Cabaret Fun from The Reduced Blake's 7 Company

Cabaret Fun from The Reduced Blake's 7 Company, by Matthew Adams, Iain Coleman, Una McCormack and Alison Page.

Copyright of the authors (Adams, Coleman, McCormack and Page).

Terry Nation: Alison Page Director of Programming: Iain Coleman Chris Boucher: Una McCormack Announcer and Vere Lorrimer: Matthew "Douglas Smith" Adams.

 [Director of Programming is sitting on his desk, chatting on the telephone. Terry Nation enters.]

Announcer: [off] Knock knock, knock knock.

TN: Hello, is this the office of the Director of Programming for BBC1?

DP: No.

[Terry looks pointedly at huge "Director of Programming" sign]

DP: Yes!

[The Director keeps chatting on the phone while Terry speaks]

TN: In the spirit of expositional dialogue, my name is Terry Nation. You may remember me from such series as "The Survivors", the bad episodes of "The Avengers", and of course "Doctor Who". [opens coat revealing huge Dalek T-shirt] I invented the Daleks, you know!

DP: [wearily] Yes, quite. So, Mr Nation, what ground-breaking concept do you have for us this time?

[As Terry delivers the next speech, his vision is illustrated by a series of crudely photocopied pictures of the lead actors on shoddy-looking sticks]

TN: I see a curly-haired, Welsh hero, a taciturn anti-hero, a gorgeous blonde pilot... A braless villainess for the dads! A leather-clad villain for the mums! Computers - two, at least - and... oh, that'll do for now.

DP: None of them are called Tarrant, I hope?

[Terry rips off a section of script and tosses it aside]

TN: Nope.

DP: And you will manage fifty minutes every week, _without_ padding?

[Terry freezes, like a rabbit caught in headlights. Announcer enters.]

A: And thus thirteen episodes of Blake's 7 were made, and transmitted on BBC1. And they were... watched.

[Terry and Announcer exit. Chris Boucher enters.]

CB: Excuse me, is this the office of the Director of Programming for BBC1?

DP: [Taps huge desk sign confidently] Yes!

CB: My name is Chris Boucher. You may remember me from such popular television dramas as "Shoestring", "Juliet Bravo", and of course "Doctor Who".

DP: [contemptuously] Ah, yes. So, Mr Boucher, what plans do you have to revitalise this flagship sci-fi series?

CB: [Very intense and earnest. During this speech, Chris grapples and mounts the shocked and perturbed Director, pinning him to the desk] I want to probe the darkest recesses of the renegade male. I want to slash deep into the heart of his being. The depth, the intensity of his struggle against a regime that cannot understand, cannot tolerate his way of life. A penetrating insight into an inappropriate relationship across the divides of power and corruption!

[Announcer enters]

A: Ring ring, ring ring.

[Director answers phone, still pinned to desk. Announcer exits]

DP: Mrs Whitehouse, how _good_ to hear from you! Yes, Mrs Whitehouse, absolutely. Bye. [Puts phone down, starts to reassert authority over Chris] Tell you what, why don't you sack half the cast and introduce a giant rubber spider?

CB: I can do spider!

DP: And remember, fifty minutes a week or we'll be screwed by Charlie's Angels!

[Chris and Director exit. Announcer enters]

A: Twenty-six episodes later, and the BBC have a problem: Blake's 7.

[Announcer exits. Vere Lorrimer enters, sits on desk and lights up a massive cigar with "Vere" written on it in large gold letters. Director enters, urgently.]

DP: Are you Vere Lorrimer?

VL: Yes.

DP: First Director of "Sooty and Sweep?"

VL: Ye-es.

DP: I am the Director of Programming at the BBC.

VL: Oooooh yes!

DP: Vere, we have a problem. No-one else can help. I've sacked the cast, destroyed the set, destroyed the ship. I've even torn up the scripts and thrown them onto the bonfire of old Doctor Who episodes!

VL: Is that still burning, love?

DP: Oh yes. But I still can't kill this bloody programme! What do you suggest?

[Vere looks thoughtful for a moment, then inspiration strikes]

VL: Silver frocks, darling!

[The Blake and Avon sticks are brought forward, and turned round to reveal the words...]


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