(Colin Davies) reviewed by Marian de Haan


A bit complicated - I'm not sure I understand all that manipulating with the gold - but this is compensated by the high level of entertainment. Servalan being the one behind Keiller is tediously obvious, though - from the moment Avon deduces that someone else is trying to use Keiller to get to them, we know who that someone is. IMO the story would have worked far better with Keiller - against all expectations - turning out to be the schemer and getting the better of Avon.

After his lapse under the influence of the Sand in the previous episode, Vila is back to showing his more ruthless side here. He certainly manages to frighten Keiller. [Not that it needs that much to frighten Keiller :-)] Avon complimenting Vila when he's not there to hear it is also very in character. Steven Pacey gives a very good performance of Tarrant faking to be tranquillised. Avon and Soolin are again proving that they are an efficient team. Nice to have, after Tynus, another shady figure from Avon's past emerge. Pity we don't get more details about their former relationship. Avon accepting Servalan's money without counting it seems very out of character.

There's real tension when it looks like Avon and Soolin have been killed. [Well, logic suggests that they can't be dead, but this being B7, you can never really be sure, can you? :-)] The drugged Dayna knocking Avon's gun from his hand at the worst possible moment is the kind of unforeseen incident that makes the show so life-like.

Like any good B7 episode, this one contains a lot of subtle humour, like Keiller insisting on calling Avon "Old friend", to Avon's apparent annoyance, and those nasty looks everyone is casting Keiller after Avon and Soolin have returned to Scorpio.

That laugh at the end is so typical Avon - recognising the irony and still being able to laugh at himself and accept the cruel jokes that fate is throwing him. [To me that proves that he is *not* mad. :-)]

Personal appreciation: ****

I love this one until the last ten minutes, when Servalan turns out to be the puppeteer behind Keiller. [Surprise, anyone?] A pity she had to be dragged in. On first viewing I kept hoping against hope that the end would be more original and we would be spared Servalan's appearance, but no. A great chance for a surprise ending was missed.

That confrontation with Servalan doesn't feel right, this seems to be the perfect opportunity for shooting her and her mutoids. They wouldn't have stood a chance under the combined firepower of Soolin, Avon and Dayna. B7 has been under the curse of "the main Baddie can't be killed" from the beginning, but refraining from taking the opportunity here really causes my suspension of disbelieve to snap.

The Space Princess is an original design for a spacecraft, although one wonders how it can land :-) (Judith - lots of ships in B7 can't land. There are several references to shuttles in the series. I seem to recall that the modeller converted the ship from something radically different - hence the unusual shape.) The sighing sound of the doors sliding open and shut gives the ship a very specific personality. That hypnotising tune once they're on the cruise enhances the air of drugged comfort for the passengers.

Keiller's jacket provides some much-needed colour. Those ZVP suits are so awful that even Paul Darrow can't make them look good. Tarrant looks gorgeous in that black sweater, a pity we didn't see him more often in that instead of those pirate like outfits that really don't do him justice.


"A thief and a good one." "And frequently right." But he wouldn't be telling Vila that in his face, would he? :-)

"I've known Avon a long time..." Pity we don't hear more of this, because Keiller seems the kind of blundering fool Avon would want to avoid as much as he can.

Them not telling Keiller about the teleport is very S4 [Blake would have insisted on telling him :-)]. But if the Scorpio crew is getting such big news on the grapevine, oughtn't Keiller to know about the teleport? Since the Federation still has not managed to invent a teleport system, the fact that the Scorpio has one would be its most outstanding factor.

I love that lusty look :-) Sign that Avon is still sane enough to recognise a good thing when he sees one.

When they find out that the anti-detection cube has stopped working, why doesn't Keiller activate it again?

"I'll cover!" Oh, isn't he heroic? :-)

In the airlock shaft, is Avon tripping or deliberately falling down in order to avoid the guard's gunfire? [To me it looks like he's shot, but as he seems unharmed later on that can't be the case.] Why don't the guards finish him off while he's down? (Judith: he *always* looks unharmed later on whenever he's shot. He's a hero...)

Both when teleporting Avon and Soolin up from the Space Princess and teleporting Avon from the airlock, Vila seems extremely slow, even for him.

How did Servalan get hold of that multi-wheeled car from Stardrive? [Or is this another? Universal design?]

What happens to Keiller? One moment Servalan tells him she'll leave him on the planet, the next we see him lying apparently dead. [Did he go berserk and try to strangle her? A pity he didn't succeed, that would have been poetic justice. :-)] (Judith: she didn't say she'd leave him *alive*.)

Avon's right, a "greedy gangster" is exactly what Servalan is.

What Could Have Been Done To Improve It:

- Leave out Servalan at the end and make Keiller the one to do the exchange-trick with the gold. That would have been a real surprise as he seems such a blundering fool.

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