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 Raiker Artix Selman Klein Trent Garton Wallace Teague Krell Nova Dainer


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]

ARTIX Attitude stable, trajectory firm.

RAIKER Systems check. ARTIX We have full function on all navigational systems.

RAIKER Confirmed. ARTIX We have full function on all communication systems.

RAIKER Confirmed. Power status? ARTIX Full function, course is set, we have a clear on Mars beacon.

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

LEYLAN Thank you Mr. Raiker. Set hyperdrive speed, Time Distort five.

RAIKER Time 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.]

RAIKER Five and running.

[Raiker checks his wrist chronometer.]

LEYLAN Lock in full auto.

[Leylan gets up.]

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

RAIKER That's what they said.

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

LEYLAN [To Artix] You'd better identify us to Space Security. ARTIX Yes, 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]

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

[Leylan smiles]

LEYLAN I know what you mean. ARTIX I'm sorry, sir.

[Leylan walks towards the exit to the Flight Deck]

LEYLAN I'm going to my quarters. Anything I should know? ARTIX Yes, 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.

LEYLAN Well, 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]

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

RAIKER Yes, sir.

LEYLAN Err, Mr. Raiker?


LEYLAN There's a female prisoner on our manifest.

RAIKER I've noticed that sir.

LEYLAN Yes... well... err, be discreet.

RAIKER Yes, 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]

RAIKER The 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]

RAIKER If 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? BLAKE I didn't hear an order.

RAIKER You didn't hear an order, sir. ...SAY IT! BLAKE I didn't hear an order...sir.

RAIKER That's better. What's your name? BLAKE Blake.

RAIKER So 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? BLAKE The 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? BLAKE I understand... sir.

RAIKER Good. 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]

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

[Raiker enters]

JENNA I expect they'll find a cure for it, though. A permanent one probably. VILA They 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]

RAIKER What's your name? JENNA Jenna Stannis.

RAIKER Unfortunately, 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. JENNA That's very considerate of you.

RAIKER Why make it hard on yourself? JENNA Why indeed?

[Whispers something to Raiker]

[Raiker slaps her across the face]

RAIKER You'll come round! I can be VERY persuasive!

[Avon takes a note from his top pocket]

[Jenna walks back to Vila, Avon & Nova]

JENNA That one's going to enjoy giving us a hard time. VILA And you've improved his mood no end! Why couldn't you be nice to him?! JENNA He's not my type. VILA You can't afford to be choosy now! JENNA Why else would I be talking to you? VILA Thanks! JENNA Pleasure.

JENNA [To Avon] What've you got there? AVON Nothing.

[Blake enters]

BLAKE Do you know how those door panels work? VILA No, not that type. AVON It'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. BLAKE Neat. AVON Most computer-based functions are. VILA Blake -- Kerr Avon. When it comes to computers, he's the number two man in all the Federated worlds. NOVA Who's number one? VILA The 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. BLAKE What went wrong? AVON I relied on other people. Why all the questions? Or is it merely a thirst for knowledge? [Puts note away] BLAKE Not exactly. Having defined the problem, the first step towards a solution is the acquisition of data. You should know that. AVON Define the problem then. BLAKE How to avoid spending the rest of our lives on Cygnus Alpha. VILA That 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. AVON You're a fool. JENNA They are on a fixed price contract. They get paid the same whether we get there or not. And hyperdrive running is expensive. VILA So they dump us and save themselves a trip! BLAKE [To Avon] Could it be altered? AVON What? BLAKE The running log. Could the readings be faked? AVON Only by a top-line technician. Nobody on this ship could do it. BLAKE Except you. AVON Naturally.

[Avon walks towards the door]

JENNA Was it wise to put that idea into his head? VILA What idea? BLAKE Oh, he's bright. He'd already thought of it. VILA What? What? JENNA He fixes the log, the crew dump us, pocket the profit, and set him free. VILA That'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? JENNA Not 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. BLAKE Could you pilot it? JENNA I expect so. Why? BLAKE Well, once we've taken this ship, we'll need a pilot.

[Several exterior shots of spaceship London moving through space]

[Switch to flight deck]

LEYLAN There shouldn't be anything there at all. It's empty space. Nothing orbits through it, no marked space wrecks, no navigational hazards, nothing. ARTIX Well, 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]

RAIKER What's happening?

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

LEYLAN Right, 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.

RAIKER Deflectors out. Where's the blast coming from?

LEYLAN Somewhere in that top right hand sector.

RAIKER That's total void!

LEYLAN Not 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]

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

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

ARTIX We're at the limit now.

RAIKER What sort of range? ARTIX We're about five subsecs on the high-dee grid.

RAIKER Anything coming in on the communicators? ARTIX No, static right across the range.

RAIKER I suppose it could be some sort of meteorite collision.

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

RAIKER What the hell was that?!

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

LEYLAN Well, 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]

LEYLAN Reading? ARTIX Scale nine!

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

LEYLAN Better 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? JENNA [inaudible] VILA Hey, Klein, got a little trick to show you. KLEIN Have you? VILA Now watch very, very closely, right? Right? Now watch carefully, watch carefully... And a one... KLEIN Right, yeah. VILA And a two... KLEIN Yeah.

(something inaudible)

VILA Watch 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. JENNA He's through there.

[Switch to the first prisoner section]

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

BLAKE If you had access to the computer, could you open the doors? AVON Of course. Why? BLAKE Just wondered how good you really were. AVON Don't try and manipulate me, Blake. BLAKE Now why should I try and do that? AVON You need my help. BLAKE Only if you can open the doors. AVON I 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. BLAKE Then 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. AVON Give me one good reason why I should help you. BLAKE You're a civilized man, Avon. On Cygnus Alpha that will not be a survival characteristic. AVON An intelligent man can adapt. BLAKE Or recognize an alternative. AVON I already have one. BLAKE A 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. AVON Whereas you are offering me safety. BLAKE I'm offering you the chance of freedom. AVON Generous, considering mine will be the most important job. BLAKE You'll do it then. AVON When? BLAKE Now.

[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.]

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

LEYLAN Auto-repair circuits.

RAIKER They're sealing it.

LEYLAN Mr. Artix? ARTIX Vision 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.

RAIKER Could it be a ship from the battle fleet? ARTIX It'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.

LEYLAN Keep a check on it. And start working on those vision panels.

[Build-up of sound]

RAIKER Here we go again.

[Ship rocks under another shock-wave]

[Switch to first prisoner section]

JENNA A couple more like that and we won't have a ship to take over. BLAKE Call in Vila.

[Jenna walks through to the other section.]

JENNA [To Blake] And Gan and Nova. BLAKE Are there any others? JENNA The rest are doped to the eyeballs. VILA Perhaps we should get on with it do you think maybe? GAN Maybe. Don't be so nervous, Vila. VILA Nervous? I'm not nervous. Just... poised for action, that's all. AVON You've got an army of five, Blake. Five and HIM! Do you still think you can take over the ship? BLAKE If you do your bit.

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

VILA What's that?

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

JENNA Sealing 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. VILA Gan, what about waiting... BLAKE No! These blast waves are our best chance. The crew have their hands full just running the ship. [To Avon] You ready? AVON Yes. BLAKE Make it good Vila. VILA Gan?...

[Vila and Gan head towards the guard]

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

[Avon nods.]

BLAKE Knock 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]

VILA You look as if you could do with a drink.

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

DAINER Now, I'll watch carefully this time. VILA Right, now watch carefully, watch the old piece of cloth, right... And a one...

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

DAINER Never works first time. VILA And a two... One more chance for you, right? Are you watching carefully now?

DAINER Yeah, right. VILA One... two... three...

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

DAINER Now, that's better. VILA Not bad, is it, eh? One for you -- NOVA [To Blake] How will we know when he's made it? BLAKE The lights on the scanner -- when that goes off we're on our way. VILA -- one for me.

DAINER You drink it first.

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

GAN Stay 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.]

VILA He should have made it by now. JENNA You 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. VILA You can't do that. If it all starts happening while you're in there, who's going to get this lot moving? JENNA Well, he's right. BLAKE All right, you go then. VILA Me? 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. JENNA Cowardice? NOVA I'll go. Well, let me do it. I haven't done anything yet. VILA I'm quite prepared to go, it's just that I don't want to let anyone down because of my, uh, complaint. NOVA I want to help. VILA What do you think? BLAKE All right, let's get him in there. VILA Gan, 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]

LEYLAN Here 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.]

NOVA Help...

[Switch to flight deck]

LEYLAN Damage?

DAINER Three hull punctures, sir. All sealed and solid.

LEYLAN OK. Carry on. [To Artix] What was the force? ARTIX Down to nine again. It's reducing.

LEYLAN Not before time. Where's that echo? ARTIX It's practically on top of us! We're on a collision course!

RAIKER Get those scans fixed! Come on! Move it!

[Switch to computer section]

AVON Prison compartments... scanners...

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

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

JENNA Off. BLAKE Here we go... [To one of the other prisoners] Ready. JENNA Come 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.]

BLAKE Bring 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]

GAN Look, 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.]

ARTIX All 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.]

BLAKE Spread out and find the armory. Jenna? JENNA What? BLAKE Let's find the computer room.

[Switch to Raiker and Artix]

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

RAIKER Let's find out.

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

JENNA Blake! Watch out!

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

AVON Blake! 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.]

RAIKER Get 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]

AVON Now what? JENNA Cripple the chip! BLAKE We'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! ARTIX The prisoners have escaped, sir, and they've got hold of the computer.

LEYLAN What! 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]

GAN Grab the guns!

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

GAN Stay 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! GAN Vila! VILA I got confused.

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

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

RAIKER Yes, 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. BLAKE Those are your terms?

LEYLAN Yes. BLAKE These 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.

LEYLAN Now 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! BLAKE Better make up your mind quickly then.

[Blake cuts off communications.]

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

LEYLAN Dainer!

[Dainer goes over to Leylan]


LEYLAN He wasn't armed.

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

LEYLAN So I see, Dainer...!

DAINER Some of our men have been injured, sir.

LEYLAN And the prisoners?

DAINER We've killed six.


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

LEYLAN Very well. Carry on.

DAINER Thank you, sir.

[Raiker walks over to Leylan]

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


RAIKER I 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]

JENNA What do you think they'll do? BLAKE Their time's running out. JENNA So's ours. BLAKE We have less to loose. AVON You may have, but I value my life! JENNA Assuming they do land us somewhere, what then? BLAKE Find a way of getting back to Earth. JENNA Back to Earth? BLAKE Yes. That's where the heart of the Federation is. I intend to see that heart torn out. AVON I thought you were probably insane. BLAKE That's possible! They butchered my family, my friends. They murdered my past and gave me tranquilized dreams. JENNA At least you're still alive. BLAKE No! Not until free men can think and speak. Not until power is back with the honest man. AVON Have you ever met an honest man? JENNA [Glances at Blake] Perhaps. AVON Listen 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. JENNA Maybe some dreams are worth having. AVON You don't really believe that. JENNA No, but I'd like to. BLAKE Yes, well, you asked me what I was going to do and I've told you. What you do is up to yourselves. AVON Right. 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. BLAKE And the rest? AVON Have the same chance as I have. BLAKE You don't really believe that.

[The communicator starts bleeping]

RAIKER Blake? 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? BLAKE We see you.

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

RAIKER I'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. BLAKE Raiker! Listen to me! Raiker, damn you, those men are unarmed!

RAIKER The talking's over, Blake. BLAKE Let me talk to Leylan!

[Raiker replaces the communicator, and cuts Blake off]

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

[Avon opens the door.]

LEYLAN Hands on your heads. Stand where you are. BLAKE Raiker'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.]

LEYLAN Move it.

[Everyone slowly heads for the exit.]

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

LEYLAN Now 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]

RAIKER You could have won, Blake. All you needed was guts. BLAKE I'll settle for yours!

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

RAIKER Take 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]

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

RAIKER Naturally, 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.

LEYLAN Everything 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]

JENNA How do you feel? BLAKE Sick. AVON So 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. JENNA What do you think they'll do to us? BLAKE Something unfriendly. JENNA For a while, I really thought we'd made it. BLAKE [Sighs] It was my fault. AVON We know. BLAKE I'll try and do better next time. AVON We had one chance. You wasted it. There won't be a next time. JENNA In which case, you can die content. AVON [Almost laughs] Content. JENNA Knowing you were right.

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

RAIKER We have power back sir.

LEYLAN About time.

[Artix enters]

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

LEYLAN Have we got scan yet? ARTIX Not yet.

LEYLAN Get me a blind reading on that echo. ARTIX It's very close.

RAIKER These readings have got to be wrong! ARTIX We've got the scan back.

LEYLAN Right, get me a picture.

[Switch to a view of the Liberator]

[Switch back to the flight deck]

RAIKER I don't believe it!

LEYLAN Take us in as close as you can Mr. Raiker.

RAIKER Yes sir. ARTIX Where could it have come from?

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

RAIKER Right, sir.

LEYLAN Try and make contact, Mr. Artix - sound and vision. ARTIX This 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.]

RAIKER I 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]

LEYLAN It's possible. No visible sign of damage, though.

RAIKER No sign of life either.

LEYLAN Hmph. Well if she's been completely abandoned...

RAIKER We 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!

LEYLAN Leave a skeleton crew on it. We could do that.

RAIKER It's got to be worth a try!

LEYLAN Yes it has.

[Walks over to communicator]

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

TEAGUE [Over communicator] Sir?

LEYLAN Kit 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.

RAIKER Yes sir.

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

LEYLAN Good. KRELL Transfer tube ready sir.

LEYLAN All right. Begin extension.

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

KRELL Locked on, sir. Air pressure established, sir.

[Inner airlock door slides open]

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

LEYLAN Now, 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]


LEYLAN All right, in you go.

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

LEYLAN All 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]

TEAGUE We'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]

TEAGUE No response... circuit one.... No response... circuit two.

[Leylan stands still, looking tense]

TEAGUE No response... circuit three...

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

TEAGUE No! Wait! It's opening... There's a powerful light source from somewhere. We're going in now.

[Leylan turns round to Krell]

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

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

TEAGUE We'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!

LEYLAN What is it? What's happening?

TEAGUE Well, 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.

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

TEAGUE Pressure normal... minimal radiation... breathable oxygen atmosphere.

LEYLAN Good, good. Now, is there anybody on board?

TEAGUE Not that we've seen so far, but... I'm sorry? What was that?

LEYLAN I didn't speak!

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

[Massive hiss of static from the communicator]

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

[Krell enters]

KRELL Ready sir.

LEYLAN Right. Get across there as fast as you can.

[Krell enters airlock]

LEYLAN Right. 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.

RAIKER Right sir.

[Krell walks down the transfer tube]

[Leylan is standing by the communicator.]

KRELL I'm in the airlock... and it's turning...

[Raiker enters section four.]

[Krell can be heard over the communicator]

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

LEYLAN All right... all right. Now... now don't move. Now, just look around and tell me what you see. KRELL What? I heard something.

LEYLAN What is it? KRELL It'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]

LEYLAN Krell! 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]

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

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

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

LEYLAN We might save the other three.

RAIKER Right. At least we'll have tried.

LEYLAN Right. Get them equipped and bring 'em down here...

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

LEYLAN [Through communicator] Leylan. ARTIX I 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?

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

LEYLAN Thank you, Mr. Artix.

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

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

LEYLAN Well if you're successful, I promise that I'll get your sentences quashed. AVON And if we're not?

RAIKER Then you'll have no more problems anyway. JENNA What is it that we have to do?

LEYLAN Find out what's happened to my men and see if it's safe to send a boarding party across. BLAKE All right. JENNA I've had worse offers.

LEYLAN Good. BLAKE Do we get weapons?

RAIKER I'll toss them into the airlock... once you're inside. BLAKE Very wise.

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

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

LEYLAN Open hatch.

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

RAIKER Get him out of here.

[Two guards drag off Krell]

JENNA What do you suppose did that to him? AVON That's what we're supposed to find out. Execution may have some appeal after all. BLAKE Let's go.

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

LEYLAN Right. 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.]

JENNA Beautiful!

[Avon gestures to the console nearest Jenna]

AVON Look at that instrumentation. JENNA A ship like this could go anywhere!

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

AVON This 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.]

JENNA What is it? BLAKE I 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.]

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

[The others move towards the sphere.]

BLAKE No, no. Get back!

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

AVON I 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.]

JENNA What was it? BLAKE I don't know. JENNA I saw my mother. It was so real. Then something terrible, a nightmare. But it was my mother. AVON I saw my brother. It used him like bait. I had to go closer. BLAKE And 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. JENNA But why didn't it affect you? BLAKE It did, but somehow I knew it wasn't real. [To Avon] Seems I can recognize dreams.

LEYLAN Blake. Are you all right? BLAKE Yes! We're all right. But we're still checking.

LEYLAN Stay in contact, Blake.

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

[The technician leaves]

LEYLAN What're you going to do?

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

LEYLAN Raiker!

RAIKER Yes sir.

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

AVON Blake! This would account for what happened to the crew. BLAKE What is it? AVON Life rocket launch control -- it's been operated. JENNA But why? BLAKE Maybe that thing drove them out. AVON I imagined it was some kind of defence mechanism. BLAKE [To Jenna] Could this ship operate under her own power? JENNA I don't see why not. BLAKE But could you pilot her? JENNA Eventually I might just be able to make her start and stop. BLAKE You've got two minutes, no more.

[Blake heads towards one of the exits]

BLAKE Help her Avon. AVON What are you going to do? BLAKE Check the outer hatch in case someone decides to try and join us.

RAIKER I 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]

JENNA Shall we risk it? AVON Why 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.]

AVON What happened? BLAKE Slight disagreement with Raiker. And then the hatch closed. JENNA We're on our way. BLAKE What course have you set? JENNA Name it. We're free. We've got a ship. We can go anywhere we like. BLAKE Follow 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]

Script Index

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