May Day Mayday…

AftermathSue: Ooh, there’s a new title sequence.

She doesn’t like it very much.

Sue: So is Blake’s 7 a cartoon now? And who are these three? They look like the Red Arrows. Why are the Red Arrows chasing the Liberator?

Series 3 begins with an explosive montage.

Sue: Is this a recap? I’ve seen that spaceship before; it’s got a face like a sad fish.

The battle between the Federation and the aliens has reached Space City.

Sue: I’ve definitely seen that before. And that. And that. That still looks really shit. I can’t believe they had the balls to show that again.

I pause the DVD and explain to her how this epic space battle was cobbled together using recycled effects shots from the first two series, to save money they didn’t actually have.

Sue: So they’ve spent even less money on this series than the last two? How is that even possible?

Panicked Voice Over: Star One is destroyed. Repeat: the aliens have destroyed Star One.

Sue: That’s the pineapples ****ed, then. And that wasn’t Star One that just blew up. Star One is on a planet and that was a spaceship. At least I think it was a spaceship. It could have been a light fitting.

Space City miraculously turns up again – even though it was destroyed a few seconds ago – and this time it peppers the Liberator with laser fire. The crew are nowhere to be seen.

Sue: The direction is really weird. What the hell is going on?

AftermathWhen Vila reaches the Liberator‘s life capsules, his backside almost catches fire.

Sue: Please kill him off. Yes! Do it! Do it! Oh no, he’s all right. Never mind.

Meanwhile, on an alien planet…

Sue: Brilliant. Medieval Sci-Fi. Just what we need. For ****’s sake.

Avon, Cally and Orac join Vila in the Liberator‘s life capsule bay.

Vila: Where’s Jenna? We haven’t got to wait for her, have we?

Cally: Jenna’s gone with Blake.

Sue: Maybe they’ll finally cop-off with each other.

Avon is knocked unconscious so Vila places him in a life support capsule with Orac. The capsule is ejected into space.

Sue: Suddenly, there’s no sound in space. It’s a bit late for realism!

When Avon wakes, he finds himself plummeting towards an alien planet.

Sue: So is that it for the Liberator? What about Zen? Who’s going to save him? They didn’t even say goodbye.

Avon: Too fast. Too fast. Going to burn up!

Sue: This is a great start. Just don’t kill him.

AftermathTwo Federation troopers have crash landed on the same planet. I wait for an appropriate close-up and pause the DVD.

Sue: Oh look, it’s him. It’s the evil one from UNIT.

Me: There was a time when you didn’t have to narrow that down.

Sue: It’s the traitor, Yates. Yes, that’s who it is: Mike Yates. Are you impressed?

Me: A bit. OK, so who’s his mate?

Sue: He is vaguely familiar. Did he play a policeman?

Me: It’s Eddie Royle. He used to run the Queen Vic. Got killed. Played a Terileptil. No?

Sue: No.

Eddie and Mike don’t last very long.

Sue: Oh, I thought he was going to be a regular character. Did he do that scene as a favour for someone?

Avon is about to meet the same fate as Mike and Eddie – namely getting his throat cut by the local medieval Sci-Fi bad guy – when he is rescued by a beautiful woman armed with a bow and arrow.

Sue: This is very James Bond all of a sudden.

AftermathShe ain’t seen nothing yet, because when Dayna takes Avon to a nearby cave to recover, they end up locking lips.

Sue: She doesn’t mess about.

Avon: I think you’ve cured my headache.

Sue: Avon!

Me: So much for Avon being asexual.

Sue: I’ve changed my mind. I think I prefer him like this.

Dayna leads Avon back to his life capsule.

Sue: You know, I’m sure I recognise this beach.

Me: I think this was filmed on Bamburgh Beach.

Sue: I knew it! I’ve been there. It’s very romantic.

Me: Is it? I’ve never been.

While I ponder this, something mad happens.

AftermathSue: No way!

Yes, Servalan is sprawled out on a nearby sand dune.

Sue: No ****ing way! How the hell did she get there?

Servalan struggles to operate a small hand-held device, but it just buzzes at her.

Sue: I’m saying nothing.

Sue doesn’t understand why Avon is carting Orac around in a bulky flight case.

Sue: Orac should shrink himself so Avon can put him in his pocket, even if it’s just for a few hours. Orac is a very selfish computer.

Dayna tells Avon that she lives beneath the sea.

Avon: I’m not very keen on water sports, even at the best of times.

Sue: I’m saying nothing. Again.

Avon waits for Dayna to check that the Northumbrian coast is clear.

Avon: Well, I hope she’s not totally insane.

Sue: You’re the one who’s talking to yourself, Avon.

Servalan sneaks up on Avon.

Sue: Of all the beaches in the universe she could land on, she had to pick this one. What are the chances? Unless you’re Terry ****ing Nation, of course, in which case it’s inevitable.

Avon and Servalan become embroiled in a tense stand-off.

AftermathSue: It looks like they’re waiting for a beach wedding to start. All they need now is a priest.

Avon and Servalan put aside their differences so they can escape from a marauding horde of Sarrans.

Sue: That was a great scene. Very funny. I knew they’d end up working together eventually, I just didn’t think it would be quite so soon.

Dayna escorts the happy couple to her father’s underwater base.

Sue: This reminds me of James Bond as well. The set is really nice, actually. I love the lighting. Big Brother should model their next house on this theme.

Dayna offers to find something for Servalan to wear.

Sue: Yeah, good luck with that.

Avon meets Dayna’s father: Hal Mellanby. Or, if you’re Sue:

Sue: The man from Boney M.

Hal tells Avon that the recent alien incursion has left the Federation in tatters.

Avon: I only hope Blake survived long enough to realise that he was winning.

Sue: Where the hell is Blake anyway? And the rest of them for that matter. Have they all got the week off? Not that I’m complaining.

AftermathHal Mellanby has been following Blake’s exploits.

Hal: I’ve been hearing reports for the last couple of years. You were magnificent.

Avon: Not from where I was sitting.

Sue: Tell me about it.

Servalan and Dayna get to spend some quality time together.

Sue: I’m beginning to think that Gareth was right. This has turned into a soap opera. I’m waiting for the inevitable cat fight.

Hal Mellanby used to be on the Federation’s Most Wanted List. They blinded him and now he uses a sensor on his chest to relay images to his spectacles.

Sue: He invented Goggle glasses.

Me: I wonder if he can get porn on them.

Sue: Trust you to think of that.

Hal introduces Avon to his step-daughter, Lauren.

Sue: Another beautiful woman for Avon to snog. I bet Avon can’t believe his luck. He’s really landed on his feet.

Me: You ain’t seen nothing yet.

Avon establishes contact with the Liberator.

AftermathSue: I assume that we’ll get to see Blake and Jenna’s adventure next week, and Cally and Vila’s adventure the week after that. Am I right? It’s an interesting way of doing things I suppose, but it means I’m going to struggle with the next two episodes. This one is great, though.

Avon instructs Zen to return for him.

Avon: Keep listening out for Vila or Cally. If either of them come in, give their pick-up priority over mine.

Sue: I don’t understand why they didn’t just stay on the ship in the first place. It looks fine to me. All this aggravation for nothing.

Servalan and Avon share a nice glass of crème de menthe.

Servalan: There’s something you probably don’t know. Star One was destroyed.

Me: You wouldn’t believe what people are doing for a slice of pineapple these days.

Sue: I think we’ve exhausted all the pineapple jokes, love. Give it a rest.

Servalan wants to turn Avon to the dark side.

Servalan: You and I could build an empire greater and more powerful than the Federation ever was or ever could have been. Think of it: absolute power. There is nothing you can imagine that we couldn’t do.

Avon: I am thinking of it.

Sue: Yeah, I bet you are. And what you’re thinking of has nothing to do with running the galaxy.

AftermathThey kiss. Sue gasps. When Avon throws Servalan to the floor, Sue sings the theme tune to Dallas.

Sue: That was a fabulous scene. You couldn’t imagine her trying that on with Blake. This has definitely gone soapy, now.

Rejected by Avon, Servalan finds a weapon hidden in one of Dayna’s bedroom cabinets.

Sue: Dayna’s got anger management issues so she hides her handguns around the house. A bit like Sue Ellen and her bottles of whiskey.

Hal doesn’t have any fond memories of the Federation.

Hal: We were promised a fair trial. Instead, the security forces massacred everyone; men, women, and children. That night I watched them all die. My own wife, my friends, everybody.

Sue: He’s a great actor. It’s really good, this.

Servalan kills Hal Mellanby, but only after she’s humiliated and tortured him first.

Sue: What a bitch! This is even worse than Fight Night in Big Brother 5. There was no need for that. Just as I was starting to like her as well.

Servalan absconds with Orac, leaving Dayna to weep for her dead father.

Sue: Poor Dayna. Avon should take her with him; she’s lovely. I bet she gets killed in a minute.

Avon and Dayna find Lauren’s corpse tied to a pillory.

Sue: How grim is this? You know, this episode would be quite bleak if they’re weren’t running around with giant water pistols.

AftermathServalan is captured by the medieval sci-fi baddies and Avon has to rescue her to get Orac back. Dayna provides covering fire.

Sue: A man just died because some water splashed him on the back of his head. I’m sorry but that was shit.

Avon and Servalan retreat to Dayna’s love cave. Servalan demands safe passage off the planet in exchange for Orac. She also wants a gun.

Avon: There is only one.

Servalan: I only want one.

Sue: Brilliant.

Avon retrieves Orac from the shallow grave Servalan buried him in. He opens the flight case and barks instructions at the computer.

Sue: Don’t get sand in Orac!

The Sarrans attack and Servalan gets thrown to the floor. It’s becoming something of a habit.

Sue: She needs a henchman. And a sensible pair of shoes.

Dayna points a water pistol at Servalan’s head.

Sue: Do it! DO IT!

But before she can pull the trigger, Dayna and Avon are teleported back to the Liberator.

Sue: Oh no. I really wanted her to do it. Sort of. Oh, it’s complicated.

AftermathHowever, there’s a surprise in store for Avon.

Curly Haired Guy: What are you doing on my ship?

Sue: Who the hell is this twat?

Cue credits.

Sue: Another cliffhanger! Come on, let’s put the next one on. Please.

Me: No.

The Score:

Sue: That was probably the best episode of Blake’s 7 so far. If it wasn’t for Servalan coincidentally turning up on the same beach – as if! – and the rubbish space battle at the beginning, I would have given it a 10.


Sue: It’s turned into The Avon Show. And I like it.

Next Time:




  • Visit site
    May 1, 2014 7:44 pmPosted 4 years ago
    Dave Sanders

    Blimey, I never recognized Richard Franklin in this before. Do I need to hand back my UNIT badge and beret?

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      May 1, 2014 7:52 pmPosted 4 years ago
      Dave Sanders

      Oh thanks Glen, I totally failed to spot *him* as well. That’s my entire Who license revoked for ever then.

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    May 1, 2014 7:53 pmPosted 4 years ago
    Ann Worrall

    Fantastic trailer. The best yet. Nostalgia. Humour. Anticipation. Yum

    • May 1, 2014 11:38 pmPosted 4 years ago
      Mat Dolphin

      I really hoped that the trailer would be like that, and it was even better than I imagined!

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    May 1, 2014 8:35 pmPosted 4 years ago

    Damn right. Aftermath is ace, as I discovered in a recent rewatch.


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    May 1, 2014 8:40 pmPosted 4 years ago

    “Who the hell is this twat?” Sue reads Avon’s thoughts perfectly. I LOL’d 🙂

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    May 1, 2014 9:16 pmPosted 4 years ago

    Yesss! A good one, this. Surprising things happen, pretty people look pretty, the set is great, the cliffhanger rocks.

    “Who the hell is this twat?” Annoying isn’t he!!!

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    May 1, 2014 9:31 pmPosted 4 years ago
    Mark Mark

    This was a very enjoyable episode, but I’m missing Blake & the others 🙁

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    May 1, 2014 9:35 pmPosted 4 years ago
    Steve Trimingham

    Budget drives narrative. Let’s build up to something big and them cut back when the expensive bit has finished.

    Loving the blog and Sue’s on great form. Thank Neil and Sue. I look forward to every update.

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    May 1, 2014 9:50 pmPosted 4 years ago

    “That was probably the best episode of Blake’s 7 so far. ”

    Me and Sue are on different planets again. I’m not keen on James Bond or Dallas, and I’m obviously immune to the charms of Darrow as the romantic(ish) lead so this episode has never really appealed no matter how often I’ve watched it.
    The personal rivalry/attraction between Avon and Servalan feels forced here seeing as he’s only met her very briefly on (I think) four occasions before. And that line about their meeting being the most improbable thing that could happen makes no sense, particularly from Mr Logic himself. Terry ****ing Nation indeed.

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      May 2, 2014 1:09 pmPosted 4 years ago
      John Miller

      I’m rather surprised Sue rated this as highly as she did. Looking back on it with the (spoilers) Avon should have gone out into the sea and looked for a shark to jump over. There’s been big changes, and I personally don’t consider them to be for the better.

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        May 2, 2014 7:33 pmPosted 4 years ago

        I was beginning to think I was completely alone. The thing is I think Avon is the best character in the regular crew, but for me he works best when he is the anti-hero to Blake’s hero. Blake may be a bit dull but that dynamic works really well for me. I’m not so keen on Avon as the leading man. In later episodes Darrow’s performance begins to grate as well. I’m also not keen on Jaqueline Pearce’s increasingly camp performance.
        I appreciate that this makes me a bit odd among Blakes 7 fans.

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          May 4, 2014 12:48 pmPosted 4 years ago
          Ann Worrall

          Ah and I just love the B film dash heart and nerve of Darrow’s late 3 season 4 performances (or as predictive text rendered it dash Bert and erve) Guess who I see in the role of Bert!

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          May 5, 2014 8:54 pmPosted 4 years ago
          The Grouchybeast

          > In later episodes Darrow’s performance begins to grate
          > as well. I’m also not keen on Jaqueline Pearce’s increasingly
          > camp performance.
          > I appreciate that this makes me a bit odd among Blakes 7 fans.

          Actually, I think that makes you absolutely in the mainstream of B7 fans.

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          May 18, 2014 6:45 pmPosted 4 years ago

          Agree, very much. Avon and Blake, that tension, and I preferred Avon as conflicted, icy, withdrawn and all the rest. Since when does Avon put his arm round anyone to comfort them? He didnt even give Jenna a cuddle when they were waiting to be executed and she all but sat on his lap. And he has become so considerate and gentle. Yeah, why stop Dayna knocking off that guy? The old Avon would have said, nice one Dayna. Dayna seems more like the New Old Avon.

          Need Vila back for Avon to snap at.

          Still, the whole Avon and Blake thing couldn’t go on forever…it would have had to come to some kind of conclusion. They couldn’t keep bitching at each other like a pair of queens for two more series. This is why i liked the idea of Blake winning his war, and becoming President and turning into Stalin and Avon into the opposition.

          I also find this whole sexy Avon thing a bit cynical. Sue was right: Avon, for all his devastating beauty, was essentially asexual, being so cold, etc, broken-hearted over Anna. Now he appears to have, overnight, become a right slag. It was his unusual remoteness and vicious wit that made him so desirable, ultimate hard-to-get. I reckon the writers thought, how can we keep the females watching, now the Blake dynamic is gone…let’s write Sexy Avon and give him lots of action.

          I have asked all my Chinese students if they think Avon is fit. And they all say, no, he looks strange. He looks like an eagle, they say.

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            May 18, 2014 8:37 pmPosted 4 years ago

            Not sure what he actually DOES. Sex wise I mean. He gets kissed, kisses Servie ( rather yummily). Then flings her to the floor. The follow through is a bit lacking except in innuendo. Mergat had already identified him as a (sex) God so not really sure what’s different here or what he,s done to justify the term slag! Also he’s not overwhelmingly comforting to Dana given her family has just been hideously slaughtered. He looks as if he ‘s performing a tiresome duty – perhaps to prevent hysterics or a crying jag .

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    May 1, 2014 9:53 pmPosted 4 years ago

    And the new titles are crap, although at least they haven’t tinkered with the theme tune (yet)

  • May 1, 2014 10:28 pmPosted 4 years ago
    Philip Ayres

    Lauren is Hal’s adopted daughter, not step daughter. And is completely superfluous to the plot!

    It’s a Fab episode this one.

    • Visit site
      May 1, 2014 11:07 pmPosted 4 years ago

      “And is completely superfluous to the plot”

      Yes, a bit odd that, there’s no need for her to be in the episode at all. That’s Terry, I suppose.

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        May 4, 2014 12:41 pmPosted 4 years ago
        Ann Worrall

        I think her death helps to justify why Dana leaves with Avon.also makes sense that a blind widower might seek a companion for his little daughter. And establishes Hal as very nice guy so murder by Servie even more heinous.

        • Visit site
          May 4, 2014 11:16 pmPosted 4 years ago

          Those points are fair enough, but Terry Nation has form for introducing an idea and then doing absoloutely nothing of any consequence with it, so Lauren seems a bit like that.
          It often feels as if a lightbulb goes off in Terry’s head while he’s writing the script, he hastily adds his new character/idea/whatever, and by the time he’s got to the next page he’s forgotten it again. The Mutoids for example – set up as quite a disturbing idea and the implication is they play quite a promient role in the Federation’s military activities, then after Duel all they ever do is fly the odd spaceship and carry Travis’ luggage for him (or something like that).
          Actually, Cally’s telepathy is probably the most glaringly obvious example of this in Terry Nation episodes.

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            May 5, 2014 2:19 pmPosted 4 years ago

            I think you’re reaching a bit for the purposes of Terry Nation-bashing here. Lauren does indeed perform the perfectly valid characterisation functions for Dayna and Hal Mellanby that Ann points out. She’s only as redundant as characters like Gharman and Nyder in “Genesis of the Daleks” (a story where the most redundant character, Harry, is a series regular imposed on Nation).

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    May 1, 2014 10:38 pmPosted 4 years ago


    “Aftermath” LOVE!

    The story is cheaply made in places, but the characters and dialogue often shine. A new quest is started (recovering the crew), and it reminds us of how bleak and gruesome the Federation is.

    I always loved Dayna, and while Hal felt like he would be “the new Blake”, his murder helps to create Dayna’s story.

    The cliffhanger that leads into the next story was pretty great as well – serialized television, B7 style…

    If anything, this new dimension off Avon and Servalan swapping “space herpes” with one another seems a little strange, and not typical sci-fi fare – especially discussing sex lives, but at least they don’t focus entire stories to their bedroom lives… Either way, their kiss could have been better – especially since Servalan was originally devised as a male character…

    Based on the opening credits remarks, never mind anything else presented so far, I cannot wait for series 4 to arrive… 🙂

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    May 1, 2014 11:01 pmPosted 4 years ago

    Servalan sashays round a beech in a spotless white ball gown, with fantastic! Make up, and a fantastic! Gun. Then she asks if there’s somewhere she can “clean up”. Loveitloveitloveit.

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    May 1, 2014 11:24 pmPosted 4 years ago
    Warren Andrews

    For me, this is where the series starts. I never really took to Blake (starting on the UK Gold repeats with season 4) but it becomes interesting from here on. I really like Dayna and the new crew dynamic (…spoilers)

  • May 1, 2014 11:37 pmPosted 4 years ago
    Mat Dolphin

    Brilliant episode, the next is even better. But has Sue REALLY not twigged what has happened yet?

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    May 1, 2014 11:43 pmPosted 4 years ago
    Steph Adams

    Loved Sue’s comment about the man from Boney M! That was exactly what I thought first time round – and every time I subsequently watched this episode. I never really took to Dayna – I found her quite difficult to warm to, but I loved Avon getting centre stage! Can’t wait to hear Sue’s comments about Tarrant (in addition to her first delicious observation!)

    • Visit site
      May 3, 2014 12:24 amPosted 4 years ago

      Cy Grant was famous for singing his “topical calypsos” in the 60s so he was the “Man From Boney M” of his time, really!

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    May 2, 2014 12:25 amPosted 4 years ago
    Chris Allen

    “Sue: No ****ing way! How the hell did she get there?”

    This massive coincidence never really bothered me until I re-watched the episode a week or so ago. And only then because it reminded me of something very similar in the 2009 Star Trek reboot.

    Kirk/Avon is fired off from the Enterprise/Liberator in a small capsule to land just a short walk from where Spock/Servalan is located and not far from the only technological establishment/place of safety on the entire planet.

    When you consider how big a planet is, that’s pretty good going.

    The new B7 title sequence starts off sort of OK but does get a bit cartoonish very quickly.

    A pretty good episode. I wouldn’t call it the best ever but Paul Darrow certainty has fun being in the spotlight for once.

    • Visit site
      May 3, 2014 12:26 amPosted 4 years ago

      The new titles remind me – I must see if there are any Captain Zep (Super Space Detective) episodes around. They had more convincing aliens than B7, I seem to remember.

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    May 2, 2014 1:08 amPosted 4 years ago

    “Who the hell is this twat?”

    You could use that line as a review for the rest of the episodes, followed by a mark out of ten. That opening line is as good as he gets… 🙂

  • Visit site
    May 2, 2014 7:57 amPosted 4 years ago

    *Adore* this episode and it signals the beginnings of real ‘Blake’s 7’ for me. Brilliant crew dynamics from now on in and though that ‘twat’ still seems to draw a lot of hate from fans, Pacey plays him brilliantly particularly when he’s up against Darrow. Season 3 Dayna is a joy to watch too and even Cally get’s plenty to do.

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    May 2, 2014 12:57 pmPosted 4 years ago
    Sean Alexander

    Great episode, and proof once again that Avon the anti-hero is far, far more interesting than Blake the Boy Scout. Paul Darrow steps up the the plate of leading man with aplomb, and Josette Simon is sexy and dangerous as Dayna.

    I think series 3 just got off to a flyer!

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    May 2, 2014 1:25 pmPosted 4 years ago
    Robin Brown

    Really enjoyed Season 3 on my recent rewatch – some very strong episodes and a rather different dynamic. There’s not much to dislike in Aftermath either. Even Servalan illogically turning up – something that’s often annoying – doesn’t jar too much. And Darrow really revels in taking the lead in this episode.

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    May 2, 2014 4:27 pmPosted 4 years ago
    Charles Norton

    If the series starts to drag, Sue could always shoot through the whole lot in a fraction of the time:

    Warning may contain spoilers – really tiny ones.

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    May 2, 2014 7:06 pmPosted 4 years ago
    Richard Lyth

    The resolution to the big cliffhanger was bound to be disappointing, but once the dodgy space battle is over it’s all good stuff. The first twenty minutes are a dramatic change in tone to the norm, pretty much all on film and very effective. Once they get to the undersea base it feels more like the old show, but without Blake around to play the hero you get the feeling that all bets are off and anything could happen from here on in. Another great ending as well!

    It does seem a bit odd to start the series focussing on just the one character though. I wouldn’t be surprised if Paul Darrow had threatened to jump ship unless he got an episode all to himself where he got to be the hero and snog two women. The actors playing Vila and Cally must have been pretty annoyed when they read the script, but I seem to remember their characters get episodes to themselves later on, so maybe they complained.

    • Visit site
      May 3, 2014 10:41 amPosted 4 years ago

      Some of the scenes in one of those later episodes you mention were recorded in the same studio sessions as Aftermath, including appearances from Vila and Cally, so those episodes, or the one in question at least, would have already been written before they started recording this one.

  • May 2, 2014 8:02 pmPosted 4 years ago

    I forgot how fabulous “Aftermath” was. The 9/10 is richly deserved. Avon, Dayna, and Servalan are possibly my favorite characters on the whole show, so no surprise an episode centered around them is so appealing. This is definitely where the show really picks up for me and there’s some good stuff on the way.

  • May 2, 2014 10:09 pmPosted 4 years ago
    Andy Luke

    Ah no, the magic of this is gone for me second time around. Poo, pooo. The nicest thing I could say about Hal Mellanby is that he’s like a progressive Lego or Centurions disco kit. Dayna meanwhile has a skin about as thick as the earth’s crust. Simon Amstell appearing on the Liberator was a bit of a surprise.

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    May 2, 2014 10:13 pmPosted 4 years ago

    I get the sense Sue is going to like Season 3.
    Avon is at his hottest here – post geeky haircut and pre stupid biker-bondage kit.
    But I’m afraid by any other metric 3 is my least favourite series. If I wanted to watch reruns of Dallas/ Roger Moore’s James Bond … I would!

    • Visit site
      May 2, 2014 11:16 pmPosted 4 years ago

      Avon in series 4 is hotter… 😀 And, yeah, series 3 starts on such a great note – right down to Avon’s hair!

      Series 3 isn’t my favorite by any means – but the good episodes are spectacularly good. (Which include Aftermath and, amongst others, Death-Watch)

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      May 18, 2014 6:53 pmPosted 4 years ago

      No no couldnt disagree more! Loved Avon’s geek haircut! Loved that asymmetric fringe. It framed his face perfectly. From now on his hair deteriorates, in my view. It gets flouncy and makes him look so much older. And I liked him very very best on the London, in that charcoal grey that makes him look so ivory coloured. He looks very much like people from Northern India actually, Pashtun or Himanchalis. That hawk nose, ivory skin…they have that. wonder if Darrow has some fascinating British Empire thing in his past. He went to a posh enough school.

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    May 3, 2014 1:20 amPosted 4 years ago

    “Who the hell is this twat?”

    It took me awhile, but that character eventually became one of my secret favourites. I still think that Sue’s reaction is most appropriate and sums him up in a nutshell. lmao

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      May 3, 2014 6:29 amPosted 4 years ago

      I agree – I think Avon always needs a twat to butt up against. Tarrant is the most improbable opponent to appear, therefore he appears. Karma for both of them.

      No, there is no hidden innuendo/agenda in this reply.

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    May 3, 2014 4:15 pmPosted 4 years ago
    Ann Worrall

    I love Aftermath. And the next two seasons although I never warmed to the Twat or ever felt he was any match for Avon who could take him out with a single well- aimed sneer. But Dayna is lovely and given what lies ahead for her she’s going to NEED a pretty thick skin. I liked Cy Grant too. Hal I mean.
    It is so nice not to have Blake’s social angst cluttering the action

  • May 3, 2014 9:39 pmPosted 4 years ago
    Mat Dolphin

    I’m really surprised that there’s so much anti-Tarrant feeling on here. Tarrant is a great character who really improves the show, starting with the next episode. I won’t comment on the character dynamics in future episodes in case people haven’t seen them yet… But I would mention that this isn’t Star Trek. The main characters are thieves, murderers, psychopaths etc… Anti heroes. And therefore we can expect them to be a bit unsympathetic. And surely it’s much more interesting that way…

    • Visit site
      May 4, 2014 10:04 amPosted 4 years ago

      The anti-Tarrant comments surprise me too…

      EDIT: I have deleted the thread about this character as it’s full of potential spoilers. Please wait until next week. Thanks – Neil

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      May 5, 2014 9:05 pmPosted 4 years ago
      The Grouchybeast

      > I’m really surprised that there’s so much anti-Tarrant feeling on here.

      Cranky A/B shippers 😉

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    May 4, 2014 9:27 pmPosted 4 years ago

    Just realised how much I look forward to these posts. The fun of watching Blake’s 7 was so much in the company, and introducing it to new people.

    Not many people I know now would be so inclined, and even if they were finding the time can be tough. The Wife and Blake is like watching the series over with new people. A small pleasure, but one worth saying thanks for.

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    May 4, 2014 11:05 pmPosted 4 years ago
    Derek Handley

    This is where the show that I actually remember begins. I didn’t remember anything about seasons 1 and 2 from when they were on the telly – I may not even have seen much of them as a kid – but I remember everything from here on.

    Well deserved score for this episode. It’s a great example of what the show could be when they got things right!

  • May 5, 2014 7:28 pmPosted 4 years ago
    Glen Allen

    Series/Season (debate amongst yourselves but leave me out of it. I don’t care) 3 and 4 are my favourites.
    I’m really looking forward to Sue’s take on these more than I have with the first 2. I really don’t know what it is about these that puts them above the first 2 but something just works better for me

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    May 6, 2014 2:44 pmPosted 4 years ago

    I’m glad it wasn’t just me who thought “Hang on! I thought Star One was on a planet!” when it was shown blowing up. I also remeber thinking: “I’ve seen some of these explosions before!”

    Funny that it was allbudgetray, because the overall look of Series 3 was far ‘cleaner’ and ‘costly’ than Series 1 & 2…

    Maybe JN-T was right – the memory cheats!

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    May 7, 2014 8:12 pmPosted 4 years ago
    Mark Taylor

    Definitely the best episode so far.
    In fact I’d go so far to say that there isn’t an episode in the first two seasons that I prefer to anything (that’s right ANYTHING) in seasons 3 & 4…

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    May 18, 2014 6:57 pmPosted 4 years ago

    Does anyone know why the BBc hate sci-fi so much? Here was a show pulling in 9 million viewers and they still gave it pocket money for effects. All the planets are empty cos they can’t even hire extras! Historical dramas and romance things like Penmarric get the full treatment.

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    May 19, 2014 3:00 amPosted 4 years ago

    Is it you can’t reply to a reply here? I was just trying to reply to Anniew’ reply tome.

    It’s just Avon never even remotely touched anyone before…when Dayna kissed him he made it clear he was well up for more “I hope your curiosity isn’t easily satisfied”. He was always backing off from people before. Poor Jenna was obviously scared when the aliens were going to kill them and she tried to get Avon to give her a little human comfort: he sat with his arms folded like she wasn’t there!
    He didnt look to me like he was comforting Dayna as a duty. It did look unnatural though, that’s true.

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      May 19, 2014 1:16 pmPosted 4 years ago

      Same reply as I’ve just posted on a similar thread on ‘The Web’:

      I remember talking to some work colleagues about the different charaters in Blake’s 7 back in 1980 and of course Avon cropped up quite a bit.

      It was funny, because all the girls in the group said “Oh, I think Avon is really attractive” and/or “I think deep down, Avon really likes Vila/Blake/Jenna/the crew.”

      One of my rather blunt friends Nigel dismissed all that nonsense and neatly summed it all up: “Look, Avon doesn’t give a fuck about anyone. He’s a c***. He only cares about himself.”

      And all these years on, I still think that’s an accurate summary of Avon’s so-called ‘hidden depths’ and ‘motivations’.

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        May 19, 2014 9:27 pmPosted 4 years ago

        How can he have said something so lacking in insight? If you only care about yourself you dont go saving others at extreme risk.

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          May 20, 2014 8:27 amPosted 4 years ago

          Possibly he didn’t read too much into a fictional character in a TV programme, I expect. 😉

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            May 21, 2014 5:25 pmPosted 4 years ago

            Now just a minute. Scholars spend their entire lives dissecting Hamlet, Romeo, etc etc. These characters, well at least Avon, are just as deep as that. Just as ambiguous and just as complex. If Shakespeare were alive today he’d be writing for TV. And later, scholars would study his work!
            Only The Office, that I can think of, is as complex as this. I wish wish wish Gervais and Merchant would rewrite Blake’s 7 and flesh out the other characters. The way they did those Christmas Specials…awesome. Such mature work. The way David went from being such a worthless character, till you are rooting for him…when he told Chris Finch to fuck off, we were cheering at the screen and suddenly realized we were calling him “David” and not “Brent”.
            It absolutely is Shakespeare level good. Cant count how many times I’ve watched them all.
            But this show has deeper elements of myth and tragedy…it’s more classical, and it doesnt hurt that the actors are nearly all RADA trained, proper classical actors…Paul Darrow really brings such subtlety to the role. its a tour de force, it really is.
            Gets right under my skin, it does.

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        May 20, 2014 4:44 pmPosted 4 years ago

        I don’t agree with Nick. There is nothing gratuitously horrible in Avon except he doesn’t suffer fools gladly. Faced with living in a totalitarian society he decides to make himself so rich he cannot be touched by the system that runs it. He fails and has to join Blakes rebellion to survive. He does every thing he can to survive and like all good survivors he is an opportunist. He mocks Gan and Villa but neither seem crushed by it and give as good as they get and Avon never uses this against them as a true git would. He’s sometimes quite gentle and he keeps his word. Yes he’s pretty uncomfortable with emotions but he felt enough for Anna to go through the same torture he imagines she suffered. I’m not sure that that qualifies him for w***ker in chief.

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          May 20, 2014 7:10 pmPosted 4 years ago

          Calm down dear! It’s just an old TV programme! 🙂

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            May 20, 2014 9:19 pmPosted 4 years ago

            Ooh sarcasm. A snark not quite worthy of Avon but pretty good. Apart from the dear! I’m old but I’ve never been an old DEAR and I have the walking stick to prove it!

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          May 21, 2014 5:28 pmPosted 4 years ago

          yeah agree with you, Annie. Putting up an icy exterior, that’s all. He is all issues. This is a wounded man.

          Love the word ‘issues” Love how its taken over form ‘problems”. My aircon has issues right now. Its making all these clanking whirring grinding sounds: its like sleeping in an Eastern European train yard.

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            May 21, 2014 5:44 pmPosted 4 years ago

            “Its making all these clanking whirring grinding sounds: its like sleeping in an Eastern European train yard”

            I shall have to take your experienced word for that Fiona! 😉

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            May 21, 2014 7:04 pmPosted 4 years ago

            I think Avon is a bit like Sherlock Holmes in some ways, in that he’s a character you can admire in various respects, but he’s not necessarily what you’d call loveable. He’s not a cruel man by nature, but us capable of pragmatism to a degree that could be considered ruthless. He’s not alone in that among the regulars, and many of those also, at different times, make the kind of calculation that there’s nothing they can do, or maybe even should do, to prevent such and such a person from being killed or at risk. He’s got hard edges though, in that he seems to either have no qualms about taking that kind of decision, or alternatively, he does and is just good at concealing them.

            I think he does, on some level, care for his fellow crew members , hence his being prepared to rescue or save their lives on occasion. If I wanted to be cynical I could just suggest that he’s just protecting his own position, and feels they would be in a stronger position as a group. But I don’t think it is just that, I believe he does care for them to some degree but prefers not to make this evident, possibly out of a feeling that it would be a sign of weakness – as indeed implied when he says in one episode “I have never understood why it should be necessary to prove you care” – not an exact quote, but something like that. He’d rather maintain the aloofness.

            He also tends to give the impression that he thinks he’s much the most intelligent of the crew… but then again, the evidence of the series suggests that he probably is. Also the wiliest of them as well, although he does miscalculate very badly in some episodes as well, so he’s a long way from infallible.

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      May 19, 2014 7:47 pmPosted 4 years ago

      Ooh it’s really exciting to be having on-line chats like this. I’m a newcomer to it all. I think Fiona that we never saw Avon interacting with a woman when his survival depended on it before Aftermath. It seems to me that he flirts with Dana to ensure she keeps offering him help. Of course he has been in space for sometime so maybe it is just randiness. He seems turned on by Servalan but I think the kiss/reject ploy is again a bit of a survival technique – keep her off balance and she’s more likely to make mistakes!

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        May 19, 2014 9:25 pmPosted 4 years ago

        Avon doesnt just care about himself at all. that’s what he attempts to do. the stuff that happened with Anna broke his heart and made him afraid to be close to anyone, so he put up this icy persona. But his inner nice guy trips him up all the time. He’s constantly claiming he’s a heartless bastard “I have brains, but no heart”; “Guilt? I’ve read about it…” etc and he can scarcely exchange even a civil word with Blake, in fact, he rolls his eyes in contempt at almost everything Blake says, even if its just “Let’s light a fire”…he acts as if he absolutely hates him, but let Blake be in trouble..look, what did Avon do the minute he switched on Orac? “Where is Blake? Is he OK?” and he told Zen to prioritize the others pick-up over his own.
        Look at Hostage, where Blake goes to speak to Travis who is holding that girl: Avon gets more and more upset and worried and won’t tell anyone what it is about…turned out he’d told the Federation to go there, not expecting Blake to waltz down…so he goes off to rescue him, dragging Vila, in a state of clear distress. It’s very dangerous…why not let Blake just get killed? Since he hates him, and all?

        He loves Blake, he does, but I dont think this is a physical thing. I reckon it could be like this: both Blake and Avon have had awful experiences, but where Avon has become despairing and nihilistic (his name, Ker, even means ‘desolation’) Blake has retained idealism. Perhaps if Blake dies there will really be no ‘honest men’ left in the world.

        Deep stuff! I love this.

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          May 20, 2014 8:31 amPosted 4 years ago

          I think this should be one of those questions to Sue at the end of series 3.

          “Is Avon a heartbroken, nihlistic, but still idealistic, deep thinking and highly motivated freedom fighter who genuinely cares about the rest of the crew? Or is he just a ****?”

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            May 20, 2014 9:21 pmPosted 4 years ago

            Lol. I’d love to hear Sue’s take on it!

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            May 21, 2014 5:10 pmPosted 4 years ago

            You know I didnt have time today to watch another episode so I contented myself (Asperger’s syndrome, it’s now the current obsession) with rewatching some of my fave Avon bits.
            So there was Killer, with him coolly blackmailing Tynus…and Vila’s awesome line: “When Avon holds out the Hand of Friendship, watch his other hand. That’s the one with the hammer”. Might be my fave line altogether. Also Avon looks fabulously cool and relaxed when Vila says this, and he really never looked better than in that episode…I love it when he talks about how Blake helps other people and how he despises this, the way he says Other People, never heard such scorn. It sounds like he’s saying: “Blake takes risks for Other Rats and Cockroaches”.
            But then there’s Breakdown, where it really seems as if Avon will leave. He goes to exchange the teleport technology for a safe place but when it transpires Federation pursuit is coming, he’s offered the chance of safety and refuge, while the rest will probably die. And they’ll surely die without Avon to help…when there is a serious attack, they are all needed.
            So if he were truly self-serving, now would be the time to accept the offer and leave the others to their fate, but he doesn’t, he goes back to the Liberator, helps save Gan and it ends up with the neutral research place being destroyed instead.
            I love the uncertainty though. In Horizon, when all the others have idiotically let themselves be captured, Avon works out with Orac he can run and he can survive alone. Only an attack by 3 pursuit ships at once will do for him. And there he is on the flight deck..he hasnt run yet, and he certainly looked tortured when he was working through his options: then what do you know, a flotilla of ships arrives and “How many ships in Flotilla 13, Zen?” “Three”.
            And Avon starts laughing because his decision has been made for him. But what was he really going to do?

            have you seen these. They kill me.

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    May 19, 2014 8:18 amPosted 4 years ago

    The trailer: I remember Zammo! Zammo was the junkie. To think that was a kid’s show. It was great, Grange Hill. I remember Zammo tricking the friend who’d been sent to watch him and stop him taking heroin by putting together a little wrap of washing powder and then flushing it down the toilet in front of his gullible guard. “See, I couldn’t do that if I was still addicted, could I?” and the friend just let him go.

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      May 20, 2014 8:37 amPosted 4 years ago

      I seem to remember it was Zammo’s girlfriend Jackie that he hoodwinked with the flushing the stuff down the toilet, which made the ultimate betrayal all the harder for her to bear.

      In fact the epidode ending where it all came to a headn was terrific. When confrionted in the school changing ooms about his addiction, Zammo slammed Jackie into the lockers and laid his best friend out with one punch, then was snorting the dropped stuff off the floor when the police burst in even had questions asked in Parliament! It was applauded by anti-drugs groups and parents.

      (Funnily enough Grange Hill and Blake’s Seven both started in 1978 and the second series of GH ran at the same time of year as the second series of B7) However, it lasted a bit longer than B7).

      It was shocking stuff back in the day!

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        May 21, 2014 5:16 pmPosted 4 years ago

        God yes, I remember that bit, trying to get the stuff off the floor. And I remember him hoodwinking the fat kid out of some money and later the kid found Zammo sitting on the floor with a burned foil in his lap: “You know what that is, don’t you? ” “Yeah, but not Zammo!”

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          May 21, 2014 5:46 pmPosted 4 years ago

          Zammo (or rather the lad that plays him) now works in a locksmith/key cutters shop.

          I guess you’d hope for some sort of closure for Zammo like that as well, right?

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            May 22, 2014 2:35 pmPosted 4 years ago

            No., I wouldn’t. That sounds a lot worse than heroin addiction.

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        May 21, 2014 5:17 pmPosted 4 years ago

        Love the word ‘hoodwinked’.

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    May 21, 2014 5:52 pmPosted 4 years ago

    Fiona: I defer to your argument. The critics nowdays would probably call Shakespeare a “populist hack”.

    (On the same “If So-and-So were alive today…” theme I heard a quite high profile Christian policeman say once that if Jesus was alive today he’d have been arrested multiple times as a trouble maker for public order offences!)

    But please believe me – Ricky Gervais may be a good writer and a decent actor, but he would take the piss out of B7 in the same way as he did of Dr Who in ‘Extras’. He doesn’t like Sci-Fi – he lampoons it.

    Quite genuinely, a B7 re-boot needs someone who cares about their subject matter on board. Maybe the likes of Neil Gaiman, P J Hammond, Chris Chibnall, maybe Mark Gatiss, or even Paul Cornell. (But NOT RTD or the Moff!)

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      May 22, 2014 1:32 pmPosted 4 years ago
      Robert Dick

      All those names listed and not Gareth Roberts, Blakes 7’s biggest fan.

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        May 22, 2014 2:16 pmPosted 4 years ago

        I thought he was down as Producer/Showrunner! 😉

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      May 22, 2014 2:40 pmPosted 4 years ago

      Do you think Gervais would do that? What a pity. He could really bring depth to it. Perhaps he doesn’t know how good it is?

      Ah well. I don’t know who any of those other writers are: are they Dr Who? I stopped watching Dr Who with the death of Tom Baker, but it was my fave in childhood: it really has the 70s nostalgia-hot-chocolate-by-the-real-coal-fire-after-Saturday-bath thing. and after Basil Brush too. I think Jim’ll Fix It was on about then as well, now you tell me anyone who was surprised by those stories, I always always thought Jimmy Savile was horribly creepy, I never asked my mum if I could go on it, that’s a fact.

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        May 22, 2014 3:03 pmPosted 4 years ago

        They’ve all written for Dr Who and/or Torchwood, but also other telefantasy. Neil Gaiman if a fantasy novelist in his right (write?). But yes, Gervais is a piss taker, so he’s out of the B7 frame.

        As for Jimmy Savile, when he was fronting Jim’ll Fix It and TOTP, a lot of my school friends and I thought he was, at best, “a bit weird” and at worst “a sex case”. Intuition, eh? I never saw why he was so lauded and adored, even if he did do a lot of charity work.

        My Gran summed him up years and years ago: “Don’t like him. He’s got funny eyes.” 😀

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          May 22, 2014 5:37 pmPosted 4 years ago

          See, I knew I wasn’t alone in that. Those gold shorts, Jesus Christ. Funny eyes is right. Predator’s eyes.

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          September 10, 2014 6:54 pmPosted 4 years ago

          I’m a bit Blake- like about Saville. I was a sort of relieved when he was outed because it proved my repulsion towards him was justified. My instincts were right!

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        May 22, 2014 3:06 pmPosted 4 years ago

        BTW, I take it you man you stopped watching Dr Who with the regeneration of the 4th Doctor into the 5th, not with Tom Baker’s death!

        Tom’s still very much alive and cropped up in the 50th anniversary episode of Dr Who as a possible future “revisted” incarnation of the Doctor.*

        * This is, of course, open to uber-fan nit-picking interpretation…

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          May 22, 2014 5:33 pmPosted 4 years ago

          Yeah, yeah, that’s what I meant! I know, as soon as I read what I’d put, I’d written it wrongly!

          I have heard that Tom Baker gets very shirty when people come up to him and say Hello Doctor, and he goes on that he did do other things too. Whereas Paul Darrow who also got typecast, had the wit and humour to call his autobiography, “You’re him aren’t you?” which is cool.
          Its a pity he did get so typecast because he is an ace actor and I want that Drake’s Venture film!! He just totally inhabits that role as Avon, its so so believable. He could have played so many things.

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            May 22, 2014 6:22 pmPosted 4 years ago

            I’ve always thought, at least ever since reading the book, that he could have made a good Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights.

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            May 22, 2014 6:44 pmPosted 4 years ago

            Smile: Maybe Tom would have been a good Heathcliff back in the day… he’d find it hard to get up the moors now…
            (that’s not a euphamism, btw)…. 😉

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            May 22, 2014 7:02 pmPosted 4 years ago

            I meant Paul Darrow as Heathcliff…

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    May 22, 2014 1:39 pmPosted 4 years ago
    Robert Dick

    And now abideth Shakespeare, Blakes 7 and The Office – these three; but the greatest of these is…

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      May 22, 2014 2:37 pmPosted 4 years ago
      Robert Dick


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        May 22, 2014 2:41 pmPosted 4 years ago

        erm, lost me there. This is what comes of living in Hong Kong. Can tell you all the scandal about Edison Chen, but who is Sessions I don’t know.

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    May 23, 2014 11:06 amPosted 4 years ago

    Paul Darrow as Heathcliff! don’t say that! I can’t breathe!..but it would have needed something intense with Edgar Linton then…because it seems to me that he does this very well, conflicting male characters…so long as people don’t instantly start up all that slash stuff…I mean, not that I am opposed to whatever anyone wants to imagine, it just seems a bit obvious and crude to me.

    But then again, Heathcliff is this very dramatic role, no shades really, and I like Paul best when he is more subtle, when you feel stuff is going on and you dont know’s really great acting… the later series, its so much more…I don’t know.
    I really wish I could have seen him play Shakespeare and I wish he had played Richard III and you know what, I think he should play KIng Lear now. He’s of the right age now.

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    August 21, 2014 7:38 pmPosted 4 years ago

    The location scenes were filmed at Robin Hood’s Bay.

    Surprised the dog walker wasn’t mentioned during the Avon/Sarran fight?

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      September 10, 2014 1:24 amPosted 4 years ago

      Most location guides say Aftermath’s beach scenes (Sarran) were filmed in Northumberland, at Bamburgh.

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        September 10, 2014 7:30 amPosted 4 years ago

        The Blake’s 7 team never came to the north east. The closest is Robin Hood’s Bay in Yorkshire. Am pretty sure that is the right location.

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          September 10, 2014 8:44 pmPosted 4 years ago

          Having viewed both of these locations on photos, it looks more like Bamburgh than Robin Hood’s Bay to me. More significantly, Andrew Pixley’s Blake’s 7 Winter Special of 1995 contains a great deal of detailed production information about the series, including which studios at Television Centre each episode was recorded in, and recording dates for them all, location and studio, and it claims the Bamburgh location too. Pixley is a very thorough researcher, and his information for these kind of articles is always based on BBC documentation, so I’m rather more inclined to believe that, unless someone can actually produce definite proof otherwise.

          The location scene with Cy Grant was recorded at Ripon, in Yorkshire, a week later from the rest of the filming for this episode, which had been on 7 – 10 August 1979.

          There’s also this:

          This should lead to an online guide to Bamburgh Castle. It’s not a B7 site, has nothing to do with the programme, yet it also claims that the series did some filming there.

          Oh, and in ‘Blake’s 7: The Inside Story’, Sheelagh Wells specifically identifies the location for the episode as having been at Bamburgh when talking about her working with Alan Lake and Gareth Milne on it.

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        September 10, 2014 7:31 amPosted 4 years ago

        The Blake’s 7 team never came to the north east. Am pretty sure that is the right location.

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