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The Dialogue of B7: Part 1 - Season A
trevor travis


“Doesn't it bother you that you spend your life in a state of drug-induced tranquillity?” (RAVELLA to BLAKE)

“Four years ago, there was a good deal of discontent with the Administration. There were many activist groups. But the only one that really meant anything was led by Roj Blake. You and I worked together. We were outlawed and hunted. But we had supporters and we were making progress. Then someone betrayed us, I still don't know who. You were captured. So were most of our followers. They could have killed you. But that would have given the Cause a martyr. So instead they put you into intensive therapy. They erased areas of your mind, they implanted new ideas. They literally took your mind to pieces and rebuilt it. And when they'd finished, they put you up and you confessed. You said you'd been ‘misguided’. You appealed to everyone to support the Administration, hound up the traitors. Oh, they, they did a good job on you. You were very convincing. And then they took you back and erased even that.” (FOSTER to BLAKE)

HAVANT: “You're obviously suffering from a severe emotional disturbance. We must try to unravel this fantasy.”
BLAKE: “It is NOT a fantasy.”
HAVANT: “Of course it isn't.”
BLAKE: “Do you believe me?”
HAVANT: “To you it isn't a fantasy.”
BLAKE: “Get out! Leave me alone.”
HAVANT: “Reality is a dangerous concept. Each one of us interprets it in a slightly different way. Every sense impression is filtered by the brain and altered, sometimes just a little, sometimes completely, to fit our individual model of what the world is about. If that model should be challenged ...”
BLAKE: [chanting] “I am NOT insane. I am NOT insane...”
HAVANT: “No. You must put that thought completely out of your mind. You've had a shock.”

HAVANT: “Can't he be eliminated?”
MORAG: “No, he's a symbol of opposition to the Administration.”
GLYND: “We've done cross-sectional psych readings, which show that a high percentage of people, particularly the younger ones, believe that Blake's trial was a showpiece, that his statements were rigged.”
MORAG: “His death could be used by the dissidents. They need a hero. Alive or dead, Blake could be it.”
HAVANT: “Difficult. I suppose my department could infect him, some rapidly terminal disease. Would his natural death help?”
GLYND: “I don't think so.”
MORAG: “What we need is something to discredit him. If he could be deported to Cygnus Alpha. Doctor, am I right in thinking you can create experiences, implant them into a subject, who will then believe that they really happened?”
HAVANT: “Of course. In fact, creating an illusion of reality is quite simple.”
MORAG: “Good. Then I think we can totally destroy Blake's credibility and get him sentenced.”

BLAKE: “I don't need a defence. I'm going to plead guilty.”
VARON: “Come now. Certainly the evidence against you is strong ...”
BLAKE: “I just want to make a statement in open court. I want those responsible for the massacre brought to trial.”
VARON: “I'm sorry?”
BLAKE: “There can be no justification for deliberate murder.”
VARON: “There's nothing in the charges about murder. There are a number of other counts. Assault on a minor, attempting to corrupt minors, moral deviation ...”
BLAKE: “Let me see that!” [He reads the charges.] “All involving children! None of this is true!”

“The accused has been found guilty on all charges. His crimes have been accorded a Category Nine rating, and as such are adjudged most grave. In sentencing you, the judgment machine has taken into account your past record, your service to the state, and your loyalty to the Federation. None of these have mitigated in your favour. It is the sentence of this tribunal that you be taken from this place to an area of close confinement. From there you will be transported to the penal colony on the planet Cygnus Alpha, where you will remain for the rest of your natural life.” (the ARBITER reads the verdict at the trial).

“Easy! Take it easy! I hate personal violence, especially when I'm the person.” (VILA to BLAKE)

VILA: “They didn't give me a choice. I steal things. Compulsive, I'm afraid. I've had my head adjusted by some of the best in the business. But it just won't stay adjusted.”
BLAKE: “A professional thief.”
VILA: “More a vocation than a profession. Other people's property comes naturally to me.”

“If you're expecting a last-minute reprieve you'd better forget it. Once they get you this far there's no going back. You'd better get used to the idea. Nobody out there gives a damn about you.” (JENNA to BLAKE)

MAJA: “Three unidentified admissions on the date the victims weren't at school.”
VARON : “It's not absolute proof, but it gives us somewhere to start.”
MAJA: “But why would they have been to the clinic?”
VARON:”Mental implantation?”
MAJA: “What's that?”
VARON: “A fictional experience and emotion, implanted into the mind so vividly and permanently that it becomes reality.”
MAJA: “Is that possible?”
VARON: “The process was perfected years ago, but prohibited by the medical profession. But if it is being used again...”
MAJA: “Blake could be telling the truth.”
VARON: “And that could blow the top off the whole Administration.”

BLAKE: “Why are you here? You didn't tell me.”
JENNA: “I was trading around the Near Worlds. I'm a free trader.”
VILA: “A smuggler. She's a big name. It's an honour to be locked up with her.”

GUARD: “Take a long look" [at the Earth] "That's the last you'll ever see of it.”
BLAKE: “No, I'm coming back.”


P.A. 6

ANALYSIS: “The Way Back” is a superb, if atypical, start to B7. There’s very little humour in this episode – instead we have a bleak episode which shows just what Blake is fighting against. The Administration is corrupt to the core. Virtually all ‘the good guys’ end this episode dead.

Blake and Tarrant, a man of few words, are the only characters in this episode from beginning to end. Apart from Blake, the other character to receive a lion’s share of the dialogue is Tel Varon, his defence attorney. The episode plays with our expectations; we expect that Varon and his wife Maja will became part of the ‘seven’. But instead – as with Ravella, Richie and Foster before them – they are killed.

Morag, who in many ways is the most despicable of those plotting against Blake (she comes up with the horrible idea of trumping up false child molestation charges against him), doesn’t have many lines, but the ones she does have are telling. She’s the perfect example of everything that is wrong within the Dome and the Administration.

There’s little sign that Vila and Jenna will become regulars, except for perhaps they provide just about the only light relief in this grim episode.
Edited by trevor travis on 11 February 2014 11:05:40
trevor travis


LEYLAN: “There's a female prisoner on our manifest.”
RAIKER: “I've noticed that sir.”
LEYLAN: “Yes... well... er, be discreet.”
RAIKER: “Yes, sir.”

“The voyage to Cygnus Alpha will take approximately eight months ship time. During this period, you will obey every order and instruction that is given you. There is a punishment scale for infractions, which starts with long periods of confinement in your launch seat and ends with the Commander's right to order execution. If you have any complaints, I don't want to hear them. Understand this clearly. You have no rights whatsoever.” (RAIKER to PRISONERS)

VILA: “Do you think this is a good time for me to tell them I suffer from flight sickness?”
NOVA: “I don't think they'll be very sympathetic.”
JENNA: “I expect they'll find a cure for it, though. A permanent one probably.”
VILA: “They amputate your head!”

VILA: “Blake, [this is] Kerr Avon. When it comes to computers, he's the number two man in all the Federated worlds.”
NOVA: “Who's number one?”
VILA: “The guy who caught him.” [To Avon] “You've got nothing to be ashamed of. D'you know, he came close to stealing five million credits out of the Federation Banking System.”

AVON: “Give me one good reason why I should help you.”
BLAKE: “You're a civilized man, Avon. On Cygnus Alpha that will not be a survival characteristic.”
AVON: “An intelligent man can adapt.”
BLAKE: “Or recognize an alternative.”

GAN: “Don't be so nervous, Vila.”
VILA: “Nervous? I'm not nervous. Just... poised for action, that's all.”
AVON: “You've got an army of five, Blake. Five and HIM! Do you still think you can take over the ship?”

JENNA: “Assuming they do land us somewhere, what then?”
BLAKE: “Find a way of getting back to Earth.”
JENNA: “Back to Earth?”
BLAKE: “Yes. That's where the heart of the Federation is. I intend to see that heart torn out.”
AVON: “I thought you were probably insane.”
BLAKE: “That's possible! They butchered my family, my friends. They murdered my past and gave me tranquilized dreams.”
JENNA: “At least you're still alive.”
BLAKE: “No! Not until free men can think and speak. Not until power is back with the honest man.”
AVON: “Have you ever met an honest man?”
JENNA: [Looks at Blake] “Perhaps.”
AVON: “Listen to me. Wealth is the only reality. And the only way to obtain wealth is to take it away from somebody else. Wake up, Blake! You may not be tranquilized any longer, but you're still dreaming.”
JENNA: “Maybe some dreams are worth having.”
AVON: “You don't really believe that.”
JENNA: “No, but I'd like to.”

JENNA: “How do you feel?”
BLAKE: “Sick.”
AVON: “So you should. What a fiasco. You could take over the ship, you said, if I did my bit. Well, I did my bit, and what happened? Your troops bumble around looking for someone to surrender to, and when they've succeeded, you follow suit.”

JENNA: “For a while, I really thought we'd made it.”
BLAKE: “It was my fault.”
AVON: “We know.”
BLAKE: “I'll try and do better next time.”
AVON: “We had one chance. You wasted it. There won't be a next time.”
JENNA: “In which case, you can die content”
AVON: “Content?”
JENNA: “Knowing you were right.”

“I've never seen a ship like that before in my life.” (LEYLAN on the LIBERATOR)

RAIKER: “We can't give up that easily. That ship's worth a fortune.”
LEYLAN: “Looks like I've already lost three men. I'm not risking any more of my crew.”
RAIKER: “Then use prisoners. They've got nothing to lose. Use Blake and the other two. Let them take the risks...”

JENNA: “Name it. We're free. We've got a ship. We can go anywhere we like.”
BLAKE: “Follow the London to Cygnus Alpha. Then we can free the rest of the prisoners.” [To Avon] “With a ship like this and a full crew, then we CAN start fighting back.”



ANALYSIS: “Space Fall” is much more like a typical B7 episode than its predecessor. It sets the tone for most of the rest of Season A, with its mix of drama, humour and Blake winning out.

B7 is well-known for its three dimensional characters, and “Space Fall” has its own share of those. Despite being Federation Officers, Leylan, Raiker and Artix are portrayed in depth here – to the point Leylan actually has a handful of lines more than Blake! It’s interesting to note there almost seems to be a mutual respect between Leylan (chief warder) and Blake (prisoner). Although one should note that Leylan had no initial qualms in Raiker moving in on Jenna, as long as he was discreet about it!

The dialogue is so strong in this episode - including that wonderful three-handed scene between Blake, Jenna and Avon in the computer room. In the end, I decided to quote that scene almost in its entirety, as it reveals so much about those three characters.

Avon makes a very strong initial impact here. Almost his every word is a quotable one. And it’s already apparent that Vila is going to be used for light relief. By the end of this episode, we’re sure Avon and Jenna will be part of the ‘seven’ and have a pretty good hunch about Vila is well. Gan is less obvious – he has very little dialogue in this episode.
Edited by trevor travis on 07 February 2014 10:16:28
trevor travis
A bit of background. I do already have the stats for all 52 episodes (there are one or two surprises along the way!) – I guess it was only going to be a matter of time before either PS or myself got around to doing this. The transcripts are a god-send in terms of compiling the stats – from those, it’s not too difficult to anyone with an understanding of Excel and VLOOKUP tables to work it out.

Comments on this thread are welcome.

It’s mostly about letting the dialogue speak for itself – as the characters and dialogue have always been the great strength of the series. The quotes are selected for all sorts of reasons. Some are funny. Some are profound. Some are memorable. Some say so much about a character. Some are explanatory. Together they hopefully give a flavour of each episode.

I’m not going to be over-critical in my analysis comments – as I intend this to a positive thread celebrating what is great about B7.
trevor travis


ARTIX: “Will they go after Blake?”
LEYLAN: “They have no choice.”
ARTIX: “They'll never find him out there”...
LEYLAN: “They won't have to. He'll find them.”

BLAKE: [taking one of the Liberator guns] “Handgun?”
AVON: “It's a bit elaborate for a toothpick.”

JENNA: “There are a lot of controls that I haven't dared touch yet.”
BLAKE: “Well, I doubt whether we'd understand the manuals, so go ahead and try one. Go on.”
JENNA: “Well, don't blame me if it's self-destruct.”
BLAKE: “I doubt if I'll ever speak to you again.”

“Let's look around the rest of the ship. And find out exactly what it is we've stolen.” (BLAKE to JENNA and AVON)

AVON: “Before I decided to put my talents to more profitable use...”
JENNA: “And got arrested.”
AVON: “I handled the computer analysis for a research project into matter transmission. It was based on a new alloy...”
BLAKE: “Aquatar.”
AVON: “That's right.”
BLAKE: “Yes, I worked on that project too.”
AVON: “Small world.”
BLAKE: “Large project.”
JENNA: “I didn't work on it.”

ZEN: “Wisdom must be gathered, it cannot be given.”
AVON: “Don't philosophize with me you electronic moron. Answer the question.”
JENNA: “I don't think he likes you, somehow.”
AVON: “I think I may have to reprogram this machine.”
JENNA: “That still won't make you likable.”

ARCO: “What's that smell?”
SELMAN: “It's like something rotting.”
VILA: “Dinner probably.”

JENNA: “What was it like?” [The teleport]
BLAKE: “Well, nothing at all really. It's a bit like your property when Vila's around... suddenly it's somewhere else.”

GAN: “Wait. There's a building.”
VILA: “Cosy.”
GAN: “What do you think it is?”
VILA: “The architectural style is early maniac.”
ARCO: “We need food and shelter.”
VILA: “But do we need them that badly?”

VARGAS: “I am directly descended by the true and chosen line. Mine is the power by right.”
BLAKE: “But this planet was uninhabited until the Federation brought the first batch of fifty criminals here. Is that the noble line from which you stem.”
VARGAS: “My ancestors came here on that first shipment. They had nothing. The Federation gave them no tools, no supplies. So they worked together. They worked hard. And made a community. There were children born here. They were settlers trying to build a new world on a new planet. Later, more Federation prisoners came. There were disagreements. The community began to break up. They fought and killed. All that they had achieved was being destroyed. And it was my great-great-grandfather who found a way to unit them. He gave them a religion. Brought them together in the love and fear of God. That is the line I stem from.” [Shouts] “That is what gives me the right to rule.”

AVON: [emptying jewels on table] “Do you know how much is in there? Millions. Millions. And this is just a sample. There must be almost as much wealth in that single room as there is in the entire Federation banking system. Look at it.”
JENNA: “You could buy a lot of freedom with this.”
AVON: “You could buy anything with this. Anything at all. Think of it Jenna, there isn't anything you couldn't have.”
JENNA: “But what about Blake?”
AVON: “What about him?”
JENNA: “No.”
AVON: “We could own our own planet.”
JENNA: “We're not leaving him there.”
AVON: “We have to. He's a crusader. He'll look upon all this as just one more weapon to use against the Federation. And he can't win. You know he can't win. What do you want to be rich or dead? We might never have this opportunity again.” JENNA: “An hour. We'll wait an hour. If he's not back by then we'll leave.”
AVON: “Why? Why wait?”
JENNA: “Because that way I can convince myself that we gave him a fair chance.”

AVON: “With our speed we'll probably outrun them. This time. But they'll keep coming. Pushing us, tracking us. They'll never give up.”
BLAKE: “Nor will we. When we can handle this ship properly, we'll stop running. Then we'll fight.”


GAN 28
ZEN 18

ANALYSIS: Like the two episodes preceding it, “Cygnus Alpha” contains some sparking dialogue, as Blake, Jenna and Avon acquaint themselves with their ‘stolen’ ship, and discover, among other things, Zen and the teleport.

This episode is most centric on the regular cast so far. Blake, Jenna, Avon, Vila and Gan’s share of the dialogue in “Space Fall” is 49%; but here it is 69% (up to 73% also including Zen). It is a much better episode for Gan, who becomes the spokesperson for the group of prisoners.

Brian Blessed’s larger-than-life Lord Vargas features heavily in the second half of the episode, with a scene-stealing performance. Quite a few of his 42 lines are projected at volume!

For the final time, we’re teased over possible members of the ‘seven’, before Arco and Selman are killed, leaving Vila and Gan to join the crew. The slightly bad-tempered Arco, in particular, seemed a likely crew-member, but he goes the same way as Bran Foster, Varon and Nova, amongst others.

There are quite a handful of nice Jenna & Avon scenes here, with Jenna holding her own as Avon wants to run out on Blake.
Spaceship Dispatcher
trevor travis wrote:



AVON: “Before I decided to put my talents to more profitable use...”
JENNA: “And got arrested.”
AVON: “I handled the computer analysis for a research project into matter transmission. It was based on a new alloy...”
BLAKE: “Aquatar.”
AVON: “That's right.”
BLAKE: “Yes, I worked on that project too.”

trevor travis, what is your opinion of the section of dialogue quoted above? If Blake has endured two complete mind wipes, both quite thorough, how does he remember working on this project? Its not like stacking the shelves in his local Dome-market, but is obviously a secret and technology related project. Logically, he must have worked on it before or during the first rebellion. Its possible that some minor details of his old life survived as he is the same person as before and our personalities are the sum of our experience, but this is neither a minor detail nor a part of ordinary everyday life. Since he was identified as a threat, surely this knowledge would have been one of the first things erased from his memory. Yet here, the reference to the name of the material and its application trip straight off the tongue without hesitation. Continuity error, or something about the mind adjustment technology that we merely haven't discussed before? Please feel free to reply to this in a new Blake thread elsewhere to avoid derailing your project, and it might be best to start one in the Duel forum...

SD Oops
trevor travis
SD, I think the shock of the massacre in "The Way Back" enables Blake to rediscover his memory.

One bit of dialogue I didn't quote:

GLYND: "Can he break through the memory blocks, Dr. Havant?"
HAVANT: "It's unlikely. We don't eradicate memory, of course, merely make it inaccessible. But in the normal healthy mind the barriers are impenetrable. Should he suffer anything like a nervous breakdown, where all the mental circuitry malfunctions, as it were, then he might just possibly find a route into his past."

Notice it's "memoey blocks" rather than the erasing of memory.

There's other instances of Blake remembering events e.g. in "Seek-Locate-Destroy", he recalls how he previously met Travis.
trevor travis


JENNA: “Together we can fly this ship manually.”
GAN: “I think we make a good team.”
AVON: “Well, hooray for us.”
VILA: “What's eating you now?”
AVON: “I'm just wondering how long we're going to live to enjoy our new found skills.”

VILA: “So much for federation pursuit ships.”
GAN: “At least we know we can outrun them.”
VILA: “Outrun them? In this we can out stroll them.”
AVON: “Don't get too relaxed about it. They'll keep on coming.”
VILA: “We have the whole universe to hide in.”
BLAKE: “Except that we're not going to hide. Very soon now the Federation ships will know exactly where we are. Or at least where we've been.”
VILA: “I don't follow you.”
AVON: “Oh, but you do. And that's the problem.”

AVON: “I thought it was agreed we wouldn't do anything without discussing it thoroughly.”
BLAKE: “True. It was also agreed that anybody could opt out at any time. Just tell me when you want to leave.”
AVON: “Oh, I will. But in the meantime I think we have a right to know what it is you're planning.”
BLAKE: “Zen, set a course for Saurian Major, speed standard by two.”
ZEN: “Speed and course confirmed.”
AVON: “That falls a little short of my idea of a thorough discussion.”
GAN: “We can talk and travel. We're safer on the move.”
AVON: “Another one who's prepared to let Blake do his thinking for him.”

BLAKE: “They've built a vast transceiver complex there. All Federation signals and navigation controls are beamed into Saurian Major, boosted and redirected. It's a vital nerve centre in the Federation space control system. Destroy that, and you blind, deafen and silence them. That's what we're going to do.”
AVON: “A blow for freedom.”
GAN: “Yes, our freedom. For a clever man you're not very bright. Deaf, dumb and blind how are they going to catch us?”
AVON: “I'm sure Blake will manage it somehow.”

JENNA: “Getting nervous?”
VILA: “No, I've been nervous all along. I do not like the look of that thing.”

“Gan, if you're trying to scare me... you're succeeding.” (VILA)

BLAKE: “You have to be careful of the planet life around here. Some of it’s carnivorous. Some species even have an intelligence rating.”
VILA: “That's a comfort. I should hate to be eaten by something stupid.”

“May you die alone and silent.” (CALLY’s opening words to BLAKE)

CALLY: “My work was in communications. But there will be companions for my death. I plan to raid the complex. To destroy until I am destroyed.”
BLAKE: “Well, our aim's the same. But I wasn't planning a suicide mission.”
VILA: “I should hope not.”
CALLY: “He fears death?”
VILA: “I plan to live forever. Or die trying.”

BLAKE: “Avon, can you do it?”
AVON: “Five minutes” [Pause] “I know. Make it two.”

BLAKE: “Seven of us can run this ship properly.”
VILA: “Six surely.”
BLAKE: “You forgot Zen.”
AVON: “You're not counting that machine as a member of the crew.”
BLAKE: “Oh, what do you say to that Zen?”
ZEN: “Please state course and speed.”
BLAKE: “Very diplomatic. Set a course for Centero, speed standard by two.”
ZEN: “Confirmed.”


GAN 41
ZEN 17

ANALYSIS: “Time Squad” closes the opening quartet of stories, with the introduction of alien Cally to complete the ‘seven’. Apart from a single “hey” from a Federation Guard, the only dialogue in this episode is from these seven characters, giving room for further character developments e.g. Gan’s limiter.

“Time Squad” also starts a tradition of opening the episode with a multi-handed Liberator Flight Deck scene. Such scenes often contain great dialogue, and that is certainly the case here.

At this point in the show’s history, Blake, Jenna and Avon continue to be given more dialogue than the other regulars. Despite this, it should be pointed out that this episode is something of a Vila dialogue showpiece, including his famous: “I plan to live forever, or die trying” line.

Sometimes considered one of the weaker entries of Season A, “Time Squad” is still another fantastic episode for dialogue, while giving new character Cally a strong introduction.
Grade Four Ignorant
I assumed Blake worked on the Aquitar Project after his arrest. There's nothing to suggest he was an Alpha or an Engineer before his first rebellion.
Spaceship Dispatcher
Grade Four Ignorant wrote:

I assumed Blake worked on the Aquitar Project after his arrest. There's nothing to suggest he was an Alpha or an Engineer before his first rebellion.

Really can't see someone being of use in detailed scientific research after all that brain-washing and while being fed suppresants. He's not exactly capable of thinking straight when we first meet him, and certainly not capable of creative intuition or following something very complex.
trevor travis
Spaceship Dispatcher wrote:

Grade Four Ignorant wrote:

I assumed Blake worked on the Aquitar Project after his arrest. There's nothing to suggest he was an Alpha or an Engineer before his first rebellion.

Really can't see someone being of use in detailed scientific research after all that brain-washing and while being fed suppresants. He's not exactly capable of thinking straight when we first meet him, and certainly not capable of creative intuition or following something very complex.

I agree.

SD, from Seek-Locate-Destroy:

"Oh, they did a memory erase on me, set up a show trial, had me confess, made me explain that I had been misled, that my political ideas were mistaken. Enough people believed me. The whole resistance movement collapsed. After that the Federation kept me around as a, a reformed character, a sort of ideal model citizen exhibit. Of course, I didn't know that at the time. No, it's only since almost exactly the same thing has happened again that the memory erase has begun to fade and I can remember."

So no continuity error, but yes it does suggest that any work on the Aquatar project would be pre-first trial - Blake post-trial was something of a zombie.
trevor travis


KROLL: “Give us the Liberator.”
BLAKE: “Never.”
DESPAIR SQUID: “Then we still destroy you.”

AVON: [Mimicking Tarzan, as he swings onto Kroll’s back] “AAH-AHAHAHH-AHAHAHH!”

JENNA: “What’s Avon doing?”
CALLY: “He’s throttling Kroll to death with that chain.”
JENNA: “But he’s wearing just a pair of black studded underpants.”
CALLY: “I know!”

VILA: “So, what happened to the Despair Squid?”
ZEN: “I took care of that! Limpet mines - there's enough fried Calamari out there to feed the whole of Italy.”


GAN 29
ZEN 20

ANALYSIS: “Time Squid” is the fabled ‘lost episode’ of B7, transmitted at 2am in the morning due to its explicit content and then deleted from the BBC archives. Some even questioned whether the episode was ever made at all, until Avon’s studded underpants appeared on eBay.

Judging from the shooting script, the dialogue is probably the weakest in Season A. However, it does contain many of Gan’s more memorable lines, while Soolin’s single comment of “Can you pass the soap?” is considered one of the greatest pieces of dialogue in B7.
trevor travis
After that slight interlude of sillness, now back to the proper stuff:



BLAKE: “What caused the malfunction? Well?”
ZEN: “Involvement is not permitted.”
BLAKE: “If the ship's blown up, lofty disinterest won't save you.”

BLAKE: “Can the automatics neutralize it?”
ZEN: “No.”
BLAKE: “Why not?”
ZEN: “There is no damage.”
AVON: “Computer logic. Until the bomb explodes there is nothing for the repair system to repair. Zen, can you reprogram the automatics?”
ZEN: “Pre-emptive interference in crew activity is forbidden.”
BLAKE: “Oh, he'll clear up after us, but he won't stop us making a mess.”

BLAKE: “Why [did you save me from the bomb]?”
AVON: “Automatic reaction. I'm as surprised as you are.”
BLAKE: “I'm not surprised.”

JENNA: “It wasn't what she was doing. It was the way she was. If you looked into her eyes it wasn't her looking back at you.”
GAN: “Avon says that's because she's an alien.”
VILAL “Everyone's an alien to him.”
BLAKE: “He's certainly more at home with machines.”

BLAKE: “Vila, go and see how Cally is, will you.”
VILA: “Must I?”
JENNA: “It's not catching.”
VILA: “It brought my head out in lumps.”

GAN: “That [the Liberator auto-repair] is fantastic.”
AVON: “Yes, isn't it. As a matter of fact it is. We could make a fortune with it if it wasn't for Blake.”
GAN: “In what way?”
AVON: “There's always a market for technology like this.”
GAN: “I don't think Blake would agree to that.”
AVON: “There will come a time when he won't be making the decisions.”

BLAKE: “You made the Decimas?”
GEELA: “The prototypes. They breed naturally, but a mutant strain has become dominant. They seem capable of thought. They exhibit primitive emotions, weaknesses we thought we had eradicated.”
NOVARA: “They will all have to be eliminated so that we can be certain the mutant strain is destroyed.”
BLAKE: “They're intelligent, living creatures. You can't just wipe them out.”
GEELA: “We gave them life. We have the right to take it from them. Please don't concern yourself. They're simply laboratory constructed animals as are we.”
BLAKE: “You? You are made?”
NOVARA: “We were genetically engineered, allowed to grow to maturity, then our aging processes were stopped. We have no lives of our own. We are simply flesh and blood creatures operated by our creators.”

BLAKE: “There's a problem. If we let them have those [the cells], they'll use them to wipe out an entire race of creatures, people here.”
AVON: “If it concerns you, don't give them the cells.”
BLAKE: “No, there's more. They've got a carrier beam which projects a fungicide which'll clear a way through the web for us. It doesn't work without this power.”
AVON: “Ah well, if it's between the creatures and us there's no argument. Even your irrational conscience should be able to cope with that. What do you want to do?”
BLAKE: “Hold off long enough to make a deal.”

[The Decimas start to go on the rampage]
AVON: “These are what you wanted to protect?”
BLAKE: “They're fighting for their lives.”
AVON: “Who isn't?”


ZEN 35
GAN 15

ANALYSIS: Back in 1978, terms such as ‘Story Arc’ and ‘Season Arc’ had yet to be coined. But with hindsight, it’s easy to see there were nine episodes (the opening four, plus all those involving Travis and/or Servalan) that contribute towards the Season A arc – the novelisations and compilation videos confirm as much by including these episodes.

The other four episodes of Season A permit different approaches to B7, and allow the characters to be developed in different ways. “The Web” is much more of a foray into the world of science fantasy than the four episodes prior to it. But at the heart of it is a great big metaphor i.e. the struggle of the Decimas is comparable to that of the Liberator crew.

This is the most Blake-centric episode so far, as he receives over third of the dialogue – over 150 lines. It includes some of the most positive characterisation of Blake – he wants to help the Decimas, even though it places the Liberator at peril from the approaching Pursuit Ships.

A familiar pattern starts to emerge, with Avon & Jenna directly behind Blake in terms of number of lines, then Vila & Cally, with Gan receiving fewest lines of the six human crew members of the Liberator.

Meanwhile, it’s an interesting episode as far as Zen is concerned, and how much he is either unable or unwilling to tell the crew.
trevor travis


JENNA: “Are you ready?”
VILA: “Tell him [Blake] I've just worked out a completely new strategy. It's called running away.”
JENNA: “He's ready.”

“There isn't a lock I can't open - if I'm scared enough.” (VILA to BLAKE)

“Hello there. How are you? Excuse me wandering about your premises but I wonder if you can help me. I'm an escaped prisoner. I was a thief but recently I've become interested in sabotage, in a small way you understand, nothing too ambitious, I hate vulgarity, don't you? Anyway, I've come to blow something up. What do you think will be most suitable?” (VILA distracting the FEDERATION GUARDS)

CALLY: “They're taking too long.”
AVON: “That's the trouble with heroics. They seldom run to schedule.”

JENNA: “So you got it [the cipher machine]”
BLAKE: “It was close though.”
AVON: “Too close. Another few seconds we'd have all been blown up.”
VILA: “Well, it wasn't my fault.”
AVON: “Well, whose fault was it? I thought you were supposed to guard the corridor.”
VILA: “You were supposed to disconnect that thing, not rely on Gan tear to it loose with his teeth.”

RONTANE: “Which is why the President has asked me to come here personally; to express his own very grave concern over this matter. The destruction of the communications centre has far-reaching political consequences. Controllers from some of the Outer Planets, whose loyalty to the Federation is, uh, delicately balanced, have been openly critical of the Administration's defence system. There are even one or two radical voices that speak of withdrawal from the Federation.”
BERCOL: “My department has done all in its power to suppress information about Blake and his actions -- there is a total blackout on all reports concerning him -- but still the stories get out. They spread by word of mouth, by whispers, by rumour; each time the story is told it is elaborated upon. Any damage to the Federation is attributed to Blake. The smallest incident is exaggerated out of all proportion until it becomes a major event. Blake is becoming a legend. His name is a rallying call for malcontents of all persuasions. He must be stopped.”
SERVALAN: “Gentlemen, I share the President's grave concern. And I am aware of the danger should Blake become a legend. But let us keep this matter in its correct perspective. It is true that Blake has command of a superb space vehicle, but he is just a man, backed by a handful of criminals, and that is all. He is not invulnerable, nor is he superhuman. He is just a man, who has been extremely lucky to evade capture... so far.”

RONTANE: “I understood that Travis had been suspended from duty pending an inquiry into the massacre of the civilians on the planet Auros.”
SERVALAN: “And I have satisfied myself that Travis acted correctly in this matter. The civilian deaths on Auros were unavoidable.”
BERCOL: “Uh, there are other incidents on his record; unfortunate incidents.”
RONTANE: “He has caused the Administration some political embarrassment in the past. In dealing with even minor insurrections, he has been, ah ... overzealous?”
SERVALAN: “Oh, don't be afraid of the word, Secretary. Ruthless. Committed. He does his duty as he sees it, and he sees it clearly. He has no time for the dirty gray areas of your politics.”
RONTANE: “I'm sure you're right, and of course the appointment is made on your judgement and your responsibility.”
SERVALAN: “Responsibility is something I have never evaded, Secretary.”
RONTANE: “Ah. May I then tell the President that you are confident that the Blake problem will be solved, soon?”
SERVALAN: “You may tell him to prepare a statement announcing that Blake has been eliminated.”

“Your time is running out, Blake. Your time and your luck.” (SERVALAN)

TRAVIS: “These are your orders?”
SERVALAN: “Destroy Blake.”
TRAVIS: “Depend on it.”

BLAKE: “Travis!”
JENNA: “Do you know him?”
BLAKE: “I thought he was dead. I was sure I'd killed him.”

TRAVIS: “What about my crew?”
SERVALAN: “Already assigned. Why mutoids particularly?”
TRAVIS: “Why mutoids? I've always thought that individuals with a high bionic rebuild were more reliable, less likely to let emotion interfere with judgement or duty. I give a mutoid priority over a man every time.” [Indicates his left hand] “Or perhaps it's this that gives me a fellow feeling.”
SERVALAN: “Does it still trouble you?”
TRAVIS: “Well, not in the way you mean. The surgical mechanics did a perfect refit. I had the Weaponry Division make a few ... adaptations. They built in a laseron destroyer, more powerful than any sidearm. No, the hand is fine, better than the original. It only troubles me because it's a constant reminder that the man who caused it, is still alive.”
SERVALAN: “Blake. That's why I choose you.”
SERVALAN: “I've read all the reports, of course. But none of them said what happened. None of them explained about your face”.
TRAVIS: “What about my face?”
SERVALAN: “It was patched up by a field medic.”
TRAVIS: “Man saved my life.”
SERVALAN: “But why did you never let the surgeons finish the job?”
TRAVIS: “What are you suggesting: cosmetic surgery? I'm a field officer, not one of your decorative staff men.”
SERVALAN: “You're certainly not decorative.”
TRAVIS: “You find it repulsive?”
SERVALAN: “I find it ... unpleasing.”
TRAVIS: “But memorable. You wouldn't mistake me for anyone else.”
SERVALAN: “Hardly.”
TRAVIS: “Neither will Blake.”

TRAVIS: “You'd better kill me, Blake. Until one of us is dead, there'll never be a time when I won't be right behind you.”
BLAKE: “If not you then somebody else. Killing you'll change nothing. You don't matter enough to kill, Travis.”

“Run, Blake. Run. As far and as fast as you like. I'll find you. You can't hide from me. I am your death, Blake.” (TRAVIS)


GAN 13

ANALYSIS: Enter the baddies! The regular and semi-regular cast of Season A is finally complete with the introduction of Travis and Servalan. Waiting until the sixth episode until introducing the main foes of the series would be unthinkable these days, but it works so well... simply because it allows the main focus of the latter part of the episode to be on them.

Travis only appears on the 27-minute mark, and yet he has 71 lines of dialogue by the end of the episode, by which time his character has been firmly established. Meanwhile, I could have quite cheerfully quoted nearly every line from Supreme Commander Servalan – in addition, to those quotes listed above, there’s also the fantastic scene with Rai (she flirts with him, then pulls ranks on him).

With such a focus on the bad guys, some of the Liberator crew do suffer a little. Neither Cally nor Gan are given much dialogue in this episode, although as Cally spends much of the episode either presumed dead or as a prisoner, maybe that’s only to be expected.

Meanwhile, there’s some wonderful stuff from Vila early on. He does feel like the audience identification figure – in the same way that a Doctor Who companion would provide.
Edited by trevor travis on 08 February 2014 23:34:41
trevor travis


VILA: “I don't like this.”
JENNA: “That's unusual.”
VILA: “Mock if you like, but I can always sense danger.”
GAN: “Yes, even when there isn't any.”

DR. KENDALL: “Yes, this [the neutrotope] has cost us... well, let's say it's bankrupted our economy and mortgaged our future.”
BLAKE: “Why so much?”
DR. KENDALL: “The yield from the ore containing the element is minute. This neutrotope and the few others that exist are the most valuable objects in our Galaxy.”
BLAKE: “Yes, well I can see why you were concerned that Dortmunn might have taken it.”
DR. KENDALL: “Yes, it's enough to tempt anyone. There are men who would betray their companions for a lot less.”

CALLY: “Remember that Avon and I will be staying. We will regard ourselves as hostages against Blake's return.”
AVON: “Well thank you Cally, what a clever idea.”
CALLY: [telepathically] “Blake will return.”
AVON: “You can bet your life on it; in fact you've just bet both our lives on it.”

CALLY: “We must help these people.”
AVON: “Must we? Personally, I don't care if their whole planet turns into a mushroom. I shall stay because I don't like an unsolved mystery.”

CALLY: “My people have a saying, a man who trusts can never be betrayed, only mistaken.”
AVON: “Life expectancy must be fairly short among your people.”

DR. KENDALL: “Someone among us determined that this mission should fail, and frankly, I can't even guess at a motive.”
AVON: “Try greed. It's usually reliable.”

“You'd better get her out of here, I really rather enjoyed that.” (AVON after tussling with and punching SARA)


ZEN 22
GAN 11

ANALYSIS: “Mission To Destiny” is definitely something a bit different. “The Web”, while being a non-arc story, still had a whacking great B7 metaphor in it in the shape of the Decimas. On the other hand, “Mission To Destiny” is an archetypal murder-mystery that could easily be transported in another show without having to change it too much.

Of course, this enables the writer (Terry Nation) to take some of the characters in a different direction. That’s clearly the case here with Avon, who takes centre stage for the first time, as he and Cally try to get to the bottom of the events on the Ortega. It’s skilfully done, so that this still feels like the same Avon we’ve seen in other episodes. The parity in lines of dialogue between Avon and Jenna, which has existed for the last five episodes, is well and truly broken here.

There’s maybe a surprise at the top of the dialogue chart for this episode, as Blake still won’t be dislodged, despite the fact he departs from the Ortega on an abortive mission to Destiny. But it’s an indication of how much the character of Blake is used to drive the plot. Every time we cut to the Liberator, he is given further dialogue.

Apart from Dr. Kendall being ahead, the dialogue is spread around the crew of the Ortega, while Gan, who had decent parts in “Cygnus Alpha” and “Time Squad”, continues to suffer.

For some reason, I found it trickier to find quotable dialogue in this episode (the opposite problem to “Space Fall” and “Seek-Locate-Destroy” where I could have easily quoted most of the episode!).
Edited by trevor travis on 08 February 2014 23:33:49
trevor travis


BLAKE: “Zen, take us into orbit as close as possible to the planet's surface. As close as possible Zen, the orbit could decay in forty-eight hours.”
ZEN: “Confirmed. The parameters were anticipated.”
BLAKE: [Laughing] “I get the distinct feeling I offended Zen's professional pride then.”
AVON: “It's just a machine, Blake.”
VILA: “And he should know.”
GAN: “Well Avon is the expert.”
VILA: “That's not what I meant.”
AVON: “No, he was calling me a machine, but since he undoubtedly defines himself as a human being, I shall choose to accept that as more of a compliment than anything else.”

ZEN: “Strategy options are now reduced to one. Battle computers suggest surrender.”
AVON: “Logic says we're dead!”
BLAKE: “Logic has never explained what dead means.”

BLAKE: “Right. Hang on everyone, this is going to be rough.”
VILA: “I don't mind rough. It's fatal I'm not too keen on.”

BLAKE: “Have you got any better ideas?”
AVON: “As a matter of fact, no I haven't.”
BLAKE: “Does that mean you agree?”
AVON: “Do I have a choice?”
BLAKE: “Yes”.
AVON: “Then I agree.”

“All right, all right. It's just that there is such violence in him [Travis], it's exciting. Old instincts die hard, Sinofar.” (GIROC)

GIROC: “You have seen what we can do. We are capable of protecting our planet, your threats of reprisal are meaningless.”
SINOFAR: “Our powers grew out of a thousand years of war, out of hate, and fear and the will to survive.”
GIROC: “We built destruction, weapons that your peoples have not yet dreamed of. Every passing year brought new ways to kill, and throughout the centuries the war raged across our planet.”
SINOFAR: “With each generation there were fewer of us. The dead vastly outnumbered the living. There was not victory for either side.”
BLAKE: “How did it end?”
GIROC: “How? Another development of another weapon. We demanded their surrender, they refused, the weapon was used. Those that we call our enemy were annihilated.”
TRAVIS: “You won, that's all that matters.”
SINOFAR: “It wasn't a victory, only the end of the war. We were left with a planet made barren by radiation. Our children were monsters, or died, or were never born. This, we won.”
BLAKE: “How many of you are there now?”
GIROC: “None. We are a dead race.”

“Must present our hosts with something of a problem. How do you demonstrate the death of a friend to a man [Travis] who hasn't got any?” (BLAKE to JENNA)

TRAVIS: “Tell me something, do you remember who you were?”
MUTOID: “I don't understand the question, Commander.”
TRAVIS: “Yes you do - in your previous life before you were modified. Do you know who you were?”
MUTOID: “Of course not.”
TRAVIS: “Aren't you curious about it?”
TRAVIS: “I find that hard to believe.”
MUTOID: “Memory is an encumbrance. All trace of it is removed and with it all trace of identity.”
TRAVIS: “And it doesn't concern you?”
MUTOID: “Why should it? That identity doesn't exist, even in the central computers.”
TRAVIS: “Yes it does. I know who you were. Your name was Keeara. Keeara.”
MUTOID: “Keeara.”.
TRAVIS: “You were very beautiful, very much admired. Shall I go on?”
MUTOID: “As you wish.”
TRAVIS: “This doesn't interest you at all, does it?”
MUTOID: “How could it?”

VILA: “Have you thought of another plan?”
AVON: “Yes. I'm going to get some sleep.”
VILA: “How can you sleep with all this happening?”
AVON: “With all what happening? Blake is sitting up in a tree, Travis is sitting up in another tree. Unless they're planning to throw nuts at one another, I don't see much of a fight developing before it gets light.”
GAN: “You're never involved, are you Avon? You ever cared for anyone?”
VILA: “Except yourself?”
AVON: “I have never understood why it should be necessary to become irrational in order to prove that you care, or, indeed, why it should be necessary to prove it at all.” [Avon leaves]
VILA: “Was that an insult or did I miss something?”
CALLY: “You missed something.”

GIROC: “Why didn't you kill him?”
BLAKE: “Too weak? Or maybe I didn't entirely trust your motives. Besides, as long as he's alive, he'll be the one chasing me. And I know I can beat him.”
GIROC: “At least you're not stupid.”
BLAKE: “I need time enough to get my ship away and to recharge the energy banks.”
SINOFAR: “They have been recharged. I will see that your ship gets away.”
BLAKE: “Another reason why I didn't kill Travis: I would have enjoyed it.”
SINOFAR: “Perhaps there was nothing for you to learn.”

“You see, he [Blake] made one fatal error. He should have killed me.” (TRAVIS to MUTOID)


GAN 32
ZEN 14

ANALYSIS: “Duel” is a hugely stylistic episode, with some notable direction from Douglas Camfield, but it also stands up very well for its dialogue.

Not surprisingly, most of the dialogue goes to the four combatants, plus the two guardians, with Blake and Travis topping the list. The exchanges between Travis and the Mutoid are revealing, and add an extra dimension to Travis’s character (something that will happen again in “Deliverance” ).

Avon might be relegated to an unusual seventh place (he stays onboard the Liberator throughout), but he is still given some of the most memorable lines. Gan, who teleports down with Blake and Jenna at the start of the episode, does have more to say than he has for a few episodes; it’s Cally who gets the rough end of the pineapple in this case.
trevor travis


“It's working; just as I predicted. This time we'll be ready for you, Blake.” (TRAVIS)

AVON: “We've come at the worst time, of course. The northern hemisphere is just entering its winter cycle. They call it the Long Cold. Something of an understatement, it lasts the equivalent of eight-and-a-half Earth years.”
BLAKE: “Does it support any intelligent life?”
AVON: “Does the Liberator?”

BLAKE: “Avalon has started resistance movements on a dozen Federation planets.”
AVON: “Another idealist, poor but honest. I shall look forward to our meeting with eager anticipation.”
BLAKE: “Is your anticipation eager enough to come down there with me?”
AVON: “Not quite. I think I shall contain my enthusiasm here in the warm.”

TRAVIS: “I think we're about ready. Oh, I'll need a human to assist in a test. Check with the detention block, see if they can give you someone.”
MUTOID: “Any special characteristics?”
TRAVIS: “No, an ordinary unskilled labour grade will do; an expendable.”
MUTOID: “If there isn't one in detention?”
TRAVIS: “Then detain one!”

TRAVIS: “You're already helping me. Just by being here you've set in motion a chain of events that's been absolutely predetermined.”
AVALON: “I don't understand.”
TRAVIS: “No? Do you think your capture at this particular point was a matter of chance? It was a carefully calculated strategy. You're worth a great deal to me. You're going to give me Blake, his crew, and his undamaged ship. The Federation wants the Liberator - you and I are going to give it to them.”

VILA: “Me? Oh, now wait a minute, it's cold out there, and I'm very susceptible to low temperatures. I've got a weak chest.”
AVON: “The rest of you's not very impressive.”

SERVALAN: “Nothing is safe anymore. You've heard, of course, that there have been two attempts on my life.”
TRAVIS: “I have. I was very concerned.”
SERVALAN: “I consider Blake to be responsible. Oh, not personally, of course; but stories of his exploits are still circulating. They excite people. The fact that he is still free gives them hope. And that is dangerous, Travis. Hope is very dangerous.”
TRAVIS: “The loss of it can be fatal, and the source of it all is about to be wiped out.”

SERVALAN: “I've been under considerable pressure to replace you... so far I have resisted that pressure. But now, I need your reassurance that my confidence has not been misplaced.”
TRAVIS: “I think Project Avalon will silence the critics.”
SERVALAN: “It does seem an excellent plan. It should have every chance of success.”
TRAVIS: “I'm glad you approve.”
SERVALAN: “Oh, Travis, you know better than that. In my position one never approves anything until it is an undisputed success....However you have my full support, unofficially, of course.”
TRAVIS: “Of course.”
SERVALAN: “Officially, you have my presence and my attention.”

BLAKE: “Ah, Travis. Didn't work. It was very clever but it didn't work.”
TRAVIS: “How did you stop it?”
BLAKE: “Does it matter? All I want to do is finish what I started. I'm going to take Avalon out of here.”
TRAVIS: “I don't think so.”
BLAKE: [Taking out the purple ball] “That would not be very clever.”
TRAVIS: “You wouldn't do it.”
BLAKE: “What have I got to lose?”
TRAVIS: “It's not a pleasant death, Blake.”
BLAKE: “So I gather, but it would have its compensations: I'd share it with you... and [looks at Servalan] the Supreme Commander. Are you quite sure I wouldn't do it?”

SERVALAN: “Project Avalon has failed totally. There will be a full inquiry. Until that time you are relieved of your command.”
TRAVIS: [To himself] “If it takes all my life, I will destroy you, Blake. I will destroy you. I will destroy you.”


GAN 21
ZEN 11

ANALYSIS: Terry Nation is an excellent writer of action-orientated episodes and “Project Avalon” is a terrific example of this. It’s therefore a plus that it also contains some good dialogue.

As with “Seek-Locate-Destroy” and “Duel”, it’s Blake and Travis who take a large slice of the dialogue between them (in all three episodes he has appeared in, Travis has had the second most amount of dialogue, behind Blake). With a fairly large cast, not everyone is going to be left with a lot of lines – and Gan (21), Vila (17) and Cally (14) have little more than 50 lines between them. It doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t play a part in the action – for example it is Vila (along with Blake and Jenna) who teleports down to the surface in this episode.

It’s so easy to see why Servalan became such a large part of B7. She has excellent dialogue right from her earliest episodes, delivered to perfection by Jacqueline Pearce.
trevor travis


BLAKE: “I want him [Gan] secure.”
CALLY: “Surely that is unnecessary. He's a sick man, those are not going to help him.”
BLAKE: “The limiter is supposed to cut in when stress drives him to the point where he might kill.”
CALLY: “So?”
BLAKE: “So on the flight deck he tried to kill ME. The limiter didn't even slow him down.”
CALLY: “Well, among my people such things are considered barbarous.”
BLAKE :”All right, just make him comfortable, but I want him secure.”

BLAKE: “I don't know what to do about it! And if it is the limiter, I don't know how we can help him. Unless neurosurgery is one of your particular talents.”
AVON: “Unfortunately, no.”
BLAKE: “Suppose Zen gave us the necessary information and detailed instructions.”
AVON: “Oh, come on, Blake! This is not something you do by numbers, not even highly sophisticated ones. This is an area that has remained the exclusive province of specialists.”
BLAKE: “Yes, I know, I know.”
AVON: “There are quicker ways that you could kill him, but there are none more certain.”

BLAKE: “Any others with the necessary level of technology?”
JENNA: “Only Epinal. But the problem there is that they're considered potentially hostile.”
BLAKE: “To the Federation?”
JENNA: “To the species. They don't like humanoids in general, and in particular homo sapiens.”
AVON: “That puts their intelligence beyond doubt.”

VILA: “What do you suppose it is that's lurking out there?”
JENNA: “Maybe Zen's got it wrong.”
AVON: “Zen hasn't got it at all.”
JENNA: “All right then, whoever programmed him.”
AVON: “One of these days I intend to find out who that is.”

BLAKE: “Anything on the detectors?”
VILA: “Not a thing. What you see on the screen is exactly what's there. Absolutely nothing. Why should I find nothing terrifying?”

“I've just had a comforting thought. We may all be dead before we find out why this is a danger zone.” (VILA)

AVON: “Blake, in the unlikely event that we survive this... I'm finished. Staying with you requires a degree of stupidity of which I no longer feel capable.”
BLAKE: “Now, you're just being modest.”

AVON: “Why do you stay with Blake?”
VILA: “I like him.”
AVON: “That isn't a good enough reason.”
VILA: “It is for me. That and the fact I've got nowhere else to go.”

RENOR: “I had a feeling this was going to be a good day.”
JENNA: “Yes, well, don't let your feelings run away with you.”
RENOR: “Oh, a sense of humour, too. I love girls with a sense of humour.”
JENNA: “Yes, I can see where that would be an advantage.”

KAYN: “It's Blake and his crew.”
RENOR: “THE Blake? How do you know?”
KAYN: “They lie badly.”
RENOR: “Stannis! That's who she is! Jenna Stannis. I've never met a celebrity before.”
KAYN: “Celebrity! These people are maniacs, killers.”
RENOR: “Oh, come on.”
KAYN: “Mindless destroyers.”
RENOR: “You don't know that.”
KAYN: “They are destroying the greatest force for order in the known universe.”

BLAKE: “How soon can you complete?”
KAYN: “Thirty-five minutes.”
BLAKE: “Do it in twenty.”
KAYN: “Or you'll kill me.”
BLAKE: “Oh, no, no, no. In twenty-five minutes I'm returning you to your station. If you haven't completed your work...”
KAYN: “Your threats don't bother me in the least, you know.”
BLAKE: “I shall destroy your hands. Twenty minutes.”

BLAKE: “Is there any way we can thank you?”
KAYN: “You could try getting caught.”

AVON: “Say goodbye to one bolt hole.”
BLAKE: “That's not funny, Avon.”
AVON: “It wasn't meant to be.”

BLAKE: “How do you feel?”
GAN: “I feel as if someone has been poking around inside my head... with a foot.”
VILA: “We had to kick your brain a couple of times to get it started.”
GAN: “Only twice? They didn't remove the limiter.”
CALLY: “It was not possible.”
VILA: “They've modified it, though. Your ears glow in the dark now.”


ZEN 27

ANALYSIS: On the excellent “Together Again” tapes, Paul Darrow and Gareth Thomas tell a tale of how David “Gan” Jackson, on complaining on his lack of dialogue, was placated by being told of a forthcoming Gan episode, in which he would feature heavily. What he wasn’t told is that Gan would be unconscious for nearly the entire episode!

It is a pity that Gan is out of action – therefore denying him some well-deserved character development. Instead it is Avon, in threatening to leave the crew of the Liberator, who gets that development. Although, once again, it is Blake who receives the most lines – a whopping 162 lines.

There’s a lot of good character stuff here. “Breakdown” is almost ‘a bottle show’ set on the Liberator; there are only a few scenes on XK-72 (a set obviously redressed from Servalan’s office). As a result, it’s very much an episode driven by dialogue – it does have an unusual amount of dialogue for a Terry Nation-scripted episode.
trevor travis


VILA: “I don't like the look of that.”
GAN: “Not again, Vila.”
VILA: “I'm entitled to my opinion.”
AVON: “It is your assumption that we are entitled to it as well that is irritating.”
JENNA: “What do you think?”
AVON: “As a matter of fact, I don't like the look of it either.”
VILA: [To himself] “He agrees with me.”
AVON: “The flight path is too erratic.”
VILA: “Makes it all seem worthwhile somehow.”

AVON: “First sign of trouble, we get out, right?”
JENNA: “Goes without saying.”
AVON: “I only wish it did.”

VILA: “Avon? Jenna? Now don't let's be silly. Answer me, one of you. I shall come out in a rash. Zen, has something happened to them?”
ZEN: “Data is not available.”
VILA: “I don't want data, I want to know what's happening.”
ZEN: “It will be necessary for you to make a personal investigation.”
VILA: “Oh, you're a big help. ‘Personal investigation.’ ‘Personal investigation.’ The next time Avon wants to make a personal investigation on how you work I shall make a personal point of handing him the instruments, personally.”

TYCE:”I heard what you said, I heard every feeble, self-pitying word. Why should they send assassins for you, you're already dead, Sarkoff.” [To Blake] “Before I kill you, who are you and what do you want?”
BLAKE: “I came here to take President Sarkoff back to his people. My name is Blake.”

SARKOFF: “Well, Cally. Must I listen to you, too?”
CALLY: “No.”
SARKOFF: “Have you no opinions?”
CALLY: “None. You are needed to unite your people.”
SARKOFF: “I see. Facts, not opinions.”

BLAKE: “The Lindor Strategy. That's what they called it. It began with the rigged elections which removed you from power and will only end when you return to your planet as the puppet leader of a subjugated people.” (BLAKE to SARKOFF)

GAN: “Bounty hunters. They're going to sell us to the Federation.”
BLAKE: “But how did they get on board?”
AVON: “Gan?”
VILA: “It wasn't Gan's fault.”
GAN: “They used me and a voice synthesizer. It was very well planned.”
BLAKE: “Was Jenna behind it?”
AVON: “No. But when it was clear that we had lost, THAT is when she changed sides.”

TARVIN: “You saved my life.”
JENNA: “We all make mistakes.”
TARVIN: “I thought you liked me.”
JENNA: “Oh, I did. Then.”
TARVIN: “Have I changed so much?”
JENNA: “One of us has.”

JENNA: “Tarvin, how much are the Federation paying you for this?”
TARVIN: “Thirteen million credits for the crew and ship intact. Or, twelve million if I don't give them you.”
JENNA: “Supposing I made you a better offer?”
TARVIN: “You're a pretty woman, Jenna, but not THAT pretty.”

SARKOFF: “You'd sell your grandmother, wouldn't you?”
TARVIN: “I did. She was going to sell me, I got in first.”

GAN: “If I could just get close to some of them...”
CALLY: “The one called Tarvin, for example?”
GAN: “Right. What's that expression of yours?”
CALLY: “Companions for our death?”
VILA: “That's a bit morbid, isn't it?”

SARKOFF: “I must congratulate you, Tarvin. It looks as though you have accomplished what no one else has been able to do: you have taken Blake and his crew alive and his ship intact.”
TARVIN: “I will be a prince among my people.”
SARKOFF: “Oh, at the very least.”
TARVIN: “Do not mock me, old man!”
SARKOFF: “Nothing was further from my mind. I welcome Blake's capture.”
TARVIN: “Why? What's he done to you?”
TYCE: “He didn't give up. He fought. Blake shamed him.”
SARKOFF: “And in the end lost, it was inevitable.”
TARVIN: “Inevitable. I am the better man.”
TYCE: “You? Selfish, greedy, vicious...”
TARVIN: “I won!”
SARKOFF: “Yes, my dear, you see, it's a, it's a paradox. He won because he is not the better man.”
TARVIN: “What?!”
SARKOFF: “And yet by winning, it seems, he becomes a prince among people.”
TARVIN: “Among MY people.”
SARKOFF: “Does it matter which people, Tarvin? Do you care?”

TYCE: “Goodbye, Blake. You'll always be welcome on Lindor.”
SARKOFF: “Yes, we may have need of thirteen million credits...”
TYCE: “Over my dead body.”
SARKOFF: “I hope you're not going to make a habit of that particular threat.”


GAN 23

ANALYSIS: “Bounty” is the last of the four non-arc stories of Season A, and takes the time to delve into politics – it’s hard to believe things are very democratic with the Federation out and about and this episode is proof of that!

It’s an episode that gives some of the limelight to Cally (who is down on the planet along with Blake at the start of the episode) and Jenna (who, for a moment, looks like she may have betrayed the crew to Tarvin, although the truth soon emerges). In fact, all the regulars are well served here (even Gan is given something to do) – although it is unusual to see Avon so far down the pecking order.

B7 has already established a tradition of fine guest actors. We had Julian Glover (Kayn) in “Breakdown”; now we have TP McKenna (Sarkoff). Sarkoff and Tyce have much good dialogue here – and the twist that Tyce is Sarkoff’s daughter is nicely underplayed within the dialogue.

Blake tops the dialogue chart for the NINTH successive episode; he really is the driving force of this opening season.
Spaceship Dispatcher
Living on Lindor makes me think of a planet sized chocolate ball with a soft centre... Grin
Spaceship Dispatcher wrote:

Living on Lindor makes me think of a planet sized chocolate ball with a soft centre... Grin

And the name of the episode makes me think of a chocolate bar with a coconut filling...Wink
Twitter: @TravisinaB7

My views are my own
VILA: I'm entitled to my opinion.
AVON: It is your assumption that we are entitled to it as well that is irritating.
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