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B7 Advent Calendar 2023
Joe Dredd
This is the thread for Advent Calendar entries.

If you would like to participate, please sign up here: Sign up thread

Please post any comments here: Comments thread

And remember, no peeking behind any of the doors until it's the right day in your part of the world!
Joe Dredd
Right, since it's 1st December in Australia, I'm going to...

wait until later before posting. Mwhahahaha!
Joe Dredd
Day one, door one, what have we got?


- = D R O N G O ' S 7 = -

Starring that genuine New South Welshman, Bruce Thomas, as


The type of hero who gets lost between the studio and the lunch van.


Bruce Jackson as


The type of hero who gets stuck inside the lunch van.

Also starring Sheila Ruskin, Sheila West, Sheila Sim, Sheila Steafel, Sheila White and a whole bunch of other Sheilas.

Make up by Sheelagh "There's no way it's not really Sheila" Wells

Editing by Sheila S. Tomlinson

* With *

Alf Stewart as SHRINKER * Esme Watson as JENNA * Steve Irwin as TRAVIS * Dame Edna Everage as SERVALAN *
and * Bluey as THE GESTALT *

Guest starring

Jacqueline Pearce as


the heroic and lovely film producer, fighting against the odds and the studio system
to get her little movie made and to get Bruce out of the lunch van.

And Paul Darrow as


the ruthless studio exec standing in her way.

Coming soon to the
Dubbo Picture Palace & Laundromat
12 Wooooooooooooooooollooooooooomoooooo Road
Just down the road from the University of Panel Beating

Reserve your seat now.
Popcorn $5/bucket. Soap powder $2/cup.
Leave yer sheep in the street
I mean it this time Keith
It's time we knew!

Here in Federation Archives we like to keep an eye on what you rebels are thinking. In particular, we’d be interested to know what’s happening about these unanswered questions – you know, the ones TT promised to explain later…

Series A and B (2023)

If Brad Foster was the first one shot, how come he ended up on top of the other victims?
Why does Leylan tell them about the Liberator at all?
How are these ‘survival hints’ supposed to help anyone?
Gan’s injured legs?
Why don’t the Federation guards just shoot Vila?
Why didn’t Libby charge in and swoop them away as soon as Blake found Cally? Why wait around just so Blake could gloat over Travis?
TT, will you please explain how the pilot managed to be standing up leaning against the door and dead?
Isn't Rafford unconscious and dying? When does he recover from his unconsciousness to write his message?
Yes, I know - TT will tell us later.
TT is going to have a huge tutorial next time we get together and explain it all to us. Lunch and drinks included as it will take 4 hours......
Also including how they get back in 5 minutes!
Is that lady screaming because she's heard about TT doing a Q&A session afterwards?
Why does Blake not instantly drag Cally into the corridor when he realises it's vapor?
How does Sara get the stuff? I thought no-one else knew the combination.
If that pilot is an ex-pilot, how come he put his arms out when he fell to the floor?
TT, could you please explain later how tiny Sara got huge Dortmund way up on top of that cabinet?
TT Please explain later: Why didn't Libby just blast the other ship
Why is Cally operating the Liberator?
How did the doctor fall off the balcony?
Jenna’s the pilot. Why isn’t she flying the Libby?
Why is he (Marryat) a SPACE surgeon?
Any idea why the rent-a-tribe aren’t affected by the radiation?
Why would anyone record the scientists preparing for the countdown?
Why are there no anti-radiation drugs on a spaceship?

Where was Avon hiding then?
Why do they not realize they look a bit Liberator-ish?
Why do android types have that weird staring/unblinking thing going on?
How come the sister ship (DSV!) has missiles but Libby doesn’t?
Why are they called Moon Discs when they aren’t on a moon?
Why does Cally run all the way up that hill to teleport? Does the teleport work like a mobile phone?
Soolin is looking lovely this week.
That’s going to confuse NTG (then a new rewatcher)
(NTG) Yes, what’s that all about?
TT will explain later.
TT, you’re going to have to explain all this ginger talk as well.
How did Avon know that grid was there?
The neutron blasters – just what is it they need to be cleared of in order to fire?
Hostage left me with more questions than answers…TT will explain
Do they mean a heater for space or a heater for SPACE?
Why didn’t Selma go with Vila to rescue Blake?
How did Orac get out of its casing?
What gives Avon the right to the Libby?
The Star One soldiers must have been skiing. Look at their goggles. Maybe they were looking for their lost skis out there?
How did Travis or the aliens know about each other or how to contact each other?
Why do all the best space stations have open power wells of doom in the middle?
"You're not sulking, I hope?"
3 Dec - both in the UK and Australia (since it's late-ish in the day here).

I'd like to wish you a merry Christmas with a B7 Crossword! :-)

1. Best TV show ever! 😊 (Spell out number) (6,5)
5. Zukan’s assistant who Zukan ejected into space after he had removed an explosive from the wall.
7. Bellfriar jokes with his assistant that in 20 minutes he could be shaking hands with one of these.
8. Chief of the Hommiks. (4,3)
9. She worked for Justice Department. It was her idea to destroy Blake’s credibility and get him sentenced by using ‘mental implantation’.
11. The cybersurgeon who had information which lead to the location of Star One.
15. A single planet orbiting an isolated, dying star. (4,3)
16. Wife of the chief of the Hommiks.
17. Colloquial term for a psychostrategist.
20. He created and played elaborate games; often with his computer Gambit.
22. Leader of the space rats.
23. Servalan threatens to send Travis to a slave pit on this planet.
24. This episode has it all; a cyber-surgeon who may know the location of Star One, Servalan being offered the ‘highly stimulating’ pataki cake, a miniature Orac and a deadly game of Chess.
25. Vila wishes he could bottle it. (9,3,4)

1. Episode in which Gan needs his limiter implant repaired.
2. When it comes to computers, he's the number two man in the Federated worlds. (Last name only.)
3. She’s been told she’s sexiest officer ever.
4. Energy refractor; the most valuable object in Destiny’s galaxy.
5. One of three children who probably received an ‘mental implantation’ so he’d believe he’d been assaulted by Blake.
6. Leader of the inhabitants of Keezarn.
10. Wonderful Welsh actor. (6,6)
12. They may copy life. They may not create new forms. (Only one not plural.)
13. Induced Molecular Instability Projector and Key.
14. Criminal organisation whose biggest profits come from the addictive drug Shadow. (5,6)
18. Original name of the mutoid under Travis command in Duel.
19. First name of actor who plays the computer genius who tried to embezzle millions of credits from the Federation's banking system.
21. A planet discussed as a possible source of treatment for Gan's malfunctioning limiter but ruled out on the grounds that they only had ‘third level technology’.
24. Vila described him as "straightforward". (Last name only).
I’m very sorry to Tyce, but I created my own crossword a couple of weeks ago and didn’t have time to do something else. Mine’s a finish the quote crossword.
The Blake’s 7 section of my blog, where I post fics, art, essays, etcetera.
Vila: <<Orac, patch me through to all Federation secret channels. It's time again for me to annoy, er, entertain all those Federation slugs with my unique brand of comedy. Do it before I turn you into a perspex drinks cupboard!>>

Orac:<< I only do this under extreme protest, Vila. And the word 'unique' does not quite fit the bill. You have the most juvenile sense of humor!>>

Vila: <<Thank you!>>

“It's that merry time again, Ladies and Gentlemen, children of all ages- Fed-mas- and here I am, once more, your old Uncle Vila somewhere in Federation space to regale you with more jolly japes, groaners and all around knee-slappers. Let's see what is in my jolly joke bag this year...

I bet you don't know this one. What do you sing at a snowman's birthday? Freeze a jolly good fellow!

What do frogs wear on their feet? Open toad sandals! Bet you didn't expect that one! Ha!

Who is Rudolph's favorite pop star? Beyon-sleigh. Oh, that's a groaner! Even I admit it.

What do you get when you cross a snowman with a vampire? Frostbite. Oh...reminds me of a Mutoid!

What was the snowman doing in the vegetable patch? Picking his nose, silly. Orac, can you play the drums, I need a rim shot for that one!

What does Fed-Santa spend his wages on? Jingle bills! Ho ho ho.

Here's a good one. Daughter: Can I have a pony for Fed-mas? Dad: The oven's only big enough for a turkey, dear. Oh, bet you didn't see that one coming!

Why was 'E' the only letter that got a Fed-mas present? Because all the other letters were not E.

Hey, why does no one like meeting up with a snowman? Why? Because he's always so flaky!

What was the Grinch's least favorite band? The Who... yeah, even I think that stinks!

How do sheep greet each other at Fed-mas? They say Merry Fed-mas to ewe. Oh, don't think I can't
hear you groan over that one! I can hear you from where I am, wherever I am!

Why wouldn't Ebeneezer Scrooge eat at the Italian restaurant? It cost a pretty 'penne'.

Which Fed-mas carol do dogs like the best? Bark the Herald Angels Sing.

How about this zinger? What do you get if you cross Fed-Santa with a duck? A Fed-mas quacker!!

Where does Fed-Santa stay when he is on holiday? The ho-ho-hotel. Ho-ho-ho, get it?

How about this one- Why don't penguins fly? Because they're not tall enough to be pilots. That's why!

Why do snowmen like living at the North Pole? Because it's so cool...

How does King Wencelas like his pizza? Deep pan, crisp and even! Oh, what a good one! Hold the anchovies, please!

A guy goes to his doctor and says he's scared of Fed-Santa. The doc replies, you're suffering from Claus-trophobia.

I'm winding down and before you can pin point my position, I'll just give you a few more of my jokey gems to savor. What's red, white and blue at Fed-mas time? A sad candy cane! Ho!

And my final joke for the Fed-mas season is this. What do you call Fed-Santa's little helpers? Subordinate Clauses!

Well, Orac says my time is up for this year. Stay tuned next year for more of my jolly, holly, by golly jokes, japes and all around groaners. This is your old Uncle Vila speaking. Sleep tight and a very Merry Fed-mas to all.”
Resist the Host

My country is a bit ahead of yours so I hope you don't mind to find my post a bit early.
Personalized Stories, as told by Zen, during the long, empty days without action.

(Zen stories are allegories told to illustrate important lessons and events. They are told to stop feeling lethargic, to develop a deeper understanding)



-How Cally helped Vila control his compulsion to steal from his crewmates.-

There were days when Vila couldn't control his compulsion to steal something, so he went looking for the opportunity.

Cally was deep in meditation when Vila quietly entered her cabin.
Without looking up or back, Cally said:
"Don't bother me, you can find things of value in my desk drawer."
Cally continued to meditate.
Yet, a little later, she stopped and said, "Vila, please don't take everything; I still need something myself."
Vila grabbed most of it and walked to the door.
Then he heard Cally's voice again, "Wouldn't you thank someone who gives you a gift?"
Vila thanked Cally and stepped out into the corridor.

A few days later, while searching another cabin, he was caught red-handed by Gan.
Vila admitted that he had been stealing and that he had also nicked things from Cally.
Cally was asked about the how and what.
But she said, "Vila is not a thief, at least not as far as I'm concerned. I gave him something valuable and he thanked me for it."


The way to Gauda Prime

Jenna startled when she picked Blake up from the planet DEL 10 where he had planned to do some shopping for "atmospheric vita particles".
Blake looked deathly pale, his hands trembling, and he staggered to his feet.
Jenna stood up and supported Blake, "Sit down, have a drink, and tell me what happened." she said worriedly.
"Down there, in the market-place, I have seen Fate, and he looked at me piercingly. I'm afraid he's coming for me."
"What can I do for you?" asked Jenna.
"I want to run away so I can avoid fate, Jenna! Take me out of here!"
"Where do you want to go then?"
"Take me to Gauda Prime. I have acquaintances from the resistance there."

After she dropped Blake off at Gauda Prime, Jenna decided to do that DEL 10 shopping herself as she needed the "atmospheric vita particles".
So she landed and visited the market.
Fate was still there. No one dared to look at him and everyone skittishly shot past him.
Only Jenna spoke to him, "You have frightened my friend a lot by looking at him urgently. Why? "
"Well, I was very surprised to find him here, because I have the assignment to meet him today at …
Gauda Prime."


Animal in da house

One day, Dayna asked Orac for advice, "Orac, I need your help, otherwise I'll go crazy! I've been living in the Liberator with my crew mates for a while now. We each have our own cabin, but it is very cramped and for the rest there is no possibility to isolate yourself. We constantly bump into each other in the corridors. It's just too small, too narrow. Life is becoming hell. We are all quite tense and that often degenerates into major quarrels !"
"Do you promise to do everything I say?" asked Orac sternly.
"Yes Orac, yes, I will do anything you suggest."
"Very well," Orac replied, "Go to Bucol-2, catch an animal there, and let him come and stay in the Liberator. Then come back to me in a week."
Dayna was a bit shocked, but she had made the promise to obey Orac.
So she persuaded Avon and the crew to go to Bucol-2 to catch an animal.

After a week, Dayna came back to Orac, "I'm a nervous wreck," she said, "I have the animal sleeping in my cabin. But he also runs loose in the Liberator. And everyone is complaining about him. The dirt, the noise, the stench! Avon is furious with me, because he keeps slipping on the poo that the animal leaves behind in the corridors. It's driving us all insane!"
"Bring the animal back to where you caught him," said Orac.
Dayna didn't need to be told twice, and the crew agreed to get rid of the animal as soon as possible.
Once that was done, Dayna turned back to Orac and said, "Life is nice again! The Liberator is like paradise, so quiet, clean and spacious now that the animal is gone!"



Avon had taken the lead and he usually managed to get everyone on board with his plans.
Though? Newbie Tarrant wasn't always so accommodating.
He often doubted Avon's leadership talent. On top of that, Tarrant was also quirky and proud.
He therefore decided to confront Avon about it.
So he called out to Avon, "Hey, Avon, everyone who respects you so much obeys you and takes your advice and proposals. But such a person as I am, can you make me obedient to you?"

"Come and stand here beside me," Avon replied, "and we'll talk about it."
Tarrant came forward.
"Please stand on my left side," Avon asked.
Tarrant stood to Avon's left.
"Uhm, no," said Avon, "I think we’ll have a better conversation if you came to my right side."
Proudly, Tarrant stepped to the other side and stood to Avon's right.
"Well now," Avon observed, "Tarrant, you obeyed me just now, and I think you're a good fellow.
I suggest that you now take up your task as a pilot again and set course for...."



Avon and Vila teleported down to the planet to find Jenna who had been kidnapped by the locals.
Avon and Vila entered an inn. They hoped to gain information there.
From a shaded corner, next to the large tiled stove, they observed the people in the taproom.
There appeared to be some kind of celebration going on where the partygoers were drinking a lot of alcohol.
One of the tipsy guests noticed Vila who was slightly leaning forward out of the shadows to take a better look around. The guy approached Vila, pulled him out and pushed him onto the dance floor. The guests forced him to dance and jump. Finally, they gave him a drink, but also a beating before he was allowed to sit down again.
About an hour later, they did that again with poor Vila. And they did that a few more times. It went on late into the night.
Vila sat down rubbing his sore spots. "What do they keep picking me out for?" he whispered to Avon.

"Apparently because you have a talent for it," Avon replied.
"Then let's swap seats," Vila suggested, "then next time they'll take you and I can recover a bit." Avon, who had no intention of giving in to the whims of the partygoers, checked his gun and swapped seats with Vila.
But Vila was wrong, because just then one of the tipsy partygoers shouted, "Hey guys! There are two of them there in the corner! And we've always picked that first one! Let's take the other one now!"
When Vila returned from his umpteenth dance and beating, he said to Avon, "You must be right, as always..."



Travis had lost his left arm when he was hit by Blake.
Before he got his artificial arm, he made good use of his rehabilitation time.
In order to be able to avenge himself properly, he took lessons from an old martial arts master.
The lessons went well, but the master only allowed Travis to practice one particular move.
After a few months, Travis only mastered that one movement. But he continued to practice fanatically and then took part in a tournament. He won one award after another.
He became famous and came face to face with a huge professional match player. A giant of a man who towered over Travis and who was twice as heavy as Travis.
The referee was of the opinion that it would not be a fair fight and did not want the match to continue.
But Travis’ master said, "Let the fight continue!"
Soon after, the opponent made the mistake of forgetting his defense and Travis took advantage of that and won!
Afterwards, Travis asked his master how it was possible that he had won the entire tournament. The master said, "That’s because you have mastered one of the most difficult and complicated movements of the martial arts so well and... Because the opponents can only defend themselves against this move by grabbing your left arm!!

TT has brought the wrath of Paula on him again and fled into a maze. However, Paula won’t follow him there. After all, he will have to come out on his own soon as there is a photo session with Glynis Barber to commence. So she just waits at one of the entrances of the maze.
But is she waiting at the correct entrance? Or will TT be able to sneak past her and live to tell the tale?
This is a little early, but I'm likely to be busy tomorrow morning.

A ghost story, of sorts.

'I've got a living unit in section A12,' said Anna, looking at him seductively over her drink. 'It's really quite presentable. Shall we go back there?'

The adrenalin and soma seemed to be making him lightheaded. As if in a dream he saw himself agree, finish his drink and leave the noisy Civic Refreshment Facility, heading west along walkway 39 with Anna pressed tightly against his side. This was a vistape, surely, not the normal reality of his life. Somewhere deep inside him, the sober remnant of Kerr Avon watched as he took advantage of a quiet corner to pull her closer to him, and felt with a shock the passionate response of her lips against his. This was no dream.

They walked on. Avon scarcely knew where they were, until, suddenly, he realised that the walkway along which they were travelling was familiar. Surely this was . . . surely in another minute they would pass . . .

But they did not pass.

'Here it is,' said Anna, pressing the entry code into the doorpad - 43XZ216, a number Avon knew by heart. 'You wouldn't believe how much I had to pay the District Administrator for this. But it's worth it - two bedrooms, and the decor is not bad at all. The previous owners actually had taste.'

Of course they had taste he thought, his parents were all taste - the ghastly good taste of the liberal Alpha. How he had hated those dreadful parties with their colleagues from the university - the daring theories, the progressive opinions, the drooling over imported artworks from the Protectorate or Califeron. And, inevitably, Nils - thoughtful, sensitive Nils, the future Senator, the great bright hope for a better Federation - charming his parents' guests, while awkward sarcastic Kerr handed round the drinks and sneered. The years he had spent sharing that oh-so-prestigious second room (and it was hardly a bedroom, Anna, more of a glorified cupboard) with Nils, with his hopes, his dreams, his stupid naive optimism, while his, Kerr's, ideas - ideas that would increase efficiency, that might actually benefit people - were belittled or ignored. How his parents had rejoiced when their younger son had joined the Freedom party! But Kerr had always known how it would end - the disappearance, the anxious search, the fortune spent bribing officials, chasing up leads. And to no avail. Nils's fate had been predictable from the moment he started playing politics. Almost as predictable were his parents' demoralisation and his mother's descent into alcoholism, until the day when their elder son walked out in disgust, and did not return.

And where were they now? Disappeared, like Nils? Dead? The furniture behind Anna was indeed theirs - older, shabbier, but quite unchanged.

'What's wrong, darling?' Anna asked. 'You look as though you've seen a ghost.'

He smiled, stepping through the door into her arms.
'Nothing's wrong,' he said. 'I was thinking about how lucky I am, that's all.'

Where were his parents? Who cared? This was his place now, his and Anna's - here he would be valued, and it would be his ideas that would hold sway. Together they would laugh and love, cheat the Federation, and be rich and happy. Never mind the past - the future was all his.
Here is yours truly, with an important public service announcement, followed by some amusing Fedmas Carols for the kids. Feel free to sing along.
Edited by Brad on 09-12-2023 01:12

Cockatoo? What Cockatoo? I don't see a Cockatoo!
Joe Dredd
Day 10, door 10, Del 10?

Christmas fast approaching?

Don't know what to get the Federation trooper in your life?

Kar-Tel Records & Tapes
are pleased to announce

- Volume 3 -

Featuring every unit's favourite marching & drinking songs:

* Travis Has Only Got One Eyeball
* Hands Up, Mother Brown
* Andromedanny Boy
* It's a Long Way to Slime and Lasers
* (It Was On the) Starship Venus
* Kiss Me Goodnight Section Leader
* My Old Man Said Follow Servalan (And Don't Gas the Waazis on the Way)
* Any Old Feldon
* Boiled Mangan & Carrots
* Hello, Hello, Who's Your Lady Friend, She Reminds Me of President Serval - Aaargh!
* Oh, Oh, Oh, It's a Lovely War of Indeterminate Length
* All the Nice Girls Love a Trooper (Starship Ahoy!)
* I Do Like to Be Beside the Supreme Commander
* The Man Who Wasn't Even Close to Breaking the Bank at Monte Carlo
* Where Did You Get That V911 Para-Handgun
* If I Were the Aiming Kind
* Roll Me Over in the Monopasium 239
* Epheron Nell
* The Pat Gorman Can

"Fantastic! I'll take square dancing over square bashing any day." - Trooper Oompa Parr

"Have you got anything by Kathleen Ferrier?" - former President Sarkoff
Well now, what awaits us behind Door 11?

All Aboard!!
The Polar Express!

“The Polar Express? What’s that?” Vila asked.
“It’s something that Mr Seaton wants to revive,” Blake explained, “and he would like us to help. It’s to do with Christmas.”
“That time of year already? Oh well, I’ve nothing else planned. What does it involve?”
“It involves the trams and taking children to see Father Christmas. Mr Seaton has asked me to drive one of his trams.”
“Oh, that’s nice. And where do I come in?”
“You, Vila, can be the Conductor on my Tram.”
“All right, it sounds good, I think.”
Gan entered the Flight Deck, followed by Cally and Jenna.
“You wanted to see us,” Gan said.
“How would you like to be Father Christmas?”
“Well, I don’t know. I I suitable?”
Vila smiled, “Father Christmas is a big, jovial chap dressed in red with a huge white beard.”
“You’ll be perfect Gan,” Blake enthused. “You just need to practise saying Ho, Ho. Ho!”
“And what about us?” Jenna asked.
“You’ll be perfect as the Elves. I’ve already arranged it with Mr Seaton.”
“Hm, elves in leather?” Cally pondered.
“Um, I don’t want to put a dampener on things,” Vila began, “but what about Avon?”

“I had always thought that the reason for us being here was to fight the Federation,” Avon said from the depths of the console he was working on in one of the Control rooms.
“So you don’t want to help?” Blake said.
“I didn’t say that.”
“All right, so what are you saying?”
“As you are so keen to assist Mr Seaton in his latest endeavour, then I will have to come along; for security reasons, you understand.”
“Good. He will be so pleased.”
“That makes all the difference.”

Mr Seaton welcomed them with open arms,
“I’m so glad that you could make it Blake. More people have asked to come than I ever imagined. The top station is all ready, it just needs Father Christmas installed…plus his lovely elves. Once it starts getting dark, we will begin The Polar Express! By the way, where is Father Christmas?”

Father Christmas made his entrance to a resounding cheer from the gathered crowd.
With him were two of his elves.
Two of the ladies helping Mr Seaton organise everything stared at Cally and Jenna.
“Is Mr Seaton right about this? I mean, Santa’s little helpers in leather trimmed with fur.”
“Well, he seems to know what he’s doing. Who are we to question him?”

“Ho, ho, ho,” boomed out Gan, “Who wants to come to the North Pole?”
Vila looked at Blake, “The North Pole? Does this tramway go that far?”
“It’s just a figure of speech,” smiled Blake, “Now let’s get on our tram and follow Gan up. Remember, you’re the Conductor.”
“What do I do?”
“Well, check the tickets and keep everyone amused. Can you do that?”

Mr Seaton extolled everyone to get on their designated tram.
Once everyone was aboard, the trams moved off. Mr Seaton took the lead with Father Christmas aboard, while Blake followed in his brightly lit tram.
Keep everyone amused, Blake had said and once the tram moved off and Vila had checked that everyone had a ticket, he thought a limerick might cheer everyone up…
“There was a young man from Nantucket…”
“No,” Blake said, before Vila could hit his stride, “Not that one!”
“Okay, who wants to see some magic tricks?”
“Yes!!” was the resounding reply.

Avon hung back from the crowds as the excited multitudes boarded their respective trams and moved off, up to the ‘North Pole’.
He was concerned that the Federation might use the event as cover for Blake’s capture.
But suddenly, his attention was drawn to the Amusement Arcade down the road. The lights were flickering on and off.
Someone was where they shouldn’t be.

The young boy almost jumped out of his skin at the sound of Avon’s voice.
“It says no tilting or banging the machines.”
“It’s got my money and I want it back.”
“Why aren’t you with the rest of your party? They could well be on their way to see Father Christmas.”
“What’s the point? There’s no such thing as Father Christmas.”
“Oh? Who told you that?”
“Never mind who told me. Now is this machine going to give my money back? Or do I have to break it?”
“How much did you put in?”
“All my pocket money. It let me win, then took it all back.”
“As it was set up to. Although this one armed bandit was meant for another one armed bandit.”
“Who set it up?”
“You? You don’t look the type.”
“Yes, well, appearances can be deceptive. Now why are you here wrecking my handiwork instead of being with the rest of your group?”
“Because they don’t like me. They think I’m stand offish, arrogant, just because I’m brighter than they are.”
“So you are rebelling?”
“Yes I am. I don’t need them, I don’t need anyone.”
Avon laughed.
“What’s so funny?” the boy demanded.
“You sound just like me. And look where I ended up.”
“Looking after a load of old machines.”
“I wouldn’t call them old or machines, but someone has to look after them. Especially if you have to save one from himself…constantly.”
The boy could see Avon looking wistfully towards the tram station.
“Are your friends over there?”
“I suppose you could call them that. Maybe they are, but it’s difficult to know when you haven’t really had any real friends.”
“Like me.”
“It looks as though the last tram has gone up.”
Avon could see that the young boy’s demeanour had suddenly changed.
“What if we both do some rebelling?”
“Let’s take our own Polar Express tram up to the top station.”
“You know how to drive one of those things?”
“Absolutely. But remember, when we get up there you don’t say a word about there being no such person as Father Christmas. You could hurt a lot of people’s feelings.”
“I promise. By the way, what’s your name?”
“It’s… Chevron.”

Father Christmas had installed himself in the Grotto.
“Ho, ho, ho!” Gan bellowed out again.
“You’re really enjoying this, aren’t you?” Jenna said.
“Absolutely,” he replied.
“Shall I let the children in?” Cally asked, “It’s beginning to get chilly out there.”
“They will be all right, those ladies over there are keeping everyone supplied with mince pies and hot drinks,” Jenna pointed out.
“Can I have a mince pie?” Gan enquired.
“Of course you can. But let’s get started now.”
The two ladies in question with the mince pies were looking on in amazement.
“Are you sure Santa’s little helpers are supposed to wear leather trimmed with fur?” one asked.
“There’s nothing in the rules about it,” the other lady replied.
“But there aren’t any rules! Are there?”
“Not that I know off, so who are we to say?”

There was only one tram left in the lower station, the one that Avon had quickly learnt to drive that time.
“Are we allowed?” the boy asked.
“I don’t see anyone about to stop us,” Avon replied, noting that the two ladies who had previously commented on Cally and Jenna were staring in his direction.
“Who’s he?” one of the ladies asked.
“Well, by the look of his silver jacket trimmed with fur, he must be another of Santa’s little helpers!”

The tram moved off, with Avon steering it round the two bends that took the track out of the station.
“Once we reach a nice straight stretch, you can drive.”
“Really? Isn’t it difficult?”
“Just watch and learn…”

Sure enough, once on the straight stretch, Avon handed over the controls to the young boy.
He sat back in a seat and allowed him to take control.
As the tram rattled and screeched its way over the rails, Avon stared out at the quiet country side and the moonlit ponds.
He was glad that he had come along, after all, it made a change from being cooped up on the Liberator.
He looked at the young boy, quietly moving the controls and sounding the whistle. He was smiling.
“This is so good.”
“It is, isn’t it? If you do a good job of this, maybe I could persuade Mr Seaton to let you come during the holidays.”
“Do you think he’ll let me?”
“I’m sure it could be arranged. But you have to promise to continue your studies. Running away like that won’t solve anything.”
“I promise. Do you want to have another go driving? Or can I keep…?”
“You go ahead. It’s quite pleasant just sitting here watching the world go by.”
And so it was.
It had been a long time since Avon had had a chance to relax and he was relishing these few precious minutes.

The top station was blazing with a thousand lights and music was blaring out. The queue to see Father Christmas snaked round the building.
But no-one paid heed to the lone tram that pulled in and its one passenger eagerly joining the line of excited children.
“Where did you come from?” asked Blake.
“So, changed your mind then, Avon?” Vila smiled.
“Here, have a glass of mulled wine.”
Mr Seaton came into view beaming from ear to ear.
“This is better than I ever thought possible. I can’t thank you enough. I don’t think there’s anything else to top this.”
Then a white flake floated down and then another.
It was snowing and it made the whole scene even more magical.
All four gazed up at the sky.
“I think a toast is called for,” Mr Seaton announced.
They clinked their glasses together.
“Merry Christmas every one!!!”

Cold! You don't know the meaning of the word cold!
Cold is when you have ice on the INSIDE of your window!!

Sue's Book Shelf

Rebel Run Video
Very sorry this is a bit late, I completely forgot what day today was. Anyway, I put together a Blake’s 7 crossword! For an optimal Blake’s 7 experience, I recommend pressing the button to change the tile shape to hexagons.
The Blake’s 7 section of my blog, where I post fics, art, essays, etcetera.

Happy Holidays from Paula, Brad and our own Pilot 4-0 from Auron, Michael Troughton. Michael remembered his appearance on Blake's 7 fondly and laughed about his costume and the 'toilet seat' around his neck. He also commented on the drooling custard he had to dribble out of his mouth and the hours sitting in the same position, his back aching to get the shot. It was wonderful meeting him again and having our photo taken with him. All the best, Michael, and hope your book on your Dad, Patrick Troughton, is a best seller!
Resist the Host

What do we find behind the fourteenth door?

The Words!
(not to be confused with "The Word"!)

Are these texts forwarded in a blurred manner, is it a coded Federation message, or is it a lame joke from Orac?

What do you know about all these Blakes 7 texts ?
Fill in the right word in each box – the purple box will light up green if it is filled in correctly.
A box will light up white if you wrote the wrong word.
You have unlimited chances to fill in the correct word.

And please let me know the answers to the related questions in the comments thread.
Have Fun and Good Luck!

Click on Orac’s X-mas photo here below, it will take you to 12 incomplete texts.
And behind door 15......

We have another wonderful illustration from my friend. Some of you may remember his amazing Anime style illustration of Soolin on last years Advent Calander. This year he has Avon and Servalan in cahoots trying to escape or take over a spaceship or similar..... One slight (errr major) flaw but I'm sure you'll all be kind enough to overlook that (if you cant see it I'm not telling you LOL).
Edited by Tyce on 16-12-2023 01:26
I think you can guess what's coming....

TT will explain, continued, Series C and D

I wonder what happened to Avon to make him hate swimming so much?
Why doesn’t Zen put thoughts into the minds of the interlopers as in Space Fall?
Where does the other bracelet come from? Did Avon have two when he left Libby?
I can understand that Servalan had no choice but to wear Dayna’s purple frock, but why the strapping around her arm?
Surely they can hear Zen’s voice down the corridor?
What was Jenna’s ‘cargo ship’ doing near the war zone?
Have we ever decided how long since they regained the Liberator?
It seems a lot happens off screen.
What do volcanoes take for indigestion? (You should ask TT, he seems to know a lot. Yes, but he keeps it to himself).
So…we have power for the force wall, but not for propulsion?
Where is TT to explain these things?
Where exactly on Liberator is this hatch?
Why a construction worker should be aboard.... is also a mystery.
(TT) Actually I can explain now. Jarvik is helping re-film a new video for YMCA
What does ‘sub-organic’ mean, anyway?
Um, Avon, what’s to stop Servie from blasting you all to kingdom come once you disembark Libby?
Where the heck are those giant Kairos Krabs hiding the rest of the year?
Was there really a squirrel in the monitor, or did the rebels bring one with them?
We’ve been following Servalan for twenty-six days….so…why haven’t we blasted her to atoms?
Was that Earth in the background when the London went past? Is Orac using stock footage?
Why isn’t Avon using Orac?

I never understood Avon’s plan. Making the main attack with the easy-to-spot spaceship and sending the decoys in with the sneaky teleport?!?! Usually, you would do it the other way round. Maybe TT will explain it later.
(TT Don’t worry, I will.)
Atlan wants to knock out Fed cruisers. Why aren’t we recruiting him?
Can TT explain later how the android makes the decapitated head move its eyes and mouth.
Why would Muller’s lab have teleport shielding when only out heroes have teleport?
Please explain why Orac can’t control Slave.
Did those girls pile both those lads on one trolley at the same time?
What would be ‘all Soolin’s desires’?
Why are we blowing (up) the bridge? Why not just blow (up) the android?

How come they get an explanation of the shooting game but the previous lot didn’t?

D10 By the way, TT. Have you seen Ms Virn’s excellent list of Things You Need To Explain Later?
(TT No, I haven’t)
(Later: Ah, hold on, just catching up with the Advent Calendar. In terms of those questions, I’ll explain later)
"You're not sulking, I hope?"
The Computer Expert’s Costumes Quiz

The following cartoons revolve around the costumes and props of a certain computer expert. Your task is to fill in the blanks in the dialogue. Then read the letters in the boxes to find the solution. It describes the type of Horizon members who will probably enjoy this quiz the most.

What is waiting behind the eighteenth door...
Christmas can not happen without a jigsaw puzzle!
Click on the photo and enjoy! (this is not the jigsaw you will find)

Sorry I'm late - I'm still getting over Covid and slept in, or that's my excuse anyway. I also haven't had the energy to write a new story, as I hoped to do, so here is an old one. I do hope you haven't seen it before:

'Yes, but that's because you're a fool,' said Avon, coldly. 'And as for you,' - he turned to Cally - 'I suppose I should have expected you to side with him - doing what you're told, like a good little Auron.' He stalked off the flight deck.
Blake sighed - Cally could sense his anger and frustration. And Avon? He had been disappointed in her, she was almost sure, and she hugged that knowledge to herself because it meant that he thought of her as an ally, that he liked her. But happy as that made her, in this case Blake was right, and no affection for Avon would prevent her from saying so. She smiled again. Avon would get over it - he was human, after all.
Blake got up and began to check the ship's systems, moving from console to console, flicking switches moodily. He sighed again.
'What must you think of us, Cally?' he said. 'Leaving Auron and coming to this war-zone!' His despair was palpable.
'But I'm happy here, Blake. Auron wasn't what you think it was, really.' She put all the reassurance she could into her words, and her mind reached out too - from force of habit, as she knew that he would not feel it.
'Really?' He did not believe her.
'Really.' She smiled.
And there she had to leave it. She had tried to explain Auron to him, once, and he had heard what he wanted - that it was a place of harmony, where consensus was sought before any action was taken, and conflict was unheard of. A paradise - for Blake. How could she make him understand the truth?

'Harmony' and 'concord' had been her watchwords when she was growing up. She and her sisters had prized nothing more - the unity of their sibling group reflected in the greater unity of the people. How they had longed for the day when they would take their place in the council and discern the Mind of Auron with the rest! With what reverence did the elders talk of the great verbal Discernments of the old days, before genetic engineering had perfected the telepathic abilities of the Auronar, when debate had raged back and forth for days, with arguments first on one side then on the other, until a consensus began to emerge, resistance crumbled and faded, and the Mind of Auron was revealed in its glorious clarity! Now, with telepathy, everything was supercharged. Discernments were still verbal, out of courtesy to the older generation, but the numbers of Auronar able to connect mentally grew with every year, and increasingly it was the younger generation, able to think and feel as one, who were key to the discernment process. Her kinsfolk spoke with awe of the joy and serenity of the unanimous Mind. In a state of eager excitement she approached her first Discernment.

And was disappointed. Unity and serenity were there, indeed - but she was also painfully aware, just at the edges of thought, of the cost - of opinions silenced, of minds hurt. Just as on board the Liberator, there was conflict, but the rhetoric of the 'Mind of Auron' did not allow for this. Once a course of action had been discerned, assent was required - not the grudging assent so often displayed by Avon, submitting to the majority vote but always ready to say 'I told you so' - no, this was the Mind of Auron, so everyone must be in wholehearted agreement. No verbal - and, with telepathy, no mental - reservations were permitted. Active enthusiasm was all. Any feelings of mental coolness were met with a barrage of minds reaching out, explaining, guiding, beseeching, cajoling, insisting - bullying. There, Cally had thought it. It was bullying. She could not have thought so then, of course. Then the minds would have come, ready to explain, to correct, to help - when what she had wanted was respect for her position, even if they could not understand it. Bleak and lonely as her life was now, it did at least allow her to call things by their proper names.

At first, she had thought that she was the only one who felt this way. None of her sisters did. But slowly she began to sense that other minds had the same reservations. They reached out, and began a group-think of their own, reinforcing one another. The Mind of Auron reacted with alarm - and incomprehension. How could they want to be different? The blandishments, insistence, emotional blackmail – something else she could not have thought then - continued, now accompanied by a pain and confusion that were worse than anything. The rebels, hurt and miserable in turn, refused to give in. Gradually, the rift widened, and eventually the only solution was exile - to cut themselves off from kin-group and siblings, all the minds that had touched theirs every day of their lives, to flee into agonising loneliness because the alternative was worse.

Exiled, they made contact with others, with humans. Cally had gradually learned to touch their minds, trying to find solace in the faint flickers of their thought and feeling - such a feeble substitute for the sister-love and group-thought she craved! But, and this was a big but, the humans could disagree. Avon's sarcastic rejoinders to almost everything Blake said sometimes felt like conflict for conflict's sake, but often he was right, and when he was Blake's plans were better for his criticism. And Blake allowed disagreements, took them seriously, valued Avon, even at his most obstructive. Certainly he wanted his own way - but compared to the Auronar, his methods were crude, and he knew that if the crew united against him he would have to admit defeat. And even in defeat he had the luxury of believing that he was right.

It was inefficient, certainly, this human way of working, and there was no doubt that it exacted a high emotional price, but it did work. They bickered, fought - but they pulled together, and, because they allowed a variety of opinions, they were far stronger than the Auronar. No Blake, thought Cally fondly, watching him, unity is much overrated, and conflict by no means to be despised.
If I have posted this one before, here is another one. I'm pretty sure I haven't used it.

I told you not to do it, Roj - I begged you not to do it. Gauda Prime was never going to be a good place to start the revolution - too far gone, too sunk in its own corruption. I could see that after two weeks, Roj - and you could as well, don't pretend that you couldn't. But you were always so stubborn. You kept saying that they were criminals, just as we on the Liberator had been criminals, and we could make a team of them, just as we had been a team on the Liberator.

Seriously, Roj, the Liberator? A team? Who in that crew proved trustworthy? Gan, going beserk with that malfunctioning limiter - and who knows what he would have been without it? Vila? Very clever, certainly, very useful - but what a pathetic snivelling coward! Hold a gun against his head and he would do anything! When you left, did he look for you? No, always one to take the path of least resistance, was Vila - and that meant staying with Avon. Cally - the famous revolutionary? Well, she abandoned you too, didn't she? I always told you you couldn't trust aliens. Besides, she was besotted with Avon, anyone with half an eye could see that! And as for Avon - well, you found out the hard way, my poor darling, that Kerr Avon was never interested in anyone but Kerr Avon. He put himself first, second, and third - always. After Star One, after the war - did he come after you? Not him! He lost no time in picking up a new crew - and using the LIberator for petty piracy, as far as I could see. He only came when his base was discovered, his allies gone - when he had no other option at all. And did he come to join you, as you hoped? No, he came to betray you, came in the Federation's pay - that's what they're saying now - that he shot you and left his crew to rot and saved his own wretched skin. Oh, I know that they say on the viscasts that there was a body - but I've heard differently. And when I catch up with that stinking Judas he will wish he had never been born, I swear that on your grave, Roj.

Dearest Roj, you always saw the best in everyone, even when it wasn't there. I loved you for that - for that and for so many other things - but it was a weakness, in the end. I wish so much that you had known how well I was doing - how I went back to Jevron after my faked death and got in touch with Nordhaus again, and how we started up a smuggling network in the Harmony system - smuggling food and medicine to the squatters, and spreading the message too. I kept the faith, Roj, and would have done, even if no-one else had. And I was just going to get in touch with you again, when he beat me to it. Avon. And now what am I left with? The cause? You were my cause, Roj, my hope, my life, my only love - and what in this wide empty universe can I possibly do without you?
I hope you're all being very, very good because
Don't philosophise at me you electronic moron.
A bit of an explanation here first. During the start of the covid epidemic, a few friends of ours decided we all needed to keep in touch without touching as it were, and created what we call our 'Salon' which is a bi-monthly song fest over Zoom. It was so eagerly accepted we are still doing it, even though covid is not what it was in the early days of 2020. Each time there is a theme which we use to choose songs to do for the rest of our friends in the Salon, which often is between 12 and 20 people participating. Brad and I have done our share of songs, many of them wacky and strange, which are our favorites, and I thought it would be entertaining, I hope, for you all to see a few of our selections for Salon.

In this first selection, Brad goes it alone, singing Gilbert and Sullivan's immortal song, Modern Major General. I often am the idea man, or woman to tell the truth, and in this video I made all the props and the puppet, Gilbert. In the second selection, we did the Marx Brother's song from their film Horsefeathers, 1932, called 'I'm Against it', where I did the hat Brad wears, plus got roped into singing Zeppo's part in the song. As you can see, it's all done for fun and entertainment and both songs were wildly praised, which gives you an idea as to what friends we do have! <grin> Please enjoy our amateur silliness and Happy Holidays!
Resist the Host

trevor travis
TT and Og Productions Proudly Present:

Avon was unconscious after managing to force the head onto the android. He really must stop getting knocked out every week – it’s no good for him.

“Prognosis, Orac”, asked Soolin. She was looking lovely.

Orac answered: “Prospect for organic humanoid life is dependent on one condition.”

Dayna knew what she must do with the explosives. In terms of how she got the explosives off the Liberator, I’ll explain later.

However, as she approached the android, Dayna mused: “Something’s not quite right here. Tarrant, help me get this thing back on its feet.” Together they hauled the android upright. “I thought so”, said Dayna, put her hands up to the android’s head, and pulled away the front. It was a mask.

As she pulled it away, everything gasped at the face revealed underneath. “MULLER!”, they all exclaimed.

Muller had been rumbled. He knew the game was up. “I never was a scientist”, he explained. “I lied on my application form to the Robot Development Cartel. The android never existed. It was all a ruse. I’m just a yoghurt manufacturer. I came up with a clever plan to fake my death, so that the Robot Development Cartel would pay out to my widow and then murdered her so that I could take the money myself. And I would have gotten away with it… if it hadn't been for you meddling kids!"

Vila couldn’t wait to get back to Xenon Base to drink some more of Dorian’s finest wine. “Well, that’s resolved then”.

“One moment!”, said Orac. “Muller was a scientist, he worked alongside Ensor, my creator.”

“In that case, who’s this?”, asked Dayna.

“Let’s find out!”, exclaimed Tarrant and ripped off the Muller mask. “VENA!”, they all exclaimed.

“Why?”, demanded Soolin.

Vena said: “Muller was a fool! He was responsible for one of the greatest scientific creations of all time and he was still being paid a pittance to the Robot Development Cartel. I came up with a plan to steal the android and then sell to the highest bidder. I loved him and hated having to kill him. But do you have any idea of how much Oxo I could buy with the proceeds? It was the perfect plan. And I would have gotten away with it… if it hadn't been for you meddling kids!"

Avon had groggily regained consciousness. He stepped back onto the bridge. “That doesn’t make sense. If the android was you, then where is it for you to sell? No, I think you’re someone else.” He reached forward and ripped off the Vena mask. “BLAKE!”, both Vila and Avon exclaimed.

“Is it him?”, asked Tarrant.

“It's him”, confirmed Vila.

Avon was already suspicious. What was Blake doing in the android costume? What was he planning? “Have you betrayed us? Have you betrayed me?”, he exclaimed.

“I set all this up!”, said Blake.

“Yes!”. Avon produced a massive gun from nowhere. He’d been taking tips from Dayna.

Dayna stepped forward. “Hold on! It can’t be Blake. Servalan told us he was dead.”

Avon snarled: “And you believed her?”

“Even so, I’d like to make sure.” Dayna grabbed Blake’s mask and it came away in her hands, revealing another face. “DEL GRANT!”, they all exclaimed.

“This had better be good”, said Avon to his old adversary. He was still holding the gun.

Del Grant looked at Avon with a cold expression. “I found out what you’d done! That you really had killed Anna this time. So, I came up with a plan to infiltrate Xenon Base disguised as the android and then murder you when you were bathing with your little yellow rubber ducky. And I would have gotten away with it… if it hadn't been for you meddling kids!"

Soolin suddenly said: “Oh no!”

“What’s wrong?”, asked Vila.

“Can’t you see? Del Grant has ginger hair when he’s actually blond. And you know what the means.” Vila gave her a blank look, so she continued. “It means we’re stuck in one of TT’s stories”. At that moment, there was a distant rumble in the background.

Well worked out Soolin!

Soolin drew her gun. “Be forewarned TT. No steamy scenes in the Xenon Base shower room this year, or I’ll use this!” Alright, no need to get all hostile, my pretty one.

Soolin stepped onto the bridge and removed the Del Grant mask. “PAULA!”, everyone exclaimed.

“He’s not ginger!”. Paula waved her Welsh Street Sign furiously.

Soolin was getting tired of all the tomfoolery. She removed the Paula mask. “LORD PERCY PERCY!”, everyone exclaimed. Avon enquired: "Lord Percy Percy, what is that on the front of your tunic?"

Percy replied: "It's a brooch - a brooch cunningly fashioned from pure green."

Avon wasn't impressed. "Well now, it looks like you’ve sneezed."

Well, we’ve got to have an obligatory Blackadder reference.

“TT, stop this now!”, said Soolin, as there was another rumble, slightly louder this time. She removed Percy’s mask and revealed: “DAVE LISTER!”

Soolin sighed, removed the mask and revealed another face. They were all baffled expect Dayna, who exclaimed: “Oh no! It’s Hugbot from Horizon.”

“Who’s he?”, asked Soolin.

“He’s always trying to kiss me. He once even turned up dressed as a bullet, asking if that would help.” She turned to Hugbot. “What are you up to this time?”

“It was a clever plan to disguise myself as the android and then get you to snog it. And I would have gotten away with it… if it hadn't been for you meddling kids!"

Soolin wasn’t buying this latest explanation at all. She removed the Hugbot mask. “SOOLIN?” said the rest of the crew of Scorpio in incredulity.

Soolin shook her head in disbelief. “TT, I don’t have a twin. Explain… not later… but now!”

Oh, put that gun away, pretty one. The explanation is quite simple. We’re in the middle of a Prisoner rewatch on Horizon. It’s just a nod to that. I suggest you remove the mask and see who’s underneath.

Soolin did so, to reveal: “SUPREME COMMANDER SERVALAN!”

Servalan purred. “Yes, that’s right, it was me all along. I came up with a plan to finally get my hands on Orac and wipe you all out at the same time. And I would have gotten away with it… if it hadn't been for you meddling kids!"

Avon and Dayna both raised his guns, but Soolin and Tarrant pushed them away. “It can’t be Servalan!”, Soolin said. “She’s not contracted to appear in this episode.”

Soolin moved forward, ready to remove the next mask. She was starting to get fed of us, and was thinking maybe it was time for a shower…

“Stop right there, TT!”, she said, while pointing her gun at me, while there was a further rumble in the background. Okay, I get the message, pretty one. Let’s get on with the next identity…

Soolin removed the mask. “NICK JOSEPH!”, they all exclaimed.

“What was your dastardly plan?”, asked Vila.

“I don’t have one”, admitted Nick. “You meddling kids have removed one too many mask between you… and you’re left with the actor who played the Muller android. “

Dayna mused. “Well, that’s a bit of anti-climax, but let’s back to the base. Having said that, shall we make sure?”

She grabbed the face of Nick Joseph and pulled it away and she was shocked to find a familiar face. “OG!”, they all exclaimed.

“I’m lost”, admitted Vila. “Og, why were you disguised as the Muller android?”

“Me thought it was fun, charging around and chasing you. WHERE IS ORRRRRRRRRRRRAC!”, said Og putting on his false android voice.

“I don’t believe it!”, said Soolin. “Just for a joke?”

Tarrant stepped forward. “I’m not sure I do believe it." He stepped forward, grabbed Og’s face and yanked hard. To no avail.

“Me advising you to stop that or me get angry”, said Og. Tarrant took no heed of the warning and yanked harder.

Og had had enough, pushed Tarrant away and then charged him from the rear with his horns. Tarrant flew up into the air and disappeared “He’s gone into orbit”, Og advised. “Don’t worry, Xenon isn’t much more than a planetoid, and his orbit will decay, and he’ll land in a couple of days!” Og noticed Dayna’s worried expression. “What’s wrong?”

“Have you ever seen Tarrant make a successful landing?”, she said.

“Let’s get back to base”, said Soolin. “Can I borrow your explosives, Dayna? I’m going to blow up the shower room before TT gets any of his usual ideas.”

A rumble, far louder than the previous ones, could be heard. This one wasn’t going away and the noise rose until it was a complete cacophony.

“What the hell is that?”, said Soolin with her hands over her ears.

“Ruh roh!” exclaimed Og. “Me thinks you’ve made one too many breach of the fourth wall?”

Vila looked perplexed. “There’s no walls around for miles?”

Og answered him. “But what about the bridge that we’ve been stood on.” They all looked at the bridge. It was indeed very impressive, comprising of three great four-tower cantilever structures. “There’s no fourth wall around… but me thinks this is the Forth Bridge!”, Og shouted above the din.

"Zoinks!", said Vila. "Leg it!" They all ran at maximum speed off the bridge, as it collapsed in on itself and fell into the stream.

Orac advised them: “Prospects for organic humanoid life are now secured.”

“Wait a moment”, said Og, “me thinks there’s one more unmasking to do.”

He stepped forward to where Orac was nestling in the grass and pulled away the front to reveal: “A DRINKS CABINET!”, everyone exclaimed. “Now we’re talking”, said Vila.

“Well, it is Christmas!”, said Og. “Anyone want a drink?”

Just then something whizzed above head. It fired a bullet directly at Og. “I know there’s shooting stars at Christmas, but that’s ridiculous”, said Vila.

It wasn’t a shooting star. It was a shooting Tarrant. He scored a direct hit, but Og just laughed. “It tickles!”, he said. Tarrant disappeared back out of view.

They all sat on the grass bank, sipping the contents of the drinks cabinet, and were in good spirits. Even Avon didn’t seem to be that grumpy. It must have been one of those rare days where he hadn’t put his studded underpants on inside out.

Tarrant whizzed overhead again. This time he was singing. "There's a distant star..."

“Scooby Dooby Doo!”, said Og. “And Merry Christmas to everyone on Horizon!”


In the meantime, Roj Blake was a very happy man.

“TT, you didn’t kill me in your Christmas tale this year”, he exclaimed. “In fact, Tarrant ended up worse off!”

But Blake had been careless. He hadn’t taken notice of his surroundings. Or considered that sometimes I’ll include a second reference to a certain other show. “I'm alive! I'm alive!”. He was in his element. “Zen, unpack Rachel and get out the puncture repair kit! I’M ALIVE!”

At that point, Blake brought both his fists down hard on two innocuous-looking crates in the cargo hold that just happened to be labelled explosives.

Edited by trevor travis on 24-12-2023 17:01
Vote Og.
Well, since it's now the 24th free for all, and since Huggy asked nicely....

It's not exactly Christmasy, but it is about cold and snow.....

Cockatoo? What Cockatoo? I don't see a Cockatoo!

Happy Holidays from three really long-time members of Horizon. We've all been members since at least the early 80's! Taken during Chicago TARDIS convention, in the Dealer's Room, here's Brad, our friend of over 30 years, Sue Cowley (and Big Finish maven now) and me, Paula. Who says Blake's 7 doesn't bring people together? <grin>
Resist the Host

I'd like to wish everyone on here and the Horizon B7 fans a Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year and thankyou for helping me keep sane these last few years.
I'll see you all at Steventon next year!!
Meanwhile, here's a certain rather nice computer expert in a black flowing shirt bearing a certain fave of mine...
Cold! You don't know the meaning of the word cold!
Cold is when you have ice on the INSIDE of your window!!

Sue's Book Shelf

Rebel Run Video
* Happy Holidays! *

Instead of a planned online scavenger hunt, where I encountered a hefty paywall for me, I have two new jigsaw puzzles for you.

*It won't be lonely this Christmas*
Avon has decorated his cabin nicely and is ready for Christmas. But… he misses his faithful companion. Could it be that someone is using him as bait?
Click on the image to get to the jigsaw that will make you see.


*Where are the boys?*
The girls are not sure. An encounter with …a…a…oh…ho…an alien?
Click, the image will take you there.

This is an actual new story. It started with a suggestion from Joe Dredd on the Blake rewatch thread yesterday, that it would be interesting to remake 'It's a Wonderful Life' with Avon instead of George Bailey. I have taken that idea, and added elements of another well-loved Christmas tale. So, with grateful thanks to mighty Dredd for seizing my troubled mind and sending it in this direction, I give you:

It’s a wonderfully rebellious Christmas carol (or something like that)

The financier Kai Carter leaned back in his comfortable chair. Outside, the sun was just setting behind the hills on the other side of Lake Serenity, and a cool evening breeze brought the sound of the water lapping the lake shore into the room. Carter smiled. Life was good.

‘Any more messages, ORAC?’ he asked.

‘Just one,’ the computer replied. ‘From the President and High Council of Betafarl.’


There was the merest hint of amusement in ORAC’s tone as it answered. ‘They are indeed proposing a deal to enable them to buy weapons to fight the Federation, Citizen Carter, but I do not think that they have discovered your former identity. They appear to be basing their request on the assistance you gave to the Selmaron of Horizon last month.’

‘Then tell them no,’ replied Carter, angrily. ‘Why don’t these people understand? I helped Horizon because it benefits me – I now have a substantial measure of control over the Monopasium mining operation. Betafarl can offer me nothing similar. Am I some sort of bleeding heart liberal, that I should fund every rag-tag bunch of misfits and malcontents in the galaxy? I tried that, ORAC – I tried that twenty years ago, and much good it did me or anyone else. I look out for myself now. Is there anything else?’


‘Well then goodnight.’

He got up, removed ORAC’s key (the computer gave its customary squawk as he did so), closed the window, and went through to his well-appointed bedroom. He undressed and slipped between sheets of the finest Senthor silk. He was asleep in minutes.

Awaking in the middle of a prodigiously tough snore, he became aware that the room was not as dark as it should have been. A dim light was shining, and further investigation suggested that it was coming from the door to his living room. He got up, wrapped himself in his dressing gown, and went to investigate.

It was his room. There was no doubt about that. But it had undergone a surprising transformation. The glass in the window had broken, and a bitter wind came through it – came through the roof as well, as the ceiling had partially collapsed. Of his beautiful furniture and well-chosen works of art there was not a sign. Instead, there was a heap of rubble in the corner of the room, and perched precariously on the rubble was – Roj Blake.

Blake. Blake as Carter had last seen him, in the bunker on Gauda Prime, in trousers, jerkin and full-sleeved shirt, his face disfigured by a monstrous scar that partly closed one eye. Blake with his chest torn open and bloodstained from the shots with which he, Carter, had killed him, but somehow alive, glaring at Carter from his one good eye. Carter recoiled. This is a dream, he told himself, wake up – but he didn’t wake up.

‘Avon.’ Blake stood up and moved towards him. Carter moved back. He had a horrible feeling that this had happened before.

‘Stand still!’ he said. ‘And my name is not Avon. I haven’t used that name for twenty years.’

‘Well, Carter then.’ Blake considered a moment. ‘No, I prefer Avon. I think I will call you Avon, if you don’t mind.’

‘What are you here for, then?’ Carter tried to assume a boldness he didn’t feel. ‘Your revenge?’

‘No,’ replied Blake. ‘Your welfare.’ Carter could not help feeling that a night of unbroken sleep might have been more conducive to that end. As if he had heard that thought, Blake continued, ‘Your reclamation, then. You said earlier that your rebellion against the Federation had done no-one any good. I am here to show you what would have happened if you had not rebelled.’

Carter looked round. ‘So I would not have bought this house,’ he said. And it would be standing empty and derelict. So what?’

‘It’s rather worse than that,’ said Blake. ‘Come to the window.’

Carter followed him, and looked out on a landscape he barely recognised. Lake Serenity had vanished. In its place was a dry plain, covered with strange, alien-looking hexagonal structures – apparently buildings, but not of any kind Carter knew.

‘These are Andromedan buildings,’ said Blake, in answer to Carter’s inquiring glance. ‘Without you to raise the alarm of the Andromedan invasion, without the Liberator to hold them off until the Federation could arrive, the Andromedans advanced completely unopposed – to begin with. They now control half the galaxy – including this sector.’

‘Then the Federation . . .?’

‘Oh the Federation exists all right. President Servalan – yes, because she never stupidly tried to destroy you and gain the Liberator, she is still president – controls the other half. Look.’ He waved an arm at the wall of the room, and a vis-screen appeared. A news programme came into focus.

‘Today President Servalan’ – she could be seen, regal in black satin, on a balcony – ‘gave a major audience in her presidential palace on Betafarl . . .’


‘Yes, you never gave Zukan the formula for the antidote to Pylene 50, so the Betafarlians could not resist absorption into the Federation. The massacre there put Zondawl to shame. Servalan does not brook resistance. She has taken Horizon too, incidentally – she needs Monopasium 239 for her ships.’

The vis-cast continued. ‘She gave a demonstration of her latest acquisition, the Tachyon Funnel developed by Vindus Egrorian, who so sadly did not live to see his invention put to use . . .’

‘Egrorian was never tempted to deal with you,’ said Blake, ‘and you did not destroy his funnel trying to lighten his shuttle.’

‘. . . by destroying the planet Kaarn, site of a major Andromedan listening post . . .’

‘But Kaarn is where the Auron gene stocks are! Did the Andromedans destroy them?’

‘No. Servalan did, when she wiped out the population of Auron with a plague. You were not there to stop that, either.’

‘She pledged to make immediate use of the funnel to destroy the Andromedan base on Lau. It is hoped that this should make it possible for the Federation to re-take the third sector with minimal casualties . . .’

‘Lau! But that’s where we are . . .’

‘Yes, Avon.’

And Carter turned his eyes in horror to the window, where the mountains stood out black against an unearthly orange glow . . .

And sat up. He was in bed, and the light coming through the window was the ordinary light of morning. The sound of water lapping the shores of Lake Serenity also came through the window. Carter got up and looked out. Everything back to normal. He sighed deeply.

He was Kai Carter, not Ebenezer Scrooge, so he did not sing, dance, laugh, cry or buy any monstrous turkeys to send to anyone. Instead he sat on his bed for a long time, thinking. Then he smiled, wryly. Then he got dressed, ate breakfast, and switched ORAC on. The computer whirred into life.

‘ORAC,’ he said, ‘send a message to the President and High Council of Betafarl.’
Edited by AnneArthur on 24-12-2023 14:32
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