Rewatching Blake's 7

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

  1. Candlelight

    Candlelight Admiral Admiral

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    Well, despite it being considered very poor, Headhunter is a favourite of mine. Yes it's a silly runaround and the robot is iffy but I love it.

    But I'll save my review for when I actually get chance to see it. :)
     
  2. Candlelight

    Candlelight Admiral Admiral

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    D04: STARDRIVE

    It's amazing how much of this episode is pure filler. Scenes drag out longer than they need to be, reusing almost the entire landing sequence again is just time wasting. The space rats are hardly the baddest villain they've ever had. The space rat's leader sits there eating what looks like a cucumber; better not mess with him! Scorpio records footage at 10,000 frames per second. Plaxton is good if not a little limited. Why the Federation just seem to ignore the space rats after loosing a squadron of pursuit ships is a little silly, although the Federation aren't really part of the big picture (for the series) anymore. Avon shows his dark side but gets the crew to safety, and Scorpio can now travel much faster than it could before.

    Right... the big one is next. :)
     
  3. Candlelight

    Candlelight Admiral Admiral

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    D05: ANIMALS

    Woohoo! Allan Prior's final script for the series is a doozy and has certainly polarized fandom. A leftover script that would've been Cally's swansong, Dayna picks up the storyline. If this has been the Dayna of Series C the story might've been more interesting, but this is Series D, and Dayna is a very different character. Not to mention Peter Byrne (Justin) was 53 and Josette Simon was 21 when they episode was made does make for a dodgy relationship - especially when you consider this romance was kindled years ago when Dayna was a little girl...

    Prior's usual plot point of injecting Servalan where she isn't needed stands out like a sore thumb; the mystery of why Scorpio is hanging around a planet hosting an experiment dated back to the galactic war isn't really enough to bring the former president into the episode. The animals themselves don't feature that much but why the mutations turn them into Jim Henson's Muppets is beyond me. Servalan's female guards are stylish but I was hoping for Mutoids. Nice to see Kevin Stoney in a brief cameo as well. Scorpio is really getting the shit kicked out of it this season, and it surprised me they left Vila on the ship instead of Tarrant. The final shoot out is poorly choreographed, with people running in from all angles.

    Yeah, pretty bad. Nothing about the episode is true Blake's 7, though Dayna spells out the season arc of trying to collect scientists to help fight the Federation, although - as is the case for the past three episodes now - they all end up dead at the end of the story.
     
  4. Starkers

    Starkers Admiral Admiral

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    Don't ask me why, but I LOVE Stardrive! :lol:

    Re the final shootout in Animals, did you notice Avon nearly fall arse over tit as he runs in? ;)
     
  5. Candlelight

    Candlelight Admiral Admiral

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    D06: HEADHUNTER

    This has always been one of my favourites. Yes the robot looks like a drunken pantomine horse (yeah, I stole that from the Den of Geek review) but that's the worst of it. The crew all get stuff to do this week, keeping the show 99% confined to Scorpio and the base gives the show an air of tension missing this season. Mary Ridge again proves her worth as the show's best director (although she did do Animals...). Soolin is actually given something to do for the first time this season, and her banter with Orac is great. Lynda Bellingham is always good to see, though her role is fairly limited this episode. Slave rebelling is fun to watch, as is Avon's constipated expressions trying to put the robot's head back on. One thing I will mention is a small thing; the base having a different coloured teleport effect (blue) to that of Scorpio (green), though in 'Power' the effect was red.

    Great stuff.
     
  6. Marc

    Marc Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I liked the little tete e tête between Avon and Orac at the end.

    "Yes Master"
     
  7. Candlelight

    Candlelight Admiral Admiral

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    D07: ASSASSIN

    The influence of Star Wars is becoming greater and greater with more wipes in this episode than any other. Servalan's appearance is gratitious at best. The role of Nebrox is bizarre, and bringing him along is against Avon's beliefs, though like Lynda Bellingham last episode he appears here only to up the meagre body count. Piri is really annoying but it's a great cover. Tarrant and Soolin's argument is the highlight, and it's great when Soolin is given decent dialogue, which sadly this season is very little. Dayna whines like a little school girl when she once again fails to kill Servalan, the crab model is pathetic and the faux-Cancer looks like Tarrant and David Hasselhoff's love child.
     
  8. Candlelight

    Candlelight Admiral Admiral

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    D08: GAMES

    A basic story with a lot of running around but with very cool direction. The fate of the Federation guard falling into the compactor, or the worker running out of the mine on fire, are pretty effective. Though Avon plays all his scenes on Scorpio over the top, his banter with Orac is great. Soolin gets to play the gunslinger, Tarrant gets to play the pilot, etc etc. The story drops off towards the end, as does Servalan who once again seems forced into the story - although it's great to see her with honest-to-god Federation troopers again! :) Vila does a great job this episode though, and this is the only episode Scorpio fires its weapons.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2014
  9. Candlelight

    Candlelight Admiral Admiral

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    D09: SAND

    Not seen this since 1985 so was good to catch up. Tanith Lee is a great writer and it's shame she only wrote two episodes (this and Series C's Sarcophagus). The episode is tight and well written, with some great performances by Pierce and Pacey. It doesn't happen on screen but clearly they both had nookie...

    Good continuity references to both Sarcophagus and Terminal, and it's nice to see Vila pinning over Cally again. The only major let down is the very poor studio set with the oh-so-fake backdrop. The starry background was supposed to enforce the fact that Virn has no daylight, and yet ten minutes in one character says "it's getting dark...". Orac's unrequited love scene is also a highlight.
     
  10. Candlelight

    Candlelight Admiral Admiral

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    D10: GOLD

    First things first - Steven Pacey playing the drugged up passenger is the best part of this episode. Pacey clearly loves it and you can see him almost breaking into laughter with every successive line. Now the episode itself; Vila gets considerably less to do in this episode, though the argument is he doesn't trust Keeler, and rightly so. Keeler himself is a great guest star, played by the always fun to watch Roy Kinneer. The story doesn't really have the pacing to hold the episode, but it's fun to watch, especially seeing a lot of action, backstabbing and one liners. Orac almost laughs at the end when he reveals how bad things just got for the crew. I remember in the 80s seeing this episode listed as the final one, so I recorded it on an old Beta tape, and watched until I wore a hole in it. It would be about 18 months before the final three episodes would air.

    For some reason they shoehorn Servalan into this story (did Pierce have a minimum appearance fee?). Sad but this is the last time Servalan meets any of the Seven face to face.
     
  11. Candlelight

    Candlelight Admiral Admiral

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    I case anyone is wondering I've been sick at home so managed to blast through a few of these in a day. :)
     
  12. Starkers

    Starkers Admiral Admiral

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    I did wonder :)

    Headhunter’s all right, even in a science fiction show I think there are things that are just too silly, and the notion of the robot putting his head on is one of them. Some good lines for Soolin here though, and Orac’s final line is a hoot

    Assassin: Dayna fails again! This isn’t a great episode, though it does have some funny lines and is at least enjoyable in a campy sort of way. I don’t think Avon saving Neebrox was that out of character, though I imagine if he hadn’t been killed Avon would have dumped him on the nearest habitable world. Cancer’s death is horribly overacted!

    Games is one of the best episodes of the 4th series for me, maybe because Vila gets so much to do, and even gets to enact the heroic rescue. The games are a little simplistic, but for the time quite well realised.

    I really like Gold, like Games one of the series best. Yes Servalan has been shoehorned in a little, but I like the idea of the crew effectively undertaking a bank heist in space. The Space Princess isn’t greatly realised (it only seems to have about half a dozen passengers who just keep milling about to make it look like more) but the bits on the planet are good, and Soolin gets good stuff here, impressing with her skill as a gunsel “Soolin shot them both.” And the final let down is typical of series D as they fail again to get rich.

    Sand: I think it’s fair to say that Tarrant and Servalan did the nasty, which probably means only Tarrant and Vila definitely get their end away during the show’s run ( it’s highly likely Tarrant was intimate with Zukan’s daughter as well, and I’d be surprised if he and Dayna didn’t end up finishing the bonding ceremony sometime later as well. Some nice call backs to Sarcophagus and Cally and the fact that even Avon looks a little disgusted with Tarrant at the end is amusing. Like you say terrible sets though. Would have been interesting to see which one the Sand would have tried to kill if it had been Tarrant and Avon on Scorpio.
     
  13. auntiehill

    auntiehill The Blueness Premium Member

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    I liked Gold quite a bit; I thought the heist plot was fairly well done.

    Headhunter is ridiculous, and also a bit gruesome if you think about it. Overall, yeah; this one is a bit too goofy.
     
  14. Marc

    Marc Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Don't know about a minimum appearance fee but the story goes that her agent negotiated for a set number of appearances for her.

    End result was that Blake roles around there's no Servalan to be seen. By all accounts Jaqueline Pierce was more than a tad pissed off.

    Specially when as noted she seems shoe horned into some of the eps.
     
  15. auntiehill

    auntiehill The Blueness Premium Member

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    On a side note, I just saw Josette Simon, "Dayna," on Death in Paradise this weekend. She has hardly aged at ALL; she looks almost exactly the same.
     
  16. Candlelight

    Candlelight Admiral Admiral

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    I remember seeing Paul Darrow turn up in a Little Britain episode. His role was limited to getting majorly puked on...
     
  17. Candlelight

    Candlelight Admiral Admiral

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    Plus it has the immortal line of "So... what's the SNAAAAAAAGGGGG, Keeler...???"

    :)
     
  18. Candlelight

    Candlelight Admiral Admiral

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    Just noticed another major one; the flight consoles of Vila and Avon had four 'boxes' in the first season:

    [​IMG]

    But was modified to five at the start of season two:

    [​IMG]
     
  19. diankra

    diankra Commodore Commodore

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    Vila's role is small, but key. When they think Avon and Soolin are dead, it's very clear who's in charge aboard Scorpio: if they decide it's Keillor's fault, Vila will give the order,, Tarrant and Dayna will just do the shooting.
     
  20. Starkers

    Starkers Admiral Admiral

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    Which is interesting really given Tarrant never showed much inclination to defer to Vila before!