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Vengeance Is Mine

A perfectly good episode, put together and edited very well. It's one gigantic cliché though, which leaps out of the screen and grabs you around the throat within about the first ten seconds of the theme tune finishing. That does rather get in the way of just enjoying the episode. There's nothing really to dislike, and in actual fact most of it's pretty effective; even if, yet again, the aliens' plan is downright bloody stupid. It's just let down by the sense that it's all been done two hundred times before. Though probably not with quite so much gore, I'll admit.

Ironhorse is in the middle of an operation. He hears that three aliens are heading his way and, alone, decides that he'll just have to blast them all to hell. It's business as usual, then. Sadly for him, the aliens have chosen today to take their first ever hostage. Since they have no need for hostages, this is completely inexplicable behaviour, so it's perfectly understandable that Ironhorse blasts all three.

One of them does not turn into soup. Ironhorse is not best pleased.

Despite having blasted her at fairly close range with a machine gun, he still yells for a medic, which is quite sweet. Not that it does much good.

With the innocent civilian dead and buried, her husband takes up stalking Ironhorse, who, for a highly trained soldier, is spectacularly oblivious.

Back at alien HQ, a hapless victim is strapped to a frame for a bit of experimentation.

The aliens have a laser.

It melts human heads.

The SFX team are so delighted with this that they give us an hilarious shot of celebrating aliens, seen through the cheerfully gory head interior.

I really do love this show sometimes.

Elsewhere, the gang are looking at computer screens again. They live for this stuff. They have a hot lead on the aliens, but Ironhorse refuses to do anything about it, in case anybody else gets hurt.

Meanwhile, the aliens are in search of rubies, to power miniaturised laser weapons, so that every alien can have one. Hurrah! It's the ultimate weapon! Except that a gun works just as well, and they're a lot easier to come by than rubies. Still, this does give us a chance to meet the hilarious ruby saleswoman, who will be getting increasingly turned on by money and rubies throughout the course of the episode.

Ironhorse does the "staring into flames in deep contemplation" scene.

Then he has a nightmare, where the woman he shot is dressed in a white bridal gown, and carrying a bouquet of flowers, before getting mown down by his machine gun fire. Ironhorse's psyche is as clichéd as the plot.

Then he does the "waking up and gasping in a sweat" scene.

Heist! Eager to buy the rubies legally, as stealing them would create too much publicity, the aliens begin to steal vast amounts of money and gold in order to pay for them.

There's a slight flaw in that plan somewhere.

Still, we get some great alien gas masks, so who cares.

And the gang stare at computer screens again. Another lead has come up, and this time Ironhorse wants to jump right in and start blasting. It's time to exchange meaningful looks, and have A Talk.

Ironhorse does not want to have A Talk. Ironhorse just wants to punch doors and glare a lot.

Then he does it all again, in a slightly different place.

Then he goes and does the obligatory "hard work out in a gym" scene.

At which point Harrison offers the equally obligatory isolated cabin in the middle of nowhere, that people on TV always seem to think is a good idea. When does anything good ever happen in isolated cabins in the middle of nowhere? Harrison apparently inherited this one from his adopted father, who - nineteen episodes in - he has still only ever referred to as "Doctor Forrester". That must have been a fun childhood.

Ruby woman is meanwhile getting ever increasingly hot under the collar about rubies and how much they cost.

Which is a shame, as aliens don't do flirting.

Actually I'm not sure if that's flirting or just a vampire getting ready to strike.

Back in the other bit of the plot, the grieving widower has a radio-controlled helicopter packed with explosives.

He deploys this against Ironhorse as he heads for the isolated cabin in the middle of nowhere.

Ironhorse then wakes up in an isolated cabin in the middle of nowhere. Presumably a different one.

The grieving husband plans to kill him, but he's a bit rubbish about it, and Ironhorse has soon turned the tables.

He even manages to work out his psychological issues in the process.

The grieving widower is delighted that his broken life and general uselessness has been of such help to his enemy.

The aliens are just happy about rubies and gold and stuff. Harrison has hauled Ironhorse's little mayhem squad along for a visit, though, and the aliens are forced to flee without money, gold or rubies.

Ironhorse decides to deputise the grieving widower, and chase after the escaping aliens with his spare radio-controlled helicopter bomb, so that they can both work out their remaining issues together.

This ends in the traditional explosion.

"Is everything okay?" asks Harrison.

"It is now," agree Ironhorse and the grieving widower. Because exploding an unknown van driver that the guy you hate has insisted is really responsible for your wife's death is apparently the surest road to recovery. Hurrah!

Well, it's cheaper than psychoanalysis, and a whole hell of a lot more fun.

This is such a mixed bag of an episode. The heist stuff is fun, and the aliens are entertaining as they rush around trying to get rubies to build their wholly pointless ultimate weapons. Good performance from Denis Forest as the poor widower of Ironhorse's innocent victim, too. The angst/revenge storyline is just lame, though. It always is, and probably always will be.

Denis Forest was to turn up again, of course, in the infamous Second Season That Doesn't Really Exist, as alien leader Malzor. So presumably the griefstricken widower went on fighting aliens in his spare time, and eventually got taken over by one. If I acknowledged the existence of the second season, then I might be entertained by that thought, but I don't, so I'm not.

So all in all that was a fairly wasted paragraph, wasn't it.

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