Login

Username

Password



Not a rebel yet?
CLICK HERE to register.

Forgotten your password?
Request a new one from Orac HERE.

Current User Info

· Lurkers Lurking: 13

· Rebels Active: 1
littlesue

· Total Rebels: 925
· Newest Rebel: uazdah

Login Help

If you are having problems logging in, please bear in mind that if you originally registered at the site before 8th January 2014 and you haven't re-registered since that date your old login details will no longer work. If this is the case, please re-register, preferably with your former username. If you are having trouble with the registration process itself, try looking HERE and HERE for help and advice. If you need further assistance, please do CONTACT us.

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)
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)
19% [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]

Other
Other
6% [6 Votes]

Votes: 97
Login to vote.
Started: 09 July 2016

Polls Archive

Forum Activity

Newest Articles

B7 Images

+ Cookies +

The Horizon website uses cookies to allow user log-in and navigation. The site does not host advertising that requires the use of third-party cookies. Registering as a member of this site implies your consent to the use of cookies.

View Thread

 Print Thread
08.Duel
winnie-l
I couldn't find an existing thread in the "Classic Era Episode Discussion" about this excellent episode... so start one...

My own thoughts are that the 'weird ladies' Sinofar & Giroc are in fact projections or avatars of a hyper-advanced AI that in the past may have been a war machine, but over millenia has become a sort of aware self-judgement machine - making itself pay penance for what it once was.

Perhaps it didn't start out like that but over millenia (after all the beings on its planet were dead) it 'learned' & researched. And it didn't have anyone to practise on, bcs the planet is so out of the way that no ships came near; for millenia any ships passing in the vicinity just detected radioactivity, deduced nuclear war, & made a wide berth.

[ SINOFAR: We were left with a planet made barren by radiation.]

The AI has developed over time: stasis fields/beams, tractor beams, & teleport; it can take over all the systems on both ships & beam audio/visual signals into them. It can instantly control human minds.
Pretty amazing!

By now the radioactivity's decayed to safe levels, but by now the planet is "off the map". The computer doesn't reach out to others as it was never designed for long-reaching - only very local - & although it researches & builds the teleport, stasis & mind-field tech, it never ventures into comms enough to even pay attention to any stray comms it might detect from far away. "Not local - ignore."

Sinofar "blurs" a few times when they do teleport, you notice that? I think that means its teleport takes such a huge amount of energy that the projected avatar fades a bit.

In Iain Banks' "Culture" novels is the concept of "recordings" of dead people; maybe Sinofar & Giroc are like those - they "didn't ask" but are chosen for "virtual" revival.

Someone in another B7 discussion said
It's an odd little morality tale - these two dead 'goddesses' choosing for their lesson two men, one who didn't need to learn it [Blake], the other who's incapable of learning it [Travis]...
... HMM, that would be true if it was a computer programmed with data & certain assumptions about people it knew. But Travis is so unusual, he was 'off the map'; so the program didn't quite work.

What exactly is their "lesson" supposed to be? Not that all killing is wrong, surely? Killing in self-defense may be necessary - personal or societal. Mercy killing may be necessary. War may be necessary.

SINOFAR: You both know how to kill. But here you must take a life. There will be no machines to make the act unreal. You must touch the life you take.

Is it just not to be too casual about killing??

Jenna knows she's been teleported by Giroc & Sinofar to the surface of the planet "to demonstrate the death of a friend." So those left on Liberator heard - & saw, I think? - that part of Giroc & Sinofar's instructions to Blake & Travis.

Then Giroc cheats - Blake is afflicted by strange noises which affect his hearing & eyesight, making him giddy. Travis nearly gets to slit Blake's throat. Then Sinofar intervenes, restarts the contest, & wipes that incident from their minds. (*Very* impressive abilities!) The next thing we see, Blake "wakes up", assumes he's just been teleported to wherever for the duel with Travis, finds his machete, & heads off. Then:

[ LIBERATOR - The crew are watching the action on the screen. ]
AVON: I don't understand it. How can we be seeing this?

Question: Have those on Liberator *seen* Giroc's cheat? Blake was really close to being killed by Travis in Giroc's cheat. That would affect Liberator crew watching, wouldn't it?
Would they tell Blake about it after??

OTOH, if they didn't see it, what they saw was Blake & Travis hunting each other, then Blake & Travis having a pretty good quarterstaff fight (shades of Robin Hood), & Blake besting Travis. Quite different.

An excellent episode overall!
 
JustBrad
In classic sci fi fashion, the question of whether S&G are ghosts or Computer Generated holograms is left unanswered, and I prefer it that way. Giroc seems a bit emotional for a computer, but you could always argue that she'd been programmed that way.

It is a failing of some modern sci fi / fantasy that no mystery be left unanswered. This is not always a good thing. Let the reader / viewer use their imagination. Midiclorians, for an extreme example.
 
briggsy1
I think they're extras from a 1970s Ready Brek advert - you remember the ones where after eating your morning bowl of Ready brek you developed a healthy, warming orange glow around your entire body?
 
rojroj
I think the lesson is that one's choice of violent action has consequences -- a kind of a boomerang effect, so that you may not just end up killing your enemy, but also inadvertently causing the death of your friend (who does not necessarily agree with your choice and is most likely not willing to sacrifice his/her life for it). And then, by implication, it also has consequences for countless others. You may decide that killing someone (or starting a violent uprising) is justified, but you also have to bear in mind that a number of innocent people may be victimized because of your decision. This is why Giroc and Sinofar ask Blake and Travis whether numbers would change their dispute. It's troublesome that they both answer no...
 
https://www.facebook.com/blakes7rojblake/
rojkerr1
love this story, great atmosphere music, classic morality tale, virtual remake of Arena, Trek, based on an original scifi story
 
winnie-l
rojroj wrote: I think the lesson is that one's choice of violent action has consequences...
Thank you very much for this!
I really wonder if the writer Terry Nation, or script editor Chris Boucher, actually had anything like that in mind when they wrote in those lines about learning a lesson, or it was just to make the plot sound 'deep/serious'.
 
winnie-l
And it could be pointed out that in your Facbook page for Blake, you have a thoughtful short essay about 08.duel:
https://www.faceb...2404654515
V worthwhile reading :)

Long ago in lysator that essay appeared, & there was an insightful observation from someone who responded:
Kiera says 'your' when she says, 'your opponent is not yet in this area'. She has a good grasp of the situation.
The response agreed:
That's an interesting observation. She doesn't see Blake as her enemy.
That is a very good point!

Someone else remarked, "I especially liked the comments about the death motif." And a superbly CleverGuy observed,
Ironic, then, that Duel is the only episode in which no one actually dies.
Note that for a good B7 Trivia quiz question!
 
rojroj
winnie-l wrote:

rojroj wrote: I think the lesson is that one's choice of violent action has consequences...
Thank you very much for this!
I really wonder if the writer Terry Nation, or script editor Chris Boucher, actually had anything like that in mind when they wrote in those lines about learning a lesson, or it was just to make the plot sound 'deep/serious'.


I believe so -- why else would the lesson include the death of a friend? Can you think of any other reason?

Thanks for referring people to my essay :) It's an old one. I sometimes cringe at my use of English from 10 years ago... not that it's perfect now, either!
 
https://www.facebook.com/blakes7rojblake/
winnie-l
rojkerr1 wrote: virtual remake of Arena, Trek, based on an original scifi story
You're right, it is; the original short SciFi story is "Arena" by Fredric Brown.
https://en.wikipe...t_story%29

Long ago in the lysatory mailing list a Very Clever Guy (not to publish his name here - you can read the lysator archives yourself) wrote this about comparing ST's "Arena" to B7's 08.Duel (emphasis mine):
The Star Trek episode ["Arena"] is about Kirk remembering how to make a gun, and the triumph of his ingenuity; his opponent remains largely a cipher. The Blake's 7 episode is about the people involved, and their moral stances; how Blake reacts to Jenna's capture, vs. how Travis reacts to the mutoid's death, etc. At the end, when Kirk doesn't kill his opponent, he seems to be making the (false) implication that humans in general wouldn't kill the opponent (I think many would, even in the Federation pictured); while Blake turns away because of what it would do to him personally, which has a truer ring to it.

A powerful contrast, definitely. ... Blake's 7 had a very different approach, which is highlighted by episodes like these.
 
rojroj
winnie-l wrote:

rojkerr1 wrote: virtual remake of Arena, Trek, based on an original scifi story
You're right, it is; the original short SciFi story is "Arena" by Fredric Brown.
https://en.wikipe...t_story%29

Long ago in the lysatory mailing list a Very Clever Guy (not to publish his name here - you can read the lysator archives yourself) wrote this about comparing ST's "Arena" to B7's 08.Duel (emphasis mine):
The Star Trek episode ["Arena"] is about Kirk remembering how to make a gun, and the triumph of his ingenuity; his opponent remains largely a cipher. The Blake's 7 episode is about the people involved, and their moral stances; how Blake reacts to Jenna's capture, vs. how Travis reacts to the mutoid's death, etc. At the end, when Kirk doesn't kill his opponent, he seems to be making the (false) implication that humans in general wouldn't kill the opponent (I think many would, even in the Federation pictured); while Blake turns away because of what it would do to him personally, which has a truer ring to it.

A powerful contrast, definitely. ... Blake's 7 had a very different approach, which is highlighted by episodes like these.


That's a great comparison between Arena and Duel, Winnie! Thanks for sharing! Is the very clever guy by any chance N. F.?
 
https://www.facebook.com/blakes7rojblake/
winnie-l
rojroj wrote:That's a great comparison between Arena and Duel, Winnie! Thanks for sharing! Is the very clever guy by any chance N. F.?
No, it's N.S. (posted 20 May 1994).
The "superbly CleverGuy" who made the (fairly startling in B-retrospect) observation that 08.Duel is the only B7 ep in which no one actually/ultimately dies, is N.F. :)
 
Joe Dredd
winnie-l wrote:
My own thoughts are that the 'weird ladies' Sinofar & Giroc are in fact projections or avatars of a hyper-advanced AI.

Hmm, come to think of it, there's some comparisons that could be made with "Deathwatch". It's not hyper-advanced but the computer picks the battle ground for a one-on-one fight.

"NS" has got me stumped. I'm going to have to flog my memory over that one!
 
rojkerr1
Thank you Winnie
 
rojroj
Joe Dredd wrote:


"NS" has got me stumped. I'm going to have to flog my memory over that one!


I also have no clue who N. S. is :) But that was before my time. I joined the Lyst in 2000, IIRC.
 
https://www.facebook.com/blakes7rojblake/
Jump to Forum:
Orac rendered this page in 1.10 seconds
9,896,538 unique visits since 8th January 2014