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Script for Orac By: Terry Nation

You may be looking for Orac (Computer)

Transcription: Malcolm Mladenovic

Proofreading: Sue Clerc, Dave Owen

Dramatis Personae:

Blake Gareth Thomas Jenna Sally Knyvette Avon Paul Darrow Cally Jan Chappel Vila Michael Keating Gan David Jackson Zen Peter Tuddenham Ensor Derek Farr Servalan Jacqueline Pierce Travis Stephen Greif Phibians James Muir/Paul Kidd


[Scene: Gan enters a room on the Liberator. He is obviously unwell. He takes what appears to be some kind of medication.]

[Scene: Liberator flight deck: Avon, Jenna, Vila are at the controls, Blake enters.]

BLAKE How are you feeling, Jenna?

JENNA I'm managing.

BLAKE Zen, give me full recall of my supplementary to the flight log data. Vision suite, line one.

ZEN Line one is linked and ready to accept.

BLAKE Avon, I want you to listen to this. [Blake and Avon move to a small table and chairs in an alcove.]

AVON What is it?

BLAKE Just watch and listen. [On a recording play-back] Flight log entry four-three-one. Time co-ordinate six-six-two. Liberator was in range of the planet Cephlon. Scanner systems located a space vehicle which was clearly out of control. It was put on routine security surveillance and was identified as a Spacemaster series five. Retrieval pictures confirm. There was an explosion on board and the ship went out of control. Cephlon's gravity pulled her down into the atmosphere and she started to burn up. Two life support capsules ejected from the ship and our tracers followed them to impact. Vila, Jenna, Gan and Avon teleported down to the planet in an attempt to find the survivors. Both capsules were found. In the first the crewman was already dead. In the second a man called Ensor was badly injured. We teleported him to Liberator. Before he died he gave me a box containing micro power cells. He insisted that we should take these to the planet Aristo, since without them his father would die. He also spoke of something called 'Orac' and claimed the Federation was willing to pay one hundred million credits to obtain it. Verbal supplementary closes.

AVON Well?

BLAKE Well, if the Federation is prepared to pay one hundred million credits then Orac must be fairly important.

AVON Unless, of course it's a magnificent swindle, but I suppose that's too much to hope for. [He winces as if in pain.]

BLAKE You all right?

AVON Ah, yes. I, I just felt a little dizzy, that's all.

BLAKE My point is there's something we're missing in all this.

AVON Well, I can't think what, it all seems straightforward enough. We know from the ship's log that it was returning to Aristo from Federation Space Headquarters, that the other passenger was a doctor and that they were carrying medical supplies. It all tallies with what Ensor said.

BLAKE I don't know. I think it's the importance the Federation is placing on Orac that bothers me

JENNA [To Blake] I've switched to automatics -- there's something I want from my cabin.

BLAKE All right, Jenna. [To Avon] Let's take another look at the pictures of that ship on the main screen.

AVON They're not likely to show us anything that we don't already know.

BLAKE Maybe not, but let's check anyway. Zen, run the scanner file from the moment we picked up visual contact with the Spacemaster ship.

ZEN Confirmed. Retrieval systems operating.

AVON What exactly are you looking for?

BLAKE I'm not sure yet. [Avon bends forwards] You quite sure you're all right?

AVON Yes, of course I'm all right.

[Scene: A corridor. Jenna walks slowly along and stops just as Cally comes round the corner.]

CALLY Jenna, what is it? what's the matter?

JENNA I don't know. I, I feel terrible. One minute I'm all right, and then, then it comes over me again.

CALLY Oh, you've obviously got a fever. Come on, I'll get you to your cabin.

[Scene: Return to Avon and Blake on the flight deck, watching the playback of the explosion of the Spacemaster ship. Vila is also watching.]

BLAKE Zen, hold it there. Now then, play it back, slowly. There! That's it, that's what's been bothering me.

VILA I don't see anything special.

AVON It's in the wrong place.

BLAKE Exactly. The explosion's in the forward section. Now, you thought it was a neutron burn out but that's nowhere near the engine housing.

AVON All right, but it doesn't make any difference, does it?

BLAKE Zen, I want a sensor reading for that moment. Full spectrum analysis.

ZEN Confirmed.

VILA What are you trying to prove?

BLAKE Ensor went to Federation Space Headquarters. He wanted medical assistance. He also wanted to sell something of enormous value.

VILA Orac.

BLAKE Right.

AVON Whatever that is.

BLAKE We can presume the sale was made because he told us they're prepared to pay a fantastic price for it. Now, they start on the return journey....

ZEN The data you requested is now available.

BLAKE All right, let's have it.

ZEN Sensor readings for selected moment are as follows. The explosion registered one point three. Disturbance peaked at one one five. Spectral analysis of residual vapour confirms presence of geritan explosive.

BLAKE Conclusion?

ZEN Probability is that a small explosive device was detonated in the gravity compensator controls.

AVON Sabotage.

BLAKE Yes.

VILA But why?

AVON Presumably so that the Federation could get their hands on Orac without paying a hundred million.

BLAKE That's the only thing that would make sense.

VILA So they'll be on their way to pick up Orac as fast as they can go, and that's fairly fast actually.

BLAKE Yeah, not as fast as us.

AVON Ever the optimist. [Cally enters.]

CALLY Blake.

BLAKE What is it?

CALLY Jenna is very sick. Gan is, too. They've both got the same symptoms.

BLAKE What's wrong with them?

CALLY I want to make a test. [She walks over to Avon and Vila] Avon, give me your hand. [She runs an instrument that sounds like a Geiger counter over the back of Avon's hand. It clicks noisily.] [To Vila] Now yours. [She does the same with Vila, with the same result.] The same as the others. They've all absorbed heavy doses of radiation.

VILA Radiation! All of me?

CALLY The four of you went down to the surface of Cephlon, but you stayed down too long -- far beyond the tolerance limits. You need treatment and you need it quickly.

VILA Well, what are we waiting for? Let's get to the surgical unit.

AVON Relax. We'll all go onto a massive dose of decontaminant drugs. In a week or two we should all recover.

CALLY Not possible.

BLAKE Why not, Cally?

CALLY There are no decontaminant drugs on the ship. I've checked. There is nothing that will counter radiation sickness.

BLAKE Are you sure?

CALLY I'm sure.

[Scene: Gan is in a cabin. We see him listen to the following conversation over the intercom.]

BLAKE Our only hope is if they have a supply on Aristo.

VILA But if they don't?

BLAKE They will have.

VILA But if they don't?

BLAKE They will have.

AVON There's no point in hiding it, our condition will deteriorate rapidly. If we don't get drug treatment very soon, we shall die.

[Scene: Switch back to the flight deck.]

VILA Die? I can't do that.

AVON I'm afraid you can. It's the one talent we all share, even you.

VILA I think I'm going to ... [He rushes off.]

[Scene: a laboratory/living quarters. An old man, Ensor, is looking at some fish in a tank. There is a loud sound of bird song.]

ENSOR [chuckles] Hello, my little ones. Hmm, ah, you hungry then, are you? Let's give you something to eat, then, mmm? [He chuckles again and turns his attention to the plant next to the tank.] Oh dear, you're a bit dry, aren't you, mmm? [He turns on a water spray for a few seconds.] That's better. That's better, that's better. [He winces in pain.] Ooh! Ugh! [He reclines in a chair. Almost immediately a buzzer on his watch goes off and he gets back up again. He crosses to a hanging bird cage that contains a metal bird. He turns off the bird song and then fits some kind of connector on the end of a cable to a plate on his chest. A meter registers about halfway -- just into the green.] Oh. Not good, not good at all. Very little time left. Ohh. [He picks up a glass of blue liquid. There is a sound of something electronic starting up.] Oh, yes, what is it? Have you something to report?

ORAC A space vehicle has made a surface landing about seven miles inland.

ENSOR My son's ship?

ORAC No.

ENSOR Ah, stupid question, I apologize. Had it been his he would have contacted us by now. Have you identified the ship?

ORAC Federation. Two passengers now disembarked and proceeding on foot towards this section.

ENSOR Is the defense zone operating?

ORAC Yes.

ENSOR Then they won't get far. Anyway, ensure that security regulations are fully maintained. Ah! Can't be too careful in my state of health. [He switches the bird song back on.] Ohh. Uggh. Sleeping seems to reduce the energy drain fractionally. Might as well prolong me life to the very limit. [chuckles] One clings to it, clings to it. Keep your eye on the two from the Federation ship.

ORAC They might attempt entry through the tunnels under the old city.

ENSOR Oh, they can't us reach that way you know that, those tunnels are crawling with phibians.

ORAC I was suggesting it might be more humane to warn them of the danger.

ENSOR Had they been friendly they would have tried to make contact before landing. They didn't. Therefore they are not friends. Therefore they are enemies. What could they want here, hmmm? Ha. Only one thing. You, Orac, my friend, you. Oh no, let the phibians have them.

[Scene: The planet's surface, on the sea shore. Travis passes an obelisk and examines a plant.]

SERVALAN Travis -- here! [He comes over and opens a trap-door amongst the rocks.]

TRAVIS There must be an easier way to get into the laboratory than this.

SERVALAN The surface force barrier is impenetrable. We must go under it.

TRAVIS Let's see the old man's map again.

SERVALAN We go straight along this passage, turn right at the junction, and then straight on.

TRAVIS Yeah, they begin to run below sea level there. Let's hope they're not flooded.

SERVALAN Well, let's get started.

TRAVIS Right. [They go down some steps into a tunnel. Travis looks around.]

SERVALAN Travis!

TRAVIS Huh?

SERVALAN It's this way. [They walk through wet tunnels, there are loud breathing sounds in the background.]

[Scene: Liberator: Avon is watching a planet go past. He reclines in a chair. Gan is also resting in the room. Blake enters.]

BLAKE I've had Zen run through the reference banks. A remarkable man this professor Ensor -- very impressive list of achievements.

AVON Yes, I know. When he was eighteen years old he developed something called a Tarriel cell. It led to a whole new generation of computers. Every computer in the known worlds now contains Tarriel cells. He also engineered and developed a lot of radical new concepts in computer technology, so that even the most advanced computers are based on his work. It's a surprise to me that the Federation ever let him go.

BLAKE They didn't -- well, not exactly. [Cally enters.] [To Cally.] How are they?

CALLY Well, much the same. Until they get treatment the only change can be for the worse.

BLAKE Who's at the controls?

CALLY Jenna is.

BLAKE Well, we're nearly there, another hour.

AVON It's ironic isn't it -- we are racing to deliver medical supplies that will save a man's life in the hope that he will have medical supplies that will save ours.

BLAKE Zen gave me something else that would explain why he needs those micro power cells. Zen, report -- medic information 'Ensor'.

ZEN It appears that Ensor took a vacation on a frontier planet. While there he suffered a massive heart attack. Medical facilities were primitive. The only available transplant was a mechanical heart powered by microcells. They have a life of about forty Earth years.

BLAKE All of which happened about forty years ago.

CALLY But didn't they substitute an organic unit once he got back?

BLAKE That's just the point, he never did get back. He disappeared. He and his four year old son simply vanished. They've never been heard of since.

AVON Until now.

CALLY And all the time they've been on Aristo.

BLAKE Cally, we'd better get ready to teleport down.

[Scene: Liberator flight deck. Jenna is at the controls, Blake enters.]

BLAKE D'you think you'll be up to handling things in here?

JENNA Ohh, assuming you don't take too long.

BLAKE Zen, surface conditions?

ZEN Tolerable. The land masses are arid and support only primitive plant life. Nine tenths of the planet is covered by water which is highly acidic. The level of the oceans is constantly rising and they now virtually cover all traces of the cities built by early civilizations.

BLAKE Life forms?

ZEN Life is evolving in the oceans. An amphibian species have begun to develop.

JENNA Anything else?

ZEN This constitutes all available data.

JENNA Well, at least there won't be too many natural hazards for you to deal with.

BLAKE I'll go and get kitted up.

ZEN Data amendment. Retrieval systems have located further information. There has been one exploratory expedition put down on Aristo. Neither of the two members ever returned. Their disappearance remains unexplained. Amendment ends.

BLAKE I wonder what happened to them?

[Scene: The laboratory. Ensor is reclining with his eyes closed.]

ORAC An unidentified space vehicle is maneuvering to take a fixed orbit which threatens our security zone. What action do you wish taken? [pause -- There is no response from Ensor.] In the absence of further instructions I shall institute full security procedure.

[Scene: Liberator flight deck. Jenna is at the controls.]

ZEN Transit complete. Liberator is in stationary orbit within teleport range of the planet Aristo. All circuits are. All circuits are. All circuits are. All circuits are.

JENNA Zen!

ZEN [Zen's voice slows and trails off.] All circuits are. All circuits are. All circuits are.

JENNA [Into intercom.] Blake, quickly! [Blake and Cally enter. Blake fiddles with some controls.]

JENNA I've done all that. [The background lighting turns red.]

ORAC [Through Zen.] You will identify yourselves and state clearly the purpose of your intrusion.

BLAKE Specify recognition code.

ORAC I repeat, identify yourselves and state the purpose of your mission.

BLAKE This is the spacecraft Liberator. We have medical supplies for someone on this planet.

ORAC You will explain the circumstances governing your previous statement.

BLAKE We went to the aid of a crashed spaceship. Before he died the pilot asked me to deliver some micro power cells. He said they were vital to save his father's life.

ORAC Your explanation is satisfactory. I am aware that you have teleport facilities. I will set co-ordinates for a surface landing. On arrival you will await further instructions. That is all.

BLAKE That is all! Jenna, institute a thorough check of the circuits.

ZEN All circuits are now free of interference and full function is restored.

CALLY What happened?

ZEN Preliminary research indicates that all computer functions were temporarily under external control.

JENNA But that's impossible!

ZEN Logic units concur that it is impossible.

BLAKE But it happened anyway.

ZEN Logic units concur that it happened. Investigation of this paradox is continuing.

JENNA I don't like it. A force that can take over the computers could easily take over the ship.

BLAKE We're not going to find out about it standing here. Are you ready, Cally?

CALLY Yes, I'm ready.

BLAKE [Into intercom.] Avon, can you handle the teleport?

AVON [On intercom.] What's going on?

BLAKE Just get down there. Jenna, switch to automatics, then go and rest in your cabin. Come on, Cally.

[Scene: Liberator teleport section. Cally and Blake enter, followed by Avon.]

AVON Blake!

BLAKE What is it?

AVON Look at the locator.

BLAKE It's setting the co-ordinates.

AVON By itself. It looks as if our computers are being over-ridden again, being programmed from another source.

CALLY Perhaps we should move out while we've still got a chance.

AVON While some of us have still got a chance.

CALLY Oh, I forgot. I'm sorry, Avon.

BLAKE Frankly, I doubt whether we could even if we wanted to. From what we've seen already it's obvious that machine could totally immobilize us.

AVON Then let's get on with it.

BLAKE [To Avon.] If you feel well enough, could you try and stay by the teleport?

AVON I have no plans to go anywhere else.

BLAKE All right, put us down.

[Scene: The planet's surface. Blake and Cally land near the obelisk.]

BLAKE Some sort of obelisk, I suppose.

CALLY Well, what should we do now?

BLAKE Wait for further instructions -- there's not much else we can do. Let's take a look around.

CALLY Blake!

BLAKE What is it?

CALLY Look. [She puts her hand up to show some sort of barrier. Blake does the same.]

BLAKE It's a force barrier. The question is are we on the outside unable to get in or....

CALLY On the inside unable to get out.

BLAKE Yeah.

[Scene: The tunnels. Travis and Servalan are moving through them.]

SERVALAN Travis.

TRAVIS Uh?

SERVALAN Listen. What is it?

TRAVIS I dunno, but it's been behind us since we started.

SERVALAN Let's keep going.

TRAVIS Look, the tunnel's blocked.

SERVALAN Well, can we get through?

TRAVIS I'll go and check. [He goes forward to inspect the blockage, then returns.]

TRAVIS The roof looks as though it may cave in at any moment.

SERVALAN Well, we knew there would be risks.

TRAVIS Well, let's hope they're justified.

SERVALAN They are. When we deliver Orac to the Federation they will be very grateful, and very generous, and it will be our success, ours alone.

TRAVIS Keep watch, I'm going through.

SERVALAN Right. [Travis moves off -- Servalan looks uneasy as she hears various 'roars' from the tunnels.] Travis! Travis!! [Suddenly a clawed hand is placed on her leg.] Agh!! Travis! Travis, help me! [Travis shoots the creature. Servalan is shaking]

TRAVIS Are you hurt?

SERVALAN [Still shaken.] No. What is it?

TRAVIS I dunno -- some kind of lizard. We can get through. You have to crawl, but it widens out again later. The rewards and credit, remember? I'll go first, shall I?

SERVALAN No, Travis. You will follow me. [They continue on. Cut to the surface and then back to the tunnels. Servalan is looking round, then stops and stares suddenly. We see a pair of skeletons.]

[Scene: The surface. A bright object approaches the camera over the sea. It is a ball-shaped object previously seen in Ensor's lab. It approaches Blake and Cally who are sitting next to the obelisk.]

ORAC You will stand up. You will stand up! [They do so.] You are carrying weapons, you will remove them.

BLAKE We'd prefer to keep them with us.

ORAC You will remove them.

BLAKE No! [There is a small explosion on the ground in front of them.]

BLAKE We will remove them.

ORAC You will make greater speed. Hurry. Hurry.

CALLY How do we get through the barrier?

ORAC You will follow me.

CALLY Versatile, isn't it?

BLAKE Let's hope it's still around when we want to get out of here. [Blake raises his communicator.]

ORAC It is too late to contact your ship. You are now inside the barrier. Signal transmission through the energy screen is not possible. You will follow me.

[Scene: Liberator. Jenna enters the teleport area where Avon is seated at the controls.]

AVON You were told to stay in your cabin.

JENNA Any word?

AVON Nothing since they called in to say that they were down safely and waiting.

JENNA How long ago was that?

AVON A little over two hours.

JENNA We should have heard by now. [There is a groan from nearby. Avon moves the teleport bracelet holder to discover Gan behind it.]

AVON Not you as well. What are you doing down there?

GAN I don't like being on my own. Especially if I'm about to die.

JENNA That's cheerful.

GAN Sorry.

AVON Is Vila on his way as well?

GAN No, he's doing his best to convince himself that he feels fine. Says we'll just remind him that he doesn't.

AVON Sometimes he shows distinct signs of intelligence. Why don't you return to your quarters. I'll let you know the moment I hear anything.

JENNA I'll stay. I think it's better if there are two of us standing by.

GAN Better still if there are three of us.

AVON Better still if you... [He stops abruptly. They look at each other and then all settle down to continue waiting.]

[Scene: The surface of the planet. Blake and Cally are walking along. A black cylinder rises from the ground.]

ORAC Make haste and approach the transporter.

BLAKE Transporter!?

ORAC Move forward. [They approach it.] You will now enter the transporter. [Blake walks around it.]

BLAKE There's no door.

ORAC You will enter the transporter.

BLAKE Look, I'm getting fed up with taking orders... How are we supposed to get inside this thing?

ORAC The girl will go first. Move to the other side of the transporter. [Cally moves to the other side of the cylinder, but when Blake follows her she has vanished. Then it opens with her inside.]

BLAKE I thought you started without me. [He steps in.]

CALLY So did I. [The door closes.] I said that thing was versatile.

BLAKE Maybe we should try and capture it. Perhaps Avon would like it as a pet. [The transporter sinks down some distance and then stops.] We seem to have arrived. [The door opens and closes after they exit. They move along a corridor to a junction.]

CALLY Shall we split up and search?

BLAKE No, we'd end up looking for each other as well as Orac and Ensor. Come on.

[Scene: Travis and Servalan still in the tunnels.]

TRAVIS Let's check the map.

SERVALAN We're almost there.

[Scene: Blake and Cally reach a closed door]

CALLY It looks similar to the transporter. [It opens.]

BLAKE And just as disconcerting. [They enter the laboratory and look around.]

CALLY Blake, look. [The ball-shaped mobile is on a table.]

ENSOR [Entering.] Ah, at last. The energy cells, have you brought the energy cells?

BLAKE Yes, yes, yes, we've got them. Now, are you all right?

ENSOR Well, of course I'm not all right. If I was all right I wouldn't need you. It's certainly taken you long enough to get here. Ah, it's typical of you morons in physical medicine.

CALLY Oh, look, you don't understand.

ENSOR Always has to be a mercy dash, doesn't it? Not enough to simply arrive, do your work, and then get out, ooh no, no, it has to be a drama.

BLAKE We got here as quickly as we could.

ENSOR I don't want to hear your feeble excuses. Now let's get on with it. I've developed a system of electronic anaesthesia that I shall administer myself. Shan't need your filthy drugs. Now, you can start carving me up as soon as you like.

CALLY Look, you must listen to us, we...[drowned out by Ensor]

ENSOR Press the red switch, will you. [Blake presses the red button.] The RED one! [Blake presses the green one.] Now you'll have to work quickly. An implant operation can't be done in ten minutes you know. The last time I checked it showed there was very little in reserve.

BLAKE Professor, what are you doing?

ENSOR The instrument isn't entirely accurate, but it does give a, an indication. Well, I suppose you enjoy this sort of thing. Hmm? Boosts your egos to have the power of life and death, adds to the mystique with which you medics like to surround yourself. All right, now, which of you is the surgeon? Oh, come on, speak up, which of you is the butcher?

BLAKE We are not medics, I'm afraid.

ENSOR What?

CALLY We went to the aid of a spacecraft that had crashed, one of the crew was already dead and the other man was dying, but before he died he asked us to get these to you.

ENSOR Both men dead, you say?

CALLY Yes.

ENSOR One of them was my son.

CALLY I'm sorry. He tried desperately to reach you. He did everything he possibly could.

ENSOR Oh, such a waste. He had a good mind. Death is such a waste. You were with my son when he died?

CALLY Yes.

ENSOR It's always too late, isn't it? I wonder if he knew how much I loved him?

BLAKE I think he did.

ENSOR Oh I, I'm sorry if I snapped at you. It's, it's just my way. Thank you, for doing all you could to help.

CALLY We were hoping you might be able to help us.

ENSOR Mmm, what is it you want?

BLAKE The four of my crew who went down to help your son suffered from high doses of radiation. Now, unless they get decontaminant drugs they also will die.

ENSOR Ah, couldn't be easier. Whole cabinet of drugs over there round the corner -- you'll see it. Take all you want, help yourself. [Cally goes off in the indicated direction.] Can't stand them, myself. Filthy things, drugs. Ohh.

BLAKE Listen, how long have you got before these power cells run out?

ENSOR Thirty minutes, at the very outside a couple of hours.

BLAKE Well, then there is still a chance. If we can get you back to our ship then we may be able to perform the implant ourselves. I mean, it's a relatively simple operation -- our computer can instruct us.

ENSOR You have the facilities to perform an operation?

BLAKE Liberator has one of the finest surgical units you've ever seen.

ENSOR Might be possible, I suppose.

BLAKE Well, come with us, you've got a chance, stay here you'll die certainly.

ENSOR I'll do it. I'll do it. Ahah, it will be strange to leave this place, you know. I, I haven't been away for over forty years.

BLAKE [Handing him a teleport bracelet.] Put this on.

ENSOR What is it?

BLAKE Well, if you can, er, get rid of that force barrier then we can teleport you directly from here.

ENSOR Ah, it's not practical.

BLAKE Why not?

ENSOR Oh, if I were to disconnect it now it would be, ooh, five hours before its dissipates and I haven't got five hours. No, no, we've got to get to the surface.

CALLY [Returning.] Blake, I think I've found enough for everybody.

BLAKE Oh good, at least the others will be all right.

ENSOR Well, I'm ready, shall we get started?

BLAKE Well, wait a minute. There is something else.

ENSOR What?

BLAKE What about Orac?

ENSOR Orac. Of course, yes, I can't leave Orac here.

CALLY That was the message we were to give you. Your son says 'The Federation is willing to pay a hundred million for Orac'.

ENSOR [chuckles] They're willing to pay are you? Well, he's worth ten times that much. Now, come on you, help me, help me, help me. I'm gonna get him out of here. Quick. Quick. Come on. That's it. Careful. Careful. Careful. Put him over here, yes. Now, you should be able to carry him between you.

CALLY This is Orac?

BLAKE A hundred million for that?

CALLY Is it a computer?

ENSOR It most certainly is not. It is a brain, a genius. It has a mind that can draw information from every computer containing one of my cells. Orac has access to the sum total of all the knowledge of all the known worlds.

BLAKE You mean it can draw information from any other computer without a direct link?

ENSOR Precisely that, yes. Now are you going to stand there and listen to a lecture or might you consider it more important to try and sustain my life? Now, will you put him in there?

BLAKE Oh, yes, I'm sorry.

ENSOR Careful, careful, careful. That's right. You better take that. Right. Ahh, just a minute. You'd better take that.

BLAKE What is it?

ENSOR It's a simple on/off device that activates Orac. Use it and Orac will advise you of every detail of the operation you intend to perform. Now, shall we go? [They leave the room, but Ensor turns back to his plants] Ahh. Just a minute, just a minute. Ah. [He waters plants.] Yes, goodbye my plants, goodbye. I shall miss you. The only real vegetation on this whole benighted planet.

BLAKE Ensor.

ENSOR Huh? Oh, yes. [He heads for the door, then turns back yet again to feed the fish.] Ah. [chuckles] I nearly forgot you, my little ones, there you are, oh ho ho that will have to do. That will ha...

BLAKE [Interrupting] Ensor!

ENSOR I shall be back soon -- goodbye, goodbye.

[Scene: Travis and Servalan next to a hatch]

TRAVIS It's not good, it won't shift. It's solid.

SERVALAN What are you going to do?

TRAVIS I'm gonna use a charge. Right, let's take cover.

[Scene: Ensor, Blake and Cally in a corridor]

ENSOR No. This way, this way.

[Scene: Switches back to the charge on the hatch, which goes off]

ENSOR What was that?

BLAKE Get back to the lab. [He goes off.]

CALLY Can you help me carry this?

ENSOR Yes, yes all right..

CALLY Come on.

TRAVIS Come on. [He steps through as Blake turns the corner into the corridor] Blake! [He fires and misses. He and Servalan follow Blake] Which corridor did they take?

[Scene: Blake, Cally and Ensor back in the lab]

BLAKE Weapons?

ENSOR I disapprove of weapons.

BLAKE So do I, but I disapprove of dying even more.

CALLY Is there another way out of here?

ENSOR No, oh, yes, there is, we could go by the tunnels under the old city.

BLAKE Well, let's go then.

ENSOR But it isn't safe.

CALLY But it might be safer than here. Show us.

BLAKE All right, this way. Oh, it's locked.

BLAKE Well, get it open.

ENSOR Key, now where did I put the key?

[Scene: Servalan and Travis reach the laboratory door]

SERVALAN Blast it open.

TRAVIS Right, stand back. Keep clear. [The door is blown and they enter.] There, they've gone through another door. He's getting away! He's getting away!

SERVALAN Travis, forget Blake -- find Orac, although they've probably taken it with them. [They search the room.] Travis. Look.

TRAVIS What is it?

SERVALAN [Pointing to a map she has found.] Now, this is where we are. In order to get to a surface exit they have to go back along this passage, along here up there and there's your surface exit. Now, if we go back the way we came, along here, we'll get there first and we can be waiting for them. Let's go.

[Scene: Blake, Cally and Ensor in the tunnels]

BLAKE How much further?

ENSOR Oh, some way yet. I, I shall have to rest soon.

CALLY We should keep on moving, they could be right behind us.

BLAKE Yes, without weapons we don't stand a chance. Look, you keep going. I'm going to stay here and try and bring the roof down -- block them off.

CALLY Perhaps it would be better if we all stayed together?

BLAKE Let me do it my way, Cally.

ENSOR Come on.

[Scene: Teleport area. Avon raises his head and checks his watch. He activates the intercom.]

AVON Vila.

[Scene: The scene switches to Vila in a cabin, reclining in a chair.]

VILA What is it?

AVON [On communicator] How do you feel.

VILA You woke me up to ask me how I feel?

AVON [On communicator] Can you walk?

VILA Why should I want to?

AVON [On communicator] Meet me in the teleport area in your surface clothes, and hurry.

VILA [Opens the cabin door and bangs his head] Ohhh!

[Scene: Teleport area. Gan is asleep on the steps. Avon, in surface gear, enters and drops a gun on the console. Jenna wakes up.]

JENNA What is it, what's the matter?

AVON Cally and Blake -- they've been down on the surface for far too long. They must have run into some kind of trouble, see if you can wake Gan up.

JENNA Gan, Gan, come on, wake up.

GAN What, uh, what's wrong, Jenna?

JENNA Blake and Cally, something's happened to them.

VILA [Entering, in surface gear.] Where is he?

JENNA We don't know.

VILA He woke me up.

GAN Blake woke you up?

VILA Avon.

AVON Vila.

VILA What are you up to now?

AVON You and I are going down to the surface. [He thrusts a gun at him.] Put that on.

VILA Are you out of your mind -- I'm finding it hard enough just to stay on my feet.

AVON Then crawl, but put that on! Gan, you stay here with Jenna. Make sure that one of you stays conscious long enough to beam us back up again.

GAN Right.

JENNA Listen, Avon, there's nothing you can achieve by going down there.

AVON I don't intend to sit around and wait to die. Get ready to put us down. [To Vila, handing him some pills.] Take these.

VILA What are they?

AVON [He throws the remaining pills to Jenna.] They will help, for a while anyway.

JENNA Ready?

AVON Get on with it. [Vila is still not completely dressed, he is holding one boot.]

[Avon and Vila materialize on the planet's surface. Vila's bootless foot is in a puddle.]

VILA Ohughhh. I've got a wet foot now.

AVON Come on.

[Scene: The tunnels. Cally and Ensor are carrying Orac.]

ENSOR Wait, wait. Wait a minute. I have to rest. [There is a roar from the tunnels.]

CALLY What is that?

ENSOR Uh, there are some creatures that live down here.

CALLY Are they dangerous?

ENSOR Oh, I don't think they'll harm us.

[Scene: Cuts to Blake still trying to bring down the roof of the tunnel, then switches back to Cally and Ensor.]

CALLY Will you be all right for a minute? I'll be back.

[Scene: Cally leaves Ensor alone and goes back. She is attacked by a phibian.]

CALLY Arghhh, ... [Blake hits the phibian over the head with a rock and it collapses, he and Cally then return to Ensor.]

BLAKE Cally, check the way ahead's clear.

CALLY Blake, look! [She points to some stairs at the top of which light is visible.]

BLAKE Ensor! Ensor! [Ensor is dead].

CALLY I am sorry. Just a little longer and we might have saved you.

[Scene: Blake and Cally are on the beach. Blake closes the trap-door and puts a rock on top of it, then rejoins Cally.]

BLAKE Call Liberator. [There is a small explosion nearby.]

TRAVIS [with his gun-arm raised] Goodbye, Blake.

SERVALAN Wait.

TRAVIS I have waited. Too long.

SERVALAN He's the bonus, Travis. Orac is the prize. [To Blake] Where is Ensor?

BLAKE Ensor, like his son, is dead.

SERVALAN It was to be expected. He survived longer than we thought was possible. That box -- Orac -- that's what we came for. If it does only half of what was promised it will give the Federation greater power than it's ever known.

CALLY What are you going to do?

TRAVIS What do you think I'm going to do?

BLAKE I think you're going to kill me, Travis, with or without orders from the Supreme Commander.

SERVALAN With orders, Blake. All right, Travis, go ahead. [Avon shoots Travis' gun-arm]

TRAVIS Ah! Ah!

AVON Don't move.

BLAKE Good shot, Avon.

AVON I was aiming for his head.

VILA You took your time, what have you been up to?

CALLY We had a few minor problems.

VILA Did you bring the decontaminants?

CALLY Yes, we've got them.

BLAKE Tell them to bring us up.

VILA Jenna, stand by.

TRAVIS Well what are you waiting for? Come on, man. Why don't you kill us?

BLAKE No, I've got a better idea: we'll get a message through to the Federation, tell them that you let us take Orac. I'm sure they'll be quite fascinated by your explanation. [Blake, Cally, Avon and Vila teleport.]

SERVALAN You're in a lot of trouble, Travis.

[Scene: Flight deck.]

BLAKE The other end's connected.

AVON You want to give it a try?

BLAKE Why not? Vila, switch to automatics. [Blake, Avon and Vila head for the couches where the rest of the crew are seated around Orac.] Oh, Activator. [He hands it to Avon who inserts it into Orac. The computer hums.]

JENNA Well, for a hundred million credits you'd expect something a little more spectacular than that.

VILA Try kicking it.

GAN Are you sure it's fully switched on?

ORAC Of course I'm properly switched on. Having depressed the activator button what else would you expect?

CALLY It's his voice.

BLAKE It's exactly as though Ensor were speaking.

ORAC Surely it is obvious even to the meanest intelligence that during my development I would naturally become endowed with aspects of my creator's personality.

AVON The more endearing aspects by the sound of it.

ORAC Possibly. However similarities between myself and Ensor are entirely superficial. My mental capacity is infinitely greater.

JENNA Modest, isn't he?

ORAC Modesty would be dishonesty.

VILA What's wrong with being dishonest?

ORAC Is that a question?

VILA Yes.

ORAC The question is futile. Were I to say that I am incapable of dishonesty how would you know if I was being dishonest or not?

BLAKE A question for a question. Well, you're capable of evasion, anyway.

VILA I think I've heard enough. I don't like him. Orac, be a good junk heap -- shut up.

CALLY I agree with Vila.

ORAC Define the words 'Shut up.'

BLAKE Stop talking. Do not speak. Be silent.

ORAC That is better. Our relationship will be best served if your statements are free of ambiguity.

GAN Let's switch him off and go back to work.

BLAKE No, wait a minute, let's find out what he is capable of. Orac, what are your limits?

ORAC They have not yet been defined. My knowledge is virtually infinite. My secondary ability is to logically process that knowledge and make accurate predictions.

CALLY Are you saying you can see into the future?

ORAC The words future, present, past are meaningless.

AVON Define 'meaningless'.

ORAC I have the capacity to predict events that have not yet taken place.

AVON That is not what I asked.

ORAC In the circumstances the question is meaningless. [Avon laughs.]

BLAKE Now, that's ridiculous. Give us a demonstration.

ORAC Demonstrate as a command is insufficient.

GAN What does he mean?

AVON He means, like Zen, that he requires specific instructions.

ORAC Instructions are not needed if commands are succinct.

VILA I'm getting tired of this. Go on, predict something.

ORAC I will project an image on your scanner screen.

JENNA Go on then, show us.

GAN Hey that's us.

VILA It's Liberator.

BLAKE It's not much of a prediction, just travelling through space.

ORAC It is not a prediction; it is an immutable certainty. Space vehicle will be destroyed.

JENNA What!

VILA You're not given to practical jokes are you, because that's not funny.

BLAKE When's this supposed to happen?

ORAC The event is not far distant.

BLAKE How far distant?

GAN There must be some way of making him tell us when.

AVON Be more precise.

ORAC The event is now even less distant.

VILA I don't believe it.

JENNA Zen, system status.

ZEN All systems are functioning normally.

VILA Yes, but Zen's only a machine.

AVON So is Orac. [He removes the activator and throws it across the flight deck.]

VILA That's all right, that's fixed Orac.

BLAKE No, it hasn't.

JENNA What do you mean?

BLAKE We've forgotten something. The prediction has still been made.

JENNA Blake! [the on-screen ship explodes]

Script Index

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