Script for Redemption

by Terry Nation

Directed by: Vere Lorrimer

(c) 1978 by the British Broadcasting Corporation. Series created by Terry Nation. This is a partial dialogue transcript for research purposes and is not for sale under any circumstances. Format (c) 1993 by Susan Clerc, Micky DuPree, and Frances Teagle.

Dramatis Personae:

Roj BlakeGareth Thomas
Jenna StannisSally Knyvette
Kerr AvonPaul Darrow
CallyJan Chappell
Vila RestalMichael Keating
Olag GanDavid Jackson
ZenPeter Tuddenham
OracPeter Tuddenham
Alta 1Sheila Ruskin
Alta 2Harriet Philpin
SlaveRoy Evans

David CharlesGordon Somers
Paul MenziesDave Ponting
Peter ClareJohn Curry
Peter RoyMike Mungarven
Ray Faulkner

[A starfield, then an exterior shot of Liberator]

[Flight deck]

BLAKEAll right, Zen. Run it again for me, will you?

ZENConfirmed. Play back, normal speed. [The main screen shows Orac's prediction of Liberator exploding]

[Exterior shot of Liberator, then shots of maintenance work in progress - Cally and Jenna in teleport section, Gan and Vila in a subcontrol room]

[Flight deck]

BLAKEOrac, why won't you give us the background to that prediction?

ORACBecause that would invalidate the prediction.

BLAKEAnd if we knew the future in detail we could change it, and so it wouldn't be the future.

ORACCorrect. That is the paradox of prediction.

BLAKEAll right, Zen, standby to run it again -- at half speed.


AVONSlow or fast, it will still look the same.

BLAKEHow long have you been there?

AVONI was here when you came in.

BLAKEWhy didn't you speak?

AVONI had nothing in particular to say. Besides, you looked as though you were planning something you didn't want the rest of us to know about.

BLAKEOrac's prediction still hasn't come into effect. I am trying to find some reason why he was wrong.

AVONHave you found what you want?


AVONThat's because you're looking for the wrong things.

BLAKEWhat exactly does that mean?

AVONIt's a common enough failing. Now if you've finished with Zen, I'd quite like to get on; we have a malfunction on the intermediate range sensors. I need to check the systems.

BLAKELeave it! If I've missed something, I want to know what it is now, Avon.

AVONWell now, all you had to do was ask. Zen! Replay, half speed.

ZENConfirmed. [Replays prediction in slow motion]

AVONStop. All right, reverse to the instant before the explosion. [The explosion sequence is run backward] Freeze it there. All the reassurance you could want.

BLAKEDo you think you could forget your superiority complex for a moment and get on with it?

AVONAll right. But first of all, let us examine the nature of prediction. The human mind is capable of seeing into the short- range future with reasonable accuracy. For example, imagine that you are standing on the edge of a cliff.

BLAKEAs long as you're not standing behind me.

AVON[Pause] There are a number of alternative futures. You could take a pace forward and plunge to your death. The cliff could crumble under your feet with the same result. A gust of wind could carry you over.

BLAKEAll right, all right, yes. But the probability is that I would turn round and walk away again.

AVONExactly. You have just made a prediction based on the known facts. A computer works on precisely the same principle.

BLAKEBut all you're saying is that prediction is not immutable fact.

AVONRight. If you hadn't gone near the cliff in the first place, you wouldn't have had to face any of the inherent dangers.


AVONZen, selective magnification. Show us the background.

ZENConfirmed. [Zooms into starfield on the main screen]

AVONLook at it, Blake. Look at the configuration of the stars. That position is unique in the universe.

BLAKEAh! Of course. Zen can give us a precise astral fix and tell us exactly where the event is supposed to have happened.


BLAKEAll right, where is it?

AVONIt's in the Twelfth Sector. Astral point seven eight one.

BLAKEWhat? But that's halfway across the galaxy. Now if we make sure that we never go into that area, then the prediction becomes void. I'll tell the others. Uh, how long have you known?

AVONOh, several hours.

BLAKEAnd you just let the others go on worrying?

AVONWell, all they had to do was ask. Perhaps in future, they won't rely on you to provide all the answers. [An explosion rocks the ship. They both go down, with Avon's arm draped over Blake]

[Jenna and Cally are thrown about the teleport section]

[Flight deck]

AVONWhat the hell is going on?

BLAKEZen, report.

ZENAft hull sensors register two strikes by medium-range neutron blasters.

AVONWhere are they coming from?

ZENDue to the malfunction of our intermediate range detectors, that information is not available. [Explosion]

BLAKEZen, activate the force wall, increase speed to Standard by Eight. Battle computers on-line.


BLAKEAvon, get the others in here fast. [Avon moves to the force wall console] Zen, direct vision three-sixty orbital scan.


AVON[Into intercom] Attention! We are under attack. Battle stations!

[Exterior shot of Liberator in rapid flight, then Jenna and Cally running in a corridor]

[Flight deck]

BLAKE[Two points of light -- the hostile ships-- are shown on the main screen] Hold it there. Two ships homing in on us. Concentrate force wall on coordinates five five three one.

ZENConfirmed. Five five three one. [Jenna and Cally, then Gan and Vila enter]

BLAKEVila, activate the weaponry system. Jenna, take her on manual. [The main screen shows the hostile ships making an attack run, then there's an explosion on the flight deck]

BLAKERe-energize the force wall.


JENNAWhat are they, Blake?

BLAKEI don't know.

GANBlake, look. [The main screen shows a planet]

ZENBattle computers propose evasive course.


ZENPlanetary orbit at two thousand spacials.

BLAKECloser. Make it one thousand.


BLAKECally, give me tracking on the hostiles. Maximum magnification. [Exterior shot of the two hostile ships]

VILAThey must be Federation ships.

ZENFirst analysis indicates that they are not vehicles of a type used in Federation fleets.

BLAKEWho are they? [No response]

AVONWho are they?

ZENThat information is not available.

[Exterior shot of Liberator pursued by hostile ships]

[Flight deck]

JENNAEntering planetary orbit now.

BLAKEHold it there.

[Exterior shots of Liberator pursued by hostile ships]

[Flight deck]

GANClosing in on us.

BLAKEJenna, hold course till they're within our range.

JENNAHolding course.

VILAWeapons systems primed for firing.

BLAKELock on target.

VILATarget fixed.


VILAFifty thousand spacials and closing fast. They're traveling at almost Standard by Twelve.


VILAI tell you, they are.

[Exterior shot of Liberator pursued by hostile ships]

[Flight deck]

CALLYThey'll be in range in fifty-one seconds.

BLAKEHold course.


GANI've got their communications frequency.

BLAKEVoice contact?

GANNo, just computer talk.

BLAKECan our machines translate?


BLAKEZen, identify the hostiles.

CALLYForty-two seconds.

BLAKEZen! [Zen burbles]

AVONThe information must be bypassing the translator systems.

CALLYThirty-five seconds.

VILALet me launch a couple of seekers before they fire. It might throw their attack run.

BLAKEGo ahead.

VILAFiring one and two, now. [Chirping from his console]

BLAKECome on, come on.

VILAThey won't fire. The fail-safes keep cutting in.

BLAKEOverride them.

CALLYTwenty seconds.

VILAThe whole system is locked into negative.

AVONBlake, without firepower we'll be blasted to pieces.

CALLYHostiles closing fast. Thirteen seconds to blaster range.

BLAKEAvon, stand by the force wall.

CALLYIn range.

BLAKEForce wall.

AVON[Tries to activate force wall but it just burbles] Primary malfunction. Force wall won't activate.

BLAKELeave it. Hit it, Jenna, all the power we've got. Hang on!

[Exterior shots of Liberator and hostiles, then quick cuts between exterior of ships and the flight deck: hostiles fire, crew fall about on flight deck, hostiles fire again, explosion on flight deck, hostiles fire again and hit underside of Liberator. A close-up of the hostile ships reveals the similarity in design to Liberator, and the lead ship emits a burbling noise similar to Zen's]

[Shots of Gan, Vila, and Jenna lying about the flight deck]

BLAKE[Looking around flight deck] Gan! Cally! Vila!

[Exterior shot of Liberator]


[Flight deck]

VILA[Getting up from floor] Oh...

BLAKEIt's all right, Vila. I think we've lost them.

VILAHow'd you know?

BLAKEWe're still here. Cut the auxiliaries. Get back to primary drive. [To Avon] Are you all right?

AVONAll I am willing to admit is that I am still alive.

BLAKEWe've got to know if those ships are still coming. See if you can get a scan. [Jenna comes to, Gan and Cally help her up] Cally, take her down to her quarters. Gan, go and check the power units, will you?


VILABlake, I can't cut the auxiliary drive. We're still running on full power.

AVONThe scan is out, we're flying blind.

BLAKEWhat's it register, Vila?

VILAMaximum. Can we hold together at that speed?

AVONWe won't have to.

VILAWhat do you mean?

BLAKERunning at full power will drain the energy banks in -- what?

AVONTwo hours at the most.

BLAKEAnd then we'll have no power at all. [Intercom chimes. Blake uses the one at the force wall console. Scene cuts between flight deck and subcontrol room]

BLAKE[Into intercom] Blake.

GAN[Into intercom] Gan. I'm in Subcontrol One. There's a lot of damage here. Virtually all the control systems seem to be out.

BLAKE[V.O.] Check the other subcontrol rooms.

GAN[Into intercom] Right.

VILAWhere did those ships come from? Who were they?

BLAKEYes, and why did they attack? Zen was confident they weren't Federation.

VILASo why did they pick on me?

AVONI doubt if it was personal, Vila.

VILAIt felt personal. It always feels personal when someone tries to kill me.

BLAKEIt seems we were pretty lucky. Those ships came up on us when we were blind. They should have been able to wipe us out completely. Zen, I want a full damage report, and then an assessment of how much the breakdown can be handled by auto- repair. [No response.]

AVONThe translator unit must be out.

BLAKEThen we'll have to do it all ourselves. Vila, go down and see if you can help Gan, make a list of all the faults you can find. I'm going to isolate the auxiliaries from the energy units before they burn up all our power. Avon, concentrate on Zen. Give priority to the detectors and the navigation systems. And then see if you can get us some scans.

AVONIs that all? What shall I do with the other hand?

BLAKEI'll let you know. [Exits]

VILAWhen you get Zen working, ask him to prescribe something for a headache, will you? I've got this shocking pain right behind the eyes.

AVONHave you considered amputation?

[Blake and Cally meet in a corridor]

BLAKEHow's Jenna?

CALLYJust shaken. She'll be back in the teleport as soon as she's recovered.

BLAKEGood. Help Avon with Zen.

[Flight deck]

CALLY[Enters] What can I do?

AVONStrip down the auto-navigator, remove the damaged components, and list them for replacement.

CALLYThis is going to take time. It could have been worse.

AVONIt should have been worse.

CALLYWhat do you mean?

AVONSomething Blake said. Those ships should have been able to knock us out completely. Why didn't they?

CALLYThere could be many reasons.

AVONI have considered all of them. Only one is satisfactory.

CALLYAnd which is that?

AVONThey didn't want to destroy us.

CALLYBut it was a full-scale attack.

AVONWas it? Their first attack knocked out our weaponry system. The second run knocked out virtually every instrument system. Right now Liberator is out of control. At least, out of OUR control.

CALLYYou think all this was intentional, and we're not running on a random course?

AVONOh, I think we're going somewhere quite particular.

[Exterior shot of Spaceworld]

[Control room, Spaceworld. Alta 1 is seated, Alta 2 and two guards stand at the back. A large white dome on a pedestal beeps and Alta 1 rises from her seat, walks to the dome, and places her hands on it. The dome emits deeper-toned gargling sound]

ALTA 1[In mechanical voice] Acknowledged. [Both Altas touch the silver dots on the foreheads. To Alta 2 in her normal voice] The pursuit craft have made contact, and have initiated all programmed functions. Assemble the assault group and prepare for transference.
ALTA 2Acknowledged. [Exits] [Alta 1 places her hands on the dome again, there is more gargling from it, she then returns to her seat and places her hand on the small dome beside it]

[Exterior shot of Liberator]

[Subcontrol room. Blake enters, inspects panels, and then screws a lever into a console socket and pulls it forward. The engine hum drops and he attempts to unscrew the lever, fails, gives up and turns toward the door. A wall panel behind the console blows out and the lever slides backwards by itself and the engine hum climbs rapidly again. Intercom chimes]

BLAKE[Into intercom] Blake.

AVON[V.O.] The lights are pulsating. What's happening?

BLAKE[Into intercom] Nothing. Just get on with what you're doing.

AVON[V.O.] Switching the drives in and out isn't helping, you know.

BLAKE[Annoyed] I'll call you IF I need you. [Returns to the console and tries to move the lever again but a thick coiled cable leaps out at him. He grabs a screwdriver from a nearby tool chest. The cable knocks it from his hand, showering sparks when it touches the metal floor. He dives for the door, but it closes before he can escape. The cable traps Blake against the wall, next to the intercom]

[Jenna passes through the teleport section and sees the controls moving by themselves]

[Flight deck]

AVONHow are you getting on?

CALLYI've finished fitting the auto-navigator. And now there is just this detector unit that is burnt out.

AVONYou'll find a replacement in the auto-repair cavity.

CALLY[Replaces a component] Good. That's all completed.

AVON[Tries to turn Zen on with no luck, Zen just burbles] That's strange. [Tries again] Thought so. Zen is functioning, the computers are working, but not for us.

JENNA[Enters] Avon, there's something wrong in the teleport section -- all the controls are activating.

AVONAre you sure?

JENNAThe locators are setting bearings. Come and see.

AVONNo. No one is to go near that section until we have Zen under control.


AVONI think I know what's happening now. The teleport section will be the most dangerous area on the ship. When it happens, THAT is where it will start.

JENNAWhen what happens? What are you talking about?

AVONIf I'm right, this will show it. [Connects wires and the component Cally replaced shorts out]

CALLYIt's rejecting the replacement.

AVONIt's more fundamental than that. We are the cause. It is rejecting us.

[Subcontrol room. Blake clicks on intercom. Scene cuts between subcontrol room and flight deck]

JENNA[V.O.] Jenna.

BLAKE[Into intercom] Jenna, it's Blake. I'm in Subcontrol Room Four. Get Avon down here fast.


AVONI heard. I'm busy.

JENNA[Into intercom]He's working on Zen.

BLAKEI don't care what he's working on, get him down here!

AVON[Irritated. Drops what he's working on and crosses to intercom] Blake, what I'm doing is vitally concerned with our survival. Are you prepared to take responsibility for what happens if I delay?

BLAKE[Into intercom] Don't I always? Now just get down here!

AVON[Into intercom] Anything you say.

BLAKE[V.O.] And Avon, don't come crashing in; gently as you open the door.

AVONBlake's regard for our safety is inspiring, don't you think? [Gan and Vila enter]

GANAvon, there's no structural damage in the other control unit.

AVONWell, that's something.

GANBut the instrument and systems disruption's enormous.

AVONI shall tell our fearless leader. [Exits]

VILAWhat's the matter with him?

JENNAWhat do you think?

VILAIf it ever comes to a showdown, my money's on Blake. Well, half of it. I'll put the other half on Avon.

JENNA[Laughs] That's a safe bet. But if Avon is right, we'll probably all be dead anyway.

VILADead? Is that your idea of a safe bet?

[Avon enters the subcontrol room and reaches for the cable still hovering by Blake]

BLAKEEasy! Easy. This coil's live in every sense. It's got enough energy to vaporize both of us.

AVONAll right, you're giving the orders -- what do you want me to do about it?

BLAKETurn off the power -- without touching the main switch.

AVON[Ducks under cable and moves to console] What happened?

BLAKEI tried to shut off the auxiliaries. But they switched back on automatically.

AVONThat's happening to every function onboard.

BLAKEAnd then this coil leapt at me as though it was trying to protect the switchbox.

AVONThe ship is working against us. From now on we are just passengers.

BLAKEThe question is, where to?

AVONI'm going to try and break the circuit. [Another section of cable moves to block him]

BLAKEIt knows. It knows what you're trying to do, Avon.

AVON[Moves to another part of the console] It's linked to the computer circuits. They're feeding in a defensive program. I'm going to put an explosive charge across the main energy feed. When it senses what I'm trying to do, it should move away from you.

BLAKETowards you.

AVONWhen it does, you move to the door.

BLAKEAnd when it homes in on you?

AVON[Placing explosive device and timer] I think my instinct for survival is more finely tuned than it is.

BLAKEIt's moving. Leave it now. Come on. [Blake leaves. The door closes before Avon can reach it. Both men try to force door open from their sides. The device explodes and the door opens. Avon spills into corridor and Blake. Shot of cable lying inert.]

BLAKEThat is one I owe you.

AVONDon't worry. At the right time, I will remind you of it.

[Flight deck]

VILA[Accepts cup from Jenna and swallows pill] Thanks.

JENNA[To Blake who has just entered flight deck with Avon] You all right?

BLAKEYes. Where's Gan?

CALLYTreatment unit. He tried to reconnect one of the servo links and it burned his hand.

BLAKERight, sit down. [All but Vila sit at a small table to the left of flight consoles] No one is to attempt to repair any equipment till the computers are back under our control.

JENNAWhat is it, Blake? What's going on?

BLAKEWell, the computers seem to be making decisions for themselves. They're resisting all interference.

JENNABut that's not possible.

BLAKE[Motions to Avon] Avon.

AVONIt is if you think of the ship as a living entity with massive networks of electronics acting as a nervous system.

JENNAAll linked into a central computer.

BLAKEThe brain.

AVONCarry the analogy a stage further. When a living creature is hurt -- a cut or a wound -- antibodies gather around the injury to repair it and to fight infection.

VILAYou mean the computers are treating us like germs.

AVON[Brief smile at Blake] Crude, but accurate.

CALLYBut antibodies kill infection. Why are we still alive?

BLAKEWe're not sure. There are dozens of ways the ship could destroy us: cut off the air supply, drop the temperature so we freeze to death --

VILAStop putting ideas into its head.

BLAKE[To Avon] Actually, one touch of that cable would have done it. No, I don't think it wants to kill us.

AVONWell, not yet, anyway. It's saving us for something.


JENNALook, we've been on the Liberator for a long time. The computers have never turned against us before. Why now?

AVONThat's what I was trying to find out when you sent for me. There's something else I'd like to try. [Burbles and gargles in two tones from Zen]

JENNAIt's another computer. It's communicating with Zen.

VILASomeone outside is controlling the Liberator.

BLAKEYes, we know. But who and why?

[Gan in the teleport section. The light changes. Scene cuts between teleport section and flight deck]

GAN[Into intercom] Blake.

BLAKE[Into intercom] Yes, Gan.

GAN[Into intercom] Blake, there's something peculiar happening in the teleport section. I think the - [Sound of the teleport operating. Gan is attacked by assailants with weapons similar to Liberator hand guns]

BLAKECally, Vila, come on. [They exit]

JENNAIt's the teleport.

AVONI told you. I warned them to keep away from there.

[Blake, Vila and Cally running in a corridor]

[Teleport section]

BLAKE[Enters] Gan!

VILAHe didn't come past us. He must've gone that way.

BLAKEGo and see if you can find him. [Vila exits]

CALLYCould he have operated the teleport?

BLAKEHow and to where? Anyway, all the bracelets are still here.

CALLYThen he is still onboard.

BLAKETry and get him once more on the communicator. If you can't reach him, go and give Vila a hand to find him. [Exits]

CALLY[Into intercom] Gan, make your way to the flight deck immediately. [V.O., corridor] Repeat -- make your way to the flight deck immediately. [Clicks off. Walks the side of the room opposite the corridor entry] Gan?

[Blake in a corridor. Lights pulsate, engine hum changes and dies]

[Flight deck]

AVONThe energy banks are drained. We must be getting close to our destination.

JENNAYou're sure there's a pattern to all this?

AVONVery precise and carefully calculated. I think the takeover will be completed quite soon.

BLAKE[Enters] Jenna, get the guns. We're not giving this ship up without a fight.

JENNA[Going to gun locker and reaching for one] They're white hot.

BLAKEWhite hot? All of them? [She tries a few more but withdraws her hand from each]

AVONThey've covered everything. [Intercom chimes]

BLAKE[Into intercom] Blake.

CALLY[V.O.] Cally. We've made a thorough search. There is no trace of Gan.

BLAKE[Into intercom] All right, come back to the flight deck.

[Teleport section]

CALLYVila? Vila. [Looks to far side of room. There is blood on the wall unseen by Cally]

[Flight deck]

AVONI think the attack ships did exactly what they intended. They knocked out our manual control systems.

JENNATheir blaster strike would have to be enormously accurate to cause selective damage.

AVONIt could be done if they knew the vulnerable points.

JENNAAll right, but how could their computers override Zen?

AVONThere's a command code programmed into every system. Key that code, and the computers will only respond to orders from source.

JENNABut who would know the code that operates Zen?

BLAKEIt's obvious, isn't it?

JENNAThe people who built the Liberator?

BLAKEJust taking back what's theirs. Redemption.

[Cally is attacked in a corridor]

[Exterior shot of Liberator]

[Jenna, and Blake and Avon enter the flight deck from opposite corridors]

BLAKE[To Jenna] Anything?


AVONThen there's not a trace of any of them.

BLAKE[Into intercom] Cally. Gan. [No response]

AVONI warned them to stay away from the teleport area. The people who built this ship will have the same teleport capability as we have. They'll use it to board us.

JENNAThat doesn't account for their disappearance.

BLAKEUnless they've already boarded us.

AVONAh, that would be logical. They'll take us out a few at a time. They wouldn't want to risk a full-scale battle. It might damage the ship.

JENNAIsn't there anything we can do to hold them off?

AVONNo. Not unless we can regain control of the computers. I don't see any way of doing that.

BLAKELet's try Orac again.

JENNAWhat good will that do?

BLAKEMaybe he can analyze Zen's programming and eradicate the override.

JENNAAnd bring Zen back under our instruction.

BLAKE[Inserts the key] Right. You will clear the receptor circuits to receive an emergency program. Confirm when ready. [No response]

AVONConfirm readiness. Come on, come on!

JENNAWhat's wrong?

AVONYou tell me.

JENNAMaybe it's been taken over, too.

BLAKENo, that's not likely. Orac's systems are entirely independent of all the Liberator's.

AVON[Crouches next to Orac's stand] Now then, Orac. Are you going to function or are you not?

ORACAll principal circuits are operating at full capacity and cannot receive new programs at this time.

BLAKEWell, clear the circuits. This is priority.

ORACCircuit clearance and reprogramming will take precisely one hour and thirty-seven point nine seconds.

BLAKEThat could be just a little late.

ORACState your program requirements. They will be implemented when capacity is available.

BLAKEWe want total analysis of Zen's override system and erasure of that control. Eliminate any links with an external computer. Key the voice systems to respond only to the commands of Avon, myself, and Jenna. [A console in front of Zen explodes and the crew turn and see Alta 1 and 2]
ALTA 2Take control. [Guards enter flight deck]

AVON[To Jenna] I think we just lost our ship.
ALTA 1[Into bracelet] The ship is now under our control. The three remaining crew are prisoners. Restore all operating functions and program for docking. [Zen burbles]

JENNAThe repair circuits are working.

BLAKEZen, too.

JENNAAnother few minutes and we'll be fully operational.

AVONZen! [Moves toward Zen but is stopped by guard]
ALTA 2You will all remain under guard until docking is complete. Orders must be obeyed instantly. Failure will result in punishment.

BLAKEWhere are the rest of my crew? [She ignores him] Well, at least tell us if they're alive.
ALTA 1You will remain silent. That is an order.

BLAKEI accept that we are your prisoners, but I demand to know what has happened to my crew.
ALTA 1Force level three. [A guard places a longer version of a Liberator handgun against the side of Blake's neck, causing him great pain. It seems to work like a cattle prod. Jenna tries to help Blake but is pushed away]

ZENAll malfunctions have now been rectified. Systems are fully operational.
ALTA 2Lock onto docking flight path.

ALTA 1Release. [Guard stops torturing Blake and he collapses]

[Exterior shot of Liberator approaching Spaceworld]

[Flight deck]

JENNA[Helping Blake to his feet] You all right?

BLAKEFelt as though every nerve in my body was being scraped.
ALTA 1You disobeyed an order. Further infractions will be dealt with more severely.
ALTA 2Screen forward vision.


JENNA[Sees Spaceworld on main screen] I don't believe it.


JENNAI've never seen a space station on that design before.

BLAKEThat's more than just a station.

JENNAThe technology...

AVONIt's the kind that built Liberator.

[Exterior shots of Spaceworld and Liberator. Scene cuts between shots of the runway lights and shots of Altas' and crews' faces]

[Flight deck]

ZENDocking complete. Walkway to main hatch secured.
ALTA 2All flight systems off.

ALTA 1You will now walk towards the main hatch. Move. [Blake, Avon, and Jenna exit followed by guards. Orac whirs and Alta 1 walks over and looks at it]

[Blake, Avon, and Jenna are marched out the walkway door and then through a large building complex under guard]

ALTA 2Halt! [To guards] Take the leader. [Blake is seized]

BLAKEWhy are you separating us?
ALTA 2You are to be interrogated by the System.

BLAKEThe System?

AVONWhat happens to us?
ALTA 2You will remain in the detention section until the System decides on the method of your execution.

ALTA 2[To guards] Move them. [Avon and Jenna are taken away]

BLAKE[Struggling with guards] You can't do that! What right have you got to destroy us?!
ALTA 2Sustained. Level five. [Guard uses prod on Blake again] Release. You were warned. A third time and I will command destruction level. Move.

[Exterior shot of Spaceworld]

[Jenna and Avon in a cell]

JENNAThey've gone. What are you looking for?

AVONSurveillance devices. You check the lock. I think it's clean.

JENNAMagno-lock. Probably linked to a central register.

AVON[Looks at door] Jointed metal plate. No hope there. It might have possibilities if we had a heavy-duty cutter and a couple of explosive devices.

JENNAEven if we do get out, we're in space, Avon -- we've got nowhere to go.

AVONSo you're just going to sit here and wait for them to eliminate us? You saw the size of this place. If we get out of here, we can run and we can hide. If they're going to kill us, let us at least try and make it difficult for them.

[Blake is marched through hallway. A gang of slaves carrying a heavy pipe section stagger, the rear slave falls and is punished by a guard. Blake runs over to stop the guard and helps the slave up. The guard moves to hit Blake]

ALTA 2[To guard] Stop! [To slaves and guards] March on.

[Control room. Alta 2 enters and she and Alta 1 touch the silver dots on their foreheads. The pedestal dome beeps, Alta 2 places her hands on it, and it gargles. Blake is pushed into the room and Alta 1 motions him to a chair across from hers]

ALTA 2Acknowledged. [To Alta 1] There is disturbance on the control program.
ALTA 1Until stable, all commands must be checked and confirmed.
ALTA 2Acknowledged.
ALTA 1[To Blake] The System has questions to put to you.

BLAKEI'd like to ask one or two myself.
ALTA 1That is not permitted.

BLAKEFor instance, what is the System?
ALTA 1The System is the supreme power of Spaceworld and the three life-supporting planets which orbit our sun. The System is a complex of infallible machines.

BLAKEAll of this? You mean even you are computer controlled?
ALTA 1We serve the System. Its questions and orders are routed through me, but the words and thoughts are those of the System. Is that understood?

BLAKEI demand your assurance that the rest of my crew remain unharmed.
ALTA 1[To guard] Force level seven. [Guard puts prod against Blake's neck]

BLAKEAll right! Understood.
ALTA 1We will commence. [Places hand on smaller dome next to her chair and speaks in a mechanical voice] State the circumstance by which you came to be aboard Deep Space Vehicle II.

BLAKEWe call it the Liberator. It was found abandoned and drifting in space. I was part of a crew that was put on board.
ALTA 1[M.V.] State the astral location in which you found DSV II.

BLAKEI don't know it. My nearest point of reference is a Federation prison planet called Cygnus Alpha.
ALTA 1[M.V] State any further information you have regarding DSV II.

BLAKEWe assume it had been in a space battle.
ALTA 1[M.V] State any further information you have regarding ... regarding ... regarding ...
ALTA 2[At dome, it gargles] Circuitry disturbances are continuing. An outside influence has been analyzed.
ALTA 1[Normal voice] We will resume the questioning when the disturbance has been rectified. [Rises and walks towards the door]

BLAKEIt's nice to know that computers can have their bad days, too.
ALTA 1The System is infallible. [Exits]

BLAKE[Under his breath] Orac!

[Shot of Orac]

[Cell. Jenna is sitting on a bench attached to the wall, Avon is pacing]

JENNAPerhaps we could chew our way out.
ALTA 2[V.O., over P.A.] Attention all guards. Security report: slave group number seven have attacked their escort and escaped. They are to be recaptured and eliminated. Repeat: recaptured and eliminated.

AVON[Stops pacing and spins toward window] Jenna, come here.

JENNA[Joins him] What is it?

AVONYou remember Orac's prediction?

JENNAThat's the least of our problems at the moment.

AVONI checked the star pattern behind Liberator. What Orac predicted was happening halfway across the galaxy. I made a mental note of the configuration.


AVONYou're looking at it. This is the Twelfth Sector. Astral point seven eight one. Exactly where Orac predicted we would be destroyed. [Zoom-in shot of starfield]

[Control room. The dome beeps. Alta 2 places her hands on it and it gargles]

BLAKEHaving a little trouble?
ALTA 2[Presses buttons and Alta 1 appears on a screen mounted on the wall. Alta 1 touches the dot on her forehead] The System confirms massive malfunctions. Emergency programs are to be activated.
ALTA 1[On screen] Transfer all prisoners to elimination chamber four, sentence to be carried out immediately.

BLAKELook, wait a minute, wait a minute! [Guards restrain him]
ALTA 1Take this prisoner to elimination chamber two.

[In the complex. Two guards are dragging dead slaves into a pile as Blake is marched past and up a short flight of stairs. At the top he lashes out with both arms, one guard is knocked down the stairs and the other staggers back. Blake seizes Alta 2 and grabs her gun, unplugging her metal collar from its power pack. She drops and Blake shoots a guard off a high walkway, then knocks out the first guard and shoots the second. Two guards from below rush up, one brawls with Blake, knocking the gun from his hand, while the other reconnects Alta 2's collar, reactivating her. Blake escapes and runs into a blind alley. A door in a wall opens]

SLAVEHey! [Blake goes through door]


SLAVEShhh! [Shot of guard looking around outside]

BLAKE[Whispers] Where are we? [Light comes on]

SLAVEIt's an old service lift. Those young guards, they don't even know it exists.

BLAKEListen, I've got to get to the detention block. Do you know where it is?

SLAVE[Nods] I'll show you. [Lift starts to descend]


SLAVEWhere do you come from?

BLAKEPlanet called Earth.


BLAKEHow long's all this been here?

SLAVE>From before my father was born.

BLAKEBefore that?

SLAVEThose times? The three planets were always fighting or getting ready to fight.

BLAKE[Laughs] Sounds familiar.

SLAVEThen one of the planets developed a computer so powerful it was able to take over the weaponry computers of the other two.

BLAKESo all three became one?

SLAVEOne gigantic System that totally governs the three worlds.

BLAKEAnd the System built this as a control center?

SLAVEYes, now there's no war, no famine --

BLAKEAnd no freedom.

SLAVEYes. The System uses people. We are flexible, adaptable ... expendable.

BLAKEWhat about the ones that give the orders?

SLAVEThe Altas? They're linked into the System. They're not really people at all.

[Cell. Avon and Jenna are sitting on the bench. They hear a noise at the door and Avon signals Jenna to stand by the window while he moves behind the door to attack whoever enters. Avon lets fly before he realizes it's Vila]


AVONI'm sorry, Vila.

VILABeen looking all over for you two.

JENNAHow did you get here?

VILAI was just passing -- thought I'd drop in and see you.

AVONWhere are Gan and Cally?

VILAThey're in a cell along the corridor.

AVONWell, what kept you?

VILAMagno-locks aren't that easy to open. Even for me.

AVONPractice. Let's go.

VILAJust a minute. Where's Blake?

JENNAThey took him away for questioning.


AVONI don't think we should hang around.

VILANo, neither do I.

JENNA[Checking wound] What did you do to your head?

VILAOne of the guards didn't like me.

AVONCome on!

[Avon, Jenna, and Vila sneak through the building complex]

JENNAWhat are we going to do?

AVONTry and get back on Liberator. She's fully operational. It's our only chance.

JENNAWhat about Orac's prophecy?

AVONAs you said, right now that's the least of our problems.

VILA[Spots Cally and Gan] There they are.


[Crew dash amid explosions and firing guards until they run into a pack of guards coming down a staircase]

GANGo on, I'll hold them! [He fights and defeats several guards]

VILAGan, don't just stand there! Come on!

[More running. Alta 2 and a guard stop them]

ALTA 2Raise your hands. Turn round. [They obey] Kill them.

[Blake and Slave attack Alta 2 and guard from behind]

SLAVE[Applying prod to Alta 2's neck] Destruction level! [Alta 2 dies, Blake prods fallen guard]

BLAKECome on!

[More running. They reach the walkway door]

SLAVEThrough that door.

BLAKERight. [Blake and Slave open and hold the door so the others can escape]

AVON[To Blake as guard appears and fires] Look out!

BLAKERight. Get the ship moving and fast!

AVONJenna! [The others run through doorway]

BLAKE[To Slave] Right. Come on!

SLAVEI'll stay here.

JENNA[Re-appearing at door] Blake, come on! [She pulls Blake through. Slave starts to close door but two guards arrive and shoot him]

[Avon and Vila run onto flight deck]

AVONZen! Prepare immediate launch!


[Guards entering the walkway]

BLAKE[Enters flight deck] Zen, hundred-eighty turn, full lateral thrust.


[Heavy smoke -- guards flushed from walkway by fumes]

[Jenna pulling flight controls]

[Dead guard in walkway entrance]

[Control room. Alta 1 teleports two grenade-wielding guards. Scene cuts between control room and Liberator's teleport section]

GAN[Enters teleport section] Cally, quick! [Cally runs behind console and teleports guards back to Spaceworld as they prime their grenades. Arriving back in the control room, they throw the grenades away and duck. When the smoke clears, Alta 1 is standing rigid by the pedestal dome]
ALTA 1[Mechanical voice] Destruct...destruct...destruct...destruct...

[Flight deck]

ZENWalkway severed. Main hatch closed.

BLAKEGive me rear vision.

[Shot of the runway lights receding rapidly]

[Gan and Cally enter flight deck]

[Shots of runway intercut with shots of crews' faces]

[Liberator leaving Spaceworld]

[Flight deck]

JENNAWe're out!

VILAWe've made it!

BLAKE[Hugs Jenna] Well done, Jenna!

ZENInformation. Sensors register secondary launch, a space vehicle in pursuit. Speed, Standard by Fourteen.

BLAKEVila, ready the weaponry system. We'll make a fight of it.

JENNAIt's too late, Blake, we're lost.

BLAKEDo it, Vila!

GANBlake, there's no point.

JENNAOrac's prediction is coming true.

AVONShe's right, we are in the precise location where Orac predicted our destruction.

BLAKEIt hasn't happened yet!

ZENPursuit ship moving into missile attack.

BLAKECally, put her on the screen.

CALLYThere she is. [Another ship that looks like Liberator appears on main screen]

AVONThe same ship. The same as Liberator.

BLAKEThat's it. It's a sister ship. That's what Orac showed us. It wasn't the Liberator.

AVONSister ship or not, she's coming at us.

BLAKEWell, activate the force wall.

ZENSensors register missile emission.

VILABlake, there is no point in going on -- we're finished. At this range we haven't a chance. She can't miss us. [The other ship explodes as the crew watch on the main screen]

BLAKEVila, did you fire?


BLAKEWell, what happened?

ORACI took the precaution of scrambling their launch system. It pre-detonated their missiles. Had I not done so, my prediction would have been inaccurate.

BLAKE[Laughs, walks over to Orac] Orac, you are a genius. Next time let us know what you're planning.

ORACI am closing down. I have much to do. You have engaged my circuits on your petty affairs for far too long.

BLAKEThank you, Orac. [Disconnects] Zen, take over.

ZENState course and speed.

BLAKESpeed Standard by Three, Earth Sector. We have unfinished business with the Federation.

VILAOh, no, not again.

AVON[Coming up behind him] Why Earth Sector?

BLAKEWould you rather stay here?

AVONYou make them sound like the only alternatives.

BLAKEThey are, for us --- go back to your position. [They look at each other for a moment, then Avon goes back to his position]

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