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Servalan's flip-flop character
Craig
Just finished watching "Sand". I want to comment on Servalan's character. We know that she's a ruthless killer, apparently with no concern for human life. She's strong, dominant, and easily towers over the men around her. But in a few episodes, and Sand is one of them, she seems very easy to turn into a startled little pussy cat. The scene I'm thinking of is in the base with Tarrant when the food machine makes a loud beep (at about 28 mins in). She panics and her face shows immense fear. She was like that too in "Ensor" when one of the (truly unbelievable) Phibians touch her.

Just seems very incongruous to me.

sites.google.com/a/craigmcgill.com/b7pointless/sand/s1.jpg

sites.google.com/a/craigmcgill.com/b7pointless/sand/s2.jpg
Edited by Craig on 16 November 2018 13:45:20
 
JustBrad
I think you're observations are correct, but I also think there is a perfectly In Character explanation.

As a high ranking Federation official, Servalan dares not show any form of weakness. Like most of her cronies she has had a lifetime's training in concealing her 'weaker' human emotions, affection, uncertainty, and especially fear.

As you note, she lets her guard down only twice. In Orac, I think her facade really did fail her. In Sand, displaying these emotions also helped to put Tarrant off his guard, which gave Servalan an advantage.
 
Joe Dredd
I think the other important point to remember is that the sand is actively exerting its influence. Servalan’s enhanced vulnerability and Tarrant’s overly protective behaviour are all caused by the sand, as are Vila’s pitiful displays on the flight deck. There is no way Servalan would have got Tarrant’s ‘sympathy’ if the sand wasn’t trying to get them to mate with the sole purpose of increasing the food supply. None of these is normal behaviour for any of them (though of course the sand is amplifying existing traits to some degree).
 
Travisina
What Joe said.

Funnily enough, I was just thinking along those lines, but hadn't got round to posting it!

Now, if only there was some explanation for Kerril's mid-episode change from tough gunfighter to girly girly scared of cobwebs...
Twitter: @TravisinaB7
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There's no point being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes
 
Tyce

Now, if only there was some explanation for Kerril's mid-episode change from tough gunfighter to girly girly scared of cobwebs...

Oh that's easy....she saw our wonderfully brave and sexy hero, Villa!! And instantly turned to marshmallow. ;-)
Edited by Tyce on 17 November 2018 02:19:03
 
Mrs_Underhill
Joe Dredd wrote:
None of these is normal behaviour for any of them (though of course the sand is amplifying existing traits to some degree).

Yes, exactly!
And it's emphasized in the last scene which was meant to be ambiguous: Servalan crying over Don Keller and mooning over Tarrant and breaking the glass cube, and then we see sand all over her desk. So we were left to wonder: was it sand or were those her real emotions.

But there was something in what Brad said too. Servalan listened to the whole spectacle with Tarrant and Piri and she learned that Tarrant was vulnerable to damsel in distress act, so she might have acted up on that too.
 
winnie-l
Mrs_Underhill wrote: Servalan listened to the whole spectacle with Tarrant and Piri and she learned that Tarrant was vulnerable to damsel in distress act, so she might have acted up on that too.
That's a *really* good point.

Although "might have acted upon that" maybe could be "would, as a matter of strategy, have acted upon that"

Because one core of Servalan is SCHEMING - always

(IMHO!)
 
dissentliveson
I think alot of it is Don Keller. She makes it clear its some sort of chink in her psychological armor and her reaction to him vanishing turned her into what she is, Stalin in high fashion. He's dead and she was probably hurting from getting overthrown as President and maybe hoping for a companion less hard than Avon and it hurts her. Pity he died because between Auron and all those poor bastards doped up on Pylene 50 with barcodes on their heads, maybe dating him would've gotten her off all the genocide. Avon if given power honestly I think would do pretty much the same stuff as Servalan but dress it up as a pragmatic rebellion, and Jarvik would just get killed trying to commit the genocide for Servalan to prove men are better at everything, and Tarrant would argue but then get bought off or flattered into looking the other way or something.
 
winnie-l
dissentliveson wrote:I think alot of it is Don Keller. She makes it clear its some sort of chink in her psychological armor and her reaction to him vanishing turned her into what she is,
That is a really good point - very agreed!
Stalin in high fashion.
LOL, brilliant!
 
JustBrad
Servalan was not the only character to suffer flip flops.

In all cases I blame the production team. Some guest writers had a handle on the characters, some didn't, but these are things that should be fixed by the director and script editor.

Tarrant, in S3 in particular, is sometimes Noble Tarrant, sometimes little more than another Federation thug, sometimes clever, sometimes thick as two short planks ('thick as two short planks' being Steven Pacey's own words).

Vila is sometimes a street-wise, resourceful rogue with a bit of a dark side, sometimes a comic relief drunken cowardly fool.

And the inconsistencies in the writing for Cally and Jenna are well documented in other threads.

At least in Servalan's case there is the possibility of the Sand affecting her decisions and emotions.
 
briggsy1
I don't ever remember Servalan wearing flip flops. Probably in Sand would have been most appropriate I would have thought.
 
travisisright
I tend to think Servalan is totally aware of her actions and behaviour at all times and played on Tarrants Alpha side by highlighting her perceived weaknesses, as well as the sand. I wouldn't put it past her to jump, note his reaction and then be like hehe it worked (only much more gracefully than that)
 
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