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.
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.