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The Dialogue of B7: Part 3 - Season C
trevor travis


VILA: “Where have you been?”
CALLY: “Blake didn't want to leave.”
VILA: “Well, I do!”
AVON: “I'm surprised you're still here.”
VILA: “Where's Jenna? We haven't got to wait for her, have we?”
CALLY: “Jenna's gone with Blake.”

TROOPER 2: “Have you any idea where we are, sir?”
TROOPER 1: “Planet called Sarran, I think. I wasn't able to get a firm fix. Does it matter?”
TROOPER 2: “No, sir, no. I'm very grateful to be out of the battle. And alive.”
TROOPER 1: “Do you know how many alien ships were confirmed killed?”
TROOPER 2: “Five hundred at the last count, sir.”
TROOPER 1: “I heard it was nearer six.”
TROOPER 2: “Six hundred?”
TROOPER 1: “Historic victory, that's what they'll call it... how does it feel to have made history?”
TROOPER 2: “Very painful, sir.”
TROOPER 1: “We lost over eighty percent of the fleet, you know.”
TROOPER 2: “Eighty percent?”
TROOPER 1: “We only won because there were more of us than there were of them. If you call that winning.”

DAYNA: “Are you feeling better?”
AVON: “Not really. But at least I'm still alive. If I were dead I don't think I'd have this blinding headache.” [Dayna kisses him] “What was that for?”
DAYNA: “Curiosity”.
AVON: “I'm all in favour of healthy curiosity. I hope yours isn't satisfied too easily. I think you've cured my headache.”

AVON: “The Sarrans don't seem exactly friendly.”
DAYNA: “They don't trouble us much. Father says they were a problem when we first arrived, now they leave us alone. They're afraid of us. They're afraid of me, particularly.”
AVON: “Presumably, it's the bow and arrow.”
DAYNA: “I like the ancient weapons - the spear, the sword, the knife. They demand more skill. When you fight with them conflict becomes more personal. More exciting.”
AVON: “More dangerous.”
DAYNA: “Of course. Without danger there's no pleasure.”
AVON: “That must limit your range of pleasures a bit.”

AVON: “Oh, I can see the sea.”
DAYNA: “That is our base.”
AVON: “You live underneath it?”
DAYNA: “In it.”
AVON: “In it? Listen, I'm not very keen on water sports even at the best of times.”
DAYNA: “Don't worry.”
AVON: “This is not the best of times.”

AVON: “Servalan.”
SERVALAN: “You don't sound surprised.”
AVON: “Why should I be? It has a perverse kind of logic to it. Our meeting is the most unlikely happening I could imagine. Therefore we meet. Surprise seems inappropriate somehow.”

AVON: “Where's your ship?”
SERVALAN: “Plastered over a large area of this miserable planet.”
AVON: “You should've stayed at Space Command Headquarters.”
SERVALAN: “The battle was virtually over. A personal appearance is always good politics. Especially for a new president.”
AVON: “Congratulations.”

“It's a great pity that you and I have always been on opposite sides, Servalan.” (AVON)

MELLANBY: “What's left of the Federation fleet, which isn't much, is scattered halfway across the galaxy. I'd say the Federation's in a lot of trouble.”
AVON: “Yes, it's difficult to sustain a military dictatorship when you've lost most of the military. I only hope Blake survived long enough to realize that he was winning... both wars.”
MELLANBY: “Blake? You were with Blake?”
AVON: “Yes, though it hardly seems to matter now. If it ever did.”
MELLANBY: “If it mattered? Blake and the Liberator? I've been hearing reports for the last couple of years. You were magnificent.”
AVON: “Not from where I was sitting.”

DAYNA: “Will this be all right?” [Hold up a purple dress] “I think it should fit you.”
SERVALAN: “Oh, very attractive. A little old fashioned, and not my colour, but it'll do very nicely.”
DAYNA: “Not too young for you?”
SERVALAN: “Oh, I don't think so, do you? I find unsophisticated clothes quite amusing, like unsophisticated people. Obvious, but amusing.”

SERVALAN: “And I thought you were the one who had conquered emotion, replaced feeling with logic.”
AVON: “I don't really care what you thought.”
SERVALAN: “Oh, you are worried, aren't you?”
AVON: “Skip the psychology, Servalan, it is not your strong point.”
SERVALAN: “You think not? You could be right. After all, we're very alike, you and I.”
AVON: “I doubt that.”
SERVALAN: “You are ambitious, ruthless ... you want power and you'd never let conscience stand in the way of achieving it. Well?”
AVON: “You overestimate me.”
SERVALAN: “You have one other quality I admire. Very much.”
AVON: “Yes?”
SERVALAN: “You are infinitely corruptible. You'd sell out anybody, wouldn't you?”
AVON: “I don't know; I never really had an offer I felt was worthy of me.”

SERVALAN: “There's something you probably don't know. Star One was destroyed.”
AVON: “Are you sure?”
SERVALAN: “Positive. An alien counterattack, it took us by surprise. They reduced the entire planet to so much space debris. Nothing survived.”
AVON: “And Star One was the basis of Federation power. It controlled everything.”
SERVALAN: “Exactly. And now it's gone, so is most of the Federation. From now on there will be chaos in the star systems. No central control, no unifying force. Over half the civilised planets left to their fate.”
AVON: “So Blake's rabble finally get freedom of choice. He won after all.”
SERVALAN: “Forget Blake. You have control of the Liberator now. There's no more powerful ship in the galaxy. You have Orac. Avon! Don't you see what that means?”
AVON: “You tell me about it.”
SERVALAN: “You could rebuild it all. All those worlds could be yours, Avon, they're there for the taking. You and I could build an empire greater and more powerful than the Federation ever was or ever could have been. Now, Avon. At this moment we can take history and shape it in our own image. Think of it: absolute power. There is nothing you can imagine that we couldn't do.”
AVON: “I am thinking of it.”
SERVALAN: “We can do it, Avon.”
AVON: “I know we can.”
SERVALAN: “We'll be answerable to no one. Ours will be the only voice. Imagination our only limit.” [The pair kiss. But Avon then grabs her by the throat and pushes her to the ground]
AVON: “Imagination my only limit? I'd be dead in a week.”

“You're still a loser, aren't you? You were then, you are now. You don't win wars by running away and hiding.” (SERVLAN before shooting MELLANBY dead)

DAYNA: “I'm going to kill her now while I've got the chance.”
AVON: “No. Orac is our only hope. We have got to get her out of there. Give me a few minutes to get down there, then start firing. Cause as much panic and confusion as you can, but keep your fire away from Servalan.”
DAYNA: “All right.”
AVON: “I don't want you telling me afterwards that it was an accident.”

“Summary execution is the usual punishment for boarding a Federation ship without authority. What are you doing on my ship?” (TARRANT to AVON & DAYNA after they have teleported onboard the Liberator)


AVON 164
ZEN 20

ANALYSIS: A triumphant episode. Along with the following “Powerplay”, “Aftermath” pulls off the near impossible... successfully reformatting B7 without its eponymous character.

Terry Nation uses the same technique as “The Way Back”. That episode tells Blake’s story, with only cameos from Jenna & Vila. This is similar. Vila & Cally disappear at the six-minute mark, while Tarrant receives just a single line... although it is the final one.

“Aftermath” has one primarily function – to establish Avon as the new central character. To this end, he is given a staggering 164 lines (a third of the dialogue), thereby surpassing the previous record set by Blake in “Breakdown” (162).

“Aftermath” also proves to be a very strong introduction for new crew member Dayna; it’s a striking performance by Josette Simon, and she is given some strong dialogue.

And then, of course, there’s the establishing of the Avon/Servalan love-hate relationship, adding a sexual frisson to the show. The scenes between them in Mellanby’s base are electric. A new dimension to Avon’s character is added here, as he starts to have an effect on the women. Both Dayna and Servalan kiss him, while Dayna describes him as “very beautiful”.

An episode with so much good dialogue that I could only include some of it (if one is not careful, one ends up quoting the entire episode).
Edited by trevor travis on 16 February 2014 11:19:24
trevor travis


LOM: “You were in a space accident?”
VILA: “Accident? It was a full scale war.”

“I'm not very good with pain. It's not that I'm a coward or anything. It's just that I have a very low pain threshold. Hardly a threshold at all, actually.” (VILA to LOM, as they discuss his broken arm)

DAYNA: “I'm sorry, I let you down.”
AVON: “Let me down?”
DAYNA: “There were only two, I should have been able to kill them both.”
AVON: “We all have our off days.”

TARRANT: “Still, we do have the Liberator.”
KLEGG: “Do we? Are you sure it's not the other way round? It's doing what it wants, going where it wants. Are you sure it hasn't got us?”

SERVALAN: “Cally. What a delightful coincidence. I'm glad to see you came through more or less unscathed, fit to be brought to trial.”
CALLY: “Trial, by whom, Servalan? From the reports I've heard the Federation is finished. You lost control when Star One was destroyed.”
SERVALAN: “After a war of that scale there was bound to be some disruption. But things will be under control again very soon. Don't ever doubt it. You and Blake and all the other traitors from the Liberator will be dealt with.”
CALLY: “But don't you understand, it's over. You're finished. You don't have power anymore.”

SERVALAN: “I've enjoyed authority too long to give it up easily. I'll be giving orders again, and they'll be obeyed. When that happens I shall give a very special priority to you and your friend, Avon.”
CALLY: “Avon?”
SERVALAN: “We met; briefly.”
CALLY: “Then he's alive.”
SERVALAN: “The condition I hope is purely temporary.”

“Anybody comes through this door, kill them. Anybody that isn't me, that is.” (AVON to DAYNA)

TARRANT: “An innocent stranger wouldn't question who was in command.”
AVON: “I congratulate you, that's very nicely reasoned, a stupid lapse of concentration on my part.”
TARRANT: “Oh, don't blame yourself too much.”
AVON: “I'll try not to.”
TARRANT: “I imagine you've been under considerable stress.”
AVON: “I had hoped for a more inspiring epitaph.”

ZEE: “It was no trouble and, remember, we get a reward for bringing you here.”
BARR: “Two thousand credits.”
VILA: “You get paid for helping me? That's what the primitives meant when they said that you get a bounty. You see, they've got it all wrong, they just don't understand.”
BARR: “You'd better go now, they're expecting you. You're going to make an enormous contribution to our society.”
VILA: “Well, it's little enough after all you've done for me. You look after yourselves and thanks once again. I really, really mean that.”

VILA: “Oh, Cally, what a relief. I thought I'd never see you again.”
CALLY: “It's good to see you. I knew you were still alive because I felt your pain.”
VILA: “Oh, you've no idea what I've been through.”
CALLY: “How is it?”
VILA: “Well, it's all right if you don't count the agony.
CALLY: “I tried very hard to contact you.”
VILA: “Things got a bit hectic. Are you all right?”
CALLY: “Yes.”
VILA: “The others?”
CALLY: “I don't know. I think Avon's alive.”
VILA: “He would be.”

VILA: “You know, I think our luck has finally changed.”
CALLY: “Yes, I'm not quite sure just which way.”
VILA: “You're not serious. I tell you, given the choice between all this or sitting out there with a broken arm I know which I'd choose.”
CALLY: “Well, there's something not quite right about all this.”
VILA: “Not right? I've never known such hospitality.”

SERVALAN: “Two of you now. Even better than I thought. I came to say goodbye. I shall be leaving shortly.”
CALLY: “Goodbye?”
SERVALAN: “You see you were wrong, Cally. The Federation does still carry influence. I had to arrange for a considerable payment of goods and equipment to be made, but in return I am to be given transport back to Earth.”
VILA: “Wonderful, we were worried about you. Your welfare really concerned us.”
SERVALAN: “We won't meet again.”
VILA: “Sounds good. I told you our luck had changed.”
SERVALAN: “Ah, not for the better, I'm afraid. You see I know what this place is now. I know why they went to all the trouble patrolling the battle area, picking up survivors.”
CALLY: “Why?”
SERVALAN: “They need humans. I suppose you two just about qualify.”
VILA: “Qualify for what?”
CALLY: “Servalan, what are you talking about?”
SERVALAN: “Unofficially the staff call this place the slaughterhouse. It's an organ bank. They store living tissue - all the vital organs for spare part surgery.”
VILA: “I can't move. Cally, I can't move.”
SERVALAN: “Don't be too alarmed. It's all quite painless and humane, I understand.”

DAYNA: “She's alive, it looks as though she's been drugged.”
AVON: “That one's Cally. I'll introduce her more formally when she wakes up. This one is Vila. I should really introduce him now, he's at his best when he's unconscious.”

AVON: “Go ahead.”
DAYNA: “My name is Dayna, Dayna Mellanby.”
AVON: “Now you.”
TARRANT: “I am Del Tarrant.”
AVON: “Register the voices, Zen. From now on you will obey their requests and commands.”
ZEN: “Confirmed.”
AVON: “Welcome to the Liberator.”
VILA: “And you are, welcome to it.”
CALLY: “Oh, given the choice would you rather be a load of spare parts down there?”
AVON: “Or one spare part up here?”


AVON 113
LOM 22
ZEE 16
ZEN 10

ANALYSIS: “Powerplay” skilfully brings together what will become the Season C crew, courtesy of two parallel plots – the whodunit on the Liberator as Klegg’s men mysteriously start to die, and Vila & Cally finding themselves nearly dissected as spare parts on Chenga.

As with Dayna in “Aftermath”, Tarrant is given a strong introduction in his first full episode. Tarrant is still a bit ambiguous here; viewers still can’t quite trust him (after all, he is revealed as the murderer). He has some interesting exchanges with Avon, the latter topping the dialogue chart once more. Dayna has another good episode – she is a very deadly young lady.

Vila is used to great comic relief in “Powerplay”. It is a bit of a coincidence that he, Cally and Servalan all meet up, but not a huge one - it is likely that the Liberator capsules would have all landed in the same star system. There are some strong exchanges between this trio of characters.

The final scene, with Avon introducing Dayna &Tarrant to Zen is a clear indication that viewers are not very to see Blake and Jenna again for a while. Indeed Jenna won’t be mentioned again until “Blake”. But within two very strong episodes, B7 has been successfully reformatted. Even with the eponymous character, B7 lives on!
trevor travis


DAYNA: “Zen told us it [the volcano] was here”
TARRANT: “He didn't tell us how big it was. I don't have much faith in Zen, or anything else on the Liberator.”
DAYNA: “Then why didn't you stay up there and leave this mission to me?”
TARRANT: “I don't trust anyone except myself. That's why I'm still alive.”

“Keep in touch. Heroic rescues can be embarrassing if you're not actually in danger.” (CALLY to TARRANT)

“Obsidian. Even the name sounds nasty.” (VILA)

AVON: “Dayna says the people are friendly, but then sometimes one's friends can be more of a liability than one's enemies.”
VILA: “They're gonna check out that rumour too, don't forget.”
AVON: “That Blake was here? It's getting to be a fairly common rumour. We could spend the rest of our lives chasing down the ones we've picked up so far.”

MORI: “Why should they land there? I mean, what's so special about the planet Obsidian?”
SERVALAN: “They are investigating its strategic value, which is real. And a rumour, which is not. Obsidian is at a vital point in the sixth sector. It could control command and supplies and be a real acquisition for us. But, your immediate mission is to capture the Liberator and bring it back.”
MORI: “And those on board?”
SERVALAN: “Kill them.”

CALLY: “I think it's time to start worrying.”
VILA: “I've been worried all along.”

VILA: “Tarrant says he was a space captain, but then he says a lot of things, and you don't have to believe it all, do you?”
AVON: “I'd be more inclined to believe that he was a captain than that you could have been.”
VILA: “Well, never mind about me. But it's Tarrant you should be worried about. And not just because he's been out of contact for an hour.”
CALLY: “And what about Dayna? Don't you trust her either?”
VILA: “Dayna's a different case entirely.”
CALLY: “Well, she's pretty, for one thing.”
VILA: “Pretty? Yes, I suppose she is. I hadn't really noticed.”
AVON: “We've seen you not really noticing, frequently.”

“There isn't a volcano alive that would dare to swallow Avon... He's cold enough to put out the fire anyway.” (VILA to CALLY)

SERVALAN: “Without that ship [the Liberator] we've lost a strategic advantage.”
MUTOID: “Madam?”
SERVALAN: “But, no one else has gained it. Without Blake, the Liberator's no immediate threat to our plans.”
MUTOID: “No, Madam President.”
SERVALAN: “Well the crew have no political ambitions.”
MUTOID: “They are merely criminals.”
SERVALAN: “So they'll keep. Until the rule of law has been restored. Until my rule of law has been restored.”

DAYNA: “I didn't believe they'd do it [that the Pyroans would destroy themselves].”
TARRANT: “Neither did Servalan.”
AVON: “She just didn't care. Her options were to take it or to destroy it. Either way, she won.”
CALLY: “I don't think so. She lost, and we lost. Only the Pyroans won.”
VILA: “If that's winning, I'll take losing every time.”


ZEN 38

ANALYSIS: “Volcano” is one of Allan Prior’s strongest contributions to B7, as Servalan starts her plotting to gain the huge prize of the Liberator, more important than ever after the war.

There’s a rough balance between the dialogue given to each humanoid Liberator crew member in “Volcano” (with Avon top for a fourth successive episode, just edging out Tarrant). It’s an episode in which each crew member has plenty to do. There’s also some nice dialogue, proving they don’t quite trust each other yet.

It is actually Servalan’s seventh successive episode. With Travis no longer about (his role here is taken by Mori), Servalan plays a much more active role in Season C; it’s very rare to see Servalan sitting in Space Command HQ (in fact, it only happens in “Harvest Of Kairos” ).
trevor travis


[The crew are playing Space Monopoly]
VILA: “Now that's not fair. I'm twenty thousand credits down.”
CALLY: “Come on, Vila, pay up.”
VILA: “Why don't I ever win?”
AVON: “Being a born loser may have something to do with it.”
DAYNA: “And a bad one at that.”
ORAC: “Rule 10. A player may miss two turns while on a penal colony planet. On his third turn, he must pay a ten thousand credit fine, and leave the colony.”
DAYNA: “Now's your chance to come out fighting, Vila.”
VILA: “Oh, sure, one miserable little space shuttle while he's got an entire battle fleet waiting for me.”
AVON: “One cruiser, if you check. I didn't consider you worth a battle fleet.”
VILA: “And if I got past it, where could I go?”
DAYNA: “Come and stay at my hotel in Space City, Vila. Only five thousand credits per night, with all your favourite extras thrown in.”
VILA: “I might as well give up.”

DAYNA: “So, who do we believe? Zen or Orac?”
CALLY: “We felt the ship veer off course, therefore we must believe Zen.”
DAYNA: “Yet the Orac computer is infallible.”
AVON: “Orac has a weakness: a thirst for knowledge. Infallibility depends upon your point of view.”
TARRANT: “How about testing his infallibility in the recycling machine?”

TARRANT: “Why did Orac lie when he said the Liberator was behaving normally?”
ORAC: “I did not lie. Considering the proximity of that fascinating black hole, the ship was and is behaving normally.”
AVON: “Orac, what is so fascinating about this particular black hole?”
ORAC: “All black holes are fascinating. Their gravitational pull is so massive that not even light can escape from them. A cubic inch of black hole matter can weigh a million tonnes.”
AVON: “We know all that. And so do you. So why this particular black hole?”
ORAC: “The absence of X-ray emissions. Normally colliding particles in the vicinity of a black hole emit X-rays.”
AVON: “So you decided you would like a closer look.”
ORAC: “The absence of X-rays highlighted a gap in my knowledge of the universe which cannot be tolerated.”
TARRANT: “So without telling us, you reprogrammed the navigation computers.”
ORAC: “I have noticed that the occupants of this spacecraft have a lamentable lack of interest in the more fascinating aspects of the universe. You must excuse me, I have many observations to make.”

AVON: “Our hero [Vila] lives.”
TARRANT: “At least he didn't try to get into a spacesuit.”
AVON: “I look upon self-interest as my great strength...”
TARRANT: “One day, Avon, I may have to kill you.”
AVON: [smiling] “It has been tried.”

“I'm in hell -- and it's full of Avons.” (VILA, on having multiple vision while regaining consciousness)

AVON: “The outer teleport transducers were damaged when the force wall collapsed. Someone is going to have to go out through the inspection hatch in a spacesuit and replace them.”
VILA: “The time we've been in space without a refit... that hatch will be space-welded shut. Anyway, who would risk it?”
AVON: “Someone who has a talent for opening locked doors.”
TARRANT: “And has demonstrated a grasp of the problems involved.”
VILA: “Oh no. Not me. Not a space suit. Well, it wasn't my idea. One of you can go outside. I never did trust those things. Nothing, absolutely nothing in the whole galaxy can or will persuade me to wear one. Not a chance.” [Cut to VILA in a space suit]

VILA: “I'm now in the inspection compartment. I am now depressurizing. I am now trying to open the hatch.”
TARRANT: [through comm. link]: “Use your delicate skilful touch.”
VILA: [stamps on the hatch] “I used my delicate skilful boot.”

“Welcome to Krandor, my friends. An artificial planet, which is the palace of the Lord Thaarn, Master of the Universe. I am the Caliph of Krandor. Among other things, it is my duty as the Lord Thaarn's chief executive, to negotiate a purchase price for your ship.” (The CALIPH to the LIBERATOR CREW)

VILA: “Tell us about the Thaarn, Cally.”
CALLY: “It's the oldest story in the Book of Auron.”
VILA: “Well, let's hear it. I like a good story, myself.”
CALLY: “The story goes back to the mists of Time, to the Dawn of the Gods. There were seven gods who discovered the planet Auron, and on it left the first man and woman. A million years went by. The gods returned. They were no older even though a million years had past.”
AVON: “Not impossible if they had a spaceship capable of travelling at near the speed of light.”
CALLY: “I did say it was just a legend. The gods returned and were pleased with what they saw, and they bestowed on the people of Auron great gifts: new types of crops, which ended hunger, constant peace...”
TARRANT: “And telepathy?”
CALLY: “...and telepathy was promised. But one of the gods was very jealous. He didn't believe that the people of Auron deserved all this. He was frightened they would one day become so powerful they would challenge the supremacy of the gods themselves. And in his rage, he killed another god. The five remaining gods were so angry, they built a chariot for him and sent him beyond the threshold of space and time. The mad god swore a terrible vengeance. He said that he would return again. He said that he alone would discover the eternal secrets and become the one great master of the universe. You see? A legend.”

GROFF: “There is a member of your crew we cannot find. Orac. Where is he?”
CALIPH: “The neuronic whip is on an automatic setting. It has only to sense one lie and it will boil your brains in your skull. Where is Orac?”
TARRANT: “If he's not on the ship, I don't know where he is.”
CALIPH: “How tall is he? [Tarrant demonstrates] “A dwarf?”
TARRANT: “We never think of him as one.”
CALIPH: “What is the colour of his hair?”
TARRANT: “He hasn't got any. A bald dwarf shouldn't be too hard to find.”

TARRANT: “Zen, I want a course for Xaranar.”
CALLY: “Xaranar?”
TARRANT: “We promised to take a message there. Didn't we, Avon?”
AVON: “I suppose we owe Groff that much.”
TARRANT: “I'd say so.”
AVON: “So, the Lord Thaarn escaped. I suspect we have made another enemy. A pity.”


ZEN 28

ANALYSIS: “Dawn Of The Gods” is a generic sci-fi / fantasy tale, which could as easily be written for “Doctor Who”, “Star Trek”, etc. Season C has much less of a story arc than its two predecessors. The first season had a couple of forays into science fantasy and Season C will tap into this rich seam of storytelling on a number of occasions. Quite often, these stories will involve Cally being taken over at some point... this is no exception.

Tarrant topples Avon at the top of the dialogue chart – with no Blake (incidentally this is the first episode which has no mention of Blake), it’s now Tarrant who used to drive the plot of the episodes.

Both computers are quite chatty here, and combine forces to save the Liberator from being melted down. Orac does get the crew into the mess, but partially redeems himself by helping to get them back out of it.

This episode contains the fewest lines of dialogue so far (394), two less than “The Way Back” (396). Writer James Follett tends to write his dialogue into longer sentences, instead of the short, sharp dialogue of e.g. Allan Prior.
trevor travis


SERVALAN: “Jarvik? Of course. Jarvik. Jarvik, the construction worker. What was it now? Any fool could take the Liberator with three pursuit ships. Well, the Liberator will soon be diffusing itself throughout the galaxy as so many billion split particles. So, regrettably, we shall never know. Thanks to the folly of your president, who with her aides and her technical advisers, her battle computers and her captains, extravagantly disposed herself to use FOUR pursuit ships. And yet any fool could have done it with three. Perhaps this particular fool will tell her how.” [pause] Well? “Have you nothing to say to Servalan?”
JARVIK: “Woman, you're beautiful.” [he grabs and kisses her]

ZEN: “Kairos. The fourth planet of the star Xymines in the constellation Lypterion.”
VILA: “Right in the heart of Federation space.”
TARRANT: “There ISN'T a Federation anymore.”
VILA: “Tell that to Servalan. They don't take kindly to scrumping on Kairos.”
ZEN: “The planet has an orbital revolution of fifteen Earth years. The fertile zone is small, and noted for the sub-organic growth of Kairopan, a highly prized crystal, which is gathered during the first week following the vernal equinox. This is known as the Harvest of Kairos.”
VILA: “Just one pocketful. I suppose I could retire to the lakeside of Gardinos and be waited on by those cute, little...”
TARRANT: “Yes. Well, what you do with your booty is up to you. We've got to get it yet.”

AVON: “Now come along, Orac. First of all you say that this is not alive, and then you say it is more rational than you are.”
TARRANT: “Avon...”
AVON: “Wait!”
ORAC: “I deny that Sopron is more rational. Reason is absolute and rationality cannot be divided by comparatives.”
AVON: “Orac, you are splitting hairs. Tarrant, listen to this.”
TARRANT: “Avon, we're trying...”
AVON: “Just a moment. I am about to extract a momentous admission. Orac, this rock, this Sopron, does it have a greater capacity for reasoning than you do?”
ORAC: “The difference is barely measurable.”
AVON: “But it is greater.”
ORAC: “By a marginal degree, yes.”
AVON: “There. Now isn't that something?”
TARRANT: “Yes, I'm sure it is. Avon, we're trying to get a consensus. If you could just give us your attention for two minutes...”
AVON: “If it's tactical counsel you want, Tarrant, I suggest you consult Zen. That is what computers are for. Now then, Orac...”

SERVALAN: [Reading off screen] “‘Jarvik. Formerly of Federation Space Academy, now in HQ construction grades.’ Why?”
JARVIK: “Because I'm a human being.”
SERVALAN: “But is that a reason to...”
JARVIK: “And so are you. But when was the last time you felt the warmth of the Earth's sun on your naked back? Or lifted your face to the heavens, and laughed with the joy of being alive? How long since you wept at the death of a friend? Doesn't mean a thing to you, does it, Madam President? You've surrounded yourself with machines and weapons, mindless men and heartless Mutoids; and when they've done your work, and the machines have done your thinking, what is there left in you that feels?”

SERVALAN: “You say any fool could take the Liberator with three pursuit ships. Could you?”
JARVIK: “I could take her with one. But as a man, Tarrant is worthy of honour. Three would not insult him.”
SERVALAN: “Then three you shall have, Mark Tens, the newest, fastest, and most powerful in my fleet. Your rank shall be Acting Major. And now I suggest you go and make ready. But first, there is the question of that degrading and primitive act to which I was subjected in the control room... I should like you to do it again.”

TARRANT: “That thing [the Sopron] has warped your reason, Avon. It's even warped your notorious instinct for looking after number one. We are in danger, can't you understand that?”
AVON: “I understand that this ship is the most powerful in the galaxy and that you are the most astute space warfare commander. Or so you tell us often enough.”

VILA: “[Of] course I may settle down, you know, have kids. What do you think, Cally?”
CALLY: “What do I think of what?”
VILA: “The lakeside of Gardinos. We could go swimming by the light of three moons.”
DAYNA: “Who could? You and Cally?”
VILA: “No, me and the kids.”
CALLY: “But you haven't got any children.”
VILA: “Not yet, I haven't.”
TARRANT: “Vila, you're dreaming. Two weeks of that, and you'd be looking for something to break into.”

AVON: “All right, Servalan. If he won't, I will.”
DAYNA: “No, Avon.”
SERVALAN: “How wise, Avon. You might have been next. Though with your qualities I'd probably have saved you.”
AVON: “Let's get on with it, shall we? Introduce yourself to Zen.”
SERVALAN: “I am Servalan, President and Supreme Commander of the Terran Federation.”
AVON: “Record her voice pattern, Zen. From now on you will respond to her commands... on this one condition.”
SERVALAN: “No conditions.”
AVON: “Sorry, too late. That instruction has to be completed by me. Unless, of course, you care to dismantle Zen and reorganise the program. I should warn you, I'm the only person in the galaxy who can put it back together again.”
ZEN: “Please complete the instruction.”
SERVALAN: “Wait. I'll make the condition.”
AVON: “You won't cut much ice with Zen.”
SERVALAN: “You seem to be neglecting the fact that I have the power of life and death over your friends.”
AVON: “Then exercise it if you must. But kill me, and you will never control the Liberator.”
SERVALAN: “Your skin always did come first, didn't it?”
AVON: “Would you reproach me for that?”
ZEN: “Please state the condition.”
AVON: “Zen, you will obey Servalan's instructions, provided that her first commands are that you proceed to a planet with suitable Earth-like conditions, and that the present crew is safely teleported to its surface.”
ZEN: “Condition acknowledged.”
SERVALAN: “Thank you, Avon. Zen, you will proceed to a planet with suitable Earth-like conditions.”
ZEN: “Which planet?”
SERVALAN: “Oh, the nearest, I think.”
ZEN: “The nearest planet of that description is [the now deadly world of] Kairos.”
SERVALAN: “Yes, Zen. I know.”

SERVALAN: “It's one thing to sit in a control room a million spacials away from the action. But if you're to be man enough for me, to be co-ruler with Servalan, you must meet Tarrant face to face, man to man.”
JARVIK: “A tournament?”
SERVALAN: “Yes, if you like. A primitive tournament, and you will be my champion.”
JARVIK: “If it amuses you. What must I do?”
SERVALAN: “You must go to Kairos and get the teleport bracelets from Tarrant and his crew.”

AVON: “This [the Sopron rock] happens to be the most sophisticated life form that it has ever been my good fortune to come across. Present company not excepted.”
TARRANT: “Life? But it looks like...”
AVON: “A rock. Yes. Well, when you live on the permanent dark side of a planet, nobody cares too much what you look like.”

VILA: “Are you sure you can dock this thing [the landing module]?”
TARRANT: “I hadn't really considered it.”
VILA: “What?”
TARRANT: “I thought we'd be dead by now.”

DAYNA: “They've all gone. Except Jarvik. And he's not going anywhere anymore.”
TARRANT: “A waste. He was a special sort of man.”
AVON: “Spare us the eulogy. He was a Federation thug.”
TARRANT: “No. No, that isn't what he was.”


ZEN 42

ANALYSIS: There are few episodes of B7 which are simply as much enormous fun as “The Harvest Of Kairos”, the debut script for the series from Ben Steed.

Tarrant is given the most dialogue for the second successive episode, although it’s noteworthy that Servalan also breaks the 100 barrier for what will prove the only time.

There are mentions of ‘Tarrant and his crew’ in this episode; Avon definitely seems to be keeping a low profile at this stage of proceedings. He seems willing to let Tarrant get on and pilot and take command of the Liberator in battle situations.

There’s a lot of macho posturing in this episode from Jarvik and Tarrant, with Jarvik the Caveman making quite an impression on Servalan. But ultimately it’s Avon using his brains which saves the day (with a little help from his rock!), while Jarvik winds up dead, which is a shame because he was a likable character.

An episode in which even the scenes with the most minor characters - the Guard and Carron as the shuttle takes off – are noteworthy. Nearly as much of a gem as the Kairopan crystals.
trevor travis
Episodes so far with almost too much quotable dialogue (basically the episodes where I've looked at how much I've quoted and decided to edit it down a little!):

Space Fall
Star One
The Harvest Of Kairos

I have a feeling I might be adding the next episode to that list...yay, a Vila fest of quotes coming up Cool
trevor travis


TARRANT: “I can't make you go, of course.”
VILA: “That's right, you can't.”
TARRANT: “But I can toss you off this ship.”
VILA: “What?”
TARRANT: “You're no use to me.”
VILA: “I don't have to be any use to you. I was here first. I was with Blake. I've more right on this ship than you have.”
TARRANT:”’Right’? No one survives as long as you have, Vila, without learning the facts of life.”
VILA: “The facts of life are that I...”
TARRANT: [interrupting] “... are that I can dump you any time. The others wouldn't stop me. And you couldn't, could you? Now I suggest you reconsider your decision. But don't take too long. I'm not a patient man.”
VILA: “All my life, for as long as I can remember, there's been people like you.”
TARRANT: “And I thought I was unique.”
VILA: “You're not even unusual, Tarrant. I'll need my equipment.”

TARRANT: “What locator? They stipulated no surveillance devices.”
AVON: “So you said.”
TARRANT: “I gave them my word.”
AVON: “You didn't give them mine.”

AVON: “I don't know how you persuaded him to go, Tarrant.”
TARRANT: “I appealed to his better nature.”
AVON: “He hasn't got one. Leave him alone in future.”
AVON: “Do you want me to threaten you?”
TARRANT: “Why not? I haven't had a good laugh in ages.”
AVON: “Sensible. You could die laughing.”
CALLY: “Why are you suddenly so protective towards Vila?”
AVON: “He's irritating, but he's useful. We can easily replace a pilot, but a talented thief is rare.”

“Is that where we're going? It's miles away. I mean why couldn't I have teleported closer in?” [pause] “Hey? They say too much walking's bad for you, you know. Makes you go deaf. Look what it's done for you. Listen, sooner or later one of you's going to have to speak to me. Well, speak to me one of you! All right, that's it. No speak, no walk. My feet hurt and I didn't want to come anyway.” [sits down] “[Of] course, I'm totally lost, you realise that. Yes, of course you realize that. I don't suppose you'd consider taking me back to where you met me. No, of course you wouldn't. All right, you've talked me into it.” [gets up and walks] (VILA’s monologue to two speechless natives)

“I'll get you for this, Tarrant. I'll tear your arm off and beat you to death with the wet end.” (VILA to himself)

BAYBAN: “You don't know who I am?”
VILA: “Absolutely not, no idea. You needn't worry about it, I won't ask any questions.”
BAYBAN: “Small-time thief and failed revolutionary, and you don't know who I am?”
VILA: “Ah. Well, if you put it like that, of course I know who you are. You're... you're, ah...”
BAYBAN: “Bayban.”
VILA: “Bayban, yes.”
BAYBAN: “Bayban the Beserker. Bayban the Butcher.”
VILA [he remembers] “Bayban the Butcher . . . you're Bayban the Butcher! Oh, no.”
BAYBAN: “That's better.”
VILA: “You're top of the Federation's Most Wanted list... after Blake.”
BAYBAN: “What do you mean, ‘after Blake’? I was working my way up that list before he crept out of his crèche. Working my way up. I didn't take any political shortcuts.”
VILA: “I know, I know. You have a reputation for straightforward mayhem that's second to none. I've been an admirer of yours for, um, well, for as long as I can remember. Well maybe not that long, I mean, uh, you're not that old, are you? But, uh, then again, you did start very young, didn't you? I think I feel sick.”

“Oh yes. I had a mother. Wonderful woman. Truly evil person. She had a saying. ‘Babe’, she used to say. She called me Babe. ‘Babe’, she used to say, ‘treat every hour as though it's your last.’ I'll be back in an hour, Vila.” (BAYBAN)

AVON: “It's a pity we're not all as reliable as Zen.”
CALLY: “But I thought you were.”

“For a little man I'm a wonderful mover, wouldn't you say?” (VILA to KERRIL, after getting through the seemingly impenetrable forcefield)

VOICE: “The translator unit has identified your language as Terran, and is translating my words into a form which I hope you will understand. I regret that we cannot meet in person, but by the time you hear this, I shall have been dead for over three thousand years, an almost unimaginable time. As unimaginable in its way as the journey in which you have now become involved. If you'll please be comfortable, I will try to explain what has happened to you.”
VILA: [to Kerril] “It's all right. That's my man. I just want to see what he's done to us.”
VOICE: “It is called Keezarn... and my people will have forgotten that by the time you hear my voice. As I record this, our society is at the height of its powers, but economic expansion and social development are reaching their limits. A collapse to barbarism and a new dark age cannot be long delayed. We had despaired, but now we have found a solution. We have developed a system for the instantaneous transmission of matter over any distance between two terminals. Enter one terminal and step out of the other wherever it happens to be. The starship in which you now sit contains one terminal. The vault which you so ably penetrated contains the other. You've stepped off the planet Keezarn and onto a starship, which is now at least three thousand light years away.”
VILA: “One small step for man. So how do we get back?”
VOICE: “The ship is programmed to find us a planet on which we can begin a new life. It must be a planet in a system with other planets which we can also colonise. This time there must be no limit to our expansion.”
VILA: “We seem to be trapped. I think he's killed us.”
VOICE: “The vault on Keezarn will protect that terminal during the generations of barbarism when my people will forget even who they are. All that will remain to them is a race memory which we have genetically engineered. Once in every thirty-five generations, they will gather near the city at the edge of the world, and one will be found who can enter the vault. My people will know peace only if he returns. He will return only if the ship has reached its destination. My friend, if the ship is still in flight, you will not return to Keezarn.”
VILA: “I knew it.”
VOICE: “The air which came with you into this cabin will soon run out, and you will die.”
VILA: “Wonderful. Thanks a lot, friend.”
VOICE: “I suggest you make peace with whatever gods you recognize, as I will try to make peace with mine. I bid you farewell. And I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me.”
VILA: “Not a chance.” [to Kerril] “I'd like to think he suffocated after making that recording, but I doubt it.”

“I don't believe in suicide. It stunts your growth.” (VILA to KERRIL)

VILA: “We're still alive. Kerril. Kerril, we're still alive! We should be dead by now.”
KERRIL: [post-coital] “Are you bragging or complaining?”
VILA: “The air's as fresh as ever. Do you know what that means?”
KERRIL: “We're going to die of exhaustion.”

AVON: “How would you like me to let some fresh air into that rancid little brain of yours?”
BAYBAN: “Go ahead. You'd be famous. The man who killed Bayban.”
CALLY: “I'd quite like to be famous, too. How about the woman that killed Bayban?”
DAYNA: “Or better still, the girl who killed Bayban.”

VILA: “Oh, please. Can't we stop fighting now? Of all the things I enjoy doing, quarrelling with you comes five hundred and seventy-fourth on my list.”
KERRIL: “I'm sorry. Shall we go?”
VILA: “That list?”
KERRIL: “Things you enjoy doing?”
VILA: “You wouldn't be interested in what comes top of it, would you?”

CALLY: “Vila, we thought we'd lost you.”
AVON: “But every silver lining has a cloud.”
VILA: “I'd say you got that wrong, except I know you didn't.”

VILA: “You know why I neutralise security systems, open safes, and break into vaults? It's because I can and most people can't.”
KERRIL: “To satisfy your ego.”
VILA: “No, not really. It's just that, it's what makes me, me. Kerril, a thief isn't what I am, it's WHO I am.”

VILA: “I think I've just made the biggest mistake of my life.”
ORAC: “In the light of your previous record, that seems unlikely. I would predict that there are far greater mistakes waiting to be made by someone with your obvious talent for them.”


VILA 176

ANALYSIS: At last! A Vila showcase. And not only a Vila showcase, but a simply brilliant one from the pen of script editor Chris Boucher. It’s maybe the funniest episode of B7, while still having a terrific plot.

In the 31 previous episodes (by this time Vila is the only character to have appeared in every episode), despite having many fantastic quotable lines, Vila had not finished either first or second in the dialogue table – third was his best.

Not only is he way out in front here, but he sets a new record of lines in a single episode. His massive 176 lines are some 12 ahead of the previous record (164 by Avon in “Aftermath” ). Kerril, the woman who falls for Vila’s charms, also tops 100 lines.

There are so many different Vila quotes here – it’s quite a challenge to choose between them.

Meanwhile, Tarrant is given more dialogue than Avon for a third successive episode. In 25 episodes of Seasons A & B, Avon only ever received more dialogue than Blake twice (“Deliverance” and “Star One” ). At the moment, Avon is not dominating the dialogue in quite the same way as Blake had done previously.

This is an episode full of speech. There are 606 lines, and some of those lines are quite lengthy. It’s a perfect example that the strength of B7 is its characters and its dialogue. And also proof that there are very few characters who match up to Vila.
Edited by trevor travis on 17 February 2014 21:51:44
trevor travis


“I want that pilot alive. Alive and vulnerable.” (SERVALAN to DERAL)

ZEN: “Course eight two eight zero four. Destination is the planet Earth.”
CALLY: “Why Earth?”
VILA: “Why not?”
TARRANT: “Anywhere else in mind?”
VILA: “The Himalayas are quite tall at this time of the year.”
CALLY: “Feeling homesick, are you?”
TARRANT: “As it happens, it's his [Avon] idea. There's someone there he wants to eliminate.”
AVON: “Execute.”
CALLY: “What?”
TARRANT: “One of the Federation's para-investigators. Notorious thug known as Shrinker.”
AVON: “One of his victims was a young woman called Anna Grant. She was important to me.”
CALLY: “So it's just revenge you're after?”
AVON: “Just and sweet.”

CALLY: “Since when has a personal vendetta been a good enough reason for going anywhere?”
AVON: “The trouble with the people of Auron is that they all suffer from a superiority complex.”
VILA: “You should get on well with them, then.”
AVON: “Too good to become involved with the rest of humanity.”
CALLY: “That's not true. Just because we happen to be neutral doesn't necessarily...”
AVON: “Neutrality or passivism, it all boils down to the same gutless inanity.”
CALLY: “You're wrong.”
VILA: “‘Gutless inanity.’ I like it. What's it mean?”

TARRANT: “Were you exiled?”
CALLY: “Yes. Why do you imagine I've never gone back?” [She looks towards Avon] “Affection for him?”

CALLY: “This is not a trap.”
AVON: “Not knowingly, perhaps.”
TARRANT: “Zen, reroute to planet Auron.”
AVON: “Just like that?”
TARRANT: “A democracy. You're outvoted, Avon. Three to two.”
VILA: “Four to one. I like to stay with the winners whenever possible.”

DERAL: “So this is your reason. Nothing to do with rebuilding the Federation. You simply want to reproduce.”
SERVALAN: “It's as well for you that just now I happen to need men like you and Ginka: loyal, unquestioning, not prone to interfering in matters of strategy.”
DERAL: “Even so, does seem a little... excessive? To afflict a whole planet merely to indulge...”
SERVALAN: “Indulge nothing! This, Deral, this is merely a bonus. My primary object for Auron's affliction, as you call it, is to seize the Liberator.”

AVON: “This is crass stupidity.”
TARRANT: “Not from Cally's side of the scanner.”
AVON: “Emotional ties - we cannot risk the Liberator for sentiment.”
TARRANT: “As long as Cally is part of this crew, she has full call on your loyalty and support, no matter what the risks.”
AVON: “You are forgetting that the Aurons rejected her. They sent her into exile.”
TARRANT: “You were exiled from Earth.”
AVON: “I go back as an executioner.”
TARRANT: “And you really believe revenge should rate a higher priority than mercy?”

“The prize, Deral. The way to re-establish the Federation more quickly. The single most powerful fighting ship left in space. With that, we can command the loyalty of all factions.” (SERVALAN)

DERAL: “You are addressing a superior officer, stand up!”
GINKA: “As you wish, sir.”
DERAL: “Yes, Ginka, as I wish. I'm tired of your insubordination. I'm tired of your not very subtle attempt to undermine my authority.”
GINKA: “Is this an official reprimand, sir? If it is, then I have the right to the presence of another officer to whom I may state my case.”
DERAL: “What exactly is your case?”
GINKA: “Do you mean you don't know?”
DERAL: “Is it because you were passed over for command?”
GINKA: “You admit that I was passed over then.”
DERAL: “Clearly, since I was made captain and you were not. A fact you'd do well to bear in mind.”
GINKA: “Oh, I do bear it in mind, sir. I bear it in mind all the time.”
DERAL: “Then act accordingly, or I shall have you up in front of a court martial.”
GINKA: “I don't think the President would go along with that. Sir.”
DERAL: “You think she has some special regard for you, is that it?”
GINKA: “I think she recognises a good officer, even if he doesn't have the right connections.”
DERAL: “As I have?”
GINKA: “Surely. Since you were made Captain, and I was not.”
DERAL: “Get on with your work.”

CA-1: “Why have you brought this on us? I just can't believe it. I can't believe that anyone can be so...”
SERVALAN: “Successful?”

GINKA: “We got them!”
SERVALAN: “You lied. You lied to me. They were mine [the babies]. I felt them die.” [She kills Ginka with a small IMIPAK-type device]


CA-1 33
CA-2 25
ZEN 10

ANALYSIS: From the off, “Children Of Auron” is dominated by Servalan. Viewers see both sides of her nature; she’s utterly ruthless in wiping out the whole of Auron in her latest ploy to gain the Liberator (the off-screen death toll in this episode is huge), but we also see a vulnerable side to her as her babies are killed.

Servalan receives nearly 40 lines more than her nearest challenger – Avon. In terms of actors rather than the characters, Jan Chappell finishes second if one adds Zelda’s 19 lines to Cally’s 45. The Liberator crew are restricted to just 40% of the dialogue between them in “Children Of Auron” – the lowest combined figure for the crew in Season C.

There’s plenty of good guest characters in this episode, in particular Servalan’s two warring officers, Deral and Ginka, who both come to the same sticky end.

Season C is largely a collection of stand-alone stories, so it’s nice to have plenty of references within “Children Of Auron” to the story that follows...
trevor travis


SHRINKER: “They tell me you haven't been cooperating.”
AVON: “No? What's the matter? Did I bleed on the wrong bit of floor?”

SHRINKER: “I don't even ... I never saw him [Avon] before. What have I ever done to him?”
DAYNA: “You killed someone he loved.”
VILA: “And there aren't many of them about. Avon's not a very lovable man, in case you hadn't noticed.”
SHRINKER: “Who was it?”
TARRANT: “Oh, did they give you names when they gave you your orders?”
DAYNA: “Even if they did, could you put a face to the name? One screaming face among so many screaming faces?”
VILA: “Did they beg, Shrinker? Did they plead? ‘No, Shrinker. Please, Shrinker?’”
TARRANT: “Can you remember how they cried, what they cried? Can you separate the voices now?”
DAYNA: “Or is it just one long satisfying scream?”
CALLY: “Stop it! Stop it! All of you! Leave him alone.”
TARRANT: “He's an animal, Cally.”
CALLY: “Yes, and it's contagious, isn't it?”

DAYNA: “What do you suppose went wrong down there?”
VILA: “Took longer to trap him [Shrinker] than we expected, that's all.”
DAYNA: “No, I didn't mean the plan. I meant the whole thing. What happened to the rebellion? Why is the Earth still controlled by creatures like him?”

CHESKU: [Rehearsing his speech] “...a question of leadership. The rabble which sought to challenge the established order lacked our inspiration, our unity, our leadership. They are crushed. Earth and the Inner Planets are once again united. Gentlemen, I give you a toast. Our inspiration, our unity, our leader: President Servalan.” [To Sula] “What do you think?”
SULA: “I think it's crude and obvious.”
CHESKU: “Thank you, Sula.”
SULA: “You asked what I thought.”
CHESKU: “Stupid of me. I should know better by now.”
SULA: “If it's any consolation to you, I'm sure Servalan will be delighted. She is, after all, a tasteless megalomaniac.”

GRENLEE: “You think we should have stopped them, do you?”
FORRES: “It is standard procedure.”
GRENLEE: “For a member of the High Council there's no such thing as standard procedure.”
FORRES: “The book says...”
GRENLEE: “Never mind what the book says, Section Leader. All you have to worry about's what I say, right?”
FORRES: “Absolutely, sir.”
GRENLEE: “Absolutely, Section Leader. And what I say is that if a High Councillor wishes to swing stark naked through the trees and spit on the surveillance scanners, then swinging stark naked through the trees, spitting on the surveillance scanners, becomes standard procedure, at least for him. Or his wife.”
FORRES: “Now there's a thought.”
GRENLEE: “Not one to dwell on, given your present rank.”
FORRES: “One law for the rich, eh Major?”
GRENLEE: “There's no law for the rich, Forres, and even less for the rich, personal friends of the President.”

FORRES: “Some days are better than others, sir. They say that where I come from, sir.”
GRENLEE: “Loudly, I imagine, on the day you left.”
FORRES: “My mother cried when I left. Thought she'd never see me again.”
GRENLEE: “Cries easily, your mother, does she?”
FORRES: “No, not really, sir. But I owed her money, you see. Oh, it's true, may I never leave this spot.”
GRENLEE: “That can be arranged, Section Leader.”

SHRINKER: “Why were we looking for you? You hadn't joined up with Blake. Not then. Not here on Earth.”
AVON: “I'd found my way around the security programs in the banking computers. I was about to undermine confidence in the entire Federation credit system. Anna and I were going to be so rich that no one could touch us. And we were almost there.”
SHRINKER: “You were never even close. I remember you now - you're Kerr Avon, the great bank fraud.”
AVON: “That's what I just said.”
SHRINKER: “Bartolomew was running you.”
AVON: “Running me?”
SHRINKER: “Central Security - Bartolomew was their best agent. They were on to you from the start. But they were convinced that you were political, so Bartolomew stayed close and let you run. Anyone that you so much as looked at was marked for collection.”
AVON: “You expect me to believe that?”
SHRINKER: “You, you dropped out of sight, after you killed the man who was supplying you with exit visas. I'm right, aren't I?”
AVON: “I was shot. I was stupid enough to let him fire first.”
SHRINKER: “Once Bartolomew lost sight of you, all your contacts were pulled in.”

“Section Leader Forres...if you ever panic like that again, I'll see you are busted so far down you'll be saluting civilians.” (GRENLEE to FORRES)

SHRINKER: “A way out. You promised me.”
AVON: “Oh, and I'm a man of my word. In the end, that's all there is, really.” [Tosses his gun on the ground]
SHRINKER: “What's that for?”
AVON: “That's your way out. It's a better deal than you gave any of your victims.” [Into teleport bracelet] “Bring me up.”
SHRINKER: “No, we had a deal.” [Avon teleports.] “That isn't what I meant. That isn't fair. It isn't fair!”

TARRANT: “Is it done?”
AVON: “Yes, but it isn't finished.”
VILA: “Wonderful. Who's next on your list? Servalan?”
AVON: [Inserts Orac’s key] “Orac.”
ORAC: “What is it now?”
AVON: “Gracious as ever. Orac, I want you to interrogate the Federation Security computers and get me Servalan's present location.”
VILA: “I was joking, Avon.”
AVON: “Then I want your best strategy for reaching her.”
ORAC: “You wish to communicate with her.”
AVON: “Face to face with a gun in my hand.”
TARRANT: “And a hole in your head. Have you gone completely mad?”
AVON: “Possibly.”

AVON: “You know Orac's main drawback?”
DAYNA: “He's too useful to destroy.”
AVON: “Irritating, isn't it?”

HOB: “We didn't fight to put you behind that desk, Sula.”
SULA: “It was my planning that got us here, Hob. Without me, you and your men would still be skulking around the wastelands. You seem to have forgotten that rather quickly.”
HOB: “Did you expect gratitude?”
SULA: “I expected to be listened to.”
HOB: “Sula, we've won.”
SULA: “Not yet!”
HOB: “Servalan IS the Federation. Kill her and it's over.”
SULA: “You're not really that naive, are you?”
HOB: “I'm speaking for the others. It's what they believe.”
SULA: “And you? What do you believe?”
HOB: “I believe we're lost unless we stick together. If killing Servalan is what it takes, then she's more use to us dead.”
SULA: “Alive, Servalan can order her forces to disarm. Alive, Servalan can announce that she's standing down in favour of the People's Council, which you and the others will lead. Alive, Servalan can hand over power. Dead, she's just one more corpse. Haven't we got enough of those?”

“I'll operate the teleport. A visit to Servalan appeals to me rather less than going bald, or breaking both legs.” (VILA to TARRANT)

AVON: “I'm going down alone.”
TARRANT: “Not this time.”
AVON: “This has nothing to do with you - any of you.”
TARRANT: “That's true.”
DAYNA: “On the other hand, you are something to do with us.”
CALLY: “We've talked about it and discovered we care what happens to you.”
TARRANT: “Within reason, of course.”
DAYNA: “We're as surprised about it as you are.”
VILA: “Not to mention, embarrassed.”

SERVALAN: [chained up] “I might have known you were behind all this.”
AVON: “You flatter me.”
SERVALAN: “Go to hell, Avon.”
AVON: “Probably. But I'd like some information first.”
SERVALAN: “In exchange for what? A quick death?”
AVON: “That is the reward for silence.”
SERVALAN: “I've had worse offers.”
AVON: “Tell me what I want to know, and I'll get you out of here.”
AVON: “What's the matter with you, Servalan? I'm offering to set you free.”
TARRANT: “You're offering to let her go. That's not the same thing.”
AVON: “What are you talking about?”
TARRANT: “I'm talking about the President of the Terran Federation, Ruler of the High Council, Lord of the Inner and Outer Worlds, High Admiral of the Galactic Fleets, Lord General of the Six Armies, and Defender of the Earth.”
AVON: “Get to the point.”
TARRANT: “The point is that a few dozen guerrillas walked in, killed her guards, beat her up, and then chained her up. You want to set her free? Convince her that it didn't happen.”
AVON: “She's been a prisoner before.”
TARRANT: “Yes, but in her own palace, on Earth, in what should be the centre of her power?”
AVON: [To Servalan] “Is that it? Have you finally lost your nerve? [He grabs her around her neck] “Have you murdered your way to the wall of an underground room?”
SERVALAN: “It's an old wall, Avon, it waits. I hope you don't die before you reach it.”

ANNA: [shot by Avon and dying]: “I knew when you found out, you would kill me.”
AVON: “Unless you killed me first.”
ANNA: “We were well matched, Avon.”
AVON: “You weren't even real. Bartolomew, Central Security's best agent, one of your colleagues told me that.”
ANNA: “Anna Grant. I was only ever Anna Grant with you.”
AVON: “Of all the things I have known myself to be, I never recognized the fool.”
ANNA: “It wasn't all lies. I let you go ... my love.” [She dies]
AVON: “Oh, no, you never let me go. You never did.”

AVON: “Servalan was planning on sending you a corpse.”
VILA: [Hands Avon a drink] “Corpse reviver?”
AVON: “But, the rumours of my death...”
TARRANT: [Finishing quote] “...have been greatly exaggerated.”
AVON: “Well, slightly exaggerated, anyway.”


AVON 146
HOB 25

ANALYSIS: Television drama doesn’t get much better than this. Powerful, gripping, comedic, tragic: “Rumours Of Death” is all these things and much, much more.

At the centre of the episode is Avon, who returns to the top of the dialogue chart after a four-episode gap. When Avon is heavily featured in a Season C episode, he’s REALLY heavily featured! He has just over a quarter of the dialogue here.

Avon receives more dialogue than the rest of the Liberator crew put together. Tarrant doesn’t fare too badly (52), but Vila, Dayna and Cally have just 66 lines between them.

Servalan is captured for some of “Rumours”, so doesn’t pile many lines, but she is heavily involved in one of the best scenes in the entire programme – the cellar scene.

Meanwhile, the guest characters knock up a huge 48% of the dialogue. There are so many fantastic guest characters in “Rumours”; Shrinker, the wonderful Grenlee & Forres double-act, and also of course Anna/Sula/Bartolomew, the woman who captured and then ripped out the heart of Avon.

I had limited myself to 15 quotes per episode, but within the last three episodes, I’ve broken that rule twice. But even with 17 quotes above, there was still no room for a couple more discussions between Grenlee & Forres, plus Avon & Dayna discussing him blowing the top of Servalan’s head, and Cally challenging Avon: “Are you afraid of witnesses?”

“Rumours” is a true masterpiece, and reminds viewers why B7 is the best TV programme of all-time.
trevor travis wrote:


VILA: “I think I've just made the biggest mistake of my life.”
ORAC: “In the light of your previous record, that seems unlikely. I would predict that there are far greater mistakes waiting to be made by someone with your obvious talent for them.”

There are so many different Vila quotes here – it’s quite a challenge to choose between them.

Indeed, but I really think you should have included his response to Orac and the closing line of the Episode:

VILA: "Shut up, Orac." [Removes key] "Still, it's a comforting thought. Let's hope they've all got good legs!"
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.

Twitter: @TravisinaB7
President Solvite
Indeed Travisina, I vote that line from Vila should be the line of the series.

As I recall (Carol Hawkins) Keril annoyed at Vila not joining her on the planet clanger went into advertising, promoting Marland's Shopping Centre in the early 90's
trevor travis
Travisina wrote:

trevor travis wrote:


VILA: “I think I've just made the biggest mistake of my life.”
ORAC: “In the light of your previous record, that seems unlikely. I would predict that there are far greater mistakes waiting to be made by someone with your obvious talent for them.”

There are so many different Vila quotes here – it’s quite a challenge to choose between them.

Indeed, but I really think you should have included his response to Orac and the closing line of the Episode:

VILA: "Shut up, Orac." [Removes key] "Still, it's a comforting thought. Let's hope they've all got good legs!"

Travisina, good suggestion. I will go though and edit in some of the quotes I've missed out at some point. Cool

With "City" I was trying to keep the quotes as short as possible, because I had already decided to use a really long quote - Vila's "man" (Valentine Dyall) explaining what's happened to him and Kerril, because I love Vila's little comments as the explanation is given.
trevor travis


CALLY: “A sketch of a place I used to know.”
AVON: “Auron.”
CALLY: “Yes, Auron. And it's pointless to think about it. I'll never see it again.”
AVON: “That's why you've been shut in here for ten hours? Thinking about Auron and how you'll never see it again?”
CALLY: “That's why.”
AVON: “I wish I could promise you that the sparkling company on the flight deck would take you out of yourself.”
CALLY: [smiling ruefully] “I'm all right.”
AVON: “No, you're not. But you will be. Regret is part of being alive. But keep it a small part.”
CALLY: “As you do?”
AVON: “Demonstrably.”

VILA: “An alien spaceship has aliens on it, right? My experience of aliens hasn't exactly been warming.”
TARRANT: “Your experiences with humans haven't been particularly glowing either.”

“This isn't a ship, it's a tomb. They, whoever they are or were, sealed their dead up inside and set it adrift in space. This rubble - it's the remains of artefacts buried with the corpse.” (CALLY to AVON &VILA)

[Cally draws her gun and fires]
AVON: “What the hell?”
CALLY: “I saw something. I think it must have been my reflection.”
VILA: “You can take modesty too far, you know.”

AVON: “You're over-reacting.”
CALLY: “Probably. But you wouldn't expect a normal human response, would you? I'm not quite human.”

TARRANT: “Ah, Cally. I've been going over that theory of yours about the teleport bracelets boosting each other. As you're aware, it doesn't make sense.”
CALLY: “You have a better one?”
TARRANT: “There was some kind of power source on that alien ship that you were telepathically receptive to. When the teleport failed you were able to use that source to get yourself out and to get Avon and Vila out with you.”
CALLY: “I seem to be more clever than I thought I was.”
TARRANT: “What I really want to know is why you're being so bashful. What are you hiding and why?”
AVON: “Shut up, Tarrant.”
TARRANT: “Did you say something to me?”
AVON: “I said, shut up. I apologise for not realising you are deaf.”
TARRANT: “There's something else you don't realise. I don't take any orders from you.”
AVON: “Well, now that's a great pity, considering that your own ideas are so limited.”
TARRANT: “Don't try and bluff your way with me, Avon. I know what's been needling you right from the start. With Blake gone, you thought you'd got it made, didn't you? Thought you'd got control of this ship and a crew of three who'd say, ‘Yes, Avon. Whatever you want, Avon.’ But you reckoned without me.”
AVON: “That wouldn't be too difficult.”
TARRANT: “Oh, really? I don't think so. When you found me on the Liberator, it was quite a blow. And every time you look at me, it hits you harder, doesn't it? I'm faster than you and I'm sharper. As far as it goes, I've made a success of my life. But you? The only big thing you ever tried to do you failed at. The greatest computer swindle of all time ... but you couldn't quite pull it off, could you? If it hadn't been for Blake, you'd be rotting on Cygnus Alpha right now. No, you failed, Avon. But I win. Not just at games, at life.”
AVON: “You also talk too much.”
TARRANT: “Be thankful I'm restricting myself to talk.”
AVON: “Well now, that's fascinating. You mean you can do something else?”
DAYNA: [Steps between them] “Oh, stop this. What are you doing? Warming up to cutting each other's throats?” [The above argument seems to be, at least in part, influenced by the ALIEN]

TARRANT: “And tomorrow, everything will look different?”
AVON: “If it does, you can assume you're on the wrong ship.”

DAYNA’S SONG: “I left my world to wander in this endless midnight sky, for space is just a starry night where no suns ever rise."

“Cally? Cally, are you listening to me? I know you can hear me now, fully. You heard only a suggestion of my voice before, yet you responded. You obeyed me almost from the beginning, Cally. A telepath. Rare. A wonderful find, wonderfully vulnerable. Cally, you've been so long alone. Cut off from your people. You've been homesick for your own world, your own kind, haven't you? For someone to communicate with. True communication: one brain speaking to another. But you won't ever be alone again, Cally. Not now, not for as long as you live.” (the ALIEN communicates with CALLY telepathically)

TARRANT: “Where were you?”
AVON: “Outside, about twenty feet down the corridor. You carelessly managed to miss me both times you went by.”
TARRANT: “Oh, another game, hide and seek perhaps.”
AVON: “I was watching this cabin.”
TARRANT: “Reason?”
AVON: “Isn't it obvious? We've been outmanoeuvred. Teleport failures, mysterious alien artefacts. While you and I were pawing the ground, that thing managed to get Cally to reactivate the device in the correct sequence. Cally is the link all right, but short of killing her there wasn't much we could do to stop it. Whatever is now on this ship has sufficient psi abilities to drain the Liberator and Cally to the dregs. It is also capable of throwing high voltage bouquets. If you want it, it's gone toward the flight deck. I followed it a little way. However, I wouldn't advise a headlong infantry charge.”
TARRANT: “I'm sure you wouldn't.” [Tarrant draws his gun and exits. Avon smiles]

TARRANT: “Presumably you could kill us all. So why haven't you?”
ALIEN: “I told you, I don't kill superfluously. When I was alive before, I was accustomed to being served by intelligent menials. I'm prepared to offer you all a choice. You can live as my...”
TARRANT: “Intelligent menials?”
ALIEN: "Don't let a mere two words prevent you from staying alive."

“That one [Vila] interests me. He has a very high IQ and yet he acts like an imbecile.” (The ALIEN to TARRANT)

ALIEN: “Yes, it could, Avon. But you are always practical, aren't you? Have you decided to accept my terms?”
AVON: “Have you offered some?”
ALIEN: [laughs] “You will have heard me, I think, from the corridor, just as you watched me earlier from the other corridor.”
AVON: “I didn't hear any terms, just something about ‘pets.’”
ALIEN: “Cally would want you to live, I know that.”
AVON: “It must get tiresome for you, knowing so much.”

ALIEN: I thought you were the clever one. You're a fool, like Tarrant. The pain Tarrant is experiencing ... visualize that pain and much more. You're as close to death as you have ever been. Think about human death, Avon. Irrevocable.”
AVON: “I have thought about it. What's keeping you?”
ALIEN: “What did you say?”
AVON: “You claim you can kill me. You better get on with it. Make me die. There's nothing else you can make me do.”

AVON: “It seems you made another mistake. Cally has loyalties after all. But you knew that right from the beginning, didn't you? ... You look so beautiful when you're angry.” [He kisses her, and while she is distracted, he slips the ring from her finger, then brings it around and holds it in front of her face] “Thank you.”
ALIEN: “Give it to me.”
AVON: “That would be a little foolish, when I just went to so much trouble to get it.”
ALIEN: “You don't understand.”
AVON “Don't I? Psychic abilities boosted by high technology? This ring is the real source of your power, isn't it? This is how you formed your link with Cally and you cannot hold her or feed off this ship without it.”
ALIEN “Avon! Avon, give it back to me. You must. You don't know. I have to keep this body. I have to live. I've waited so long. Centuries. More time than you could comprehend. How can you imagine what it must be like to be dead, to exist in nothingness, in nowhere. Blind, deaf, dumb, and yet to be sentient, aware, waiting. Centuries of waiting. I have to find my world again, my people, my home. I want to breathe and see and feel. And know. Don't send me back into the dark, Avon, let me live. I want to live, to live. I want to live, to live...” [the ALIEN turns into a corpse and disappears]

VILA: “All right. Cally was telepathically linked into that thing. So Avon gambled that Cally could be shocked into fighting it, and that it couldn't kill him because Cally wouldn't let it. And it worked. But that means that Cally sat back while it had a go at all the rest of us. I've always liked Cally.”
DAYNA: “You're being pedantic, Vila.”
VILA: “I am?”
DAYNA: “Well, in the end, it wasn't trying to kill us, just Avon. He'd pushed it into a corner where it couldn't do anything else.”
VILA: “What d'you mean, it wasn't trying to kill us? It nearly killed me when it fixed the teleport.”
DAYNA: “Well, that was before it totally linked with Cally. She didn't have any influence over it except that it had to protect her. Anyway, Avon was the target then, too. You were incidental.”
VILA: “’Incidental’? That'll look good on my gravestone.”

TARRANT: “You sure you're up to this, Cally?”
AVON: “Translated, that means how do you feel?”
CALLY: “I feel all right. Thank you.”


ZEN 27

ANALYSIS: And now for something completely different! “Sarcophagus” by Tanith Lee (B7’s only female writer) shows the flexibility of the B7 format. This fantasy episode works completely, maybe because it’s even more character-based than usual.

There’s less lines of dialogue (368) than any episode so far - the previous record was “Dawn Of The Gods” with 394. This is partially to do with opening six-minute segment, which contains no dialogue, plus subsequent reprises of this segment, but also to do with the fact that the dialogue is so rich, with quite a few long speeches. Putting this transcript next to e.g. “Hostage” (with 704 lines, which are largely short and sharp) demonstrates two different ways of writing B7.

There’s no guest stars in this episode, although for the second time in three episodes, Jan Chappell plays two characters. I was surprised to find Cally so low in the dialogue chart for “Sarcophagus” (Cally has yet to feature in the top three for any Season C episode), although as an actor, Jan Chappell is given a total of 79 lines - second only to Paul Darrow.

The scene with Cally and Avon in her cabin is just delightful, and shows how much these two characters need each other, following the recent trials they have faced (the end of Auron, the death of Anna Grant, etc). And, as a whole, “Sarcophagus” is yet another episode with so much sparkling dialogue.
President Solvite wrote:

Indeed Travisina, I vote that line from Vila should be the line of the series.

As I recall (Carol Hawkins) Keril annoyed at Vila not joining her on the planet clanger went into advertising, promoting Marland's Shopping Centre in the early 90's

She was also in an episode of Granada's El C.I.D. on which I was assistant editor in 1990!
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.

Twitter: @TravisinaB7
trevor travis


AVON: “We're not disturbing you, I hope.”
VILA: “What? No, not at all. Carry on. I'm just teaching Orac some new tricks.”
AVON: “Vila is teaching Orac? No, it doesn't make sense.”

DAYNA: “Whatever it is, I don't like the look of it.”
AVON: “Question is, does it like the look of us?”
TARRANT: “Don't deny us the benefit of your brilliant insights, Avon.”
AVON: “You don't have to be brilliant, just observant. There's only one thing it can be, an artificial planet.”

VILA: “No, Orac, you don't understand. I say 'Where to space pilots leave their ships?' and you say 'I don't know, where do space pilots leave their ships?'”
ORAC: “And supposing I don't wish to know that?”
VILA: “But you've got to say it or the riddle won't work.”
ORAC: “It is plainly nonsensical.”
VILA: “Of course. That's the whole idea.”
ORAC: “I fail to see why I take part in a meaningless, illogical conversation. It doesn't make sense and is therefore a waste of time. I'm shutting down.”
VILA: “Do it for me this once, Orac, please. Ready? Where do space pilots leave their ships?”
ORAC: “I don't know. Where do space pilots leave their ships?”
VILA: “At parking meteors.” [laughs to himself]
AVON: [To Tarrant] “He's getting worse.”

AVON: “You really believe in taking risks, don't you?”
TARRANT: “Calculated ones.”
AVON: “Calculated on what? Your fingers?”

ULTRA 1: “Our memory banks contain a considerable amount of data about Earth.”
ULTRA 2: “Third planet of an unremarkable star.”
ULTRA 3: “Planetary mass is of an order which is common enough.”
ULTRA 2: “The atmosphere is an unremarkable mix. Principally oxygen and nitrogen. All-in-all your world is...”
DAYNA: “Unremarkable?”
ULTRA 1: “Except for the dominant species it gave rise to.”
DAYNA: “Oh, well at least it's got something of interest then.”

ULTRA 2: “There is another process involved. Nucleoplasmic absorption.”
TARRANT: “Oh, well that's a relief. I thought it might be something complicated.”
ULTRA 1: “The process is extremely complex.”
AVON: “Ignore him. That's what passes for wit on board our ship.”

AVON: “Have you encountered many species?”
ULTRA 1: “Millions.”

ORAC: “The idiosyncratic syntax of riddles interests me. They seem to depend for their effect on solecisms and grammatical discrepancies.”
VILA: “Eh?”
ORAC: “Do you have another riddle for me to analyze?”
VILA: “You'd only spoil it.”
ORAC: “I thought you liked riddles.”
VILA: “I do when I'm allowed to tell them properly. All you're interested in is the idiotic tin tacks or something.”
ORAC: “That's very clever.”
VILA: “What is?”
ORAC: “For idiosyncratic syntax you substituted idiotic tin tacks. Yes, very good.”
VILA: “Is it?”
ORAC: “Another one, please.”
VILA: “Right. What's the best cure for water on the brain?”
ORAC: “I don't know. What is the best cure for water on the brain?”
VILA: “A tap on the head.”
ORAC: “A tap on the head. Yes, I see. In this instance the word tap has a double meaning, as in to strike something and as a device for controlling the release of fluid from a tank or pipe. The fluid referred to is water, therefore, tap on the head has two ambivalent meanings, one pertaining to the striking of the cranium...” [Vila puts his head in his hands]

DAYNA: “Tarrant, I think we should accept the offer. Then we can return to the Liberator.”
TARRANT: “You can't be serious. You don't believe what they say.”
DAYNA: “We have to believe if we hope to survive. Kiss me.”
TARRANT: “What?”
DAYNA: “I said, kiss me. Come on. I can't be all that repulsive.” [Dayna kisses Tarrant]
ULTRA 1: [via video link] “Has the bonding ceremony begun?”
DAYNA: “You could say so. But we do better without interruptions.”

TARRANT: “How's that, darling? More comfortable?”
DAYNA: “Oh yes. Much better. Thank you, darling.” [Dayna produces object from her mouth]
TARRANT: “I've heard of people having tricks up their sleeve. But this is... How long?”
DAYNA: “All of ten seconds.”
TARRANT: “As much as that?”
DAYNA: “Less now. About seven.”
TARRANT: “Or nearer five.” [They silently count down to zero]
DAYNA: “Now.” [An explosion rocks the room]
ULTRA 3: “Is that the bonding ceremony?”

DAYNA: “What did you feel like, Avon?”
AVON: “What?”
DAYNA: “Being an entry in an encyclopaedia.”
TARRANT: “Oh, he wouldn't mind so long as they filed him under genius.”

AVON: “Tell me, Orac, how precisely did Vila confuse and distract Ultraworld?”
ORAC: “Quite simple. With a series of random and illogical brain impulses. The planet was programmed to assimilate orderly coherent thought patterns. Anything else confused it.”
VILA: “Eh?”
AVON: “You mean Vila spouted nonsense.”
VILA: “I resent that.”
AVON: “Oh, I wouldn't if I were you. Orac is saying that a logical rational intelligence is no match for yours.” [Avon smiles]


ULTRA 1 51
ULTRA 2 31
ULTRA 3 26

ANALYSIS: “Ultraworld” is a generic sci-fi tale (for example, it could fit into the original Star Trek series); it’s not a deep episode, but is fun.

Cally is sidelined early on (Cally being taken over is becoming something of a cliché in Season C), but the other four regular humanoid crew members all feature heavily. Tarrant is given the most dialogue for the third time, while Dayna breaks through the 100 barrier for the only time. Orac has his most talkative episode of the season.

The Orac & Vila subplot seems to be designed for younger viewers, while there’s a nod to adult viewers as Dayna & Tarrant’s demonstration of the ‘human bonding ceremony’ ends with a big bang! And if only they had swapped Avon & Cally’s minds!
TT, that's dedication personified.
trevor travis


AVON: “There is only Calcos left.”
TARRANT: “What would Servalan want with a penal colony?”
AVON: “Who knows? Perhaps she wants to compare notes with some other genocidal maniacs. Or take a refresher course in basic brutality.”

SERVALAN: “Well, Section Leader, the records were accurate. Women, food, and inflicting pain - in no particular order.”
GROSE: “The Fifth Legion always encouraged such virtues, Madam President. They sharpen the spurs of duty.”
SERVALAN: “Yes, well, I've come a long way, Section Leader, and it wasn't out of concern for your peccadilloes.”

DAYNA: “Isn't this a bit precipitous?”
AVON: “Tarrant is always precipitous. Or hadn't you noticed?”

SONG OF THE EX-PRISONERS: “It's great to be free. It's great to be free. It's great to be free from the law. It's great to be free. And we all agree. We're not going back anymore. Anymore, anymore. We’re not going back anymore. It’s great to be free. And we all agree. We’re not going back anymore.”

“I didn't want to come in the first place. I knew somehow that this would happen... and it always does... and it always happens to me. Notice she [Cally] didn't get your co-ordinates wrong. You don't have that kind of luck. Well, I've had it. This is positively the last time.” (VILA to TARRANT, after teleporting the wrong side of the door)

SERVALAN: “Section Leader Grose, what happened to Colonel Astrid?”
GROSE: “Colonel Astrid - er, he met with an accident.”
SERVALAN: “And his second in command?”
GROSE: “He met with an accident, too.”
LECTOR: “Yeah, it was a very bad time for accidents.”
SERVALAN: “I see. And you assumed full command.”
GROSE: “Of course, the demands of duty. I was next in line.”
SERVALAN: “You were just a section leader aboard a flagship, serving under two pilot captains and a brigade commander. Did they all meet with accidents too?”
GROSE: “There was a war on. We were in hot pursuit of the alien fleet!”

DORAN: [drunken] “You know, I'm not a sentimental man, Vila - not sentimental. You believe me, don't you?”
VILA: “[Of] course I do, Doran.”
DORAN: “But when they dragged me into that prison cell, they said, ‘Look at the sun.’ ‘Look at the sun,’ they said, ‘Cause as long as you live, you'll never see the sun again.’ And I haven't. In fifteen years, I've never seen the sun. Or a woman.”
VILA: “Till now.”

VILA: “Listen, Tarrant, will you just stop shoving me around? I've had enough!”
TARRANT: “All right. I'm very sorry for pushing you around and I'm sorry for hitting your pal [Doran]; now, can we get on with the job?”
VILA: “You just don't understand, do you?”
TARRANT: “I understand this much. Servalan's down here for a reason. I want to find out what that reason is and then I want to kill her. It's all very simple.”
VILA: “You have to do what you think is best, don't you? Well, so do I.” [Tarrant draws his gun and levels it at Vila]
TARRANT: “One way or another - you're coming with me.”
VILA: “If it comes down to that, Tarrant, there isn't really a lot of point, is there?”

DORAN: “My problem was always women.”
VILA: “You like them?”
DORAN: [firmly] “No.” [uneasy look from Vila]

SERVALAN: “Vila; listen. Untie me, and then we can help each other.”
VILA: “I never imagined you as the sort that would grovel for her life.”
SERVALAN: “I am not grovelling, you fool. I mean it.”
VILA: “You are grovelling.”
SERVALAN: “I am not! They've got Tarrant. Now, I can show you where they're holding him. At least, I can suggest where to start looking.”
VILA: “Why should you want to?”
SERVALAN: “Because they're holding two of my pilots there as well. Now, are you going to untie me, or not?”
VILA: “Last time I saw Tarrant, I was looking down the end of his gun.”
SERVALAN: “So, why are we on opposite sides?”

“Careful of my wrist, Vila; it's had enough.” (AVON, after being tortured)

MOLOCH: “I am Moloch.”
AVON: “Yes. That is how I reasoned you would look.”
MOLOCH: “For a man of your era, you have uncommon qualities of deduction, Avon.”
DAYNA: “He knows you!”
MOLOCH: “I know each one of you.”
VILA: “What is it?”
AVON: “A man from our future. Someone was stupid enough to take a computer prediction and turn it into reality.”
MOLOCH: “Colonel Astrid, he caused my being. Then tried to destroy me.”
TARRANT: “What do you want with us?”
MOLOCH: “The Liberator. A perfect vehicle through which to express myself. Servalan was merely the bait to bring you here.”

“For a man of his era - to coin a phrase - he has just made a hell of a stupid mistake.” (AVON, after MOLOCH teleports to the Liberator and ends up dying, because his life-support system wasn’t teleported along with him)

SERVALAN: [on the Liberator viewscreen] “Liberator, this is Servalan, President and Supreme Commander of the Terran Federation. You are outnumbered, and at a tactical disadvantage. If you surrender your ship...” [Avon cuts off the transmission]
DAYNA: “Do we fight?”
AVON: “Certainly not. We run. Zen, course zero-one-one, speed, standard by six. Get us out of here.”


ZEN 22

ANALYSIS: “Moloch” is a darkly humorous episode, and yet another delight.

I did expect Vila to have the most dialogue in this episode, but that prize actually goes to Avon, who spends the majority of the episode on the Liberator, but is used to explain much of the plot.

There’s a delightful and unusual match-up between Servalan & Vila, and Vila’s friendship with the slightly socially-unacceptable Doran is also entertaining.

Some of the humour in the episode is visual and I couldn’t really get a quote from it: there’s Servalan’s exasperation at Vila’s ineptitude with a gun; Avon biting the duplicated apple and then deciding not to duplicate Tarrant after noticing the dead mouse; and Vila & Tarrant coming across a whole trial of dead men where Servalan had made her escape.

Of course, there’s also the unintended comedy of Moloch’s appearance, but that doesn’t’ really detract from a strong episode with plenty of good dialogue.
Edited by trevor travis on 21 February 2014 13:12:08
trevor travis


CALLY: “If someone doesn't tell Dayna and me what all this is about...”
DAYNA: “...we're going to get very irritated!”
VILA: “Break out the booze, girls. It's fiesta time. Now, Cally, Dayna, let's not be violent. You know how I hate to see a man cry, especially when it's me.”

VILA: “Back on Earth they used to say it was the most excitement you can have with your clothes on anywhere in the galaxy.”
DAYNA: “How very witty of them.”
AVON: “No, he's right. The Teal-Vandor Convention was famous on Earth. The ultimate excitement.”
CALLY: “The ‘ultimate excitement’: watching two men kill each other.”
AVON: “Yes. No. On reflection, that would seem to have a somewhat limited appeal as ultimate excitements go.” [Avon smiles]
VILA: “Well, there's obviously more to it than that. I mean, wine, women, and song.”
CALLY: “That would seem to have an even more limited appeal.”
TARRANT: “Oh, I don't know.”

ORAC: “I am now picking up a public viscast transmission.”
AVON: “Put it on the main screen.”
ORAC: “I must point out that this is a gross misuse and an absurd waste of my capabilities.”
AVON: “Put it on the main screen.”
ORAC: “I will do it only under protest.”
AVON: “You can do it any way you like. Just so long as you put it on the main screen.”
VILA: “Are you sure you can't redesign him as something useful, like a drinks dispenser? Or an empty space. I think he'd look really good as an empty space.”

DIRECTOR: [sarcastic tone] “Our heroes should arrive in about thirty minutes. You want to wander down and place the remotes for me?”
DARVID: “‘Our heroes?’ I suppose you'd change places with them, would you? Step through one of those doors without any idea of what's in there. Without even knowing whether your opponent's been let in first and is all set up and waiting. You'd fancy that would you?”
DIRECTOR: “Not a lot. But then I'm not a professional killer.”
DARVID: “That's not what the critics say.”

MAX: “How do you feel?”
DEETA: “Fine, Max, fine. For the fourth time.”
MAX: “I'm sorry. Right now you are our most important man. I just want to be sure there's nothing bothering you.”
DEETA: “You're more nervous than I.”
MAX: “Are you nervous?”
DEETA: “These sub-surface shuttles are a bit claustrophobic, aren't they?”
MAX: “I didn't know you suffered from claustrophobia.”
DEETA: “I don't, Max.”
MAX: “For a member of the diplomatic corps, I'm not being very diplomatic, am I?”

“Servalan! I don't believe it! Servalan is supposed to make sure everyone sticks to the rules?” (VILA, on discovering that SERVALAN is the Neutral Arbiter)

MAX: [eyes closed, wearing green disc on his forehead] “But I feel ... a little anger, little sadness, some small fear.”
DEETA: “Welcome to my head.”
MAX: “It works.”
DEETA: “So you and millions of other taxpaying citizens can kill or die almost for real. Just pick a champion, join the fun.”
MAX: “You resent this part of it, don't you?”
DEETA: “You only have to close your eyes to find out.” [Max doesn’t do so] “Maybe you are in the right business after all, Max.”

CALLY: “What about Avon?”
VILA: “Gone to visit a sick friend.”
CALLY: “A sick friend?”
VILA: “That's what he said. And let's face it: any friend of Avon's got to be sick, right?”

SERVALAN: “Conspiracy? Oh, Avon. I haven't gone and given myself away again, have I?”
AVON: “I've been doing a little strategic analysis.”
SERVALAN: “Bravo.”
AVON: “Somewhere along the line there is going to be a major violation of the Convention.”
SERVALAN: “Really? Well, I'm glad you warned me. Because as Neutral Arbiter such violations are my concern.”
AVON: “The result will be total war between these two systems. Real war, not children's games like all this. You will let them fight it out for a little while and then your battle fleet will move in to mop up the remnants. For their own good, of course, to prevent further bloodshed and destruction. The civilian populations may even welcome you.”
SERVALAN: “What form will this major violation take?”
AVON: “Do they know that your battle fleet is massed on their borders?”
SERVALAN: “Routine manoeuvres. And a small demonstration of concern for my personal safety, which both sides understand and accept.”
AVON: “Thank you.”
SERVALAN: “For what?”
AVON: “Answering my question.”
SERVALAN: “I have nothing to hide.”
AVON: “Is that why you answered?”
SERVALAN: “Naturally.”
AVON: “Oh, no, not naturally, Madam President. You do not naturally answer a question from an enemy who has no natural right to ask it.”
SERVALAN: “But I don't think of you as an enemy, Avon. I think of you as a future friend.”
AVON: “Your plan had better be fireproof, Servalan, or I'll see you burn with it.” [He kisses her]

SERVALAN: “Threatening an arbiter is a violation of the Convention, you know.”
AVON: “So report me.”
SERVALAN: “I'll overlook it this time.” [Avon teleports] “After all, it's not a major violation.” [She smiles]

MAX: “The sensor net. You don't know about it? Both men have had micro-sensors implanted in the brain. These are connected to a conductive mesh which is actually etched into the bone of the skull. When this mesh gets charged up it becomes a sort of transmitter.”
TARRANT: “Transmitting signals from the micro-sensors?”
MAX: “Right. The signals are boosted through the combat computer and are picked up by these receivers.” [Picks up one of the green disks and hands it to Tarrant] “You put it on your forehead. It's activated through the optic nerves. Close your eyes and it feeds the signal directly into the brain, open them and it cuts out.”
TARRANT: “How effective is it?”
MAX: “With that, you can see what Deeta sees and feel a lot of what he feels, physically and emotionally. These [picks up and hands Tarrant a blue disk] are a slightly different frequency.”
TARRANT: “Keyed to the other man?”
MAX: “You choose which one you want to go with.”
TARRANT: “How many people use these?”
MAX: “Oh, almost everyone in the two systems. It's a release that we all share. A catharsis. We all fight the war, but only one man actually dies.”
TARRANT: “My brother.”
MAX: “Or his opponent.”
TARRANT: “So that's the ultimate excitement. Murder without guilt, death without loss.”
MAX: “War without destruction.”

“Stupid. Stupid of me. He's fast. He's really fast, Del. Del, I'm sorry. I'm afraid the eavesdroppers have to listen after all. Didn't want a million people in my head when we met. Damn, it hurts. I never should have left you. I missed you, little brother.” (DEETA dying thoughts, after being shot by VINNI)

AVON: [puts an arm around Tarrant] “I presume you have no tedious scruples about cheating and lying?”
TARRANT: “None at all.”
AVON: “Oh, good.”
DAYNA : “Now, I want you to close your eyes.”
SERVALAN: “Close my eyes?”
DAYNA: “We're going to play a little game.” [Holds her gun beneath Servalan's chin] “Close your eyes.” [Servalan does so.] “I want you to imagine how my father felt, just before you killed him.” [Servalan's eyes fly open.]

VILA: “And they accepted what Dayna did?”
AVON: “They ruled it as a minor technical violation, banned her from the planet just as I expected.”
VILA: “Well, are you going to tell us why, or are you just going to gloat quietly to yourself?”
AVON: “There is a blood feud between Dayna and Servalan. But Dayna did not declare a challenge and she did not kill Servalan, either.”
DAYNA: “A purely temporary oversight on my part.”

AVON: “I think we should leave now.”
TARRANT: “Max just said that he'd be back...”
AVON: “Orac had another interesting legal point to make. According to the rules of the Teal-Vandor Convention, You are now the new First Champion of Teal.”
TARRANT: “I think we should leave now.”
AVON & TARRANT: [in unison] “Bring us up, Cally.”


MAX 75

ANALYSIS: “Death-Watch” completes a peerless trio of Season C scripts from Chris Boucher. Viewers have already been treated by a Vila-centric comedy (“City” ) and an Avon-centric tragedy (“Rumours” ); now we are given a Tarrant-centric Western.

Steven Pacey is given far more dialogue than any actor in this episode (a total of 133 lines). However, the almost 50/50 split between Del and Deeta’s dialogue ensures that the Tarrant brothers come third and fourth, just behind Max (75) and Avon (73). I certainly didn’t expect it to be Max who had the most lines in “Death-Watch”.

As is customary with a Boucher script, everyone is given fantastic dialogue here, from the regulars, to Darvid and his director. There’s an Avon/Servalan scene which rivals the great one from “Aftermath” in terms of its memorability.

Talking of “Aftermath”, we are reminded of Dayna’s ‘blood feud’ with Servalan. Meanwhile, Vila receives some tremendously witty dialogue here... only some of which I’ve quoted (this is yet another episode, where one could quote almost every line).

It’s also the last time we see Avon really on top of his game. With Orac’s assistance (described as ‘our legal advisor’!), he comes out on top in a battle of wits with Servalan. His fortunes (plus the rest of the crew) are about to take a major downward turn...
trevor travis


AVON: “There was no time for a committee meeting.”
TARRANT: “You should have told us. If your reasons for changing course were sound nobody would have given you an argument.”
AVON: “There's always an argument. My reasons for changing course were sound. You can take my word for it.”
TARRANT: “So tell us where we're going. Tell us why.”
AVON: “No.”
TARRANT: “And we're just meant to sit by quietly and let you do it, whatever it is.”
AVON: “That's exactly what you're meant to do. You and the rest of them owe me...”
TARRANT: “Do we?”
AVON: “...and I am calling in the debt. With or without your approval it is going to be done.”
TARRANT: “How do we approve of something we don't know about?”
AVON: “You could try trusting me.”
TARRANT: “All right, Avon, we'll try trusting you. Just don't expect us to make a habit of it.”

TARRANT: “Where are we going, Avon?”
AVON: “Profound philosophical questions never really interested me.”
TARRANT: “Not up to your usual standard.”
AVON: “Yes, well, I'm tired.”
TARRANT: “Avon, where is the ship headed?”
AVON: “To tell you the truth, I haven't the faintest idea.”

VILA: “Let's be on the safe side and go around it [the fluid particles].”
AVON: “No, we stay on course.”
TARRANT: “Now look, this involves all of us. I can't think of a good reason why we should take any risks, and you're not about to give me one, are you. Zen, recommendations?”
ZEN: “The consensus of computer systems favour a course deviation to avoid contact. In this environment, it is prudent to treat any unexplained phenomenon as potentially dangerous.”
VILA: “Isn't that what I just said? With a brain like mine, who needs computers?”
AVON: “Zen, maintain present course, no deviation. Status one, subcategory Q, no countermand.”
ZEN: “Confirmed.”
TARRANT: “That is it, Avon. I've had it. Either you tell us what it's all about or we're going to stop it.”
AVON “No, you're not. Nothing and nobody is going to stop it, you least of all. Now get out of my way, and stay out of my way.” [He has produced a gun and is pointing it at Tarrant's stomach. Avon exits]
CALLY: “You were lucky. He meant it. He was going to kill you.”
TARRANT: “I got that impression myself.”

ZEN: “The object on scan was constructed by a consortium of United Planets scientists four hundred and eleven years ago. It was code-named ‘Terminal.’”
TARRANT: “Terminal? The records say she broke up.”
AVON: “You've heard of it?”
TARRANT: “Only as a historical curiosity. The intention was to build an artificial planet. It was sprayed with organic materials in the hope that it would naturalise, and eventually create all the conditions to develop and sustain life. It was just a gigantic laboratory in a way. But she was originally positioned in solar orbit out towards Mars.”
VILA: “So what's she doing out here?”
TARRANT: “You tell me. I still haven't got over the fact that she exists.”

AVON: “All right, now listen. I don't know what to expect or how long this will take me. I'll call in every hour on the hour, but if I miss one transmission, get out of here.”
CALLY: “What? You mean leave you on Terminal? Abandon you?”
AVON: “That's exactly what I mean. Keep the ship on full alert. At the slightest hint of danger, the same thing applies: move out fast.”
TARRANT: “Oh, come on, Avon. Look, we've been through a lot together. We've always been at risk; we've always taken chances. But we've survived because we worked as a team. So what is it you have to do that makes this so different?”
AVON: “This happens to be my problem. None of you are involved.”
DAYNA: “But we are involved. However much you like to pretend you're a loner, you're not really. We depend on each other. I wouldn't be alive now if it wasn't for you, and I'm sure that's true of everybody else. So why not trust us?”
VILA: “Look, you don't have to give reasons. You don't even have to explain. Whatever it is, we'll back you up.”
CALLY: “Or, if you want one of your own cold, rational explanations, we can't afford to lose you.”
AVON: “Sentiment breeds weakness. Let it get a hold of you and you are dead.”

“One last thing. I don't need any of you. I needed the Liberator to bring me here so I had no choice but to bring you along, but this is as far as you go. I don't want you with me. I don't want you following me. Understand this: anyone who does follow me, I'll kill them.” (AVON to the LIBERATOR CREW)

[AVON reading from console] “‘The patient's condition continues to improve. Life support systems were closed down for ten minutes extra today, bringing the total to three hours. During this time ... Blake ... showed no apparent signs of distress. All prescribed medication was administered.’ So he is alive. Blake is alive.”

BLAKE: “Well, you certainly took your time finding me.”
AVON: “There didn't seem to be any hurry. Anyway, I always said I could manage very well without you.”
BLAKE: “It must have been so dull having no one to argue with.”
AVON: “Well, now, there were times when your simple-minded certainties might have been refreshing.”
BLAKE: “Careful, Avon. Your sentiment is showing.”
AVON: “That's your imagination. Now, are you going to tell me about this discovery that is going to make us rich and invincible?”
BLAKE: “I'll take you to it.”
AVON: “You mean after I get you out of the mess you've got yourself into? Just like old times?”
BLAKE: “Not that easy this time. The lightning raid...snatch me from the jaws of death isn't on, I'm afraid. Taken off this life support system I wouldn't survive for more than three or four hours.”
AVON: “We'll have the whole thing duplicated on the Liberator.”
BLAKE: “No good. I wouldn't survive the teleport transfer. They calculate it'll take at least three months before I can start to move again.” [Beeping begins] “That's a treatment timer. They'll be here in a few minutes. They'll find you.”
AVON: “It seems unlikely that you'll be moving far. I know where to find you. I'll be back.”

SERVALAN: “You don't seem surprised to see me.”
AVON: “If it was a trap, it had to be yours. The precise planning, the meticulous detail, the general flair; who else could it be?”
SERVALAN: “Thank you. That you of all people should appreciate my work is very flattering.”

AVON: “When you transmitted the recording of Blake's voice, Zen did a print analysis and confirmed that the voice could be genuine. On the strength of that, I had to follow it up.”
SERVALAN: “I never doubted you would. What about the others? Were they convinced?”
AVON: “I told them nothing about it.”
SERVALAN: “You were afraid they might not want to help you find Blake.”
AVON: “On the contrary, I was sure that they would, but they can get a little overenthusiastic, a little careless.”
SERVALAN: “So rather than let them walk into what might be a trap, you decided to do it all on your own. How very noble of you.”
AVON: “I thought so.”
SERVALAN: “Of course, it had nothing to do with not wanting to share Blake's mysterious discovery.”
AVON: “Nothing at all.” [He chuckles]

AVON: “Let's get down to terms. I want Blake's freedom. What do you want?”
SERVALAN: [points to screen displaying the Liberator] “That. A straight exchange. You get Blake and whatever it is he's discovered, and I get the Liberator.”

ZEN: “Dysfunction on computer banks three and six. All resources now concentrated on maintenance of teleport facilities. I... I have failed you.”
VILA: “He never referred to himself before. He never once used the word ‘I’.”
ZEN: “I have failed you. I am sorry. I have...”
VILA: “He's dying. Zen is dying.”

“Death is something that he [Blake] and I faced together on a number of occasions. I always thought that his death and mine might be linked in some way.” (AVON to SERVALAN)

TARRANT: “You said there's a ship that could get us off here.”
SERVALAN: “There is. Perhaps I've exaggerated just a little. You see, she was rather badly damaged when we made our landing. But I think with some months' work she could be made space-worthy. Just about.”
AVON: “What about Blake?”
SERVALAN: “Ah, yes. Blake. I owe him so much. After all, it was he who brought you to me.”
AVON: “We made a deal. You promised me Blake.”
SERVALAN: “Blake is dead. He died from his wounds on the planet Jevron more than a year ago. I saw his body. I saw it cremated. Blake is dead.”
AVON: “I saw him. I spoke to him and he...”
SERVALAN: “You saw nothing. Heard nothing. It was an illusion, a drug- induced and electronic dream. We spent months preparing it. We recreated Blake inside our computers, voice, images, memories, a million fragmented facts. When I was ready, I started sending you the messages, seeding the idea in your mind. I was conditioning you. And you were my greatest ally, Avon. You made it easy because you wanted to believe it. You wanted to believe that Blake was still alive.”

VILA: “Just a minute.” [Picks up Orac]
KOSTOS: “What are you doing?”
VILA: “Souvenir.”
KOSTOS: “What is it?”
VILA: “It's just a pile of junk, really, but it means a lot to me. I built it. It's a sculpture. You're not going to make me leave it, are you?”
KOSTOS: “Alright.”
VILA: “Incidentally, you should always be careful about getting a second-hand spacecraft. They can be very unreliable.” [Vila teleports down with Orac]

DAYNA: “You'd better watch this, Avon.”
AVON: “She [Servalan] won. We... I let her take the Liberator.”
TARRANT: “No. No, she didn't win. We all came out losers.”

SERVALAN: “Manual operation. Set course for the planet Earth.”
KOSTOS: “Computed and laid in.”
SERVALAN: “Main drive. Maximum power.” [The Liberator starts to break up]

“Let's see if we can't find a way off this planet. There's a lot to do.” (TARRANT to the CREW)


ZEN 54

ANALYSIS: “Terminal”, originally intended to be the last-ever episode of B7, brings Season C to a downbeat conclusion, as Avon walks into a trap set by Servalan, and the Liberator and Zen are lost.

The Liberator crew and Servalan share 94% of the dialogue in “Terminal”; while the programme has enjoyed many vivid guest characters, the emphasis here is on the characters we’ve seen week in, week out. Avon tops the dialogue chart for the seventh time in Season C, comparing with 11 times for Blake in Season A and 8 times for Blake in Season B. Meanwhile, Tarrant finishes in the top three for the tenth time in the last 12 episodes.

Zen has a memorable death scene in this episode and also has his largest-ever number of lines (54) and his largest share of the dialogue (13%). Orac has not been a favourite of Terry Nation, only ever having lines in three of his episodes – “Orac”, “Redemption” and “Aftermath.”

Considering she doesn’t even appear until the 39-minute-mark, Servalan really tots up the dialogue in the closing quarter-of-an-hour in what is B7’s longest-episode (54 minutes). Of course, in her case, Servalan’s apparent death at the end of “Terminal” does not prove to be the end of the story.

With the production team believing this to be the last episode, Gareth Thomas is brought back for a cameo appearance. Although he is an illusion created by Servalan, he is credited as Blake in the end credits, and that is good enough for me. It’s only one of three episodes in which he appears that Blake isn’t in the top three (the others being “Weapon” and “Gambit” ).

Once again, it’s impossible to quote every single great line from this episode – there’s just too many of them. A terrific end to a terrific season. But it wasn’t to prove the end of B7, after all...
Hi TT. I was looking at the viewing stats for B7 on Wikipedia. I was wondering if, after you've finished doing this very worthy job, if you would be interested in doing a summary of the viewing stats. For instance, how many people were watching when Animals aired as opposed to a great episode like Terminal!? WinkAngry
GARETH THOMAS: Paul is a very generous man, as a human being and as an actor. The programme couldn’t have been made if we hadn’t got on. Our working relationship was magic.
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