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The Gift of B7 - Part Three

THE GIFT OF B7 - PART THREE
by
Luke and Michelle Sims

The story so far:
In 2013, Luke Sims (known on the forum as Gauda Cheese) embarked on a B7 rewatch with his sister Michelle, who had never seen the series before. He posted regular reports of her reactions and opinions on the Gift of B7 thread, and it was lovely to relive through her eyes the experience of watching B7 for the first time. In The Gift of B7 Part One you can read her impressions of Season A, and in The Gift of B7 Part Two you can read what she thought of Season B
.

Luke: Nearly all my favourite stories are in Seasons C and D, and I cannot wait to see what Michelle thinks of them!


SEASON C


Aftermath or I'm Avon. Kerr Avon.
"I really like Dayna, so I'll probably never see her again."
Avon and Servalan kiss.
"WHAT!"
Keep watching!
Avon: I'd be dead in a week
"He is awesome!"

"I love Servalan, she's such a bitch!"

"Oh wow, is Dayna in the next episode?"
She's a regular, now.
"YAY!"

What did you think of that one?
"Was really good, but... where the hell are Jenna and Blake?"

Whew, am I one excited B7 fan now, as Michelle and I enter into my favourite half of the show.

Michelle loved Dayna right from that start and didn't expect her to become part of the crew. Another highlight for her was the magnetic scene between Servalan and Avon. We discussed it afterwards and she thinks Avon's chemistry with the show's lead villain is much more interesting than with Blake. Also Michelle's theory that all the chicks dig Avon is pretty much cemented now.

Usually I won't give her any clues as to what will happen in the future, but I did have to tell her up front that Jenna and Blake never appear again. Okay I kinda lied, but I didn't want her to ask me about it every episode. She is very disappointed that Jenna will never be seen again. No really, you should have seen her face fall, it was worse than telling her that Gan was DEAD dead and would never ever come back again. As for Blake? She couldn't care less.

Now let's see what she thinks of Tarrant... Jenna's replacement (sorta).




Powerplay or Death by Comfy Chair!

"It's the curly haired one I reckon that's killing the others."

"Those guys aren't starving, one of 'em's really fat!"

"Dayna took two of them out and she choked that one to death. I think she kicked the first one in the throat."

"Oh, oh, right, right. Tarrant is the replacement guy. Why didn't I think of that sooner?"
I thought you'd have twigged when Tarrant came clean to Avon.
"I should have!"

Michelle move your head, I can't see.
"You've seen this, like, three times!"
More.
"Then shut up!"

We both enjoyed this one. By this stage I've noticed that unless something is really glaring, Michelle doesn't really comment about how old and or dated things may look. She just sits down and enjoys the show.

She is also able to predict a lot of things, but this episode was another instance of missing something that was also just as obvious... Yes, she got who the murderer was pretty easily. That made me think she knew Tarrant might be replacement number two. Because of that she isn't really sure what to make of Tarrant yet. I really like him, but she might be put off by his more aggressive traits... and the way he'll bully Vila.

Michelle is so used to Servalan now that she, like Avon in Aftermath, never questions why she's there. It was cool though to see her interact with Cally and Vila, which she rarely does.

So far, it's a bit weird for her watching the show without Jenna and Blake. This is how it was for me as a kid, but I didn't have no dang internet back then to tell me where they went! Also, I didn't meet anyone else into the show until later.

Vila's antics in Powerplay always make me chuckle. From pretending to have an army to being such a sucker around pretty faces. We also had a good laugh seeing his wet butt.

I was bugged a few times, being asked if we ever find out the fates of Jenna and Blake. I only said, Keep watching. She will hate what "happened" to Jenna.




Volcano or Disco Cybermen

"What is up with those pink pants? Not very good for a mission."
Are they as bad as the leopard print coat?
"Nah."
And Tarrant's outfit?
"Some kind of medieval jester."

And a little bit later.... "Avon gets the coolest outfits."

"I'm not sure what to make of Tarrant. Acts like a Federation person."

"The robot looks like it wants to dance. It's almost as bad as the hug robots!"

"It's a whale ship!"

Prior does middle-of-the road again, yet it's still quite watchable. Michelle liked the volcano effects and I agree, they're well done. She loved it when Dayna causes Mori to fall into it.

Now that Jenna is gone, Michelle has really latched onto Dayna and I will admit that I always liked her and Tarrant over Jenna and Blake. Everything seems more fun and interesting without a fanatic on board. She noticed there is a different vibe on the Liberator between Avon, Vila and Cally, now that Blake's gone. They seem a bit more friendly towards one another.

There are some good ideas here, everyone gets something to do, but it's still middle-of-the-road. Some of you might be looking forward to the next episode getting a thrashing from both of us but... I really like Dawn of the Gods. Who knows, maybe Michelle will get a kick out of it too - or it'll turn into MST3K.




Dawn of the Gods or Someone Liked the Cage (Where Is My Mind - Part 3 & Camouflaged Box of Flashing Lights - Part 2)

"I like Tarrant's vest. Good colour, and I like the studs."

The reaction from Michelle when Tarrant says he might have to kill Avon. Priceless.

"Oh come on, Vila could have gotten out of that crappy cell. Look at him, he's just sitting there. That's stupid!"

"Ha ha, he's a bald dwarf!"

Wow, a problem in space and no one gives the command to just fly at it! I think I'll mention the show's love of flying into stuff to Michelle after the shock of Terminal wears off, as that is the last time it happens, I think.

I asked Michelle what she thought of this episode and she said it's okay, middle-of-the-road. She liked a lot of the character moments in this one and she noticed a distinct lack of caring when Vila "died". Yes Michelle, the vibe might be different and they might seem more relaxed, but they aren't really friends. I think they will be in a way later on, but not just yet.

Michelle noticed that a sample Vila was carrying was just a polystyrene piece painted black. She cackled with laughter at seeing the Thaarn - not because he looked bad, but because he was a bald dwarf.

After telling me she found this episode to be middle-of-the-road, I told her this one is generally seen to be one of the worst episodes. She was shocked, because to her this one isn't nearly as bad as Hostage and Voice From the Past.

I gave her a spoiler and told her that the Thaarn never comes back. "Oh good," was her reaction.

Someone (not me) is becoming a sucker for Avon's smile. Mich still isn't sure what to make of Tarrant. "He's like Blake, but at least he isn't a fanatic."

Next up, I am eagerly awaiting Michelle's reaction to the superman known as Jarvik - Woman you are beautiful. I love the next episode with a passion, but I have a feeling that Michelle might not like the way Steed plays with gender roles. Ursula Le Guin he isn't.

Unlike me, Michelle has not seen the old Star Trek shows (only the two reboot movies) so she has never seen, heard of nor cares about The Cage (or The Menagerie). But I think a lot of you will know what I mean with my alternate title.




The Harvest of Kairos or Me Jarvik. You Woman

"Dayna looks gorgeous in blue. Avon doesn't get the best outfit this time."

"Avon is hilarious in this one, so far."

Michelle's reaction to Jarvik's introduction and snogging of Servalan? Total shock and awe.
"He is totally the kind of guy she'd go for!"

"Again with the chest touching!"

"They're in the boxes, aren't they?"

The Sopron gambit at the end: "That's really clever!"

"A lot of people die senselessly in this show."

I must admit I was a little worried about how Michelle would react to this one, though not as much as Steed's other two stories. She loved this one, as do I. Jarvik's sheer nerve and cunning, Servalan's sexiness mixed with her really cruel tendencies. The MAN Jarvik was sort of wrapped around Servalan's finger. Dayna's amazing blue jump suit and Avon the geologist.

Vila has some downright funny bits, some of them subtle. Like stealing a purse from a sleeping man. His sleazy smile towards Dayna on Kairos, and when she asked for someone to do something he says to Tarrant: I think she means you. We love Vila.

Big laughs came from seeing the spider, but not because of how crap it looked. She rarely laughs and complains about how bad something looks. Killer is one of her fave Season 2 episodes, but she heckled the costumes no end. No, Michelle compared the spider to the Hug Robots and Disco Cybermen - "Not threatening at all. More like lovable and cute”. She did rag on the munching effects, though.

Her love of Dayna continues. The awesome blue outfit, her line: Nobody takes me anywhere and seeing her beat up Jarvik.

This is a good showing for Tarrant, and Michelle liked him here. She begrudgingly agreed with me that Tarrant is a better pilot than Jenna.

We spoke about this one a little afterwards, and agreed that this could never have taken place in Seasons 1 or 2. The crew want to steal for material gain; Blake would never have allowed or gone for it. The moody fanatic always got his way.

We've had two strong openers and two middle-of-the-road-episodes. This one? Michelle thinks it might be one of her favourites.




City at the Edge of the World or Cleanliness is Next to Vila-ness

"Hey, don't shove Vila!"

"Oh bullcrap, she went from bad girl to scared of cobwebs!"
Just let Vila have this one.
"Yeah... yeah, okay."

"Wow, there are a lot of good lines in this from everyone."
Also lots of laughter from both of us.

Michelle thought Kairos was better, but that's okay, we're all allowed to be wrong! Right away, she picked up on the sparkling dialogue. Cally saying she'd never tried being helpless, Dayna saying she'd have killed Tarrant if she was in Vila's place. Avon's amazing chat with Tarrant about who Vila trusts. And then you have Vila who shines throughout. He gets to play the hero, but still remains true to himself. It never feels out of character.

Tarrant bullying and shoving Vila was not a huge win for Michelle, since she still hasn't made her mind up about him. His apology though was greatly appreciated.

She brought up Dawn of the Gods again, saying if Vila could open this mysterious door, then why not the rubbish cell in Dawn?

If you are expecting some report on Michelle's reaction to who played Bayban, then forget it. She watches NuWho and hasn't really watched the old show. So she's heard of Colin Baker, mostly because I met him last year, but she didn't know what he looked like, etc. But she did like him in this as the over-the-top villain, and knew he would die at the end. They all die, apart from Servalan.

She immediately caught onto the change in Kerril from leather clad vixen to vulnerable and yelping at cobwebs. She wasn't too keen on that, but I said, let Vila have this one and she laughed and agreed. I couldn't help but think that brought the score down slightly for her, though.

This one had it all for her: action, witty dialogue, a cool story and a final line that made her smile. So whilst Kairos beats it for her, Michelle had to think about it for a while. That's two big winners in a row. As far as I'm concerned, the next three are damn good too - but I like all the episodes this season.




Children of Auron or Genocide Jokes..... Deadpan

"What the @%#$ - did they just crack a big joke at the end?"

"Wow, Servalan's in black!"

"Dayna is the best dressed, now."

Cally: Affection for him?
"Ohhhh, OUCH!"

This is by the guy who did Voice From the Past.
"Okay, cool."
The hypnotised Blake episode.
"OH NO!”

Parkes' second effort is a much better story and another in a long run of good stories for Season C. Michelle really liked it and she thought Servalan was at her best in this story. She did allllll that just for the Liberator! What a bitch!

This one holds up very well too in terms of look and effects. The way the disease make-up looks is very similar to Killer and that was great, so why not use it again? The model work was better and the location shots with Avon and the gang running were fantastic.

The themes of cloning and how it works had Michelle entranced. Like the idea of cloning people without the need of eggs or sperm and just a drop of blood. How the Aurons' telepathic tendencies became stronger especially between clone siblings. She loved all that stuff.

As for Zelda? "Of course she dies!"
Michelle liked the idea of there being ten or so clone siblings that look like Cally. That is, until I informed her that they were all dead. I was then told to shut up.

Michelle was surprised at the emotion Servalan showed after the death of her babies. She had trouble imagining her with any sort of heart. Mich liked that a lot.

Another disturbing part for Michelle, apart from the genocide of the Aurons, was the crew making a joke at the end. She said everyone has moments of being a total dick in this show.

This is the third strong winner in a row for her. She has stopped talking about Blake and Jenna.

Next up is what may be my favourite episode in the series, followed by my third favourite episode ever.




Rumours Of Death or Everybody Hurts..... And is Tired

About a third of way through the episode:
"Oh wait, is she......?"
Yes.
"I should have realised that sooner!"

"Jeez, you're quiet, bro. Why are you so quiet? Fine, then!"

"They like to karate chop in this show."

Tarrant takes a bow.
"Ha, ha! That's the first time he's made me laugh"

Avon figures it out and BLAM!
“Holy &^%$!"

"So now can you tell me why you were so quiet?"
This is my favourite episode of the series.
"Really! Well it's a bloody good one."

For me this story is perfect. Action, intrigue, heartbreak, no good guys, no winners and two very lovable average joes. But enough about me.....

Michelle really liked it, though she kicked herself for not realising who Sula was sooner, even though it was shown to her. This was a story that Michelle couldn't predict and it held some surprises for her as well as some really good moments.

Vila, Dayna and Tarrant circling Shrinker, with Cally telling them to stop it. The crew realising that they care what happens to Avon... and probably each other (maybe). Sula's cold blooded execution of her husband, the senseless murders of Forres and Grenlee. Servalan being knocked off her pedestal and everything falling into place for Avon.

But what got the most reaction from Michelle was Avon's last line: Well, slightly exaggerated anyway.
"A part of him has died inside. Awwwww."

She asked me how I reacted when I first saw this episode...
I didn't understand it. I was 8 years old. It didn't become my favourite story until I was a teenager. Though for some reason, I always remembered Avon's line: Trust is only dangerous if you have to rely on it.

Another winner for Michelle, though she still thinks Kairos is the best so far. Maybe that will change one day.

Next up is Sarcophagus and... I love it. Rumours and Sarcophagus are the show's best one-two punch, in my opinion.




Sarcophagus or Goldcally Duh Duh Daaaaaaa

"What the hell is going on?"

"Are they watching weird space TV?"

"Are they aliens?"

"Is this a funeral?

"Avon's outfit is awesome!" (Yep, she'll love season D.)
Dayna looks pretty good, too.
"Shut up, bro!"

"Avon kisses everyone.... Servalan, Dayna, probably Jenna, Alien Cally - "
Um... Cally is an alien.
"Shut up, you know what I mean."

"Look at that look, what's that about?"

This one's probably my third favourite and I love it a bit more every time I see it.
"Really?"
Yeah, but the top two are just that much better.

What can I say? Rumours and Orbit are sheer class. I refuse to tell her about Orbit.

"Ohhh, does Tanith Lee write another one?"
Yeah, that's probably fourth for me.
"Can't wait!"

Most of that talking was done after the episode had finished, but she was thrown by the start of it. This one seems to get mixed reactions and that always surprises me, because I think it's pretty much perfect. Michelle doesn't like this one as much as I do, but she did enjoy it.

Throughout, I was wondering if she'd ask me to pause it and explain things to her, but there's me selling her short again, because she understood this perfectly.

We both burst out laughing at Vila saying Jewels! and Tarrant suggesting that Vila should learn self defence.

I keep waiting for Michelle to say Tarrant is a dick, like she used to in nearly every Season B episode with Blake. But Tarrant doesn't annoy her; he acts like the arrogant ex-Federation officer that he is. That, and I reckon she has a thing for Tarrant. Maybe I'll ask and maybe she'll tell me to shut up again. Mich did enjoy the verbal sparring between him and Avon, she sat right up in her seat, eyes glued to the screen.

The bickering, the dialogue and characterisation all sparkled in the way it does in a Holmes or Boucher script, but that's just my opinion.

If Michelle is sick of Cally getting possessed, she hasn't mentioned it to me. Maybe next episode?

She loved Alien Cally and thought Jan did a better job playing her than she did Zelda. I agree.

The confrontation with the Alien Cally was met with her sitting up and leaning forward. Afterwards, she told me that was one of the best moments of the series. Big hugs there.

As for the final look between Cally and Avon? Michelle gave a similar reaction to the bit in Redemption when Jenna decides to sit reeeeeeal close, and when Jenna gives Avon a very flirty "Good Luck" in Pressure Point. Though she thought this was a more serious, very longing kind of look between two characters that have been through a lot together.

Next up...... More Aliens!




Ultraworld or One of These Ultras is Not Like the Other Ones

"Ewww green goo!"
I dare you to drink some.
"Will it make me smarter?"

"Yay, Vila is saving the day!"

For me, I like that this is a runaround. After the three episodes before it, I don't mind something a bit lighter.

Michelle enjoyed it, but for her it doesn't keep up the consistency that began with Harvest. She liked seeing Dayna and Tarrant teaming up again, though found the whole "love" scene funny and awkward.

That Vila sort of saved the day was a big plus for her. The scenes with Vila trying to come up with more riddles were hilarious. We both love Vila's reaction to aliens.

Michelle wanted to see how Avon would react to having boobs. That made me laugh.

Okay, so I jokingly asked Michelle if she digs Tarrant...
"Noooo! He's annoying!"
It's cool. I've totally got a crush on Servalan, Cally and Dayna.
"I have a crush on Servalan too!"
Yeah, but you love Tarrant!
"Shut up!"

By this point I was laughing myself silly, even when Michelle threatened to beat me up.




Moloch or Three Women and a Muppet

Give her to the men
"That's disgusting."

"Ha ha, his name is Gross!"

"Servalan just mowed them all down."

"Looks like a crap Muppet"

"You gotta be some kinda stupid to kill yourself like that."

"There are only like three natives in this episode."
Four, remember Moloch?
"Shut up! Where are the rest of the people.... wait, don't answer that."

Michelle enjoyed this one, but not anywhere near as much as Steed's previous story. I'd say she likes it about the same as Ultraworld. She was not impressed with the implication behind Give her to your men, nor did she think it was clever for the Liberator crew to follow Servalan for 27 days. Shoot her!

Doran was funny, but a little creepy. The gun "going off" in his hand was hilarious.

Tarrant gets away with it in this episode... Michelle just plain likes him too much. She tells me to shut up whenever I tease her about it.

According to Michelle, Moloch looked like a sinister Muppet and kinda crap. She thinks people are just as dumb in two million years as they are now.

The planet is supposed to have 300 natives right? Michelle wanted to know why we barely saw any of them. Just three ladies and a Muppet.




Death-Watch or How To Pick Up Women With Subtlety by Vila Restal

"Dayna looks good in green.”

"Boom mic!" Both of us at the same time. You see it when the newsman is having his talk with his producer.

"The Neutral Arbiter is gonna be.... I knew it!"

"Oh, this is like the Hunger Games"

"Vinni is stupid, just jumps through the opening and is like: Hey, here I am!"

Deeta rounds corners cautiously then checks above and behind him.
"See, that's how you do it!"

"Avon is such a player."

"Was Cally's hand on Avon's leg?"
Don't think so.

Michelle loved Death-Watch and finally Kairos has a battle on its hands for Michelle's top pick of the season! She liked the concept of two men fighting a war for their people and both sides getting to watch using those discs. The setting, the background of Teal and Vandor all work for her.

There were so many moments in this story that she loved, whether they were dramatic or funny. Avon repeating to Orac to Put it on the main screen, Vila putting his foot in it then clumsily hitting on Dayna later, Vila and Cally having a giggle and dashing for the teleport, Avon and Servalan's chat. Tarrant experiencing his brother's death. Avon asking if Tarrant is okay with cheating and finally the end when Tarrant and Avon ask Cally to bring them up in unison.

The story has a lot going for it, great concepts, setting and wonderful dialogue. It gets better for me every time I see it. Definitely one of my top ten.




Terminal or Avon Does His Blake Impression (Screw Avoiding Space Phenomena - Part 6)

"What's Tarrant wearing?" She liked it.

"Check out Avon with the studs!"

"I'm loving the mystery."

There was a lot of "Holy @#$%"

"Mirror Tetris."
I hum the Tetris theme.
"Shut up!"

"No! Poor Zen!"

"Of course it's Servalan!"

"Is she dead? Tell me! TELL ME! HEY, TELL ME!"
I don't know.
"You suck!"

Well, now we finish the amazing Season C and Michelle liked Terminal quite a bit. I enjoy it as well... but not nearly as much as I like Galactic Climate Change and Peckinpah Bloodbath.

Michelle liked the mystery of the episode, but Blake got a big non-reaction from her. She doesn't give two hoots about Blake. She did like that Avon would try to rescue him, though. Loyal, even if he didn't want to be.

She was upset at the death of Zen and thought we found out about his individuality too late. The destruction of the Liberator was a big shock and she was begging me to know what the fate of Servalan would be.

The biggest laugh came from Vila as he conned that smug woman into letting him take Orac with him.

Terminal was enjoyed more by her than me, but we're both very excited for Season D.


Season C round up

Michelle's favourite stories were Harvest of Kairos, City At the Edge of the World and Death-Watch. Honourable mentions go to Rumours of Death and Aftermath.

Mine were Everybody Hurts..... And is Tired, Goldcally Duh Duh Daaaaaaa and Cleanliness is Next to Vila-ness. We agree on one episode.

Her least favourite stories were Volcano and Ultraworld.
Mine is Three Women and a Muppet, but I don't dislike it. Only two episodes have that honour.

Michelle's top two characters were Avon and Servalan, but she wouldn't admit to loving Tarrant - she blushes like crazy! With Blake gone, she told me she was able to enjoy the other characters more and found she really liked Cally (uh oh) and she loves Dayna.

For me it is, and always will be, Avon, Vila and Servalan. Though for me Dayna, Tarrant and Cally are great in Season C and all get their chance to shine.

Next up... my favourite Season!


***

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