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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 Blake Gareth Thomas Jenna Stannis Sally Knyvette Kerr Avon Paul Darrow Cally Jan Chappell Vila Restal Michael Keating Olag Gan David Jackson Zen Peter Tuddenham Orac Peter Tuddenham Alta 1 Sheila Ruskin Alta 2 Harriet Philpin Slave Roy Evans

Walk-ons: David Charles Gordon Somers Paul Menzies Dave Ponting Peter Clare John Curry Peter Roy Mike Mungarven Ray Faulkner

[A starfield, then an exterior shot of Liberator]

[Flight deck]

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

ZEN Confirmed. 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]

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

ORAC Because that would invalidate the prediction.

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

ORAC Correct. That is the paradox of prediction.

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

ZEN Confirmed.

AVON Slow or fast, it will still look the same.

BLAKE How long have you been there?

AVON I was here when you came in.

BLAKE Why didn't you speak?

AVON I 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.

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

AVON Have you found what you want?

BLAKE No.

AVON That's because you're looking for the wrong things.

BLAKE What exactly does that mean?

AVON It'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.

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

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

ZEN Confirmed. [Replays prediction in slow motion]

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

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

AVON All 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.

BLAKE As 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.

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

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

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

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

BLAKE So?

AVON Zen, selective magnification. Show us the background.

ZEN Confirmed. [Zooms into starfield on the main screen]

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

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

AVON Congratulations.

BLAKE All right, where is it?

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

BLAKE What? 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?

AVON Oh, several hours.

BLAKE And you just let the others go on worrying?

AVON Well, 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]

AVON What the hell is going on?

BLAKE Zen, report.

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

AVON Where are they coming from?

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

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

ZEN Confirmed.

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

ZEN Confirmed.

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.

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

BLAKE Vila, 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]

BLAKE Re-energize the force wall.

ZEN Confirmed.

JENNA What are they, Blake?

BLAKE I don't know.

GAN Blake, look. [The main screen shows a planet]

ZEN Battle computers propose evasive course.

JENNA Specify.

ZEN Planetary orbit at two thousand spacials.

BLAKE Closer. Make it one thousand.

ZEN Confirmed.

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

VILA They must be Federation ships.

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

BLAKE Who are they? [No response]

AVON Who are they?

ZEN That information is not available.

[Exterior shot of Liberator pursued by hostile ships]

[Flight deck]

JENNA Entering planetary orbit now.

BLAKE Hold it there.

[Exterior shots of Liberator pursued by hostile ships]

[Flight deck]

GAN Closing in on us.

BLAKE Jenna, hold course till they're within our range.

JENNA Holding course.

VILA Weapons systems primed for firing.

BLAKE Lock on target.

VILA Target fixed.

BLAKE Range?

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

AVON Impossible.

VILA I tell you, they are.

[Exterior shot of Liberator pursued by hostile ships]

[Flight deck]

CALLY They'll be in range in fifty-one seconds.

BLAKE Hold course.

JENNA Holding.

GAN I've got their communications frequency.

BLAKE Voice contact?

GAN No, just computer talk.

BLAKE Can our machines translate?

GAN Negative.

BLAKE Zen, identify the hostiles.

CALLY Forty-two seconds.

BLAKE Zen! [Zen burbles]

AVON The information must be bypassing the translator systems.

CALLY Thirty-five seconds.

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

BLAKE Go ahead.

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

BLAKE Come on, come on.

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

BLAKE Override them.

CALLY Twenty seconds.

VILA The whole system is locked into negative.

AVON Blake, without firepower we'll be blasted to pieces.

CALLY Hostiles closing fast. Thirteen seconds to blaster range.

BLAKE Avon, stand by the force wall.

CALLY In range.

BLAKE Force wall.

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

BLAKE Leave 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]

[Starfield]

[Flight deck]

VILA [Getting up from floor] Oh...

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

VILA How'd you know?

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

AVON All I am willing to admit is that I am still alive.

BLAKE We'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?

GAN Right.

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

AVON The scan is out, we're flying blind.

BLAKE What's it register, Vila?

VILA Maximum. Can we hold together at that speed?

AVON We won't have to.

VILA What do you mean?

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

AVON Two hours at the most.

BLAKE And 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.

VILA Where did those ships come from? Who were they?

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

VILA So why did they pick on me?

AVON I doubt if it was personal, Vila.

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

BLAKE It 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.]

AVON The translator unit must be out.

BLAKE Then 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.

AVON Is that all? What shall I do with the other hand?

BLAKE I'll let you know. [Exits]

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

AVON Have you considered amputation?

[Blake and Cally meet in a corridor]

BLAKE How's Jenna?

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

BLAKE Good. Help Avon with Zen.

[Flight deck]

CALLY [Enters] What can I do?

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

CALLY This is going to take time. It could have been worse.

AVON It should have been worse.

CALLY What do you mean?

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

CALLY There could be many reasons.

AVON I have considered all of them. Only one is satisfactory.

CALLY And which is that?

AVON They didn't want to destroy us.

CALLY But it was a full-scale attack.

AVON Was 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.

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

AVON Oh, 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 2 Acknowledged. [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]

AVON How are you getting on?

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

AVON You'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.

AVON Are you sure?

JENNA The locators are setting bearings. Come and see.

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

CALLY Why?

AVON I 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.

JENNA When what happens? What are you talking about?

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

CALLY It's rejecting the replacement.

AVON It'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.

JENNA Avon.

AVON I heard. I'm busy.

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

BLAKE I 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.

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

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

AVON Well, that's something.

GAN But the instrument and systems disruption's enormous.

AVON I shall tell our fearless leader. [Exits]

VILA What's the matter with him?

JENNA What do you think?

VILA If 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.

VILA Dead? Is that your idea of a safe bet?

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

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

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

BLAKE Turn off the power -- without touching the main switch.

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

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

AVON That's happening to every function onboard.

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

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

BLAKE The question is, where to?

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

BLAKE It 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.

BLAKE Towards you.

AVON When it does, you move to the door.

BLAKE And 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.

BLAKE It'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.]

BLAKE That is one I owe you.

AVON Don'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?

BLAKE Yes. Where's Gan?

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

BLAKE Right, 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.

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

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

JENNA But that's not possible.

BLAKE [Motions to Avon] Avon.

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

JENNA All linked into a central computer.

BLAKE The brain.

AVON Carry 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.

VILA You mean the computers are treating us like germs.

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

CALLY But antibodies kill infection. Why are we still alive?

BLAKE We'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 --

VILA Stop 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.

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

VILA Dinner?

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

AVON That'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]

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

VILA Someone outside is controlling the Liberator.

BLAKE Yes, 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]

BLAKE Cally, Vila, come on. [They exit]

JENNA It's the teleport.

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

[Blake, Vila and Cally running in a corridor]

[Teleport section]

BLAKE [Enters] Gan!

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

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

CALLY Could he have operated the teleport?

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

CALLY Then he is still onboard.

BLAKE Try 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]

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

JENNA You're sure there's a pattern to all this?

AVON Very 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.

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

AVON They'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]

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

[Flight deck]

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

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

AVON It could be done if they knew the vulnerable points.

JENNA All right, but how could their computers override Zen?

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

JENNA But who would know the code that operates Zen?

BLAKE It's obvious, isn't it?

JENNA The people who built the Liberator?

BLAKE Just 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?

JENNA Nothing.

AVON Then there's not a trace of any of them.

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

AVON I 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.

JENNA That doesn't account for their disappearance.

BLAKE Unless they've already boarded us.

AVON Ah, 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.

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

AVON No. Not unless we can regain control of the computers. I don't see any way of doing that.

BLAKE Let's try Orac again.

JENNA What good will that do?

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

JENNA And 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]

AVON Confirm readiness. Come on, come on!

JENNA What's wrong?

AVON You tell me.

JENNA Maybe it's been taken over, too.

BLAKE No, 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?

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

BLAKE Well, clear the circuits. This is priority.

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

BLAKE That could be just a little late.

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

BLAKE We 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 2 Take 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]

JENNA The repair circuits are working.

BLAKE Zen, too.

JENNA Another few minutes and we'll be fully operational.

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

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

BLAKE I accept that we are your prisoners, but I demand to know what has happened to my crew. ALTA 1 Force 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]

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

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

[Exterior shot of Liberator approaching Spaceworld]

[Flight deck]

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

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

ZEN Confirmed.

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

BLAKE Impressive.

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

BLAKE That's more than just a station.

JENNA The technology...

AVON It'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]

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

ZEN Confirmed. ALTA 1 You 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 2 Halt! [To guards] Take the leader. [Blake is seized]

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

BLAKE The System?

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

JENNA 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 2 Sustained. 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]

JENNA They've gone. What are you looking for?

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

JENNA Magno-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.

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

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

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

BLAKE For instance, what is the System? ALTA 1 The 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.

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

BLAKE I 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]

BLAKE All right! Understood. ALTA 1 We 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.

BLAKE We 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.

BLAKE I 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.

BLAKE We 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]

BLAKE It's nice to know that computers can have their bad days, too. ALTA 1 The 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]

JENNA Perhaps 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?

AVON You remember Orac's prediction?

JENNA That's the least of our problems at the moment.

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

JENNA And?

AVON You'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]

BLAKE Having 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.

BLAKE Look, wait a minute, wait a minute! [Guards restrain him] ALTA 1 Take 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]

SLAVE Hey! [Blake goes through door]

BLAKE Thanks.

SLAVE Shhh! [Shot of guard looking around outside]

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

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

BLAKE Listen, 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]

BLAKE Good.

SLAVE Where do you come from?

BLAKE Planet called Earth.

SLAVE Earth?

BLAKE How long's all this been here?

SLAVE >From before my father was born.

BLAKE Before that?

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

BLAKE [Laughs] Sounds familiar.

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

BLAKE So all three became one?

SLAVE One gigantic System that totally governs the three worlds.

BLAKE And the System built this as a control center?

SLAVE Yes, now there's no war, no famine --

BLAKE And no freedom.

SLAVE Yes. The System uses people. We are flexible, adaptable ... expendable.

BLAKE What about the ones that give the orders?

SLAVE The 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]

VILA Oh!

AVON I'm sorry, Vila.

VILA Been looking all over for you two.

JENNA How did you get here?

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

AVON Where are Gan and Cally?

VILA They're in a cell along the corridor.

AVON Well, what kept you?

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

AVON Practice. Let's go.

VILA Just a minute. Where's Blake?

JENNA They took him away for questioning.

VILA Questioning?

AVON I don't think we should hang around.

VILA No, neither do I.

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

VILA One of the guards didn't like me.

AVON Come on!

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

JENNA What are we going to do?

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

JENNA What about Orac's prophecy?

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

VILA [Spots Cally and Gan] There they are.

GUARD Stop!

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

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

VILA Gan, don't just stand there! Come on!

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

ALTA 2 Raise 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]

BLAKE Come on!

[More running. They reach the walkway door]

SLAVE Through that door.

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

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

BLAKE Right. Get the ship moving and fast!

AVON Jenna! [The others run through doorway]

BLAKE [To Slave] Right. Come on!

SLAVE I'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]

AVON Zen! Prepare immediate launch!

ZEN Confirmed.

[Guards entering the walkway]

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

ZEN Confirmed.

[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]

ZEN Walkway severed. Main hatch closed.

BLAKE Give 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]

JENNA We're out!

VILA We've made it!

BLAKE [Hugs Jenna] Well done, Jenna!

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

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

JENNA It's too late, Blake, we're lost.

BLAKE Do it, Vila!

GAN Blake, there's no point.

JENNA Orac's prediction is coming true.

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

BLAKE It hasn't happened yet!

ZEN Pursuit ship moving into missile attack.

BLAKE Cally, put her on the screen.

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

AVON The same ship. The same as Liberator.

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

AVON Sister ship or not, she's coming at us.

BLAKE Well, activate the force wall.

ZEN Sensors register missile emission.

VILA Blake, 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]

BLAKE Vila, did you fire?

VILA No.

BLAKE Well, what happened?

ORAC I 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.

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

BLAKE Thank you, Orac. [Disconnects] Zen, take over.

ZEN State course and speed.

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

VILA Oh, no, not again.

AVON [Coming up behind him] Why Earth Sector?

BLAKE Would you rather stay here?

AVON You make them sound like the only alternatives.

BLAKE They 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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