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Recap / Blakes Seven S 4 E 10 Gold

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Would you trust a consignment of gold to this man?
Written by Colin Davis.
Directed by Brian Lighthill.
Airdate: 30 November 1981.

Avon is contacted by a former colleague who wants their help in robbing a shipment of gold.

This episode has the following tropes:

  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Dayna, Tarrant, and Vila are all devastated when they believe Avon and Soolin have been killed.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Avon and Soolin adopt this position when they're not even being shot at. Earlier Tarrant and Dayna do some back-to-back crouching while hiding from guards.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": Tarrant and Soolin's attempts to pass themselves off as passengers aboard the cruise ship are... less than convincing. Tarrant was quite a good actor in "Powerplay", but here he's pretending to be drugged, so maybe he has less experience at that.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: (see What the Hell, Hero?). At least in "Games" our heroes had the satisfaction of knowing that Servalan didn't get her hands on the loot either.
  • Batman Gambit: Servalan left evidence of her involvement with Keiller, knowing that Avon couldn't resist the opportunity to defeat her.
  • Bavarian Fire Drill: Keiller tries to brazen his way past a guard with Avon and Soolin in tow. The guard draws his weapon the moment their backs are turned, only to be gunned down by Soolin.
  • BBC Quarry: Justified as Beta Five is barely habitable anyway. A quarry in Dorset was used, with the nearby Poole Refuse Disposal Centre standing in for the gold processing plant on Zerok.
  • Blood Knight: Avon of all people has a big grin as he stays back to Hold the Line against the guards on the Space Princess. Like his Laughing Mad moment, it hints at an ever-increasing Sanity Slippage.
  • Booby Trap
    • Dayna leaves a timed grenade for the ZVP guards pursuing them.
    • The crate holding the bullion sprays Keiller with pyrotechnic-explosive pellets. He also warns that the catches on the crate may be explosive.
  • Briefcase Full of Money: In a different twist on this trope the money in the case is genuine; it just happens to be worthless because the Federation has just taken over the Zerok banking system.
  • Camera Spoofing: Keiller connects the camera in the bullion room to a rotating cube gizmo that feeds an image he'd recorded on his own security screens. It's accidentally turned off at one stage, but fortunately the guard has left the security monitoring room.
  • The Caper: Which turns into The Con.
  • Captain Obvious
    Keiller: The mine is underground.
    Dayna: Like most mines.note 
  • Changed My Jumper: None of the crew bother changing out of their regular Space Clothes to board the cruise ship, except for Tarrant, in this case donning a literal jumper. Although the real passengers aren't really dressed any less sillily.
  • Comically Missing the Point
    Keiller: They blackmailed me, said they’d use my record against me. I’ve got a criminal record, you see.
    Vila: (puzzled) Hasn’t everybody?
  • The Dead Have Names: Although the person in question isn't really dead.
    Keiller: What happened to Avon and the pretty one?
    Tarrant: Avon and Soolin are dead.
  • Deadly Hug: Not an actual hug but works the same way; the fleeing doctor bumps into Keiller. Just as he's babbling about a robbery, a shot rings out and he falls down dead, to reveal Keiller holding a small gun.
  • Death Faked for You: Avon and Soolin are ambushed by two guards, who conveniently provide the two corpses assumed to be them. Avon says the guards will likely cover up the breach of security anyway.
  • Dirty Old Man: Keiller keeps hugging "the pretty one" until Soolin discourages him by putting her handgun in his face.
  • Door Jam: Avon gets trapped in the transfer tunnel.
  • Dramatic Unmask: Servalan In the Hood and mask.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: As you do with Faceless Goons, though this time it's to escape not infiltrate.
  • Enforced Method Acting: In-Universe; Dayna was just supposed to fake getting sick, but they had to give her a real drug after The Alcoholic doctor was replaced by someone more competent. She accidentally knocks the gun out of Avon's hand while begging for the antidote.
  • Faceless Goons: The ZVP guards wear safety helmets with dark face shields.
  • Fanservice Extra: The characters keep bumping into the same female passenger in a dress with a Sexy Backless Outfit and a Navel-Deep Neckline.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Keiller puts on a facade of amiability despite being a corrupt official who's secretly working for Servalan.
  • Fauxtastic Voyage: The passengers on the Space Princess are kept drugged and shown videos of the planets they're supposedly passing, while the starliner makes a direct journey to its destination.
  • Fictional Currency: The crew are impressed by the high denomination Zerok currency... until they find it's worthless.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing:
    • One of those Black Cloaked figures is wearing stilettos in a BBC Quarry. I wonder who that could be?
    • Servalan has always been a Sore Loser. That she's smiling after Avon has taken 10 billion in exchange for worthless black gold shows she's still got a card to play.
  • Foe Romance Subtext: After exchanging the usual death threats, Avon and Servalan get close enough to snog while sharing a laugh over how clever Servalan's Evil Plan was.
  • Gambit Pileup: Keiller, the Seven and Servalan are all running their own schemes.
  • Gold Fever: The Mineral MacGuffin could have been the usual Green Rocks or Power Crystals, but gold is the appropriate trope for an episode where a lot of people get killed for no goal other than self-enrichment, and the hero is driven to near insanity on realising it's all been for nothing.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: We don't see the two bodies in the destroyed radiation chamber.
  • Handwave: Bafflegab is used to explain why they don't just teleport the gold off the Space Princess. The process used to transform the gold would further degrade the black gold if it were teleported, leaving them with dust.
  • Heist Episode: In this case, an interstellar gold heist.
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: The gold is transported on an innocuous starliner instead of the well-guarded warship it's supposedly on. As a precaution against an inside job, the atomic composition of the gold is changed. The gold mine on Zerok is hidden in a vegetable reprocessing plant.
  • Hilarious Outtakes: The airlock doors fail to close in time and Avon joins the others instead of being cut off inside the airlock, causing cast and crew to break into laughter.
  • Human Aliens: The doctor refers to Dayna as an alien, so presumably the term refers to humans not born on Earth.
  • Implied Death Threat: Avon explains to Keiller that his Ragtag Bunch of Misfits are not his gang, and they would kill him if they thought he had betrayed them — implying that the same could happen to Keiller.
  • Inside Job: Keiller is the Purser of the Space Princess, as well as being responsible for security.
  • Kansas City Shuffle: Avon thinks he's worked out what Servalan/Keiller are planning, so decides to play along to get the money and a chance of killing her. Servalan has counted on this however, and has her own con planned.
  • Kick the Dog: So the audience won't feel sorry for Keiller, he kills the unarmed doctor.
  • Laughing Mad: Upon realizing that he and his crew had not only accomplished nothing despite risking their lives repeatedly, but had actually benefited Servalan, Avon begins to laugh hysterically under the frightened stares of the crew.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: The Reveal that Servalan (as usual this season) is behind the whole thing.
    Avon: It wasn’t hard to work out. But it wasn’t meant to be, was it?
  • Mexican Standoff: Servalan informs Avon that her guards have been ordered to kill him first. Avon contemplates whether killing her might be worth it, but Servalan points out that he's not the self-sacrificing type.
  • Not Quite Dead: Avon and Soolin.
  • Properly Paranoid: The crew don't try to hide their belief that Keiller intends to double-cross them and proceed accordingly. They're right, of course.
  • Quick Draw: Two guards attack the thieves from different directions and are instantly gunned down. When Keiller congratulates them, Avon notes that Soolin actually killed both.
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: Having been revealed as an agent of Servalan, Avon leaves Keiller to her tender mercies, even though he begs to be taken away on Scorpio.
  • Servile Snarker: Tarrant notes that Slave Apologises a Lot, but he doesn't believe the Master Computer's remorse is genuine.
    Tarrant: That's no problem so long as Slave can match vectors.
    Dayna: Well, he says he can.
    Tarrant: He says he's sorry most of the time. I don't believe that either.
  • Schmuck Bait: The Federation send out a heavily-armed warship to ostensibly transport the gold, but it's actually carrying fruit.
  • Shipping Torpedo: Chris Boucher wanted to cut down on the Avon/Servalan tension, so this is the only time they meet directly during the season, apart from a brief moment in "Assassin".
  • Shoot Out the Lock: Keiller and Avon do this to the locks on the gold crate, though they stand well back as the locks have been known to be explosive against tampering.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The constant muzak playing on the Space Princess.
  • Space Pirates: The Seven seem more intent on enriching themselves than fighting the Federation — indeed their efforts only end up helping Servalan.
  • Teleporters and Transporters: Keiller is dumbfounded when Avon and Soolin suddenly appear inside the processing plant, as he thought he'd be helping them get through the fence.
  • Tempting Fate
    Keiller: I told you it would work. We're going to walk off this ship and no-one's even going to try and stop us. (guard finds unconscious guard in gold room)
    • Earlier Keiller says that fixing the gold conversion chamber is simple. Then everything goes to hell.
  • Thrown Out the Airlock: Avon and a Federation Red Shirt find themselves trapped in the transfer tunnel between Scorpio and the Space Princess. Avon is only saved by a Teleportation Rescue Just in Time while the poor Red Shirt is sucked out into space.
  • Wham Line
    Avon: I've been waiting for a chance to kill you....Servalan.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Soolin complains that Avon risked their lives by holding back that Servalan was involved, but he says it was justified for 10 billion in cash and a chance of killing her. Unfortunately Orac then reveals that it was All for Nothing.
    Orac: Within the last few hours, Zerok has ceded to the Federation.
    Dayna: So that black gold will be of use to Servalan. The Federation doesn't know how she's got it. She's made herself a good profit.
    Tarrant: Worse?
    Orac: The Federation banking system will now take over that of Zerok. All bank notes drawn by the Bank of Zerok will be declared invalid within seven days and all private transactions will be illegal directly. The consequences of this are clear.
    Tarrant: Yes, they're clear all right. Aren't they, Avon? We've just risked our lives... for nothing!
    Soolin: Not for nothing, Tarrant. We risked our lives to make Servalan rich!
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: Our heroes ruthlessly gun down the guards on Zerok, even though they've nothing to do with the Federation.
  • Worthless Treasure Twist: Our heroes rob a shipment of gold being transferred from the planet Zerok to the Federation. The gold has had its atomic composition changed to prevent it being stolen, so they exchange this useless black gold for 10 billion in Zerok currency. Then they discover that Zerok has just joined the Federation rendering the currency invalid, while Servalan can just have her gold changed back to normal.
  • Worthless Yellow Rocks: Averted; gold has been mined out on most other planets, and it's still used to trade with planets that don't have computerised monetary systems.
  • You Have Failed Me: Servalan looks like she's going to abandon Keiller on the planet with no lifeforms or shelter, but it's revealed that he was shot instead. For her, that's almost a Pet the Dog.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Lampshaded by Avon re Servalan.
    Avon: I almost did trust Keiller. When I found out it was you, I knew I was safe from him, at least. After all, he has nothing to gain from obeying you. Only in the end, it occurred to me that he might possibly imagine that you would keep your side of the bargain and pay him his reward instead of just killing him. He doesn't know you as well as I do.
    Servalan: Who does?