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Candlelight April 22 2013 10:24 AM

Rewatching Blake's 7
 
Am doing a rewatch of the old BBC series after being 'inspired' by news of a new series in the works by Syfy. In between a very busy work schedule and raising kids I'm squeezing in an episode here and there, so this may take a while...

Disclaimer: I've watched all 52 episodes before, but the last time was in the 1990s, so it'll be fun to stretch my legs, viewing my second-favourite British show all over again.

A01 The Way Back

The opening 15 minutes show how brutal the show will be, and despite the "childish" nature of the Federation guns the massacre still packs a punch. The episode then takes the deviation following a minor character who meets an unfortunate end, while Blake waits around for the London to take off. A good pilot.

A02 Space Fall

We finally meet most of the Seven, Avon and even Gan do impress. The Liberator gets it debut in a very enigmatic way, leaving a lot of questions unanswered. The minor characters who only appear in these early episodes are very well thought out. Leslie Schofield, fresh from his appearance on Star Wars, does a good turn as Raiker.

A03 Cygnus Alpha

We meet Zen and the wibbly-wobbly teleport first appears. Brian Blessed is always larger than life and fills the role of the religious nutter perfectly. Only the ending spoils this one, which simply defys the laws of physics (Varga teleports first and yet arrives after the others - from the other side of the teleport bay). The half finished flight deck is still impressive.

A04 Time Squad

Blake finally decides to go after the Federation and picks up Cally along the way. Gan's limiter works well on paper but as part of a gang of resistance fighters it's not very helpful. Interesting to space out the 'pilot' over four episodes, unlike how it would be done today. The first four are very strong, a good start to the series.

A05 The Web

Putting a standalone after the first four is necessary but the story kills the momentum set up, although we do meet a member of Cally's own people, albeit a bit of a weird one. The story reflects Blake's struggle against the Federation in an oh-so-obvious way, and the cheap sets in the forest don't really lend itself.

A06 Seek-Locate-Destroy

Blake finally reaches Centero and we get more of what we saw in Time Squad. Blake's loyalty to his own crew is a complete opposite to Avon's self-serving nature. Travis and Servalan get good introductions and Travis show more of his personal vendetta than he would in later episodes.

Guy Gardener April 22 2013 11:01 AM

Re: Rewatching Blake's 7
 
Gosh you're swift.

The fashion and hair is difficult to acclimatize to quickly.

Candlelight April 22 2013 11:23 AM

Re: Rewatching Blake's 7
 
Swift? I started watching 10 days ago. Only got round to posting this evening.

Starkers April 22 2013 12:38 PM

Re: Rewatching Blake's 7
 
What's interesting about The Way Back is how much time they take to establish Blake and his world, plus the only other recurring cast members we meet are Jenna and Vila, and then only briefly. I doubt the new series will be so leisurely.

My favourite moment in Space Fall (which is a great episode) has to be Gan telling everyone to drop their guns...at which point Vila drops his gun :lol:

Cygnus Alpha is also a good episode, like you say though Vargas appearing on the ship is a bit odd, although I still assumed he came on board first, just to a bizzare second teleport pad! I think this is a good Jenna episode, because it sets out her position very clearly. She won't run at the first sign of Blake not returning like Avon will, but neither will she follow blindly (at least not at this stage).

Time Squad is a bit meh, mainly worthwhile for introducing Cally.

The Web is in a tie for worst episode ever with Animals for me :)

Seek, Locate, Destroy is a good intro for Travis and Servalan, and I like that Blake turns Travis' own tactics against him ("I got here first").

Guy Gardener April 22 2013 12:54 PM

Re: Rewatching Blake's 7
 
OH? That wasn't just one days viewing?

My bad.

Yesterday I watched all of the Middleman, the day before that I watched all of the News Room, earlier in the week It took me three days to watch 2 seasons of sports night. I am rapaciously ravenous.

I don't own a freeview box, and probably never will.

Although 6 episodes in 10 days is still good.

3 weeks per season, when there's 4 seasons means that if you keep pace, you'll tuck it under your belt in 3 months.

Remember in 1991 when TV2 played Blake's Seven 5 days a week?

Good times. :)

It took this tardy Board 2 and a half years to watch 5 measly seasons of Earth Final Conflict.

Andrew_Kearley April 22 2013 12:56 PM

Re: Rewatching Blake's 7
 
The Way Back is amazing - and completely atypical of the series that follows it. It's like a Play for Today about a future totalitarian state.

I love Space Fall and how well drawn the supporting characters are - Captain Laylan, Raker and Artix in particular. You could argue that these three are better served here than some of the regulars. Although another thing that isn't so certain is who are going to be the regulars. Nova is given quite a good build-up before he gets killed, and later on Arco and Selman are well portrayed and really have just as much chance of joining the Liberator.

Incidentally, I can and have watched the entire series in around 10 days before. It's that good.

Tom April 22 2013 02:32 PM

Re: Rewatching Blake's 7
 
I am also doing a re-watch after 20 years, currently in the middle of Season 2 (just got done with Pressure Point), I do have all 4 seasons (ripped from the dvd versions) on my laptop if anyone needs is missing an episode(s).

Also, I find that I like the first Season Travis V.S. the re-casted second season Travis.

Starkers April 22 2013 02:51 PM

Re: Rewatching Blake's 7
 
Yeah, though second series Travis got the best episode imo (Trial)

Candlelight April 22 2013 09:44 PM

Re: Rewatching Blake's 7
 
Quote:

Guy Gardener wrote: (Post 7982668)
OH? That wasn't just one days viewing?

My bad.

Yesterday I watched all of the Middleman, the day before that I watched all of the News Room, earlier in the week It took me three days to watch 2 seasons of sports night. I am rapaciously ravenous.

Although 6 episodes in 10 days is still good.

3 weeks per season, when there's 4 seasons means that if you keep pace, you'll tuck it under your belt in 3 months.

I would do something like that... but I have twin two year olds you see... and the TV becomes a battleground even at the best of times...

Quote:

Guy Gardener wrote: (Post 7982668)
Remember in 1991 when TV2 played Blake's Seven 5 days a week?

Was that 1991? I remember it in the late 80s (cos I vividly remember the first 10 episodes of the final series playing five days a week - which obviously only last two weeks - then the series abruptly ended with 'Gold', and then a few weeks (?) later they played the last three back to back, but I definitely watched the finale in my old house, which I moved from in 1989) but I don't remember them being broadcast in the 90s.

Starkers April 22 2013 10:00 PM

Re: Rewatching Blake's 7
 
Anyone else remember the god awful first videos where they edited 3 episodes together and effectively ruined all three!

Candlelight April 22 2013 10:22 PM

Re: Rewatching Blake's 7
 
Quote:

Starkers wrote: (Post 7985029)
Anyone else remember the god awful first videos where they edited 3 episodes together and effectively ruined all three!

I never saw the latter two but I must've rented The Beginning like four or five times cos I loved it so much.

Looking back, yes the first four episodes were sliced up with the grace of a surgeon with boxing gloves on but it was still enjoyable.

Plus it contains the only footage never released on DVD.

Starkers April 22 2013 10:24 PM

Re: Rewatching Blake's 7
 
Which footage is that?

I remember seeing that video in about 1990, first time I'd seen the show since it originally aired and I recall hating it, it was only when I saw the episodes properly again a few years later that I realised I still actually loved the show!

Candlelight April 22 2013 11:31 PM

Re: Rewatching Blake's 7
 
Avon and the technician fighting in the computer room in the Space Fall section. A few seconds were trimmed because Avon, when being choked, ear-slaps the tech (or the other way around), which has since been revised as an R18-type rating. They sliced it out to keep the lower rating for the DVD release.

http://www.hermit.org/blakes7/Episod...SpaceFall.html

It's the reason why when the VHS release appeared in the early 90s the first tape didn't have the 'complete and unedited' banner on the front, whereas the rest of the VHS releases did.

diankra April 23 2013 12:07 AM

Re: Rewatching Blake's 7
 
Quote:

Starkers wrote: (Post 7982647)
What's interesting about The Way Back is how much time they take to establish Blake and his world, plus the only other recurring cast members we meet are Jenna and Vila, and then only briefly. I doubt the new series will be so leisurely.

Well, Terry Nation's original script (which is otherwise almost word-for-word identical to what went out... when he got a first draft right it didn't need any rewriting!) also included Avon and Gan, but only for a couple of scenes aboard the London. Presumably they got dropped because it was cheaper to have a couple of extras sit in those seats.
Similarly, the Federation agent was originally Travis, which makes sense in the big story. Presumably that got changed as it would have locked them into using the same actor later in the season, and they'd have had to pay a retainer to make sure he didn't get booked up with other work....

Andrew_Kearley April 23 2013 07:42 AM

Re: Rewatching Blake's 7
 
Quote:

Candlelight wrote: (Post 7985638)
Avon and the technician fighting in the computer room in the Space Fall section. A few seconds were trimmed because Avon, when being choked, ear-slaps the tech (or the other way around), which has since been revised as an R18-type rating. They sliced it out to keep the lower rating for the DVD release.

This footage was sliced for the episodic VHS, but it is definitely back in the DVD release. At least in region 2.


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