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Old 2010-09-02, 08:38 AM   #41
inflatable dalek
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Originally Posted by Cliffjumper View Post
It might be my memory fitting my reading, but there just seems to be so little in Season 3 Cally would be interested in doing - she's a revolutionary freedom fighter, the rest of them seem happy enough with a mix of crime and revenge.
I suppose that's more than a fair reading of it. I'm actually surprised Jan Chappell left because she felt she wasn't getting enough to do, despite a lengthy period in season 2 where she was welded to the teleport controls with Jenna she's doing pretty well out of season 3 so far (and has another double episode coming up IIRC).

The ending of [i}Children of Auron[/i] is bizarre, we go from Servalan- Murderess of Small Babies (including her own) to the crew laughing and joking about how the two survivors are going to find it tough raising 5000 children alone on an uninhabited planet.

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Steven Pacey's great, knows exactly when to use being six foot tall and macho, and when to use looking about 22. It's the little embarrased looks whenever Avon really calls him on something important.
I do think he's making a lot of his material better than it actually is. A big part of the problem is that Avon needs the rest of the crew for their individual talents (thief, expert fighter and telepath and psycho weapons expert) but Tarrent doesn't have one. There's some slight guff about him being an expert pilot but we've not seen much of it. There doesn't seem to be any reason for Avon not to push him out the airlock.

Dayna's already fading into the background, which is a shame as her first episode was strong, and the idea of the impulsive guiltless killer that Avon has to take under his wing is actually a good one.

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Blake's is like Survivors to me - the plots form more of a back drop for character drama. B7 comes out better through not having such a preposterous amount of cast changes, though.

The character interaction is what makes it, isn't it? A lot of the computer based plots are incredibly dated now (especially the whole concept of Star One, even at the time people must have realised having one place control everything with no back ups would be a really bad idea) but as action adventure most of them do stand up fairly well though.

Except Voice From the Past. No idea what the hell was going on there. Including why, after (the otherwise better than Grief IMO) Croucher conclusively proved he couldn't say rendezvous two episodes earlier, they still had him do a French accent. It should have been Tony Ainley under those bandages.

To be vaguely on topic: Is there a single episode that doesn't have a major role for someone who did Who around the the same time? I spent most of Auron wondering who the hell the one guy was before it clicked he was Captain of Neva in Revenge of the Cybermen. Which means he made a career of playing heads of bases that get infected with plague by camp disco queens.
 
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Old 2010-09-02, 05:55 PM   #42
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Aye, if you start thinking of Star One it all falls apart - what exactly was the plan when they all died of old age in 30+ years' time? There's the slight chance they'd cop off and raise their kids to look after the system, but it's not a very Federation plan. It's also hard to believe anyone would want to man the thing.

I do seem to recall, discounting regulars, there's one or two without "Hey, that's Rohm Dutt!" moments - I'm thinking either Power or Traitor. But that's pretty much it... Discounting that Keating's in every episode (plus Croucher, Pearce, Tuddenham, Darrow...), a very quick mental run down:

Way Back: Kellman's comb-over
Spacefall: Rohm Dutt, Johnny Briggs' dad
Cygnus Alpha: BLESSED
Timesquad: No-one obvious, but I bet my left nut one of the sleepers previously did either stunt or monster work on Who.
The Web: Deep Roy
Seek-Locate-Destroy: Nyder
Mission to Destiny: Leeson
Duel: The one with the nipples is in the King's Demons.
Project Avalon: Baillie of the distracting monobrow.
Breakdown: Julian Glover
Bounty: TP McKenna
Deliverance: Roy off EastEnders
Orac: James Muir was a Kraag! (Alright, I looked that one up)

Redemption: Bert the Miner as Disposable Native.
Weapon: Li Sen!
Shadow: The female smackhead's in The Sunmakers.
Horizon: Mr Elisabeth Sladen
Pressure Point: Lady Jennifer as rebel leader... I think her daughter's in Vervoids too unless I'm mixing her up with Blake's weird cousin from Hostage.
Trial: Nyder again... Plus Fred Elliot's in that one, IIRC.
Killer: Morris Barry, of course...
Hostage: John Abineri
Countdown: Chadbon
Voice from the Past: Coming up blank, but that might be repression.
Gambit: basically everyone - Bill Filer, Professor Chronotis, K9, the Controller, Amelia Ducat
The Keeper: Big Bruce Purchase and the old ****er off State of Decay.
Star One: Stot's a Colonist from Colony in Space, one of the ones who gets monstered, IIRC. I seem to recall one of the wet Italians from Masque is in it to...

Aftermath: Richard Franklin in his biggest non-Yates role.
Powerplay: Doctor Who semi-regular Michael Sheard.
Volcano: Michael Gough
Dawn of the Gods: Vic Off Survivors Who's Also In Seeds Of Death.
Kairos: Valgard from Terminus
City: Colin, the Black Guardian and Bloodaxe.
Children of Auron: the amazingly-named Rio Fanning, of course.
Rumours of Death: Torvin off Creature from the Pit.
Sarcophagus: er... no guest cast
Ultraworld: One of the Ultras at least must've been.
Moloch: Shap, Deep Roy.
Death Watch: Professor Jones.
Terminal: Bugger.

Rescue: Double Bugger, unless I'm allowed the Sea Devil.
Power/Traitor: One of them's got Skagra in it
Stardrive: Barbara Shelley. Obviously.
Animals: Tobias Vaughn
Headhunter: Oxo's Lynda Bellingham
Assassin: William Hartnell.
Games: Monarch
Sand: One of the Federation mob is the boyfriend in Nightmare of Eden
Gold: How didn't JNT get Roy Kinnear onboard?
Orbit: Savident again.
Warlord: "Words are... only... WORDS Avon"/"Oh... no Stubbsy... mon... Stubsy"
Blake: Professional non-Doctor Silver off of Sapphire and Steel.



Less scarily, I think the reason Avon doesn't get rid of Tarrant is that he knows he's got to get rid of him right or Tarrant will kick his arse - Tarrant's arguably stronger and probably the equal of him as a fighter, and is a better pilot. Avon's smarter and nastier, and tends to use Tarrant's strength to his own means - as long as Tarrant's power plays are heavy handed and he continues to be as much of a thug as Avon is a bastard Tarrant's no threat to Avon. Depending on which one's just ****ed the other three over, the rest of the crew could come down on either side.

Season 4 plays up the piloting stuff a bit more as the Scorpio's a piece of shit and he can show off a little more compared to the anyone-can-fly-it Liberator, but it's at the price that he's just another guy doing what Avon tells him to.

Dayna they just ran out of things to do with her pretty much as soon as she was officially onboard - her grudge against Servalan especially grates (not that she has one, just the execution, though I think that comes up more in Season 4).

I think for both B7 and Survivors, the linking thing is the decision to give someone very complex and not necessarily all that nice a central role - Greg is close to Avon in a number of ways (the main one being they're both difficult bastards), with Blake and Abby as the idealists who basically drop away and become pretty irrelevant by the end of the series.
 

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Old 2010-09-02, 08:02 PM   #43
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Aye, if you start thinking of Star One it all falls apart - what exactly was the plan when they all died of old age in 30+ years' time? There's the slight chance they'd cop off and raise their kids to look after the system, but it's not a very Federation plan. It's also hard to believe anyone would want to man the thing.
It's especially daft that they've already supposed to have been there 30 years but most of them look as if they'd have been about 12 when it started. Considering they're all brainwashed it's hardly surprising they volunteered though.

And why would a top military instillation be controlling the weather as well anyway? Do NORAD run the American Met office?

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Originally Posted by Cliffjumper View Post
Voice from the Past: Coming up blank, but that might be repression.
That's the other one with Mavic Chen in isn't it? Wierdly playing almost exactly the same character he plays in season 4 (a high ranking Federation official who knows Servalan) only for some reason they get different names. I should of course have said not counting regulars, that does make it to easy.

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How didn't JNT get Roy Kinnear onboard?
He'd have been perfect wouldn't he? All his Avengers showings really lift those episodes. Though how early in the 80's did he die?

I was actually thinking the other day, considering he's living and working in the UK again and has never been known to say no to a pay check, how has David Warner not shown up in new Who yet?



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Season 4 plays up the piloting stuff a bit more as the Scorpio's a piece of shit and he can show off a little more compared to the anyone-can-fly-it Liberator, but it's at the price that he's just another guy doing what Avon tells him to.
He does probably get his best moments in Blake though, watching Roj interact with the man who stole his hair is fun.

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Dayna they just ran out of things to do with her pretty much as soon as she was officially onboard - her grudge against Servalan especially grates (not that she has one, just the execution, though I think that comes up more in Season 4).
Yeah, you'd have thought someone with a personal grudge against the main villain would have had more to do. But that would have gotten in the way of the Avon/Servalan simmering passion I suppose. You can definately tell Boucher had his favourites can't you?

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I think for both B7 and Survivors, the linking thing is the decision to give someone very complex and not necessarily all that nice a central role - Greg is close to Avon in a number of ways (the main one being they're both difficult bastards), with Blake and Abby as the idealists who basically drop away and become pretty irrelevant by the end of the series.
Considering how good they are (basically making themselves the shows leads through strength of performance) it's a shame Darrow and McCulloch didn't go on to be the biggest actors on TV. Last non B7 related thing I saw Darrow in was my Mother's work magazine where he was talking about how happy he was to now be collecting his pension (apparently because his agent told him too, not really the advice an actor would want from their agent) and McCulloch only used to pop up every so often to talk about his Survivors continuation idea, which has presumably died as a result of the remake.

In good news, Sky have officially ditched the B7 remake. Meaning that after a decade of trying B7 Enterprises have completely failed to do anything but piss off Paul Darrow. If it has to happen it should be the BBC doing it, simply because they presumably (as with the Daleks) own the shows visual look and if nothing else worthy comes from it seeing the proper Liberator design in fancy CGI would be nice.
 
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Old 2010-09-02, 08:56 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by inflatable dalek View Post
That's the other one with Mavic Chen in isn't it? Wierdly playing almost exactly the same character he plays in season 4 (a high ranking Federation official who knows Servalan) only for some reason they get different names. I should of course have said not counting regulars, that does make it to easy.
Could be - I do remember neither of his scenes are particularly... integrated - it's him in an office with Jacqui both times (the Animals one just sticks in my mind as being that episode for some strange reason)

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He'd have been perfect wouldn't he? All his Avengers showings really lift those episodes. Though how early in the 80's did he die?
'89 off the top of my head... I think the film came out in 1991, but IIRC there were a lot of delays from Richard Lester simply not being interested in finishing it after Kinnear's death. He almost certainly outlived Who... It's tempting to fantasy cast him as the Chief Caretaker or Tollmaster or similar, but it should be remembered that every now and then there was a real curveball, like Parsons or Jessica Martins.

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I was actually thinking the other day, considering he's living and working in the UK again and has never been known to say no to a pay check, how has David Warner not shown up in new Who yet?
My guess would be because he's too associated with culty genre film/shows... Plus he'd probably have the same sort of fee as 'current "talent"' like Simm, Tate, Kingston, Collins and so on but none of the heat recognition (even Jacobi is a/ still fairly well remembered for Cadfael and b/ one of those actors people never see in anything but think are great anyway, like Judi Dench).

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He does probably get his best moments in Blake though, watching Roj interact with the man who stole his hair is fun.
Plus him crash-landing Scorpio is pretty epic - and wins him begrudging respect from Avon. Shame about him getting the wrong end of the stick and basically getting everyone killed, even if it was the logical progression for the character.

The god-awful continuation novel (Afterlife, which I sold for a tidy sum on ebay a few years ago) goes to great pains to have him survive the shoot-out on Gauda Prime (basically the guy who shot him at point-blank range full in the back more-or-less winged him and cowardly Tarrant decided to ham it up) only to heap numerous indignities on him, culminating in the chap being killed pointlessly by a monkey on Terminal. It's one of the most hilariously obvious agenda-pushing character shellackings you're likely to see in a professionally published work...

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Yeah, you'd have thought someone with a personal grudge against the main villain would have had more to do. But that would have gotten in the way of the Avon/Servalan simmering passion I suppose. You can definately tell Boucher had his favourites can't you?
Yeh - I think a mid-season 3 death for Dayna would have worked out okay, it was just the bizarre obsession with keeping seven of them one way or another... The like-for-like replacements of everyone bar Gan is pretty annoying for a show that otherwise does alright for realism in that sort of thing (the only other problem being that brief run of one-off allies who always die - woman off Stardrive, Justin guy in Games, Bill Hartnell, Roy Kinnear... it doesn't help that they're all in the same run of episodes more-or-less).

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Considering how good they are (basically making themselves the shows leads through strength of performance) it's a shame Darrow and McCulloch didn't go on to be the biggest actors on TV.
Don't forget his nice little line in doing perplexed DVD commentaries for Zombie Flesh Eaters. The earliest one is brilliant, as he remembers the scenes he's in perfectly but is left outright stunned by the rest of the film... I don't think Darrow's reputation ever really recovered from the bad press B7 had (in broad terms, it was seen in the same sort of way reality TV is now - critics hated it with a passion, but viewers kept coming).

With McCulloch I think it was just the way he was so unglamorous (the only show he could be a heroic lead in is something like Survivors), plus the difficulties in making the 3rd season of Survivors probably had him marked as a bit of a trouble-maker.

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In good news, Sky have officially ditched the B7 remake. Meaning that after a decade of trying B7 Enterprises have completely failed to do anything but piss off Paul Darrow. If it has to happen it should be the BBC doing it, simply because they presumably (as with the Daleks) own the shows visual look and if nothing else worthy comes from it seeing the proper Liberator design in fancy CGI would be nice.
Eh, I really hope it doesn't come back, frankly - after Who and then the dire Survivors, God only ****ing knows what'd get done to it. Plus, unlike Who, there's no feeling of unfinished business... I spend the best part of 16 years wishing there was more Who, never felt the same about B7 - jokes about Voice from the Past/Dawn of the Gods/Power/Traitor/The Keeper aside, it was pretty much the right length, and was bookended nicely.
 
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Old 2010-09-03, 07:30 AM   #45
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My guess would be because he's too associated with culty genre film/shows... Plus he'd probably have the same sort of fee as 'current "talent"' like Simm, Tate, Kingston, Collins and so on but none of the heat recognition (even Jacobi is a/ still fairly well remembered for Cadfael and b/ one of those actors people never see in anything but think are great anyway, like Judi Dench).
A shame, his little turn as the head of the Assassins Guild (whose name I really should know off the top of my head...) was probably the best thing in Hogfather. His faux Doctor on CD was very good as well (and had some great scenes with the Brig and a young Scottish fellow called David Tennant. Whatever happened to him?)


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Plus him crash-landing Scorpio is pretty epic - and wins him begrudging respect from Avon. Shame about him getting the wrong end of the stick and basically getting everyone killed, even if it was the logical progression for the character.
The Scorpio crashlanding is great, technically the flight deck chaos is shamelessly cribbed from the destruction of the Liberator (even down to the tilting floor) but as I saw Blake first it gets the glory. It's actually very cruel (and cleaver) how the episode seemingly kills Tarrent in the most lethal way possible only for him to survive just to be killed again. Slave's last moments are good as well, especially for a character who never made any real impact other than to make up the numbers (with Orac you hardly needed another computer, Zen basically does nothing from his introduction).

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The god-awful continuation novel (Afterlife, which I sold for a tidy sum on ebay a few years ago) goes to great pains to have him survive the shoot-out on Gauda Prime (basically the guy who shot him at point-blank range full in the back more-or-less winged him and cowardly Tarrant decided to ham it up) only to heap numerous indignities on him, culminating in the chap being killed pointlessly by a monkey on Terminal. It's one of the most hilariously obvious agenda-pushing character shellackings you're likely to see in a professionally published work...
Everything I've read about the book sounds terrible, doesn't it end with Avon getting a spaceship called The Blake's 7? For no other reason than over literalism?

I would be tempted to pick up Darrow's Avon book if I ever happened to come across it (ie, wouldn't hunt it down but if it was in a charity shop...). It sounds terrible as well, but synopses at least suggest he was intentionally taking the piss with it, with all the talk of Uranus...


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Yeh - I think a mid-season 3 death for Dayna would have worked out okay, it was just the bizarre obsession with keeping seven of them one way or another... The like-for-like replacements of everyone bar Gan is pretty annoying for a show that otherwise does alright for realism in that sort of thing
They only didn't get one for Gan because of scripting problems, IIRC they were supposed to be joined by an early version of the ultimately traitorous Captain character who later became Tarrent (in the final episode this presumably became the young female rebel, which is why Blake just leaves her behind in a heavily fortified enemy base with a pissed off Travis burried behind her, originally that character would have teleported up with them).

The telling thing about Gan is that there's several episodes after he died that were originally written with him in, none of them had to be heavily altered to remove him. The daft thing about the subsequent sticking so closely to the "7" number is that they had Blake's 8 between the end of season 1 and Gan's death so it wasn't as if the number had been that closely followed anyway.

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I don't think Darrow's reputation ever really recovered from the bad press B7 had (in broad terms, it was seen in the same sort of way reality TV is now - critics hated it with a passion, but viewers kept coming).
Annoyingly none of the Die Another Day DVD's have the deleted scene with him as Bond's Doctor. Seeing him ("Most people depaaart with a sccrreaaaaam!") Vs. Brosnan in his hamiest Bond performance ("Grhhhhhhhhh I'm cheeecking ouuut!") would indeed be something.

He had bad luck really, Simon managed to escape from it and become a respected actress, Barber managed another big hit (though arguable a more embarrassing one), Thomas and Keating mainly seem to have always regared themselves first and foremost as theatre actors who do a bit of telly here and there for the bills (and Thomas seemed perfectly happy to never be a lead man again), Pearce is probably too mad to care, Knyvette left the show to give up acting and become a PHD anyway, Chappell pops up now and again in things when you least expect her (last thing I saw being a New Tricks) and Jackson should have been grateful to have gotten any TV work at all.

Which leaves Pacey (who I suspect may be a theatre man first and foremost as well) as the only other one who might have hoped to go onto bigger and better TV roles from being a main character in a huge hit TV show.

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Eh, I really hope it doesn't come back, frankly - after Who and then the dire Survivors, God only ****ing knows what'd get done to it. Plus, unlike Who, there's no feeling of unfinished business... I spend the best part of 16 years wishing there was more Who, never felt the same about B7 - jokes about Voice from the Past/Dawn of the Gods/Power/Traitor/The Keeper aside, it was pretty much the right length, and was bookended nicely.

I certainly wouldn't have wanted the Avon as Naopleon idea Terry Nation apparently came up with and B7E were seriously going to do before they and Darrow fell out. Everyone's dead at the end of Blake, however much it may or may not have been intended as The Last Episode (stories vary, I suspect Boucher's "I honestly didn't expect it to end there and thought they were only stunned" seems a bit retroactive in an attempt to try and get on board any relaunch himself. Certainly destroying all their regular sets again wouldn't have helped a series 5...) it only works if they're dead. Imagine how bloody stupid that slow motion would look if it weren't lethal?

Indeed, that's part of the reason I have no time for the continuation book whatever its qualities, as with IDW's efforts to pretend they all didn't die in the last episode of Angel it misses the point by miles. Even with the very enjoyable Kaldor City audios (which basically act as sequels to everything Boucher ever wrote) I always just accept the official line that Darrow's character isn't Avon hiding behind a silly pseudonym. Even though he's almost literally walking around holding a sign saying "Yes, I am Avon. Unless you're Terry Nation's Lawyer, In Which Case I'm Not".

An out and out remake could work, Firefly basically managed it (Gambit and Gold could be turned into episodes of that show with almost no rewriting) and the new Battlestar Galactica is far more like B7 in tone, style, characterisation and humour than it is the show it's based on.

The problem is of course, it'd almost certainly be shite. So should be best left alone. And frankly, unless (as basically happened with RTD and Who) there's some writer they're desperate to work with they can only get by promising them Blake's 7 I can't see the Beeb being bothered anyway. Hell, they only made more Torchwood, a show that despite it's variable qualities has always done well for them and got proper critical plaudits for the mini series, because Americans took it off their hands.
 

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Old 2010-09-03, 08:43 AM   #46
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It's actually very cruel (and cleaver) how the episode seemingly kills Tarrent in the most lethal way possible only for him to survive just to be killed again. Slave's last moments are good as well, especially for a character who never made any real impact other than to make up the numbers (with Orac you hardly needed another computer, Zen basically does nothing from his introduction).
A bit like the Tenth Planet or Be Invoked, it's one of those things I'd have killed to have been there for... I mean, pretty much the first thing you hear about B7 is they all die in the last episode... Even with Gan and Cally, you wouldn't have been expecting that in 1981. One of the show's best tricks is the way it tops itself each time with the season endings (which apparently really weren't done at the time).

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Everything I've read about the book sounds terrible, doesn't it end with Avon getting a spaceship called The Blake's 7? For no other reason than over literalism?
Yup. It's also got a Mary Sue female Avon and (IIRC) female ORAC (MIND, I think). There's also at least one massive diversion to cover a continuity error.

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I would be tempted to pick up Darrow's Avon book if I ever happened to come across it (ie, wouldn't hunt it down but if it was in a charity shop...). It sounds terrible as well, but synopses at least suggest he was intentionally taking the piss with it, with all the talk of Uranus...
It is a bit awful, but without anything to measure it against it's difficult to judge if it's intentional or not...

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He had bad luck really, Simon managed to escape from it and become a respected actress, Barber managed another big hit (though arguable a more embarrassing one), Thomas and Keating mainly seem to have always regared themselves first and foremost as theatre actors who do a bit of telly here and there for the bills (and Thomas seemed perfectly happy to never be a lead man again), Pearce is probably too mad to care, Knyvette left the show to give up acting and become a PHD anyway, Chappell pops up now and again in things when you least expect her (last thing I saw being a New Tricks) and Jackson should have been grateful to have gotten any TV work at all.
I think it helped Josette that she was a) incredibly young and b) never really became associated with the series, meaning she basically got a fresh start. Barber's biggest strength was that someone at ITV realised that if she didn't have silly hair and a jumpsuit that made her arse look a metre wide she wasn't bad looking...

TV-wise Jackson probably trumps the lot of them with Edge of Darkness, and had done a surprising amount beforehand. From what I understand, Jacqui managed to get a pretty decent fee for White Mischief and How To Get Ahead In Advertising (both second films from hot British directors who were handed too much money and went a little mad), and bluntly her decision to stay over in Africa means her money's gone a long way - plus she's always going to be hunted down for fan projects.

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Which leaves Pacey (who I suspect may be a theatre man first and foremost as well) as the only other one who might have hoped to go onto bigger and better TV roles from being a main character in a huge hit TV show.
Yeh, I think he also suffered from the show's bad reputation - from what contemporary reviews of the show I've seen, mitigation for the first two years was largely that Thomas was a class act regardless and Knyvette was very pretty, and with those two out of the way there was no real need for the thing.

The thing to bear in mind is that they probably all did okay from video/DVD royalties, as IIRC both were surprisingly huge sellers (B7's one of the few non-comedies of any length that the BBC put out systematically and successfully on video - which meant they tried and failed with everything else afterwards...). But yeh, it seems like most of them were jobbing theatre actors beforehand and were happy enough to go back to the same afterwards - between the press and the hectic production schedules it probably put a lot of them off. For the most part they were experienced hands who weren't going to get carried away with things.

Regarding any continuation, yeh, I pretty much agree... If Season 5 had start with the revelation that Vila and Tarrant were both stunned, the gunshots over the credits were Avon gunning down the guards and look, there's two girls with a spaceship (with a flight computer voiced by Tuddenham) parked on Gauda Prime who've always kinda had it in for the Federation, we'd be talking massive anti-climax - especially if the scripts had been as ropey as for much of Season 4.

I think it's done its' bit in the way, as you say, it seems to have influenced grittier shows to move away from the Space 1999 sterile/utopia sci-fi and hopefully made a few people realise that you can make anything work if you get character interaction right... The show was never really about spaceships, battles and sci-fi concepts anyway - you take away or alter the cast and the characters and there's not much point to the thing.

I'd certainly say a continuation on TV is never going to happen, why take on the continuity so far on - Who got away with it largely because after a basic level it only requires whatever continuity the writers choose - you get the basics of who and what the Doctor is and can do there, at which point you only need the continuity any old characters bring with them. With B7, you'd probably need to address Servalan and the Federation... Plus a new show leaping through hoops to get the Liberator or a version thereof back (which it would do) would be car-crash TV.

A remake I wouldn't rule out, though the BBC have actually been pretty good about not just reviving any old shit after Who's success - I think they had their fingers burnt by Survivors, which might not have been an outright flop but certainly wasn't the success they were hoping for.
 
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Old 2010-09-03, 09:44 AM   #47
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A bit like the Tenth Planet or Be Invoked, it's one of those things I'd have killed to have been there for... I mean, pretty much the first thing you hear about B7 is they all die in the last episode... Even with Gan and Cally, you wouldn't have been expecting that in 1981. One of the show's best tricks is the way it tops itself each time with the season endings (which apparently really weren't done at the time).
Oh hell, yes. I still can't get my head around the fact the BBC showed the massacre of a bunch of characters beloved by children over Christmas.

The surprising thing about the show is, despite it's reputation based on the last episode, Gan is the only one to get a proper on screen death before the final (a voice over and body double hardly counts for Cally). Which is what helps the surprise work as well.

Hard to be sure, but assuming I'd been there and generally clued up about the shows characters and actors, I don't think Blake's (Thomas just coming back to make sure no one ever asks him in the street if he'll return again) or Dayna (oh look, she's doing something for the first time since her old man lover got shot ten episodes ago) would have been all that surprising. Villa would have been the nasty one, especially as he buys it after a terrible pun (a little bit Rotorstorm that).

Based on the gun sounds, Avon fires a few times, then the Federation unleash bucketloads on him, before he gets of a last (as he falls?) shot.



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Yup. It's also got a Mary Sue female Avon and (IIRC) female ORAC (MIND, I think). There's also at least one massive diversion to cover a continuity error.
The Orac's called Caro if I remember the summing up I read right as well. I think MIND was what Servalan(? Possibly the new female character) was using to control Avon's behaviour and make him act oddly throughout season 4. Because introducing an outside factor doesn't undo the neat way he basically completely losses it over the year at all, oh no.



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TV-wise Jackson probably trumps the lot of them with Edge of Darkness, and had done a surprising amount beforehand.[/quote]

He's in Edge of Darkness? Bloody hell. Must watch my Mother's DVD at some point. In fairness, Gan's a character any actor would struggle with really. Though Liberation is generally a very good book (mainly because it's nice to have something that treats Blake seriously) as with any overly analytical work the attempts to see depths in things that aren't there can be a tad funny, their claim Gan was really a crazed sex killer who wanted to rape Cally and Jenna all the time is hilarious.


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From what I understand, Jacqui managed to get a pretty decent fee for White Mischief and How To Get Ahead In Advertising (both second films from hot British directors who were handed too much money and went a little mad), and bluntly her decision to stay over in Africa means her money's gone a long way - plus she's always going to be hunted down for fan projects.
Plus The Two Doctors, what more does she need? She always comes across as charmingly batty in interviews (though DVD commentaries are a bit tiresome, "Darling!" for an hour), I hope she's gotten over the illness she was apparently suffering when the "Making of" things were being done for the DVD (*nudge nudge, wink, wink* I'm reliably told by people involved series 3 was finished as well and can be found if looked for in the right places. 4 was never completed though).



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(B7's one of the few non-comedies of any length that the BBC put out systematically and successfully on video - which meant they tried and failed with everything else afterwards...)
No less than three times as well, even if the last release was a case of "Yeah, we know we said the DVD's were coming out but wacky rights problems! As we designed some nice packaging for them have a video boxset instead".

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Regarding any continuation, yeh, I pretty much agree... If Season 5 had start with the revelation that Vila and Tarrant were both stunned, the gunshots over the credits were Avon gunning down the guards and look, there's two girls with a spaceship (with a flight computer voiced by Tuddenham) parked on Gauda Prime who've always kinda had it in for the Federation, we'd be talking massive anti-climax - especially if the scripts had been as ropey as for much of Season 4.
Especially as with no time to plan it like series 4 it probably would have wound up as rushed as well.

'81 was actually a great year for small screen Brit SF wasn't it? Last runs for Blake and Sapphire and Steel, last six month season of Who, Triffids, Nightmare Man, probably others. I don't think we've had it so good since.

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I think it's done its' bit in the way, as you say, it seems to have influenced grittier shows to move away from the Space 1999 sterile/utopia sci-fi and hopefully made a few people realise that you can make anything work if you get character interaction right... The show was never really about spaceships, battles and sci-fi concepts anyway - you take away or alter the cast and the characters and there's not much point to the thing.
Yep, I think it being an accredited influence on Babylon 5 (JMS has said the PBS showings were the first TV SF he experienced with ongoing plots, ammoral leads and not always happy endings. He not only tried to get Darrow in a guest role but designed one of the second tier alien ships to look like a copyright dodging Liberator. hell, the bloke who designed and built Scorpio did the special effects for the first three years, but that's presumably coincidence...), which in turn has gone onto be a big influence on every arc driven American SF show since has really spread it's impact. Even if a lot of the people picking up on those ideas likely had no idea where they came from.

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A remake I wouldn't rule out, though the BBC have actually been pretty good about not just reviving any old shit after Who's success - I think they had their fingers burnt by Survivors, which might not have been an outright flop but certainly wasn't the success they were hoping for.
Though of course, even if they wanted to, the Beeb wouldn't be able to remake it whilst B7E still have the rights (and they're still making grand claims, this is their official press statement about the Sky deal falling through:http://www.blakes7.com/index.php/201...7-remake/#top3. Does anyone know what "360 degree exploitation opportunities" means?).

Considering the Nation Estate's mercenary tendencies I can't see this deal being renewed when it expires, so perhaps the BBC will show an interest then (you'd have the conflict between "Creator of the hugely successful Daleks" and "Creator of the last 70's show we remade that didn't do so well" going on of course. I've a terrible feeling they probably would do the Dalek crossover this time to try and make sure).

Worst remake of the last few years has to be the Triffids one. As soon as someone said "Right, what this really needs is for Eddie Izzard to survive a plane crash by hiding in a toilet" it should have been canned.
 
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Old 2010-09-03, 10:36 AM   #48
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It's a fairly small part as one of the British military - easiest bit to spot is him meeting Jedburgh outside the "Get it while it's hot!" press conference.
Edge is good, very very good, but a bit like the Citizen Kane of British sci-fi - it's so hyped it's inevitably a slight letdown when you see it, and as a result it's difficult not to be bombastic about it being poor as a kneejerk reaction.

Gan's problem is that they put him in as the muscle at an early stage, and then as it went on it became pretty clear they wouldn't really need muscle. Plus seeing as his only real attribute was his strength, putting in the Limiter which basically made it useless wasn't particularly smart. Add in a middle-of-the-road personality (he's nice, loyal, brave and likes everyone regardless of whether they like him back) and I agree that anyone would have struggled.

Considering that Jenna never really does much except flirt with Blake and that Terry Nation never quite knows what to do with Vila, the budget cutbacks which saw Selby and Arco axed in favour of talking computers were a blessing for the first season.

Jacqui is basically insane, yeh - she seems to basically be recreating the white mischief scene on a small scale, and apparently gets ill any time she has to come back to Europe, to the extent that she turns a fair bit of work down.

Regarding the end of "Blake", Darrow's always maintained Avon emptied the magazine into Blake and that's good enough for me... There's something about the smile and the suicide by Trooper that works as well. And I always liked the way it was proper old school Troopers too, rather than the shitty later versions or middle-aged Mutoids.
 
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Old 2010-09-04, 12:35 AM   #49
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Gan's problem is that they put him in as the muscle at an early stage, and then as it went on it became pretty clear they wouldn't really need muscle. Plus seeing as his only real attribute was his strength, putting in the Limiter which basically made it useless wasn't particularly smart. Add in a middle-of-the-road personality (he's nice, loyal, brave and likes everyone regardless of whether they like him back) and I agree that anyone would have struggled.
The fact it's inconsistantly done doesn't help as well, other than Time Squad and Breakdown it doesn't seem to have any effect on his ability to perform violence at all, he can merrily chuck about and impale Blessed's people with no problems. If they'd handled him better the character could have worked (being an insanely violent character neutered by a chip in his head didn't do Spike's popularity any harm) but you can tell no ones heart is in it.

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Considering that Jenna never really does much except flirt with Blake and that Terry Nation never quite knows what to do with Vila, the budget cutbacks which saw Selby and Arco axed in favour of talking computers were a blessing for the first season.
Apparently Nation really didn't like Keating's performance and was his first choice to die when they decided to streamline the cast. If he'd have written the originally planned two part Star One/Alien Invasion story at the end of season 2 he'd have killed him there, as well as blowing up Jenna.

Actually, I suppose Jenna is the only one of the good main cast who may still be alive, Blake is in full bullshitting mode at the time and clearly only mentions her to get a rise out of Tarrent. Otherwise there's no indication the two of them ever met up again. However, as continuations go, the Jenna and Orac show is hardly appealing.

Actually it says a lot about Gan that Blake finds time for callbacks to Cally and Jenna but not him.

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Jacqui is basically insane, yeh - she seems to basically be recreating the white mischief scene on a small scale, and apparently gets ill any time she has to come back to Europe, to the extent that she turns a fair bit of work down.
I've just had a look at her blog, pleasingly insane (though it seems she can't escape illness even in Africa). Oddly the only bit of White Mischief I've seen is her coming out the bath. Not intentionally mind, it was just a case of flicking channels and going "Hey, it's Servalan!... Naked".

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Regarding the end of "Blake", Darrow's always maintained Avon emptied the magazine into Blake and that's good enough for me... There's something about the smile and the suicide by Trooper that works as well. And I always liked the way it was proper old school Troopers too, rather than the shitty later versions or middle-aged Mutoids.
I'm betting they didn't have enough of the new costumes to fill out the scene and so broke out the old ones (though they're used at the start of Warlord as well aren't they?).

Only real shame is Servalan doesn't get to be there at the end, it wouldn't make that much difference plot wise to have her come in with the guards. Again, reasons for her not being in it vary, a falling out with Lorimer over the "Sleer" thing, she was ill, a simple case of her already having done the number of episodes she'd been contracted for- though in that case you'd think if they were going to send her off in a brief cameo they'd do it in the last show rather than in the penultimate.
 
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Old 2010-09-04, 04:30 PM   #50
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Timesquad: No-one obvious, but I bet my left nut one of the sleepers previously did either stunt or monster work on Who.
Having talked about this in a B7 thread on another forum I can exclusively reveal your left nut is safe. "2nd Alien" is of course most famous for driving the van Turlough nearly runs off the road whilst driving the Brig's car. A classic performance.
 
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Old 2010-09-04, 05:59 PM   #51
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Yay! Cheating on IMDB also reveals the second Ultra was in Nightmare of Eden (the co-pilot from the liner?) and the third one was in "Cun I copyright that?".

Terminal, of course, did have a bit of Deep Roy before Steven Pacey killed him, IIRC he still makes a couple of scenes (actually, the bit where Tarrant throws him off a hill might still be in it). Traitor is the one with Christopher Neame in it, but Gun-Sarr off Power is, of course, the fat loudmouthed Yorkshire rebel from Timelash. Which means the weak links are the guest-cast free Sarcophagus, the Sea Devil-starring Rescue and Gold. So if someone could bend the Moff's ear to recruit Geoffrey Burridge and the chap who played the ship's Doctor, and work Dayna's Song into the soundtrack somewhere (would it really be any more embarrassing than Simm mincing around to the Scissor Sisters holding a big flashing neon sign saying "The producer is a gay and this is some gay subtext!"?), and we're golden.
 
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Old 2010-09-05, 02:25 AM   #52
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Sarcophagus does have some none speaking uncredited guest cast right at the start (the ones who watch three of the regulars go through their masked mime whilst someone blatantly stands in for Paul Darrow. His face at the end of the episode where he actually has to wear the costume is priceless...). Pat Gorman or someone similar must be amongst them. Must be.

Oh the Rumours of Death continuity thing, I'm going to go with Anna being her real name and the one her husband knew her by as the false one. Perhaps Avon already knew her brother (unlikely perhaps, but just about works as they're both experts in a similar line of work) so she had to use her real name on this mission?

The interesting thing is, Servalan doesn't seem to know Avon's past, she has no idea why he wants Bartholomew, but as soon as he mentions Anna's name she pieces it all together. It's actually nicely vague at the end what Anna was. Was she really a genuine rebel (she's very keen to keep Servalan alive if she was, her second was right, there's no chance of Madam President breaking...), just going along with it for personal (Avon related?) reasons against Servalan, or if it was all some establishment plot.

I hope this finding people he trusts looking very dodgy and shooting them before they can explain doesn't become habit forming for Avon. Things might end badly if it does.

I have been told by another mod [Naming no names as it was a private conversation, you'll just have to work out who this Canadian woman with a name rhyming with Bades is on your own] that this thread is apparently boring. Fear not excitement fans, we're only a week away from the DVD release of Time and the Rani giving me something really amazing to talk about.
 
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Old 2010-09-05, 08:26 PM   #53
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I have been told by another mod [Naming no names as it was a private conversation, you'll just have to work out who this Canadian woman with a name rhyming with Bades is on your own] that this thread is apparently boring.
Wow, Warcry can be a real prick. Just because it's full of dull posts about something nobody cares about, suddenly it's boring.
 
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Old 2010-09-05, 08:30 PM   #54
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Wow, Warcry can be a real prick. Just because it's full of dull posts about something nobody cares about, suddenly it's boring.
Hey! I care!

No, wait, I don't, I think it's just autism.
 
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Old 2010-09-05, 09:12 PM   #55
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To be fair, I also mentioned that it's better and more content-filled than anything I ever post.

And yes, I really do read every thread in here out of habit.
 
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Old 2010-09-05, 09:15 PM   #56
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But have you identified any Sarchophagus body doubles who were also extras in Doctor Who? Nooo. You're a ****ing leech.

I've probably had the board open in a tab for something like 12 days now.
 
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Old 2010-09-05, 09:20 PM   #57
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I'll bet you one was that guy, who was in that film with that other guy. And that girl, of course. Who could forget those tits that face?

I'm just inclined towards miserable bastard right now. Do your thing. Cooooontinue!
 

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Old 2010-09-06, 06:52 AM   #58
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But have you identified any Sarchophagus body doubles who were also extras in Doctor Who? Nooo. You're a ****ing leech.
It's lucky I'm here. I've took down the Liberation book off the shelf and typed the first name in the uncredited cast list for Sarcophagus and hit instant paydirt lo, Val Clover was famously Citizen in Full Circle Part 2.

I've even checked the others and she's the only one with a Who credit on there (though a couple are beneath even IMDB's radar).

EDIT: Waters of Mars has won a Hugo. Must have been a dull year for screen "Shortform" SF.
 
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Old 2010-09-07, 08:38 AM   #59
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EDIT: Waters of Mars has won a Hugo.
Are you sure it wasn't "watched by a bloke called Hugo"? That seems more plausible.

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Must have been a dull year for screen "Shortform" SF.
Christ, it wasn't even the best Doctor Who story amongst the nominations. Flashforward gets a mention ahead of, er, pick an episode from the last half-season of BSG? Hell, it was even the time-travel season of Lost - The Variable pisses over Waters of sodding Mars.

Award has no credibility, therefore no merit. Move along!
 

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Old 2010-09-07, 09:00 AM   #60
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Was BSG in the time-frame covered? Seems like ages ago now and it was a while after broadcast I watched it. Caprica if not The Plan should have been in there somewhere though. Perhaps it was just a case of someone from Who turning up to collect?

Happened to catch the bit of the most recent Proms with Smith in yesterday. Shame I'd seem pictures beforehand as the bluff over him only being there in a pre-recorded insert (like Tennant's the other year) would have been a nice surprise. The kid from the audience was great as well, scared shitless and buggering up Smith's planned come back about the invisible object by just agreeing with him that he could see it. Mind, seeing how well Smith handled him (the reassurance when he was obviously very nervous) and the clear adulation he was getting from all the kids there did make me feel I must be too old for this Doctor Who thing. Lucky I have more mature and grown up interests like Transformers really.

Blake's 7 Update 75035: Death Watch is never one that springs instantly to mind when I think of the best episodes but it really is fun isn't it? Hilarious bit of cost cutting in there as well, when we're shown places the fight might be we get stock footage of exciting exotic locations. When he actually see the two fights it an abandoned derilict building and a set reused from earlier in the episode. Brilliant.

And you know, if not for the fact the two B7 radio plays he wrote showed no sign he'd ever seen the series before someone phoned him up and went "Yo, Baz! We need a Blake's 7 script set during the crap season in half an hour" I'd swear Barry Letts stole huge chunks from this episode for Doctor Who and the Paradise of Death.
 
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