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Things you liked about Season Albert
trevor travis
I like all four seasons of B7, and also like 50 episodes of it.

However, if backed into a corner and forced to place the seasons in order, I think it would be Colin/Derek/Barney/Albert.

So Albert is my last amongst equals, even though it still has much going for it.

It's the most even season, thanks to the same writing team working across it. There's the original, strong Jenna of the opening handful of episodes.

There's a memorable villain in Stephen Grief's suave Travis, and Servalan is at her most political.

Some of the characters have yet to get into their full stride, for example Avon and Vila, but these two are already walking, talking quote machines.

It's got a nice, tidy season arc, that encompasses 9 out of 13 episodes (with Redemption from Barney being the 10th and final episode of the Albert arc). It's got some nice one-off episodes. It is very much focused on Blake, but some of the other characters get their moments too.

It's got an absolutely terrific opening instalment in "The Way Back".

Oh and it's got a certain female resistance leader and her interrogation table Grin

What do other people like about Albert?
 
GoldChannel
superb modelwork, e.g the spinning space station

it builds up the whole universe that the future series' take place in

the way the plot develops over the first three or four episodes is particularly skilfully done

the Decimas!
 
Ellen York
Albert is my favorite in large part due to the more hopeful tone. They escape Cygnus Alpha in a magnificent spaceship and the possibilities seem endless. Things aren't perfect, too many flawed characters and conflicting opinions for that, but it feels like they have a chance of winning, or at least making a difference.
 
GoldChannel
the Mutoids!

Watched Duel a couple of days ago, watched Avalon tonight, and the Mutoids are so fascinating. In Avalon they appear almost mechanical at times, yet in Duel that story really goes for the 'vampire' angle!
 
Spaceship Dispatcher
My order of preference would be Albert, then Colin and Barney.

Overall themes and aesthetics

The opening episode is a brilliant stand-alone television play about a convincing future Earth complete with law and politics and education and social issues. TWB is dark and dystopian, explores strong themes like mental conditioning and child abuse, and is a great drama that sets the scene so well. Through the first season there is strong sense of there being a mission or quest behind the individual stories and there's more real feeling of danger and claustrophobia in a totalitarian regime that you can't escape even by flying into space. What I especially enjoy about this vision in Albert is the feeling that this is a speculative future that the characters exist within and isn't a two dimensional space fantasy in which only our own characters exist. The original season was braver creatively than those that followed, largely I suspect due to Terry Nation's influence, as seen in episodes like Project Avalon; the murder of political prisoners as test subjects in trials of biological weapons was in the same bracket as the child abuse themes of the pilot, with the nudity and torture of the interrogation being something we tend to take for granted but which pushed the boat out quite far really. The show mixed these powerful dramatic elements with some impressive fantasy elements, with the Liberator being the equal of the Tardis or the Enterprise; the design of the ship, both interior and exterior shots, was part of a creativity that embraced both narrative variety and creative continuity.

Specific styles - an outstanding montage of cultural references

The set designs and costumes have an aesthetic appeal that works really well, and there some particular cultural references that work especially well for me: the Edwardian visual and musical themes of Bounty; the murder mystery setting of Mission to Destiny is a particular favourite, and way that it recreates the tropes of a good Christie in the space fantasy setting; and the glorious Gothic style of Cygnus Alpha and Duel with a pseudo-medieval castle, witches and vampires just takes the first season to a higher level that's never fully recaptured.

Cast and Creative

The behind the scenes creativity of Terry Nation and David Maloney make this work from the start with adventure, darkness, humour and danger mixed in a perfect balance; the ongoing performances of Paul Darrow, Michael Keating, Gareth Thomas and Stephen Grief add a charisma and quality in front of the camera to equal the material they were being given. Guest roles for Barry Jackson, TP McKenna and Julian Glover along with some very attractive and talented ladies like Beth Morris, Carol Royle, Julia Vidler, Carinthia West and Suzan Farmer completed the scene.

Season Albert is my favourite in both the narrative and aesthetic regards. Happy
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
 
trevor travis
Cheers SD.

I've just caught up with your post. I agree with virtually everything you say. Albert is a fantastic season of drama, and it says much about the sheer strength of B7 as a whole, that despite it being so good, I would still place it fourth if asked to place the seasons in order.

Just one thing. To me, the behind the scenes creativity in Albert is not only Terry Nation and David Maloney BUT also Chris Boucher as well.

The scripts in Albert are very much a collaborative effort between TN and CB (to varying degrees, The Way Back is almost pure Nation, whereas Duel has Boucher's fingerprints all over it). Terry's strengths of strong ideas and excellent plotting are there, as are CB's strengths of characterisation and dialogue. Writing all episodes 13 was a massive task even for a huge talent as TN, and it became a necessity that Boucher wrote the later drafts of some episodes (by the time of Breakdown / Bounty, a couple of the directors had an input as well), while Nation was starting the process on subsequent episodes.

Writing on B7 must have been a have relief to TN after Survivors. He had his fingers burnt a bit with Survivors, with a producer who worked against him rather than with him, but with B7 he was served and assisted by an excellent producer and excellent script editor.
Edited by trevor travis on 18 June 2014 20:12:27
 
Spaceship Dispatcher
You would be disappointed if I didn't slip in anything to disagree about Grin

Yes - Terry Nation, David Maloney and Chris Boucher Grin
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
 
President Solvite
The Libby;s teleport system always works whereas on Enterprise it breaks down all of the time Pfft
 
http://nothingsforgotten.freeforums.net/
trevor travis
Spaceship Dispatcher wrote:

You would be disappointed if I didn't slip in anything to disagree about Grin

Yes - Terry Nation, David Maloney and Chris Boucher Grin


I prefer to think of it as discuss rather than disagree Wink

Oh, and the Libby is five times better than the Enterprise Grin In a fight between the two, the Libby would kick the Enterprise's sorry bottom Wink
 
trevor travis
President Solvite wrote:

The Libby;s teleport system always works whereas on Enterprise it breaks down all of the time Pfft


Plus the insurance on the Enterprise series of ships must be shocking. They are forever blowing the things up Wink
 
peladon
Series A - not much I dont like. Story telling is mainly alpha grade stuff, plots are generally well knitted with few holes, no purple plotting, stays fixed in its time and place,characterisation is solid and 3D, all characters are reasonably well used, little in the way of gender sterotyping, manages to overlay childish attractions on more challenging adult issues and is still suitable for pre watershed, Liberator is stunning. Oh and it is real sci fi not comic book.

A few niggles, lack of scientific/technical understand on the prop front, on a tight budget less is more and it wouldnt have betrayed the low cost or dated to the same degree. Same is true for costume, though they are nothing like as dire as series C and D. Oh and some sloppy editing.

In general I love it, consider it quality even now and rewatch regularly.

I'd not agree with TT though, I dont see much of CBs finger prints at all, his style and Nations are quite different and IMO this is pretty close to formula Nation.
 
peladon
SD - couldnt agree more.
 
trevor travis
peladon wrote:
I'd not agree with TT though, I dont see much of CBs finger prints at all, his style and Nations are quite different and IMO this is pretty close to formula Nation.


But there are several episodes (Duel, Breakdown and Bounty) where Terry Nation - under such a tremendous workload - submitted a first draft of shorter than usual length, that then required CB to flesh out the episode. This isn't my supposition, it comes from the factual Andrew Pixley Marvel Specials.

Duel, in particular, contains a lot of Boucher's dialogue... a whole load of stolen film quotes for starters, a Boucher trademark.
 
peladon
trevor travis wrote:

peladon wrote:
I'd not agree with TT though, I dont see much of CBs finger prints at all, his style and Nations are quite different and IMO this is pretty close to formula Nation.


But there are several episodes (Duel, Breakdown and Bounty) where Terry Nation - under such a tremendous workload - submitted a first draft of shorter than usual length, that then required CB to flesh out the episode. This isn't my supposition, it comes from the factual Andrew Pixley Marvel Specials.

Duel, in particular, contains a lot of Boucher's dialogue... a whole load of stolen film quotes for starters, a Boucher trademark.


Perhaps, I wasnt there so I cant be sure, but the style isnt CB and the characterisation isnt CB nor is the story stucture. Maybe it comes down to what shorter means and what was contained within it.
 
Frankymole

A few niggles, lack of scientific/technical understand on the prop front, on a tight budget less is more and it wouldnt have betrayed the low cost or dated to the same degree. Same is true for costume, though they are nothing like as dire as series C and D.
The most bizarre and outlandish costumes are June Hudson's in the earlier half of Series B. Luckily things settle down again a bit after she goes. The strangest one must've been the giant silver gecko hanging onto to Jacqueline Pearce's nipples!
 
peladon
Frankymole wrote:


A few niggles, lack of scientific/technical understand on the prop front, on a tight budget less is more and it wouldnt have betrayed the low cost or dated to the same degree. Same is true for costume, though they are nothing like as dire as series C and D.
The most bizarre and outlandish costumes are June Hudson's in the earlier half of Series B. Luckily things settle down again a bit after she goes. The strangest one must've been the giant silver gecko hanging onto to Jacqueline Pearce's nipples!


A very odd choice for a Supreme Commander I agree but the dress itself is elegant enough, unlike some of th things that follow. Someone should have been reprimanded in the costume dept from about ep 4 SA (Avons very strange composite sofa cover tunic) and the whole bunch sacked from mid SC. Tacky is being kind.
 
JustBrad
I've always considered the evolution of Servalan's costumes to be indicative of her moral fall. She begins as a pure fascist in austere white, dedicated to the state. As her own ambition surfaces, her costumes become more decadent. In S4 she winds up in black, her costume from Traitor evocative of a vulture. She has fallen from alpha predator (Supreme Commander) to scavenger.
 
Travisina
JustBrad wrote:

I've always considered the evolution of Servalan's costumes to be indicative of her moral fall. She begins as a pure fascist in austere white, dedicated to the state. As her own ambition surfaces, her costumes become more decadent. In S4 she winds up in black, her costume from Traitor evocative of a vulture. She has fallen from alpha predator (Supreme Commander) to scavenger.

Ooh, very profound, I like it!

I heard (possibly from Jacqueline herself in an interview?) that the switch from white to black from Children of Auron onwards was because she was in mourning for her dead babies - but she's already wearing black at the beginning of CofA, so I'm not sure if that theory works altogether.
Twitter: @TravisinaB7
Tumblr: tumblr
There's no point being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes
 
trevor travis
JustBrad wrote:

I've always considered the evolution of Servalan's costumes to be indicative of her moral fall. She begins as a pure fascist in austere white, dedicated to the state. As her own ambition surfaces, her costumes become more decadent. In S4 she winds up in black, her costume from Traitor evocative of a vulture. She has fallen from alpha predator (Supreme Commander) to scavenger.


Oh, I like that Brad.

How does the red in "Gambit" fit in?
 
President Solvite
trevor travis wrote:

President Solvite wrote:

The Libby;s teleport system always works whereas on Enterprise it breaks down all of the time Pfft


Plus the insurance on the Enterprise series of ships must be shocking. They are forever blowing the things up Wink


Not just that Kirk manages also to crash The Klingon Bird of Prey (into San Fransisco Harbour and the USS Constellation into a Doomday machine, cripples USS Reliant etc.. etc.... All in all Kirk is a bit of a disaster area with Starships! Blake in comparison just 'prangs' the Liberator occasionally, until he loans it to Avon who promptly flies into one of the only things that can destroy the Liberator in the whole universe! Well done that man! Perhaps he was a bit 'miffed' with his bad hair styles in Season C.. Pfft
 
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