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 VII - Truths



( Lupus Castle on Earth. High Council Chamber. The President is addressing the assembly. )

President: Veron's death under interrogation was unfortunate. I had hoped we would obtain more information about the remaining Terran Resistance forces before she succumbed, but what we have gained indicates that I must now declare a state of special emergency.

( There are shouts of protest from all around the chamber. The President struggles to make himself heard above the growing tumult. )

Delegate 1: You can't...!

Delegate 2: We still haven't the numbers to keep control...

President: The information...

Delegate 3: The Outer Worlds are causing enough trouble. This'll start unrest in the Inner Planets...

President: The information the deserter Kyben took with him indicates an unacceptable breach... ( More shouts cause him to pause. ) ...indicates an unacceptable breach of security for the Terran Administration. Until we can... ( More protests. ) ...Until we can apprehend the traitor and his co-conspirators... full martial law must be enforced...

( The President has to remain quiet for nearly twenty seconds as more howls of protest break out. )

President: Once the fugitive Servalan has been recaptured...

( Yet more protests which develop into a chant... )

Delegates: Long live Servalan! Long live Servalan! Long live Servalan!

( Secretary Demwuhl and Councillor Brekim furtively leave the chamber. In the corridor, they find an out-of-the-way corner in which to quietly talk. )

Demwuhl: ( Anxiously. ) Well?

Brekim: It seems you were right all along.

Demwuhl: Of course. We cannot continue with that man as President. He was always too weak. A President who can't control the Council will get torn apart by Space Command. An iron fist, Brekim, it's the only way. We must find a way to restore Servalan. She's the only one with the strength to rule so many.

Brekim: I agree. But now that Mablar's been executed we have no allies at Space Command. We can't seriously hope to move against the President without anyone in the Military to back us...

Demwuhl: There may still be a way. Are you with me, Brekim?

Brekim: ...Yes.


( A flotilla of Pursuit ships are tailing the Liberator. On the Flight deck of the lead pursuit ship. )

Mutoid: All battle-computer flight predictions confirm Leonis system as the most likely destination from Earth, Commander.

Commander: Estimated time to intercept?

Mutoid: Computer projects eight minutes and fourteen seconds. Preparing to execute attack plan.

Commander: When will we enter the Liberator's detector range?

Mutoid: Forty seconds.

Commander: Unfortunately they won't be in range of our weapons for another two minutes. Let's hope they're still there when we arrive.

Mutoid: Yes, Commander.


( Liberator Flight Deck. Hailee and Servalan remain at a stand-off. Hailee lowers her gun. )

Hailee: You're right. I can't shoot you like this.

Servalan: So what do we do? You can't let me go... and I'm not going to stay here and... wait for Avon to kill me.

( Farin enters from the other corridor and aims his gun at Servalan. )

Farin: Why wait? I'll kill you right here.


( Liberator Medical Unit. Soolin still aims a gun at Kyben. She looks increasingly tired and dizzy. )

Soolin: What's going on? I... remember... pain. So much pain. I was shot... should be dead... I remember... power. So much power. I've never ruled but... I've ruled the Federation. I know this ship... but I've never seen it before...

( Kyben watches her calmly, almost curious. )

Soolin: What's happening to me?! Tell me!

Kyben: You've been brain-dead for several weeks, Soolin. I managed to revive you...

( Soolin looks away wistfully. Kyben keeps watching her closely. )

Soolin: How can I know...? ( Smiles fearfully. ) Power... it's like... like a drug. It is beautiful. Shining. I could destroy... I loved him. ( She looks at Kyben. ) Keller. You waited five years to show me... Dorian, you tried to kill me...

( Kyben looks confused and frightened. Soolin becomes tearful. )

Soolin: WHATS HAPPENING TO ME?!? Where's all this from? It never happened!

Kyben: Not to you.

( Soolin sinks to her knees in horror as she realises. )

Soolin: No... please not that!

( Kyben looks at her inquiringly. )

Soolin: It's Servalan isn't it? Servalan's in my mind! Please no!

( Soolin covers her eyes with her hand. Kyben puts a hand on her shoulder to try and comfort her. Reflexively she swings her gun round and points it at his face once more. )

Soolin: I'll kill you. I'll kill you. Where there's life there's threat... threat. I'll kill YOU!


( Flight Deck of lead pursuit ship. )

Mutoid: The Liberator is within weapons range.


( Liberator Flight Deck. Farin is just about to fire at Servalan. )

Zen: Attention. Sensors detect five Federation Pursuit ships on attack vector, bearing two-two-nine.

( Farin lowers his gun in surprise. )


( Pursuit ship. )

Commander: Two plasma bolts. Open fire.

( The mutoid presses the firing stud and two plasma bolts hurtle toward the Liberator. )

Commander: All ships, fire at will.


( Liberator Flight Deck. )

Zen: Double plasma bolt launch.

Hailee: Zen, put up the force wall. Hurry!

( The two bolts power across space and strike the force wall of the Liberator. Servalan, Hailee and Farin are thrown around by the blast. )

Zen: Enemy fire has registered two direct hits on the Liberator. Force wall has held.


( Medical Unit. Soolin is about to fire when she and Kyben are thrown to the floor as the Liberator shudders under the assault. )

Kyben: What the...?

( While searching for Servalan in one of the corridors, Avon is also hurled from his feet by the blast. He grunts with pain but quickly stands and reaches an intercom. )

Avon: ( Into comms. ) Attention. We are under attack. Battle stations!


( Flight Deck. In the confusion Servalan crawls up the steps and away from Hailee and Farin's reach. Hailee staggers to her feet. )

Hailee: Zen, put battle computers on line. Activate the radiation flare shield. Clear neutron blasters for firing...

Zen: Confirmed. Weapons are cleared for firing. Plasma bolt launch.


( Pursuit ship. )

Commander: We have them...


( Liberator Medical Unit. Kyben leaps up and tries to pull Soolin to her feet. )

Kyben: Soolin, come on.

Soolin: Let me go!

Kyben: You heard him, we're under attack.

Soolin: I can't do anything... please help me!

Kyben: Soolin, I may be able to help you later, but right now, they need our help on the Flight Deck. Come with me.

( Kyben offers his hand. )

Soolin: I...

Kyben: Trust me. I won't hurt you.

( Soolin reluctantly accepts his hand and he helps her to her feet. Kyben heads through the door. )

Kyben: Follow me.

( Servalan arrives in the hold of the Liberator. She is still tired and confused but she manages to board the Daedalus. )

Servalan: Why can't I... remember?

( Servalan activates the controls. )

Servalan: Computer?

Gan: Apologies, ma'am, but your voiceprint is unauthorised. Please identify yourself.

Servalan: My name is Soolin...

( Servalan looks confused. )

Servalan: Soolin?

Gan: That name is registered in my memory, ma'am, but I fear your voiceprint is still unavailable. My programming prevents me from assisting you in the control of this ship. My apologies.

Servalan: Blast it!

( Servalan thumps the control panel. Then a thought occurs to her. )

Servalan: Computer, you are not authorised to assist me controlling this ship?

Gan: That is so.

Servalan: Are you able to open the cargo bay of the Liberator?

Gan: I am unable to perform that task personally, ma'am, but I can send such instructions to the Liberators main computer.

Servalan: ( Smiles. ) Is manual control available on this ship?

Gan: Affirmative, ma'am.

( Servalans smile broadens. )


( Liberator Flight Deck. Avon, Vila, Hailee and Farin are at the controls. )

Avon: Brace for impact.

( A plasma bolt hits the force wall. The Liberator trembles once again. )

Zen: Force wall holding.

Avon: Hailee, manoeuvre so we can return fire.

Hailee: Right.

( Hailee hauls on the helm. Liberator starts to turn. Kyben and Soolin head onto the Flight Deck. Kyben is having to help Soolin to stay on her feet. )

Vila: ( Relieved smile. ) Soolin!

Soolin: Vila? Avon?

Avon: ( Evenly. ) Welcome back, Soolin. I'll introduce you to the others at a more opportune time. For the moment... ( Points to the communication console. ) ...take the comms.

( Looking confused, Soolin heads to the control panel Avon indicates. Kyben takes the console in the pit. )

Zen: Launch of the freighter Daedalus is complete.

Hailee: What!

Zen: Launch of the freighter Daedalus is complete.

Farin: We forgot about Servalan! She must have stolen it.


( The Daedalus is clear of the Liberator and turns to head away. )


( Flight Deck of lead pursuit ship. )

Mutoid: Our detectors show the target vessel manoeuvring to counterattack position. A smaller craft appears to be debarking from the Liberator.

Commander: Identify the smaller ship.

Mutoid: Public-issue Alpha-merchant vessel, Harrier-class.

Commander: Instruct Pursuit two to concentrate its fire on the merchant ship. All other ships will target Liberator with maximum firepower.

Mutoid: Pursuit two confirms.

Commander: Prepare for super-acceleration. ( Looks at image of Liberator on the screen. ) Get ready for the surprise of your life, Avon.


( Liberator Flight Deck. )

Avon: Stand by to fire, Vila.

Vila: Um, right.

Zen: Plasma bolt launch.

Kyben: Force wall at eighty-four per cent.

Hailee: Preparing evasive manoeuvres.

Farin: Fire, Vila, hurry!

Avon: No, wait. On my signal.

( Avon counts from three to one on his fingers. )

Avon: NOW!

( Vila presses the firing control. A shot sears from the main blaster of the Liberator. )


( Flight Deck of Pursuit One. )

Commander: NOW!

( The Pursuit ships suddenly break pattern and veer around the shot, then return to the attack formation at increased speed. )


( Liberator Flight Deck. )

Farin: This cannot be right...

Avon: What?

Farin: Theyre approaching at Time Distort 19!

Vila: They can't go that fast!

Hailee: You want me to arrest them for speeding? Hold tight everyone.

( Hailee hauls on the controls and Liberator evades. )

Avon: Looks like they finally built the Mark Vs.

Vila: Looks like we're in trouble.

Hailee: Well, at least we're consistent.

Kyben: Can we run?

Avon: We can go slightly faster than them, but...

Zen: Plasma bolt launch.

( Hailee again begins evasive manoeuvres. The bolt skims past. )

Vila: ( Queasy. ) Can't you fly a bit more gently?

Hailee: Of course. I can also die. Shut up you wet...

Avon: Prepare to return fire.

Soolin: At this speed?

Vila: We'll drain the energy banks taking all them...

Avon: We'll have to sit it out. Shut up and get ready to fire.

Vila: But...

Avon: I said shut up!

Zen: Plasma bolt launch.

Avon: Hold position. Force wall to full strength. We'll take this one, then move.

( The bolt slams into the force wall, shaking everyone up. )

Avon: FIRE!

( Vila pushes the firing stud. A neutron bolt launches from the main blaster. One of the Pursuit ships bursts into flames. )

Vila: Got it!

Avon: That should even things up a bit.

Kyben: Power reserves at sixty-four percent.

Avon: Make every shot count, Vila.

( The battle continues. )


( On Daedalus, Servalan is struggling to stay upright, she is so tired. A pursuit ship is dogging Daedalus' escape. )

Servalan: Computer, range of pursuit ship?

Gan: My apologies, ma'am, I'm afraid I must request authorisation from a designated signatory before I will be able to complete that order.

( Servalan thumps the flight console in disgust. The ship jolts as a plasma bolt from the pursuit craft passes nearby. )

Servalan: Gah...! What evasive manoeuvres are recommended?

Gan: My apologies, ma'am, I'm afraid I must request author-...

( Servalan thumps Gan. )

Servalan: Shut up!

Gan: As you wish, ma'am.

( Servalan struggles to guide the Daedalus away from the Pursuit ship, but her skills as a pilot are woefully and visibly inadequate. A plasma bolt eventually strikes the Daedalus and it spins out of control. )

Gan: Time Distort facilities overloading. The Photonic drive appears to have been engaged...

Servalan: Wha-...?

( Daedalus suddenly powers away from the Pursuit ship at crazy speeds, and on an entirely random course. Servalan is thrown out of her seat by the sudden rush of speed. She cries in alarm as she is thrown into a wall and pinned there by the acceleration. )

Servalan: Yooooowwww-... Ooof!

( Servalan passes out. )

Gan: Present speed now stands at Time Distort Twenty Five. This is the Daedalus' newly-enhanced maximum. If there are any further enquiries, please do not hesitate to ask. I will endeavour to assist within certain accepted bounds.

( The Daedalus is now completely out of control and is soon beyond the edge of the Leonis System. )


( Liberator Flight Deck. The battle has swung somewhat with the destruction of the first Pursuit Ship. )

Soolin: ( Still looking puzzled. ) We've lost track of that freighter completely.

Kyben: Orac, can you track the Daedalus?

Orac: Of course I can.

Avon: Then do so.

Orac: Is that all you wish me to do?

Avon: That is all we wish you to do. Nothing else. Not even talk.

Orac: It would appear that once again I...

Avon: I said we don't want you to talk.

Soolin: Why are we bothering with that ship?

Hailee: It's my ship.

Soolin: Oh?

Avon: The Photonic Drive's aboard it, and so is Servalan.

Soolin: ( Confused. ) No I'm not.

( The others all look at her. )

Soolin: I... I mean...

( She looks at Kyben imploringly. The others look at him too. He shrugs. )

Kyben: We'll find out later.

Zen: Plasma bolt launch.

Vila: Not much later I hope. ( Glances at controls. ) Hey, hang on!

( Vila fires again. The blast hits two Pursuit ships at once, destroying them both. Vila throws his arms in the air. )

Vila: YE-ESS!

Soolin: You got 'em.

Avon: ( Amazed. ) How did you do that?

Vila: They've been trying so hard to evade the main gun, they both forgot the port cannon. Both flew in front at once... ( Smug grin. ) ...sometimes I'm so clever I surprise myself.

Avon: Sounds reasonable. You jump at your own shadow often enough.


( Pursuit One. )

Commander: ( Outraged. ) I don't believe it...!

Mutoid: We only have two ships left in position to engage, Commander.

Commander: I can see that... ooohh, give the order to disengage and pull back.

( The Commander sits wearily. )

Commander: Unbelievable. We had them outnumbered and outmanoeuvred. What beats us? I'll tell you what beats us. What they always beat us with: Luck. Blind luck. Idiot, bat-blind, clueless, no-thought, no-fair, stupid, stupid, stupid luck! How much more stupid, stupid, stupid luck can I...?

Mutoid: We are receiving a communication from Residence One on Earth, Commander. The President demands an update on the pursuit.

( Brief silence. )

Commander: Oh damn... Oh damn...


( Liberator Flight Deck. )

Zen: Information. Federation Pursuit ships have disengaged and broken off the pursuit.

Avon: Orac, feed data of Daedalus' present position to the battle computers. Zen, use said data to plot a pursuit course. Speed Standard by Ten. Get us out of here.

Zen: Confirmed.

( Soolin steps away from her console looking both exhausted and confused. )

Soolin: Gotta sit down... feel dizzy...

( Vila helps Soolin to the pit where she sits down and cradles her head. Vila gives her a glass of adrenaline and soma. )

Hailee: What's happening to her, Kyben?

Kyben: She's been in a coma for a while. She's just suffering hibernation sickness.

Soolin: ( Mutters. ) Power. Power. Power. Beautiful. Shining. Beautiful. Beautiful...

Vila: This is more than just sleepy tides, Doc. She's not even here.

( Avon looks at Kyben suspiciously. )

Avon: You don't seem terribly surprised by all this, Kyben.

Kyben: What's that supposed to mean?

Avon: There's something about all this that doesn't add up.

Kyben: Oh?

Soolin: Not enemy... future friend.

( Avon turns and glares at her sharply. )

Soolin: Could be yours. All those systems... could be yours, Avon. Yours... there for the taking.

( Avon grabs Kyben by the throat and physically pins him to the wall. )

Avon: What have you done?!

Kyben: Let me go...!

( Hailee and Farin try to pull Avon away from Kyben but he just shrugs them off. )

Vila: Avon, no!

Avon: Idiot! Don't you realise what this lunatic has done?

Vila: Who, Kyben?

Avon: Of course Kyben. Don't you see? That's Servalan in there!

( Vila, Hailee and Farin look shocked, then turn and glare accusingly at Kyben, who manages to release himself from Avons grip. )

Kyben: No, it is Soolin! It'll pass. It'll pass!

Avon: You'll have to try harder than that to convince me.

Kyben: There are echoes of Servalan's thoughts in her head at the moment. A couple of nights' sleep it should all clear up!

Vila: How do you know?

Kyben: Like I told you, the neural waves that woke her were Servalan's. They'll get burned up throughout the day. Tomorrow morning she'll be wakened by her own. This is just temporary. It'll clear up in no time!

( The others all stare at him, untrusting. Soolin continues to mutter to herself. )

Hailee: Y'know, faceache, you sound awfully sure about all this.

Avon: He's sounded awfully sure all the way through, considering he's "never done anything like this before."

Kyben: What are you trying to say, Avon?

Avon: It's what youve been trying to avoid saying that bothers me.

Vila: What is it?

Avon: I think it's all very obvious. The operation to wake Soolin - it went very smoothly, all things considered. Far too smoothly for Kyben to have had no prior experience of the process. He seems to have expected some kind of side-effect like this, and he isn't remotely bothered by it. He knows no harm may follow. But how does he know?

( Avon grabs Kyben by the scruff of the neck, a look of anger in his eyes. )

Avon: You also said the Federation uses this technique for indoctrination treatment...

( Kyben looks terrified, Farin gives him a look of pure hate, while Hailee looks shocked. Vila looks confused, then his eyes widen as the penny drops. )

Vila: Oh no. You don't mean...?

Avon: Kyben. Tell him what I mean. After all it is the truth, isn't it?

( Kyben looks down at the floor, the fight taken out of him. )

Kyben: ( Broken. ) Yes. ( Swallows. ) Before I became head of the Medical Division, I was... Chief of Political Rehabilitation.

( Kyben looks up at the others with as much steel as he can muster. )

Kyben: I was an indoctrinator.


( The Daedalus' engines burn out as its energy banks become drained. The ship has been trapped in the gravity well of a planet and is getting pulled toward the surface. Within, Servalan remains unconscious. )

Gan: The Daedalus' energy banks are now exhausted, ma'am. The ship would appear to be held in the gravitational pull of the planet Taurus III. Logic units recommend immediate steps be taken to abandon ship. Time to impact on planet surface is estimated at fourteen minutes and twenty nine seconds.

( Servalan remains motionless on the Flight Deck floor, a small flow of blood trickles down her cheek from her temple. )


( Liberator Flight Deck. Kyben and Soolin are sat in the pit. Soolin is still muttering incoherently, her arms around her knees, while Kyben looks dejected. The others are all stood, staring at Kyben in horror. )

Hailee: You?

Vila: He was one of those animals?

Avon: So it would seem.

Vila: But we let him mess around in Soolin's head.

Avon: Didn't we just? And that... ( Points at Soolin. ) the result.

Kyben: She was dying, Vila. I had to do...

Vila: ( Almost tearful. ) Shut up! You... we were dying on Gauda Prime... you treated us? You... you... you...

Avon: It doesn't matter how many pronouns you spew up, Vila. It still happened.

Kyben: Nothing's happened! I've never hurt any of you. Look, I turned rebel ages ago. It was during the War.

Avon: Really?

Kyben: Yes, really. I even sabotaged the treatments during the final months.

Farin: Now we know how you became Head of the Medical Division. Reward for your one thousandth brain operation?

Kyben: No. Dr. Havant was killed during the Battle of Proxima.

Hailee: And they needed someone with a similar record to replace him?

Kyben: No. Just someone who knew the ropes.

Hailee: And that makes it okay does it?

Kyben: So I've done things I shouldn't. Are you any different?

( Vila glances up at Avon who looks away, gritting his teeth. )

Hailee: ( Incredulous. ) "Done things you shouldn't?" Oh come on, Kyben. That's when you cross a transport-route without looking both ways. Calling your friends names behind their backs is something you shouldn't do. ( Turns away in disgust. ) You've been playing around with people's minds! Don't you see what that is?

Farin: You take people's heads apart! If people don't live up to your standard you change them into someone else! You're a butcher!

Kyben: I'm not saying I'm proud of it...

Hailee: You haven't said you're ashamed of it, either. You make me sick, Kyben. You've spent all this time moralising with us and you've...

( Kyben leaps to his feet angrily. )

Kyben: I changed, Hailee! I realised I was wrong. At least I can admit it. Look at you. Vila's a coward and happy with it. Avon would sacrifice anything to win... ( Glares at Hailee. ) Farin would have killed you if I hadn't been there to warn you, and he wouldnt have cared. And as for you... you expect us to admire you for not caring. Whatever I did wrong, at least I'm trying to change it now. What are your trying to do?

( The others look at him silently. )

Kyben: All of you, every one of you, the only thing that really matters to you is your own hides. Me? I want to bring down Servalan, I want to destroy the Federation.

Hailee: So do we.

Kyben: You want to destroy it to survive! I want to make sure that what happened to me never happens to anyone else. I want to make sure that the Federation cant hurt any more...


( Kyben falls silent. )

Avon: Whatever we've done, whatever our reasons, we'll only go so far. In general I don't comment on other people's ethics, but even I have to draw the line somewhere. I never thought I'd draw it over you.

Vila: I-...

Avon: Quiet, Vila! I do what I must to survive, Kyben. Is that what you were doing?

( Kyben looks at Soolin unhappily. He then looks back at Avon. )

Kyben: This time.

( Kyben walks away from the Flight Deck, head bowed. )


( Daedalus is still hurtling toward the surface of Taurus III. The surface of the ship is red-hot with atmospheric friction. Inside, Servalan is still unconscious. )

Gan: Time to impact - twenty seconds. All computer functions are now switched to emergency off-line mode.

( Gan switches off and his face disappears from the screen. A moment later the ship crashes into the ground. )


( Liberator Flight Deck. All are present except Kyben and Soolin. Kyben walks in from the starboard corridor, furiously avoiding everyone's eyes. )

Avon: How's Soolin?

Kyben: Sleeping.

Vila: You probably drugged her.

( Kyben turns and looks at him, aghast. He grabs Vila by the scruff of the neck, towering over him. )

Kyben: Why you little...

Hailee: Leave him alone!

( Kyben hesitates, then releases Vila and walks to his position in the pit. )

Avon: Maybe I've misunderstood you all these years, Vila. I thought you quite liked being alive.

Vila: Not around lobe-cutters I don't.

Avon: Keep that kind of talk going, and I doubt you'll have to worry about that much longer.

Vila: You reckon he'd kill me? He hasn't got the nerve.

Avon: You want to bet your life on that? Just remember, if he tries to kill you, I won't bother to stop him.

Kyben: I'm not going to kill anybody.

Farin: Course not. It's not like you ever could.

Kyben: No, I mean I'm better than you.

Vila: ( Scoffs. ) Don't make me laugh...

Kyben: I'm not trying to. You see, I know why you're doing this, Vila. You've been looking for something to hit out at ever since Stella was killed.

( Vila's face falls. )

Kyben: You've found a good excuse, haven't you? And a perfect target. Someone who's done something terrible but who won't do anything terrible to you. Stella's death was your fault in a way. And you can't cope with it can you?

( Vila's eyes crease up in remorse. )

Kyben: Can you?

Vila: Leave me alone!

( Vila turns and runs from the Flight Deck. )

Kyben: I'll take that as a no.

Avon: ( Angered. ) Nice work again, Doctor. Until Vila sees fit to rejoin us, we're down another pair of hands. Take his place. I don't rate you any more highly than him anyway.

( Kyben takes over the weapons panel. )

Kyben: You think I care?

Avon: No. For the first time I don't think you do. Zen, status report.

Zen: Liberator systems are all fully functional. Energy banks are at eighty one per cent of capacity. Present course and speed are for the planet Taurus III at Standard by Ten.

Hailee: ( Not taking her accusing look from Kyben. ) Steady as she goes.

Zen: Confirmed.


( The Daedalus is in ruins on Taurus III. Servalan lies amongst the wreckage, battered and bloodied, unmoving. Gan suddenly switches on. His image flickers on the screen. )

Gan: Scans indicate the ships inner... crxt... -ture is irreparably damaged. Fzzt... irretrievably drained... emerg-bzzt... will be empty within two hours. All remaining syst-crkkxt... shut down beyond automatic re-initialisation in a fzzzt...-ther thirty minutes.


( Earth. Residence One. The beleaguered President sits at his desk. Dev Tarrant and Secretary Demwuhl are present. )

President: If the Liberator is involved you are to consider them a bonus. Your first target is Servalan. Find her and don't bother to bring her back.

Dev Tarrant: And Avon? Kyben?

President: I doubt they'll be much of an issue once Servalan is out of the way. I've already found a replacement at Space Command to head up the pursuit of Liberator.

Dev Tarrant: Oh?

President: ( Smiles. ) Ruthlessness is the only way now. With our fleet in advance stages of rebuilding, we neither have need of the Liberator intact anymore, nor of taking its crew prisoners. "Commissioner Sleer's" replacement reflects our need for thoroughness over subtlety.

( The President pushes a button on the desk and a moment later the door opens. Commander Kreel walks in and salutes. He has an expression of intensity that almost makes Demwuhl jump out of her skin. Tarrant smiles in admiration. )

President: Kommisar Tarrant, Secretary Demwuhl, may I present Space Commander Kreel?

Dev Tarrant: Ah Space Commander. Congratulations on your recent promotion. So very well earned. I always felt you were Officer material.

Kreel: ( Sounds demonic. ) Thank you, Kommisar.

Dev Tarrant: A true specialist, an excellent choice for the task, Mr President.

President: A pity he had to kill so many Andromedan fugitives before we noticed him.

Demwuhl: ( With distaste. ) Especially as so many of them turned out not to be Andromedans at all.

President: No need for squeamishness, Secretary. Such indiscriminate ruthlessness is what the Federation has been screaming out for since the War.

Kreel: I declare it will be Avon who'll be screaming when Im finished with him. I promise you that.


( Liberator arrives in orbit around Taurus III. Avon, Vila and Hailee are kitted up and stand in the teleport bay. Farin is operating the controls. )

Avon: I assume you are capable of keeping watch?

Farin: ( Snarls. ) Yes.

Avon: Without shooting?

Farin: Thatll be difficult. Indoctrinators... they're filth. I could kill him.

Avon: I won't lose any sleep over it if you do. But try not to. And keep an eye on Soolin as well.

Farin: ( Angry. ) I know what to do!

Avon: ( Calmly. ) Sorry. I really wasn't sure. Ready everyone?

Vila: Do we all have to go down there?

Avon: Are you offering to go alone?

Vila: Zen says it's a jungle. I don't want to get eaten by some slavering bionic megalion. I want to stay up here.

Avon: With Kyben on board?

Vila: Uh...

Hailee: Vila, stop wetting yourself. It's not a Fed-planet, we'll be fine.

Vila: Sorry. Well let's get on with it.

( Farin operates the controls. Avon, Vila and Hailee disappear. Kyben walks in and glares at Farin. )

Kyben: You could kill me? Sorry, Farin, but whatever I've done it wasn't to you.

Farin: Does it matter who you did it to?

Kyben: I think so. What's eating you, Farin? You've done some terrible things in your time. Why is this so much worse?

( Farin just stares at the controls, refusing to answer. )

Kyben: Perhaps it isnt me. Or you.

( Farin glances up at him. )

Kyben: Who was it, Farin?

Farin: I don't know what you mean.

Kyben: Oh, that old song. C'mon, Farin tell me. Who did the Federation hurt? Who are you so burned up about?

( Farin looks away. )

Kyben: It's not you who was hurt, and it wasn't me who did it. Talk to me.

Farin: ( Quietly. ) My brother... he was a habitual thief. He was always stealing, always getting caught. ( Looks up angrily. ) They tried to adjust his head. They botched it. They pumped too much power into his mind. It caused an aneurysm, he was dead in seconds.

Kyben: ( Gently. ) I'm sorry, Farin. Really.

Farin: Sorry?! Your people slaughter my brother, and you're sorry?

Kyben: Would you rather I wasn't?

Farin: I'd rather you were dead. The things you've done...

Kyben: ...Are done! Don't you see, Farin, I can't change whats past? But I can go on, and I can try to change the future. That's what Im trying to do. Is it better I'm dead or fighting to change things?

Farin: Let me think about it.

( Kyben shrugs and walks away. Farin puts his head in his hands, clearly in some torment. )


( On Taurus III, Avon and Vila stand in a clearing in the jungle, glancing about warily. )

Vila: I don't want to be here.

Avon: Well go for a walk then.

Vila: I won't be much use like this, Avon.

Avon: Are you ever of use without a locked door in front of you?

Vila: I don't care, just as long as the locked door belongs to the drinks cabinet.

Avon: ( Smiles. ) I doubt there are too many drinks cabinets around here.

Vila: How do we know for sure? Maybe we should go and check...

Avon: Fine, off you go. If you run into a savage, ravenous wild animal with teeth the length of Servalan's clothes bill, dont forget to scream hysterically. It's always polite to warn people if youre committing suicide on their time.

Vila: It's stupid isn't it? All that power, all that incredible technology and sophisticated sensory equipment on the Liberator and they couldn't even design a decent drinks-cabinet-detector. Would that have been so much to ask? One moderately-small alcohol scanner? What kind of a computer was the System s'posed to be? Didn't it know how important it is for all organic life to get seriously sozzled every once in a while? How crucial it is to humanity to be able to find regular supplies of extra-strong alcoholic beverages? How adamantly...?

( Vila looks around and realises that Avon is wandering off. Vila turns and quickly dashes after him. )

Vila: Hey! Don't leave me!

( Hailee joins them at the edge of the clearing. )

Avon: Well?

Hailee: I think I've found it. Few hundred metres away, like Orac said.

Avon: Good. Lead the way.

( The three of them head off into the jungle, Hailee at the head. )


( A fresh flotilla of six Pursuit ships heads through the wastes of Space. On Pursuit One, Kreel sits in the Command seat, staring all about him, unblinking. Dev Tarrant is seated at the rear of the Flight Deck. )

Kreel: Request status report.

Mutoid 1: Four minutes to the last known contact point with the Liberator. All systems are at full power.

Kreel: I command increase speed to Time Distort Fourteen.

Mutoid 1: Yes, Commander.

( The Pursuit ships accelerate. )

Kreel: I command full-range sensor sweep.

Mutoid 1: Yes, Commander.

Kreel: I demand immediate full-scale assault upon detection of the Liberator.

Mutoid 2: Instructions are being transmitted.

( Tarrant gets to his feet and steps to Kreel's side. )

Dev Tarrant: The President did well when he chose you, Commander. Lesser Officers might allow doubt or needless caution to interfere with judgement. Your single-mindedness is a credit to your uniform. I always knew you'd make the grade.

( Kreel glances up at him briefly, expressionless. He then returns his attention to the task in hand. Tarrant smiles and nods approval - Kreel has passed the test. The unimportance of ego is clear to him. )


( Liberator. Soolin is asleep in her quarters, breathing irregularly. )

Servalan: ( V.O. ) Soolin, my... sister... I'm lost to you. Help me!

Soolin: No... no...

Servalan: ( V.O. ) Don't you know the truth yet, Soolin? If I die, you'll die with me... I'm dying, Soolin... dying...

( Soolin's eyes shoot open. )

Soolin: Kyben? What have you done to me?

( Soolin climbs to her feet. )

Soolin: What have you done to me?


( Flight Deck. Kyben sits in the pit, lost in thought. Suddenly a gun barrel is held to the back of his head. He looks up and sees Soolin is standing behind him. )

Kyben: Soolin, we don't have to go through this again do we?

Soolin: I never leave a job unfinished. Especially when the job's killing people. Stand up.

( Kyben does as told. )

Kyben: Why are you doing this, Soolin? I saved your life...

Soolin: Did you really? Is that really what you did? Servalan's in my head, Kyben. Her thoughts, her feelings, even her memories. I've got them all running through my mind. Would you call that saving me? I'd call it sending me to Hell.

Kyben: I know, Soolin, but it won't last, trust me...

Soolin: Trust you? You're the one who did this to me.

( Soolin gestures toward the door with her gun. )

Soolin: Move.

Kyben: Where are we going?

Soolin: The teleport. I believe it's that way.

Kyben: Look...

Soolin: I said move.


( Farin is still sitting at the Teleport Controls. There is a communication from the planet's surface. )

Hailee: ( V.O. ) We still haven't made visual contact, it's very dark down here. But there is some kind of fire up ahead. Co-ordinates are now three-oh-seven-zero.

( Farin makes adjustments to the controls. )

Farin: ( Into comms. ) That's confirmed.

Hailee: ( V.O.) We'll report in again in thirty minutes. Oh, er, have a bottle of boo-juice standing by, Vila's suffering alco-deprivation, poor weed.

Farin: Huh.

( Farin closes comms, then looks up in surprise as he sees Soolin marching Kyben in at gun point. )

Farin: What th-...?

Soolin: Kyben, get two bracelets. You... ( Points gun at Farin. ) ...will teleport us.

Kyben: Why are we going down there?

Soolin: Well, you're a Doctor aren't you? You're supposed to save lives.

Kyben: That's the theory. ( Shoots look at Farin. ) Some people don't seem to believe it. I'll try to prove you right.

( Kyben collects two bracelets, hands one to Soolin, and puts the other on. Soolin and Kyben line up in the Teleport bay. )

Soolin: You, what's your name? Farin, you can tell Avon about this... after were down.

Kyben: ( Nervously. ) Get on with it, Farin.

( Farin operates the controls and Soolin and Kyben disappear. They materialise on the planet below, not far from where Avon, Vila and Hailee are searching. Soolin keeps her gun levelled on Kyben. )

Soolin: Quiet. Now take off your bracelet.

( Kyben does as he's told, then hands the bracelet over. Soolin points into the jungle. )

Soolin: Now move. Quietly. I don't want Avon interfering.

Kyben: He'll get there ahead of us.

Soolin: Not quite. He's looking in the wrong place.

( Not far off, hidden eyes watch them closely. Soolin and Kyben step through the trees. They soon come to the crash site. It is dark. )

Kyben: How d'you know...?

Soolin: I just know.

Kyben: Looks like it can be repaired... with a lot of time.

Soolin: Perhaps. Not that I care.

( She points at the wreck. )

Soolin: In.

( Kyben looks like he is about to argue, then shrugs and steps inside the Daedalus. Within, there is an awful lot of junked equipment. Servalan lies on the floor, heavily-battered and unconscious. Kyben kneels beside her and checks her vital signs. )

Kyben: She's alive.

Soolin: I know. You're going to make sure she stays that way.

Kyben: ( Standing. ) Not that I'm arguing but why do you want me to do that?

Soolin: Just do it.

Kyben: ( Shrugs. ) I'll do my best.

Soolin: Yes. I think you will.

( Kyben kneels beside Servalan and starts administering First Aid. )


( Avon, Vila and Hailee are nearby. They've discovered the "fire" is a beacon laid by persons unknown in a large clearing. )

Vila: Well that's useless. What now?

Avon: We keep looking. According to Orac, it definitely crashed within a mile radius.

( The screech of a wild animal fills the air. )

Hailee: Let's hope it doesn't take too long. I'm not sure I want to sample the local hospitality.

Avon: I'm curious. Who left that beacon here? There wasn't one on Daedalus.

Hailee: Maybe there's someone else on the planet.

Vila: Stop trying to frighten me, you two.

Avon: An effort like that would be wasted on you, Vila.

Hailee: Where shall we try next?

( Avon consults a sensor module. )

Avon: More metallic readings... ( Points. ) ...That way. Let's go.

Vila: I don't think that thing's working.

Avon: Why not?

Vila: It's showing traces everywhere.

Avon: Because there are metallic traces everywhere. I've set it to select higher concentrations only. Let's go.

Vila: I still say it's not working.

Avon: Let's go.

Vila: Do we have to?

Avon: You wouldn't be registering a protest of some kind would you, Vila?

Vila: Would I? Yes I suppose I would.

Hailee: ( Hands on hips. ) Oh for...

Avon: On what grounds?

Vila: Im tired and Im cold.

Avon: Youre afraid of the dark too. Or at least you were last time I checked.

Vila: ( Nods eagerly. ) Yeah, that's true.

( Another loud animal screech fills the air. )

Vila: I'm also afraid of that. Can't I just go back to the ship? If there's something dangerous round here I'd much rather it ran into you two.

( Avon and Hailee exchange glances. )

Vila: Um, I mean, you'd be able to beat it, no worries. But if it found me... I mean you know how useless I am in a fight.

Avon: Yes, I believe I do.

Hailee: Can I hit him, Avon? Please, just this once?

Avon: That will have to keep. All right, Vila, you won't have to come with us.

Vila: Really? Great...

Avon: You can stay here and keep an eye on this place. If there's someone else on this planet this is where they'll go.

Vila: What! Wait a minute...

( Hailee shoves him. )

Hailee: Will you shut up!

( Avon and Hailee head off out of the clearing, leaving Vila looking about himself, trembling with fear. )

Hailee: I'm telling you, if the wildlife doesn't kill him, I will.

Vila: Dont leave me!

Avon: ( Over his shoulder. ) With any luck we'll be back in fifteen minutes, Vila. Just settle back, keep watch and keep quiet.

( Avon and Hailee disappear into the woods. )

Vila: Avon? Hailee? ( Draws his gun and aims it into the darkness nervously. ) First he uses me as bait for the Space Rats. Then he tries to throw me out of a shuttle. Now this.


( Avon and Hailee push further into the darkness. Avon is keeping his eyes fixed on the scanner. )

Hailee: Not that I'm complaining, but why are we leaving Vila back there? He's about as likely to do good guard duty as Servalan is to win a spitting competition.

Avon: Exactly. He makes too much noise when he's scared. Even when he's alone he keeps wittering. Especially when he's alone.

Hailee: So?

Avon: I'm not sure I like the sounds the animals are making here either. They sound quite hungry. But if Vila makes enough noise they'll go after him and ignore us.

( Hailee looks shocked. )

Avon: Oh don't worry. This is just a precaution. I'm sure the animals are just making all that noise to scare us off anyway. They'll leave Vila alone.


( Back in the clearing, Vila is sitting on the ground with his against the beacon, trying to keep warm, and grumbling to himself. )

Vila: This is the last time. I mean it. Never again. Never again. All this and I bet I don't even get a glass of soma for my troubles when we get back. Well that's it. I'm done with it. I'm finished with them. I'm finished with all this. I'm finished...

( His voice tails off as he looks up to the edge of the clearing. A huge creature, vaguely like a sabre-toothed tiger, but eight feet high and with six legs, stands poised there, jaws slavering, eyeing Vila with unmistakably carnivorous interest. )

Vila:  Oh no. Please no. ( Into bracelet. ) Avon? Hailee?


( Back to Avon and Hailee. )

Avon: ( Into bracelet. ) This had better be important, Vila.

Vila: ( V.O. ) Avon, it's here.

Avon: ( Into bracelet. ) What is?

( The rest of the conversation cuts between the clearing and the woods. )

Vila: I-I don't know.

Avon: What?

Vila: I don't know what it is. But it's here.

Avon: There's something there, and you don't know what it is?

Vila: Thats right.

Avon: My sympathies.

Vila: You don't understand. It's here. It's huge and it's so hairy it could be Ghengis Khans great-great-granddog! And it's looking at me.

Avon: My sympathies to whatever it is.

( The creature takes a few steps toward Vila. )

Vila: Avon, I think it wants to eat me. Help!

( Avon and Hailee look at each other. )

Avon: Well be with you soon. Sit tight.

( Avon switches off the communicator. )

Avon: Let's keep going.

Hailee: What? What about Vila?

Avon: What about him?

Hailee: We can't just leave him there. He could be in trouble.

Avon: If I had a credit for every time Vila said he was in trouble...

Hailee: I think he meant it, Avon.

Avon: Even so, that's the whole reason we left him there, remember? So anything hungry would chase him and not us.

Hailee: ( Looks angry. ) If you want to carry on you can go on your own. I'm going back for Vila.

( Hailee starts to retrace her steps through the trees. Avon looks irritated and shapes to head in the opposite direction. He then sees the darkness and the dense forest ahead and thinks better of it. He turns around and sets off after Hailee. )


( Back in the clearing, the creature is now on its rear haunches just a few feet away from Vila. Man and beast have eyes locked together. Vila is trembling, The creature still looks at him with interest but no aggression. )

Vila: Nice kitty. Nice kitty.

Pirate 1: ( Out of view, whispering. ) Keep your voice down, you idiot!

( Vila glances over his shoulder in alarm and sees a dark figure edging towards him from the undergrowth. He is a young man in a tattered outfit. )

Pirate 1: Keep still! Sudden movements worry them.

( The creature eyes the newcomer suspiciously for a moment, then returns its attention to Vila. )

Vila: Will it eat me?

Pirate 1: They eat, er... other things usually. They can eat flesh though so watch it. Just keep the noise down and no sudden movements, and it won't attack.

( A woman quietly enters the clearing and edges up to them. )

Pirate 1: All clear?

Pirate 2: ( Nodding. ) There's another couple of Skars out hunting about half a mile South. We can get your friend here to safety if we hurry.

Pirate 1: ( To Vila. ) Right. When I tell you, start moving to your left. Slowly.

Vila: I don't think I can move.

Pirate 1: What? Don't be daft, of course you can.

Vila: I can't. I just flinch and it'll eat me.

Pirate 1: No it won't, just don't jump about too much. It won't hurt you. Just keep calm, it'll keep calm.

Vila: But...

Pirate 1: Just relax, friend. Just relax. Don't be afraid, just cautious. Don't be tense, just alert. Stay cool, stay composed...

( Vila takes the words as a tonic, and appears to start calming down... when suddenly Hailee bursts into the clearing, followed in short order by Avon. The creature turns its head sharply, hissing in alarm and growing panic. )

Hailee: ( Rattled. ) Vila!!

( The creature suddenly panics. It growls once, then springs forward to attack Vila and the Pirate. )





Soolin discovers some horrifying side-effects of the treatment Kyben has applied. It will change both her and Servalan's lives. Speaking of Kyben, his terrible secret is revealed, and it could leave him alienated from the rest of the crew forever.

Truths has been redrafted a number of times for numerous complicated reasons. The version that first appeared on Neil Blissett's site received a number of criticisms.

The first problem was the scene where Servalan spat on the flight deck of the Daedalus. Although I should point out that she's behaving out of character because of the neuro-transplant, I accept that she just wouldn't do that. So I've now changed it so that all she does is bang her fists in frustration. Hailee's mention of Servalan and spitting competitions later in the episode is an in-joke referring to that point.

The second change was one which Jane Walton, among others, complained about, which is that the episode ended very suddenly (Jane said it read like the end of an episode of Flash Gordon On Mars  -  ouch! Now that's what I call an effective insult!). To correct this, the sequence with Vila and the Skar is now significantly longer, and also features an Avon attempt to doublecross him.



Neil Blissett:

This is a definite improvement [over the original version of the episode]. Nij Blake was originally going to make his first appearance in this episode but he has been written out.


Jane Walton:

On the whole, not one of my favourite episodes.

Firstly, why would any member of the council want to bring Servalan back as President? She's had her day in charge and done too much damage to be a feasible option, think up a new role for her, perhaps she could set up a rival group to challenge the Feds and make it a 3-horse race? It's a different concept anyway.

Ah politics, politics, polit-...>yawn<...-tics. Welcome to the world of spin, or 'Mandelson's trough' as I prefer to call it. It helps if you understand the way the High Council is run, but I'm not going to go into a long explanation of that here, especially as I've only got a sketchy knowledge of it myself. If you can find a copy of Avon: A Terrible Aspect by Paul Darrow (review elsewhere on this site) you can get some helpful insights, but here's as much explanation as I can offer right now...

At first the High Council wanted Servalan dead because the families that run it adore strong leadership and executing her would be a sign that she had a powerful successor. The President's failure to keep her from escaping angered most of the delegates in the Council, who decided in an all-too-characteristic display of fickleness, that Servalan had won the 'contest' and was therefore a better choice. They were also a bit scared of the fact that she was on the loose and might target her big league opponents, so they put on a show of being loyal to her and not the current President  -  the one in power is frequently in too vulnerable a position to punish personal opposition. See Trial and Rontane's comments about Servalan's relationship with her predecessor when she was still only Supreme Commander.

By the way, on the issue of Servalan creating a '3-horse race', keep reading around episode 11 onwards. That's exactly what she does, and she eventually finds a very powerful weapon with which to do it.

Hailee seems to be trying to steal the show, she gets most of the best lines anyway. She is a good strong character and I like her though, even if her language is a bit coarse at times. (I know that's due to who and what she is.)

Hailee's not stealing the show particularly she's just not the sort to let others do that either. There are clear examples of her letting Avon take charge, but she's not leaving anyone in any doubt that SHE'S next in the pecking order. I can get her to ease off if you like, but it's difficult to find the perfect medium between making her too prominent and turning her into a clothes-horse  -  your other great complaint.

I'm surprised at the strength of the crew members' reaction to the truth about Kyben. Since when did they all suddenly develop morals?

Morals? Who said anything about morals?

It's not as though he could have said 'no' to his Federation bosses and just resigned  -  that would have been like trying to leave the Mafia!

Oh yeah? Ven Glynd did it. Well, admittedly for greedier reasons, and yes, he was soon running for his life, but the point is, that's the option open to Kyben.

Surely they can accept that he did the right thing in the end whilst still not condoning his work? Maybe they come to terms with it in the future, I'm just surprised by their sudden 'holier than thou' attitudes. Avon etc. didn't seem to care that the occupants of Star One had been 'conditioned' and doesn't that amount to the same thing as 'indoctrination'? Maybe not.

You misunderstand. The reaction to what Kyben had done was not morality, it was outright fear. Think about it  -  they were all criminals engaged in revolutionary activities making them potential victims of indoctrination treatment themselves. And Vila himself, as he said in The Way Back, has personally experienced this form of mind control.

There is a general horror of what Kyben had done, which actually steps beyond the bounds of morality. There is something obscene about the idea of altering someone's mind, as there's no part of a person more fundamental or private than their own mind, their own thoughts. For another to access those and alter them for the purposes of control is a truly grotesque violation, as terrible in its way as rape. Imagine if you'd brought a man with a secret history of murder into your home. In the same way, they felt violated that they'd brought an indoctrinator into their midst without knowing.

As for the point about Star One, Avon and the others weren't shaken by the mental conditioning of the maintenance team there because they were victims, not perpetrators. And even so, it didn't hit that close to home anyway as they never brought any of them aboard the Liberator. But they have brought Kyben aboard, and it really scared them, even Avon. The point you make about the Mafia is valid but that point hasn't occurred to the crew yet  -  they're so shocked that someone as apparently gentle as Kyben could have been such an amoral butcher. Yes, once the initial shock passes, the crew do come to terms with it, although none of them ever get quite as close to him as they had been  -  with one exception...

I liked Vila's idea of an alcohol-scanner, perhaps Avon could make him one for his birthday?

What! No way. That would involve Avon being nice to Vila. Unthinkable surely.

I find the ending a lot more enjoyable now. The original version of the ending would be fine in a daily show, but not in a weekly series, and definitely not a monthly one. It was too sudden.

You're not the only one to say that about the original ending. I hope EVERYBODY'S happier about the alterations and not just you, it's just no one else has chosen to comment on the redraft. The number of people who only ever write to complain, I ask you...


Brian McLennan:

The revelation about Kyben was frightening, but also satisfying. He's been getting so sanctimonious recently that I was growing to dislike him. It's nice to know that I've got a perfectly good reason to hate him now!

Him being a sanctimonious, self-pitying whiner is already a good enough reason for me. Him also being a hypocritical coward with many a stolen life on his conscience is just a bonus.

I disagree with Jane Walton about the rest of the crew's reactions to him. It seemed perfectly in character to me, especially Vila, considering what happened to him before being deported.


My replies are in ORANGE ITALICS


Season One Scripts