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Liberator Chronicles 8 *Spoilers Thread*
Spaceresearcher
trevor travis wrote:

Listened to "Spoils" and "President" for respective third times last night.... two very good stories.


Absolutely. For me, some of the LC's have left me a touch disappointed but this recent release has given me new enthusiasm for the series as a whole. Just like the TV episodes, not every episode is going to be to everyone's liking but you have to take the good with the bad (like watching Sarcophagus and Animals back to back. Smile ).
 
trevor travis
The thing I've really picked up on subsequent relistens to "Spoils" is the ambiguity of Blake's dialogue. He keeps on saying people are murdering people on his behalf, but he doesn't seem to be doing a great deal to actually stop it. When Blake starts doing the "right thing" again for a while, it's because Jenna is manipulating him.

Within two years of the "Liberation", Avon - left in command of the Liberator - is extorting money out of people and killing those who don't comply with his wishes.

Within about another year, Blake has people killing others on his behalf. As Cally says, his mind is "dark".

And within four years, Blake tells his security guards to "deal" with Vila - he more-or-less sanctions the death of one of his old friends.
 
trevor travis
Spaceresearcher wrote:

trevor travis wrote:

Listened to "Spoils" and "President" for respective third times last night.... two very good stories.


Absolutely. For me, some of the LC's have left me a touch disappointed but this recent release has given me new enthusiasm for the series as a whole. Just like the TV episodes, not every episode is going to be to everyone's liking but you have to take the good with the bad (like watching Sarcophagus and Animals back to back. Smile ).


The original series was hit almost all the way, with just around two misses in 52 episodes.

The Libby Chronicles are slightly more hit-and-miss than that, but well worth it, because when they're good, they're very, very good. I really like "President" and "Spoils", which show us the series from different angles to what we see on TV.

It's brand new B7 featuring the original cast and a good chunk of it is excellent. Smile
 
Travisina
trevor travis wrote:

The thing I've really picked up on subsequent relistens to "Spoils" is the ambiguity of Blake's dialogue. He keeps on saying people are murdering people on his behalf, but he doesn't seem to be doing a great deal to actually stop it.

I don't think he knows how to stop it, that's the problem. On the Liberator, he had a crew of individuals that he kind-of led, but each person joined or stayed with him for their own reasons, which were not necessarily his. Now he is in charge of a vast empire, and instead of individuals he is trying to get the hang of controlling large groups with their own agendas - and failing utterly. He can't even manage to put together a ruling council - who eventually become Barons, jockeying for position and leaving him completely isolated.

When Blake starts doing the "right thing" again for a while, it's because Jenna is manipulating him.

I don't think it's because Jenna is manipulating him (we only find out her agenda later) - I believe he genuinely wants to do the right thing, but can't figure out how to do it, and every step he takes leads to disaster, eg:

Within two years of the "Liberation", Avon - left in command of the Liberator - is extorting money out of people and killing those who don't comply with his wishes.

And Blake is completely disgusted by this - it's not what he had in mind when he asked for Avon's help in protect the shipping to the outer worlds.

Within about another year, Blake has people killing others on his behalf. As Cally says, his mind is "dark".

Again, at this point I don't believe that was his intention. I don't think he was responsible for the fire in the Dome, or would have allowed it if he had known about it.

But:
And within four years, Blake tells his security guards to "deal" with Vila - he more-or-less sanctions the death of one of his old friends.

And this is where it gets really chilling - by now Blake does know what he's doing - cells, torture, citizen reprogramming, pylene-50, Dome massacre of rebels... this was not what he intended, but here he is - every bit as bad, if not worse, than the Federation he replaced.
Twitter: @TravisinaB7
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There's no point being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes
 
President Solvite
Yes this LC volume has been the best release of chronicles for some time. Whilst I generally like the full cast format, it is a tad on the plodding side lately despite some great stories earlier in the sequence. But I remain upbeat on the whole as individual sequences are excellent.

Back to the LC's

Personally I liked President. (I think Simon has got the characterisation spot on in this story whereas in the past, not so much) I think this is possibly down to the lack of technical dialogue where I feel certain knowledge is lacking. JP is superb (as always in the role) as is Peter. A nice tight character based story, is ideal and plays to strengths, as there is some humour albeit of a dark nature. - But it is Servalan, and this is what we expect!

Sea of Iron not so much.. it dragged for me a bit and was quite obvious from the outset where things were going. Not awful, but a bit of a damp squib in comparison to the other two. Reinforcing flawed concepts in CoA is not the way to proceed with the Auronar in my view.

Spoils perhaps the most interesting example of the three, I have only listened to it once, but it made me think about things far more than any other LC story It so far possibly is the best example LC story from BF, alongside Solitary in my view. Spoils is some way reminiscent of the Babylon 5 episode , the Deconstruction of Falling Stars. Which tried to display leading characters in another light (both correctly and wrongly) from the perspective of more minor? characters.

The addition of actors to play the other cast members was a good choice in my view making it akin to a full cast audio. While it is interesting to see how Blake might have turned out should he have won, it is of course by no means certain of the outcome described. The apparent decline of Blake's moral compass is in my view portrayed too rapidly in my view, however, I balance this with the dream nature of the events, the unpredictable nature of the future and the involvement of Servalan. Although the format and time constraints don't really allow for it, I would have liked to see more of Blake's contacts through the years.. (Sarkoff (Lindor), Ro, Inga etc..) They are sort of hinted at but of course we have a time limit and are limited by the scope of the presentation media.

It still however remains a very interesting story, not perhaps a prediction on how things WILL turn out but a possible future should certain events and sequences unfold. I certainly hope that we have more thought provoking stories like this in future volumes.
 
http://nothingsforgotten.freeforums.net/
trevor travis
President Solvite wrote:

Yes this LC volume has been the best release of chronicles for some time. Whilst I generally like the full cast format, it is a tad on the plodding side lately despite some great stories earlier in the sequence. But I remain upbeat on the whole as individual sequences are excellent.


That's interesting - if asked for my preference, I would say I like the Libby Chronicles slightly more than the full cast audios, simply because in the LC, we really get under the skin of the characters. But both have their strengths.

One thing that has occurred to me is that volume 8 is similar to volume 5. Both start with a dark Simon Guerrier tale, both conclude with a brilliantly dark and somewhat disturbing story from the pen of James Goss, and both have something slightly less insubstantial in between, which nevertheless provides some balance to the other darker tales.

Also, wasn't this David Richardson's final volume in charge, before he hands over to Cav Scott. If so, he's gone out with a bit of a bang.
 
President Solvite
For me generally I still prefer the full cast audios, its unfortunate though that perhaps the pacing of the stories don't perhaps work for the media or set format and there's no reason we can't get into the characters with a fuller cast. Perhaps BF are rushing through too many stories in a short period of time and need to focus on perfecting each story before release? Speaking for myself, I am quite happy to wait for something to be polished than a hasty potentially slightly disappointing release, perhaps release less content at a lower cost?

While 2014 has been a positive bounty of releases I would perhaps rather a more sedate release schedule. While I appreciate this may be for economies of scale and timings for actors and crew or whatever. I do remember the sound FX for Logic (going through the undergrowth) was way too much and it annoyed me. Maybe an additional layer of QA could have dealt with this?

Battleground did impress me, but Drones less so. I liked Cold Fury due to individual performances.. But I still find the LC's are very hit and miss in my opinion. For me 8.2 was much better than 5.2 if my memory serves. I haven't really been tempted to listen to any of Vol 5 again apart from Logic. But in my mind President holds together and suits the format more neatly. It's superior than say the Magnificent Four which for me has too many errors and goofs to mention. I think some of the writers need to appreciate that this is B7 they are writing for, not Who or other media, which I think is happening. On the whole I do admit they are getting better with each set, but I must say other productions like the Mark of Kane still impress me more than some of the earlier inconsistent BF LC productions. IE. They flow better, fit B7 canon better and the characters feel pretty much spot on with the original material.
 
http://nothingsforgotten.freeforums.net/
Spaceship Dispatcher
President Solvite wrote:

I think some of the writers need to appreciate that this is B7 they are writing for, not Who or other media...


Just a side question on this PS... why would writing Doctor Who mitigate bad writing and mistakes? It does happen on their DW stories as much as on the Blake's 7 ones, but its not excusable there either if you're charging £XX for the CDs! Good proof reading should come as part of any creative process imo.
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
Can't say it bothers me that much. I'm more interested in the stories and whether those are strong - I don't care too much if a character dunking biscuits or whatever is considered to be not of B7's time. After all, televised episodes such as Killer, Gambit and Bounty contain 20th century references, but it doesn't spoil my enjoyment of those episodes.
 
Spaceship Dispatcher
trevor travis wrote:

Can't say it bothers me that much. I'm more interested in the stories and whether those are strong - I don't care too much if a character dunking biscuits or whatever is considered to be not of B7's time. After all, televised episodes such as Killer, Gambit and Bounty contain 20th century references, but it doesn't spoil my enjoyment of those episodes.


Absolutely - agree on both counts. TBH, I didn't even think about the tea scene as anything other than a funny Avon/Vila routine until it was pointed out that tea isn't featured in the series; something I had never noticed!
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
Spaceship Dispatcher wrote:

President Solvite wrote:

I think some of the writers need to appreciate that this is B7 they are writing for, not Who or other media...


Just a side question on this PS... why would writing Doctor Who mitigate bad writing and mistakes? It does happen on their DW stories as much as on the Blake's 7 ones, but its not excusable there either if you're charging £XX for the CDs! Good proof reading should come as part of any creative process imo.


It doesn't , however, I think some confusion arises between terminology between the two genres, especially with technical terms. IE. the use of the term bridge, going to warp, etc.. When mistakes like that happen on a frequent basis, one's confidence in the provider is shaken.

I agree with your second point about proof reading being part of the creative process. The books have also suffered in a similar way, but then many of the original B7 books were hardly great reads either. (although I appreciated them at the time due to the fact that was all I had)
 
http://nothingsforgotten.freeforums.net/
Spaceresearcher
BradPaula wrote:

Now that I've listened to all three of the Liberator Chronicles #8, I can comment on them and not have Trevor Travis tell me off for sneaking onto this thread before having experienced all three audios for myself.

What can I say but LC#8 is decidedly more dark than many of the other LC sets. That's not to say the stories weren't good, just quite complicated, introspective and bizarre at times, but still worthy of our attentions.

President by Simon Guerrier had Jacqueline Pearce and Peter Miles (Servalan and Rontane) reprise their roles for this audio. I found it very interesting to hear how Servalan wormed her way to the top, being a sort of press agent/campaign manager for the Persident himself. She discusses her ideas and strategies with Secretary Rontane and the audio certainly lives up to all that Servalan is and was. Peter Miles was especially good coming back as Secretary Rontane.

The Sea of Iron by Marc Platt has Jan Chappell and Jacqueline Pearce in this two-hander as Cally and Servalan. I think of the three, this is the weakest audio. We again get a glimpse into Cally's character and some back story. Is it me, or is Cally always searching for some mentor from her past? Anyway, it was a good story, but did not hold my interest as much as story #1 or 3.

Story three is Spoils by James Goss. This is the best of the three audios in my opinion. It is performed by Gareth Thomas as Blake with two very talented actors by the names of Jemma Churchill and Dan Starkey. Starkey is recently known for his portrayal of the Sontaran Strax in Doctor Who, and in a few of the Full Cast audios this year from Big Finish. I thought this story was inspired and quite thought-provoking. It revolves around the idea of what would happen if Blake finally won out and how his Presidency would play out after one, two and many years down the road.

Special mention should be made of the two actors in the audio, Jemma Churchill and Dan Starkey, who as Blake 'dreams' of the future, they are the voices of Jenna, Cally, Servalan, and Avon, and Vila. At first I thought Sally Knyvette was in the audio, but upon checking the disc jacket, found the characters were being played by these two very talented actors. Dan Starkey had Avon's cadence down pat and even had that unique quality in Vila's voice done well, so well that I just went along with the story thinking it was being voiced by our actors and not actors relatively new to Big Finish's Blake's 7 range.

I have to admit that upon finishing Spoils, it really gave me pause. How Blake ran his presidency was fascinating, and at the same time alarming. One ill-advised order here, and that starts the slippery slope to eventual ruin. I could not get it out of my head. It was real food for thought and brilliantly written and acted. There is one scene in the 'dream' which stayed with me and that was where Starkey, as Avon, is gunned down by Blake, in a reversal of the end of episode #52. Pretty strong stuff and certainly worthy of another listen.

Now, to look forward in August to LC#9 and the ultimate gift for a fan like me, the return -again- of Del Grant. *sigh*. -Paula


Totally agree, Peter Miles was superb. His voice is timeless.
 
Spaceship Dispatcher
President

An excellent stand alone story that I really enjoyed. To step back into the world of TWB, ie set inside the Federation and focusing on life and events there rather than looking in from outside with the rebellion, is a neat idea that works well because the story keeps inside narrow story parameters. This is no epic tale that had to be slashed to pieces to fit a single disk, like the sadly rushed post-Star One releases about Jenna and Blake, but two handed play that genuinely feels like a conversation between characters who know each other closely. The writing never drifts into third person narrative, a style issue with some of the earlier LCs where you were often unsure if you were listening to the actor in character or not, and I liked hearing Servalan talking to an equal who she obviously respects professionally and talks to with honesty. With the previous non-rebellion Servalan drama Three, it was left ambiguous as to whether she was telling the truth to the reporter. But I never felt that way here and felt as though I were hearing an actual account of events, and was thus able to settle into the 'action' more easily. Does that mean this is better than Three? Not really, just different. But although it shares many of the strengths of that audio, it does do better by having a less uncertain content to the story being told by the main character - but in turn this also means it is less artistically creative. However, its got to be one of my favourite Big Finish releases in their Blake's 7 range - along with Logic, Three, Lucifer and The Armageddon Storm.

10/10
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
 
Spaceship Dispatcher
Spaceship Dispatcher wrote:

President

...This is no epic tale that had to be slashed to pieces to fit a single disk, like the sadly rushed post-Star One releases about Jenna and Blake...


And then there was Spoils - 3/10
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
Spaceship Dispatcher wrote:

Spaceship Dispatcher wrote:

President

...This is no epic tale that had to be slashed to pieces to fit a single disk, like the sadly rushed post-Star One releases about Jenna and Blake...


And then there was Spoils - 3/10


I love Spoils - either a 9/10 or 10/10.

I can see how it will split opinion, though - it's quite a departure. For me, it rewrote what is possible within a single episode of the Libby Chronicles - it's an epic.
 
Spaceship Dispatcher
Sadly, the 200mph story telling of Spoils (that makes even Steven Moffat seem pedestrian by comparison) means no elements are covered properly or in any depth; all are revealed and then wasted due to lack of time. There are so many interesting ideas to explore and this audio does justice to not a single one of them. The alternate universe partnership between Avon and Servalan is worth at least a two hour drama on its own, starring Paul and Jacs of course, and the plot device of the dream-makers was just a very poor fantasy short cut to avoid actually developing this AU scenario properly. As with Jenna's Story and Blake's Story, imo this is Big Finish being lazy and wasteful in how they present good ideas to their customers. After the brilliant President play I was expecting a lot more.

On a seperate note, the acting Spoils was first class - all 3 marks from me are for the cast...
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
 
Travisina
trevor travis wrote:
Spaceship Dispatcher wrote:



And then there was Spoils - 3/10


I love Spoils - either a 9/10 or 10/10.

I can see how it will split opinion, though - it's quite a departure. For me, it rewrote what is possible within a single episode of the Libby Chronicles - it's an epic.

10/10 from me, too. Brave concept, brilliantly executed, outstanding acting - a 'full cast epic'. It got into my dreams and was a distraction at work - couldn't stop thinking about it for days.

Spaceship Dispatcher wrote:
Sadly, the 200mph story telling of Spoils (that makes even Steven Moffat seem pedestrian by comparison) means no elements are covered properly or in any depth; all are revealed and then wasted due to lack of time. There are so many interesting ideas to explore and this audio does justice to not a single one of them.

I thought it was really elegant storytelling - neat, precise and not a word wasted while covering huge concepts.
Twitter: @TravisinaB7
Tumblr: tumblr
There's no point being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes
 
Spaceship Dispatcher
Travisina wrote:

It's the Dream Servalan inasmuch as it's still Jemma Churchill doing the voice... So perhaps the whole thing was Servalan's dream and Blake's was a dream-within-a-dream.


That seems like a good theory, and its supported by both the extreme and slightly ooc disintegration of Blake as a leader (he's bad, but not imo that bad) and by something that otherwise would be a plot inconsistency:

If this were Blake's dream then he would be the real Blake (mentally rather than physically) and all the other characters would be constructs of the Dream-makers; this would mean by extension that Blake would have no knowledge of events beyond what is seen in the vision, ie what the listener also knows. But after a few minutes, this Blake is interacting with the alternate world: he knows people, places, events, what he's done, where he's been, who he's talking to and how the politics of the alternate world work. This cannot be both the real Blake living a dream constructed by the Dream-makers and also the male Dream-maker playing a fictional Blake; there is no indication that Blake witnesses himself through a fourth wall during events but rather experiences everything first hand.

However, if this were Servalan's dream then it all works out as 1. her interaction is minimal and from a third person perspective; 2. this is an extremely negative view of not only Blake but Avon (killer), Vila (terrorist) and Cally (spy) too, like a twisted fantasy of all her enemies dying horribly; and 3. she says at the end "you made all my dreams come true"

Personally, this was an amazing template for a whole spin-off AU continuity that would have made a great box set in itself and been good material for a couple of books. The ideas here were excellent and had a lot more mileage in them than just a single one hour release.
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
 
Travisina
Spaceship Dispatcher wrote:

However, if this were Servalan's dream then it all works out as 1. her interaction is minimal and from a third person perspective; 2. this is an extremely negative view of not only Blake but Avon (killer), Vila (terrorist) and Cally (spy) too, like a twisted fantasy of all her enemies dying horribly; and 3. she says at the end "you made all my dreams come true"

Yes, that all fits very neatly.
However, I still like the idea of Blake really 'not being able to do right for doing wrong', as the saying goes. With the best of intentions, and no personal ambition, everything still unravels for him in a horribly plausible way. The scene in 'Caged' where Blake and the President come face to face echoes this.
Twitter: @TravisinaB7
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There's no point being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes
 
Spaceship Dispatcher
Travisina wrote:

The scene in 'Caged' where Blake and the President come face to face echoes this.


Blake meets the President?! **Caged spoilers** too!! Grin Will look forward to hearing that scene...

By the way Travisina, congrats on passing 1000 posts Grin
Oops
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
 
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