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Nosy question for ye olde B7 fans and other knowledgable people
Hugbot
It is very interesting for me to read about the beginnings of the British/American B7 fandom, as at that time I had no opportunity to take part in it (being a teenage boy in Germany). But I can still remember those bad old days. We had some VCRs at school for showing educational films, but those were heavy, unwieldy top-loading machines without picture during fast forward/rewind. For home use, these devices were strictly a luxury item (I think we didn’t get one until the end of the 80s). If you liked a show and were eager to see it again you had to wait for a re-run. I still remember when they did a re-run of Raumpatrouille after many, many years. That was such an exciting event that we sometimes gathered at a friend’s home to watch it together (trying to spot the infamous flat iron that was clearly visible in the sets). One day, a friend and I attended a theatre festival, and the last part of the programme (the famous Swiss ‘clowness’ Gardi Hutter) collided with the airing of the last episode. We planned to watch the beginning of Hutter’s performance and then decide what to do. After a few minutes, my friend turned to me and said: ‘I think we should forget about RP.’ We enjoyed Hutter’s show, and when I came back home, I could just watch the last minutes of RP to see Colonel Villa’s (!) fiendish plot being thwarted. I never regretted having stayed at the festival, but these were the decisions you had to make in those days. When a meeting of the editorial board of our school newspaper was scheduled, the inevitably question arose: before the Muppets Show or after?

Over here in Germany, we were also limited to what the powers that be deemed suitable for the audience. At that time, we only had the official public networks. The guys who devised the programmes were only interested in their very own policy and not in what the public wanted to see. Science fiction was considered children’s stuff, and they dubbed Star Trek accordingly. (They substantially altered and even recut Amok Time in order to remove the ... erm ... biological aspects!) What’s more, they only showed half of the episodes. The audience demaned to see more, but the people in charge remained adamant: The missing episodes were ‘brutal and tasteless’, so they would not be shown. I have to confess that I must be a fan of brutal and tasteless science fiction, as all my favourite ST episodes are those that German TV did not show. You can imagine that people who categorise e.g. Let That Be Your Last Battlefield as ‘brutal and tasteless’ will give a series like Blake’s 7 a wide berth!

But I was lucky as I grew up in a city with a large British garrison where I could watch BFBS and not only see what Star Trek was really about but also had my very first glimpse of B7!

Now I have each and every episode of B7 (and of ST:TOS and RP, for that matter) on shiny little discs, and every Tuesday I watch them, projected as a 6 ft wide image on the wall of my study, balancing a tiny computer on my lap to communicate with friends from all over the world. Would I have believed it if anyone had told me about that 35 years ago?
 
Travisina
Hugbot wrote:

...these were the decisions you had to make in those days. When a meeting of the editorial board of our school newspaper was scheduled, the inevitably question arose: before the Muppets Show or after?

I well remember how one's life was completely scheduled around the TV schedules. The instructions given by my parents to their friends: "You can phone any time, but not during 'I Claudius' / 'Poldark' / 'The Survivors'..." etc. Because not only was there no VCR, there was no telephone answering machine to pick up the call while you were watching TV - the phone would just ring and ring and ring until the caller gave up (or you answered very grumpily).

Personally... I turned down a date with a boy I'd fancied for ages, because I couldn't bear to miss part 2 of the BBC's Hamlet (starring Derek Jacobi and pre-Trek Patrick Stewart). I also nearly failed Physiology because I skipped those classes to go home and watch afternoon repeats of Thunderbirds. I was at university by then and should have known better, but I hadn't seen Thunderbirds since I was a kid and was dying to see it again!

There's an amusing song by the Lemonheads - I lied about being the Outdoor Type in which the singer uses as an excuse not to go rock climbing with his girlfriend: "What if something's on TV and it's never shown again?" That song is from 1996 - and how times have changed! I can just imagine a girl nowadays retorting: "You can watch it on your phone!" and dragging the hapless chap away.
Twitter: @TravisinaB7
Tumblr: tumblr
There's no point being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes
 
guiser
rojkerr1 wrote:

I got a betamax video recorder, just in time to tape BLAKE!


Well, if you are going to tape just one episode, you can't get more of an iconic episode than that!

rojkerr1 wrote:

I was going to be on holiday during a repeat of Sand so I asked my grandma to videotape it on my machine, the old sony betamax were massive and heavy, I took it to her flat in a wheelbarrow, connected it all up and labelled the piano key switches very clearly. She managed to press play instead of record and spent an hour watching Siouxsie and the banshees in concert. The worrying thing was she genuinely couldn't tell the difference between that and Blakes 7....


I'd completely forgotten about the Betamax v VHS battle, but now you are reminding me. I think my family dodged that decision by being late adopters. I do remember just how big and heavy all the early VCRs were though! Siouxsie and the Banshees eh? I quite liked them and oddly enough, my sister had a video of them in concert when Robert Smith was in the band! I must have heard them first on John Peel *is nostalgic*

In defence of gran, a lot of the costumes in B7 were very 80s pop. I mean come on, Novara is Steve Strange! And as for Zeoona... Now I'm getting visions of Blakes 7 - The Musical (mind you some fanwriter has probably had a go at that already!) Grin
 
guiser
Travisina wrote:

There were often intense debates, due to people slightly mis-remembering dialogue.

One example was a whole spate of discussion about whether Cally said to Blake: "Thousands of people will die without Star One" or "Millions of people will die without Star One" - in fact, her line is: "Many, many people will die without Star One."


I've certainly come across some unusual opinions in the handful of really old newsletters (LPFs) that I possess. I strongly suspect lack of video tapes would explain some of them.

Travisina wrote:

Horizon meetings used to centre around getting together at somebody's house to watch B7 episodes on video, discussing them as we watched. A bit like today's Horizon Rewatches, only with people actually together in the same room rather than on different continents!


Sounds like fun! Personally, I find it much easier to talk about stuff, than write coherently on forums! Grin
 
guiser
Lurena wrote:

In my country only series 1 (1979) and series 2 (1982) were aired.
I watched them in black-and-white!
Then Blake's 7 got banned from our TV.
But a student friend of mine had connections with students in Belgium, who were huge B7 fans. One of them provided us a Betamax recording of series 3. We watched it kind of secretly in the University media room! Oh romantic old days....


Was this in Spain, or am I getting the country wrong? Did they really ban the show? I mean if they didn't like the revolutionary aspect you'd have thought they would never have shown it in the first place! Strange to stop you seeing series 3 which is noticeably non-revolutionary! Or maybe it was a bit too violent?
 
littlesue
I can remember informing everyone on no account to phone or even knock the door while B7 was on.
Trying to keep one baby quiet was bad enough..but then in 1979 there was 2!!!
When Sylvie got her VCR and managed to record series 3, I was on the train down to her house in Waterlooville once every month!!! Her daughters and mine would play together while Sylvie and I watched our fave programme...usually whilst imbibing some Sherry.
Before VCRs I had a reel to reel and recorded the theme tunes from most of the shows that I was watching and I still have the recording of the end credits of the Flintstones with my dear Granny coughing and asking "Can I cough now?"
I still have it. I must get a new drive belt in the reel to reel so that Grandson can hear his 2xGreat Granny's voice....from back in the 60's.
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/
 
Website Mutoid
I still have my "taped with the mic next to the TV speaker" audio recording of "Rumours" somewhere. It features my dad having a coughing fit halfway through and my next-door-but-one-neighbour ringing our doorbell and causing our dog to bark madly in the middle of "It's an old wall...". True story.

Ah, happy days. :D
www.blakes7online.com/images/clear.png
"Follow your inner moonlight; don't hide the madness." - Allen Ginsberg
 
rojkerr1
I was watching on my own in the house -someone knocked on the door during gans death in Pressure poiint, I ignored it and then the person came round to our window looked at me and knocked on the window and beckoned me...ignored him again but he kept knocking! ( was a friend of my dads)he later said I should have been out playing football
 
Joe Dredd
Grade Four Ignorant wrote:
I'm sure the three novelisations played a part.

We tended to ignore them because of various differences to the episodes as they were broadcast. Hoyle had early access to the scripts, so the novelisations include parts that were changed or later cut from the script (the destruction of the cavern in 'Rescue' for example) and his descriptions of the characters, etc didn't always match how they looked on screen. Also, not everyone was in favour of adopting the world-building that came out of his narratives (North-Europ Dome, paraguns, etc).


Grade Four Ignorant wrote:
Sarcophagus was released exclusively in Australia in 1986

Possibly as a result of me repeatedly hiring "The Aftermath" from the local video shop!


BradPaula wrote:
The old pencil and paper days when we'd be happy for a newsletter every quarter year and the same for the letterzine which came about later. Imagine reading someone's post, replying to it and reading it 3 months- or more- later. Talk about snail mail.

Instant is great, but the wait created a lot of excitement when a newsletter suddenly arrived in the mail.

The LoCs (Letters of Comment) were always a worthwhile chunk of the Horizon n/l, and I always loved letterzines, like Horizon's Letterzine and Neutral Arbiter, etc. Great chunks of received wisdom can be found fossilised in those old tomes.


guiser wrote:
Now I'm getting visions of Blakes 7 - The Musical (mind you some fanwriter has probably had a go at that already!)

Most definitely! I can think of a couple of different stabs at it, but for me the one that leaps immediately to mind is Danny Murphy's "Fiddler on the Run" which appeared in the huge and much-pirated "Opus" edition of the fanzine Enararre (AKA the Big Black One). I particularly like Gan's song "Wiring in my Prefronts", which is sung to the tune of the Goodies' "Cactus in my Y-fronts"(*). It was later performed at the Event Horizon con in 1993, with Gareth Thomas electing to play the role of Avon. Avon gets called out of the shower at one point in the story, so GT came on stage with a towel wrapped around his waist and a t-shirt bearing the legend WELSHMEN DON'T WEAR UNDERPANTS.

There have been other takes on this idea, with probably the most recent being John Callaghan's attempt for the Wife & Blake project: Click!


guiser wrote:
Personally, I find it much easier to talk about stuff, than write coherently on forums! :D

Especially if they're subject to timey-wimey posting problems when you try and use them that way!




(*) I say Goodies, but really it's Bill Oddie's. It appeared earlier in an edition of "I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again".

Edit: corrected the name of Danny's B7 musical.
Edited by Joe Dredd on 01 October 2014 13:21:17
 
Joe Dredd
guiser wrote:
Interesting that you had access to series 3 and then series 4 but didn't get all of the rest of the series until later. Also the fact that Antipodean fans were sending coals to Newcastle because they got the episodes slightly later!

This was a big thing with Dr Who. For years and years the ABC would show the Goodies or Monkee at 6pm, followed by Dr Who at 6.30 every weeknight. We'd get through a new series of Dr Who in no time at all, so the ABC just kept repeating them. This lead to lots of British fans trying to make contact with Aussie fans to get them to tape all these Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker episodes that kept coming around for us and never got shown at home in the UK.

The ABC did it again in the lead-up to nuWho, starting with the Hartnell episodes and running everything available for about two years, finishing in time for the 2005 restart.
 
littlesue
Website Mutoid wrote:

I still have my "taped with the mic next to the TV speaker" audio recording of "Rumours" somewhere. It features my dad having a coughing fit halfway through and my next-door-but-one-neighbour ringing our doorbell and causing our dog to bark madly in the middle of "It's an old wall...". True story.

Ah, happy days. Grin


Another of my fave memories from back in the day (about 1970, I think) is not to do with B7, but another programme that had just started on BBC-Star Trek. Mum and dad only had a black and white TV, so when I found out that BUtlins ((in Minehead) had a Colour TV in their TV lounge, I was so excited!! Back then, you did not get a TV in your chalet, there just wasn't the room, so after tea I made my way to the TV Lounge and found that there were 2; one for ITV and one for the Beeb. The lounge for the Beeb was packed; standing room only!! Everyone had gone there to watch the Star Trek episode...in full, living colour on the massive (well, by our standards)TV.
It was an experience, I can tell you.
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/
 
rojkerr1
I watched the last episode of Sapphire and steel during a pub disco, had the sound turned up full blast and my ear next to the speaker, was on hols in Wales, the tv room was also the dance floor
 
Travisina
I watched 'Encounter at Farpoint' on a rented VHS on a rented VCR because I couldn't afford to buy either of those luxury items. In fact, I rented my VCR for years, because I got a company discount. Smile

A couple of years later I was at a Trek convention in Blackpool where they showed the as-yet-unseen-in-the-UK episodes of TNG Season 3 - the screenings were held in the cavernous main hall because the demand to see them was too huge to accommodate in a conventional viewing room. These went on well into the night - I bailed out at about 2pm, but my friend carried on watching until dawn...
Twitter: @TravisinaB7
Tumblr: tumblr
There's no point being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes
 
rojkerr1
I went to all night trek tng and classic marathons at a hotel in leeds, had a massive argument with a woman who wouldn't even watch the new stuff, she regarded any reimagining as sacrilege! Thought the idea was just silly
 
littlesue
rojkerr1 wrote:

I went to all night trek tng and classic marathons at a hotel in leeds, had a massive argument with a woman who wouldn't even watch the new stuff, she regarded any reimagining as sacrilege! Thought the idea was just silly


That wasn't me.
I'm afraid my love for all things Star Trek went when I saw the Motion PIcture...and then the 2nd of January 1978 dawned.....Grin
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/
 
rojkerr1
I watched Stmp in my local cinema, I was alone when it finished...same thing happened in Wakefield with 2001! My enthusiasm rekindled with WOK which remains my fave trek film and one of my fave films per se
 
President Solvite
I like Star Trek (The Slow ) Motion Picture.. (works a lot better in the Director's cut)

But the WoK is simply superb
 
http://nothingsforgotten.freeforums.net/
Grade Four Ignorant
I love The Motion Picture, because it's the closest we'd get to Roddenberry's vision without interference from others.

Like The Cage, it's a very cerebral and philosophical work. More about big ideas than gun battles.

Even the pastel uniforms have grown on me. My favourite uniforms though will always be the red tunics introduced in The Wrath of Khan.
 
Space Chopper
I remember watching Blake while on the CB radio talking to my friends- we stayed on the channel but didn't say anything until the last scene ended, and we were ALL saying 'Nooo! What the hell happened?! You can't end it like THAT!!!'
funkyimg.com/i/2y558.jpg
Vila: "I plan to live forever- or die trying..."
 
Lorna
Grade Four Ignorant wrote:[/b][/url]

I love The Motion Picture, because it's the closest we'd get to Roddenberry's vision without interference from others.

Like The Cage, it's a very cerebral and philosophical work. More about big ideas than gun battles.

Even the pastel uniforms have grown on me. My favourite uniforms though will always be the red tunics introduced in The Wrath of Khan.[/quote]


I agree. I loved this movie and was very surprised to find others didn't!!Angry
 
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