suspicions from being aroused.

Servalan: You do that, Colonel, while I arrange Brecht's "accident." Tragically his ship has crash-landed on arrival.

Mablar: Now that you mention it, Computer Flight Co-ordination did register an error in his navigation computer.

Servalan: Ah. Unpreventable loss of flight control. Died immediately on impact.

Mablar: Understood, ma'am. The report will be registered with Central's files within the hour. The false President will be informed duly.

Servalan: Excellent, Colonel. Ferno out.

( Servalan closes comms. She turns from the screen beaming in self-satisfaction but then she freezes. Brecht is on his feet, a pistol aimed at Servalan.

Brecht: "Madame President." My apologies for not recognising you before now.

Servalan: How did you recover so quickly? That drink should have knocked you out for hours.

Brecht: When I said I'd never tried it before, I was fibbing. The War was quite a stressful time, you see. Plitka Martini was my favourite relaxant. I must have had over a hundred in my time - I'm very used to them. I knew you'd try that trick. Youve gained a reputation for it.

Servalan: Well then why the charade? Why didn't you just arrest me?

Brecht: ( Smiles. ) Servalan, the "false" President has long suspected there was a leak at Space Command. He also suspected this Commissioner Sleer was on the other end of it. I knew you wouldn't tell me, but the fewer people there are who are listening, the more people talk. Or more accurately, the fewer people there are who seem to be listening...

( Brecht gestures with the gun for Servalan to go and sit down. She does as she is told. )

Brecht: So Mablar's the traitor. I'm surprised that even you would still have friends in such high places.

( Brecht pulls out his communicator and switches it on. )

Brecht: All troops, this is Major Brecht, begin phase two.

( Brecht switches off the comms. )

Brecht: So, "Commissioner"...are you ready to return to Earth?


( Captain Vledka stands in the Command Centre of Ferno Base, overseeing the Security staff. The doors suddenly burst open and troopers from Brecht's ship pour in. )

Section Leader: All right, hold it all of you. Drop your weapons!

( The Security staff do as ordered. )

Section Leader: Hands up, all of you!

( The Security staff raise their hands. The Section Leader activates his communicator. )

Section Leader: Major Brecht, this is Section Leader Tebbronn. Ferno Base is now fully secure. Repeat, Ferno Base is now fully secure.


( Liberator Medical Unit. Kyben is operating on Soolin. He has clearly been at work for some while. Avon, Hailee and Vila stand nearby, watching. Vila is contentedly sipping an Adrenaline-and-Soma. After a while, Kyben stands up straight, removes his surgical mask and downs tools. )

Vila: What now?

Kyben: Well. I've just spent the last nine hours repairing bones, knitting blood vessels, injecting serums and patching burned flesh. Now's the moment we find out if it was worth the bother.

Avon: Don't let us keep you.

Kyben: I won't.

( Kyben walks over to the control panel, and starts typing commands into the medical computer. )

Kyben: Slave?

( The voice of the Slave computer rings out from the medi-comp. )

Slave: Yes, Doctor?

Kyben: Put up the isolator around the patient, prepare the static screens.

Slave: At once, Doctor. It is an honour to be of help in such a delicate and important...

Kyben: Thank you, Slave.

( A transparent oxygen cover engulfs Soolin. Four white panels rise into place on each side of the operating couch. )

Vila: ( Whispers to Avon. ) Why'd you put Slave's memory chip in the Medi-Comp anyway?

Avon: Why did you bother removing it from Scorpio anyway?

Vila: I thought it might be useful.

Avon: And Kyben thought it might be useful for controlling the facilities. But then he's never worked with Slave before. What's your excuse?

( Kyben finishes typing commands. )

Kyben: I'll have to be quick here. Shutting down life-support machine... now.

( Kyben pulls a lever. The life-support unit switches off. )

Kyben: Stand back everyone, and cover your eyes. Activating cardio-charger...

( Everyone retreats a step and shades their eyes. Kyben pushes some more switches and covers his own eye. With a blinding flash a series of electrical charges rush through electrodes into Soolin. Her body shakes violently. The charges stop, and Soolin lies still. Kyben switches on the heart scanner. It reads as normal. )

Kyben: It worked!

Vila: What? You mean shell live?

Kyben: Yes. She can stay off the life-support unit. ( Smiles in relief. ) At least I've managed to save someone.

( Avon heads through the exit, a neutral expression on his face. )

Avon: Tell us when she wakes up. I'm going to get some sleep.

( Vila steps up to see Soolin, while Hailee puts a grudging hand on Kyben's shoulder. )

Hailee: ( Reluctantly. ) Well done... well done.


( A Federation shuttle arrives in orbit around the Earth and begins planetfall. On board, Brecht enters Servalan's cell. There are a number of armed guards here. )

Brecht: Well, Servalan. The President suggested I might arrange an "accident" for you at some point during the journey. But Ive decided I couldn't let you miss out on all those exquisitely agonising sessions with the Administration's torturers, I'm sure you'll be pleased to hear.

( Servalan doesnt answer. )

Brecht: It must be so painful for you, Servalan, knowing that this time you have no way out. Who's going to get you out of this one, "Madame President"?


( Soolin is crouched behind a rock on a hill that shows signs of being part of a recent battle. Federation troopers are scouring the side of the hill. Servalan is with them. The dead bodies of Avon, Vila, Tarrant and Dayna are scattered nearby. )

Soolin: ( V.O. ) She thinks I'm dead. That's a serious mistake. She thinks her personal war with us is over. She thinks she's President once more, and she thinks all the rebels are finally dead. Close. But shes made a big mistake. She missed me. I wont miss her.

( Soolin draws her gun, takes aim... and fires. Servalan spins at the sound of the shot. It hits her square in the chest and sends her flying. She collapses, dead. Soolin fires off several more shots. Each one hits a Federation trooper. They start tumbling to the ground long before they can return fire. Soon they are all dead. )

Soolin: I always was the best in the business.

( One last trooper steps up to her, bent forward in apparent agony. )

Trooper: Please...dont hurt me...I...

Soolin: ( V.O. ) He expects mercy. He and these other animals murdered my friends. He's one of Servalan's monsters. He'll get no mercy from me...

( The trooper suddenly straightens up and pulls off the helmet. The face beyond is Servalan's, laughing in mockery. She holds a strontium grenade, which she throws at the floor between them. The blast engulfs them both. Soolin screams, and then... blackness. )


( Liberator Medical Unit. The whole crew are present. Soolin is still unconcious on a rehab couch. Several electronic sensors are attached to her head. )

Avon: Exactly what is the problem, then?

Kyben: I'm not sure. Physically her body's okay now, and she isnt in a coma. ( Points to a screen. ) This trace reading shows plenty of mental activity. She seems to be dreaming.

Vila: She just won't wake up?

Kyben: I think I said that.

Hailee: Any theories?

Kyben: I'm no neuro-surgeon.

Avon: Neither are we, but we all know when we've got a hangover. You must have some ideas.

Kyben: Well, there's one. If theories from the twenty-fourth century of the Old Calendar are right, the human brain generates dreams during the REM-phases of sleep to self-test whether it's been adequately-rested. If not, the REM-phase ends and deep sleep continues, if it has, the dream generates extra stimulus to rouse the brain.

Vila: You mean our lobes electric shock themselves every morning?

Avon: ( Smiles. ) A crude analogy, but not entirely inaccurate. Continue.

Kyben: Rest and sleep allow the body to re-gather its energies. While her body is now well rested, it could be that Soolin's brain is struggling to turn enough adrenaline into neural energy. The strain of her injury must have hurt her central nervous system. She won't wake up because her brain hasn't the power for consciousness.

Avon: I've often had that opinion of Vila, but I must be wrong. He talks more than Soolin.

Vila: I don't.

Avon: You won't get any argument from her.

( Vila looks confused. )

Farin: Is there any way you can help her?

Vila: Coffee-injection maybe?

Kyben: Like I say, neuro-surgery's not my field. But...

Hailee: Come on, man, spit it out. Have a bit of confidence.

Kyben: ( Sighs. ) The procedure's theory, not fact. But we could attempt a neuro-transplant.

Hailee: A what?

Kyben: It'd be, er... similar to the methods the Federation use for... indoctrination treatment.

Vila: What!

Kyben: But instead of implanting electronic data into Soolin's mind, we'd harness neural energy and implant that.

Avon: I'm beginning to wonder who's dreaming here. That idea sounds ludicrous.

Kyben: You asked if I had ANY ideas, not if I had any sensible ones.

Avon: Where exactly would we obtain this neural energy?

Kyben: Well, another brain, of course.

Vila: What? Not my brain?

Avon: Of course not. We've got to have something to start with.

Kyben: The freshly-conscious mind is usually a hive of activity - except Vila's of course.

Avon: Of course. You did say "conscious".

( Vila starts sulking. )

Kyben: It means in a healthy conscious mind there's usually excess energy that could be siphoned. Theoretically.

Avon: It sounds hazardous.

Kyben: Fooling around inside someone's head is always hazardous, Avon. But I can't think of any other way to wake her up. Unless you know any neuro-surgeons who'd be dumb enough to help us?

Avon: A stupid neuro-surgeon sounds an unlikely combination. And the only neuro-surgeon we ever tried to do business with betrayed us, because he wasn't stupid enough.

Kyben: So a transplant sounds like the best bet.

Hailee: Sure, but who'd volunteer to have a butcher like you suck out their brain-cells?

Farin: I wouldn't trust Kyben with a corn plaster.

Kyben: I'm afraid it's not that simple anyway.

( Kyben starts typing commands into the medi-comp. A small data card pops out of it. )

Avon: What do you mean?

Kyben: Everyones brainwave patterns are completely unique. We'd need to find someone who has a psycho-pattern close enough to Soolin's for her mind to accept the implant. It'd be a hell of a coincidence if anyone on this ship has one.

Vila: Well then who?

Kyben: Everybody undergoes regular mental scans during infancy, to help root out potential criminals or dissidents. The records of the scans are stored at FedSec Command's central database.

( Kyben picks up the data card. )

Kyben: We'll give this readout of Soolin's psyche-readings to Orac. Maybe he can find a compatible brain.


( Earth, the High Council chamber in Castle Lupus. The President and his deputies sit at the height of the chamber. The Arbiter General oversees the proceedings. All the members of the Council are present. Servalan and Colonel Mablar are brought in under heavily-armed guard. They stand in the middle of the chamber, trembling slightly. )

Arbiter General: Servalan. You are hereby charged with four counts of treason, one count of fraudulent operation within Federation Security, six counts of abuse of office, and four counts of mishandling a matter of Federation Security at the highest level. How do you plead?

Servalan: I do not recognise the authority...

Arbiter General: HOW do you plead?

Servalan: ( Quietly. ) Not guilty.

Arbiter General: Colonel Tre Mablar. You are hereby charged with three counts of conspiracy against the Federation, two counts of aiding and abetting an attempted fraud...


( Liberator Flight Deck. The whole crew bar Soolin is present. Orac is in the pit, presently switched on. )

Vila: You are joking aren't you?

Orac: "Joking"? One moment please... ( Several seconds pass. ) ...a joke is a story with an ironic climax designed to provoke a humoured response. That is not the purpose of my previous statement.

Avon: Re-check the data, Orac. Make sure that she is the only compatible candidate. ( To Kyben. ) Well, there IS one hell of a coincidence.

Kyben: I can't believe it. Why'd it have to be her of all people?

Farin: And we thought we were finally rid of her.

Avon: Well, Orac?

Orac: Data is correct. The only candidate with a psycho-compatibility to Soolin within the safety parameters specified is Servalan.

Vila: But you said yesterday the President's gonna bump her off.

Orac: "Bump her off"? One moment please...

Hailee: Never mind, Orac, never mind. ( Looks at the others. ) You know what this means don't you?

Avon: ( Smiling. ) Yes. Either we leave Soolin as she is, or we rescue Servalan.


( High Council Chamber. The trial continues. The Prosecution Counsel is making her opening address to the assembly. Throughout the address we slowly zoom in more and more closely on Servalan's face. Angry, helpless tears are starting to form at the corners of her eyes. )

Prosecutor: The accused have used every possible deceit, every possible manipulation, to undermine the authority of the High Council and even the President himself. Servalan's use of a false identity to infiltrate the Security forces is an imprisonable offence in its own right. Her further conduct constitutes an irresponsible hazard to Federation State Security...


( Liberator Flight Deck. Avon, and Farin are arguing with Kyben and Vila. Hailee sits to one side, listening closely. )

Avon: Don't be a fool. Rescue Servalan? Soolin's life is not worth helping Servalan for.

Kyben: Who are you to decide what a life is worth?

Avon: Spare me the moral sermons, and spare me your bleeding-heart babble.

Kyben: This is not bleeding heart. Soolin could still die if she doesn't wake up soon. I have a chance to save her. This is that chance. We have to go.

Farin: I always knew you were an idiot, Kyben! You seriously think we should park the ship above the Earth? How many Pursuit ships could they send after us from there?

Kyben: If that's what it takes.

Avon: For once I agree with Farin. You're being an idiot.

Vila: Look, I don't want to hang around near Earth either...

Avon: Oh? You shock me.

Vila: But Soolin's dying. Have you got any better ways for helping her?

Avon: You would rather face the Pursuit ships?

Vila: Well, not really...

Avon: Exactly.

Vila: But we can't just let her die.

Avon: That is emotion talking. We need less emotion and more common sense. We'll just have to think up another way to wake her.

Vila: There may not be enough time for that.

Avon: If not, it would be unfortunate. But we cannot endanger the ship for the sake of just one of the crew.

Vila: Well...

Kyben: I don't plan to get us blown up. But Soolin needs us.

Avon: She wouldn't be the first to die fighting the Federation.

Kyben: No. She wouldn't, would she? Interesting that, isn't it?

( Avon narrows his eyes. )

Kyben: People just have to be near you to die, don't they, Avon? How many have been with you since you escaped from Cygnus Alpha? And how many of them are still alive? Even Blake died in the end. How many more have to die for your sake, Avon?

( Avon looks furious and Vila looks alarmed, but Hailee leaps to her feet before either of them can answer. )

Hailee: Oh shut up the lot of you!

( Everyone goes silent and looks at her. )

Hailee: We go to Earth. We give Kyben twenty minutes to catch Servalan. At the end of that time we leave. If he isn't back on board by then we leave him and his ugly mush behind. Sound sensible enough for you, Avon?

Avon: ( Points at Kyben. ) You expect him to capture her? Alone?

Hailee: Of course not. Farin will go with him.

Farin: What?!

Hailee: You heard. With any luck you'll get yourselves killed and we'll be shot of the pair of you.

( Avon smiles. )

Avon: Yes. I could go along with that.

Vila: Yeah, you really could, couldn't you?

Farin: I'm not going down there with him.

Avon: Fine, go on your own then.

Hailee: Kyben?

( Kyben looks angry, but doesn't answer. )

Avon: It's the only plan I'm prepared to go along with, Kyben. Take it or leave it.

Kyben: ( Hesitates. ) All right.

( Kyben heads for the port-side corridor. He pauses and looks over his shoulder at the others. )

Kyben: When she wakes up, I must let Soolin know how much her life is worth to you, Avon. Twenty minutes of your time?

( Kyben exits. Avon is typically unmoved. )

Avon: Zen. Lay in a course for the planet Earth.

Zen: Confirmed. Course is laid in.

Avon: Engage at speed Standard by seven.

Zen: Confirmed.

( Liberator makes a turn, then accelerates toward the Earth. )


( High Council Chamber. The Counsel for the Defence is just closing his opening address. )

Defence Counsel: ...Such a judgement can only be justifiably made by the President. And Servalan did not willingly hand over that office. Only when the President himself has stood trial for the same charges and been found not guilty, can he call Servalan to task. That concludes our opening declaration.

( The Counsel for the Defence resume his seat. )

Arbiter General: Thank you, Counsel for the Defence. The Arbiter will now accept submissions.

( The two Counsels bring forward the evidence samples. )

Arbiter General: Let it be seen that the evidence for the Prosecution is sealed, and approved by the Defence.

( The Prosecutor places the evidence sample onto the Judgement machine. )

Arbiter General: Let it be seen that the evidence for the Defence is sealed, and approved by the Prosecution...


( Liberator is now in orbit around the Earth. In the Teleport Section, Kyben and Farin are kitted up. Kyben has two bracelets. Avon sits at the controls. Hailee leans against the wall, arms folded. )

Hailee: Twenty minutes.

Kyben: We know. ( To Farin. ) Remember, as soon as you're done, you get out. Also do so if you're spotted by anyone.

Farin: That goes without saying! ( Grits his teeth. ) I need some target practice, Kyben. You'd better watch over your shoulder while were down there.

Hailee: And you'd better stop buying your dialogue from "Ye Olde Shoppe of Clichés."

Avon: The clock is already ticking. If you're going to do this insanity, now is the time.

( Kyben and Farin line up in the teleport bay. )

Kyben: You keep the common sense rolling, Avon, I'll keep the insanity flowing.

Avon: Does that mean youre ready?

Farin: I think he means get on with it.

( Avon operates the controls and Kyben and Farin dematerialise. )


( High Council Chamber. The Judgement Machine is about to announce its verdict. The Arbiter General reads the print-out, then turns his chair to face Servalan and Colonel Mablar.)

Arbiter General: The accused have been found guilty on all charges. The totality of the crimes they have committed amount to the highest treason: crimes that endanger the very infrastructure of the Terran Federation. In sentencing the accused, the Judgement Machine has considered their histories of service, their loyalty to the Federation, and their observed mental health. Their records of service are both positive but chequered. They have both displayed evidence that their own advancement is a higher priority to them than the good of the Federation, while their mental health is unquestionably sound. There is no doubt at all that Servalan and Colonel Mablar were both fully aware of their actions, the non-validity of said actions, and the likely consequences.

( The Arbiter General stands and leans toward Servalan and Colonel Mablar. )

Arbiter General: This court cannot find any reason to exonerate the accused in any way of the crimes they have committed against the Federation. The sentence is therefore that the accused be taken from this place and, within the hour, suffer death by antimatter disintegration, beyond all possibility of molecular preservation.

( The tears well up in Servalan's eyes once again. The Arbiter rings the bell to declare the trial over. Almost all the members of the High Council stand and shake their fists in the air in approval. The President smiles happily. Secretary Demwuhl frowns angrily. )

Arbiter General: This matter is settled...

( The lights suddenly go out. In virtual darkness there is a lot of shouting, panic and confusion. After a moment the lights switch back on. Colonel Mablar remains in the dock, but Servalan is no longer there. )

President: What the-...? She's gone!

( More confusion and consternation. )

President: What are you waiting for you fools?! She can't have gone far! Get after her!!

( The troopers bumble out and start hunting for Servalan. )


( Liberator Teleport Section. Servalan, Farin and Kyben materialise in the teleport bay. Servalan is wearing Kyben's spare bracelet. She looks utterly shell-shocked. Avon, Vila and Hailee all have their guns aimed at her. )

Avon: Well done. I think. Vila, go to the Flight Deck and get us moving.

Vila: On my way.

( Vila exits. Kyben and Farin start to unpack their bracelets and weapons. )

Kyben: Good timing with the lights, Farin.

Farin: ( Sarcastic. ) Oh a pleasure.

Kyben: Look, you got the easy job, stop moaning.

Servalan: What's going on? You rescued me?

Avon: A mistake I swore I'd never repeat after last time. Nothing I can do about Kyben's youthful impulses though.

Servalan: Why?

Avon: Don't worry, we're not getting sentimental about you.

( Avon steps closer to her and holds his gun close to her eyes. )

Avon: We need a favour. I'm sure you'll be willing to help.


( Liberator Flight Deck. The crew, minus Kyben and Soolin, are all on their feet, surrounding Servalan who sits in the pit. Avon and Farin have their guns aimed at her. )

Servalan: What do I get in return?

Hailee: We won't shoot you 'till after the operation.

Servalan: ( Smiles arrogantly. ) I've studied your profile on Security's files, Hailee. You're not weak, but you're not the sort to shoot a helpless, unarmed opponent.

Hailee: Of course I'm not, but then I don't have to. Avon and Farin have the guns.

Servalan: ( Smiling more coldly. ) You're offering me an extra twenty minutes of life? You expect me to go along with it?

Avon: It wouldn't matter if you did. We can just take what we need. Your co-operation will only make things slightly easier for us. But much less painful for you.

Servalan: ( Smile has melted away. ) A painful death or a painless death?

Avon: That's all we're offering, Servalan. Like I say, I don't really care which one you choose.


( Liberator Medical Unit. Servalan is now strapped to one of the rehab couches, unconscious. Two electrode-pads are attached to her temples. Wires run from the pads to the medi-computer. More wires run from there to pads adhered to Soolin's temples. The whole crew are here, minus Vila. Kyben is making some adjustments. His gun is on a side-table. Vila walks in. )

Vila: Okay, Zen says we're out of scanner-range, so I've stopped the ship.

Avon: You can start, Kyben.

Kyben: ( Sarcastic. ) Thank you, sir. Slave?

Slave: Yes, Doctor?

Kyben: Power up.

Slave: At once, sir.

( The machinery switches on. Kyben moves two strobe lamps forward, one in front of Servalan's face, the other in front of Soolin. )

Kyben: Remember everyone, this hasn't been done before, so it might not work.

Avon: One of the reasons I was against rescuing Servalan in the first place.

Kyben: Stand back.

( Everyone retreats slightly. )

Kyben: Slave, begin.

( The strobes start up and bombard Soolin and Servalan with flickering light. Power starts running through the wires from Servalan to Soolin. The procedure continues for some moments. )

Kyben: Cease operation.

( The procedure stops. Servalan moans slightly and comes round dizzily. Kyben unstraps her and Soolin. He then activates the neuro-scanner. )

Kyben: If it worked, Soolin should wake up soon.

Servalan: Wh-whats...

( Avon aims his gun at Servalan. )

Avon: How do you feel, "Madame President"?

Servalan: I...

( Servalan looks around and slowly she remembers where she is. )

Servalan: Oh. Bad. So... tired. I can't...

( Her eyes roll shut. )

Hailee: She passed out. ( Looks at Vila. ) She's even more of a wimp than you.

Vila: What about Soolin?

Hailee: No, she's not as much of a wimp as you.

Vila: No I mean is she all right?

Kyben: ( Points at neuro-scanner. ) Promising. According to this trace, it's worked. There's a far healthier amount of energy in her head now. Next REM-phase she should wake up.

Avon: Hopefully feeling better for the rest.

Vila: How come you know so much about this sort of treatment?

Kyben: What?

Vila: You're not a neuro-surgeon, how come the operation was so easy?

Kyben: ( Looks away. ) It wasn't actually.

Avon: How long until Soolin wakes?

Kyben: That's up to her.

( Vila suddenly points at Servalan's couch. )

Vila: Hey! Where'd she go?

( They all turn and look. Servalan has vanished. )

Avon: ( Draws gun. ) She was bluffing. Kyben, stay and watch Soolin. The rest of you, search the ship for Servalan. Come on!

( They all turn and head through the door, except Kyben. )


( Soolin is sitting in utter blackness. She is cross-legged, arms folded, head down, as though cold. )

Soolin: ( V.O. ) Second best in the business, Dorian called me. He was dead a few minutes later. Serves him right. It wasn't me who killed him, mind, it was Avon. Indirectly. I've learned a lot from Avon. All sorts of things about combat and survival. And most of all about anger. Overall I've learned that Dorian may have been right. I may not be best after all. I may be fastest to the draw, but Avon... oh there are ways of killing that he alone has mastered, that I could never match.

( Light begins to invade her solitude. )

Soolin: He's the best in the business. I'm only the second.

( Suddenly Soolin's eyes flicker open and she sees she is lying in the rehab couch in the Medical Unit. She sees Kyben, who has his back turned, checking the equipment. )

Soolin: Which means I need to get in some practice.


( Servalan staggers onto the Flight Deck. She is very weary and dizzy. She stumbles into the pit and fumbles Orac's key into place. )

Servalan: Orac...

Orac: What do you want?

Servalan: I need you to... operate the teleport.

Orac: A pointless and foolish request. The Liberator is not in teleport range of any planet, and any attempt by a life-form to teleport from the ship will result in immediate physical disintegration. Do not waste my time.

( Servalan looks exasperated then stumbles toward the armoury and pulls out a Liberator handgun. She then makes for the steps and comes face to face with Hailee. Each takes aim at the other. Then Servalan lowers her gun. )

Servalan: This time... you do have the gun, Hailee... what's your choice?

Hailee: You're armed too...

Servalan: But still helpless, Hailee. I can barely... stand up straight, never mind fight you.

( Hailee looks perturbed. She still keeps her gun levelled at Servalan, but she is clearly in turmoil about opening fire.)


( Liberator Medical Unit. Kyben is packing away the neuro-equipment. Suddenly a hand snakes round his throat from behind, and the barrel of his own gun presses against his face. He sidles his eye and sees that it is Soolin who has accosted him. )

Soolin: You? Who are you?

Kyben: Easy, easy. You've been unconscious for a while, just stay...

( Soolin presses the gun into his face more firmly. )

Soolin: I asked you a question. Who are you? And where is this?

Kyben: My name's Kyben...

( Soolin glances around, increasingly nervous. )

Soolin: I... recognise this place. I... Liberator? This is the Liberator! How can that be? How can I know? How can I be here? I was shot... I... Liberator was destr-...

( Soolin steps round and stands in front of Kyben, looking at him with anger and fear. )

Soolin: Answer me... "Kyben." Talk. Talk!

( Soolin presses the gun into Kyben's face once more. )

Soolin: Talk!




In this episode Soolin finally wakes up, while Servalan is made to confront her past.

We get a glimpse of Hailee's more vulnerable side. Yes, even she has some measure of honour. We also see her talent for authority when she settles a bad-tempered dispute between rest of the crew.

Avon usually has someone to bicker with hand-to-throat. With Blake and Tarrant gone, he finds himself at loggerheads with Kyben. Avon's guilty nightmares are continuing, and they're growing. Also, watch out for clues to Kyben's terrible secret. He has a darker side than we have so far seen.

I've always been fond of Slave so I've brought him back, now as the medical unit's main computer. Having four computers bumbling around is possibly a little daunting, so I may change that later on, but for the time being we'll see how well it works.

This is a darker tale than the other ones I've written so far. Which is the way I like it.



Neil Blissett:

This episode moves the story along in a few new directions. Soolin is back, although not quite her old self. The Federation find out about Servalan's identity and sentence her to death. The ending is a real clifhanger.

Bek from Shadow is now a dealer in stolen goods. Space City was apparently destroyed in the Galactic War.

Servalan's trial is similar to Blake's from The Way Back and Travis' from Trial.


Jane Walton:

You seem to have a good grasp of Servalan's character, perhaps it's your nasty, cynical and pessimistic nature shining through! (I'll leave you to decide whether that's a compliment or not!!!)

(NOTE: The nasty, cynical etc. reference is a private joke.) I don't care if it's a compliment or not, it's a statement of fact.

There are a lot of brilliant twists and turns in this episode and I think it's great!

Hailee is coming across as a strong character and I rather like her. She has some nice rough edges but a reasonable soft centre and I get the feeling she's quite fond of Avon so she has good taste anyway. She is also intelligent and hopefully, will never become a 'clothes-horse', as the original B7 women were wont to do.

I won't let her become a clothes-horse like Jenna and Dayna did (I should say that Cally was the reverse  -  I thought she started out as a clothes-horse, then gradually became interesting). Jenna and Dayna proved to be a waste of grand potential, but I'm pleased with the way Hailee has started out and I'm bending over backwards to keep her to the fore of the story. Yes, she's got a very soft spot for Avon, though she's too "liberated" to admit it, and to be fair, she's pretty good at hiding it from the others.

I don't really see Avon as stupid enough to have hangovers but I suppose he was young once!

He was speaking metaphorically anyway, but yes, he was young once. According to The Syndeton Experiment (I don't recommend listening to it by the way) you'll learn a little bit about Avon's naive past, especially an old friend of his called Madame Gaskia.

Re: the constant mental scans idea: Maybe they did on Federated worlds but GP was only an agricultural planet. Why would they waste time and resources scanning a group of settlement farmers? Besides, if they routinely scanned everywhere, where would any rebels come from? They'd all have been rooted out and killed.

You're taking the logic a step too far. Kyben scanned Soolin's psyche readings while he was treating her  -  that was what was on the datacard he got from the medi-computer  -  it had nothing to do with records from her childhood. The common practice on most Federated worlds (see Horizon) was to scan children at birth, so SERVALAN'S read-out would have been stored in the Federation records. That was what Orac found while he was searching for compatible readings. Yes, a large number of people won't have been scanned, especially people on Neutral planets, but there's no way the Liberator crew can check them, so Orac just did without. They might've found someone other than Servalan otherwise.

It's a nice twist to use Servalan to help Soolin considering their interplay in Partners (like the chicken and the egg question, I'm not sure which came first but from the time scale I would guess that Dark Dreams did.)

Dark Dreams was indeed written before Partners (of which there will definitely be a version in Blake's Legacy, pencilled in for midway through the second season). In fact, Dark Dreams was one of the inspirations Neil took for Partners.

BUT I find it almost impossible to believe that her brain would have anything in common with Soolin's. They are just basically too different.


The following explanation is extremely technical. The reading of this hazardous material may result in extreme mental confusion, exhaustion, brylcremed hair, bucked teeth, spotty faces with glasses held together by sellotape, or just plain boredom. You have been warned.

It's not a question of personality outright as opposed to the way the physical attributes of their brains work. They both think quickly (similar frequencies so to speak), are both icy cool (similar amplitudes you might say), and are exceptional lateral thinkers. If you were to draw these two combinations as a bio graph I suspect you'd end up with two very similar probability waves. The individual nuances of their personalities, as you say, are very different, but the way some of them work are similar, which means the energy of their thought-patterns would be similar too, and it's this energy that Kyben was trying to harness.

On this premise I concluded that Kyben was lying about the compatibility and wanted to rescue Servalan for reasons of his own.

An interesting idea, but no, he couldn't have been. After all, he wasn't the one who came up with Servalan as a possible donor, it was Orac. However, you're right to suspect Kyben's dishonesty on a certain level, and Servalan has something to do with it.

That makes me wonder why Avon wasn't suspicious of him. Surely it would have occurred to him that it was odd that Servalan's brain was a closer match than anyone else's was. She is a ruthless, demented psychopath - who could hope to match that?! (The answer to that is of course Avon but that's irrelevant to this story.)

If you re-read it you may notice that he was a little suspicious, it's just that neuro-surgery is a very foreign field to him so he decided it's best to leave it to someone who has at least got some kind of medical background. However, those suspicions are there, and as you'd expect, Avon is the one who unravels the mystery in episode seven.

"Death by anti-matter disintegration" sounds riveting! I'd love to see that actually on the screen. It's so nasty, it's great. You're a genius!

You mean you like that sort of idea? >Sheesh!< Remind me never to get you angry!

The dream sequence idea is a good one, a tried and tested method but I think you're over-doing it just a little. This is Avon we're talking about, the Avon who has hardly any conscience. He has never before seemed to have been so racked by nightmares, not even after the death of Sula/Anna. She died in his arms and he was at his lowest ebb then, he didn't even care that his arch nemesis Servalan was going to kill him but he was able to put it all behind him fairly quickly.

Two points to this. One, we don't actually know whether or not he's been racked by nightmares before, simply because we've seldom seen him when he's sleeping in the past. It should be noted that in the episode Ultraworldone of the rare occasions we do see him sleeping, he said "I tend to suffer from insomnia." He might have been joking, but if not it could be that it's because he suffers nightmares  -  sleep is the only outlet his conscience is allowed, as he won't allow it to invade his thoughts when he's awake (I reject the idea that Avon hardly has a conscience. Everyone has one, it's just a question of whether they pay attention to it or understand it).

The second point goes back to In The Jaws  -  again I'm trying to stress that this Avon is a changed man from the one who led the Liberator at Star One. Stress has frayed his famous icy control somewhat. I don't agree with those who suggest he'd gone mad by the time Scorpio was destroyed, but his temper has certainly become shorter and his behaviour has become noticeably more erratic. I think the control he once had over his emotions is no longer as total as it was.

I'm sure it would haunt him more than any other killing he did before or after but Avon doesn't really allow things to prey on his mind that much. By all means haunt him but don't go OTT on it!

I don't plan to. The dreams won't happen that often, and they won't have that big a bearing on most episodes. But they will have a bearing on the bigger picture, in a way that at present will be unclear, so they'll pop up every so often.

On a practical note, he's no use to anyone if he has a nervous breakdown is he?

He's not going to, he's far too strong for things to get that bad. But by the same measure, we can't just pretend that everything he's been through hasn't happened. It all must have changed him and the dreams are a symptom.


Brian McLennan:

Is there some hidden meaning behind the dream sequences that Avon is experiencing?

Yes. You'll find out exactly what's happening to Avon early in season two.

The Liberator crew having to save Servalan's neck was a nice irony. A bit like them having to defend the Federation in Star One.

That's true actually. I never noticed that before.

Overall an engrossing episode, very atmospheric, but perhaps a bit too mystical for its own good.


My replies are in ORANGE ITALICS


Season One Scripts