Directed by Vere Lorrimer.
Airdate: 7 January 1980.
The crew of the Liberator are forced to Abandon Ship during the battle against the Andromedan invasion force. Avon crashlands his life capsule on the planet Sarran, where he encounters a young and beautiful Action Girl and an all-too familiar Femme Fatale.
This episode has the following tropes:
- Abandon Ship: At the start of the episode, with the next two episodes showing what happens as a result.
- Action Girl: Dayna, who's even trained herself in bow and arrow as it's more challenging.
- Agony Beam: Hal Mellanby uses "vitashock" rifles against barbarians trying to break into the entry hatch of his underground base the idea being aversion therapy so they'll associate the hatch with pain and stay away, avoiding the need to kill them. However the barbarians aren't stupid; they work out what's happening and sneak up on their firing position during the night.
- Anti-Hero: Avon is clearly tempted by Servalan's pitch. Fortunately he's equally aware of her Chronic Backstabbing Disorder.Servalan: You could rebuild it all. All those worlds could be yours, Avon, they're there for the taking! You and I could build an empire greater and more powerful than the Federation ever was or ever could have been. Now, Avon. At this moment we can take history and shape it in our own image. Think of it: absolute power. There is nothing you can imagine that we couldn't do.Avon: I am thinking of it.
Servalan: We can do it, Avon.
Avon: I know we can.
Servalan: We'll be answerable to no one. Ours will be the only voice. Imagination our only limit.
[They kiss. Avon grabs her by the throat and pushes her to the ground]
Avon: Imagination my only limit? I'd be dead in a week.
- Appeal to Force: Servalan points out that with the Federation in disarray after the destruction of Star One, Avon could forge a new empire with his control of the Liberator and Orac.
- BBC Quarry: Averted; the planet Sarran looks like a beach in Northumberland, so instead of just sand and rocks we get water and grass too.
- Blood Knight: Dayna is quite bloodthirsty.
- Brandishment Bluff: Servalan reveals at the end of a Mexican Standoff that her gun was out of ammunition. Avon is impressed.
- Bury Your Disabled: Servalan murders Dana's blind father after destroying the device that allows him to see.
- Cliffhanger: As Book Ends.
- At the start of the episode, Vila and Cally try to get their life capsule working as Zen counts down the seconds till life support failure. That's the last we see of them for now.
- At the end of the episode, Avon and Dayna teleport up to the Liberator only to find a Federation officer pointing a gun at them, demanding to know what they're doing on his ship.
- Coming in Hot: Avon's life capsule is coming in too fast and he's too weak to pilot it, so he orders Orac to get them down.
- Contrived Coincidence: So much so the script just throws up its hands and admits it when Avon and Servalan survive a massive space battle only to run into each other while stranded on an alien planet.Servalan: You don't sound surprised.
Avon: Why should I be? It has a perverse kind of logic to it. Our meeting is the most unlikely happening I could imagine. Therefore we meet. Surprise seems inappropriate somehow.
- Cut Phone Lines: When the mysterious spaceship docks with the Liberator, communications with Zen cut out abruptly.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Hal Mellanby led a failed rebellion against the Federation. He surrendered on promises of leniency, only to see his family and followers slaughtered. After choosing to take Dayna and flee rather than die with them, he was despised as a coward. He also lost his eyes as a result of being tortured.
- A Day in the Limelight: Avon
- Dead Guy on Display: Chel likes doing this, and it becomes Lauren's fate. Servalan is shown being tied up in the same manner, but Avon rescues her.
- Did Not Think This Through: Mellanby insists on only stunning the Sarrans attempting to force open the hatch, saying they will associate that with pain. Which might have worked with unreasoning animals, but Chel sees movement from where they are firing, and sneaks up on Lauren's location during the night.
- Escape Pod: The crew of Liberator have to Abandon Ship in the escape capsules as the teleport is damaged.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Avon is tempted by the thought of ultimate power, but he won't kill an unarmed man and prioritizes the rescue of his friends above his own.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Servalan with her overweening ambition cannot understand that even those not so different from her might have other standards, such as loyalty.
- Fantastic Racism
- Foe Romance Subtext: Avon snogs Servalan!
- Foil: During her distress call, Servalan orders that her own rescue should be top priority, whereas Anti-Hero Avon tells Zen to prioritise the rescue of his crewmates above his own.
- Frontline General: After victory was certain, Servalan turned up at the battle hoping to get some propaganda kudos. It backfired when her ship was attacked and destroyed.
- Gadgeteer Genius: Mellanby and his daughter invent weapons. Avon is impressed by the weapon he's shown, which aims itself according to preprogrammed target parameters.
- Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: Dayna is an Archer Archetype (female, graceful, and rather cocky) while the Sarrans prefer to chop people up with swords. Then again when Chel does get his hands on a ranged energy weapon, he makes use of it.
- History Repeats:
- The crew of the Liberator Abandon Ship during a space battle, whereupon it's taken by a Boarding Party while unoccupied. This is the same way our heroes acquired the Liberator in "Space Fall".
- Hall Mellanby's Back Story fits with Federation tactics we've seen in the past in which a rebellion is ruthlessly crushed, but the Rebel Leader is spared to discredit his own cause.
- Idiot Ball
- Avon leaves Orac unguarded instead of carrying it to where he sleeps. On the other hand perhaps Avon just preferred Mellanby to be in the line of fire if Servalan tried to steal it, rather than himself.
- Mellanby lowers his gun and turns his back on Servalan, who has no problem shooting him In the Back.
- Intimate Healing: Avon finds his headache cured when Dayna kisses him out of the blue.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Given the imperialistic (and at times genocidal) behaviour of the Federation, it's hard to blame Chel for wanting to kill the outworlders before they can gain a foothold on Sarran.
- Kick the Dog: Servalan inflicts a Cruel and Unusual Death on Mellanby, shooting out his image amplifier, then taunting him as he stumbles around the room, blindly lashing out.
- Look Behind You: Avon tells Servalan he gave her a damaged teleport bracelet. "Look at the casing; it's cracked right across." Servalan doesn't fall for it, but just then Chel starts shooting at her, providing a real distraction so Dayna can jump her.
- Low-Angle Empty World Shot: There's a lot of Hitler Cam to avoid showing the crowd of gawkers who turned up on the beach to watch the filming as the day wore on.
- Low Culture, High Tech: Chel captures a handgun off Servalan and puts it to use.
- Mad Scientist's Beautiful Daughter: Though downplayed with Mellanby and Dayna.
- Make It Look Like an Accident: Avon warns Dayna not to 'accidentally' shoot Servalan while trying to free her from the Sarran.
- Mexican Standoff: Avon gets a gun pushed into his back by Servalan. Avon indicates the Action Girl who's just come up behind Servalan with a bow and arrow. Then a bunch of sword-wielding locals arrive and Servalan admits the gun is empty anyway. Everyone legs it.
- Mr. Exposition: Two Federation soldiers without their familiar gas masks land on Sarren and provide exposition before they are killed off.
- Multiple-Choice Past: Mellanby tells slightly different versions of his past to Avon, Dayna and Servalan. There's also the question of how he escaped custody despite being captured and blinded, raising the possibility that he turned informer to save Dayna's life, and was allowed his freedom in exchange.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero
- Avon orders Zen not to fire on an approaching ship, as it could be Vila and Cally returning to the Liberator. The occupants of the ship turn out to be Federation soldiers who seize the Liberator.
- Orac teleports Avon and Dayna away just as the latter is about to shoot Servalan.
- "Not So Different" Remark:Servalan: After all, we're very alike, you and I.
Avon: I doubt that.
Servalan: You are ambitious, ruthless... you want power and you'd never let conscience stand in the way of achieving it. Well?
Avon: You overestimate me.
Servalan: You have one other quality I admire. Very much.
Servalan: You are infinitely corruptible. You'd sell out anybody, wouldn't you?
Avon: I don't know; I never really had an offer I felt was worthy of me.
Servalan: Then why don't you see if you can find us a drink. We have things to talk about.
- Not So Stoic: Avon, as Servalan notes.
- Nothing Is the Same Anymore:
- Avon is the main protagonist now that Blake is gone. However we also see the introduction of Tarrant, a rival for his command of the Liberator.
- Star One was destroyed along with most of the Federation fleet during the battle. Without a Master Computer or Appeal to Force, the Terran Federation collapses into chaos and revolution.
- Out of Focus: Vila and Cally only appear very briefly at the start of the episode, as they get separated from Avon almost immediately, and the rest of the episode follows Avon and his interactions with Dayna and Servalan; at the end of the episode he (and the audience) are still unsure of whether they are even alive.
- Party Scattering: The third season starts with the crew of the Liberator taking to the life capsules after life support is damaged while fighting an alien invasion. By the time Avon makes it back to the ship (which is self-repairing) he finds the Liberator has been seized by Federation soldiers and he spends the next episode getting rid of them. Blake himself (along with Jenna) never make it back to the ship, making Avon the series lead by default.
- Pillow Pistol: Servalan finds a handgun in Dayna's bedroom cabinet, and uses it to kill her father.
- Portent of Doom: Chel sees the flashes of the space battle in the sky above and knows what follows.Chel: This is the day that was prophesied. The day our Law foretold. They will come from the sky to destroy us. They will burn the stars to light their way. We must be prepared.
- Price on Their Head: Former Rebel Leader Hal Mellanby has 3 million credits on his head.
- Put on a Bus: Jenna and Blake. For Jenna it's a Long Bus Trip.
- Pyrrhic Victory: The Alien Invasion was defeated, but at the cost of Star One and 80% of the Federation fleet.
- Raised by Humans: Lauren is a native Sarran who was raised by Hal and his daughter. Chel kills her, presumably for being contaminated by the Strangers. Mind you it's never stated how she came into Mellanby's custody in the first place — she may well have been kidnapped as a playmate for Dayna.
- Rescue Introduction: A Sarran warrior is about to carve up Avon when he catches an arrow in the back. Meet Dayna.
- Salvage Pirates: The Liberator has been seized while Avon has been away.
- Save the Villain: At least Avon has a good excuse as Servalan has hidden Orac, which Avon needs to teleport them up to the Liberator.
- Ship Tease: Dayna saves Avon's life and kisses him the moment he wakes up. Avon doesn't seem to mind.
- Shoot the Hostage Taker: When Servalan is holding Avon at gunpoint, Dayna comes up from behind with a drawn bow.Servalan: If she fires, the chances are that I would still pull the trigger. Do you want to risk it?
Avon: It's out of my hands.
- Shooting Gallery: Mellanby has one to test his weapons, with bug-eyed monster targets!
- Sound In Space: Zigzagged; the space battle has the requisite loud explosions and weapon fire in a vacuum, yet Avon's life capsule ejecting from the Liberator is completely silent.
- Stab the Scorpion: An In-Universe one as the audience knows Avon intends to rescue Servalan, but she clearly thinks otherwise for a moment when he moves towards her with a knife, only to cut her bonds.
- Stock Footage: Scenes from past episodes were cobbled together to create the battle with the Andromedans.
- Survivor Guilt: Hal Mellanby is implied to suffer from this.
- Sword Plant/Skyward Scream: Chel on seeing the 'strangers' have escaped.
- Teleportation Rescue: Zen has repaired the Liberator and is heading for Sarran to pick up Avon. Servalan is determined to hitch a ride, and maybe seize the Liberator for herself.
- Tempting Fate
- Vila is checking out the life capsules. Just when he says they're alright, Explosive Instrumentation ensues.
- The Federation officer says they've nothing to worry about now they're out of the war. Then sword-wielding barbarians ride up and slaughter them.
- Lauren tells Dayna that she can handle any trouble. Chel sneaks up in the night and kills her.
- Thou Shalt Not Kill:
- Avon stops Dayna from killing an unconscious Sarran.
- Dayna calls out her father on his hypocrisy in inventing weapons but not using them to kill.
- Unwilling Suspension: Lauren and Servalan are tied to a pole to die a slow death.
- Villainous Valour: The Federation fleet is crippled by the war, but it did win it and defeat the alien invasion, most probably saving all mankind from extermination.
- Wanting Is Better Than Having:Avon: There is no real Federation anymore. It's unlikely that anyone will come looking for you. You won't have to hide any longer.
Hal Mellanby: It's odd - for the last twenty years that's all I've dreamed of, freedom to do what I want, go where I want. Now that I've got it, I'm not sure what to do with it.
- Wardrobe Malfunction: Jacqueline Pearce got her Impractically Fancy Outfit snagged on bramble and ended up mooning everyone when her dress tore. She took it entirely in stride saying, "Take a good look, boys. I usually charge for this!"
- We Can Rule Together: Servalan tries this with both Avon and Chel. Both see right through her.
- Wham LineTarrant: Summary execution is the usual punishment for boarding a Federation ship without authority. What are you doing on my ship?
- Whole-Plot Reference: Dayna has similarities to Miranda from The Tempest, living in exile with her genius father and falling for the first man she encounters from the outside world. However her personality is quite different.
- Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Dayna's argument with her father and later Avon. Ironically the one time she has Servalan dead to rights, she waits a fraction too long and they get teleported away.
- "X" Marks the Hero: Chel has a cross-shaped scar on his cheek, but he's not The Hero.
- You Killed My Father: Dayna confronts Servalan when she realises what's happened.