Rewatching Blake's 7

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Candlelight, Apr 22, 2013.

  1. Sindatur

    Sindatur The Grey Owl Wizard Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2011
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    A10 Breakdown - Many shows (especially at the time), would've fixed Gan and removed the Limiter. So sad in Hindsight, And for this all to work as an arc, all the way through his character development, is pretty impressive for the time.

    I can't think of any other earlier/grittier SciFi Series, I have seen. I'd hate to see a remake go too far towards NuBSG or S1 of SGU. Of course it would need to be gritty, and dark, but, I'd hope they would keep the show "Fun", with the quips, instead of being all dark and depressing, all the time with characters you can't find any enjoyment in.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2014
  2. diankra

    diankra Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    That's because the 'healer pad' first appeared in ep4, which was a replacement for an earlier ep4 script that wasn't working, but was written between eps 9 and 10. The Limiter wasn't invented till this point either, hence Gan sometimes acting as if he could kill ( even tho he doesn't) in earlier scripts.
     
  3. Sindatur

    Sindatur The Grey Owl Wizard Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2011
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    Oh really? I guess I always just retconned it in my head that he was just talking big :alienblush:
     
  4. Candlelight

    Candlelight Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2000
    Location:
    New Zealand
    It's bizarre that Gan was given a gun that doesn't have a stun setting, especially since he couldn't really use it.
     
  5. Candlelight

    Candlelight Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2000
    Location:
    New Zealand
    B10: VOICE FROM THE PAST

    Rich in continuity from the past two seasons; Blake's trial and the character of Van Glynd from the very first episode - recast unfortunately (The Way Back), Orac's anti-telepathy programming (Shadow), Servalan's chance for Orac (Orac). With Servaland lurkig in the shadows you just know the whole thing will go tits up, but - on the first watch at least - I didn't pick Travis hiding under the bandages. Despite being in control of the Liberator, Travis does teleport down to take out Blake personally; it does show how his character is bent on revenge, rather than allowing Blake to die by someone else's hand. That said, the final ten minutes are excellent.
     
  6. Candlelight

    Candlelight Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2000
    Location:
    New Zealand
    B11: GAMBIT

    Despite being a fan favourite, I've never liked this episode. The story is slow, the girls - despite being allowed off the ship this time - once again get very little to do, the costumes are too over the top for my taste and the mass-shifting Orac is a silly concept. Aubrey Woods does a great turn as the camp Krantor. Some interesting past actors appear in this episode; Michael Halsey appeared as Tel Varon in The Way Back while perenial BBC favourite Deep Roy once played a Decimas in The Web.
     
  7. Marc

    Marc Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2003
    Location:
    An Aussie in Canukistan
    This probably has more actors who've appeared in B7 and Doctor Who than either other ep

    Paul Darrow - The Silurans/Timelash
    Michael Keating - The Sunmakers
    Jaqueline Pearce - The Two Doctors
    Dennis Carey - Shada
    Deep Roy - Talons of Weng-Chiang
    Aubrey Woods - Day Of The Daleks
    Brian Croucher - Robots Of Death
    John Lesson - Various eps (voice of K9)
    Paul Grist - Claws Of Axos
    Peter Tuddenham (various)
     
  8. Starkers

    Starkers Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2001
    Location:
    Behind enemy lines
    For some reason I've never been a big fan of Voice From The Past, maybe I'll give it another rewatch based on your comments. I think it's just painfully obvious that Blake's under some kind of mind control, and Travis under all those bandages is a trifle silly.

    Gambit, on the other hand, I love to bits, which is odd because it's truly terrible in so many ways! Cally and Jenna do at least get to go down to the planet, yet they're not permitted to take guns, wear long floaty dresses and have a catfight (on the up side Knyvette and Chappell seem to be having a ball).

    It's deliciously camp fun that's so far over the top it almost reaches orbit, and I just love the Avon/Vila/Orac stuff. The "Live" chess in The Wedding of River Song was so a call back to this.
     
  9. Candlelight

    Candlelight Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2000
    Location:
    New Zealand
    B12: THE KEEPER

    An Allan Prior script that actually fires, though there are some criticisms. Travis (and apparently Servalan) manages to get to Goth first despite the Liberator being the faster ship. The medieval feel of the episode drags but the story remains interesting. Jenna plays her role well, though guest star Bruce Purchase (here channeling Brian Blessed as Gola) is the reason why Jenna would leave at the end of the season; he convinced Sally Kynvette to return to university and study Chaucer. It's not a great loss; the strong willed character of Series A has been thoroughly wasted this season. Sadly, Dayna would suffer the same fate between Series C and D. Otherwise, Vila plays the fool perfectly, Cally again is confined to the ship, and the final scene sets up the season finale well.

    One other thing I liked was the very small continuity nod about Blake telling Avon the Federation shouldn't know they're at Goth "unless someone told them", referring to Prior's previous script (Hostage) when Avon told Servalan where Travis - and they - were.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2014
  10. Candlelight

    Candlelight Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2000
    Location:
    New Zealand
    One thing: does anyone know what Vila says at the end of the episode?

    Just after the fool says where the location is, Vila says "The eleventh sector, that must be ??????????".

    I have NEVER been able to understand him.
     
  11. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2000
    Location:
    In the lap of squalor I assure you.
    http://www.hermit.org/blakes7/Episodes/scripts/index.html

    Google is your friend.
     
  12. Candlelight

    Candlelight Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2000
    Location:
    New Zealand
    ^ thanks!
     
  13. Candlelight

    Candlelight Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2000
    Location:
    New Zealand
    B13: STAR ONE

    Chris Boucher tears the universe apart in what fans arguably describe as the best episode of the show, and he doesn't hold back. The crew arrive as the alien invasion is about to begin. Despite being left on the ship, Vila and Jenna have their chance to shine, as do the others on the surface. My only main gripe is Jenna oh-so-obviously reading the cue cards for some of her lines, which is very odd. Travis goes out with a bang; you can almost see the satisfaction of Brian Croucher as he finally gets to shoot Blake. His death after a long stint is a satisfactory one, as his character has really run it's course. Blake and Avon's final scene together is a good one, showing how much Blake believes in his crew, despite Avon declaring earlier in the episode how much he hates him. Servalan spends much of her time brooding in her space station but the almost bloodless coup and making herself President is brilliantly handled. And then the cliffhanger. No mystical prediction from Orac this time, here we have the Liberator going up against it's biggest challenge yet, and even though we never see the full extent of the battle (that would seriously drain the BBC of it's entire yearly budget) it's a great way to end the show.

    Blake's demoralising is no more - the 'brains but no heart' is now in charge...
     
  14. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2000
    Location:
    In the lap of squalor I assure you.
  15. Candlelight

    Candlelight Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2000
    Location:
    New Zealand
    C01: AFTERMATH

    The new series kicks off with a new title sequence and it's basic but effective. The episode opens with just about every single piece of stock FX explosions ever seen, and they do a good job in hiding the fact the flight deck set isn't used at all this week. Nation's script is brilliant, with Paul Darrow soaking up every scene he's in. Servalan plays the seductive villain to maximum effect. Dayna has a great introduction, showcasing her vicious and emotional sides. Tarrant is limited to a single line at the end of the episode but it provides for an effective cliffhanger. Vila and Cally are reduced to cameos at the start of the episode but the series needed an episode like this to get the new characters into the mix. Lauren is a blah character, only there to give the episode a decent body count. The Federation is in tatters after the intergalactic war tears the fleet up, as Avon says "it's hard to have a military dictatorship without the military". Only poor editing lets the ending down; Dayna had several seconds to shoot Servalan, instead stood there for ages waiting for the teleport to take her. Otherwise a good start to the third year.
     
  16. Starkers

    Starkers Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2001
    Location:
    Behind enemy lines
    Sadly not the last time Dayna will have Servalan in her sights and fail to pull the trigger!

    Re Star One, glad you made the comment about Jenna, that bugs me every time I watch it. All I can figure is that Sally must have been having a problem with that bit of dialogue. But year Star One is pretty great. Not the best B7 episode in my humble opinion, but damn close to it. (in case anyone was wondering for me Rumours of Death is Blakes 7’s finest hour…well finest 50 minutes anyway). The trouble with the Big Finish full cast audio is that it drags the battle out too much, which I think sucks some of the drama out of it.

    It’s interesting that the episode shows that Blake’s fanaticism has its limits, and in the end he’ll take the Federation as the lesser of two evils. Travis’ ‘final act’ has always seemed a bit curious to me. Firstly whilst he’s clearly a nutter, it’s a stretch to imagine he’d want to wipe out humanity, and secondly how the hell did he contact the Andromedans?
     
  17. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2000
    Location:
    In the lap of squalor I assure you.
    I still don't understand Travis' motivation.

    Where they going to give him Earth, or was he just trying to piss off Servelan?
     
  18. Candlelight

    Candlelight Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2000
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Like many of Terry Nation's scripts, I try not to look past the gloss for the substance. Travis clearly arrived at Star one in an Andromedan vessel, as hinted by Orac and Vila. The antimatter minefield has been in place for several hundred years, and so clearly the Andromedans somehow breached it and contacted Travis, who promised to find the location of Star One and help remove the rest of it. Hell, are we even sure that WAS Travis? It could've been an Andromedan. After all, he does look slightly different from when we saw him last on Aristo...

    :D
     
  19. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2000
    Location:
    In the lap of squalor I assure you.
    The mine field would have been put up after the last Andromedan invasion.

    And before the first Andromedan war, even if it wasn't that long before the war, just because the Federation hadn't noticed them yet, the Andromedan's would have wandered around free and friendly... They could have colony worlds inside the Milkyway, or they would be working as fifth columns in secret on the Federation side of the antimatter minefield and had been waiting a hundred years for a call to arms.

    Point is, they didn't have to get past the mine field if they were already there, but if they were already there, why did they need a punk like Travis to wedge a hole in the line?
     
  20. Candlelight

    Candlelight Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2000
    Location:
    New Zealand
    As Orac proposed, a scout ship came through with a handful of Andromedans "some time in the past", and at some stage made contact with the Federation/Travis. They needed him to track down Star One as they didn't know where it was, and as that is where the minefield is being controlled from they couldn't launch their invasion until it was down.

    Judging by what was happening on Star One they only found it within the last two months, as indicated by the issues on colony worlds at the start of the episode ("in the last 60 days"). Clearly the Andromedans were either;

    - messing with systems to cause havoc
    - messing with systems to find the way in to disable the minefield
    - the fact the Star One humans had been killed and replaced then their responsibilities lapses and the colonies fell into disarray

    I don't know if there was a war but the encounter clearly scared the Federation enough to put up a series of minefields around the galaxy.

    Travis was using Blake to find Star One.