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Who is your Favourite Guest Rebel?

Avalon - (Project Avalon)
Avalon - (Project Avalon)
18% [17 Votes]

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5% [5 Votes]

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Started: 09 July 2016

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Is Jenna actually dead?
trevor travis
Spaceship Dispatcher wrote:

trevor travis wrote:

Yes, thanks Sweevo. So yes, Gareth talked of playing a version of Blake, not a version of a clone Wink

Plus Gareth specifically came back so that Blake could be killed, once and for all.

Actors rarely are conscious or concerned about fan speculation that might arise after broadcast, and this is a speculation thread rather than an analysis of only the on screen canon. It's not stated that it isn't the clone, so I'm interested.


It can't be the clone. The behaviour is wrong. Watch "Weapon" again Wink It's not a complete mental copy. A physical copy.

It's Blake in "Blake". The intention all along was that it's Blake. And as the final act and definite end of B7, Blake's clone getting shot would be a rather massive anti-climax Grin Grin

Of course, this could have all changed with a Season Eric. But there isn't a Season Eric, therefore this is the end. And Gareth returning to allow the death of the central character is a nice circular thing.

Other series cheat. B7 doesn't. It one of its charms. Dead characters stay dead. It's one reason it's better than Doctor Who, where some characters seem to die about 10 times over. Wink
 
Spaceship Dispatcher
trevor travis wrote:

...Blake's clone getting shot would be a rather massive anti-climax...

Well, imo it was anyway. Can't think of a way to end a series through constructive character drama? Just give up and shoot everyone instead. One of tv history's biggest cheat endings. Chris Boucher was a great writer and penned some really good episodes, but imo this was not one of them.
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:

trevor travis wrote:

...Blake's clone getting shot would be a rather massive anti-climax...

Well, imo it was anyway. Can't think of a way to end a series through constructive character drama? Just give up and shoot everyone instead. One of tv history's biggest cheat endings. Chris Boucher was a great writer and penned some really good episodes, but imo this was not one of them.

SD, but the biggest cheat of all would have been to sail away in the Scorpio to a happily ever after.

The final 5 minutes are not a bolt out of the blue. It's a gradual progression of the whole season, but especially the last four stories Gold/Orbit/Warlord/Blake. They are clearly heading somewhere.

It is all constructed character drama. It's the way the characters, especially Avon, have been heading. It's compelling and horrifying to watch at the same time.

Blake is the logical conclusion to the whole season.

It was also remarkably brave and bold for its time. No-one finished a TV programme like that in 1981.
 
peladon
trevor travis wrote:

Spaceship Dispatcher wrote:

trevor travis wrote:

...Blake's clone getting shot would be a rather massive anti-climax...

Well, imo it was anyway. Can't think of a way to end a series through constructive character drama? Just give up and shoot everyone instead. One of tv history's biggest cheat endings. Chris Boucher was a great writer and penned some really good episodes, but imo this was not one of them.

SD, but the biggest cheat of all would have been to sail away in the Scorpio to a happily ever after.


The final 5 minutes are not a bolt out of the blue. It's a gradual progression of the whole season, but especially the last four stories Gold/Orbit/Warlord/Blake. They are clearly heading somewhere.

It is all constructed character drama. It's the way the characters, especially Avon, have been heading. It's compelling and horrifying to watch at the same time.

Blake is the logical conclusion to the whole season. , and it certainly doesnt make it logical.


It was also remarkably brave and bold for its time. No-one finished a TV programme like that in 1981.



TT, I know you believe that wholehearedly, and its your right to do so, but it doesnt make it true, it doesnt make it logical nor does it make it what is on the screen. For a canonista like me those are the things that matter. There is no path to GP, or to Blake, it does appear pretty much out of the blue and the ending is most certainly out of sync with the rest of the episode. It is also out of step with the characters from the beginning and even within Series D. It is a cop out, and a rushed and unsatisfactory one.But to be fair though I hate its craven 'there is no hope, you can never win' overtones I do understand that it was only ever written to be a cliff hanger.

True, no one finsished a series like that until that point, and for good reasons, most writers of the time made more of an effort to keep faith with an audience that were funding their pay cheque.
 
Travisina
trevor travis wrote:

Other series cheat. B7 doesn't. It one of its charms. Dead characters stay dead. It's one reason it's better than Doctor Who, where some characters seem to die about 10 times over. Wink

It annoys me when I've invested tears and trauma over the death of a beloved character only to find they're not dead after all.
Yes, I'm looking at you - Aslan, Gandalf, various Doctor Who characters...
Twitter: @TravisinaB7
Tumblr: tumblr
There's no point being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes
 
trevor travis
peladon wrote:
True, no one finsished a series like that until that point, and for good reasons, most writers of the time made more of an effort to keep faith with an audience that were funding their pay cheque.


Considering that Chris Boucher was the one who took most care to ensure the final series did continue from what had gone on before (trying to reset as much as possible in "Rescue" ), that's quite a nasty dig at him.

No-one would consider taking a pop like that at one of the actors on the Fan Club forum for B7, so I'm not sure why it's considered OK to have nasty and unnecessary digs at the script editor.
 
trevor travis
Travisina wrote:

[quote]trevor travis wrote:
It annoys me when I've invested tears and trauma over the death of a beloved character only to find they're not dead after all.
Yes, I'm looking at you - Aslan, Gandalf, various Doctor Who characters...


As much as I like BTVS, it's another offender on that score.

First Angel (big dramatic exit only to return), then Buffy (even bigger exit, only to return - although there are major consequences the following season), by the time it got to Spike you didn't believe he was dead (and he wasn't, he was brought back on Angel).
Edited by trevor travis on 25 February 2015 19:33:09
 
JustBrad
Travisina wrote:

It annoys me when I've invested tears and trauma over the death of a beloved character only to find they're not dead after all.
Yes, I'm looking at you - Aslan, Gandalf, various Doctor Who characters...


Yes, I hear you. Nu DW has nearly jumped the shark on that count.
I giggle every time I see a meme about how Steven Moffat kills characters.
Yeah, he's killed a lot of characters, but about six of them were Rory and the guy
still ended up dying of old age.

I like the way Farscape handled it. Sure, they brought Aeryn back from the dead, but that required another character to sacrifice her life.
 
peladon
trevor travis wrote:

peladon wrote:
True, no one finsished a series like that until that point, and for good reasons, most writers of the time made more of an effort to keep faith with an audience that were funding their pay cheque.


Considering that Chris Boucher was the one who took most care to ensure the final series did continue from what had gone on before (trying to reset as much as possible in "Rescue" ), that's quite a nasty dig at him.

No-one would consider taking a pop like that at one of the actors on the Fan Club forum for B7, so I'm not sure why it's considered OK to have nasty and unnecessary digs at the script editor.



I am sorry if you see the comment in that light, or if it offended you, that wasn’t my intention; and it wasn’t a dig at him specifically more a comment on what was a newly emerging attitude towards the audience in mainstream media at that time. Perhaps not well expressed but I hold that it’s a valid observation. It was perhaps the first obvious indication of a shift that has become ever more marked over the last decade or so, so much so that I sometimes wonder whether TV writers ever consider anything other than what they want to/can write any more (and yes I do include DW in that). Instead the audience is viewed through the prism of their preferences (Torchwood any one). Surely the comment about GT’s desire to change Blake and it being sanctioned is an example of just such an attitude.

Prior to the explosion of media channels in the 1990s BBC writers, in fact most UK screen writers’, were a lot more careful of their audience, certainly prior to the watershed. If you wanted to do something that really crossed the audience comfort zone you stuck to late evening shows or wrote plays or novels. You may think that their ‘creative needs’ outweigh that but I personally believe that if you take on stewardship of an established prime time show aimed at families, including children, with a loyal fan base then you have responsibilities to that audience. I had a conversation along these lines with some friends over the weekend (they are in mediaCool) and made a similar comment regarding Death in Paradise (there the death was even a repeat of the first introduction of a new detective).

It doesn’t stop me loving the earlier series, and characters, to bits, even in those instances where the viewer is treated with a certain level of…. shall we say complacence.

But you know (and I’m sure I’ve said it before) our perspectives are quite different and I don’t agree that CB took care to carry on from what has gone before. Rescue it is indeed a reset but to something quite different. However that is another discussion.
 
trevor travis
peladon wrote:
I am sorry if you see the comment in that light, or if it offended you, that wasn’t my intention; and it wasn’t a dig at him specifically more a comment on what was a newly emerging attitude towards the audience in mainstream media at that time. Perhaps not well expressed but I hold that it’s a valid observation. It was perhaps the first obvious indication of a shift that has become ever more marked over the last decade or so, so much so that I sometimes wonder whether TV writers ever consider anything other than what they want to/can write any more (and yes I do include DW in that). Instead the audience is viewed through the prism of their preferences (Torchwood any one). Surely the comment about GT’s desire to change Blake and it being sanctioned is an example of just such an attitude.

Prior to the explosion of media channels in the 1990s BBC writers, in fact most UK screen writers’, were a lot more careful of their audience, certainly prior to the watershed. If you wanted to do something that really crossed the audience comfort zone you stuck to late evening shows or wrote plays or novels. You may think that their ‘creative needs’ outweigh that but I personally believe that if you take on stewardship of an established prime time show aimed at families, including children, with a loyal fan base then you have responsibilities to that audience. I had a conversation along these lines with some friends over the weekend (they are in mediaCool) and made a similar comment regarding Death in Paradise (there the death was even a repeat of the first introduction of a new detective).

It doesn’t stop me loving the earlier series, and characters, to bits, even in those instances where the viewer is treated with a certain level of…. shall we say complacence.

But you know (and I’m sure I’ve said it before) our perspectives are quite different and I don’t agree that CB took care to carry on from what has gone before. Rescue it is indeed a reset but to something quite different. However that is another discussion.


Peladon, no worries, sometimes comments come out a bit stronger than intended. And yes, we do have different perspectives.

But it is an interesting discussion.

As for “Blake”, I don’t think Chris Boucher was writing from a free hand and doing just what he wanted. It was actually producer Vere Lorrimer and Gareth Thomas who spoke about him returning to the series. Gareth had returned to the theatre (the RSC), but was struggling a bit, because people thought he was still part of Blake’s 7, as the programme was still running and he’d played the title role. I think many assumed he’d go back to it.

So he agreed to come back for one episode on one proviso, that Blake was killed, quite definitely, once and for all.

So Chris Boucher was actually required to write a script that had to achieve something quite specific, rather than doing just what he wanted.

Of course, the immediate question is then how to kill Blake. The world and his wife have taken credit for suggesting that Avon should do it – including Vere Lorrimer, Paul Darrow and Chris Boucher. Whoever it actually was, it’s a perfectly natural development. Chris Boucher says once that decision was made (whoever made it), the episode was quite easy to write.

There’s also the question at which point this decision was made. I think it was before the last batch of scripts had been submitted, because Robert Holmes and Simon Masters, in particular (maybe Colin Davis as well) seem to have been told to push Avon in a particular direction, to push him to the brink where he might snap at any moment. And again, it followed so naturally, because Avon (at Paul Darrow’s request) was already at his most ‘anti-hero’ in this season.

Then there’s the ‘death’ of the others. Again it’s arguable at which point the production team knew that was the final season or not, but then again, they’d thought “Terminal” was the final episode right up until the completion of transmission. Hence, Terry Nation had destroyed the Liberator, something it’s unlikely that would have been done if it had to been known there was a Series D around the corner. Chris Boucher was the one who had to reset the series with “Rescue”, and this time around, he wanted to plan for the possibly of another series more carefully. For starters, there was the troublesome situation with Cally, when due to Jan Chappell not coming back, she had to be killed off-screen, which had not been ideal.

Therefore he left things in such a way, where he could pick up again for Season E, if necessary. Hence the particular cliffhanger to “Blake”. The slow-motion but bloodless shooting of the crew. It left an obvious way out (they’d just been stunned for whatever reason), plus anyone who didn’t return would just be dead rather than stunned. It was Chris Boucher taking care. Instead of just writing the cliffhanger he wanted to, he wrote one where there was an easy way out to continue things.

It was Chris Boucher doing his job as script editor, writing a practical script that allowed for all eventualities – a scene that either wraps up the series or allows it continue, while producing the customary end-of-season cliffhanger.

It’s what Chris Boucher did with most of his scripts. He had to write what was needed, he hardly ever wrote he “wanted to”. Examples are “Shadow”, where he was detailed to write a strong episode for Cally to appease Jan Chappell, likewise “City” with Michael Keating. Other episodes had to carry out functions regarding to the season arc e.g. “Trial” needed to deal with what had happened in “Pressure Point”, while “Star One” had to conclude the quest storyline that dominated the end of the second season.

The only time I think he was given complete free reign was “Death-Watch”, where a script fell through and they needed a quick replacement, and no arc elements needed to be involved. I think on that occasion he got the free reign that didn’t have elsewhere and finally got to do the western he always wanted to do with B7. The result is actually a delight – one of the high-points of a very strong third season. Plus it’s written with his usual care, including lovely little touches such as the re-emphasis of Dayna’s feud with Servalan. That’s the only time I think Chris Boucher really got the chance to write what he wanted to. For “Rescue” and “Blake”, season opener and season conclusion, he had to write certain elements as required by Vere Lorrimer, his producer.

Vere Lorrimer did try to take B7 his own way to a certain extent – for example, he outlawed the term “spacials” and insisted measurements in Season D were referred to in miles, plus he introduced a new version of the theme over the closing credits. But the actual scripts are much in the same vain as before, with the same time of writers, plus some talented newcomers (Colin Davis, Simon Masters, etc). Chris Boucher never wanted B7 to stray from what had come before; the myriad of references he put in to previous seasons is testament to that.

As for the audience, oh yes, the end of “Blake” was shocking (I was 8 years old when it was transmitted)

But then again it was B7. It was part of the appeal of the programme in the first place. As a child, you don’t want to watch something that talks down to you, of which Doctor Who was guilty on occasions. B7 was aimed at adults, and that was part of the appeal. Yes, things quite often went to hell. I saw a blind man gunned down (Hal Mellanby). I saw the population of Cally’s planet wiped out. I saw the destruction of the Liberator and the death of Zen (the latter was actually more upsetting than the end of “Blake”!). I saw Avon being put in a position where he had no choice but to sacrifice Dr Plaxton. I saw the shuttle scene in “Orbit”. And so on.

I didn’t necessarily like the end of “Blake” as a child, but I’ve grown to appreciate it very much. It’s just so plausible and well-written, like it was organic and always going to happen. And I’m glad it came from the pen of a man who so deeply cared about the series.
 
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