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Liberator Chronicles 1 *Spoilers Thread*
Spaceship Dispatcher
The Turing Test by Simon Guerrier
Starring Paul Darrow as Avon and Michael Keating as Vila
Avon and Vila go undercover at a top secret research establishment.

Solitary by Nigel Fairs
Starring Michael Keating as Vila and Anthony Howell as Nyrron
Vila is alone and amnesiac. Why have his friends turned against him?

Counterfeit by Peter Anghelides
Starring Gareth Thomas as Blake and Paul Darrow as Avon
Blake investigates a mining facility, unaware that his sworn enemy is close by...

Written By: Simon Guerrier, Nigel Fairs and Peter Anghelides
Directed By: Lisa Bowerman
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
 
Spaceship Dispatcher
The original discussion thread for Volume One of the Liberator Chronicles was on the previous version of the forum and never revived; but with relistens of these earlier audios being organised on Tuesday evenings by site member Trevor Travis, now seemed as good an opportunity as any!
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
 
Travisina
Seems like an opportune moment to reinstate (and slightly update) the Review of Liberator Chronicles from the old website.

Author's note:
When I started doing these reviews, I gave them scores out of 10 - in this case, 9/10. Hubby warned me not to score the first ones too highly, because if they kept getting better, I'd run out of numbers. But this was so much better than anything that had gone before - the dire BBC audios and questionable reboots - that I felt it was pretty darn near perfect. I wasn't to know then that hubby was right: Big Finish 'turned it up to 11' with the epic Armageddon Storm and LibChron stories like 'Pol' and 'Three', so eventually I just gave up scoring. Smile
Edited by Travisina on 23 May 2015 20:08:11
Twitter: @TravisinaB7
Tumblr: tumblr
There's no point being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes
 
Ellen York
I started my collection of the audios when BF ran the sale in March (25 hours worth, still working my way through them). On LC1, my favorite was Counterfeit. I must admit that it is a real thrill to hear the theme music and know that it is leading up to a new story Smile
 
Spaceship Dispatcher
Having relistened to The Turing Test for the first time yesterday, my originally positive 7/10 now feels a little generous. The basic premise is a curious contradiction as Simon Guerrier tells a story about artificial intelligence, in a way sort of reminiscent of Isaac Asimov by making the theme also the subject of the play, but undermines his own efforts by taking a shortcut and making the android a copy of the human form even down to emotions and having some bodily functions; what follows is a story about a human character that merely happens to be called an android by reference only rather than in practice. This is not only a creative contradiction but a missed opportunity; by setting up an AI story and then taking a shortcut to avoid the character being an AI character because it would get in the way of the scenes Guerrier wanted to describe or the relationships he wanted to explore. If the AI concept does not work in your story, tell one about something else! The romance between Avon and 14 started okay as an intellectual curiousity on the part of the former, but imo loses it's way when he starts to fantasise about running away with 14 and starting a new life together; Avon would know the difference between a human and an android even if it giggles while dunking biscuits and would not fall in love with it or risk throwing away everything he has, or might ever have in the future for possession of it presents no advantage, through his passion for it. In addition to this flaw, the ending for me is a complete fail. Vila is driven to a furious rage, the exact reason for which is left a little vague, and goes alone into the Federation base to consign all the people there to death or exile at the hands of security forces by wiping their records. Vila going into a rage? Going into a potentially hostile situation on a Federation base alone? Being this callous and effectively killing an unarmed and innocent, if ethically misguided, group of people who showed him hospitality out of moral outrage? And not seeming to care about having their blood on his hands, or that he is aiding Servalan or people like her in oppressing the working man or woman? It's not like this was a weapons facility, whatever use the androids might ultimately be put to by others. In my initial review on the previous Horizon site, I believed that the portrayals were quite good; but now I feel that, despite good performances by Paul Darrow and Michael Keating, the interpretations of Avon and Vila in this story are very wrong and a weakness. 6/10
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
 
Anniew
SD intellectually I agree with you about the story. Emotionally however it captured what I always felt were possibilities for the characters - that a cynic like Avon would be helpless if faced with true innocence and would of course fantasise because it represented the perfection he longed for and feared he'd never find ( or regretted he'd lost). And Vila has the strength to be outraged and would feel for 14 because of his own experiences in rehabilitation centres. I don't think it's such a stretch if looked at purely psychologically.
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
 
Spaceship Dispatcher
Anniew wrote:

...Emotionally however it captured what I always felt were possibilities for the characters - that a cynic like Avon would be helpless if faced with true innocence and would of course fantasise because it represented the perfection he longed for and feared he'd never find ( or regretted he'd lost). And Vila has the strength to be outraged...

I'm in agreement about the possibilities, but in that case I think it would make a better s3/4 story rather than coming straight after Mission to Destiny when the characters are too excited by their freedom and about the possibilities of the Liberator; it's too soon imo for Vila to have that sort of confidence. The way he reacts at the end would work well enough for Blake, but I can't see Vila becoming callous or sadistic in killing people (even indirectly, by setting them up and leaving them to die) until a much later season... if ever.
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
 
trevor travis
Spaceship Dispatcher wrote:
I think it would make a better s3/4 story rather than coming straight after Mission to Destiny when the characters are too excited by their freedom and about the possibilities of the Liberator; it's too soon imo for Vila to have that sort of confidence. The way he reacts at the end would work well enough for Blake, but I can't see Vila becoming callous or sadistic in killing people (even indirectly, by setting them up and leaving them to die) until a much later season... if ever.


Hold on a minute, but a couple of episodes earlier, Vila couldn’t wait to get his hands on the neutron blasters! It’s simply the face-to-face killing that Vila can’t quite stomach.

And consider this dialogue:

“Hello there. How are you? Excuse me wandering about your premises but I wonder if you can help me. I'm an escaped prisoner. I was a thief but recently I've become interested in sabotage, in a small way you understand, nothing too ambitious, I hate vulgarity, don't you? Anyway, I've come to blow something up. What do you think will be most suitable?”

Seems quite confident to me. And the episode it comes from… “Seek-Locate-Destroy”, halfway through Season A.

I think you need to watch Season A again, and study Vila. You’re doing him a dis-service.
 
Spaceship Dispatcher
trevor travis wrote:

And consider this dialogue:

“Hello there. How are you? Excuse me wandering about your premises but I wonder if you can help me. I'm an escaped prisoner. I was a thief but recently I've become interested in sabotage, in a small way you understand, nothing too ambitious, I hate vulgarity, don't you? Anyway, I've come to blow something up. What do you think will be most suitable?”

Seems quite confident to me. And the episode it comes from… “Seek-Locate-Destroy”, halfway through Season A.

I think you need to watch Season A again, and study Vila. You’re doing him a dis-service.

Was Vila alone, the only member of the crew on the planet in that scene? I thought Blake was with him.

But the actions in the last moments of Turing Test are a different sort of confidence; being able to hold your own on a mission and becoming a ruthless killer, looking at people and talking cheerfully to them while you condemn them to death is a different sort of confidence. And before you drop comments about doing characters a 'dis-service', I did agree with Annie about being interested by the possibilities but merely questioned at which point in his character development it would fit what we know. Personally, I don't think Vila would ever actually behave that way even when he did have the mix of confidence and cynicism of later seasons.
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
 
trevor travis
But SD, Vila is at his most confident in Season A, before the drink starts to addle his brain (Soma, his poison, is only first mentioned in “Horizon” ). You obviously see the character of Vila progressing. However, with the exception of a few episodes (“City” is an obvious exception), I see it regressing. He’s still no fool, as sequences such as the one in “Stardrive” demonstrate, but he is more likely than before to hit the bottle e.g. “Rescue”, “Sand”, etc.

Vila was always a smart cookie, and fully capable of looking after No 1. He suggests to Blake that maybe they should murder Avon in “Space Fall”, before he does the dirty on them.

In regards to Vila, there’s nothing in “The Turing Test” that couldn’t come out of a Season A episode.

SD, don’t be fooled by the ‘cowardly, fool’ act. Because that’s exactly what it is – an act.
 
Spaceship Dispatcher
trevor travis wrote:

SD, don’t be fooled by the ‘cowardly, fool’ act. Because that’s exactly what it is – an act.

Well, you know that I'm a strong opponent of the suggestion that Vila is either a coward or a fool or a drunkard. As regards whether or not the character progresses, it depends on your use of the terms; he progresses towards being a regressed character, if that makes sense! Any character development is a progression on what went before, even if it's backwards. To me, Vila is not cynical enough in the beginning to be callous in taking life. In this story he isn't looking after number one; he returns to the base after their escape as a very cruel revenge against people who were not actually antagonists apart from not being rebels. Again, Vila is not imo a political animal like Blake to kill even indirectly just because someone works within the Federation. I really don't buy him being upset about 14, because it was Avon who formed the emotional attachments.
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
 
trevor travis
But it’s Avon’s cruel revenge isn’t it – not Vila’s. Vila is under instruction from Avon. The same way Vila will use the Neutron Blasters to blast a ship out of the sky, killing any crew members, under instruction from Blake. If Vila can’t think of a good counter-argument, he will do Blake or Avon’s bidding, as long as there is no personal danger to him. Vila is not a moral character, in fact even Avon is slightly more moral than Vila. Vila won't care what happens to the scientists.
 
Spaceship Dispatcher
trevor travis wrote:

...Vila won't care what happens to the scientists.

And therein lies a point upon which we will differ no matter what arguments are made. Vila might be dishonest towards other people's property, but I believe he has a good heart towards other people themselves; I believe that he does care, that he does not hurt or kill without feeling he has no choice. He and Cally are a counterpoint to Blake and Avon, both ruthless in their own way for different reasons, and provide a needed balance of empathy within the crew.

If Vila did kill for Blake or Avon without being capable of grasping or comprehending what he was really doing then imo it would be the actions of a fool; therefore I conclude that he did know what he was doing and was a willing participant, which in turn is why I consider it out of character and especially for pre-Orbit episodes.
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
 
trevor travis
Spaceship Dispatcher wrote:

trevor travis wrote:

...Vila won't care what happens to the scientists.

And therein lies a point upon which we will differ no matter what arguments are made. Vila might be dishonest towards other people's property, but I believe he has a good heart towards other people themselves; I believe that he does care, that he does not hurt or kill without feeling he has no choice. He and Cally are a counterpoint to Blake and Avon, both ruthless in their own way for different reasons, and provide a needed balance of empathy within the crew.

If Vila did kill for Blake or Avon without being capable of grasping or comprehending what he was really doing then imo it would be the actions of a fool; therefore I conclude that he did know what he was doing and was a willing participant, which in turn is why I consider it out of character and especially for pre-Orbit episodes.


He knows what he's doing, but doesn't really care that much. Vila is not a moral character. Cally and Gan are the members of the Liberator who have morals. And Blake, but in a strange, twisted way.
 
Anniew
Vila's reaction to the suggestion that Avon was going to work with the crew of the London to dispose of the prisoners was 'Lets space him'. Suggests that he's ruthless to enemies and may well see the scientists as such - ruthless federation personnel who are fair game.
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
 
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