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Scoring each episode
Cygnus Bazza
As mentioned on another thread, have recently gone through the whole array of 52 episodes again and it would be a dereliction of duty not to award each one a mark out of ten, for no good reason whatsoever. Rather than posting a single eye-watering mega-block of scores, I'll break them down into half-series chunks over the next couple of weeks to make the exercise more digestible.

1. THE WAY BACK: 8 out of 10. Quality opener. Mood/style slightly out of kilter with how the series develops, but a great launchpad nonetheless.
2. SPACE FALL: 7 out of 10. Highly enjoyable in-flight romp.
3. CYGNUS ALPHA: 6 out of 10. I'm not so keen on episodes where they stumble on 'throwback' communities, but this gets an extra mark for Brian Blessed shouting a lot.
4. TIME SQUAD: 7 out of 10. Good, solid adventure ticking multiple classic sci-fi boxes.
5. THE WEB: 7 out of 10. Ditto.
6. SEEK-LOCATE-DESTROY: 9 out of 10. This is where the series REALLY starts getting into its stride. Excellent integration of story threads - a great piece of work.
7. MISSION TO DESTINY: 10 out of 10. One of my favourite episodes of all. Would have loved to have seen a spin-off series where Avon becomes a pan-galactic Poirot.
 
One Spare Part
Ooh I would rank Space Fall way higher than that! In addition to the Blake triumvirate, we get Gan, Avon and a great big brilliant ship! Characters are becoming established. The shades are dark and the lights shaded. The legend begins!
"We're in the centre of a mystical convergence here."
 
Mrs_Underhill
Cygnus Bazza wrote:

As mentioned on another thread, have recently gone through the whole array of 52 episodes again and it would be a dereliction of duty not to award each one a mark out of ten, for no good reason whatsoever. Rather than posting a single eye-watering mega-block of scores, I'll break them down into half-series chunks over the next couple of weeks to make the exercise more digestible.

1. THE WAY BACK: 8 out of 10. Quality opener. Mood/style slightly out of kilter with how the series develops, but a great launchpad nonetheless.
2. SPACE FALL: 7 out of 10. Highly enjoyable in-flight romp.
3. CYGNUS ALPHA: 6 out of 10. I'm not so keen on episodes where they stumble on 'throwback' communities, but this gets an extra mark for Brian Blessed shouting a lot.
4. TIME SQUAD: 7 out of 10. Good, solid adventure ticking multiple classic sci-fi boxes.
5. THE WEB: 7 out of 10. Ditto.
6. SEEK-LOCATE-DESTROY: 9 out of 10. This is where the series REALLY starts getting into its stride. Excellent integration of story threads - a great piece of work.
7. MISSION TO DESTINY: 10 out of 10. One of my favourite episodes of all. Would have loved to have seen a spin-off series where Avon becomes a pan-galactic Poirot.


Always warms my heart to see love for The Web. Smile Solid, creepy, atmospheric sci-fi, lots of great character moments and I am also partial to both Geela and Novarra. Smile

One Spare Part wrote:

Ooh I would rank Space Fall way higher than that! In addition to the Blake triumvirate, we get Gan, Avon and a great big brilliant ship! Characters are becoming established. The shades are dark and the lights shaded. The legend begins!


It's my top and favorite S1 episode. So much happens in it: excellent, gritty drama, wonderful character moments, Computer Room triumvirate scene, Liberator appearance - it sets the bar for the whole show. Love it so much.
 
Cygnus Bazza
Nothing wrong at all with Space Fall - a good, enjoyable episode. But, for me, it's still early days in the story so inevitably the main characters haven't fully developed, we don't really know them yet and the interplay/badinage between them is pretty embyronic. I think it's a really good 'stepping-stone' episode, though.

Next installment:

8. DUEL: 8 out of 10. A core episode. Good, confrontational stuff but slightly hampered by the gratuitous mumbo-jumbo (GMJ). (Not a big fan of GMJ.)
9. PROJECT AVALON: 9 out of 10. Pretty much everything you'd want from a B7 episode. (Except for a classic whodunit, of course.).
10. BREAKDOWN: 8 out of 10. Another key episode, slightly spoiled by one of the visitors to Liberator being a massive kn*bhead.
11. BOUNTY: 7 out of 10. Very good story/concept, but some of it makes pretty awkward viewing to a 21st century eye.
12. DELIVERANCE: 7 out of 10. Again, a very solid story, but a bit too much GMJ and just a bit creepy at times.
13. ORAC: 9 out of 10. High-calibre series finale. Lovely touch that, no sooner do B7 become B8, Orac's bit of crystal-ball-gazing undercuts everything and leaves them (and us) dangling in between-series Dangleland.
 
rojkerr1
Would score Way Back 10 out of 10, and Duel, and tens for Killer, Star One, Rumours City Sarcophagus, Gold Orbit Sand Blake
 
Cygnus Bazza
Generating surprisingly little discussion but pressing on to Series 2:

14. REDEMPTION: 8 out of 10. Solid series opener. Love the fact that the crew had clearly indulged in a spot of retail therapy on Planet Makeover and maxed out on the cosmic credit card. Avon clearly found the bondage shop.
15. SHADOW: 8 out of 10. Bit of a curate’s egg, this one. Some really great stuff, but some of it’s a bit daft and a tad convoluted.
16. WEAPON: 9 out of 10. Excellent episode. A veritable pageant of nasty pieces of work on parade. As a bonus, Servalan dons her curious Boney M/’Mary’s Boy Child’ outfit. Did she think this was the Christmas episode?
17. HORIZON: 7 out of 10. Good story, but some of it makes awkward viewing these days and there’s a surfeit of bare torsos on display. But it’s got a contender for my all-time favourite Avon line: “I’m not dispensable, I’m not stupid - and I’m not going”.
18. PRESSURE POINT: 10 out of 10. Epic! Twists, turns, thrills, spills, friendships exploited, the ultimate price paid. Plus now we get Servalan in her ‘Uptown Girl’ outfit and her hilarious game of mini-slapsies with Travis MkII.
19. TRIAL: 8 out of 10. The astonishingly annoying Zil takes a bit of the shine off an otherwise excellent episode.
20. KILLER: 9 out of 10. Quality sci-fi, with a satisfying dollop of Quatermass/the Mummy lobbed in for good measure.
 
Travisina
Cygnus Bazza wrote:Generating surprisingly little discussion...

Okay, I'll bite!


1. THE WAY BACK: 8 out of 10. Quality opener. Mood/style slightly out of kilter with how the series develops, but a great launchpad nonetheless.
2. SPACE FALL: 7 out of 10. Highly enjoyable in-flight romp.
3. CYGNUS ALPHA: 6 out of 10. I'm not so keen on episodes where they stumble on 'throwback' communities, but this gets an extra mark for Brian Blessed shouting a lot.
4. TIME SQUAD: 7 out of 10. Good, solid adventure ticking multiple classic sci-fi boxes.
5. THE WEB: 7 out of 10. Ditto.
6. SEEK-LOCATE-DESTROY: 9 out of 10. This is where the series REALLY starts getting into its stride. Excellent integration of story threads - a great piece of work.
7. MISSION TO DESTINY: 10 out of 10. One of my favourite episodes of all. Would have loved to have seen a spin-off series where Avon becomes a pan-galactic Poirot.


I'd give The Way Back and Space Fall 10/10 each. TWB is outstanding dystopian drama, and provides a much-needed background to Blake, who otherwise can seem a bit of a git if you don't know what's motivated him. Space Fall continues the dystopian theme, with great character introduction and development, and the awesome introduction to the Liberator.

I'd give Cygnus Alpha 7/10 - it's the third part of the opening eps, gives us a proper intro to the Liberator and Zen, more character development of Blake, Avon, Jenna and Vila. Gan gets a leadership role (for the first and last time) and a snog (first and last time). BRIAN BLESSED is wonderful. But continuity glitches are irksome - the missing 4 months of London's journey, the second teleport bay.

I'd give Time Squad 8/10 for introducing Cally, for one of Vila's most memorable lines and Gan's backstory. Not wild about the aliens, tbh.

The Web - yep, 7/10. I like the moral ambiguity of who Blake should be helping - the genocidal Lost, or the rampaging Decimas? Some very nice Avon-Blake moments.

S-L-D - 10/10. One of my fave eps in Series 1, it's the one I would show to a newcomer who's never seen B7. A fab ensemble piece, in which each of the crew gets to shine, fantastic dialogue, great character moments and introduction to Servalan and Travis.

Mission to Destiny - 8/10. I enjoy it a lot, it's great fun to see Avon playing Poirot. But if I had to drop an ep from this series, this would be it - see discussion thread here: Which episode wouldn't you miss
Twitter: @TravisinaB7
Tumblr: tumblr
A statement of fact cannot be insolent
 
One Spare Part
While agreeing that Cygnus Alpha isn't on the same level as the 1st 2 episodes, the 3 episodes when seen back to back make a fantastic introductory film for the series. Back then, story arcs weren't given so much thought - if any - so to have this movement of the story, the introduction of the main characters (well, the good guys) and the set up for what is to come...I can't think of another series of the time that compares. I like finding out about each character, I like wondering what will happen to them, what changes will occur. Everything is possible. It's like standing on a high diving board waiting for the plunge!
"We're in the centre of a mystical convergence here."
 
Cygnus Bazza
I'd ditch 'Bounty' from Series One. There's two I'd want to jettison from Series Two. No prizes for guessing which ones:

21. HOSTAGE: 8 out of 10. A rollicking good adventure with plenty of classic ingredients. Loses points for the comedy boulders and Jenna’s irritating ‘jealous woman’ schtick.

22. COUNTDOWN: 9 out of 10. A cracker – and a pivotal episode. OK, so the nick-of-time, ticking-clock thing’s a bit corny, but it's done well and a slice of high-stakes jeopardy is never a bad thing.

23. VOICE FROM THE PAST: 8 out of 10. All a bit hippy/trippy but highly entertaining – though not always for the right reasons. The ‘bonkers Blake’ scenario gives everyone a great chance to ham it up, the scene where Servalan and Le Grand try to out-Thatcher each other is a gem, and the masked man’s comedy 'Bond villain' voice is a hoot!

24. GAMBIT: 4 out of 10. My my, a lot of this is almost unwatchable. A cringe fest. Looks more like a pilot for a never-commissioned sitcom. The episode you’d never, ever want your non-B7-fan friends to see. Much more fun to act in than to watch, I suspect.

25. THE KEEPER: 2 out of 10. The nadir. Facile guff. Another episode not to inflict on your friends. Suspension of disbelief will only take you so far. After ‘Gambit’ and this, no wonder SK (literally) jumped ship! Blimey O’Reilly. Dreadful.

26. STAR ONE: 10 out of 10. Sanity restored! Outstanding episode. Blake’s messiah complex and Andromeda’s motley invasion fleet take us on a white-knuckle ride to remember. Great to see how Avon slips effortlessly into the place vacated by Blake. (I suppose they could have gone with the alternative title ‘Travis Takes the Plunge’.)

Think I’ll stop there.
 
briggsy1
It's funny how opinions differ on these episodes. I've always loved Gambit and disliked Voice From the Past. Agree about Countdown, The Keeper and Star One though.
 
Cygnus Bazza
Time to pick up the thread again and plough on:

27. AFTERMATH: 7 out of 10. ‘Series under reconstruction’ a big sign should say, but this is a pretty secure recalibration – even if it lacks a bit of zip at times and foists more bloomin’ pseudo-barbarians on us.

28. POWERPLAY: 8 out of 10. Everything on board the Liberator is top-notch, but a lot of the on-planet stuff is a bit soppy.

29. VOLCANO: 8 out of 10. Rock-solid (!) episode.

30. DAWN OF THE GODS: 6 out of 10. All a bit airy-fairy and unconvincing, but has its moments.

31. THE HARVEST OF KAIROS: 7 out of 10. Good story, good ending, but there’s some quite naff/awkward stuff in here too.

32. CITY AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD: 4 out of 10. I know it’s Vila’s shining hour and all that, but this one slips too often into ‘kids TV’ mode – with some added risqué clunkiness plus a pantomime villain. An odd episode that jars with me, I’m afraid.

33. CHILDREN OF AURON: 8 out of 10. Series 3 takes a definite upturn with a much stronger, more multi-faceted, neatly zig-zagging story. Nearly added an extra mark for the strange shiny tunic thing worn by Avon in the final scene; it's always guaranteed to have me humming “He’s….a spa-a-cer…” for the rest of the day. If they bring that outfit to ‘Forever Avon’ I’ll gladly donate to charity if I can try it on.
Edited by Cygnus Bazza on 11 February 2020 19:16:43
 
Cygnus Bazza
34. RUMOURS OF DEATH: 9 out of 10. At LAST Series 3 delivers a belter. We all love a twist in the tale, don’t we? And it’s done really neatly here. Also good to see the Kiss-Avon-and-Die Club enlisting another life (or death?) member.

35. SARCOPHAGUS: 5 out of 10. To quote 'Spinal Tap', there’s a very fine line between clever and stupid. This hokum-heavy episode frequently struggles to stay on the right side of that line – and how I wish our fearless fivesome hadn’t found the dressing-up box. Let’s be charitable and call this episode a rangefinder; Tanith’s Series 4 offering was vastly superior.

36. ULTRAWORLD: 8 out of 10. Back on track. Nice and creepy, thanks largely to the Ultra, of course, and their cut-price Kraftwerk tribute act. I particularly enjoy Vila’s attempts to teach Orac human humour – presaging Lister's tuition of Kryten in ‘Red Dwarf’.

37. MOLOCH: 8 out of 10. For me, it’s only in the last few episodes that Series 3 really gets some momentum going. Although the ‘weird little fella’ thing is starting to look a bit tired by this point, almost everyone gets a decent run-out in this episode, Avon’s apple-shining moment is hilarious and the first mini-scene between Servalan and Vila is a minor classic.

38. DEATH WATCH: 10 out of 10. Arguably the hardest-hitting B7 episode of all. A compelling, uncompromising slice of dystopia. On a lighter side, ‘Red Dwarf’ is presaged again (Arnold/Ace Rimmer). Loving the wig! I’ll bet Steven Pacey didn’t, though. Makes him look like a game-show host on a dodgy cable channel. Of course, Avon’s reaction to someone shaking his hand is absolutely priceless.

39. TERMINAL: 10 out of 10. You can say what you like about B7 but the programme certainly knew how to deliver a megatastic series finale. It’s only in the last few episodes that the ‘new’ line-up genuinely feels bedded in and like an authentic team (albeit a dysfunctional one). This scorching episode is even good enough to make you overlook/forgive the apparent ability of Servalan and her team to walk through corridors of minging gunge without realising they've been sold a pup. Caveat emptor, indeed.
 
Cygnus Bazza
Blimey - no dissent or discussion about any of my Series 3 markings! I'm clearly one of that rare breed of people that sees things exactly as they are! Cool Or perhaps not...

Just Series 4 to go!

40. RESCUE: 9 out of 10. Excellent, sure-footed season opener chock-a-block with rip-snorting lines. B7 has now truly shaken off the ghost of Blake (in one sense) and all the cogs in the machine are whirring beautifully. Highlights include Avon’s masterclass in how to interact with a nutter, and Vila’s Ribena binge.

41. POWER: 6 out of 10. A bit of a retrograde step. As Avon might say, “spare me another dose of unconvincing barbarians”. But at least this episode avoids the worst excesses of “The Keeper” (which was shocking dross) and generally zips along at a decent lick.

42. TRAITOR: 9 out of 10. I’ll tell you what Series 3 was missing – a nifty villain in an eye-patch. In fact, this episode delivers an entire creepy coterie of criminal psychopaths, whose SS/Gestapo stylings and affectations only add to a genuine sense of jeopardy, and underline the point that this is a fight B7 really do need to win. Plus there’s that lovely cameo by Servalan at her most evil and cynical – and in an outfit Marc Bolan at his glammiest would have been cock-a-hoop to flaunt.

43. STARDRIVE: 7 out of 10. The Space Rats are an infantile intrusion into what’s otherwise a really good episode. (The great Barbara Shelley deserved better than to have to share so many scenes with them.) In particular, the first fifteen and last five minutes – where B7 goes full-on ‘Star Trek’ – are great. I also like the way Avon, Tarrant and Soolin make quite a formidable ‘badass’ trio; they could have re-made ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’ as ‘The Bad, the Smug and the Icy’.

44. ANIMALS: 7 out of 10. Some massively uncomfortable moments, of course, but the underlying story is very decent and confronts some classic ethical dilemmas. Dayna does a great job as the focal point. Avon negotiating Vila down to half a glass of wine is a magic moment.

45. HEADHUNTER: 8 out of 10. Highly entertaining knockabout nonsense. Excellent Frankenstein-style ending; just needed some irate villagers with blazing torches and it’d be perfect. But this episode does deliver an angry Avon plus Vila hiding in a cupboard, so it’s ticking the box. Just not the one with the head in it.

46. ASSASSIN: 10 out of 10. Love this one. A hoot and a half. The slave market is all a bit Disney but the rest more than makes up for it. Soolin belatedly gets a chance to flourish and delivers some great lines. As for Tarrant, what can I say except 'hook, line and plonker'.
 
mrsbookmark
Cygnus Bazza wrote:

Time to pick up the thread again and plough on:

27. AFTERMATH: 7 out of 10. ‘Series under reconstruction’ a big sign should say, but this is a pretty secure recalibration – even if it lacks a bit of zip at times and foists more bloomin’ pseudo-barbarians on us.

28. POWERPLAY: 8 out of 10. Everything on board the Liberator is top-notch, but a lot of the on-planet stuff is a bit soppy.

29. VOLCANO: 8 out of 10. Rock-solid (!) episode.

30. DAWN OF THE GODS: 6 out of 10. All a bit airy-fairy and unconvincing, but has its moments.

31. THE HARVEST OF KAIROS: 7 out of 10. Good story, good ending, but there’s some quite naff/awkward stuff in here too.

32. CITY AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD: 4 out of 10. I know it’s Vila’s shining hour and all that, but this one slips too often into ‘kids TV’ mode – with some added risqué clunkiness plus a pantomime villain. An odd episode that jars with me, I’m afraid.

33. CHILDREN OF AURON: 8 out of 10. Series 3 takes a definite upturn with a much stronger, more multi-faceted, neatly zig-zagging story. Nearly added an extra mark for the strange shiny tunic thing worn by Avon in the final scene; it's always guaranteed to have me humming “He’s….a spa-a-cer…” for the rest of the day. If they bring that outfit to ‘Forever Avon’ I’ll gladly donate to charity if I can try it on.



Really fascinating reading someone else's rankings. I always like to hear other fans talk about their likes and dislikes. I would give POWERFPLAY a full 10 because I've always loved it and its my preferred version of Tarrant.(His character changes in episodes). HARVEST OF KAIROS I've never cared for. No disrespect.
 
mrsbookmark
Cygnus Bazza wrote:

34. RUMOURS OF DEATH: 9 out of 10. At LAST Series 3 delivers a belter. We all love a twist in the tale, don’t we? And it’s done really neatly here. Also good to see the Kiss-Avon-and-Die Club enlisting another life (or death?) member.

35. SARCOPHAGUS: 5 out of 10. To quote 'Spinal Tap', there’s a very fine line between clever and stupid. This hokum-heavy episode frequently struggles to stay on the right side of that line – and how I wish our fearless fivesome hadn’t found the dressing-up box. Let’s be charitable and call this episode a rangefinder; Tanith’s Series 4 offering was vastly superior.

36. ULTRAWORLD: 8 out of 10. Back on track. Nice and creepy, thanks largely to the Ultra, of course, and their cut-price Kraftwerk tribute act. I particularly enjoy Vila’s attempts to teach Orac human humour – presaging Lister's tuition of Kryten in ‘Red Dwarf’.

37. MOLOCH: 8 out of 10. For me, it’s only in the last few episodes that Series 3 really gets some momentum going. Although the ‘weird little fella’ thing is starting to look a bit tired by this point, almost everyone gets a decent run-out in this episode, Avon’s apple-shining moment is hilarious and the first mini-scene between Servalan and Vila is a minor classic.

38. DEATH WATCH: 10 out of 10. Arguably the hardest-hitting B7 episode of all. A compelling, uncompromising slice of dystopia. On a lighter side, ‘Red Dwarf’ is presaged again (Arnold/Ace Rimmer). Loving the wig! I’ll bet Steven Pacey didn’t, though. Makes him look like a game-show host on a dodgy cable channel. Of course, Avon’s reaction to someone shaking his hand is absolutely priceless.

39. TERMINAL: 10 out of 10. You can say what you like about B7 but the programme certainly knew how to deliver a megatastic series finale. It’s only in the last few episodes that the ‘new’ line-up genuinely feels bedded in and like an authentic team (albeit a dysfunctional one). This scorching episode is even good enough to make you overlook/forgive the apparent ability of Servalan and her team to walk through corridors of minging gunge without realising they've been sold a pup. Caveat emptor, indeed.


TERMINAL is a great, great episode of Blake's 7. Absolutely love it. From the dialogue, the dying of Zen, and the slow heartbeat. 10.
 
mrsbookmark
Cygnus Bazza wrote:

Blimey - no dissent or discussion about any of my Series 3 markings! I'm clearly one of that rare breed of people that sees things exactly as they are! Cool Or perhaps not...

Just Series 4 to go!

40. RESCUE: 9 out of 10. Excellent, sure-footed season opener chock-a-block with rip-snorting lines. B7 has now truly shaken off the ghost of Blake (in one sense) and all the cogs in the machine are whirring beautifully. Highlights include Avon’s masterclass in how to interact with a nutter, and Vila’s Ribena binge.

41. POWER: 6 out of 10. A bit of a retrograde step. As Avon might say, “spare me another dose of unconvincing barbarians”. But at least this episode avoids the worst excesses of “The Keeper” (which was shocking dross) and generally zips along at a decent lick.

42. TRAITOR: 9 out of 10. I’ll tell you what Series 3 was missing – a nifty villain in an eye-patch. In fact, this episode delivers an entire creepy coterie of criminal psychopaths, whose SS/Gestapo stylings and affectations only add to a genuine sense of jeopardy, and underline the point that this is a fight B7 really do need to win. Plus there’s that lovely cameo by Servalan at her most evil and cynical – and in an outfit Marc Bolan at his glammiest would have been cock-a-hoop to flaunt.

43. STARDRIVE: 7 out of 10. The Space Rats are an infantile intrusion into what’s otherwise a really good episode. (The great Barbara Shelley deserved better than to have to share so many scenes with them.) In particular, the first fifteen and last five minutes – where B7 goes full-on ‘Star Trek’ – are great. I also like the way Avon, Tarrant and Soolin make quite a formidable ‘badass’ trio; they could have re-made ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’ as ‘The Bad, the Smug and the Icy’.

44. ANIMALS: 7 out of 10. Some massively uncomfortable moments, of course, but the underlying story is very decent and confronts some classic ethical dilemmas. Dayna does a great job as the focal point. Avon negotiating Vila down to half a glass of wine is a magic moment.

45. HEADHUNTER: 8 out of 10. Highly entertaining knockabout nonsense. Excellent Frankenstein-style ending; just needed some irate villagers with blazing torches and it’d be perfect. But this episode does deliver an angry Avon plus Vila hiding in a cupboard, so it’s ticking the box. Just not the one with the head in it.

46. ASSASSIN: 10 out of 10. Love this one. A hoot and a half. The slave market is all a bit Disney but the rest more than makes up for it. Soolin belatedly gets a chance to flourish and delivers some great lines. As for Tarrant, what can I say except 'hook, line and plonker'.


I think you're very good at ranking eps. Maybe a lot of people just agreeSmile
TRAITOR is excellent.
I have to disagree with ASSASSIN. I just don't like the episode. Soolin is great. The plot never connected with me, I hated Piri, and I just find it a struggle to watch. Sorry.
 
Cygnus Bazza
Great feedback, mrsbookmark - thanks! Always very happy for people to disagree with me - in fact, one thing I absolutely love about Blake's 7 is that I can absolutely see why someone would love (or hate) every individual episode. There's so much in the series, so many angles, approaches and switches of emphasis, that individual perspectives can veer so wildly - yet all within the parameters of being a massive B7 fan. And of course getting someone else's view can sometimes make you reassess your own.

So I can totally see why you (or indeed anyone else) wouldn't warm to 'Assassin'. Personally, I love a whodunit, I love a 'big twist' (I remember first watching the episode and being convinced Cancer would turn out to be the old guy) and I love an obviously fake giant spider. (Only joking about the last bit...)
 
Ulera
mrsbookmark wrote:

Cygnus Bazza wrote:

Blimey - no dissent or discussion about any of my Series 3 markings! I'm clearly one of that rare breed of people that sees things exactly as they are! Cool Or perhaps not...

Just Series 4 to go!

40. RESCUE: 9 out of 10. Excellent, sure-footed season opener chock-a-block with rip-snorting lines. B7 has now truly shaken off the ghost of Blake (in one sense) and all the cogs in the machine are whirring beautifully. Highlights include Avon’s masterclass in how to interact with a nutter, and Vila’s Ribena binge.

41. POWER: 6 out of 10. A bit of a retrograde step. As Avon might say, “spare me another dose of unconvincing barbarians”. But at least this episode avoids the worst excesses of “The Keeper” (which was shocking dross) and generally zips along at a decent lick.

42. TRAITOR: 9 out of 10. I’ll tell you what Series 3 was missing – a nifty villain in an eye-patch. In fact, this episode delivers an entire creepy coterie of criminal psychopaths, whose SS/Gestapo stylings and affectations only add to a genuine sense of jeopardy, and underline the point that this is a fight B7 really do need to win. Plus there’s that lovely cameo by Servalan at her most evil and cynical – and in an outfit Marc Bolan at his glammiest would have been cock-a-hoop to flaunt.

43. STARDRIVE: 7 out of 10. The Space Rats are an infantile intrusion into what’s otherwise a really good episode. (The great Barbara Shelley deserved better than to have to share so many scenes with them.) In particular, the first fifteen and last five minutes – where B7 goes full-on ‘Star Trek’ – are great. I also like the way Avon, Tarrant and Soolin make quite a formidable ‘badass’ trio; they could have re-made ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’ as ‘The Bad, the Smug and the Icy’.

44. ANIMALS: 7 out of 10. Some massively uncomfortable moments, of course, but the underlying story is very decent and confronts some classic ethical dilemmas. Dayna does a great job as the focal point. Avon negotiating Vila down to half a glass of wine is a magic moment.

45. HEADHUNTER: 8 out of 10. Highly entertaining knockabout nonsense. Excellent Frankenstein-style ending; just needed some irate villagers with blazing torches and it’d be perfect. But this episode does deliver an angry Avon plus Vila hiding in a cupboard, so it’s ticking the box. Just not the one with the head in it.

46. ASSASSIN: 10 out of 10. Love this one. A hoot and a half. The slave market is all a bit Disney but the rest more than makes up for it. Soolin belatedly gets a chance to flourish and delivers some great lines. As for Tarrant, what can I say except 'hook, line and plonker'.


I think you're very good at ranking eps. Maybe a lot of people just agreeSmile
TRAITOR is excellent.
I have to disagree with ASSASSIN. I just don't like the episode. Soolin is great. The plot never connected with me, I hated Piri, and I just find it a struggle to watch. Sorry.


No not really! Personally I didn't reply before as I don't get this scoring thing (for anything) how can one possibly decide between an arbitrary 7 or 8 or a 9 or 10? And it would take forever to reply to your take on all 52 all at once. As always though it is interesting to see how people's views differ so widely, to give just one example an episode you dislike such as Sarcophagus is a personal favourite of mine. That's the fascination of B7: so many interpretations.Wink
 
Cygnus Bazza
[quote]
No not really! Personally I didn't reply before as I don't get this scoring thing (for anything) how can one possibly decide between an arbitrary 7 or 8 or a 9 or 10? And it would take forever to reply to your take on all 52 all at once. As always though it is interesting to see how people's views differ so widely, to give just one example an episode you dislike such as Sarcophagus is a personal favourite of mine. That's the fascination of B7: so many interpretations.Wink[/quote

You're completely correct, of course, about the scoring 'system'. There's nothing scientific/permanent about it - it's just a blunt way of denoting relative enjoyment of each episode in a crude, snapshot kind of way. Different day, slightly different scores no doubt (but only slightly!). And there are clearly times when I'd rather re-watch 'Stardrive', say, than 'Traitor'. (Maybe that wouldn't extend to 'Sarcophagus' though...Smile).
 
boroboy
Cygnus Bazza wrote:

As mentioned on another thread, have recently gone through the whole array of 52 episodes again and it would be a dereliction of duty not to award each one a mark out of ten, for no good reason whatsoever. Rather than posting a single eye-watering mega-block of scores, I'll break them down into half-series chunks over the next couple of weeks to make the exercise more digestible.

1. THE WAY BACK: 8 out of 10. Quality opener. Mood/style slightly out of kilter with how the series develops, but a great launchpad nonetheless.

For me this is always 10/10. Top notch dystopian drama. Lots of subtleties (like the tannoy announcements that show that, like all totalitarian regimes, this is a populist government. The untold stories about living in a dome. That total manipulation is completely banal.


2. SPACE FALL: 7 out of 10. Highly enjoyable in-flight romp.

I think 7/10 is fair. More background on the reality of federation life - i.e., most people - even those running convict transports - are just people doing a job - and how each crew member has their own quirks/dreams/failings - not just an "other" we can easily hate. Just like in real life.


3. CYGNUS ALPHA: 6 out of 10. I'm not so keen on episodes where they stumble on 'throwback' communities, but this gets an extra mark for Brian Blessed shouting a lot.

A tricky one this - like you I am not overly fond of the medieval religion as an SF trope. Its all a bit too cliched.


4. TIME SQUAD: 7 out of 10. Good, solid adventure ticking multiple classic sci-fi boxes.

Our first real "adventure". And it sets ideas in motion that really never pan out in the future regarding how Blake et al. are going to bring down the federation. Already, at this early stage, we see that Blake is pretty much going to be a terrorist. He isn't trying to kill the president - or the people that brainwashed him - but he is fine with killing plenty of troopers who were just waiting for their next leave to get together with friends and family and see their kids again..... and the people in catering.


5. THE WEB: 7 out of 10. Ditto.

This was a great spooky SF story. The location shoots were fantastic with the spheres and string all over the place. Plus some "beyond our science" mental communication...


6. SEEK-LOCATE-DESTROY: 9 out of 10. This is where the series REALLY starts getting into its stride. Excellent integration of story threads - a great piece of work.

I agree. Really getting down to the business of killing the telephone/radio operators and technicians.


7. MISSION TO DESTINY: 10 out of 10. One of my favourite episodes of all. Would have loved to have seen a spin-off series where Avon becomes a pan-galactic Poirot.

Agreed, again. A great mystery story and a nice diversion from reckless slaughter. The crew of the Ortega need thier own spinoff series where they win some intergalactic prize for sarcastic dialog.
 
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