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B7: Mediasphere
BradPaula
I'm finding Mediasphere a very hard slog. I started it at least 2 months ago and have about 60 pages left to read but to be honest, I don't think it's a Blake's 7 type story at all, at least not true to what the series was. Sorry. The novels just have not lived up to my expectations.
Zil: Oneness must resist the Host.
 
Joe Dredd
Having got a little further with the book, the Goodies references continue with the Blake character in "Liberation!" being played by Brock Tylor, a man known for "playing posh twits" - obviously Tim Brooke-Taylor. Vila is played by a man with a beard (i.e. the equivalent of Bill Oddie), which fits with all the references to Avon being played by the future version of Graeme Garden.

Myklos Vidge doesn't ring any bells (I'm sure the hat should be a clue), though the name is reminiscent of Mary Ridge. Any ideas?

The "Alphas Deltas" programme is clearly "Upstairs Downstairs".

Skilbeck, the lady on the committee of the Viewers League must be the Mary Whitehouse analogue. This is confirmed by her remark about a carrot which harks back to complaints Mary Whitehouse made against the Goodies "Saturday Night Grease" episode during which we see a pair of undies with a picture of a carrot on them.
 
Joe Dredd
I'm still slowly progressing with this one, in between the other books I have on rotation at the moment.

There's a passing reference to a show called "Level Seven South". Any guesses as to the real-life version of that one? The West Wing?

It's somewhat ironic that Dayna isn't on the cover, given she has such a large central role. To balance things out Tarrant is pictured on the cover despite being almost a mere cough & spit part in the story (so far).
 
Anniew
Joe I knew the references were significant but couldn't get them so thanks for helping me out!!! As to the rest... I have absolutely NO idea. Sorry.
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
 
Spaceresearcher
I'm wondering when my copy of 'Media Sphere' will actually arrive?
Sad
 
Joe Dredd
Where did you order it from, Spaceresearcher? (and when?)
 
Joe Dredd
Right, finally made it to the end of Mediasphere. A couple more references to Goodies episodes, a flailing robot reminiscent of S-L-D, an explanation of how Dayna keeps those miniaturised 'mouse' bombs about her person and, after the credits, the revelation that Servalan loves to watch Dallas! ("all vast hair and outlandish ten-gallon hats").

Great to see nods to Judith's hermit.org site and to the creators of Sevencyclopaedia.

Overall I think this is the best of the BF B7 books so far. It's not a 'traditional' B7 story and it starts mid-adventure and out of place, Tarrant is barely in it and (as far as I remember) Zen not at all, but it has an intriguing master foe and good characterisation. I can't even recall seeing a typo!
 
BradPaula
Wow, Joe. I am going to have to read the book again. I did not get any of the references you posted!
Zil: Oneness must resist the Host.
 
Spaceship Dispatcher
BradPaula wrote:

Wow, Joe. I am going to have to read the book again...

But not just yet, eh..? Wink
Reversing the polarity of the neutron flow. I bet that means something. It sounds great.

Blake's 7: Trojan Horse (s4 fanfic) - Blake's 7: Through the Needle's Eye (s2 fanfic)

Spaceship Dispatcher's fanfic site
 
Joe Dredd
BradPaula wrote:

Wow, Joe. I am going to have to read the book again. I did not get any of the references you posted!


To be honest, the references to old TV shows were probably the reason I liked it so much. It's not the greatest B7 story I've ever read, but it's the best of the BF books so far.

There were probably more hidden references in there. I think the names of the musical acts (Humble Trumpet, Chemical Skum, etc) are just made up rather than being a play on anything, but in the acknowledgements the authors thank someone for some insight into Television Centre, so I'm guessing some of the geography or anecdotes are based on the BBC of the 70s and 80s. The name of the "Blood-Stained Kites" film may also be a twist on something but my brain keeps going to "Kes", which has a bird connection but is otherwise clearly wrong.
 
Spaceresearcher
Joe Dredd wrote:

Where did you order it from, Spaceresearcher? (and when?)


Some time ago directly from Big Finish. I'm sure it will not be far away.
 
Spaceresearcher
Joe Dredd wrote:

Right, finally made it to the end of Mediasphere. A couple more references to Goodies episodes, a flailing robot reminiscent of S-L-D, an explanation of how Dayna keeps those miniaturised 'mouse' bombs about her person and, after the credits, the revelation that Servalan loves to watch Dallas! ("all vast hair and outlandish ten-gallon hats"Wink.

Great to see nods to Judith's hermit.org site and to the creators of Sevencyclopaedia.

Overall I think this is the best of the BF B7 books so far. It's not a 'traditional' B7 story and it starts mid-adventure and out of place, Tarrant is barely in it and (as far as I remember) Zen not at all, but it has an intriguing master foe and good characterisation. I can't even recall seeing a typo!


Well as I know your a fellow fan who truly appreciates the magic that was Season 4, I'm super keen to read this new novel now. That's high praise indeed. Smile
 
guiser
There is certainly a spread of opinion on this book! Personally, I really loved it and have read it twice in the course of last month! I must admit that I picked up a lot more of the jokes the 2nd time round, though. How on earth I missed the B** S**** stuff on first read, I do not know!

I don't think that "Mediasphere" is the kind of book that you read for the plot mechanics because that is the least interesting and successful thing about the book, though I think the central plot idea is clever. What is really fun is the in-jokes, meta and excellent characterisation and dialogue. For instance, I thought that a Dayna-centric book would not be my cup of tea because she is my least favourite B7 character but I actually thought she was interestingly portrayed in the book.

Certainly, for all that I found the book very entertaining, the book is far from perfect. I think that to some extent the jokes, wittiness and meta-ish ideas detract from the plot and at times I found it quite hard to follow. I also felt that there were too many plot stands on the go at the same time and that the large number of secondary characters could have done with a bit more fleshing out so I could keep them straight in my mind! Mind you, I do have a terrible memory for names so perhaps that is just me! However, I think that if you did not pick up on at least a few of the jokes and references the book wouldn't be nearly as enjoyable.

"Mediasphere" really does seem to be aimed at fans who know a good bit about the show (in-jokes about B7 writers and actors!!!) and who are old enough to be familiar with British tv of the 70s and 80s. If you don't fall into that group then you will have to be a big fan of archive tv to get even a fraction of the jokes. I'm not too sure that it was wise to limit the audience that much, but I'm certainly not complaining! Grin
 
guiser
Some guesses for Mediasphere references below!

*
*
*
*
*

Joe Dredd wrote:
There's a passing reference to a show called "Level Seven South". Any guesses as to the real-life version of that one? The West Wing?).


Goes on for 250 = 25 years - Eastenders, maybe?

Also, Chemical Skum = My Chemical Romance? I'm not terribly familiar with emo, so I'm not quite sure! Mentioned in the context of Rebels without a cause but not quite bad boys...
 
Joe Dredd
Thanks for sharing, Guiser. I think I agree with everything you wrote!

guiser wrote:

How on earth I missed the B** S**** stuff on first read, I do not know!


The script writer? Or do you mean something else.
 
guiser
Joe Dredd wrote:

guiser wrote:

How on earth I missed the B** S**** stuff on first read, I do not know!


The script writer? Or do you mean something else.


"You are beautiful, women!". Yes, I mean that script writer, though those initials also suggest my response to said script writer...Grin

Still wracking my brains for the significance of "Blood Red Kites", though. Not a clue!
 
StarOne
50 pages in and its a turgid slog, the references to Ant and the Spice Girls substitutes elicited groans rather than the "arent we clever" that the authors were clearly going for.
This is stupid!
 
Anniew
Oh Star One I enjoyed it. Bit of fun I thought.
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
 
Joe Dredd
StarOne wrote:
50 pages in and its a turgid slog


I found it hard going too, at first. If you can last through a bit longer you'll reach a flashback to the Liberator which finally provides an explanation as to what is going on. After that I found it a much easier read.
 
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