Script for Space Fall

by Terry Nation

(c) 1977 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 Jonathan Day and Micky DuPree.

Dramatis Personae

Roj Blake
Jenna Stannis
Kerr Avon
Vila Restal
Olag Gan
Captain Leylan


Remaining Guards
Remaining Crew
Remaining Prisoners

[External shot of London. The Earth can be seen, but it is small and distant.]

[Switch to view of prisoners. Focus on Jenna and Blake.]

[Switch to view of Earth and Moon receding in the distance.]

[Switch to Flight Deck]

ARTIXAttitude stable, trajectory firm.

RAIKERSystems check.
ARTIXWe have full function on all navigational systems.

ARTIXWe have full function on all communication systems.

RAIKERConfirmed. Power status?
ARTIXFull function, course is set, we have a clear on Mars beacon.

RAIKER[To Leylan] We have a go confirmation on all systems, sir.

LEYLANThank you Mr. Raiker. Set hyperdrive speed, Time Distort five.

RAIKERTime Distort five...

[Raiker operates a control and immediately there is heavy vibration of the flight deck and the men are pressed back in their seats.]

[External shot of London. Main drive activates.]

RAIKERFive and running.

[Raiker checks his wrist chronometer.]

LEYLANLock in full auto.

[Leylan gets up.]

LEYLANI thought maintenance was supposed to have fixed that high-dee shift vibration.

RAIKERThat's what they said.

LEYLANThat's what they always say. They don't bother! Nobody bothers anymore.

LEYLAN[To Artix] You'd better identify us to Space Security.
ARTIXYes, sir. [Into comms system] This is Civil Administration ship London. We are in transit from Earth to Cygnus Alpha, transporting prisoners to the penal colony. We have Federation clearance for direct flight, authority number K-Seven-Zero-One.

[Raiker checks his wrist chronometer again]

ARTIX[Into comms system] Transmission ends.

[Raiker picks up an electronic clipboard.]

[Artix picks up a hand-held sound system. He puts a single headphone to his left ear.]

[Leylan notices and walks over to Artix]

LEYLANStill studying for your Commander's credentials, Artix?
ARTIXYes sir. I don't want to spend the rest of my life on old tubs like... I... I mean...

[Leylan smiles]

LEYLANI know what you mean.
ARTIXI'm sorry, sir.

[Leylan walks towards the exit to the Flight Deck]

LEYLANI'm going to my quarters. Anything I should know?
ARTIXYes, there's a report of some meteorite activity about eighteen hours ahead ship-time. Space Met say it should have cleared our course well before we reach it.

LEYLANWell, keep an eye on it anyway.

[He continues towards the exit, then pauses]

LEYLAN[To Raiker] And Mr. Raiker, give the prisoners the usual pep talk, and assign them their duties.

RAIKER[Not entirely happy] My pleasure.

[Both Leylan and Raiker walk through the door of the flight deck.]

[Switch to view of corridor outside of the Flight Deck. There are two doors on the left, as the camera sees it.]

[Leylan heads towards the first door he reaches]

LEYLANOh, and, err, use the highest level of suppressants in the prisoners' rations. I like 'em docile.

RAIKERYes, sir.

LEYLANErr, Mr. Raiker?


LEYLANThere's a female prisoner on our manifest.

RAIKERI've noticed that sir.

LEYLANYes... well... err, be discreet.

RAIKERYes, sir.

[Door to the prisoner's section opens. Raiker steps in]

RAIKER[To prisoners] I'm Sub-commander Raiker, and I think there are a few things you should know.

[Raiker walks down the rows of seats]

RAIKERThe voyage to Cygnus Alpha will take approximately eight months ship time. During this period, you will obey every order and instruction that is given you. There is a punishment scale for infractions, which starts with long periods of confinement in your launch seat and ends with the Commander's right to order execution.

[Raiker heads back up the rows, to the door on the left of the prisoner's section]

RAIKERIf you have any complaints, I don't want to hear them. Understand this clearly. You have no rights whatsoever. None. Questions? [To guard] Open it up. [To prisoners] This is the limit of your world from now on. It has mess facilities, sleeping bays, recreation area. Sort out amongst yourselves how you use it. There are other rules. But you'll find out what they are when you break them. That's all. Clear your harnesses, you're at liberty to move.

[The prisoners, apart from Blake, stand up and wander out into the other section.]

RAIKER[To Blake] What have we here? Not a troublemaker, I hope?
BLAKEI didn't hear an order.

RAIKERYou didn't hear an order, sir. ...SAY IT!
BLAKEI didn't hear an order...sir.

RAIKERThat's better. What's your name?

RAIKERSo you're Blake. Well, made quite a name for yourself a few years back. [He sits down.] Quite the celebrity. Something of a comedown for a leader of men, isn't it? Molesting kids?
BLAKEThe charges were false.

RAIKER[sarcastically] Oh yes, of course. Well, let me tell you something Blake, as far as I am concerned, you are just another piece of cargo. Remember that and you might just survive the journey. Do you understand?
BLAKEI understand... sir.

RAIKERGood. You're learning.

[Raiker stands up and walks over to the guard by the control panel]

RAIKER[to guard] Let him clear.

[Switch to Prisoners' other room]

VILADo you think this is a good time for me to tell them I suffer from flight sickness?
NOVAI don't think they'll be very sympathetic.

[Raiker enters]

JENNAI expect they'll find a cure for it, though. A permanent one probably.
VILAThey amputate your head!

RAIKER[To Jenna, putting his hand on her shoulder] Come with me.
JENNA[To Vila] Here goes.

[Raiker and Jenna walk to the other end of the room]

RAIKERWhat's your name?
JENNAJenna Stannis.

RAIKERUnfortunately, Jenna, there are no special facilities for female prisoners. But if you should find things difficult, I might be able to arrange something more comfortable.
JENNAThat's very considerate of you.

RAIKERWhy make it hard on yourself?
JENNAWhy indeed?

[Whispers something to Raiker]

[Raiker slaps her across the face]

RAIKERYou'll come round! I can be VERY persuasive!

[Avon takes a note from his top pocket]

[Jenna walks back to Vila, Avon & Nova]

JENNAThat one's going to enjoy giving us a hard time.
VILAAnd you've improved his mood no end! Why couldn't you be nice to him?!
JENNAHe's not my type.
VILAYou can't afford to be choosy now!
JENNAWhy else would I be talking to you?

JENNA[To Avon] What've you got there?

[Blake enters]

BLAKEDo you know how those door panels work?
VILANo, not that type.
AVONIt's simple enough. All authorised personnel have their palm prints filed in the computer. The blue sensor plate reads the print. If it conforms, the computer opens the door.
AVONMost computer-based functions are.
VILABlake -- Kerr Avon. When it comes to computers, he's the number two man in all the Federated worlds.
NOVAWho's number one?
VILAThe guy who caught him. [To Avon] You've got nothing to be ashamed of. D'you know, he came close to stealing five million credits out of the Federation Banking System.
BLAKEWhat went wrong?
AVONI relied on other people. Why all the questions? Or is it merely a thirst for knowledge? [Puts note away]
BLAKENot exactly. Having defined the problem, the first step towards a solution is the acquisition of data. You should know that.
AVONDefine the problem then.
BLAKEHow to avoid spending the rest of our lives on Cygnus Alpha.
VILAThat may not be a problem. [Leans over] I've heard a rumour that these prison ships don't actually go all the way to Cygnus. They wait until they're in deep space, and then quietly dump you out of an airlock.
AVONYou're a fool.
JENNAThey are on a fixed price contract. They get paid the same whether we get there or not. And hyperdrive running is expensive.
VILASo they dump us and save themselves a trip!
BLAKE[To Avon] Could it be altered?
BLAKEThe running log. Could the readings be faked?
AVONOnly by a top-line technician. Nobody on this ship could do it.
BLAKEExcept you.

[Avon walks towards the door]

JENNAWas it wise to put that idea into his head?
VILAWhat idea?
BLAKEOh, he's bright. He'd already thought of it.
VILAWhat? What?
JENNAHe fixes the log, the crew dump us, pocket the profit, and set him free.
VILAThat's immoral. The cold-hearted murdering -- let's kill him now before he can do it.
BLAKE[To Jenna] How much do you know about this type of ship?
JENNANot a lot. Converted deep space freighter. Early mark hyperdrive which needs re-stressing by the feel of things. Whole lot should have been scrapped ages ago.
BLAKECould you pilot it?
JENNAI expect so. Why?
BLAKEWell, once we've taken this ship, we'll need a pilot.

[Several exterior shots of spaceship London moving through space]

[Switch to flight deck]

LEYLANThere shouldn't be anything there at all. It's empty space. Nothing orbits through it, no marked space wrecks, no navigational hazards, nothing.
ARTIXWell, there's something there now, and our course takes us right through it.


[There is a build-up of sound. A short time later, the ship seems to be hit by something.]

[Raiker enters, carrying a flask and a cup]

RAIKERWhat's happening?

LEYLANFull spectrum shock waves. We had one about ten minutes ago but that was only scale two. What was the reading on that one?

LEYLANRight, put all sections on standby, turbulence alert.
ARTIX[Into desk-mounted intercom] All sections on standby, all sections on standby. Turbulance alert, turbulance alert.

LEYLAN[To Raiker, at the same time as Artix is speaking] Put out the deflector shields, there's some debris too.

RAIKERDeflectors out. Where's the blast coming from?

LEYLANSomewhere in that top right hand sector.

RAIKERThat's total void!

LEYLANNot now, it isn't! [To Artix] Show him!

[Artix hits a few buttons. A screen above the main flight position lights up, showing two blobs moving in a curve towards each other]

RAIKERI've never seen anything like that before. Can you increase magnification?

[Artix hits a few more buttons. The screen now shows several blobs.]

ARTIXWe're at the limit now.

RAIKERWhat sort of range?
ARTIXWe're about five subsecs on the high-dee grid.

RAIKERAnything coming in on the communicators?
ARTIXNo, static right across the range.

RAIKERI suppose it could be some sort of meteorite collision.

[Two blobs collide. The screen is flooded with light]

RAIKERWhat the hell was that?!

LEYLANI think it's a damn great space battle. Two fleets, maybe more.
ARTIXWe haven't got any heavy combat stuff in this section, have we?

LEYLANWell, they're not Federation ships, and that's not our battle. I want a new course. Take us round it, with a three subsec margin from the outer limits of the action.

[Another build-up of sound. Ship rocks from another shock-wave hitting]

ARTIXScale nine!

RAIKERShift course now, and we'll be taking those blasts broadside! They'll smash the guts out of us!

LEYLANBetter that than run into the middle of a war. [To Raiker] Manual control, Mister Raiker. [To Artix] Put the ship on full emergency, all crew to operational stations.
ARTIX[Into desk-mounted intercom] Full emergency, full emergency. All crew to operational stations. All crew to operational stations.

[Blake is crawling though a narrow access channel. The ship lurches from another shock-wave. When he recovers, Blake continues to a small panel. He taps it three times and waits.]

[Switch to prisoners]

VILA[To Gan] Keep an eye on me as well, will you?
VILAHey, Klein, got a little trick to show you.
KLEINHave you?
VILANow watch very, very closely, right? Right? Now watch carefully, watch carefully... And a one...
KLEINRight, yeah.
VILAAnd a two...

(something inaudible)

VILAWatch closely now...

(remainder of trick is inaudible)

BLAKE[To Jenna] I got past both the metal grilles this time. It'll work if only I can get him to do it.
JENNAHe's through there.

[Switch to the first prisoner section]

[Blake walks through to where Avon is sitting. He sits down in a chair alongside]

BLAKEIf you had access to the computer, could you open the doors?
AVONOf course. Why?
BLAKEJust wondered how good you really were.
AVONDon't try and manipulate me, Blake.
BLAKENow why should I try and do that?
AVONYou need my help.
BLAKEOnly if you can open the doors.
AVONI could open every door, blind all the scanners, knock out the security overrides, and control the computer. Control the computer and you control the ship.
BLAKEThen I do need your help. There's a service channel, runs the whole length of the ship. Every other compartment has an inspection hatch. The last one opens onto the computer section.
AVONGive me one good reason why I should help you.
BLAKEYou're a civilized man, Avon. On Cygnus Alpha that will not be a survival characteristic.
AVONAn intelligent man can adapt.
BLAKEOr recognize an alternative.
AVONI already have one.
BLAKEA private deal with the ship's crew to fake the running log? You've had four months to think about that. And it didn't take you that long to work out that they would have to kill you afterwards to keep you quiet.
AVONWhereas you are offering me safety.
BLAKEI'm offering you the chance of freedom.
AVONGenerous, considering mine will be the most important job.
BLAKEYou'll do it then.

[Jenna and Vila enter. The noise leading up to an impact becomes audible. Jenna and Vila rapidly get into launch seats]

[Switch to flight deck. The ship is shaken quite badly.]

LEYLANDamage report!
ARTIX[Into intercom] All sections report damage, all sections report damage.
VOICESection Two. Err, Port deflector shields buckled, sir.
VOICESection Four. The outer hull has been punctured astern.

LEYLANAuto-repair circuits.

RAIKERThey're sealing it.

LEYLANMr. Artix?
ARTIXVision panels have cut out... but I'm getting blind readings, and an echo from something big... and pretty far off. I can't identify it without a scan.

RAIKERCould it be a ship from the battle fleet?
ARTIXIt's a long way out from the center of the action, seems to be drifting... Well, it's my guess that it's something being pushed along in the shock waves. It's running parallel to us.

LEYLANKeep a check on it. And start working on those vision panels.

[Build-up of sound]

RAIKERHere we go again.

[Ship rocks under another shock-wave]

[Switch to first prisoner section]

JENNAA couple more like that and we won't have a ship to take over.
BLAKECall in Vila.

[Jenna walks through to the other section.]

JENNA[To Blake] And Gan and Nova.
BLAKEAre there any others?
JENNAThe rest are doped to the eyeballs.
VILAPerhaps we should get on with it do you think maybe?
GANMaybe. Don't be so nervous, Vila.
VILANervous? I'm not nervous. Just... poised for action, that's all.
AVONYou've got an army of five, Blake. Five and HIM! Do you still think you can take over the ship?
BLAKEIf you do your bit.

[There is a sound from the other end of the compartment.]

VILAWhat's that?

[Jenna walks over to the far wall, where a gel is squeezing through some hairline cracks]

JENNASealing gel. If the outer hull gets punctured this stuff floods into the section and blocks it up. It goes solid in seconds. We must have been holed in that last turbulence.
VILAGan, what about waiting...
BLAKENo! These blast waves are our best chance. The crew have their hands full just running the ship. [To Avon] You ready?
BLAKEMake it good Vila.

[Vila and Gan head towards the guard]

BLAKEWe'll be ready in exactly fifteen minutes. Will that give you enough time?

[Avon nods.]

BLAKEKnock out those scanners and open the doors. We'll do the rest. Good luck.

[Blake walks through to the other section. Avon and Jenna follow. Avon pauses at the door.]

AVON[To Jenna] Luck has nothing to do with it.

[Switch to prisoner's living area]

VILAYou look as if you could do with a drink.

DAINERI'm always thirsty, Vila.
VILANow I want to show you a little trick here. Right, Gan. You know this one.

DAINERNow, I'll watch carefully this time.
VILARight, now watch carefully, watch the old piece of cloth, right... And a one...

[Jenna signals to Nova, who lets Avon into the service channel]

DAINERNever works first time.
VILAAnd a two... One more chance for you, right? Are you watching carefully now?

DAINERYeah, right.
VILAOne... two... three...

[Vila pulls the cloth away to reveal a full glass]

DAINERNow, that's better.
VILANot bad, is it, eh? One for you --
NOVA[To Blake] How will we know when he's made it?
BLAKEThe lights on the scanner -- when that goes off we're on our way.
VILA-- one for me.

DAINERYou drink it first.

[Replacement guard enters, and swaps places with Dainer who leaves]

GANStay here. ??????: Ok.

[Avon crawls through the service channel. He reaches the hatch leading into the computer room. He quietly opens the hatch, sees the technician, and closes the hatch again. The technician doesn't see this, and continues to check the computer. Avon waits for a bit, and opens the hatch again.]

VILAHe should have made it by now.
JENNAYou think he's been caught?
BLAKE[Dismisses] No. No, there would have been an alarm. [Looks at the access hatch] I'd better get in after him.
VILAYou can't do that. If it all starts happening while you're in there, who's going to get this lot moving?
JENNAWell, he's right.
BLAKEAll right, you go then.
VILAMe? Uh, I'd be glad to, it's just that I've got this problem with confined spaces. There's a medical name for it.
NOVAI'll go. Well, let me do it. I haven't done anything yet.
VILAI'm quite prepared to go, it's just that I don't want to let anyone down because of my, uh, complaint.
NOVAI want to help.
VILAWhat do you think?
BLAKEAll right, let's get him in there.
VILAGan, let's try it with this one.

[Avon prepares himself, coils up behind the hatch and bursts through. He manages to stun the technician.]

[Switch to flight deck]

LEYLANHere it comes again. Hang on.

[Switch to Nova. Three punctures form in the hull immediately by him. He tries covering them with his hands. Doors slam shut either side of him, and the section is flooded with sealing gel.]


[Switch to flight deck]


DAINERThree hull punctures, sir. All sealed and solid.

LEYLANOK. Carry on. [To Artix] What was the force?
ARTIXDown to nine again. It's reducing.

LEYLANNot before time. Where's that echo?
ARTIXIt's practically on top of us! We're on a collision course!

RAIKERGet those scans fixed! Come on! Move it!

[Switch to computer section]

AVONPrison compartments... scanners...

[He touches a metal rod against a component. There is a series of sparks.]

[Switch to prison compartment. The scanner suddenly stops.]

BLAKEHere we go... [To one of the other prisoners] Ready.
JENNACome on Avon... [Notes guard] He's spotted it! Gan!

[Gan leaps up, grabs the Guard by the throat & overpowers him]

BLAKE[Mutters to himself] Oh, come on Avon. The door. Come on.

[Switch to computer section. Avon is just about to open the doors, when Garton recovers and attacks him. There is a lengthy fight.]

[Switch to prison compartment.]

BLAKEBring the guard. [To guard] Open the door. [To others] Put his hand on the door.

[Jenna fails to unclench the guard's hand. Gan goes round to face the guard]

GANLook, we only need the hand. If you want to stay attached to it, do as you're told.

[The guard finally opens the door]

[Switch to computer section. Avon finally beats Garton and knocks him out. He returns to the computer and opens all the doors.]

[Switch to flight deck. The door opens, apparently of its own accord.]

ARTIXAll checks complete, the fault must be in the computer.

LEYLAN[To Raiker] Get down there, Mr. Raiker.

[Artix and Raiker leave]

[Switch to corridor. Blake leads, carrying the gun. He covers each corridor they pass.]

BLAKESpread out and find the armory. Jenna?
BLAKELet's find the computer room.

[Switch to Raiker and Artix]

RAIKERAll the doors are open!
ARTIXWell, perhaps that last shock-wave did more damage than we thought! It looks like the whole system's been disrupted!

RAIKERLet's find out.

[Switch to Blake and Jenna. As they go through a junction, Raiker and Artix arrive through one of the other exits.]

JENNABlake! Watch out!

[Blake & Jenna duck behind cover. Blake & Raiker trade shots. The door to the computer section opens]

BLAKE[To Jenna] Now!

[Blake fires once at Raiker, & dives into the computer room with Jenna]

BLAKE[To Avon] Close the door! Come on! Quickly!

[Avon operates a control on the computer. The door shuts.]

[Switch back to junction. Raiker moves in front of the door & signals Artix past. Artix tries to open the door & fails.]

RAIKERGet up to the flight deck! Tell the old man what's happening!

[Artix runs back up the corridor. Raiker moves towards an alarm button and presses it.]

[Switch back to computer room]

AVONNow what?
JENNACripple the chip!
BLAKEWe've got all the bargaining power we need. Use it!
AVON[To Jenna] Excuse me!

[Avon shorts out a number of circuits.]

[On the flight deck, all the instruments go dead. Leylan gets up, looking worried.]

LEYLAN[To Artix] What the hell's going on!
ARTIXThe prisoners have escaped, sir, and they've got hold of the computer.

LEYLANWhat! Come on!

[Switch to main group of prisoners.]

VILA"Find the armory," he says. I don't even like guns.

[Two guards turn the corner. Someone shouts something. Gan grabs them by their gun arms]

GANGrab the guns!

[Vila and a prisoner both grab a gun each. Two more guards round the corner]

GANStay right there, or we'll kill them. Drop your guns!

[Vila promptly obeys. Dainer shoots the other armed prisoner, then covers Gan]

DAINER[To Gan] Move and you're dead!
VILAI got confused.

DAINER[To the prisoners there] Hands on your heads. Now move. Single file.

LEYLAN[To Raiker] They're still in there?

RAIKERYes, sir.

[Leylan grabs a communicator from it's bracket by the door]

LEYLAN[Into communicator] This is Commander Leylan. If you come out immediately and surrender yourselves, you will be treated leniently. If not, my men will blast their way in and you'll suffer the consequences.
BLAKEThose are your terms?

BLAKEThese are mine. You will hand over all your weapons to my men. Whilst we hold the computer, the ship is helpless. It will remain that way until you agree. You will then fly this ship to the nearest habitable planet where the prisoners will disembark. Any attempt by your men to break into this room and we'll destroy the computer. Totally. That's all.

LEYLANNow Blake, Blake, listen to me very carefully. There is something large, travelling very near us, and we've been running blind. We may be on a collision course. You're putting everybody's life at risk!
BLAKEBetter make up your mind quickly then.

[Blake cuts off communications.]

[A prisoner moves towards the computer room. Dainer shoots him in the back.]


[Dainer goes over to Leylan]


LEYLANHe wasn't armed.

DAINERWe were lucky. They couldn't find the armoury. We've got most of them back to their quarters, we're just mopping up now.

LEYLANSo I see, Dainer...!

DAINERSome of our men have been injured, sir.

LEYLANAnd the prisoners?

DAINERWe've killed six.


DAINER[Glancing at body] Seven. In the course of quelling a riot and protecting the ship, sir.

LEYLANVery well. Carry on.

DAINERThank you, sir.

[Raiker walks over to Leylan]

RAIKER[To Leylan] I can get them out of there, sir.


RAIKERI want a free hand to take whatever action I think necessary. Do I have your permission, sir?

LEYLAN[Less than enthusiastically] All right.

RAIKER[To Dainer and some other guards] Come on!

[Raiker & guards leave]

JENNAWhat do you think they'll do?
BLAKETheir time's running out.
JENNASo's ours.
BLAKEWe have less to loose.
AVONYou may have, but I value my life!
JENNAAssuming they do land us somewhere, what then?
BLAKEFind a way of getting back to Earth.
JENNABack to Earth?
BLAKEYes. That's where the heart of the Federation is. I intend to see that heart torn out.
AVONI thought you were probably insane.
BLAKEThat's possible! They butchered my family, my friends. They murdered my past and gave me tranquilized dreams.
JENNAAt least you're still alive.
BLAKENo! Not until free men can think and speak. Not until power is back with the honest man.
AVONHave you ever met an honest man?
JENNA[Glances at Blake] Perhaps.
AVONListen to me. Wealth is the only reality. And the only way to obtain wealth is to take it away from somebody else. Wake up, Blake! You may not be tranquilized any longer, but you're still dreaming.
JENNAMaybe some dreams are worth having.
AVONYou don't really believe that.
JENNANo, but I'd like to.
BLAKEYes, well, you asked me what I was going to do and I've told you. What you do is up to yourselves.
AVONRight. A new identity, a job in the Federation Banking System. Three months with their computers, I could lift a hundred million credits and nobody would know where they went. Then let anyone try and touch me.
BLAKEAnd the rest?
AVONHave the same chance as I have.
BLAKEYou don't really believe that.

[The communicator starts bleeping]

RAIKERBlake? Blake... switch on your vision panel... Scanner thirty- four. There's something I want you to see.

[Blake nods to Avon who adjusts a control.]

RAIKER[On screen] You have a clear view of our little assembly, Blake?
BLAKEWe see you.

RAIKER[On screen] Then lock off the scanner and keep watching.

RAIKERI'm going to kill one of your friends every thirty seconds starting now. I'll stop when you give yourselves up, or I run out of prisoners.
BLAKERaiker! Listen to me! Raiker, damn you, those men are unarmed!

RAIKERThe talking's over, Blake.
BLAKELet me talk to Leylan!

[Raiker replaces the communicator, and cuts Blake off]

BLAKE[Furious] Raiker! Raiker! [Defeated, to Avon] Open the door.
AVONYou're throwing away our only chance.
BLAKEOpen the door!

[Avon opens the door.]

LEYLANHands on your heads. Stand where you are.
BLAKERaiker's switched off... Tell him we're coming out... And quickly!

[Leylan nods, and Artix runs off.]

[Leylan, Teague and a guard enter. Teague unties Garton.]

[Artix bursts into the prison compartment and whispers to Raiker that the holdouts have surrendered. Raiker starts for the exit, stops, and calmly shoots another prisoner.]

[Leylan sees what's happened on the screen and doesn't seem impressed.]

LEYLANMove it.

[Everyone slowly heads for the exit.]

BLAKECommander, your first officer is guilty of murder. I demand that this incident is fully reported in your log.

LEYLANNow don't tell me how to run my ship, Blake... Everything that happens here is logged and filed with the Flight Authority and they'll take whatever action they deem necessary.

[Raiker enters]

RAIKERYou could have won, Blake. All you needed was guts.
BLAKEI'll settle for yours!

[He lunges for Raiker, but is pinned by two guards. Raiker punches him in the chest.]

RAIKERTake them back. Put them in close confinement. Not the girl. She and I have some unfinished business. [To Jenna] or did you think I'd forgotten?

LEYLAN[Icily] Mister Raiker! Have you gone completely mad? [To the guard] Put her with the others. [To Artix] Mr. Artix, get a technical squad in there. I want that computer fully functional in ten minutes.

[Artix dashes away]

LEYLANMr. Raiker! This time you went too far. There'll be an official inquiry.

RAIKERNaturally, Sir. And I'm sure you'll confirm that I was acting with your full authority. There were other officers present who heard you give me permission to do what was necessary.

LEYLANEverything that was said or done by everybody... including me... will be in my report.

[Raiker doesn't look so confident]

[Switch to prison compartment]

[Jenna, Blake and Avon are firmly secured into seats by restraints]

JENNAHow do you feel?
AVONSo you should. What a fiasco. You could take over the ship, you said, if I did my bit. Well, I did my bit, and what happened? Your troops bumble around looking for someone to surrender to, and when they've succeeded, you follow suit.
JENNAWhat do you think they'll do to us?
BLAKESomething unfriendly.
JENNAFor a while, I really thought we'd made it.
BLAKE[Sighs] It was my fault.
AVONWe know.
BLAKEI'll try and do better next time.
AVONWe had one chance. You wasted it. There won't be a next time.
JENNAIn which case, you can die content.
AVON[Almost laughs] Content.
JENNAKnowing you were right.

[Switch to flight deck. The control panels in the flight deck start to light up]

RAIKERWe have power back sir.

LEYLANAbout time.

[Artix enters]

ARTIXWe have normal functions on all systems. They're phasing them in now.

LEYLANHave we got scan yet?
ARTIXNot yet.

LEYLANGet me a blind reading on that echo.
ARTIXIt's very close.

RAIKERThese readings have got to be wrong!
ARTIXWe've got the scan back.

LEYLANRight, get me a picture.

[Switch to a view of the Liberator]

[Switch back to the flight deck]

RAIKERI don't believe it!

LEYLANTake us in as close as you can Mr. Raiker.

RAIKERYes sir.
ARTIXWhere could it have come from?

LEYLANI've never seen a ship like that before in my life. She seems to be drifting, Mr. Raiker. Maintain this distance.

RAIKERRight, sir.

LEYLANTry and make contact, Mr. Artix - sound and vision.
ARTIXThis is Civil Administration ship London out of Earth bound for Cygnus Alpha. Please identify yourself.

[Close up of communicator. There is only static from it.]

RAIKERI reckon she was involved in that space battle we picked up. She got caught in the big blast and the crew were either killed or got out in the life rockets.

[Closeup of the side of the Liberator]

LEYLANIt's possible. No visible sign of damage, though.

RAIKERNo sign of life either.

LEYLANHmph. Well if she's been completely abandoned...

RAIKERWe could put on a boarding party. You know how much that ship would be worth in prize money if we could get her to a Federation planet? Millions of credits. Millions!

LEYLANLeave a skeleton crew on it. We could do that.

RAIKERIt's got to be worth a try!

LEYLANYes it has.

[Walks over to communicator]

LEYLANAhh, Section four? Stand by to run out a transfer tube. Wallace and Teague?

TEAGUE[Over communicator] Sir?

LEYLANKit out with your survival units. I'll be with you in a minute. [To Raiker] Right. Take us in as close as you can and keep us there.

RAIKERYes sir.

[Leylan and a guard enter section four. Leylan sees Wallace and Teague are ready.]

KRELLTransfer tube ready sir.

LEYLANAll right. Begin extension.

[The transfer tube slowly extends from the London towards the Liberator. Eventually, it reaches it and clamps itself into place.]

KRELLLocked on, sir. Air pressure established, sir.

[Inner airlock door slides open]

[Wallace and Teague head towards the airlock. Leylan walks over to them.]

LEYLANNow, keep your communicators open at all times. I want a full report of conditions inside that ship. If there is anyone alive over there, I want you to make peaceful contact. Weapons are only to be used as defence. Understood?

[Wallace nods]


LEYLANAll right, in you go.

[Wallace and Teague enter the airlock. The door shuts behind them]

LEYLANAll right, open airlock.

[Krell reaches for the control panel.]

[Leylan picks up the communicator.]

TEAGUE[Into his communicator] Starting along the transfer tube now, sir.

[Switch to transfer tube. Wallace and Teague start to walk along it]

[Switch to section four. Leylan paces around the room]

[Switch back to transfer tube. Wallace and Teague reach the hatch]

[Switch back to section four]

TEAGUEWe're against the hull. It is a hatch entrance. I'm about to activate the remote lock activator....

[Teague is crouched up against the hatch, operating some device]

TEAGUENo response... circuit one.... No response... circuit two.

[Leylan stands still, looking tense]

TEAGUENo response... circuit three...

[Teague is still trying to operate the device. The hatch starts to slide open]

TEAGUENo! Wait! It's opening... There's a powerful light source from somewhere. We're going in now.

[Leylan turns round to Krell]

LEYLANKrell? Get kitted up and standby to give backup if it's needed.

[Teague's voice can be heard over the communicator]

TEAGUEWe're in some sort of a cylinder. Type of airlock, I think. It's turning! It's fantastic, sir. I... I don't believe it!

LEYLANWhat is it? What's happening?

TEAGUEWell, we've come out into what must be some sort of a flight deck I think, but it's like nothing I've ever seen before.

LEYLANWell, describe it later. Now... now give me life support readout.

TEAGUEPressure normal... minimal radiation... breathable oxygen atmosphere.

LEYLANGood, good. Now, is there anybody on board?

TEAGUENot that we've seen so far, but... I'm sorry? What was that?

LEYLANI didn't speak!

TEAGUE[Hesitantly] Somebody did... somebody said something a...

[Massive hiss of static from the communicator]

LEYLANTeague! Report! Wallace! [To technician] Where the hell is that backup man?!

[Krell enters]

KRELLReady sir.

LEYLANRight. Get across there as fast as you can.

[Krell enters airlock]

LEYLANRight. Open airlock.

[Switch to flight deck]

[Raiker and Artix are checking the flight controls.]

LEYLAN[Over communicator] Raiker. Let Artix take the ship. Get down here.

RAIKERRight sir.

[Krell walks down the transfer tube]

[Leylan is standing by the communicator.]

KRELLI'm in the airlock... and it's turning...

[Raiker enters section four.]

[Krell can be heard over the communicator]

KRELLI'm inside... The design is strange to me... All the flight control positions are empty!

LEYLANAll right... all right. Now... now don't move. Now, just look around and tell me what you see.
KRELLWhat? I heard something.

LEYLANWhat is it?
KRELLIt's whispering... Ssshh... Yes... Yes I hear you... Davor?! What are you.... What are they doing to you! No! No! No!!!!!

[Another massive burst of static bursts from the communicator]

LEYLANKrell! Krell! Answer me! Krell! Now listen to me Krell... if I have no signal from you within three minutes, I'm withdrawing the transfer tube. Three minutes!

[Raiker reaches for Leylan]

RAIKERWait! We can't give up that easily. That ship's worth a fortune.

LEYLANLooks like I've already lost three men. I'm not risking any more of my crew.

RAIKERThen use prisoners. They've got nothing to lose. Use Blake and the other two. Let them take the risks... why not?

LEYLANWe might save the other three.

RAIKERRight. At least we'll have tried.

LEYLANRight. Get them equipped and bring 'em down here...

[Artix studies the controls, and heads for the communicator.]

LEYLAN[Through communicator] Leylan.
ARTIXI don't know if it's significant sir, but I'm picking up a specific focused energy field close by... I presume it's the other ship?

LEYLANIs it constant?
ARTIXWell, that's the odd thing... there've been two violent discharges... right off the scale, but after each the source dropped back to constant.

LEYLANThank you, Mr. Artix.

[Blake, Jenna and Avon enter, followed closely by Raiker and a guard.]

LEYLANI hope Mr. Raiker's made it clear to you that you can refuse to do this.
BLAKEOh yes. He's also made it clear that summary execution's one of our options. We chose the other.

LEYLANWell if you're successful, I promise that I'll get your sentences quashed.
AVONAnd if we're not?

RAIKERThen you'll have no more problems anyway.
JENNAWhat is it that we have to do?

LEYLANFind out what's happened to my men and see if it's safe to send a boarding party across.
BLAKEAll right.
JENNAI've had worse offers.

BLAKEDo we get weapons?

RAIKERI'll toss them into the airlock... once you're inside.
BLAKEVery wise.

[Blake and Jenna walk up to the hatch and stand either side of it.]

BLAKE[To Leylan] All right, open the hatch.

LEYLANOpen hatch.

[Krell, foaming at the mouth, staggers out of the airlock. He tries to strangle Raiker. Raiker eventually overpowers him.]

RAIKERGet him out of here.

[Two guards drag off Krell]

JENNAWhat do you suppose did that to him?
AVONThat's what we're supposed to find out. Execution may have some appeal after all.
BLAKELet's go.

[They enter the airlock. Raiker throws in three guns.]

LEYLANRight. Open it up.

[Blake, Avon and Jenna walk across the transfer tube to the Liberator. At the hatch, they see a body. Blake checks it and looks up. Jenna gestures to carry on.]

[The three of them enter the flight deck. Avon heads for the pilot's console.]


[Avon gestures to the console nearest Jenna]

AVONLook at that instrumentation.
JENNAA ship like this could go anywhere!

[They look over the rest of the flight deck. Avon notices another body and takes a look.]

AVONThis one is dead also.

[There is a noise. Everyone looks to see where it is coming from.]

[Jenna sees a strange sphere at the far end of the flight deck.]

JENNAWhat is it?
BLAKEI don't know.

[Closeup Jenna. Hallucination of a blonde woman surrounded by three Federation troopers. The woman is screaming.]

[Closeup Avon. Hallucination of a fair-haired man, early 30s, silently repeating, "Avon."]

[Closeup Blake.]

BLAKEYou're dead. Those tapes are forgeries. You're dead!

[The others move towards the sphere.]

BLAKENo, no. Get back!

[Blake shoves Jenna to one side. He tries to shove Avon away from the sphere, but Avon pushes him back.]

AVONI must go to him.

[Blake knocks him over. Jenna starts to reach for the sphere again. Blake whirls round and shoots the sphere. Jenna gives a short scream.]

JENNAWhat was it?
BLAKEI don't know.
JENNAI saw my mother. It was so real. Then something terrible, a nightmare. But it was my mother.
AVONI saw my brother. It used him like bait. I had to go closer.
BLAKEAnd if you had, it would have killed you. No, that thing took an image out of your minds, a memory, and then projected it back at you as though it were real.
JENNABut why didn't it affect you?
BLAKEIt did, but somehow I knew it wasn't real. [To Avon] Seems I can recognize dreams.

LEYLANBlake. Are you all right?
BLAKEYes! We're all right. But we're still checking.

LEYLANStay in contact, Blake.

RAIKER[To a technician] Get me a survival unit.

[The technician leaves]

LEYLANWhat're you going to do?

RAIKERThey're still alive. I'm going to make sure they don't get any ideas about staying over there.


RAIKERYes sir.

[Blake and Jenna continue checking the flight deck. Avon sits down at one of the consoles.]

AVONBlake! This would account for what happened to the crew.
BLAKEWhat is it?
AVONLife rocket launch control -- it's been operated.
JENNABut why?
BLAKEMaybe that thing drove them out.
AVONI imagined it was some kind of defence mechanism.
BLAKE[To Jenna] Could this ship operate under her own power?
JENNAI don't see why not.
BLAKEBut could you pilot her?
JENNAEventually I might just be able to make her start and stop.
BLAKEYou've got two minutes, no more.

[Blake heads towards one of the exits]

BLAKEHelp her Avon.
AVONWhat are you going to do?
BLAKECheck the outer hatch in case someone decides to try and join us.

RAIKERI want a boarding crew kitted out and ready to follow me over.

[Technician nods.]

[Switch to Blake, trying to push/pull the hatch closed.]

[Switch to Raiker. He sees what Blake is trying to do. He fires. Blake falls over, injured. Raiker takes aim and fires again.]

[Switch to flight deck of Liberator]

JENNAShall we risk it?
AVONWhy not?

[Jenna operates a control.]

[Switch to Transfer Tube. The hatch closes, and the tube disconnects. Raiker tries to cling on to the sides.]

[Switch to Liberator. It starts to move away from the London.]

[Switch to Raiker. He starts to slide down the tube, and eventually goes flying into space.]

[Switch to flight deck of Liberator. Blake enters rubbing his shoulder.]

AVONWhat happened?
BLAKESlight disagreement with Raiker. And then the hatch closed.
JENNAWe're on our way.
BLAKEWhat course have you set?
JENNAName it. We're free. We've got a ship. We can go anywhere we like.
BLAKEFollow the London to Cygnus Alpha. Then we can free the rest of the prisoners. [To Avon] With a ship like this and a full crew, then we CAN start fighting back.

[Avon looks less than pleased]

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