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The Gift of B7
littlesue
trevor travis wrote:

Gauda Cheese wrote:

trevor travis wrote:

Nice that you've now got such a run of great episodes to show Michelle to finish off with... and that you're both enjoying them. I've never understood why people don't like Season D. Once "Animals" is out of the way, it's fabulous episodes all the way.


I'm actually surprised by it. I didn't know it was so maligned until I came here.


I think a clue is the recent poll, which shows so many fans since 1978. They got used to B7 in a certain way, and even though Season D is in many ways more of the same, the fact it's not exactly the same means that can't watch the episodes with an open mind.

Watched with an open mind, many of B7's finest moments are contained within Season D.

To me, all four seasons are wonderful. In fact apart from two obvious dud episodes (VFTP and Animals - I was delighted when you also picked out those two episodes), there are 50 epidoes of B7 which are all wonderful in one way or the other.


The first part of VFTP is excellent with it becoming quite obvious that despite his protestations, Avon does care about Blake.....it's after they get to that mine building that the episode goes down hill! So it's maybe 1 and a half episodes that are a bit creaky.
When you think about it, though, that's almost 52 hours of glorious story telling...compared to about 6 hours of the original Star Wars.
The problem with Series Derek is that it was suddenly announced by the Beeb that there would be another series..leaving everything up in the air and practically having to rebuild an entire series from scratch!!!!!
Cold.....you don't know the meaning of cold.
Cold is when you have ice on the INSIDE of the window!!!


sues stories http://sjlittle.w...
sues youtube channel http://www.youtub...e54/videos
sues book shelf https://www.media...ne%20Shelf
rebel run video http://www.youtub...prqS-XZtLo
Lara and Sue's Stories http://lectorisal....webs.com/
 
Ellen York
I just rewatched VFTP last week (I'm finishing up season 2 in my personal rewatch). It actually improved on a second viewing. The concept it good, it is the execution that is a little lacking (and the Travis mummy, really?!). I do like the space yoga scene at the beginning.
On the favorite season question, I prefer 1 and 2 (we'll have to agree to disagree GC and TT), primarily for two reasons. One, I like Blake and Jenna. Jenna has always been my favorite and the one that I relate to the most, and while Blake's flaws are more apparent viewing the series as an adult, I still like the character. I never took to Dayna and am ambivalent about Tarrant. Soolin has grown on me, it's too bad the character didn't get more development. The other reason is that the earlier seasons feel more hopeful. In season 1 and even 2, it still feels like they could win, or at least make a difference. While it is the rough edges and shades of grey that make the series resonate with me, I prefer them mixed with some hope. Seasons 3 and 4 have some good episodes, but for me 3 seems slightly unfocused and 4 is like watching a slow motion train wreck. Watching season 4 last fall, the closer I got to the end, the more I was dragging my feet. I knew what was coming and I didn't want to watch it happen. This isn't to say that any of the seasons are "bad", they are just different and people are going to view and relate to them differently. Didn't mean to write such and essay, but I do find it interesting how views on the series can vary so much.
 
trevor travis
littlesue wrote:
The first part of VFTP is excellent with it becoming quite obvious that despite his protestations, Avon does care about Blake.....it's after they get to that mine building that the episode goes down hill! So it's maybe 1 and a half episodes that are a bit creaky.
When you think about it, though, that's almost 52 hours of glorious story telling...compared to about 6 hours of the original Star Wars.


I tend to be the other way about, there's bits of "Animals" I don't mind, while VFTP I don't like at all.

But yes it is quite remarkable - 52 hours of television and nearly all of it is glorious and wonderful. Smile
 
Angry Angel
I do feel a bit sorry for Caroline Holdaway, I'm not sure her acting is that bad, it's just the character(s) is very OTT. Also Tarrant dodn't fancy her (yuck!), he felt sorry for her, and was being gentlemanly.

I watched the show from 1978, but I don't remember much, and on my rewatch in the 90s when the videos came out I enjoyed s4 a lot, I liked the campness of the later seasons. It was only in rewatching several more times that I found myself definitely enjoying s1 and 2 the most, for much the same reasons as Ellen. I find a lot to enjoy in s3 (not least Tarrant), but s4 is definitely last on my list.
 
http://lucyravenscar.blogspot.com/
trevor travis
Angry Angel wrote:

I do feel a bit sorry for Caroline Holdaway, I'm not sure her acting is that bad, it's just the character(s) is very OTT. Also Tarrant dodn't fancy her (yuck!), he felt sorry for her, and was being gentlemanly.

I watched the show from 1978, but I don't remember much, and on my rewatch in the 90s when the videos came out I enjoyed s4 a lot, I liked the campness of the later seasons. It was only in rewatching several more times that I found myself definitely enjoying s1 and 2 the most, for much the same reasons as Ellen. I find a lot to enjoy in s3 (not least Tarrant), but s4 is definitely last on my list.


I see the character as Cancer being a bit of a Servalan-type character, but sadly they couldn't find an actress as good as the exceptional Jacqueline Pearce to play it.

AA, interesting to read your thoughts. I have to admit I'm almost the opposite. I watched the show from 1980, can't remember much about Season C the first time around, but then have strong memories of the Season C repeats and Season D. I loved both, but my preference was for Season C (I missed Cally a bit in Season D).

On buying the videos in the 1990s, Season C stayed as my favourite but Season D slipped to fourth. But then around 2000, I rewatched Season D and absolutely loved it, including "Blake" (which previously I'd hated - it ruined my Xmas in 1981!!!). I've find I like Season D more-and-more the more times I watch it.

The order I would place the seasons in these days would be Colin/Derek/Albert/Barney (with a near dead heat for third place). But I actually very much like all four seasons. Other programmes have good and bad seasons - B7 only has brilliant ones Cool
 
Gauda Cheese
littlesue wrote:

The first part of VFTP is excellent with it becoming quite obvious that despite his protestations, Avon does care about Blake.....it's after they get to that mine building that the episode goes down hill! So it's maybe 1 and a half episodes that are a bit creaky.
When you think about it, though, that's almost 52 hours of glorious story telling...compared to about 6 hours of the original Star Wars.
The problem with Series Derek is that it was suddenly announced by the Beeb that there would be another series..leaving everything up in the air and practically having to rebuild an entire series from scratch!!!!!


I wouldn't see that as too much of a problem, but more as a challenge. One could argue it's the first 5 scripts of Series D to really feel the pinch here, but from Headhunter on there is a consistency, the run of stories from then on arguably holds no clunkers. Once D found its groove it turned out some really strong consistent story telling.

It reminds me of the Six million Dollar Man. We can rebuild him......
http://stwco.word... Stuff and things written by me.

My podcast: http://GATM.buzzs...
 
Gauda Cheese
Ellen York wrote:

I just rewatched VFTP last week (I'm finishing up season 2 in my personal rewatch). It actually improved on a second viewing. The concept it good, it is the execution that is a little lacking (and the Travis mummy, really?!). I do like the space yoga scene at the beginning.
On the favorite season question, I prefer 1 and 2 (we'll have to agree to disagree GC and TT), primarily for two reasons. One, I like Blake and Jenna. Jenna has always been my favorite and the one that I relate to the most, and while Blake's flaws are more apparent viewing the series as an adult, I still like the character. I never took to Dayna and am ambivalent about Tarrant. Soolin has grown on me, it's too bad the character didn't get more development. The other reason is that the earlier seasons feel more hopeful. In season 1 and even 2, it still feels like they could win, or at least make a difference. While it is the rough edges and shades of grey that make the series resonate with me, I prefer them mixed with some hope. Seasons 3 and 4 have some good episodes, but for me 3 seems slightly unfocused and 4 is like watching a slow motion train wreck. Watching season 4 last fall, the closer I got to the end, the more I was dragging my feet. I knew what was coming and I didn't want to watch it happen. This isn't to say that any of the seasons are "bad", they are just different and people are going to view and relate to them differently. Didn't mean to write such and essay, but I do find it interesting how views on the series can vary so much.


I'd argue that series B isn't that hopeful. Its more about disillusionment. The Government also controls the Terra Nostra, Blake becomes more desperate and reckless resulting in the death of Gan. The end showing Blake can't simply destroy Star One. There is very little hope in series B except for maybe Countdown.

You never took to Dayna? Awwwww. Maybe the next rewatch? Smile
http://stwco.word... Stuff and things written by me.

My podcast: http://GATM.buzzs...
 
littlesue
Gauda Cheese wrote:

littlesue wrote:

The first part of VFTP is excellent with it becoming quite obvious that despite his protestations, Avon does care about Blake.....it's after they get to that mine building that the episode goes down hill! So it's maybe 1 and a half episodes that are a bit creaky.
When you think about it, though, that's almost 52 hours of glorious story telling...compared to about 6 hours of the original Star Wars.
The problem with Series Derek is that it was suddenly announced by the Beeb that there would be another series..leaving everything up in the air and practically having to rebuild an entire series from scratch!!!!!


I wouldn't see that as too much of a problem, but more as a challenge. One could argue it's the first 5 scripts of Series D to really feel the pinch here, but from Headhunter on there is a consistency, the run of stories from then on arguably holds no clunkers. Once D found its groove it turned out some really strong consistent story telling.

It reminds me of the Six million Dollar Man. We can rebuild him......


Oh definitely a challenge, especially as the budget still wasn't there. I think Uncle Vere spent a fair amount on the launch sequence of Scorpio, to give the show that wow factor!!!

I'm now humming the Six Million Dollar Man theme....why when he ran fast, did everything go slowwwwwwwwwww..................?

Oh yes, and those earlier scripts did certainly feel the pinch because of the time constraints, but after that.................
Cold.....you don't know the meaning of cold.
Cold is when you have ice on the INSIDE of the window!!!


sues stories http://sjlittle.w...
sues youtube channel http://www.youtub...e54/videos
sues book shelf https://www.media...ne%20Shelf
rebel run video http://www.youtub...prqS-XZtLo
Lara and Sue's Stories http://lectorisal....webs.com/
 
Gauda Cheese
littlesue wrote:

Gauda Cheese wrote:

littlesue wrote:

The first part of VFTP is excellent with it becoming quite obvious that despite his protestations, Avon does care about Blake.....it's after they get to that mine building that the episode goes down hill! So it's maybe 1 and a half episodes that are a bit creaky.
When you think about it, though, that's almost 52 hours of glorious story telling...compared to about 6 hours of the original Star Wars.
The problem with Series Derek is that it was suddenly announced by the Beeb that there would be another series..leaving everything up in the air and practically having to rebuild an entire series from scratch!!!!!


I wouldn't see that as too much of a problem, but more as a challenge. One could argue it's the first 5 scripts of Series D to really feel the pinch here, but from Headhunter on there is a consistency, the run of stories from then on arguably holds no clunkers. Once D found its groove it turned out some really strong consistent story telling.

It reminds me of the Six million Dollar Man. We can rebuild him......


Oh definitely a challenge, especially as the budget still wasn't there. I think Uncle Vere spent a fair amount on the launch sequence of Scorpio, to give the show that wow factor!!!

I'm now humming the Six Million Dollar Man theme....why when he ran fast, did everything go slowwwwwwwwwww..................?

Oh yes, and those earlier scripts did certainly feel the pinch because of the time constraints, but after that.................


It's a rad theme. Also makes me think of the Daft Punk song.
http://stwco.word... Stuff and things written by me.

My podcast: http://GATM.buzzs...
 
Ellen York
Gauda Cheese wrote:

Ellen York wrote:

I just rewatched VFTP last week (I'm finishing up season 2 in my personal rewatch). It actually improved on a second viewing. The concept it good, it is the execution that is a little lacking (and the Travis mummy, really?!). I do like the space yoga scene at the beginning.
On the favorite season question, I prefer 1 and 2 (we'll have to agree to disagree GC and TT), primarily for two reasons. One, I like Blake and Jenna. Jenna has always been my favorite and the one that I relate to the most, and while Blake's flaws are more apparent viewing the series as an adult, I still like the character. I never took to Dayna and am ambivalent about Tarrant. Soolin has grown on me, it's too bad the character didn't get more development. The other reason is that the earlier seasons feel more hopeful. In season 1 and even 2, it still feels like they could win, or at least make a difference. While it is the rough edges and shades of grey that make the series resonate with me, I prefer them mixed with some hope. Seasons 3 and 4 have some good episodes, but for me 3 seems slightly unfocused and 4 is like watching a slow motion train wreck. Watching season 4 last fall, the closer I got to the end, the more I was dragging my feet. I knew what was coming and I didn't want to watch it happen. This isn't to say that any of the seasons are "bad", they are just different and people are going to view and relate to them differently. Didn't mean to write such and essay, but I do find it interesting how views on the series can vary so much.


I'd argue that series B isn't that hopeful. Its more about disillusionment. The Government also controls the Terra Nostra, Blake becomes more desperate and reckless resulting in the death of Gan. The end showing Blake can't simply destroy Star One. There is very little hope in series B except for maybe Countdown.

You never took to Dayna? Awwwww. Maybe the next rewatch? Smile


I can see your point about season 2. In many ways Pressure Point was the beginning of the end. I think I tend to lump 1 and 2 together as a single entity even though there is some difference in the feel of them.
 
Gauda Cheese
Next episode will be watched tomorrow.
http://stwco.word... Stuff and things written by me.

My podcast: http://GATM.buzzs...
 
Gauda Cheese
The Mich went to bed early as she didn't feel well. Alas we'll be watching Sand tomorrow.
http://stwco.word... Stuff and things written by me.

My podcast: http://GATM.buzzs...
 
trevor travis
Gauda Cheese wrote:

The Mich went to bed early as she didn't feel well.


No Sand around the bed I hope SadGrin
 
GoldChannel
SAND = utterly completely phenomenally amazing

interested to see what your sis makes of the Servalan revelations
 
Gauda Cheese
Sand

or

Computer Love


"Servalan has her walking heels on"

"That guy (Reeve) is a douche I hope he dies"

"This is Blake's 7 of course he will"

"Hey is it the sand?"

"Says Michelle just as the sand does something"

"Shut up"

"Whats the episode called?"

"Shut up!"

"Soolin's a bitch"

"Hey what!"

"Yeah your favourite woman and favourite man had sex. They are totally going to have your favourite babies"

"Haha.... hey shut up!"

"Awww poor Vila. He's right about Cally though"

Okay so this one was a bit delayed and its both our faults for a few reasons. One is both of us have become obsessed with Elementary and are racing each other to the end (she won) and Mich was a bit sick. The other thing is I've quit smoking so I've been very grumpy.

Anyway enough of that behind the curtain malarky, what did Michelle think of Sand? She really liked it. The episode had two major pluses, those two things being Servalan and Tarrant. Michelle might like Avon and Vila more as characters, but she totally has a crush on "Poor Gallant Tarrant"

Servalan in particular was something Michelle wasn't sure about. Some of her actions and demeanour seemed out of character to her. I explained my take however and that no one ever acts the same way all the time. To me she still felt very cunning and evil, but here we see more of her character and I for one love it. I think Sand and Children of Auron are Pearce's best performances.

Soolin didn't get any Michelle love in this story. She wanted to know what the point of her speaking out of turn was except to be a bitch.

Servalan and Tarrant having a fling got a shocked response followed by a fit of giggles. She liked it and I'm not going to ask any more than that!

As always the dialogue sparkled, Michelle liked the part where Tarrant called Servalan a Panther and that he'd move in next door to her. Cally is brought up for the first time and Michelle sided with Vila on this one. He is the only one who outwardly seems to give a damn.

The mass walk out of Tarrant was very well done. Dayna looked especially wounded, maybe because her and Tarrant are.... were.... close.

This is four winners in a row and I am going to assume Gold won't break the cycle. Gold is gold.
http://stwco.word... Stuff and things written by me.

My podcast: http://GATM.buzzs...
 
Joe Dredd
Gauda Cheese wrote:
Michelle liked the part where Tarrant called Servalan a Panther


Hmm, in some instances panther can be another name for a cougar...!
 
Gauda Cheese
Joe Dredd wrote:

Gauda Cheese wrote:
Michelle liked the part where Tarrant called Servalan a Panther


Hmm, in some instances panther can be another name for a cougar...!


Oh snap!
http://stwco.word... Stuff and things written by me.

My podcast: http://GATM.buzzs...
 
trevor travis
Glad Michelle liked Sand... Tarrant & Servalan follow in the footsteps of Vila & Kerril by having sex while fully clothed Grin Well it was the BBC in the 1980s. Pfft

You now enter what I consider to be four-linked stories, which tell of the downfall of Avon. I love every single one of these episodes.
 
Chase123
POWER
Well that was more like it. It’s a bit STAR TREKian isn’t it what with Avon off on his own (like Kirk often was), kissing a pretty woman (like Kirk often did), and Orac filling in as his Mr. Spock, being devious only to please him and with telepathic women, a war of the sexes, and TWO fights in an arena…I could almost hear the action music from Catspaw, Friday’s Child, and Amok Time…which leads me to this: there’s not much of a musical score behind most of the episodes…at least now…in season two there seemed to be some catchy bits here and there but in this and the next episode, not much by way of incidental music (one way that almost ALL American shows better the UK shows is in musical tunes during an episode). We also get a nice neat wrapped up ending, a woman who was once a telepath finding a new way, and other Star Trek type conventions…not that these are bad, they are quite good to be honest. Avon also gets to overpower the very same female that he’s already kissed (another Kirk….oh, you get the idea) AND get knocked out a few times and captured. He’s looking for crystals. The “savages” are played better than those in the awful THE KEEPER and it’s a bit more serious but not without some fun. A war of the sexes also seems to be a bit of SPACE: 1999-THE LAST ENEMY. And maybe LOST IN SPACE-THE COLONISTS. Here, it really does seem like a war.

Trouble is here that, well, no one is really that likable. One of the young girls, or rather Seska (they seem to consider themselves NOT human, not even female…but are they? Something gets taken out of them). Pell seems nice enough when she first meets Vila but she soon seems…rather evil and meets an evil end really…at Avon’s hand by the way, reminding me of how James Bond would kill a female (THUNDERBALL and the boring remake NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN as well as other probably). Nina tells on her friends, hoping they are captured. In one truly shocking scene, Avon crossbow kills a man while they are having a conversation…of course, it’s not him doing it…it is the telepathic Pell. OH and can anyone explain to me about the whole lock thing? Pell couldn’t turn the wheel with her mind but can open a lock but can’t avoid the time limit on the bomb and what? Huh? The planet looks interesting and it’s interesting that it is the planet of the new base and conveniently everyone leaves the area and/or dies in a neat tidy ending. Soolin comes out of hiding in a sort of cliffhanger as she pulls her gun and again, the show seems to be a throw back to the first season where the starts seemed to follow the endings, giving it a one long story feel…sort of.

An interesting note is that in a war of sexes you soon run out of people…a good episode and one vast improvement over RESCUE, thank goodness.



TRAITOR
I have to admit I’m not one fan who over enthusiastic about Robert Holmes. Oh, I like some of his stories but like all DW writers, he’s had hits and misses. I love his THE KROTONS, SPEARHEAD FROM SPACE, TERROR OF THE AUTONS, THE TIME WARRIOR, THE ARK IN SPACE (but it really is just NIGHT OF THE BLOOD BEAST and IT THE TERROR FROM BEYOND SPACE), PYRAMIDS OF MARS (really just THE MUMMY), BRAIN OF MORBIUS (Frankenstein), DEADLY ASSASSIN (The Parallax View), TALONS OF WENG CHIANG (Phantom of the Opera, Sherlock Holmes, HG Wells and I’m not big on Jago or whichever one is the stage manager and his double team ups are annoying), THE RIBOS OPERATION, THE POWER OF KROLL, and THE CAVES OF ANDROZANI. Now that I made that list, I guess I am a fan of his. That’s a lot. It cannot be wiped out by the slow moving SPACE PIRATES, the sub par MYSTERIOUS PLANET and the absolutely horrid THE TWO DOCTORS, both the last two admittedly at the end of his career. So I was not sure what to make of this until I re-saw it. That said all DW writers have hits and misses (Mark Gatiss, definitely the below par Moffat, RTD, Terry Nation, Terence Dicks, etc have all had great stories and horrible messes).

Honestly I do not remember watching this the first time around. I think it is great now. It really does move at a fast pace, bring back some of the Federation angst, and throw back in a good way to the earlier Blake 7 episodes. That said, it’s a more violent Doctor Who like episode where as last time we had Star Trek. Avon is on the ship the entire time. The outside planet looks very little like the indoor set of the outside of the planet and it is obvious that Dayna, Tarrant, and the rebel leader are on a fake set…but that does not detract from the story and the action at all. Slave is kind of annoying but cute in a way and a big difference from the indifferent, refusing to cave Zen. Vila just wants to run and I kind of sympathized with him.

It’s kind of obvious (maybe NOW it is) that Sleer was Servalan. No one mentions Sleer as a pro noun and she kills the one man that met Sleer and destroys the painting of Sleer. That said, back then, I am not sure I noticed, saw, or cared. One thing: WHY does Servalan want to keep her ID a secret? Everyone here that she worked with seemed to be Federation lackeys anyway. Does it make sense?

Also: the old teleporter could take anyone up at any time. Here, Tarrant and Dayna do not want to be teleported up and so…they are not despite Avon wanting to force them up. Does that make sense? In story, this episode really resembles DOCTOR WHO-ENEMY OF THE WORLD with rebels, a ruler, traitors, murders, and two of the Doctor’s friends involved and traps.

I was surprised Leiter was a double agent and not the killer. Oh, and Avandir is kind of handsome. Not sure how the other Fed lackeys end up: the one played by Chris Neame seems to end up unconscious or dead and the other one is hit by Dayna but is he dead? The rebels seem to win this one battle but do they win the war?

I felt a lot of DW guest stars were in this but I’m not entirely sure to be honest.

All in all, a lot of action, an almost anthology feel to the story, a better story than most of Holmes’s DW stories, and a way to shoehorn our heroes in. And I love the chat about Blake, brief as it is. Vila, “Blake would be proud of you, you know.” “Yes, I know, but then again he never was very bright.” And lots of Tarrant fun.

STARDRIVE
Not sure what to make of this episode. On the plus side, the first 28 minutes or so are gripping, fun, and interesting. The dialog is funny especially Vila acting drunk so he can avoid being sent to the dangerous bits again---so he’s learning. The entire space disaster is interesting as Avon causes it against the advice of the others. It seems as if in season four, they have a purpose again and a good one rather than the flimsy ways they got involved in things in season two and three. Maybe the lack of the Liberator has presented that but I still prefer Liberator.

One on the planet…it’s interesting to see Avon betray Vila and Dayna as he’s using them as his distractions. The theme seems to be not caring beyond what you want. Soolin knows Avon is using Dayna and Vila as his distractions but she does nothing about it. Ditto Tarrant. Dr. Plaxton knows she’s dead if she stays with the Space Rats but leaves, abandons or totally forgets her lab assistant Nariel and leaves him behind with the Space Rats. What will they do to him? The Space Rats don’t really seem to get their full comeuppance …not sure what happens to the leader. Or maybe Avon killed all of them?

Memory does cheat as I seem to recall at the end Avon says, “Opps,” instead of “Who?” when asked by Dayna, “What about Dr. Plaxton?” Seems he doesn’t care about her or forgot about her already. This would seem to be Avon in full swing of his early psychopathic phase and he gets worse as time goes by.

Dayna’s not much of a fighter here and the choreography is not up to much either. The fights are laughable. Still, it’s not a terrible episode but honestly there’s lots of moving about the surface of the planet that is just…boring. And after last episode where Robert Holmes seems to set up an entire universe of aliens, different species, colonies, and names of planets and races, here, the universe seems rather…well, small.

There is some attempt at music here but it, too, is not up to much.

Again, not a bad episode but not one of the best either. It loses steam about half way through when Dayna and Vila are captured and the dialog starts to fall very flat. Not even the chases and gun fights liven things up either. Can someone explain to me how Plaxton dies? What kind of ship has you get electrocuted when...you put two wires together using gloves and the wire covering? Oh, and the "explosions" that blast the motorcycle riding Space Rats are unusually cheap, even for someone who doesn't usually look at stuff like that.

ANIMALS
On one hand, one can say “how far Blake’s 7 has fallen” and on the other? Well, I was dreading watching this as it seemed to be remembered by me as the worst episode and the one I felt least thrilled to rewatch. I seemed to think I hated this and thought it was hokey and awful and had terrible monsters. Then I actually rewatched it. Apart from putting me to sleep (more to my circumstances than to the show maybe?) as many recent episodes had put me to sleep----and I never sleep during TV watching until recently…. this wasn’t as bad as I remember. Okay some of the howling from the animal men was a bit…over the top but they were no worse than the Decimas (although there are those horns but no Decima shrieking like Chipmonks) and certainly the plot holds together somewhat.
It mostly is a Dayna solo with the others thrown in to A-abandon her (mostly an unwilling Tarrant with a big assist from Avon; Soolin on the other hand –it seems they are trying and mostly succeeding to make her likable but frankly thus far she’s no Jenna or Cally ) and B-repair the ship (mostly Vila) and C-rescue her (Avon, Tarrant, and Soolin). Love how Avon slips or almost falls at one point. Darrow does less of that thing he does with his hands in almost every episode now. I once thought it unreal how fast Dayna was brainwashed and unbrainwashed and for some reason memory cheats and I thought she was brainwashed INTO loving Justin. The last bit of her crying over Justin’s body was …once rather sad but is sad now in a different way and I cannot tell which way was which. In any case, Simon gives a valiant effort of acting her. The man who plays Justin goes a very good job with a character that is complex and likable and unlikable all at the same time.

So just how long ago did he tutor Dayna and how old was she and how old was he? It does seem they were meant to have had sex back then…a kind of controversial subject for TV back then (and Servalan brilliant calls her his girlfriend). Yes, some of it is THE ISLAND OF DR MOREAU (SLIDERS also did a good version and it even seems DOCTOR WHO-UTOPIA might remind me of that, too). In any case, it’s hard to like or dislike him as he does seem to be…moral and amoral and mean all at the same time. He does love Dayna though. Simon does a very good job of hate-acting here. The whole thing turns out to be a tragedy. What happened to Servalan’s captain? Were those women of her’s mutos? Why did they wear gas masks on the planet? Why was Servalan so interested in the animals anyway? Again, why is she calling herself Sleer and not Servalan?

Okay, I don’t like the end theme music. I used to. I like the seasons one to three music better. I used to like this too but…it just does not have the same sting as the other one. The other thing: is Blake’s 7 Blake’s 7 without Blake, Zen and the Liberator? I used to think it was. I can do without Blake but the Liberator? Not sure. It does seem the show had changed too much and I really like Zen and Liberator. In any case, I don’t think this episode is as bad as its rep and it is certainly better than Rescue, which still holds the place IMO as worst episode thus far.

Kevin Stoney is in this and plays a blind man and he gets killed by Sleer whom he remembers is Servalan. He might be victim 27 ? Some of the Fed ships look like a big red blotch now on the Scorpio screens. Slave still doesn’t impress despite being a good idea. Could be I just miss Zen. All in all, not a bad episode but far removed from the first season.
 
Chase123
Headhunter

So we've already had Dorian Gray this season and what could be accounted for as the motorcycle gang from The Damned and now we get both Frankenstein and Sleepy Hollow all rolled into one. And it really really works here. Lynda Bellingham of Trial of a Time Lord plays Vena, Muller's uhm recreational reminder who gets crushed by the robot. All the recruiting scientists this season seem to die horribly. It's almost a satire or spoof after awhile...if the deaths aren't all highly grisly if not bloody. One flaw: why didn't Tarrant check the real Muller's body...wouldn't he have noticed a head missing and been suspicious? Also: how could the android keep the real head on it without anyone noticing?

Never mind that: this is also a rampaging monster through the base story ala Space: 1999 (Beta Cloud and Space Warp) and unstoppable android (Lost in Space-Revolt of the Androids) and that's just plain fun.

Soolin gets her first major role here with lots of snappy and witty dialog--her lines have always been fun or funny but here she gets a good part of the dialog, first with Orac and then by having to hide him and then drag him to safety away from the android and all the while at first with him warning her to hide him and then as he is taken over by the android with him trying to sway her to the dark side. ("I can give you all of your desires," and she, "You wouldn't know where to start."Wink.

Avon is in full psycho phase now, reacting and overreacting to things with instant anger (to Vena early on; to Vila, to Orac and to Tarrant). His tirade at the end is spectacular and I love Orac's "master" to him in the end. Does his face register that he realizes Orac, Dayna and Tarrant were correct to destroy the android body once the head was on? OR...was Avon right all along? Wouldn't it have made a nice episode to see it stalk and kill Servalan?

In all this is again an interesting episode, those of the fourth season that were, make me forget Liberator and Zen. Those that weren't...didn't. Lots of nice scenes: Vila saves Tarrant again; Tarrant saves Vila--and seems to be resting his hand on him too. Did Dayna say that Tarrant could stand to lose some weight? She seems to be helping him on arrival but perhaps she was helping Vila when she said that? Neither man seems to have to lose weight. Avon without a gun...had his hand gestures in the air. All in all entertaining and one of the best, if not the best so far, fourth season episode. And yes, it's about a rampaging headless android that lost its head...and that wants Orac (who's chilling as a villain and charming as a hero and he's both in this!).

Assassin
A very good episode, possibly the best fourth season episode and one of the best episodes overall. It does remind me of an earlier episode, perhaps MISSION DESTINY but this is better in many ways. I like Richard Hurndall (the First Doctor in THE FIVE DOCTORS, he was my first First Doctor so to speak) and it’s a pity he dies here. I’m not sure the plan of Sleer/Servalan really makes much sense but if you examine it, at least as far as I can tell, it does hold together. The only flaw I can see in the episode is…why Cancer had to change her form of dress from little meek shrieking “sweet” girl into a femme fatale ---especially as her revealed (to a prone Avon) plans included keeping up her disguise to fool Tarrant so she could kill him, Dayna and Vila back on either Scorpio or the base---changing out of her disguise makes little sense. The spiders are definitely the same ones from THE FULL CIRCLE on DOCTOR WHO, just painted a bit. And…one thing I’m not sure is what they were…they seem to be real spiders and they turn into a bloody pulp when Tarrant shoots them. BUT Cancer seems to make them turn into spiders out of a box…or was it implied the box was a disguise? Or were they in the box?

This starts out as a chase to find an assassin before he finds them, then turns briefly into a savage fight against slaver traders, then a slave auction (and I could swear that some of the costumes that the agents wear are from Doctor Who---possibly from Planet of the Daleks or maybe even as far back as the Daleks or the first Dalek movie---I thought I saw a Thal outfit or maybe one of the Visians? costumes). In any case, it works well and moves along and does not disappoint. It also takes turns I did not expect. I expected Avon to leave poor old Nebrox and betray him, not keeping his word but Avon relents and saves the poor old man and I thought Nebrox would survive. Not sure why Avon and Tarrant and Soolin bring him to the Cancer ship with them…(to die?) but they do. When I first saw this, I thought maybe he was the killer. Also: Soolin is actually (at first) nice to the sweet girl and is also nice to the old man, even feeling sorry when he died…sort of (she DOES lock the girl in with the man’s body). The coldness that permeates Blake’s 7 is not as evident here.

This is mostly Soolin’s episode and she performs admirably (although she has to sit down to think things through…and talks to herself…well, she has to hear what she has to say). She also has the terrific last line of the episode., “Well Vila, all sweet things have one thing in common—a tendency to make you sick.” And Glynis looks absolutely stunning in this ---and she seems to have lost some weight or something---not that she needed to---but she looks even more pretty and sexy in this than ever before. In fact, there are a lot of other good looking people in this---the men in this from Servalan’s very tall captain (but what is with that hairdo?), the main slaver trader Benos with his open vest and no shirt on underneath, some of the slave men (who are fanning Servalan and the slaver traderess Verlin) with their bare chests and stomachs on display and the pirate captain that we thought at first was Cancer. I also like Soolin’s observation that Tarrant is somewhat sexist (“if two men don’t like each other that’s just rational judgment but if it’s two women, what else could it be but jealousy?” There is also a revival of the friction between Tarrant and Avon…that Soolin seems to stop for a bit.

Avon’s conversations with Servalan reek with sleek…ness. They’re both sardonic to and appreciative of each other. Even her, “A universe without Avon and Tarrant will take a certain amount of getting used to,” is brilliant even if it echoes the Master’s FIVE DOCTOR’s “A universe without the Doctor scarcely bares thinking about.” The model work and sets are again better and more than adequate. The ground Avon walks on looks cut by mud and somewhat alien. Again there is some feel that there is a wider universe about. The fights are brief but okay but it is frustrating Dayna cannot kill Servalan again (“Almost is never good enough!”). I think it might have been more exciting if we saw the actual pick up of Soolin, Tarrant and Avon but maybe it was better as is, a surprise. Again, a very entertaining episode.

GAMES
Well that was really fun. A brilliant episode. It seems to have a bit in common with Horizon but there the religious tribes people had a bit more development: in any case it’s not needed here. Gambit and Belkof were so well developed as to almost eclipse the main heroes and Orac…almost, for almost all of them get something to do and almost all of them get some very good and funny lines. Vila is of course ahead of the pack here and his relationship with Gambit is just as cute and funny and poignant (almost) as Belkof’s and his machine. Gambit’s voice actor does a great job and there’s not a sappy thing about it/her but yet…I do feel for her and for Belkof, somewhat. Belkof, what a great…what is he? Ally? Villain? Federation operative? Federation resister? All of the above or none? Either way, he’s great. Do I take it he survived or was that vague? Did he escape the black hole? Oh and Servalan’s in this too and gets to show her muscle again (just one this time). What more can anyone ask? A greedy middle aged scientist that Tarrant calls middle aged in front of him and Avon calls greedy, avaricious, and a crook (Vila: “Does he have any faults?”) who might be on their side…who also gets killed in the end just like all the scientists this season so far. None of it does detract (at least not for me) from the fun had watching this. It’s never slow or boring and something is always going on. Soolin, Avon, Tarrant, and Vila all get to play against the machine games…was this Gambit’s games—it seemed so at the start? Vila gets shot at, trodden on, blamed for murder, and nearly blown up but he does save Tarrant and Dayna. There’s also space action and fights on the planet and more jokes that work than you can hope to find in one episode.

SAND
The 4th season is living up to memory: it’s holding some of my favorite episodes of B7, maybe more than even season 3, but who knows? I certainly like season 1 and 2 but I really like 3 and 4 better. Here, there’s nothing to dislike. This is really Servalan’s episode but Pacey also does a splendid job of acting in this. Avon is once more relegated to the ship only but again, he performs admirably (“As usual nothing to do but wait!”). Darrow almost steals the show from his seats (not that he’s sitting often) on the Scorpio.

The planet set almost looks cheap but kudos for trying. It’s the most alien looking planet on Blake’s 7, akin to the planet in DWho’s THE WEB PLANET: at least they both tried to make something look very alien. Both look just fine by the way. Really thought the pilot (an actor from the original and best SHADA on DW) would die and that the Investigator Reeve would live longer and become a Servalan “lover”. Not to be. Plenty of surprises here as Don Keller DOES prove to be Servalan’s former lover (when she was 18). We learn that she does have some kind of heart…and that she loves power and realizes that. It explains a lot more about her. Jackie is just great in this episode, too.

The dialog is sharp, witty, sensitive, and cold all at the same time. It’s very funny. “His pulse is weak.” “That goes very nicely with the rest of him.” Poor Vila. The sand declared him unfit even with a female available. It would rather give Avon two females in what is just almost fan fiction hetero slash! Soolin and Dayna also shine in everything they say and do. Vila provides some laughs, too. I like the living sand bits. It also does make for some rather creepy sequences, too in an almost OUTER LIMITS/TWILIGHT ZONE manner, especially OUTER LIMITS. The “curse” theory and the storm like effect of the sand and the Scorpio’s effect on the atmosphere give it an added boost of a Universal like horror feel.

I’d take it that the sand manipulated Tarrant into not killing Servalan…but even as they were escaping he didn’t kill her. She didn’t kill him…so maybe it manipulated her, too. Or maybe, just maybe they really did call a truce of the heart…or of some kind. She gets even more depth in this and her reason for going ..Seemed to have more to do with Don than the “thing” she could use…which she couldn’t use anyway. Or was it the main reason?
I just love Orac and Slave acting odd and glad to see Avon say to Slave, “Nice to have you back.” It’s just so funny and apt that Orac says, “I love you.” And Avon and Soolin and Vila’s reactions are just priceless. I also love the theory Soolin has about the curse from the alien in Tanith Lee’s other story…and the mention of Cally’s death and the destruction of the Liberator and how it affects Vila (it upsets him and he’s thinking about it later wondering if anyone will care if he died, “Cally died, did anyone care about Cally dying?” It’s a nice touch of continuity, which also gets a nod as Tarrant mentions that Servalan watched his brother die…in fact she had more of a hand in that than just watching…didn’t she have the robot put there in place? Or did she just know about it?

Everything just feels so right about this episode. When I first watched this, I did not know Servalan would appears in the next three episodes and thus wondered if the sand on the ship (which was still there it seemed) would get to her or the pilot. She also looked to be back at that base. She also had the water in the case that he gave her and she used it to destroy the last (?) of the sand on the ship. I thought maybe this was her last episode but it’s not. Almost all of her lines are classic. “There is no other woman like me. I am unique. Which makes me very dangerous.” And, “I could destroy a planet with the push of a button.”

Just a wonderful episode, perhaps my favorite thus far but I keep saying that. There aren’t many bad episodes of Blake’s 7, are there (by my count, I count three—THE KEEPER, VOICE FROM THE PAST, and RESCUE).
 
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