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Current Poll

Who is your Favourite Guest Rebel?

Avalon - (Project Avalon)
Avalon - (Project Avalon)
18% [17 Votes]

Selma - (Horizon)
Selma - (Horizon)
5% [5 Votes]

Tyce - (Bounty)
Tyce - (Bounty)
15% [14 Votes]

Norm One - (Redemption)
Norm One - (Redemption)
2% [2 Votes]

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Bek - (Shadow)
6% [6 Votes]

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19% [18 Votes]

Hal Mellanby - (Aftermath)
Hal Mellanby - (Aftermath)
14% [13 Votes]

Hunda - (Traitor)
Hunda - (Traitor)
5% [5 Votes]

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Deva - (Blake)
9% [9 Votes]

Other
Other
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Started: 09 July 2016

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Let's Diagnose our Heroes
dragonq
Here's another one to think about.

You're a psychologist of the future and you have to diagnose the crew members of Blake's 7. What would you say about the different crew members.

There is, of course, a whole separate debate here about Gan (if you happen to think of him as a psychopathic sex killer without his limiter). But leaving this aside, I would like to suggest that Vila has an anxiety disorder, an addictive personality, kleptomania and, by series 4 at least, depression. Travis is a sadistic sociopath, Servalan is a psychopath and a megalomaniac, Blake is paranoid. Dayna is probably a psychopath too, Tarrant a narcissist...um, I had better stop here, to allow others to chip in with their opinions. I have absolutely no training in this area at all, by the way, so I am probably wrong.

Any opinions?
 
Spaceship Dispatcher
dragonq wrote:

Servalan is a psychopath and a megalomaniac...

As a psychologist of the future, I would pass Servalan mentally fit and send her on her way. She's ruthless in carrying out her duties and isn't sentimental about casualties or collateral damage but, as a leader of the security services and tasked with protecting the majority against a violent and equally ruthless minority of terrorists, that is no more or less than I would expect from her. As a Federation citizen, that is exactly what you would want. She does her job well and thoroughly in challenging circumstances (ie terrorists having possession of advanced weapons technologies) but her job does not demand that she be a nice person.
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
 
sweevo
Blake - Narcissistic personality flaw, possibly disorder - God complex in later seasons with a possible case of schizophrenia
Avon - Asperger Syndrome (I have it, so I know the traits and symptoms and I understand Avon's way of thinking), which only worsens by the time of Series 4, leading to his increasingly hostile and irrational behaviour
Vila - Kleptomania and some form of AS, but not as pronounced as Avon's, and depression by Series 4
Gan - I don't know
Jenna - Signs of an abusive relationship (she sees Blake is becoming more obsessed and increasingly autocratic during Season 2 but she fails to act on it or even call him out)
Cally - Social anxiety and an inability to understand basic social etiquette (she IS an alien, so I'll let it go)

That's all I can come up with for now.
 
Anniew
I suppose it depends whether you take a sociological or psychological view. Villa for example could be a thief because he watched his family starve or suffer deprivation and there were no the ways open to him to progress, or those that were there involved supporting a regime he hated so crime was the only way out of the poverty trap. Jenna and Avon could have taken to criminality because they were too individualistic to fit in - penalised harshly for their refusal/inability to conform in a stultifying bureaucracy then they would either have had to rebel or become deviant. Given the harsh penalties for rebellion ( mind wiping) it's understandable they might prefer the risks of crime. Though piracy is puzzling because it's quite violent. I guess Jenna must be a risk taker. Blake must have experienced some injustice in his youth that so appalled him he felt rebellion was the only option.

Avon, Villa, Dayna and all seem to have stress related psychoses by season 4. Dayna is obsessed by the need to kill Servalan, Villa is permanently terrified and alcohol dependent, Avon is paranoid - although they ARE out to get him. Soolin and Tarrant, despite their traumatic experiences, seem surprisingly normal.
Blake is as paranoid as Avon at the end.
Cally? Survivors guilt is probably the best explanation - though it doesn't explain why she became a rebel in the first place. I've always assumed she hated the way telepathic clones were treated ( as tools of the state) and that led to rebellion.
 
JustBrad
Vila, apart from his penchant to pick up things that aren't his, is the most normal member of the crew. Next would probably be Jenna.
 
rojkerr1
Servalan is a high functioning sociopath, devoid of sympathy or empathy. Dead ringer for Margaret Thatcher in fact, "there is no such thing as society-" is a perfect Servalan quote, which happens to be from Thatcher!
Avon becomes a paranoid schizophrenic in the course of the series, with psycopathic tendencies, he recognises this himself in the episode Blake.
 
Anniew
JustBrad - I was always surprised at how normal Soolin was considering her dramatic and traumatic past. She showed a surprising amount of empathy despite her unemotional presentation.

I don't see Avon as schizophrenic Rojker- and he would, without medication, surely have been unlikely to recognise the condition. In my (past) experience, the schizophrenics I encountered who weren't well medicated thought the world was mad and they were sane but afflicted.
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
 
Ellen York
Anniew wrote:

Jenna and Avon could have taken to criminality because they were too individualistic to fit in - penalised harshly for their refusal/inability to conform in a stultifying bureaucracy then they would either have had to rebel or become deviant. Given the harsh penalties for rebellion ( mind wiping) it's understandable they might prefer the risks of crime. Though piracy is puzzling because it's quite violent. I guess Jenna must be a risk taker.


I'm fairly sure that Jenna is described as a smuggler (or free trader Wink ), not pirate. I would define smuggler as someone who is being paid to obtain/transport contraband. So on the wrong side of the law, but not a violent crime. The individualism and risk taking, I will agree with. But I admit that Jenna is my favorite, so I am a bit biased.
 
rojkerr1
Anniew. In my job I've met some very charming and well balanced psychopaths, fully aware of what they were, and were capable of. Worked in several secure units, played chess with one guy, he was absolutely brilliant, but even he warned me not to turn my back on him, because he really couldn't help himself. Avon is also brilliant, but he keeps making the same mistakes
 
Anniew
Mmmm. Can see the argument for psychopath - though I don't agree with it- but can't see the paranoid schizophrenia label fitting.
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
 
trevor travis
I think most of the Liberator crew are fairly normal people, albeit with character faults.

I would say the only regulars who may have some sort of mental disorder are: Blake, Avon, Servalan and Travis. Even then, apart from Servalan, who is some sort of higher functioning psycopath, I'm not convinced. For example, Avon's problems may be down to simple stress.
 
Mistletoe12
trevor travis wrote:

I think most of the Liberator crew are fairly normal people, albeit with character faults.

I would say the only regulars who may have some sort of mental disorder are: Blake, Avon, Servalan and Travis. Even then, apart from Servalan, who is some sort of higher functioning psycopath, I'm not convinced. For example, Avon's problems may be down to simple stress.


Iím not in any way an expert on these things but Iíve never changed my opinion where Avonís mental health is concerned Ė I NEVER bought into the ĎAvonís a psychopathí theory!

Occamís Razor: the most simple explanation and all that Ö

PD is on record as saying 'just because Avon smiles when he delivers the word (psychopaths) in the line from Blake, everyone interpreted/assumed Avon was referring to himself. He wasnít!'

Okay, Iím semi-paraphrasing, canít recall his words verbatim, but heís talked about it in interviews and if Iím not mistaken, in his autobiography. Thereís also a great line in Lucifer (first book in his trilogy) which I wonít include due to spoilers!

Me, personally, I have always believed Avonís problems stem from stress, the society they live in, the lives they live, the decisions leadership has forced him to make. Avon, in my opinion, already suffering from stress related symptoms as we close out series 3, is heading, if not in the throes already, towards a full emotional breakdown during S4. Itís all too much Ė this isnít a man who simply needs his teddy, he required serious Rest and Relaxation Ö but he isnít a psychopath! Angry
 
trevor travis
Mistletoe12 wrote:
Iím not in any way an expert on these things but Iíve never changed my opinion where Avonís mental health is concerned Ė I NEVER bought into the ĎAvonís a psychopathí theory!


I agree, his behaviour is not psychotic at all, simply stress related.

You only have to compare and contrast his behaviour with that of Servalan to realise what is psychotic behaviour and what isn't. Avon wouldn't wipe out the population of a whole planet in a casual manner, as we see Servalan do.

Maybe all Avon needs is a nice massage - any volunteers out there? WinkGrin
 
peladon
I'd say that all the Liberator crew are 'normal' to the degree permitted by their society and their pasts. However they are also extraordinary people, by which I mean they are not the man/woman next door. The two should not be confused, but often are.

Blake shows some signs of post traumatic stress and survivor guilt but is generallly pretty normal for all of that. He is an idealist and highly focussed which means he isnt always nice but other than that he is not dysfunctional in any way. The flashes of fanatisium are brief, rare (and totally inexplicable in the context of the rest of canon).

Avon is a genius from what we see and a wide spectrum one - people of that level of IQ are never truly 'normal' against the population norms. He is also a calculated risk taker and highly adaptable. He is also highly individualistic and self determining.

Jenna is both a risk taker and self determining, not wedded to social norms but in no way pycho or socio pathic.

Vila is also self determining and a thief by choice, again someone who has chosen to reject 'normal behavior' but otherwise pretty stable and with a strong sense of self preservation. Though with some slights signs of an addictive personality and low self reliance.

Servalan is a product of her society, though we are told that her tutors thought her unsuited to command so there might be something there. She is spiteful and vain, but then so are a lot of 'normal people', and she doesnt show much sign of being a psychopath other tha a lack of empathy, but that might be training as much as anything else.
 
Ellen York
Peladon, "normal to the degree permitted by their society" is a very good description of the characters. They are unique and flawed people trying to survive in a very repressive society. I was listening to "Logic" last night and the picture it painted of life in the domes is horrifying.
 
trevor travis
peladon wrote:
Servalan is a product of her society, though we are told that her tutors thought her unsuited to command so there might be something there. She is spiteful and vain, but then so are a lot of 'normal people', and she doesnt show much sign of being a psychopath other tha a lack of empathy, but that might be training as much as anything else.


Peladon, while I agreee that the rest are fairly 'normal', I do think that Servalan is some sort of higher-funcitioning psychopatch or sociopath. The clearest example is her behaviour in "Children Of Auron", where she wipes out the population of a planet, not because of military aims but because (1) it might possibly help her gain the Liberator (it doesn't) (2) she wants babies.

CA-1: I just can't believe it. I can't believe that anyone can be so...
SERVALAN: Successful? Well now you know. Take them out and shoot them.


For me, while Travis is a product of his society and his training, Servalan is something just slightly different; I'm thinking also of the exchange in "Deliverance", where Travis (who despite everything, has a certain code of honour) finds out how ruthless Servalan can be. People are completely expendable to her, and that isn't normal behaviour. As she says herself in "Sand", she's "unique".

So for me, while the Liberator and Scorpio crew are fairly 'normal', Servalan is a psychopath.
Edited by trevor travis on 01 July 2015 08:01:49
 
dragonq
It's interesting to see all the different takes on the characters. To be honest, I think it's very hard to make the claim that any of them are normal, with the possible exception of Jenna (who I agree is probably a just a rebel and a risk-taker--you can see her being the smart girl who gets in with the bad crowd), and also Soolin, who is cold-blooded, but level headed and sensible. Tarrant, I suppose, and you can't really include Cally in the discussion given that she is both alien and a clone and thus cannot be judged by any human standard.

The rest of them, however, are all more or less crazy or damaged. If you like, you can attribute a lot of it to environment and the system they have come out of. To begin with at least three of the members of the original crew, Blake, Vila and Gan have had Federation psychiatrists doing some fairly serious messing around inside their heads. In Blake's case, we know he has had memory wipes and conditioning, Vila has by his own admission undergone repeated treatment to "fix" him (which has evidently failed), and Gan's limiter has at least suppressed his violent urges, at worst/best completely changed his personality, depending on whether you subscribe to the psychopathic sex killer theory, and believe that Gan's real personality is the one we see emerging when the limiter breaks down.

It is hard to imagine these three men having this level of medical intervention and NOT being screwed up. As I've mentioned before, I am of the opinion that Vila has an anxiety disorder (something I have had a lot of experience with in the family); well, given this background, it is hardly surprising. Blake was probably quite "normal" originally, but after what he has gone through--a failed revolt, torture, conditioning and memory wipes, and a trumped up charge of paedophilia, it is very hard to imagine that he is NOT screwed up, suffering from PTSD, survivor guilt, paranoia...I note that we are all avoiding the topic of Gan, probably because we all like him and don't want to think of him as perhaps nicer with his limiter than he was before he got it, but I have to say that while not convinced, I don't entirely discount the theory.

As for Avon, I can see where the ASD suggestion comes from (had a bit to do with that one, too), but am not 100% convinced of that either.

I think I mentioned that I have spent a lot of time nursing a sick family member over the last couple of years. You can probably see from the fact that I started this thread that I have spent far too much time in psychiatrists' waiting rooms.
 
peladon
I'll happily tackle Gan head on. Ive never read the book but Ive been provided with extracts of the sex killer theory and frankly consider it to be rubbish without any canon support. Its one reason why I never bothered with the rest of the tome.

That the Gan we see in Breakdown is not intended to taken as his personality is highlighted by Avons explination of what is happening - the failing device is feeding random electrical signals into his brain. It is not simply failing to function and restrain his 'natural' personality. Given the areas of the brain a limiter would have to influence to restrict aggression what we see on screen is what would be the predicted outcome of such an event. Also whilst the limiter may explain his inhibited agressive response but it does not give rise to the streak of morality he frequently demonstrates. Prior to the experiences that led up to the limiter and the influences of the device itself I would say he was as normal as the next man.

As for Vila - no one with an anxiety disorder would survive long as a thief in a dome structured world. He does develope some signs of one over time but I dont think he starts out that way.
 
sooper mouse
Avon is the picture of the high functioning autist , since Aspergers is no longer an accepted diagnosis. And being paranoid is part and parcel of that.

The main thing about autists(I am one and from my point of view as a child watching this on Bulgarian TV in the early 80s his behaviour was the only normal one) is that we don't actually get social cues. We don't get people so we approach the world through a logical lens, and that is Avon to a T. Humans are inherently strange and unreliable and untrustworthy so we keep our distance and we analyze them. And if one breaks out trust, we never really trust again.
It becomes obvious as the series progresses that he is deeply uncomfortable with being in charge of people, but he feels that he has to, and maybe also because he regards himself as being the only one smart enough to look after the rest, even when they are annoying, brattish and unreliable.

Yeah, there's the "psychopaaaaths" moment but only from Avon's point of view he is one because he is no longer acting logically at this point- he has chosen loyalty over pragmatism long ago and this is messing up with his head. But being loyal to his team mates and saving their butts is a thing "normal" people do. But because Avon isn't normal, for him this is a tremendous stress.

If anything, his reaction at the end of "Blake" is a sane one, of course you can't trust Blake. He's in the open and we're supposed to believe the legendary rebel leader is prancing around under the Federation's nose and gets away with it? The Federation is not that careless therefore it's OBVIOUSLY a trap.

Compound this with Blake's obvious derangement- the fact that he doesn't immediately explain looks like he's dithering and his words can be interpreted either way. However Blake KNOWS Avon, knows that the guy takes absolutely everything literally.
Edited by Travisina on 18 November 2016 21:02:53
 
trevor travis
I don't think Avon has any condition. He's just under increasing stress.
 
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