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 VIII - Sieged



( A hospital ship heads towards the Inner Worlds, and Earth. )

Pilot 1: ( V.O. ) This is the Civil Administration Medical Cruiser Emancipation. We are en route from the Penitentiary on the planet Geminus II to Earth, carrying prisoners in need of Medical attention. We have Federation clearance for direct flight, authorisation code seven-oh-four-oh-four-nine-three.

( Inside the ship, the Captain and two pilots sit at the controls, looking immensely bored. )

Pilot 1: When are we gonna get that auto-transmitter fixed? We're going out of our brains repeating that over and over.

Captain: There are those of us going out of our brains listening to it, mate.

Pilot 1: Well then.

Captain: The engineers keep saying they'll do it tomorrow.

Pilot 2: Yeah. I asked them a month ago. They said "We'll do it tomorrow." ( Sad smile. ) What's the old saying? "Tomorrow never comes..."

Captain: That's right.

Pilot 1: What did you tell them?

Pilot 2: Mm?

Pilot 1: The engineers? What did you tell them?

Pilot 2: Oh, er... well, I swore at them a few times.

Captain: And what did they say then?

Pilot 2: They told me that we'd been in flight for over a month already, so who was I to talk about slow work?

Pilot 1: S'pose they've got a point. Four months is a long time to stay on one ship. What did you tell them?

Pilot 2: I told them "We're landing tomorrow."

Pilot 1: ( To Captain. ) Funny man?

Captain: No.


( Elsewhere on the ship, a vast, dimly-lit Cold room is filled with row upon row of Cryogenic capsules. In each one there is a body in deep sleep. We briefly zoom in on one particular capsule in which a young man with dark wiry hair lies in suspended animation. )


( Liberator Teleport room. Farin is at the controls desperately trying to contact the crew on the surface. )

Farin: ( Into comms. ) Avon... Avon, do you read me? Vila? Hailee?

( Farin gets to his feet and heads for the Flight Deck. There he switches Orac on. )

Farin: Orac? Orac!

Orac: Yes?

Farin: I'm having trouble contacting anyone on the surface. Is there something down there blocking my signal?

Orac: There is.

Farin: What?

Orac: That should be obvious even to one of your meagre cerebral powers.

Farin: ( Seethes. ) Well you're wrong about that aren't you?

Orac: ( Sounds murderous. ) I am NEVER... wrong. I do not make mistakes of any kind. Your mental shortcomings are in no way due to any error on my part...

Farin: Well whatever they're due to, answer my question.

Orac: Oh very well. Within the last few minutes a distortion field has been activated by person or persons unknown. The shape and frequency of the field suggests that there is a telemetric disruptor beacon on the surface of the planet, which is presently jamming all radio waves and detector signals within a radius of approximately two-point-seven miles. The bandwidth of the signals is relatively narrow and does not appear to cover the Omicron pulse length of...

( Farin tugs Oracs key out of its slot. )

Farin: All right, shut up. Zen, battle computers on line, put up the force wall and the radiation flare shield.

Zen: Confirmed.

Farin: Perform a long-range orbital scan. The Feds might have activated the beacon. I need to know where they are.

Zen: Confirmed. Long-range orbital scan now proceeding.

( Farin assumes his position at the controls. )


( Daedalus. Kyben is treating Servalan who remains unconscious. Soolin still has her gun trained on Kyben. )

Kyben: This'd be a lot easier if you'd let me bring more medicines with me.

Soolin: Yes.

Kyben: It'd also be easier if you stopped pointing that gun at me...

Soolin: Be grateful I'm only pointing it at you and not firing it.

Kyben: All right. Thank you very much.

Soolin: You always did have a very strange sense of humour, Kyben. It only seems to be triggered when something bad happens.

( Kyben looks up at her in suspicion. )

Kyben: How would you know? You only met me yesterday.

Soolin: ( Confused. ) I... how do I know that?

Kyben: ( Quietly. ) My God, Avon was right...

Soolin: What?

Kyben: ( Stands up straight. ) Never mind. I've done as much for her as I can for now.

Soolin: Will she survive?

Kyben: Probably. But only if we can get her to the medical unit on the Liberator.

Soolin: No. You'll carry on treating m-... her here.

Kyben: But I...

Soolin: Do it! I wont be able to escape if you take me back to the Liberator. Youll continue treating me here.

( Kyben stares at her for a moment, then he sits on the floor and refuses to move. )

Soolin: We don't leave until she wakes up, Kyben.

Kyben: Then we'd better make ourselves comfortable. ( Glances around. ) Can't say much for your choice of hotel. Ever thought about changing Travel Agent?

( Soolin smiles and pokes the gun in Kyben's face. )

Soolin: I could also change Doctors if I want.

Kyben: You wouldn't do that to me would you... Servalan?

Soolin: Oh yes I... What did you call me?

Kyben: Soolin, this obsession with rescuing Servalan... it's not really you making the decisions. It's her. She's not just in your head, she's controlling it.

Soolin: That's not true...

Kyben: Isn't it? Did you want to keep her alive before? You have no reason in the World to keep her alive but you're threatening both of us to do it.

Soolin: Shut up! Shut up!

( Kyben falls silent but doesnt take his eye off her. Soolin stares at Servalan tearfully. She drops to her knees and lowers the gun. )

Soolin: Help me... ( Holds her head. ) Please.

Kyben: I can't. Not unless we go back to the ship.

Soolin: But we can't leave me here... I mean we can't leave her... I mean...

Kyben: I rest my case, Soolin.


( Jungle clearing. The Skar leaps at Vila and the Pirate. Hailee aims her gun at it, but Avon stops her from firing it. )

Avon: You'll hit all of them.

( The Pirate swings his elbow back and connects with the Skar's jaw. He and Vila then roll away from the creature. )

Vila: What is that thing?!?

( Avon and Hailee aim their guns at the Skar. )

Avon: Now.

Pirate 2: NO!

( Avon and Hailee open fire. Their shots rattle along the surface of the animal's body. It glows an eerie blue colour. Then several shots of energy propel from its eyes straight back at Avon and Hailee. Avon manages to jump out of the way, Hailee is hit in the arm. She cries in pain. The woman goes to help her. )

Avon: What the-...!

Pirate 2: You can't kill them with energy weapons...

Pirate 1: We have to run. Move!

( The pirates help Vila and Hailee to their feet, then they all turn and run from the clearing with Avon. The Skar leaps after them. Vila stumbles awkwardly. The Skar runs towards him. Avon spins and pulls his gun out. He fires, not at the Skar, but at the ground between it and Vila. The blast throws the creature backwards. The first pirate helps Vila to his feet and they run after the second pirate. )

Pirate 2: This way, quickly.

( The Skar gets to its feet, shaking its head in a daze. It can no longer see its prey who have disappeared into the foliage. It turns around and heads for the beacon which is still visible through the trees. Once it reaches the beacon it nuzzles on a power cable. Its fur glows light blue again. )


( The Flotilla of Federation Pursuit ships patrols the edge of the Leonis system. On Pursuit One... )

Kreel: Update.

Mutoid 1: Possible leads spinward by coreward by fifteen degrees. There is a very powerful particle trail leading toward the Freedom-Belt Systems.

Kreel: Any other leads? I demand that information.

Mutoid 1: None so far, Commander.

Kreel: Then I command we head for the Freedom-Belt Systems.

Mutoid 2: But Commander we have not completed the scans of the local...

Kreel: I command it. We follow that particle trail. That is an order. Plot a course following that trail into the Freedom-Belt. You will do that.

Mutoid 1: Yes, Commander.

( Kreel opens communications to the other ships. )

Kreel: ( Into comms. ) All Pursuit ships will now patch into Pursuit Ones navigation computer, and follow the ships heading into the Freedom-Belt. Those are ordes.

( An electronic signature rings out. )

Mutoid 3: Confirmation is received.

Kreel: You will now engage the standby course for the Freedom-Belt at speed Time Distort 12. You will do it now.

Mutoid 1: Yes, Space Commander.

( The Flotilla accelerates away. )


( Underground cave on Taurus III. There are a few items of perfunctory furniture and some rusted equipment here. The pirates and the Liberator crew hurry inside. The first pirate seals the entrance shut. )

Vila: Oh thank goodness... there aren't any more of them in here are there?

Pirate 1: Er, no.

Avon: We're grateful for your help.

Pirate 2: Pleasure I'm sure.

Avon: Who are you and what are you doing on this planet?

Pirate 2: You're in our home. You first.

Avon: Nervous around strangers?

Pirate 2: You could say that. Our enterprise doesn't meet with everyone's approval.

Avon: Federation approval, you mean?

Pirate 1: She might do.

Avon: Then we're among friends. Or at least our enemy's enemies.

Hailee: Makes sense in the Freedom-Belt.

Avon: My name is Avon.

Pirate 1: Avon? I've heard of you. You look as angry as your reputation suggests.

Avon: It's the agony of fame.

Hailee: I'm Hailee Gavisson.

Pirate 2: ( Gestures at Vila. ) And him?

Avon: We call it Vila. Now who are you?

Pirate 2: My name's Gillis. This is my associate, Kochin.

Hailee: Associate? What exactly is your  -  how did you put it  -  enterprise?

Pirate 2: We buy and sell.

Avon: ( Knowing look. ) Ah. Free traders you mean?

Pirate 1: Yes, that's a good way of putting it.

Avon: A former "associate" of mine called herself a free trader. Apparently she got blown to bits running a blockade. The Federation don't make the distinction between smuggling and "free trading." And they kill those who do.

Pirate 2: They also kill failed-revolutionaries.

Avon: ( Smiles. ) Don't worry. I wasn't planning to tell anyone where you are.

Vila: What exactly is the difference between smuggling and free trading?

Hailee: Free trading is where you don't get caught.

Vila: What do you trade?

Pirate 2: Oh, this and that.

Avon: Nothing delicate, I trust?

Pirate 2: No not delicate, not exactly.

Pirate 1: A little easy to bruise, maybe.

( Avon and Hailee exchange knowing looks. )

Vila: What do you mean?

Hailee: What do you think they mean, mould-breath? They print dud-money and import it to the Federation Banking Cartel.


( Liberator Flight Deck. Farin sits at the controls. )

Farin: Zen, give me another overview of the planet Taurus III.

Zen: Confirmed.

( The screen lights up and a schematic view of the planet appears. The tiny area which the scanners cannot penetrate is lit up by a mark. )

Zen: The Taurus system is located within a small region of the Federations Inner Planets, referred to unofficially by Space Command as the "Freedom-Belt." The Planets are uninhabited and located within Earth Sector, but have not been colonised by the Federation due to various reasons such as hostile climate, shortage of usable natural resources...

Farin: Yes yes, Zen, let's avoid the glaringly obvious for a moment. Do the battle computers suggest any hidden approach vectors that Federation ships could be heading to this position on?

Zen: Negative.

Farin: Has there ever been any Neutral status officially applied to Taurus III?

Zen: Negative. Taurus III has been officially-listed as uninhabited for one hundred and twenty nine years, ever since Federation Exploratory teams rejected it as a potential target for colonisation.

Farin: ( Rubs his jaw. ) Hmm. How about unofficially, then? Are there any records suggesting it might have a hidden Pirate Base? A mercenary camp perhaps? Could that be the cause of the jamming field?

Zen: No data is available.

Farin: I asked if it might be a base?

Zen: Battle computers indicate that it is possible, but unlikely.

Farin: Why unlikely?

Zen: The planet's vicinity to Earth makes the choice strategically unsafe for non-aligned forces, and the shortage of usable resources available on the planets surface would make an independent military base unsustainable.

Farin: Mm. So what if they had an external supp-...?

Zen: Information. Detectors indicate Federation Pursuit Ships approaching.

Farin: Ah.


( The Pursuit ships power through Space towards Taurus. On Pursuit One. )

Mutoid 1: Commander.

Kreel: What is it? You will tell me.

Mutoid 1: Our sensors have detected a large cruiser at one million six hundred thousand spacials.

Kreel: That is it. I declare that is the Liberator.

Dev Tarrant: Excellent. I will make sure the President is informed of your ratiocinative prowess.

( Kreel gives him a bored look. )

Kreel: I bid you do as you must, Kommisar Tarrant. It is of no issue to me. I request no further interruptions. I have duties to perform.

( Tarrant bows his head politely. Kreel turns to his crew. )

Kreel: I order you now. Plot an intercept course. You will send instructions to the rest of the flotilla, and update Space Command as to the Liberators present location. I declare we engage... immediately.


( Liberator Flight Deck. The Pursuit ships show on the main screen. Farin looks scared. )

Farin: There they are. Zen, put up the force wall.

Zen: The force wall and all weapons systems are already on line.

Farin: So they are. Have all targeting systems lock onto the approaching ships. As targets bear, blasters will fire.

Zen: Confirmed.


( Underground cave on Taurus III. )

Vila: Counterfeiting? Is that all? Well why didn't you just say so?

Pirate 1: Habit.

Pirate 2: We can never be sure whether our guests will entirely approve of our livelihood.

Hailee: ( To Vila. ) She means they're even more chicken than you are.

Avon: Manners. We are guests in their "home."

Vila: ( To pirates. ) Do you have a problem with our manners?

Pirate 2: Do you have a problem with counterfeiters?

Vila: I asked first.

Pirate 2: I asked best.

Avon: Indeed you did, but then self-expression beyond Vila's level is no great achievement. In fact it's no achievement at all.

Vila: Is insulting me the National Sport on the Liberator and I just wasn't told?

Avon: Of course. Who else deserves such high acclaim?

Vila: Farin.

Avon: Insulting him is only the Winter pastime. ( To pirates. ) Why did you come here?

Pirate 2: It's an ideal location to set up our particular type of business. Y'know, among the Inner Planets, easy access to Earth, unpatrolled by the Federation...

Avon: Sounds reasonable.

Pirate 1: And you?

Avon: We've been trying to locate a shuttle of ours...

Hailee: Mine.

Avon: ...Of hers.

( The pirates exchange glances. )

Pirate 1: A shuttle?

Avon: It was hijacked. We detected it had crash-landed here.

Pirate 2: We saw a meteorite fall some hours ago. It sounded like it crashed some way off to the North. That could be it.

Vila: How far?

Pirate 2: ( Shrugs. ) Must be at least a mile.

Vila: A mile? With those cats out there?

Pirate 2: Mm. Perhaps we can help you.

Vila: In return for what?

Pirate 1: Your guarantee that our operations here remain secret.

Avon: Not that I'm refusing, but there's nothing to stop us betraying you after we have our ship back..

Pirate 1: You have a reputation around the Federation, Avon. For viciousness, greed, avarice, and ruthless self-interest.

Avon: Thank you.

Pirate 1: You also have a history of keeping your promises.

Avon: Ah well. Even the best of men will have at least one weakness.

Pirate 1: I think we can accept your word.

Avon: What better guarantee is there?


( Pursuit One... )

Kreel: Distance to attack range? You will tell me.

Mutoid 1: Two thousand spacials, Commander.

Kreel: Have all ships move into attack formation. You will do that. Now.

( Dev Tarrant steps forward. )

Dev Tarrant: Commander Kreel, I have a request.

Kreel: Swiftly, I must demand, Kommisar.

Dev Tarrant: I require a squad of troopers and a shuttle, Space Commander.

Kreel: Why?

Dev Tarrant: Presumably the Liberator is here for a reason. And presumably some of their crew are on the planet. While you annihilate the Liberator, I want to head for the surface of the planet and round them up. Personally.

Kreel: Very well, Kommisar.


( Liberator Flight Deck. Farin stands by the controls. He looks petrified. )

Zen: Battle computers recommend immediate return of surface party to the ship, and retreat from the system.

( Farin heads for the pit and slots Oracs key back into place. )

Farin: Orac, can you contact Avon?

Orac: Of course not. Jamming fields are always indiscriminate about the frequencies within the band that they blanket.

Farin: Gah...!

Zen: Enemy within attack range.

( A shot emanates from the main Neutron blaster. One of the Pursuit ships evades, while the others continue bearing down on the Liberator. )


( On Pursuit One... )

Kreel: You will give instructions to all ships... fire at will. Repeat fire at will. You will give that order.

Mutoid 3: Yes, Commander.

( Plasma bolts from the Pursuit Ships start raining down to the Liberator. )

Mutoid 1: Kommisar Tarrant's shuttle is awaiting clearance for launch.

Kreel: Clearance is granted, you will allow the shuttle to launch, then you will continue the attack.


( A tiny five-man shuttle launches from the lower level of Pursuit One and heads into orbit, the fires of the battle all about it. It shifts heading to take it around the firing line rather than through it. Inside the shuttle, a mutoid is piloting, Tarrant sits in the second seat, and three troopers stand behind them. )

Dev Tarrant: More velocity, Mutoid.

Mutoid: We are already at maximum safe velocity for orbital insertion, Komm-...

Dev Tarrant: Meaning?

Mutoid: The shuttle has minimal atmospheric shields, Kommisar. If it overshoots...

Dev Tarrant: Then don't let it overshoot, Mutoid. More velocity. We'll have to chance our own danger. The safety of the Federation is at risk. Increase speed.

Mutoid: ( Hesitates. ) Yes, Kommisar.

( The shuttle heads around the fringe of the battle to where it can begin planet fall. )


( Ruins of the Daedalus. Soolin sits quiet and forlorn. Kyben is still seated, watching her. )

Kyben: It's getting worse for you isn't it?

Soolin: I need to save her, but I don't want to... can't want to.

Kyben: ( Sits forward. ) Yes. Cling to that feeling, Soolin. Use it to fight with. You don't want to help Servalan. Let me worry about her. Just remember to fight that instinct, it's not really you.

Soolin: ( Gritted teeth. ) I... can't... fight... myself!

( Kyben holds out his hand. )

Kyben: Give me back my teleport bracelet.

Soolin: ( Snarls. ) No!

Kyben: I think I can help you, Soolin but I need to go back to the Liberator. Give me back my teleport bracelet.

Soolin: No!

Kyben: Soolin...

Soolin: NO!

( Soolin points her gun at Kyben who backs off. )

Soolin: I'll kill you... kill you.

Kyben: Soolin, I can't help you down here.

Soolin: ( Gestures at Servalan. ) You leave and she dies!

Kyben: I'm not just going to let her die, Soolin. I can't save her down here and I can't help you either. We have to go back.

( Soolin slowly lowers her gun again and pulls a bracelet out of her tunic. She hands it to Kyben who puts it on. )

Kyben: Thank you. Now. Yours.

Soolin: I'm not leaving without...

Kyben: ( Weary of argument. ) Soolin! Put-the-bracelet-back-on. Please.

( Soolin looks beaten. She pulls out her own bracelet and snaps it onto her wrist. )

Kyben: Thank you. ( Into bracelet. ) Farin. ( No answer. ) Farin? Farin we need teleport please. Farin? Farin, respond.

Soolin: ( Confused. ) What's... why's the...?

Kyben: ( Into bracelet. ) Farin. We need to come back to the ship. Bring us up. Orac. Do you hear me? ( To Soolin. ) Try your bracelet.

Soolin: ( Into bracelet. ) Scorpio? Do you-...? No not Scorpio. Lib-Liberator, do you copy? Teleport, Liberator. We're ready to come back...

( Four figures step in. Kyben and Soolin look up in alarm. )

Dev Tarrant: That would be a remarkable achievement without your heads.

Kyben: ( Freezes. ) Tarrant?

Dev Tarrant: Dr Kyben. Fancy running into you here.

( Kyben suddenly leaps to his feet and hurls himself at Tarrant. Two of the troopers quickly gather round and kosh him over the back of the head. Kyben collapses unconscious. The third trooper drags Soolin to her feet. Tarrant gestures to his wrist and the troopers confiscate the teleport bracelets. )

Dev Tarrant: I see time has changed the good Doctor. He now shows distinct signs of courage. If only he'd managed that while maintaining a sense of loyalty.

( Tarrant strides over to where Servalan lies prostrate. He kneels beside her. )

Dev Tarrant: "Madame President". You have a sentence to serve I believe.

( Tarrant signals to one of his troopers, who walks over, picks Servalan up and throws her over his shoulder. )

Dev Tarrant: Best not waste much more of her time. She hasn't got a lot left.


( The cave. )

Pirate 2: According to Federation geologists, this planet's magnetic field was altered by a shift in its orbit when a neighbouring star blew up. It caused the little life that survived to develop a high metallic content. Everything in Taurus' ecosystem has unusually-high quantities of iron in it. Even plant-life.

Avon: Presumably that's why those Skars were not harmed by the shots from our weapons...

Pirate 2: That's right. You name it, if it's on this planet it can absorb far more energy than any species from any other world. The Skars even feed off it.

Hailee: ( Stifles a yawn. ) This'd probably be a fascinating lesson if we weren't in a hurry.

Pirate 2: It's relevant, Hailee. Even the energy in projectile weapons can be absorbed.

Pirate 1: You go looking through the jungle on foot, you'll never get past the Skars.

Vila: ( To Hailee. ) Sorry, looks like you've lost your ship. Shame. Shall we go back to the Liber-...?

Hailee: Cork it, mouseman! I'm not leaving my ship behind. I don't wanna be stuck with you lot for the rest of my life.

Avon: ( To pirates. ) If you can give us your best guess for the crash site, we can use the teleport to redirect us. ( Shapes to speak into his bracelet. )

Pirate 2: You'll have to wait a moment.

( The woman walks over to a power unit in the corner of the cave and operates a few controls. )

Hailee: Now what are you doing?

Pirate 2: We put up a signal damping field when you arrived. We didn't know who you were you see. I'm just shutting it down so you can speak to your ship.

Vila: Is that what that beacon thingy was for?

Hailee: Nothing gets past you, does it?

Avon: Where'd you get that equipment from?

Pirate 2: We use it to help keep ourselves hidden from any passing space-traffic.

Avon: That's not what I asked.

Pirate 2: No, but it's all Im answering. ( Stands up straight. ) Done.

Avon: ( Tersely. ) Thank you. ( Into bracelet. ) Farin.


( Liberator Flight Deck. The whole ship rocks as plasma bolts hammer the force wall. Farin is rooted to the spot, covering his eyes with fear. )

Zen: Force wall operating at forty four per cent efficiency. Energy reserves have reduced to thirty two per cent of capacity.

Avon: ( V.O. ) Farin.

( Farin uncovers his eyes, then runs to open comms. The following communication switches repeatedly between Liberator and the cave. )

Farin: ( Into comms. ) Avon! Where the hell have you been?

Avon: Always a pleasure. We're ready for teleport.

Farin: Oh, you're ready for teleport are you? Well I'm not!

Hailee: Aaah, what are you huffing about this time?

Farin: The ship's under attack! The Feds've found us! And I'm getting hammered!

( Avon, Vila and Hailee look at each other in shock. )

Avon: ( Hurriedly. ) What are you waiting for? Get Kyben to bring us back!

Farin: He's not here.

Hailee: What!

Farin: He and Soolin... ( The ship rocks again. ) Uh! They went down to the surface.

Avon: ( Outraged. ) What do you mean? Why the hell...?

Hailee: Never mind that now! ( Into bracelet. ) Farin, is Orac switched on?

Farin: Yes.

Hailee: Orac, three to teleport.

Vila: ( To pirates. ) Uh nice meeting you. Bye.

( Avon, Hailee and Vila dematerialise. )

Pirate 1: What are you waiting for? Put the sensor screen back up.

Pirate 2: No.

Pirate 1: What!

Pirate 2: I'm going to reposition the field. That ship of theirs could be exactly what we need. But if we're going to get it, we'll need to keep both Avon and the Federation guessing.

Pirate 1: But the Feds'll see us...

Pirate 2: If they're going to, I suspect they already have done.


( Liberator Flight Deck. Avon, Hailee and Vila scamper down the steps and take their places at the controls. The ship rattles under the force of another blast. )

Avon: What the Hell have you been doing?

Farin: Singing "It's Great to be Free". What do you think I've been doing? I can't fly this ship on my own.

Avon: Is there anything you can do on your own?

Hailee: Nothing he'd want to talk about in public.

Farin: Ah shut up!

Hailee: Sorry, I didn't know it was a secret.

Avon: Zen. Cease automatic firing.

Zen: Confirmed. Weapons systems are restored to manual control.

Hailee: Vila, over to you. Power looks pretty low, so make it good.

Vila: ( Looking fearful. ) There's too many, we'll never...

Avon: FIRE!

( Vila hits the firing stud involuntarily. The shot misses. )

Avon: Blast! Zen, power status?

Zen: Energy banks are reduced to seventeen per cent of capacity.

Hailee: Oh what? We can't fight like this.

Avon: No, but we can't run either.

Farin: What else can we do? They're not holding back.

Avon: No. In the past, the Federation always wanted the Liberator intact. Now they have these new, faster pursuit ships they just want us out of the way, and they have the tools to do it.

Vila: Marvellous. The moment they get tough they become less reasonable. Aren't humans horrible?

Avon: You should try being one.

Zen: Plasma bolt launch.

Farin: Oh good. I was beginning to think they'd forgotten about us.

( Hailee hauls on the controls and the Liberator manages to dodge the bolt. )

Vila: Nice flying. ( Cheeky grin. ) I bet there are other things you're good at with your hands.

Hailee: I can do even more with my fists, grease-stain.

( Vilas smile vanishes. )

Avon: ( Trying to hide a grin of his own. ) Vila, concentrate.

Vila: Sorry.

Avon: That's all right, Vila, everybody's useless in their own way. Everyone except me, of course.


( Pursuit One. )

Kreel: Conclusion: Yes, Kommisar Tarrant was correct, I reason. Members of the rebel crew must be on the surface of the planet. I hypothesise they must try to run otherwise.

Mutoid 2: Commander, power reserves on the enemy ship may have been too low to escape at high speeds...

Kreel: I deny that that can be the reason. Denied! If their power reserves were so low the battle would not have lasted this long. I deduce that they have crew on the surface of Taurus III. I demand we destroy the Liberator, then I command we send reinforcements to the planet surface to aid Kommisar Tarrant in purging the planet of rebel scum. Do it. Do it! DO IT!

Mutoids: Yes, Commander.

( On the battle rages. )


( Dawn is breaking over the jungle of Taurus III. Kyben and Soolin are tied back-to-back in a tree-vine next to the gangplank of the Federation shuttle, where they are being watched by the Mutoid. Soolin is asleep. Lying on the ground not far from Soolin's feet is the blade that Tarrant used to cut the tree-vine. The Troopers and Dev Tarrant meanwhile are inside the ship trying to wake Servalan. )

Soolin: ( Slowly wakes, stilldazed and confused. ) Wh-... Kyben?

( A look of hatred and anger covers Kyben's face. )

Kyben: Tarrant... Tarrant... Tarrant...

Soolin: Tarrant? ( Hopeful expression. ) Where is Tarrant? Did he survive too? I didn't see him on the Liber-...

Kyben: Not Del Tarrant. Dev Tarrant.

Soolin: Who?

Kyben: An ex-colleague of mine. There are issues between Tarrant and myself that have never been settled.

Soolin: Yes. Yes. Your eye.

( Kyben looks over his shoulder at her. )

Soolin: I remember... Servalan remembers it. During the War. He attacked you because he thought you were one of Veron's people. Servalan remembers it...

Kyben: Servalan remembers it? But not you?

Soolin: Yes I do...

Kyben: No, Soolin. You don't. Soolin, listen to me for once! You're not Servalan.

Soolin: Not... Servalan?

Kyben: Not Servalan.

Soolin: Not Servalan... ( Just looks more confused. )


( Liberator Flight Deck. The battle continues. )

Zen: Plasma bolt launch.

Hailee: I'm getting sick of all these firefights. Why'd I let that one-eyed lobe sucker near my ship in the first place?

Avon: Hold your fire.

Hailee & Vila & Farin: What!

Avon: I have an idea. Zen do we have adequate power to switch modes on the Neutron Flare shield?

Zen: Confirmed.

Avon: Do it. Hailee, prepare the ship for planet fall as soon as the Protonic glare begins.

Hailee: Planet fall? Without scanners?

Avon: Do it! It won't just be the scanners that don't work if we stay here any longer.

Hailee: Um, right.


( Pursuit One. )

Kreel: Co-ordinate simultaneous bombardment on the engine section of the Liberator. You will do that.

Mutoid 3: Yes, Commander. Other ships in the flotilla all confirm readiness.

( The wave of lights of the Liberator's Protonic Glare shield suddenly spreads out, engulfing the flotilla. )

Mutoid 1: Scanner malfunction.

Kreel: ( Angry. ) Switch to auxiliary systems.

Mutoid 2: Negative read-out on auxiliary systems, Commander.


( Liberator Flight Deck. )

Hailee: ( Hauling on the controls once more. ) Hold tight everyone. Beginning dive... now!

( The Liberator drops out of orbit into the atmosphere of Taurus III. )


( Flight Deck of the Emancipation. The Captain is snoozing in the command chair, while one of the pilots is sipping a mug of foul-tasting coffee, and the other is reading out the identifying call-sign again. )

Pilot 2: ( Into comms. ) ...Federation clearance for direct flight, authorisation code seven-oh-four-oh-four-nine-three. ( Switches off comms and sits back. ) I spy with my little eye, something beginning with "S".

Pilot 1: Space?

Pilot 2: Yeah. Your turn.

Pilot 1: I spy with my little eye, something beginning with "N".

Pilot 2: Nebula?

Pilot 1: This game doesn't have much of a shelf-life in space does it?

Pilot 2: Not much. But what else can we do on watch? ( Yawns. ) Oh God I wish something interesting would happen.

( The entire ship shakes violently. The pilots snap upright in their seats, the Captain wakes with a start. )

Captain: What the-...!

Pilot 1: ( Checks sensors. ) Sir, we're under attack!

Captain: Attack? Who'd attack us? This is a hospital ship.

Pilot 1: If they board us you can ask 'em!

( The ship rattles again. )

Pilot 2: ( Into comms. ) All personnel to emergency stations! Repeat, all personnel to emergency stations! We are under att-...

( The ship shakes once more, hurling pilot 2 from his seat. He cracks his head on the floor and is knocked cold. Emancipation is being attacked by a handful of Space choppers. )

Captain: Have you got a fix on them?

Pilot 1: They're right in the baffles.

Captain: Distance?

Pilot 1: Furthest is four spacials.

Captain: FOUR?! How'd they get so close without us picking them up?

Pilot 1: I don't...

( The ship shakes again and the control panel blows up in pilot 1's face. He is hurled from his seat and crashes to the floor. )

Captain: ( Into comms. ) Red Alert, all piloting personnel are disabled, all crew prepare for...

( With a thunderous clang one of the choppers adheres itself by a landing claw to the hull of the Emancipation. )

Captain: All personnel prepare to repel boarders...!

( On the upper deck, two medics run about in aimless panic. The hull wall begins to glow bright red. Someone is cutting through. )

Medic 1: They're coming aboard!

( The two medics are rooted to the spot in fear as sparks shower from the hull. With a loud clang a segment of wall falls outwards and air rushes through the gap into space, taking the two medics with it. After all the air has been drained from the compartment, in pour a handful of space-suited hooligans. They bustle through an air-tight hatch into the next compartment, sealing the hatch shut before too much air escapes. The pull off the helmets of their space-suits, revealing the faces of Inga, Atlan, and several Space Rats. )

Atlan: Dis is no technology transporter. Dis is exactly as it appeared, it is a medical ship.

Space Rat 1: ( Looking about in disappointment. ) Wassa point? There ain't no vroom 'ere!

Atlan: ( Menacing. ) Inga, you promised us the Federation were using dis cruiser to secretly transport advanced engineering equipment. If you were lying...

Inga: Of course I wasn't lying, Atlan!

Atlan: ( Suspicious. ) You still haven't told us why you are so interested in dis ship, Inga. I'm having doubts if we were right to make dis deal with you.

Inga: So? Without my help you won't get that equipment. Are doubts worth losing the prize for?

Atlan: I cannot say. You've been unclear exactly what the prize is. Maybe I should allow dem... ( Gestures to the Space Rats. ) beat the answer out of you after all.

Space Rat 2: Lets bend 'er.

Space Rat 3: Splat da gook!

( Atlan motions them to cool off. )

Inga: Sensible, Atlan. I've beaten tougher psychos than you before.

Atlan: ( Grits teeth. ) All right. Where next?

( Inga looks around, then heads down a corridor. )

Inga: Follow me.

( Atlan and the Space Rats head off after her. )


( Liberator heads in to land on Taurus III. On the Flight Deck the crew are clinging to anything they can so hard their knuckles are turning white, except Hailee who is struggling to keep the ship under control. )

Vila: To coin a phrase, we're stuffed.

Hailee: Stop wetting yourself you mealy-mouthed rodent. Brace yourselves everyone...!

( The Liberator scrapes a huge rut in the ground over a mile in length before coming to rest. On the Flight Deck, everyone has been hurled to the floor. )

Vila: ( Sitting up. ) Hailee, if you want a pay rise just say so, you don't have to threaten us...

( Everyone stands. )

Avon: Zen, damage report.

Zen: Damage is superficial. Automatics will complete repairs in thirteen point two zero one minutes.

Vila: Now what? Those Federation ships'll just follow us down here.

Hailee: Yeah they'll find us in no time.

Avon: Not with what I have in mind.

( Avon steps up to the communications console and starts operating the controls. )

Avon: If memory serves, that's the frequency. Let's hope they havent switched the beacon on again... ( Into comms. ) Gillis, this is Liberator, do you read me?


( In the cave, Pirate 1 is making adjustments on the power unit, while Pirate 2 is drinking something from a wooden bowl. They look at each other as they receive Avon's signal. Pirate 2 heads to the communicator and answers. )

Pirate 2: ( Into comms. ) I read you, Avon. Everything all right?

Avon: ( V.O. ) Never mind the pleasantries, Gillis. I need you to do me a couple of favours.


( Emancipation. Inga leads the Space Rats through a door into a hold in a remote part of the ship. )

Inga: It'll be in here.

Atlan: Out of my way!

( Atlan and the Space Rats push past her into the hold. Atlan hurriedly finds a lighting control and activates it. The lights illuminate to reveal... a small empty room. Inga stands at the door, amused. )

Atlan: It's empty. ( Looks at Inga in outrage. ) You WERE lying! I'll...

Inga: You'll do nothing, Atlan.

( Inga steps out and operates the control. The door slides shut, sealing Atlan and the Space Rats inside the hold. Inga then smashes the control with her fist. )

Inga: Oops. Still, don't worry, Atlan, the air won't run out for at least ten hours.

( Inga heads off, smiling to herself. Atlan and the Space Rats pound their fists on the door and yell blue murder after her, but they cannot get out. )

Inga: I've got important work to do.


( Liberator Flight Deck. Avon is still in contact with the Pirates. )

Pirate 2: ( V.O. ) Out of the question!

Avon: We need a decoy, Gillis. If you don't provide one, those Federation troops will find us and we will be forced to reveal your location to them.

Pirate 2: ( V.O. ) You wouldn't.

Avon: A couple of hours of their interrogation techniques, I won't have any choice.

Pirate 2: ( V.O. ) You promised...

Avon: Yes, but you haven't kept your side of the bargain yet.


( Cave on Taurus. The Pirates look at each other in concern. )

Pirate 2: ( Into communicator. ) Maybe we can help you. In return for some compensation.


( Pursuit One. )

Mutoid 3: All ships report full function on all systems.

Kreel: Excellent. Where is Liberator?

Mutoid 1: Negative on all detectors.

Kreel: Conclusion: They must have dropped into the atmosphere... I order...

Mutoid 1: Commander! We have detected a ship on the far side of the planet leaving at high speed. Mark zero five four of our present heading.

Kreel: What! Identify. You will ident-...

Mutoid 1: The planet is interfering with our sensors, Commander, unable to identify...

Kreel: Never mind! It must be them, it must! Follow them. All ships will follow them...

( The flotilla picks up speed and heads after the distant speck of the fleeing ship. )


( Liberator Flight Deck. )

Zen: Sparse data from detectors suggest Federation Pursuit ships have made high-velocity orbit of Taurus III and are now tracking a courier vessel recently launched from the planet-surface.

( All smiles among the crew. )

Farin: It worked.

Vila: You relying on pirates, Avon? Not like you.

Avon: I didn't see a way for them to double-cross us.

Hailee: Now, do we double-cross them?

Avon: ( Frowns. ) I suppose not.

Vila: What they're asking us to do is illegal.

Avon: And that bothers you all of a sudden? ( Into comms. ) Thank you, Gillis, it appears to have worked.

Pirate 2: ( V.O. ) A victory for freedom.

Avon: Worth losing a courier ship to get rid of the Federation I trust?

Pirate 2: ( V.O. ) My only ship, yes. Now for your side of the bargain.

Vila: Oh that.

Pirate 2: ( V.O. ) It's just a question of providing us with transportation. And assistance with replacing our ship. Bring us aboard.

( Avon looks bothered. Hailee activates her own communicator. )

Hailee: I guess that's a fair deal. Just remember to wipe your feet when you come in.

( Avon close comms. )

Hailee: Now, what about Kyben?

Avon: ( Thoughtfully. ) I dislike owing a debt to others. We will deal with Gillis' request first. Then we will come back to find Soolin. And Kyben I suppose.

Hailee: Avon, those Feds won't be fooled by that decoy for long. We can't leave Kyben and Soolin stranded down there.

Avon: Does it concern you?

Farin: They can both rot as far as I'm concerned.

Avon: We are all aware of your opinion, Farin. I wasn't consulting you.

Hailee: I've been thinking about it. Kyben did save Soolin's life...

Avon: It's his noble nature. Doubtless he'll defend Soolin with every one of his awesome gifts of battle.

Hailee: He hasn't got any.

Avon: Precisely. It makes him of secondary value to us. Give him the benefit of the doubt if you have to, but I don't take things on trust. Indoctrinators have no place on this ship.

Hailee: All right. And Soolin?

Avon: She can take care of herself.

Hailee: With her head in that shape?

Avon: She may die whilst we're gone, but it will take some time to find her and Kyben in any case! Time in which the Federation may find us and attack us again. Whereas we know where Gillis is and we made her a promise. I always keep my promises. Besides, she can always refuse to help us find Soolin if we don't help her. Let's stop arguing about it and get on with whatever Gillis wants us to do.


( Later, Avon and Hailee are in the Pirates' cave. The pirates are here as well. )

Hailee: That's it? That's all we have to do?

Pirate 1: That's all you have to do.

Avon: ( Summarising. ) We transport duds to Alpha Proxima and help you purchase a replacement ship with the proceeds?

Pirate 1: Exactly. I doubt the Feds could stop smugglers in the Liberator.

Avon: Probably not. ( Looks at Hailee. ) Well?

Hailee: Sounds reasonable. Too reasonable, I'm almost worried.

Pirate 1: You'll do it then?

Avon: Very well.

( Hailee hands the pirates a bracelet each. )

Hailee: Put these on, we'll teleport aboard.

Pirate 2: You go on ahead, we'll follow after we've tidied up some loose ends here.

Avon: ( Suspiciously. ) Loose ends?

Pirate 2: Just routine. We've been set up here for years, Avon. You can only survive so long without stringent routine.

Hailee: ( Snorts. ) Routine! I knew you two were boring.

( The pirates glower at her. )

Avon: ( Into bracelet, still suspicious. ) Bring us back Vila.

( Avon and Hailee dematerialise. The pirates smile at each other. )

Pirate 1: And I thought Avon was supposed to be intelligent.

Pirate 2: Oh he is. It's just that intelligence is of little use without imagination.

Pirate 1: Yes, he is a bit one dimensional isn't he?

Pirate 2: Disappointingly so. Still, reputations are there to be tattered.

Pirate 1: As are revolutionaries.

Pirate 2: Quite. Now, this operation should take a couple of days. We'll use the first to familiarise ourselves with the lay-out of the Liberator. Then we'll make our move.

Pirate 1: Fine. What do we actually do with Avon and his friends once the Liberator is ours?

Pirate 2: ( Amazed smile. ) Why, we kill them, of course.




Blake's cousin Inga returns to make her Blake's Legacy debut and has enlisted the aid of Atlan and the Space Rats to attack a Federation medical cruiser. The Space Rats believe the ship is secretly carrying advanced engineering components, but Inga wants the ship for very different reasons.

Avon, Hailee and Vila meanwhile find they must depend on a pair of racketeers if they are to survive on the surface of Taurus III. They do a deal, but who is conning whom?



Neil Blissett:

The scenes on medical ship Emancipation have a very similar feel to those on the London in Spacefall from where much of the dialogue and procedures are obviously derived. Not a bad thing at all to show that the non-military branches of the Federation have to follow standard procedures.

Zen considers that the planet is unlikely to be used as a base by pirates because of its proximity to Earth but this is the very reason the pirates give for having their base there.

Zen and Farin were talking about the planet in terms of its value as a military base, which would logically need to be remote from the Federation and need plenty of resources. But Gillis simply uses Taurus as the staging ground for a counterfeiting operation. The purpose of the base is infiltration, not military, and therefore it needs to be close to the Federation's heart.

Farin is left alone on the Liberator and has to take the ship into battle, like Avon in Volcano. Farin is plainly not up to the job.

Two more characters from previous episodes return. Inga was last seen on the planet Exbar in Hostage. I wonder what happened to her father, Ushton.

You'll learn the answer to that in the next episode.


Jane Walton:

Lots of intrigue and double-dealing, great!

Kreel is becoming an interesting personality, he seems even more robotic than the mutoids.

Actually, I'm not sure about him anymore. I've deliberately made Kreel as robotic as possible, and it seemed like a good idea at the time, but I'm beginning to think I've made a rod for my own back there. At the time of writing I've finished episode 14, and when re-reading the last few stories, I find Kreel's way of talking very annoying after a little while. I'll have to wait and see how others react to it  -  it could just be I'm too close to the story to judge it clearly. Anyone else want to comment on Kreel? Is my version of him more interesting or more irritating?

I like the sequence with the pilots playing 'I Spy', it's very humorous.

The 'I Spy' sequence is not really my idea in fact. It was inspired by (though not copied from, of course!) a marvellous John Cleese/Graham Chapman sketch from their pre-Monty Python days, about a pair of bored airline pilots on a 737 who decide to try and scare their passengers to relieve the monotony. Anyone who's seen How To Irritate People should recognise it. It seemed the ideal way to emphasise just how bored the crew of the Emancipation were with the routines they were having to go through. You know, they even found a game of 'I Spy', when there's only about three things to look at, gripping their attention more closely than their work.

I also like the use of the Space Rats as they are a comical and disreputable bunch.

Well that depends on your point of view. I generally thought Stardrive was a so-bad-it's-good episode, and the Space Rats were the biggest reason for that  -  sure they provoked a number of laughs, but many of them were unintentional ones. I decided they'd be a useful lever for the current plot, but Atlan and co won't play any long term role at all.

Somehow Inga didn't strike me as being the leader type. A brave and faithful follower, yes but not a person smart enough or confident enough to gain an alliance with Atlan. Unless, of course, as seems likely, someone else is pulling the strings and she is merely following orders?

The cause of Inga's aggressive behaviour is something akin to maternal instinct. The exact reason is revealed in the next episode (when Nij Blake arrives). No, she's not following orders. She's showing more drive and conviction than usual because she's following a very strict scheme she's planned out. And she's not giving orders either. She's done a deal with the Space Rats and she's marking her territory, so to speak, making it clear to Atlan that she'll only tolerate so much from him. And why not? She's not exactly formidable, but she's tough enough for that. She'd have to be to survive on a place like Exbar.

I like the development of the antagonistic relationship between Hailee and Vila. Avon is getting a bit beyond verbal sparring with him and it's nice that Hailee is trying to fill the gap and keep him feeling hard done by.

Well, yes she pushes Vila around, but then she does that to everyone. At least she's fair about, she treats everybody with equal contempt. Everybody except Avon anyway. So I guess maybe she's not fair about it.


Brian McLennan:

I'm getting a bit bored with Zen saying, "Plasma bolt launch" all the time. The whole battle scene just seemed to recycle stuff from In The Jaws and Truths. Can't you vary things a bit?

Zen says, "Confirmed" a lot as well, but no one ever complains about that! He's a machine, man, variety isn't in his nature.

Hailee's such a cool character! She always gets the best lines.

Yes she probably does, but then she earns them. Half the stuff she says would never cross my mind if it were any other character at all that I was thinking of. Besides, she's real fun to write, so I owe it to her to reward her with the best lines. This all may sound weird, me "making deals" with a figment of my own imagination, but it's the truth.

On the subject of her lines, what is her voice meant to sound like? I'd have thought it would be something like a cockney accent, but I've never been sure.

Good question. I'm cautious about answering it because, when it comes to new regular characters, I like to let readers choose voices for themselves. However, I will say that when I write for Hailee I generally hear her voice in my head as a Southern Irish brogue. I want to stress to readers that you don't have to go along with that, and if you hear her voice differently, that's largely up to you. What I do insist though is that you don't imagine it to be yet another of those Middle England accents that dominate the series from start to finish - I was very deliberate about that when I created her, and her dialogue reflects this.

The girl I part-based Hailee on, by the way, is from Derbyshire, with a very broad, very brusque Northern English accent. That would certainly be a valid alternative.


My replies are in ORANGE ITALICS


Season One Scripts