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Current Poll

Who is your Favourite Guest Rebel?

Avalon - (Project Avalon)
Avalon - (Project Avalon)
20% [20 Votes]

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

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

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

Bek - (Shadow)
Bek - (Shadow)
7% [7 Votes]

Kasabi - (Pressure Point)
Kasabi - (Pressure Point)
18% [18 Votes]

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

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

Deva - (Blake)
Deva - (Blake)
9% [9 Votes]

6% [6 Votes]

Votes: 100
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Started: 09 July 2016

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A new recruit, and a new blog in progress.
Travisina wrote:

Another excellent blog, Zonda!

I find title sequences fascinating. Sometimes abstract, sometimes so brief as to be almost non-existent, sometimes they provide the background to the series, set the scene or introduce the characters. Old favourites are Survivors (as you rightly included in your blog - such elegant storytelling in only 50 seconds!), pretty much everything from Gerry Anderson / ITC, especially Thunderbirds and UFO.

More recent faves are:
Dexter for its cheeky intro to the charming, funny and gruesome serial killer
True Blood for its awesome theme tune and sleazy deep south vibe.

Oh yes to all of those, especially True Blood - that one is so brilliant. Have you seen the accompanying making of video for that one? Great work. It's such a fascinating area as you say. There was another really good one from the 1980's Man and Music I think it was called - a Chennel 4 series. Been trying to find that one - another Bernard Lodge classic.
Joe Dredd
But the narrative, or whatever it is that we pick up on, somehow reminds me of the first Blake’s 7 title sequence.

Of course it does. Blake is hiding in the titles. He's the one looking at all those stars!

Joe Dredd
The illuminated visual display re-enforces this, and reminds me of the animated sequences featured in the 1981 BBC adaptation of ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ – the title sequence of which was also designed by Douglas Burd.

They should remind you of the HHG graphics - the same people did both! The HHG graphics made a big impression on lots of people and Pearce Studios got a number of jobs out of it, including doing the graphics for the Max Headroom telemovie, as well as being hired by Doug Burd to do the S4 titles to his specs.

Burd was apparently very passionate about flying. Unfortunately that's what killed him (he died flying a kit plane while filming an item for 'Tomorrow's World"), but it's obvious that the aviation instrumentation provided his inspiration for the title sequence. As you say, it looks nice but doesn't tell you much about the show, though we must remember Doug Burd had a number of imaginative title sequences under his belt, including the one for "Secret Army" I believe, which is magnificent (and foreboding) in its simplicity.

Kevin Jon Davies, who of course did a lot of work on HHG, helped animate the S4 titles. He says he hated the way the stars are static even though the planet is rotating. (I always liked the caption an early SFX magazine had over the planet - "Chocolate meringue at six o'clock!")

KJD also did the little lights that fly by in the end titles. Vere Lorrimer wanted them; he said they were pursuit ships.

There's a HHG-style cutaway of the Scorpio that Kevin did too (a bit like the Marvin the Paranoid Android cutaway he did for some Sunday supplement or other). It was meant to be seen on the flight deck screens, but never got used. I think its only official outing was Sheelagh's "Making of B7" book. I asked Kevin what the disorientation scanners were meant to do, but he said he had no idea - it was something Doug Burd had come up with.
Joe Dredd wrote:

But the narrative, or whatever it is that we pick up on, somehow reminds me of the first Blake’s 7 title sequence.

Of course it does. Blake is hiding in the titles. He's the one looking at all those stars!


Ha ha loving this Joe!

I had heard about Burd's sad death, I didn't reaise it was for a Tomorrow World item. I didn't know he did Secret Army either - totally agree - it was a great sequence. But adding Choclate Meringue to the previous discussion of Waffles is starting to turn this thread into a banquet! Grin

Loved those little lights at the end - but never thought of them as persuit ships, I think I had been molified by Dudley Simpson's lounge arrangement of the theme!

Thanks for this Joe - fascinating tid-bits. Smile
Happy 40th day!

Here's my contribution to the anniversary in the form of two blog posts. We have the episode that started it all (a substantial rewrite of an earlier blog post) and the episode that ended it all. Although in the case of 'Blake' I felt it to be a potential beginning, if only Tarrant and Blake has sat down and talked things through over a cuppa. Anyway, I wanted to focus on one man, Roj Blake.
So here they are! Happy reading! Bests, Tim
Edited by Zonda on 03 January 2018 19:57:45
Joe Dredd

Thanks Tim. Really excellent as usual.

As long as Avon is a part of the series, all paths lead to Blake. Orac just proved that.

Blake’s more experienced form of arrogance.

this is another example of how, more often than not, this episode feels like a new beginning. Once his lights finally go out, something pointing a way ahead appears in its place – and that something is Blake.

this live fast die faster series

The alarm rings out. But it feels different to standard and urgent Blake’s 7 type alarms. This time it feels almost mournful or funerial. The bell tolls.

Very insightful, Tim, and as usual I love your turn of phrase.

plenty of exposition, but delivered through snappy and witty conflicts – the classic Blake’s 7 trait.

Can we get a memo to Big Finish?

Is it me, or does Orac rarely get the seatbelt treatment. It’s almost like something bad is about to happen.

Betty Ramsey had an excellent article about how everything that happens in the episode has been set up by Blake & Avon, to convince the Federation that Blake is dead.

space doughnuts.

I love this description, also the "train set models". I've had similar thoughts about those fir trees myself.

I would have loved to know more about Tando. The hunter worse than those he hunted.

In what way was he worse, do you think? Was he terribly vicious, or was he the Frank Spencer of bounty hunters?

Blake immediately recognises a teleport bracelet.

I love the way this is handled wordlessly with just Blake in the background draping it over his wrist.

And later on the flyer, he drops in Jenna’s name to test Tarrant.

Cally gets name checked too. Is Gan the only one of the seven forgotten (Zen too I suppose). As I think Gan says in "Pressure Point" - "I'm not worth writing for." (What's that? I've misremembered? Are you sure?)

The flyers have some good space hieroglyphics on the side.

You reminded me of the signs in "Gambit". It took me ages to work out they're actually in English and are just things like "Level 2".

it’s a good theatrical RSC death with wide eyes

Or eye?

Deva throws himself back into the scenery with great gusto

...which doesn't wobble!

And then the very final moments. The long lingering shot around Avon is brilliant. The lowering of the sound effect as we experience one last pause, also brilliant. And then the final shots, each closer than the one before as Avon gets his final close up.

And the sound design again, quiet computer burbling that draws attention to the quiet stillness more than silence would.

‘Blake’ is the ultimate expression of his futuristic design ethic – namely big, bold blocky designs with plenty of straight lines and diagonal columns.

Yes, why diagonal columns? It's the same question I have with some of the ventilators(?) in Xenon base.

Her use of a gobo

I had to look this one up. Now I know it's not a Fraggle.

Mind you it’s a shame that Tando bit the dust. He could have added some real comedy value.

Ah, it was Frank Spencer you were thinking of!

the experience of watching one is connected to watching the other.

^This. So good, so true!
Joe - I love your analysis of the analysis as usual!
Is the Betty Ramsey article still available?

As for Tando - I always imagined vicious, but as a way of covering up a lack of intelligence and strategic nous. Always plenty of comedy milage!

Ha ha! Yes - the eye, not eyes in the death scene.

And as for Frank Spencer - you even managed to throw in the name 'Betty' in your comments. I like that! ;-)
Hi all,

Dry ice, blow pipes, rocky terrain, a touch of flesh. It can only mean 'Horizon'.

It's funny blogging about this episode, as in my mind, I'm continually reminding myself I'm not writing about the fan group whenever I use the word.

It's an episode that sits right in the middle, in terms of quality. But that in itself made it quite interesting to blog about. There are things happening in that episode that are really rather good, yet overall it feel a little bit hesitant in comparison to other Blake's 7 scripts.

If anyone knows of anything that relates to the director Jonathan Wright Miller, over the illustrious history of this fan club - interviews, anecdotes or information, I'd love to hear from you. I've looked up his work in IMDB and BFI but otherwise his is a name that appears to be a bit of a mystery, and I like mysteries!

Anyway, I hope there is something of interest in the mines. https://watchingb...r-writers/
All the best, Tim
Edited by Zonda on 14 January 2018 21:10:08
Informative, enjoyable, a blog to treasure.
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
I like Horizon. Made a point of visiting Clearwell Caves whilst on holiday in Forest of Dean a few years back in order to see where they filmed this episode. For me it has a slightly sad undertone to it due to the actor playing Ro later committing suicide.
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