Traitor was the second episode commissioned for Series D. Robert Holmes' draft script has 'Ep. 4' written on it in biro and it was still scheduled in that position when the camera script was distributed. There are a number of significant changes between the draft script and what finally made it to the screen.
The first draft was entitled A Land Fit for Helots and still featured Cally. At the time Holmes was commissioned, the production team still believed that Jan Chappell would be returning for at least part of Series D. Holmes also used different names for Scorpio and Xenon Base (Nighthawk and Eagle Base respectively). It is likely that these were merely placeholder names devised by Holmes and were never intended to be used by the production team.
A comedic scene involving Vila telling Calla about crumpets was dropped at an early stage.
2. INT. EAGLE BASE. DAY.
VILA PULLS A TRAY FROM THE WALL AND STUDIES ITS CONTENTS.
CALLY: Vila, you look at those trays every two hours!
VILA: Germination's critical. We've got the makings of a dozen wheat fields here, Cally.
CALLY: I never saw you as the back-to-nature type.
VILA: If we're going to be here as long as Avon reckons then we might as well be comfortable. I keep dreaming about toasted crumpets.
CALLY: Toasted what?
VILA: An old earth delicacy.
In the scene where the crew decide to go to Helotrix, Vila originally compared Avon to Blake.
VILA: You're getting worse than Blake used to be! You're turning into a hero, Avon.
AVON: Sometimes one doesn't have too many options. But I'm going to let Tarrant be the hero. Tell him to get the Nighthawk ready for take-off, Cally.
Cally's lines were ultimately given to Soolin. The following dialogue had to be rewritten as it mentioned Cally's alien origins.
CALLY: I didn't know Helots were originally from earth.
VILA: Then you don't know your history.
CALLY: Your history isn't mine, Vila.
When Orac later refers to being 'forty miles' above the surface of Helotrix, Chris Boucher noted on the script (in biro) that this should be 'spacials'. This was switched back to 'miles' on Vere Lorrimer's instruction. The teleport is referred to as the 'transmat' in the draft script and Tarrant and Dayna teleport down wearing Helot clothing rather than stealing it later.
(AVON) OPERATES THE TRANSMAT. TARRANT AND DAYNA ROLL BACK AND MIX INTO THIN AIR.
VILA: That's a sight I can't see too often. Nothing instead of Tarrant.
In the first draft, the scenes on Helotrix are set in a city rather than the mud flats and jungle we ultimately saw on screen.
8. INT. PIAZZA. DAY.
THIS IS THE PRINCIPLE SET - A BRENT CROSS IN TUDOR STYLE. TARRANT AND DAYNA ARE AT THE END OF AN ALLY HOLDING THEIR THINGS.
The word 'Eh??' appears, in Chris Boucher's handwriting at this point! When Holmes wrote his script, it was still unclear how the communicators and teleport devices would work so he refers to them as 'things' or 'whatsits'. This leads to the rather classic stage direction:
TARRANT EYES HIS INERT WHATSIT AND GRIMACES.
Some of Orac's dialogue was later given to Slave who didn't appear in Holmes draft script.
ORAC: Sensors indicate audio malfunction.
VILA: Tell us something we don't know, Orac.
ORAC: In your case that would not be difficult, Vila.
AVON: All right, Orac, that's enough.
This dialogue was changed in the final script to reflect Slave's cringing personality.
SLAVE: I fear that sensors indicate audio malfunction.
VILA: Tell us something we don't know, Slave.
SLAVE: Oh, I do apologise most profoundly if I have given offence. I assure you that such a...
AVON: All right, Slave, be quiet.
The extended fight scene was initially a more straightforward massacre with the adapted Helots offering no resistance when they are attacked by Hunda's men.
TELECINE 7: EXT. RUINS. DAY
The patrol of adapted Helots moves through the ruins. There are bodies everywhere they look lying among the masonry. The LEADER waves to his men to spread out into a search line. Suddenly a whistle blasts and the broken bodies roll over with amazing speed and spray the shocked patrol with a withering fire from their automatic carbines. The adapted Helots are slaughtered where they stand.
A scene between Avon, Vila, Cally and Orac on the flight deck was excised from the script. The short scene included another mention of Blake.
22. INT. FLIGHT DECK. NIGHT.
AVON IS STUDYING THE MATHS SYMBOLS ON THE SCREEN.
AVON: What are these, Orac?
ORAC: Co-efficient factors of nose-cone profiles.
AVON: All right. File them. What's the next programme?
ORAC: Weight and velocity factors.
AVON: File those, too. In fact, store all the data. I'll go through it when we get back to base.
VILA: If we get back to base. How much longer are we going to wait, Avon?
CALLY: Until we hear from Tarrant and Dayna.
VILA: You're an optimist, Cally.
CALLY: Anything wrong with that?
VILA: Yeah, optimists die young. They might die smiling but they die young.
CALLY: If they were in trouble I think I'd know. I don't get any feeling that anything's wrong.
VILA: Hanging around here like this, the only feeling we're likely to get is a rocket right up the tail.
AVON: Vila doesn't like waiting. He's an action man.
VILA: I'll tell you what kind of man I am, Avon - I'm a running man. The way you used to be before you caught terminal Blakeitis.
The scene where the crew detect a surface launch from Helotrix was trimmed and edited by Chris Boucher to remove some rather anachronistic and uncharacteristic language from Avon and Vila.
CALLY: Just a minute! (POINTS TO THE FLASHING TRANSMAT) This is Nighthawk. Come in, Tarrant!
AVON: Hold that order, Orac.
TARRANT: (OS) Cally, we're almost finished here.
VILA: Tell him if he doesn't get the lead out we're certainly finished here!
28. INT. PIAZZA. NIGHT.
AVON: (OS) Tarrant, we think Nighthawk's been spotted. Transmat up now!
TARRANT: Sorry, Avon. We're not receiving you very clearly.
AVON: (OS) For Pete's sake, listen -
TARRANT CUTS HIM OFF AND GRINS AT DAYNA.
TARRANT: All right, let's go.
29. INT. FLIGHT DECK. NIGHT.
AVON: Tarrant! Tarrant, you dumbo! Come in!
CALLY: It's no use. He's cut off.
VILA: I think I'll just go and find a coffin and climb in. Everyone on this ship is mad...
The dialogue of Tarrant and Dayna informing the rest of the crew that Servalan has survived was slightly different in the draft script.
DAYNA: We've just seen an old friend of yours, Vila.
TARRANT: An implacable old friend.
VILA: What are you talking about?
AVON: Servalan? But she's -
TARRANT: She's not. She's very much alive.
DAYNA: And just as evil as ever. Calls herself Sleer now.
CALLY: I always felt she was still alive...
Avon's line "I need to kill her myself" didn't feature in the draft script. The episode originally ended with Servalan watching the Nighthawk fly away.
36. INT. PIAZZA. DAY.
STILL THE NOISE OF THE NIGHTHAWK JETTING AWAY. SERVALAN STARES UPWARDS, HER FACE FILLED WITH HATE. THE NOISE OF THE ENGINES RECEDE RAPIDLY.
Telecine 10: (model shot)
The Nighthawk speeding out into space, dwindling among the stars.