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Blake

Merry Christmas!

Before we begin, let’s get something out of the way…

Me: Do you know what happens at the end of Blake’s 7, Sue?

Sue: No.

Me: Are you sure about that?

Sue: Quite sure.

Me: What if I said Bob Fischer and John Williams told you what happened at the end of Blake’s 7 two and a half years ago?

Sue: I’d say I can’t remember what I had for breakfast yesterday, let alone something John Williams told me two and a half years ago.

Me: Well, he didn’t exactly tell you, but you were in the room when they said it.

Sue: I still don’t know what you’re talking about, Neil.

I’m talking about our appearance on Bob Fischer’s BBC Tees radio show in December 2011, back when the Wife in Space blog was still knee-deep in Jon Pertwee. Because in the middle of that show, this happened:

You can listen to the full programme here.

So there you have it. Two years and eight months ago, Sue knew what happened at the end of Blake’s 7. But was she listening? Did she care? And, more importantly, does she remember?

Sue: Was John Williams on the radio with us? I’d forgotten he was there.

To be fair to Sue, I spoke to John about this a couple of days ago, and he’d completely forgotten about this conversation as well. So I believe her. Plus, she swore on all our cats’ lives, and she’d never do that unless she was being sincere. (The Blake’s 7 sequel was as a joke by the way. Like I said, we were knee-deep in Jon Pertwee at the time – a sequel was the last thing on my mind. And no, we’re not doing Babylon 5 next.)

Me: OK. So if you had to guess, what do you think happens at the end of Blake’s 7?

Sue: It was all a dream.

Me: Have another go.

Sue: Well, I expect things to come to a head between Servalan and Avon, of course. And I bet it ends on a cliffhanger. Does it end on a cliffhanger?

I press Play.

BlakeSue: I can’t believe this is the last time I’ll ever hear this music. (She sings along to it for a while; faultlessly, I might add.) I feel a bit sad.

And then the first bombshell of the evening drops into her lap…

Sue: Blake! Is Blake in this? Is that the big twist? **** me, I wasn’t expecting that. I’m pleased, though; Blake will sort Avon out.

Scorpio leaves Xenon Base for the last time.

Sue: Well, this season has been a complete disaster for Avon. All those people he wanted in his army are dead, and now they’re homeless again. What a waste of a year.

Avon has tracked Blake to the planet Gauda Prime.

Sue: Is the planet made from cheese?

I should point out that Sue didn’t listen to Glen’s trailer before she saw the episode. When I finally played it to her, she blushed when Paul Darrow mentioned her name.

Anyway, a bounty hunter is busy roasting a rabbit on Gauda Prime…

BlakeSue: Blake! It’s Blake. Bloody hell, it’s actually Blake… What’s happened to him?

Blake has been in the wars.

Sue: Oh no, his eye is almost missing.

Me: Does he remind you of anyone?

Sue: Oh God, yes… Blake has turned into Travis. That’s interesting. He isn’t working for Servalan, is he? He can’t be…

A young woman named Arlen has interrupted Blake’s dinner.

Sue: This forest is nicely lit. It’s very atmospheric. And it makes a nice change from yet another sand pit. This is probably one of the best shit holes that we’ve ever visited. Who directed this episode?

Me: Mary Ridge.

Sue: There you go, then.

At least Orac isn’t dead.

Sue: Why is Orac wearing Go-Faster stripes?

Me: It’s probably the only thing holding him together after last week’s accident.

BlakeAvon admits that he would have left Blake alone if Zukan hadn’t been such an arsehole.

Sue: He wanted to show Blake that he could do it without him. But he couldn’t. They need each other. It’s nice, I like it.

Arlen tells Blake that she is being hunted by bounty hunters. Only it turns out that Blake is the biggest and baddest bounty hunter of them all, and Arlen was his prize all along.

Sue: How did Blake end up like this? What’s gone wrong with him?

Back on Scorpio, Slave gets into a fight with Orac, which means the crew won’t discover that they are about to come under attack until it’s too late to do anything about it.

Sue: That was very funny. Stupid, but funny.

Blake escorts Arlen back to his base.

Sue: I can’t tell what’s more wooden – the actress or the stick she’s leaning on.

Me: Shut up, SCUM!

Scorpio is out of control and heading for Gauda Prime…

Sue: It’s a good job they’re wearing seat belts. Look at that – they’re upside down!

Two spaceships have popped out of nowhere to ruin their day.

Sue: They walked straight into this. Who are they anyway? Their ships look like spinning tops.

Avon tells Tarrant to pretend to crash the ship, but Tarrant won’t have to fake it.

BlakeSue: What happened to all those amazing enhancements they made to their ship? They should be able to get out of this.

Scorpio is going to crash…

Sue: Just teleport off the bloody thing!

Vila: We can use the teleport!

Sue: It’s so obvious, even Vila knows what to do.

Dayna, Soolin and Vila successfully teleport to Gauda Prime. However, when it’s Tarrant and Avon’s turn to abandon ship, Tarrant refuses to budge.

Sue: Oh no. Avon is going to leave Tarrant there to die. Avon didn’t try to talk Tarrant out of it. I bet he doesn’t even say goodbye.

Avon: Goodbye, Tarrant.

Sue: Oh, thank God for that. Does this mean he’s forgiven him for sleeping with Servalan?

Me: And that just about wraps things up for Tarrant…

Sue: No way… Does he die? Really? I suppose they don’t need him now that Blake is back…

An out-of-control Scorpio roars across the sky above Orac and Avon.

BlakeSue: It’s a shame we can’t see the ship crash. Nice wind machine, though.

And then Sue gets her wish.

Sue: Wow. We really are going to see it crash. Hey, this isn’t bad at all. Come on, Tarrant, you can land this thing.

When Scorpio hits the ground, the ship’s seating arrangements take a turn for the worse.

Me: Scream if you want to go faster!

Sue: He did it! He’s landed it. He’s fine.

And then the ship tears itself apart and Tarrant falls to a very grisly death. Honest.

Sue: Oh dear. At least he died a hero. He got the ship there so the others can repair it later.

Me: It’s going to take more than a screwdriver and some MDF to fix that, Sue.

Avon considers his next move.

BlakeAvon: All right, Orac, where is the nearest settlement and how do I get to it?

Sue: Initiate Google Maps, Orac.

Blake reports to a man named Deva (“He’s been in a few things.”) so he can brag about his latest conquest.

Sue: I like Blake’s outfit. It’s very Game of Thrones. He should have looked like this from the start.

Blake is a bounty hunter without a conscience.

Sue: I bet Avon is the next person on his list. He’ll be sent to capture his friend, but he won’t go through with it. Not Blake. Never.

A woman named Klyn tells Deva that a spaceship has crashed in a nearby plantation.

Me: She’s Paul Darrow’s wife.

Sue: Is she? Did they meet on the show?

BlakeMe: No, they were already married.

Sue: Aww, that’s nice. Do they get any scenes together?

Blake is given his next assignment.

Sue: What happened for Blake to get into this state? His make-up is fabulous, by the way.

Deva warns Blake that time is running out.

Deva: The representative from the Federation High Council could come at any moment.

Sue: I wonder who that will be… Still, it is the last episode. Ah! I know! Does Avon kill Servalan? Is that how it ends?

Orac warns Avon that he may have to spend the night in a forest.

Avon: When I want your impersonation of a pain, I’ll let you know.

Sue: Ha! I really am going to miss this show. Hang on… Avon’s carrying Orac with one hand. I don’t think he should be doing that.

As night falls, Dayna, Soolin and Vila discover a cabin in the woods. Dayna kicks the door in.

BlakeSue: There goes any protection that place may have given them. And that hole will create one hell of a draught.

Vila: Are you serious? The state the roof’s in, it’s the same as spending a night in the open.

Sue: You should have come in through the roof, then.

Vila is sent to search for firewood.

Sue: Just use the door you just smashed in. There it is, over there. You won’t have to go far.

Meanwhile, in the Scorpio‘s charred remains…

Sue: Come on, Tarrant. Don’t be dead.

Me: He’s dead, Sue. Just look at him.

Sue: He isn’t. … Is he?

Me: At least Slave is still alive, so it’s not all bad news.

BlakeTarrant stirs in the wreckage…

Sue: He’s alive! Come on, Tarrant! I knew they wouldn’t kill him. If they were going to kill him they would have blown him up in space; it would have been easier to film.

Slave, however, is damaged beyond repair.

Slave: Crash damage and power loss make it impossible for me to continue. May I express the humble hope that the same is not true for you, Tarrant.

Sue: Aww…. That was sweet. I didn’t like him as much as Zen, but that was really sad.

Tarrant has to scramble for cover when a flyer opens fire on Scorpio‘s wreckage. And then Blake turns up to save the day.

Sue: This looks amazing when you consider that it was shot in a TV studio. Everything about it – the lighting, the camera moves, the set – brilliant. Why wasn’t Blake’s 7 like this all the time?

When Vila turns his back on the hole where the cabin’s door used to be, a pair of bounty hunters are allowed to waltz into the property with surprise on their side.

Sue: Vila, you numpty!

Luckily for Vila, Avon comes to the rescue.

Sue: This episode feels like a Western to me. The only thing missing from this is some horses.

Avon: The fire was stupid. Putting Vila on guard was suicidal. What’s the matter, is staying alive too complicated for you?

Sue: Brilliant. I’m really going to miss Avon’s banter.

BlakeAvon hid Orac in the bushes outside.

Sue: Why is Orac pretending to be a Christmas tree?

Me: Well, this is Blake’s 7‘s Christmas special.

Avon refuses to answer Vila when he repeatedly asks him where Tarrant is.

Sue: This is brilliant. Avon thinks he’s dead, but he won’t tell them the truth. He never tells them the truth. They should know that by now.

And then the moment we’ve all been waiting for: Tarrant and Blake locking perms.

Sue: Of course, they’ve never met before. Although you’d think Tarrant would know what Blake looked like, with Blake being so famous. Even if he did have a massive scar over his eye.

Blake seems to playing mind games with Tarrant.

Sue: Blake found a teleport bracelet in the wreckage. So he must know… So why doesn’t he just say something?

Blake flies Tarrant back to his base in his flyer.

Sue: This isn’t half bad. They’ve definitely pushed the boat out for the last episode. I’m so glad this is a good one.

BlakeHowever, when Avon’s gang climb into their flyer, Sue feels the urge to sing The Jetsons theme.

Sue: It’s a good job they didn’t do another series after this. Imagine if this had been their spaceship for a whole year…

Me: I’d have paid good money to see that.

Tarrant tries to mask his surprise when Blake mentions a young smuggler named Jenna.

Sue: So Jenna’s definitely dead, then?

Me: It looks that way.

Sue: Blake could be lying. She might be back at his place. He is obviously testing Tarrant, although I don’t know why he doesn’t just tell him who he is. Talk to each other!

When Klyn detects an unauthorised flyer in the area, she suspects that the Federation observers must have arrived.

Sue: (checking her watch) She’s cutting it a bit fine.

When they reach Deva’s office, Blake turns the tables on Tarrant.

Blake: This one has a very high Federation price on his head.

Sue: I don’t believe him. Blake is pretending. Blake can’t be the bad guy – it wouldn’t be right.

BlakeShe’s spot on, of course. Blake tests his recruits before he tells them the truth – he’s raising an army against the Federation.

Sue: I knew it. Thank God for that.

Tarrant escapes from Blake’s clutches before he can discover the truth. When he reaches the base’s tracking station, he wrestles Klyn to the floor…

Sue: Paul Darrow won’t be very happy when he sees that.

And then Tarrant gets into a fight with Bobby Ball and all hell breaks loose.

This is Nicol’s cue to start filming Sue on her iPhone. This explains the weird aspect ratio, the bad sound and the poor lighting – it was the only way we could pull this off without alerting Sue to what was going on, so compromises had to be made.

This also explains why Sue looks at the camera a couple of times – she’s actually looking at Nicol, who she believes is browsing the internet on her phone, like she always does when Blake’s 7 is on. So I’m a genius. Or at least I would be a genius if my wife hadn’t turned up to watch the episode wearing her pyjama bottoms and – to use Sue’s words – “with no make-up on and her hair a ****ing clip!” In fact, it was touch-and-go whether Sue would let me post this video at all.

Sue, I love you. I really do. And I promise you this is the last time I’ll ever film you without your consent. And I actually mean it this time.

So here it is: Sue’s unedited reaction to the last five minutes of Blake’s 7. (If YouTube takes it down, here’s the same video on Vimeo.)

After a heated discussion about the ethics of filming somebody in their pyjamas without obtaining their permission, we talked about what just happened.

Me: You really didn’t know?

Sue: I had no idea. I still can’t believe it. I thought one of them might die, but not all of them. I feel numb after that. And that video will be shit. I didn’t say very much – I was too shocked to say very much. And my hair is a ****ing clip!

BlakeSue seems to be in denial when it comes to Avon.

Sue: I think he’s still alive. You didn’t see any blood when the others got shot, like you did with Blake, who’s definitely dead. And if they are dead, why were so many shots fired at the end? Maybe the others got their guns back and they fought their way out… Or maybe Orac teleported Avon out at the last second and the guards shot themselves by mistake? No? It could have happened.

The Score:

10/10

She wanted to give it an 11, but you know, graphs and stuff.

Sue: It must have been a very brave thing to do back then. Actually, I don’t think they’d try something like that on TV now. It’s too depressing. Yeah, Blake’s 7 was years ahead of its time.

And on that bombshell, we are both down and safe.

Next Time:

There will be one more blog update in September. It will either be a video or a podcast (we haven’t decided yet) and Sue will use it to reflect on Series 4 and Blake’s 7 in general. So if there’s something you’d like to ask Sue about the show or the blog, please send it via our contact form and I’ll put the very best questions to Sue. The best three questions will win a signed copy of our book, Adventures with the Wife in Space: Living with Doctor Who.. (If you enjoyed this blog, please buy our book!) And if you would like to send a question as an audio file – so we can drop it in the podcast or vidcast – please send me the URL where I can download it (Dropbox etc). The deadline for your submissions is: Sunday September 14th. Thanks.

And finally, if you backed this blog via Kickstarter, please check your email, or login to your Kickstarter account later tonight for an important message regarding your ebooks.

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424 comments

  • Visit site
    August 28, 2014 7:13 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Harriet

    Well done Sue! And never mind the graphs, this episode is definitely a 13!

    I really am going to miss this show.

    And we’ll miss you watching it.

    • Visit site
      August 28, 2014 7:22 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Harriet

      Also, I love the split screen video – it was definitely worth the wait!

      • Visit site
        August 29, 2014 12:12 amPosted 2 years ago
        DPC

        That rocked! I was glued to the video the way she was glued to the set.

      • Visit site
        August 29, 2014 12:51 amPosted 2 years ago
        Marcus Sheppard

        At first, cos it’s dark, I thought you had a HUGE television.

        • Visit site
          August 29, 2014 12:46 pmPosted 2 years ago
          Harriet

          I really couldn’t see the pyjama bottoms, or anything wrong with her hair.

  • Visit site
    August 28, 2014 7:14 pmPosted 2 years ago
    jsd

    It is indeed one hell of an ending. I do have to say, however, that rewatching this episode after so long, the middle of it is curiously slack. Not much happens, just a lot of faffing about in the woods. However, the ending is just so incredibly bleak and shocking that it really doesn’t matter. So long Blake’s 7, it’s been a great ride. I will miss this blog a lot! Good luck to you Neil & Sue in whatever you do next.

  • Visit site
    August 28, 2014 7:20 pmPosted 2 years ago
    dlee

    Well, that’s that then. Thanks for an awesome ride. Now Sue has a achoice of reading either Afterlife or Paul Darrow’s Lucifer trilogy to find out what happens next, depending on which of the two official sequel paths she’d like to take!

    • August 28, 2014 8:59 pmPosted 2 years ago
      encyclops

      I’m rereading Afterlife now. It’s even weirder than I’d remembered.

      • Visit site
        August 28, 2014 9:18 pmPosted 2 years ago
        Smile

        Sure you’re not going to change your MIND about it? 😉

        • Visit site
          August 29, 2014 12:18 amPosted 2 years ago
          Anniew

          OMG I’d forgotten AfterLife. That and Scorpio nearly killed my love for the show. I must confess the Lucifers are one of my guilty little pleasures. I want to live in a Universe that may be suffering from an energy crisis and be run by psychopaths but, to judge from the way Avon jumps around , has completely cured arthritis.

    • Visit site
      September 1, 2014 3:41 pmPosted 2 years ago
      david tulley

      Logic of empire on audio is better, its on youtube!

      • Visit site
        September 1, 2014 7:37 pmPosted 2 years ago
        Anniew

        Thanks David. I have listened to it and it’s very dark, creepy with a chilling ending. I probably agree it’s better than the Lucifers but they are more fun.

  • Visit site
    August 28, 2014 7:24 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Becky

    Brilliant. Thank you so much both of you.

  • Visit site
    August 28, 2014 7:26 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Jason

    Well done Neil and Sue!

    Even knowing the end of this episode prior to seeing it, it was still a whopper. The blood when Blake got shot… brilliant. It was perplexing that, of all the episodes, Servalan was absent from this one.

    If I had to nit-pick this episode, I’d say 1) Tarrant should’ve died with the ship. That would’ve been more epic and sad then just getting shot like everyone else. And 2) Blake’s little setup was incredibly dumb. So he let Arlen kill his men in the forest just to test her loyalty?

    • Visit site
      August 28, 2014 7:27 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Jason

      Oh! And I know you guys are probably pretty burnt out on old scifi shows/blogging, but maybe someday you’ll do another? Maybe something slightly shorter or more modern? Sliders, Earth 2, Space: Above and Beyond, Farscape…

      • Visit site
        August 28, 2014 7:34 pmPosted 2 years ago
        dlee

        Please, please, please do the greatest British sci fi show of all, The Prisoner.

        • Visit site
          August 28, 2014 7:43 pmPosted 2 years ago
          Jason

          Actually, I’ve never seen The Prisoner but a friend lent me the Bluray. Plus I hear it’s short, so I’d be all for this idea.

          If Neil and Sue change their minds about doing another show, that is. I can’t imagine the fatigue of watching all of DW and B7 in, what, 3 years?

          • Visit site
            August 28, 2014 7:57 pmPosted 2 years ago
            dlee

            If you are comfortable with surrealism, you will love it. It is as close as a television show will probably ever get to being one man’s personal vision as Pat McGoohan had almost total control over all aspects of it and he created a work that takes risks and has true artistic and moral depth.

            Yes, as you say, it is also only 17 episodes long and, is in fact, considered by some to bethe first miniseries because it was planned to be. ali mited run fro. the outset.

            Whilst B7 is a show set in an amoral, nihilistic universe, The Prisoner is steeped in morality (Pat McGoohan was a devout Catholic but, in practice, his religious views owe a lot more to Puritanism, in the positive sense of the word). I hope you really enjoy it.

            Oh, and the ending is even more “special” than the last episode of B7… 😀

          • Visit site
            August 28, 2014 11:47 pmPosted 2 years ago
            Doug

            +1 to everything you said, dlee. The Prisoner is the greatest sci fi show of all time, IMHO (Blake’s 7 comes second and Dr Who is third.)

            The ending of the Prisoner is even gutsier than the ending of B7 and, likewise, it is still very much relevant today – perhaps even more relevant than when it was made.

            As for a bit of trivia regarding Pat McGoohan’s puritanism, he was actually approached to be cast as the first James Bond. Pat was deeply uncomfortable with the violence and the use of guns in the show, to say nothing of Bond’s womanising, so he turned it down and focused on making the Prisoner instead. Because he knocked the role back, Sean Connery was then approached and the rest, as they say, is history.

            Personally, I think Pat made the right decision and I really admire his personal integrity to turn down a role he was not comfortable with. How many up-and-coming actors would do that today?

            By the way, one of the best episodes of the Prisoner, “Living in Harmony” is a critique of gun violence and the Vietnam War and was banned in the USA.

            Overall, it is a wonderful series so I encourage anyone who has not seen it to go out and watch it. As dlee said, in many ways it is an anti-Blake because it is embued with a deep sense of morality. Both shows have their place and both highlight problems with out culture but in radically different ways. Both are ultimately dystopias about a power-hungry elite oppressing the common man so, in another way, they perfectly complement each other.

            Cheers!

          • Visit site
            August 28, 2014 11:55 pmPosted 2 years ago
            RLF

            And another programme that needs dragging away from it’s own ghastly fanbase. Time was, you couldn’t have any sort of discussion about that show without some tiresome bore telling you that you were ‘wrong’ because some fan publication had the definitive account of what that bit of set-dressing or that mumbled line actually meant.

          • Visit site
            August 29, 2014 12:01 amPosted 2 years ago
            Doug

            I haven’t had any dealings with the Prisoner fanbase, so very sorry to hear that, RLF. It is rather ironic, too, given one of the show’s themes is non-conformity and standing up to group pressure!

          • Visit site
            August 29, 2014 12:15 amPosted 2 years ago
            DPC

            “Living in Harmony” is an oddball but classic! It’s “The Prisoner meets John Wayne but Not In Space”.

            Didn’t know it was a piece against Vietnam but the gun allegory (or lack of guns on the part of #6 as a sheriff) was definitely interesting… great show, “The Prisoner”. 17 episodes, extended from the original six episodes? Wasn’t a full 26-episode season committed at one point but then the number reduced?

            “Hammer Into Anvil” is another gem. One of many…

          • Visit site
            August 29, 2014 9:49 amPosted 2 years ago
            RLF

            “It is rather ironic, too, given one of the show’s themes is non-conformity and standing up to group pressure!”

            You’re hardly the first person on whom that poignancy was not lost. A long meditation on the nature, possibility and desirability of freedom and liberty, which a small cabal of self-interested, self-appointed guardians decided to turn into their own property.

            With a bit of luck, all of that has gone away now, and there’s a new generation who are ready to rediscover the thing.

        • Visit site
          August 29, 2014 4:09 pmPosted 2 years ago
          Fiona

          But I dont see how you could ‘do’ it because its not really anything to make fun of. Its genuinely scary.
          Maybe they should do Thunderbirds

      • Visit site
        August 29, 2014 11:34 pmPosted 2 years ago
        Christine

        Farscape! One of the first shows where I wanted to get autographs from the writers as well as the actors.

    • Visit site
      August 28, 2014 8:45 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Anniew

      They weren’t Blakes men they were real Bounty Hunters and Blake killed one of them himself. Blake is also a real bounty hunter and this is his cover. He tests those with a bounty to find out which of them are genuine rebels and then he recruits them to his secret rebel army. It’s VERY dumb and ends as we’ve seen badly.

      • Visit site
        August 28, 2014 9:07 pmPosted 2 years ago
        Jason

        Ooohh, thanks for the explanation on that first bit. Yeah, Blake sure didn’t think things through, which is probably why he had that gnarly eye scar.

        • Visit site
          September 4, 2014 7:00 pmPosted 2 years ago
          david tulley

          mark of Kane on youtube explains how Blake got scarred, belated gift from Travis, I was one of the writers of kane and Logic of Empire

    • Visit site
      August 29, 2014 7:13 amPosted 2 years ago
      Fiona

      They werent his men. They were real bounty-hunters, and Deva specifically mentioned that one of them, Tonto or something…it was really something like that…was a nasty piece of work and worse than the criminals he was catching and was bound to end up bounty-hunted himself. Hence Deva wasnt arsed Blake had wasted him. And the others were dead too, no issue either.

      Gareth Thomas was totally 100% awesome in this.He was ace, top, brill, the dog’s bollocks, any other slang you can think of. He looked terrifying. That was inspired, the knife slash across the eye. God, it was realistic.
      Towards the end of series 2, he sometimes looked like he was going through the motions…well, that’s unfair, but not with much fire, and it was too bad, because he had really got under the skin of Blake by then. To see what he could pull off here….just about speechless, I am.

      and if I had to, like you, nit-pick this episode (horrid phrase isnt it): I would have liked to see Avon not wearing the studs and the whole older look. In Warlord, dressed like Soolin, he suddenly looked a lot younger and androgynous and more vulnerable again. He should (I think) have been dressed as in Rumours. Linking back to the betrayal there, remind us why he might be so instantly ready to believe Blake has done that. Then the lost and bewildered line “Neither do I!” would have been so much more forceful. It was already heart-breaking enough.
      There’s that moment in Rumours when poor bewildered Avon steps out and says “hello, Anna” and then ‘Maybe I can’t believe its you” when she tries to make him kiss her….and it resonates perfectly with the final finale scene.

      And when Blake says: “Tarrant doesnt understand…I set this all up…” Avon feels he’s has seen right through to the final truth….everyone betrays you. your girlfriend, your closest ally..and you sacrifice everyone else: your closest comrade…all your crew, when Avon hit that insight and said just said “yes…..” the way he did, you knew he was going to kill Blake

      • Visit site
        August 29, 2014 7:50 amPosted 2 years ago
        Smile

        Tando was the name of the other bounty hunter.

    • August 29, 2014 1:57 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Beth

      Apparently Jacqueline Pearce was unavailable for filming, or they hadn’t contracted her for the last episode, or something along those lines.

      I actually prefer it this way — it keeps the focus of the final minutes on the relationship between Avon and Blake, which was the core relationship of the show, instead of letting the focus be diffused with the relationship between Avon and Servalan. Although their final lines would have been EPIC.

  • Visit site
    August 28, 2014 7:28 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Dave Sanders

    We close out with Avon gone barmy,
    And blasting Blake’s guts to pastrami –
    …..
    …..
    … Bolivian army.

    • Visit site
      August 29, 2014 12:00 amPosted 2 years ago
      RLF



      Getting stuck with reprobates he doesn’t understand
      Situation escalates and things get out of hand

    • Visit site
      August 29, 2014 12:59 amPosted 2 years ago
      Marcus Sheppard

      Some say the middle part wanders
      And the end is more questions than answers
      Avon’s gone barmy
      Blake’s guts are pastrami
      With apologies to Dave Sanders.

    • Visit site
      August 29, 2014 2:31 amPosted 2 years ago
      Dave Sanders

      The gag, aside from the Bolivian Army Ending (which Sue totally recognised), is that the limerick mirrors the cut out and fade back of the credits theme.

      • Visit site
        August 29, 2014 7:16 amPosted 2 years ago
        Fiona

        I thought the dots represented the bullets being fired by the Bolivian Army!

        • Visit site
          August 29, 2014 11:17 pmPosted 2 years ago
          Dave Sanders

          That works too.

  • Visit site
    August 28, 2014 7:29 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Rad

    Well done! I had forgotten Servalan wasn’t in this episode – a shame, she should have been even though I don’t think she’d have stood there and watched them get shot – Avon was definitely her achilles heel (and she his).

    I am going to really miss watching this and reading the blog. I know you said no more, but I’m hoping you might change your mind in the future… will miss your recapping so much and although I didn’t join in with watching Who, I have loved watching this.

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    August 28, 2014 7:35 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Zaphod79

    So for the ending listen to the guns fired . Most of them are federation ( but Avon does not have one of those as he used it to kill Blake) after all of those shots there is a different effect (Avon or someone else)

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      August 29, 2014 12:01 amPosted 2 years ago
      RLF

      It’s a Dalek gun with a sound suppressor 😉

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      August 29, 2014 9:21 amPosted 2 years ago
      Anniew

      Why doesn’t Avon have a Fed gun? Is there a ‘not’ missing in your sentence? Otherwise I don’t get it as the gun he raises IS the one he’s used on Blake.

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        August 30, 2014 11:58 pmPosted 2 years ago
        Zaphod79

        Sorry – Badly worded

        Avon has a different gun to everyone else at that point – they all have standard federation blasters , he has a weapon which fires projectiles of some type (hence the blood on Blake) – after the screen fades to black you hear one shot (Avon) followed by a number of similar shots (Federation guards) followed by another ‘different’ shot (Avon ?)

        I’m sure i read (possibly fan fic but its been so long that I cant remember) that one of the plans was that after the Alert finishes (which you see as the alarm stops) Orac cuts the lights remotely , Avon fires a shot and ducks , all the guards are all in a circle around him so just shoot each other 🙂

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          August 31, 2014 10:32 amPosted 2 years ago
          RLF

          Not so sure about projectiles. Avon’s thing is huge (fnar fnar). If a standard Fed personal arm is equivalent to an M-16 or FN-FAL, he’s got a Bren or a BAR, some sort of squad support weapon. At that range, Blake should have an exit wound big enough to see through.

          I think Blake gets bloodied because of an energy weapon fired at extreme close range – what forensic examiners call “muzzle blast shock trauma” (the Liberator weapons have the same effect at very short range, see ‘Star One’). But – and this is important – he takes a long time to die. So there’s another explanation: Avon’s picked up a riot-control weapon of some kind, which isn’t intended to be lethal, but clearly is at point-blank range (if you recall, the baton round projectors used by UK police at that time often had the same effect.) It’s supposed to have the effect of a good kick in the ribs. He wan’t intending to use lethal force (question: does Avon have his personal sidearm at this point?)

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            August 31, 2014 11:14 amPosted 2 years ago
            Anniew

            You are very knowledgable about so many disparate things!!! However if Avon wasn’t intending to use lethal force, why fire three times after blood appears? Another ‘get out of jail free’ for Avon would be that Servalan conditioned him on Terminal with a trigger phrase ‘ I was waiting for you” to kill Blake. Not sure how effective that would be as it would only work if he is conditioned to react if Blake says the trigger phrase (Cally: Hello Avon I was waiting for….ahhhhhh) and I’m not sure whether you can condition someone like that.

            Fiona’s analysis works best because it explains why Avon directs 3 shots at Blake rather than, say, one at Arlen ( who has the gun) and THEN Blake. He does react as if Blake is some Frankenstein- type monster lurching at him which he must destroy – or perhaps he’s just horrified by what he’s done and wants Blake to drop so he doesn’t have to face up to it.

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            August 31, 2014 11:58 amPosted 2 years ago
            RLF

            ‘why fire three times after blood appears’?
            To make sure he goes down and stays down. The same reason you put the boot in after you’ve chinned someone to the floor. Not necessarily to kill them, but to make sure they’re hors du combat until you’ve secured the situation.

            Avon doesn’t consider Arlen to be a lethal threat at this point. He doesn’t care about her. His best guess is that she’s be assigned to capture everyone, instead of (for instance) legging it and then calling in close air support, or just an Arclite strike. And besides, crack-shot stone-killers Dayna and Soolin have got his back, right? Avon wants Blake alive, and a few busted ribs and intestinal ruptures can be fixed.

            See, I’m interested in what ethnologists like to call ‘hidden stories’, i.e contributions to the narrative that are not explicitly in the script or stage directions. Matt Irvine built that prop and the AFM gave it to Paul Darrow to use to signify ‘something’, otherwise, why not just use a stock prop? Why not have Avon draw his personal sidearm, or his back-up piece? The only good answer is that it had been discussed in a production meeting in which the auteur part of the production (Chris and Mary) requested something from the craft-and-design part of the production that was not explicitly in the script, but which they wanted in there.

            Does this have legs?

          • September 2, 2014 7:55 pmPosted 2 years ago
            encyclops

            RLF, it’s a brilliant theory, but I’m pretty sure we’re supposed to think it’s a projectile weapon and thus unavoidably “set on kill.” The story I read, which Alex mentions elsewhere on this mile-long page of comments, is that Gareth Thomas insisted that his death be unambiguous. It does seem like he should have been fully perforated by Avon’s weapon, and if Mary Whitehouse and the visual FX team had been able to permit us to see wall through Blake’s torso I’m sure we would have. We have to infer it from the blood.

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          August 31, 2014 11:08 amPosted 2 years ago
          Fiona

          That would be so unbelievably ridiculous. After all that Blake stuff, a comedy Keystone Kops ending…no…surely had to be fanfic.

          What then..Avon hoists up Orac and saunters out, whistling, into the sunset?

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            September 5, 2014 5:25 pmPosted 2 years ago
            Fiona

            sorry that was response to Zaphod’s comment.

            Didnt Avon get that gun from the bounty hunters who downed Vila?

            It did seem a wildly unnecessary to have, Especially since that flyer thing was as cramped as a Lada and the gun would have comically got in the way. “Can you just…yeah, put it on the floor… ow, Vila, you bashed me in the head with it…Avon, what in hell did you bring this for? Arent we just going to pick up your mate? Usually take shoulder-mounted cannon to pick up a mate, do you…hey, why’d you kick me, Vila…(whisper) well I didnt know all this intense stuff….why didnt you tell me all this top gossip…”

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            September 5, 2014 8:27 pmPosted 2 years ago
            Smile

            I did read someone on a forum suggesting a similar idea a while ago. Think it was that Avon could shoot the lights, plunging the rooms into darkness and escape while the troopers blundered about, firing wild. So, pretty sure that it was just an idea a fan came up with sometime.

            Bit unlikely anyway as a solution. It’s a relatively cramped space, there’s lots of troopers about, including probably in the corridors leading out from the room, and they’re all around him, so even if he succeeded in putting out the lights, he’d still have to be incredibly lucky to get past them all without being shot or, say, colliding into ay least one of them.

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            September 6, 2014 7:18 pmPosted 2 years ago
            Frankymole

            I’ve a feeling that Blake and corpse-Blake drop through a trapdoor that Servalan suddenly opens. It’d be less daft than lots of the follow-on stories (Post-Gauda Prime or “PGP”) that exist.

            Or maybe the teleport suddenly worked – did Avon have his bracelet on? The other could also have got back to the Scorpio and “whoever wants to do more survives”. Would give Big Finish a chance to do some stories with some of the Series D team.

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    August 28, 2014 7:38 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Geoff

    Blakes 7 and this last episode helped prepare me for adult life with the message: The future will be just shit as now but just with better stuff, the good guys will nearly always lose, corruption is everywhere and cruel women are sexy!

    Now take a nice long rest and bring in Howard’s Way if you dare!

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      August 28, 2014 8:55 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Rob

      ‘Blakes 7 and this last episode helped prepare me for adult life with the message: The future will be just shit as now but just with better stuff, the good guys will nearly always lose, corruption is everywhere and cruel women are sexy!’

      Absolutely spot on 🙂 And to think that B7 was written at a time when people genuinely trusted the Government and the BBC etc.

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        August 28, 2014 9:15 pmPosted 2 years ago
        Smile

        People genuinely trusted the Government in 1981? I don’t think so, you know… well, certainly not everyone anyway… the miners didn’t, the tension between their unions and the government was already ongoing well before the later strike… and in fact, there’d nearly been a miners’ strike in January of that year, which was only narrowly averted.

        Plenty of hatred of the Thatcher government at the time from other quarters too, much of the left more or less loathed it, and there’d been serious inner city rioting, much of related to racial issues, in Brixton, Toxteth, Chapeltown and other places that year. The Specials’ Ghost Town record was basically about this.

        Apologies if I’m being unduly pedantic, however I would cavil at the suggestion that the 1981 British public generally trusted the government. There was a very great deal of anger and tension in the air politically that year, so I would say that sort of statement would need heavy qualifying.

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          August 28, 2014 10:23 pmPosted 2 years ago
          Rob

          Good points. For those of us like Chris Boucher whose politics veered to the left, I guess political corruption was painfully obvious. I think the middle ground masses tended to believe politicians more back then and few questioned how these things were reported on state run TV such as Auntie Beeb. Perhaps I should have focused more on the establishment but some of the corruption that we’re slowly hearing about concerning care homes and the political elite would never have been mentioned back in 1981 despite some people knowing about it.

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            August 29, 2014 12:21 amPosted 2 years ago
            RLF

            ‘state run TV such as Auntie Beeb’…
            It wasn’t until Thatcher’s cabinet started leveraging their neo-Walpolean powers of patronge that the BBC became a state organ.

            Can you put me straight? I thought ‘Ghost Town’ was in response to Handsworth. But in any case, you’re correct. The labour movement in general was massively hostile to any form of government (slightly more to a Conservative one), and on the other side, there were quite serious plans for a coup d’etat. I’d even argue that by 1981, the Government was hostile to the idea of Government, having caught an early dose of Yuppie Fever (nothing to do with chronic fatigue syndrome) and deciding that ‘privatise everything’ was The Way Forward.

            It’s pretty funny that John Nott was advocating for the scrapping of the R.N. right up until that lovely man Galtieri gave him convincing reason to rethink that bit of strategy.

            The BBC’s output was instrumental in the early politicisation of myself and lots of other children. John Craven and Panorama were the reasons I got interested in world affairs, and B7 (and not Star Wars) was the reason I got interested in revolutionary movements, not to mention critical theory and the actual mechanics of television production.

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            August 29, 2014 6:20 amPosted 2 years ago
            Smile

            You may be right about ‘Ghost Town’, my understanding was that it was in response to riots, urban decay and increasing poverty, though the events of 1980, where there had been rioting in Bristol, may have been more what led to it.

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            August 29, 2014 9:31 amPosted 2 years ago
            Anniew

            Don’t forget the Profumo affair in the sixties. Killed my belief in politics stone dead ( I was an idealistic soul) about the only politician I believed in after that was Michael Foot and he was massively unsuited to being Prime Minister. I concluded that clever rogues made the best leaders ( Harold Wilson) provided that they a) weren’t in power for very long and b) they didn’t interfere in Foreign affairs. I thought foreign Policy should be decided by an All Commons Select Committee. On that basis, Villa would be the best to lead the crew, with the casting vote as the others battle it out to decide what to do next. Unfortunately Avon (or Blake) would probably have air locked him.

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            August 29, 2014 4:07 pmPosted 2 years ago
            Fiona

            I thought Ghost Town came out before the riots…wasnt it seen as prophetic?

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            August 29, 2014 7:34 pmPosted 2 years ago
            Smile

            Answering Fiona’s query about ‘Ghost Town’… it was released in June 1981, and the riots in Brixton were in April that year, followed by other elsewhere in July, although apparently, as I’ve since also checked this elsewhere, it was recorded in the aftermath of riots in Bristol in 1980.

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          August 29, 2014 10:49 amPosted 2 years ago
          Geoff

          True but I think what he means is in broad terms the public as a whole had more respect for national institutions. Yes Thatcher was incredibly dividing in almost everyway but she was only one part of the establishment. I think if you asked the man or woman in the street in 1981 if they could believe many national celebrities were paedophiles, the police were corrupt at almost every level and the Prime Minister would lie to the nation in order to lead us into an unjust war I think most people (I don’t mean political active people) would say no. These days even non politically active people have little inherent respect for government and police and are probably well attuned to the notion that the state exists to serve it’s capitalist overlords and we are just lumps of fleshy commodity. Sadly like the characters in The Way Back most of us just stumble around in a stupor (not due to drugged water but a diet if consumerism, celebrity magazines and junk food) and allow the ruling classes to do what they want with us. Now excuse me I’m off shopping!

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            August 29, 2014 11:01 amPosted 2 years ago
            Anniew

            Where your bullet proof vest you impetuous fool.

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            August 29, 2014 11:17 amPosted 2 years ago
            Smile

            I know what you mean, and to an extent would agree, but even at the time, some of these issues referred to above were active. The death of Blair Peach, which some did blame the police for, and controversy about the Sus laws and the police’s attitude to and treatment of ethnic minorities, all of these were aspects of the subject that received a lot of attention and were live issues at the time. The Young Ones, which had a first series that started less than a year after Blake’s 7 ended, would commonly depict the police as racist, brutal or stupid, to give an example of this percolating into popular culture. There was also the continuing situation in and about Northern Ireland and all that that entailed, which also had some distinct political fault lines, including attitudes towards the British Government/security forces angle. This was also coming only shortly after the punk era, and while that was only a minority cultural movement in itself, the despair and nihilism it sometimes displayed isn’t in doubt.

            There’s also the fact that, as RLF mentions or alludes to, there had been real concern in the 70s about the prospects of British society collapsing into dictatorship in the near future, and plans for coups or emergency military governments if thought necessary. There was a definite perception, one that seems to have been held by many, that British government and society was in a perhaps irreversible decay and I don’t think this sense of decline, of everything going to pot, had entirely lifted as early as 1981.

            The sources of any concern or controversy about society or institutions may not always have been the same as now, but I’d say that the kind of faith mentioned may have been more for their potential than their actuality at the time. Perhaps one of the main differences now is that fewer seem to have much belief that there’s a viable alternative easily available, without resorting to the fringes.

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            August 29, 2014 4:06 pmPosted 2 years ago
            Fiona

            I swear, about the only institution I have any respect for is the House Of Lords. I like these old aristos. The real ones, I mean, not the promoted type. I like the way they do a lot of good work like visiting with forgotten prisoners, quietly, no song-and-dance. And I like the way the older ones seem pretty balanced and incorruptible, they arent bothered about status because they know they are better than the rest of us, so they can afford to be nice.
            I can actually see them doing a good job running the show.

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            August 30, 2014 3:46 pmPosted 2 years ago
            Fiona

            Yes, you know Geoff, I noticed something, trawling about on youtube…I was looking at some of the old Public Information Films we used to have back in the 70s. Some were full-length things, like the unbelievable “The Finishing Line”about dont play on railways and most were for breaks in shows.

            And what I noticed was, there were loads of them and put them all together, the message was: You Matter. You, the working-and-lower-middle-class in your council houses and your semi-detacheds across the nation, you count. Don’t put a rug on a polished floor. Dont fall asleep with a fag in your hand, dont smoke in bed. Dont play alone by a river, dont lean in holding a brittle branch, dont go and play on electricity substations. Dont climb pylons, dont drive right behind someone else, dont be a FOOL!! Clunk click every trip, watch out, there’s a thief about, Charlie says meow-wow-wow-purr-wow-wow: Don’t talk to strangers.

            Saturated with the message: You Are Important. We dont want you to slip and fall or burn your house down or get robbed or abducted or drowned. yet still, they didnt seek to scare you, but make you tougher. More aware didnt mean, hide in your home while the paedophiles menace you in droves like Daleks.

            (and plus, right, dont know about you, but there was no food in my house and I was starving all the time and so was everyone else and we were all fantastically thin. One 70s guy told me he drank the malt vinegar he was so hungry and I remember eating all the Haliborange tablets).

            And somehow, when I come back to the UK I feel that this idea, that ordinary people are important IN THEIR ORDINARINESS has evaporated, and what matters most is to be famous or bigger than everyone else or special in someway, any way. To ‘be the best’; ‘be a leader’ ‘reach for the stars’ be a Voice, a Talent, an Idol, a Celebrity!

            And, I strongly get the impression that so many people now feel that what matters most is their impulses and their emotions. Especially emotions. Someone sent me a video of a woman ‘interviewing’ some Muslims demonstrating for Sharia law in Britain: they were making seriously worrying points about how no Muslim needs to obey the law of unbelievers “and since you are an unbeliever, yes, you go to the hell-fire…but you can change…anyway, David Cameron…” but the woman wasnt listening. Amazingly, she said: “I’m so hurt, I’m gutted (sob) that you would say I’m going to hell, because you dont even know me…” as if religious faith can be abrogated by getting to know someone: “All unbelievers go to the hell-fire…except this nice lady in the orange dress, now I’ve got to know her”.

            So now, if Blakes 7 were remade today, how would this mindset have to be taken into account? Divergent and The Hunger Games, also bleak, violent and imaginative, still pit a couple in love against the might of the Big Guys. They make inept and unconvincing although brave concessions to feminism, having the girls defend the boys and use weapons side-by-side, but could you today have a sow or book or film where after a long and painful odyssey, the good guys….lose?

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      August 28, 2014 9:42 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Frankymole

      Talking of Howard’s Way… I see Blakes 7 as “Gangsters” in space. Only with slightly less surrealism.

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        August 29, 2014 1:16 pmPosted 2 years ago
        RLF

        I’m now trying to imagine B7 with more blaxploitation and Shaw Bros. and Amitabh Bahcchan references, more Moog synthesiser on the soundtrack and a title sequence shot around the Aston Expressway and Gas Street Basin.

        I can’t get the images out of my head of Travis lying in wait for Blake in the changing cubicles at Moseley Swimming Pool, or ambushing the Crew at derelict Snow Hill station…both as season endings. Or Servalan strutting through the Bull Ring, and then Dan Archer and W.C.Fields showing up for no good reason.

        Plus, you know, cheongsams.

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      August 29, 2014 7:18 amPosted 2 years ago
      Fiona

      Or could it be: sexy women are cruel??

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        August 29, 2014 10:52 amPosted 2 years ago
        Geoff

        No Fiona, I don’t think so in my experience, plenty of attractive women aren’t cruel!

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          August 29, 2014 4:01 pmPosted 2 years ago
          Fiona

          joking, Geoff, joking! Its one of those things always going round comments on all sorts of internet sites. Those Men’s Rights guys get everywhere. Consequence of not being out and talking to all those evil women who ignore them….

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            August 29, 2014 11:11 pmPosted 2 years ago
            Geoff

            I just worried that it sounded like I was condemning all attractive women as being like Servalan!

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    August 28, 2014 7:41 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Amethyst

    Thanks very much to Sue, Neil, and all the commenters who’ve made this blog so fun and thought-provoking.

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    August 28, 2014 7:46 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Dave Sanders

    I remember the Points Of View letters being absolutely hilarious. “Why not send the troopers in to gun down Hamble, Jemima, the Teds and Humpty?”

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      August 28, 2014 8:17 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Smile

      Does anyone remember someone sending in a letter to POV where they’d cut up various photos from Blake’s 7 Monthly of them on the Scorpio flight deck, and written their own story, which Alec Bregonzi, I think, was the person who read aloud? Avon saying something with a lot of long words, followed by “Vila went off in search in a dictionary”, among others. Think it may have been when they repeated it in 1983 rather than the original run.

      Although I understand a lot of POV editions have been wiped, so it’s possible that it may not exist any more unless someone at home videotaped it.

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      August 29, 2014 12:07 amPosted 2 years ago
      Nick

      And didn’t someone else say: “What next? Poison in Paddington’s marmalade sandwiches?” 😉

  • August 28, 2014 7:51 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Quentin Cumber

    I still remember how I felt aged 7 when this was originally broadcast – one of the defining moments of my childhood, and still defines my own writing to a greater or lesser extent.

    Thank you for an entertaining ride through the world of Blake’s 7, and I’m really happy it won Sue over by the end, with a run of high marks.

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    August 28, 2014 7:54 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Tattva

    Wow. What a way to end the episode blogs! Wonderful as ever, with sparkles 🙂

    I have *loved* every bit of AWTWAB. Thank you Neil and Sue (and Nicol too) for such a blast. I was sad when AWTWIS ended, but we were all lucky enough to have a sequel from you lovely people (and cats).

    It’s strange to think that so many people know you both so well, but have never met you. You’ve shared so much of yourselves with us (hairclips and jimjams bottoms too) – thank you!

  • August 28, 2014 7:58 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Quentin Cumber

    I always felt more ensemble shows should’ve ended like this. I was hoping for a gun fight at the end of Friends, that’d have been super.

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      August 28, 2014 8:17 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Smile

      Blackadder did it a few times.

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        August 28, 2014 8:47 pmPosted 2 years ago
        Anniew

        Black adder is the only other show whose ending affected me like Blakes 7. Same sadness and feeling if inevitable rightness. Neither show copped out.

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          August 28, 2014 9:45 pmPosted 2 years ago
          Frankymole

          Everyone died at the end of every single season of Blackadder, except Third which subverted that tremendously!

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            August 29, 2014 8:39 amPosted 2 years ago
            Smile

            It’s a shame that Paul Darrow never turned up in a guest role in Blackadder sometime, might have been fun. He did appear once in Haggard, another period sitcom – Keith Barron as a squire in 1790 – playing ‘Mad Jack’ apparently, so he probably could have fitted in easily.

            Mind you, if we were to play the game of ‘TV series where it might have been good if Darrow had been in them, even if only for one episode’, where would we stop? It would have been nice of he could have appeared as a guest in an episode of Red Dwarf for example, perhaps as a baddie.

            Speaking of which, the ending of Series 6 of Red Dwarf is quite reminiscent of the ending of Blake’s 7 too…

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            September 1, 2014 5:37 pmPosted 2 years ago
            John Miller

            And the first. Baldrick and Percy both survived that. Or the fourth where Melchett survived(although maybe his wooden bladder gave out).

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            September 5, 2014 5:28 pmPosted 2 years ago
            Fiona

            Smile, how would Paul have been to play Heathcliff? Or would the female population have expired on the spot?

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            September 5, 2014 8:21 pmPosted 2 years ago
            Smile

            Think I mentioned in a post for another episode that I could imagine Paul Darrow making an interesting Heathcliff…

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            September 6, 2014 7:15 pmPosted 2 years ago
            Frankymole

            Darrow has played Elvis Presley, and Cliff Richard “The British Elvis” has played Heathcliff. I know which I prefer!

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          August 29, 2014 3:21 amPosted 2 years ago
          Fiona

          Thats exactly what it reminds me of. The same sense of shock, but perfection.
          I love the way how here as the shots ring out, the credits appear, one shot for each name. This is the only thing I really remembered about the show. I remember that they died but not how.
          That:….shot…. Avon/Paul Darrow…shot….Vila/Michael Keating….is every bit as heart-stopping as the machine-guns and the explosions at the end of Blackadder Goes Forth.

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            August 31, 2014 1:49 amPosted 2 years ago
            Christine

            Watching it again I was stuck by how quickly things move right at the end. There are only about two minutes of Blake alive in the same room as Avon.

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      August 31, 2014 4:17 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Fiona

      Yeah. How I Met Your Mother should have ended like that, at least four or five series ago. They could have had someone run through with that yellow umbrella.

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        August 31, 2014 4:21 pmPosted 2 years ago
        RLF

        I do rather gather that there’s nothing more disappointing than premature congratulation.

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    August 28, 2014 7:59 pmPosted 2 years ago
    dlee

    Hey, let’s have some photos of Nic’s Scorpio cake, Neil!

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    August 28, 2014 8:00 pmPosted 2 years ago
    James

    Well done. You made it!

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    August 28, 2014 8:05 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Anniew

    What a lovely video. It brought back so many memories of watching that last episode right down to me checking my watch and saying that they were cutting it fine to wrap things up safely. My husband asking if I was alright at the end and a complex mix of emotions : how could they, why did he, are they all,yes that’s the perfect way, Avon you’re such a cool nut job, thank God no corny Servalan appearance…oh I’m sad..

    A brilliant ride – both the show and the blog. Thank you both and Tell Sue that she still looks amazing even in pyjamas with her hair in a clip.

    Oh……I’m sad now…

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    August 28, 2014 8:14 pmPosted 2 years ago
    RLF

    Dear Neil and Sue: thank you so much for years of delightful writing. Personally, it’s single-handedly convinced me that committed fan-bases don’t necessarily mean the ruination of one’s appreciation of a programme. Lovely, charming, heartwarming stuff.

    And a big-thank-you to all of you out there, too. You people are great.

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      August 29, 2014 7:21 amPosted 2 years ago
      Fiona

      hey RLF, please check your email…

  • August 28, 2014 8:15 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Glen Allen

    Brilliant and really worth waiting for. Thank you for letting me come on this journey with you. I’ve been waiting for this one for day and as well you didn’t disappoint. Gouda? Not at all 🙂

  • August 28, 2014 8:16 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Chris Limb

    Well done! Have enjoyed this blog immensely and am sorry it’s all over now.

    Of course young teen me was desperate for Blake’s 7 to came back even after this. After all, I reasoned, the cliffhangers at the end of S1 and S2 had felt nearly as drastic.

    I always wondered if the Federation guards at the end having non-standard guns (i.e. not regular Federation issue like the one highlighted in the scene near the beginning with Blake and Arlen) was the writers/producers leaving the doors open for S5. Stun guns?

    Of the three follow ups I read (All Our Tomorrows, Afterlife and Lucifer) it was actually the first – a fanzine – that was my preferred continuation.

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      August 28, 2014 8:23 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Smile

      As Tony Attwood also mentioned in his programme guide, there is a precedent for Federation guards shooting without intending to kill, in Project Avalon. So that proves, at any rate, that if a writer wanted to have a reason for them to be capturing the regulars instead, it wouldn’t be difficult for them to put that into their story…

    • August 28, 2014 9:14 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Adam Whitehead

      The story is that whilst Season 3 was supposed to be the last one, Season 4 wasn’t, and they had ideas on how to resolve the cliffhanger in a fifth season. Stun guns were one way to go, and it was in fact deliberate that we see blood on Blake and not on the others (a bit of a giveaway, IMO). When the announcer said the show wasn’t coming back, it was nearly as much of a surprise as when he said it was at the end of Season 3.

      At the same time, the writers were likely aware that there was a good chance this was going to be the last episode ever and set it up so it could work like that as well. And definitely one of the bleakest endings to an SFF show ever. ANGEL’s was nearly as nihilistic, but they framed it as much more a heroic last stand. And the new BSG could have out-bleaked B7 if they stopped in the middle of Season 4 rather than giving us the half-baked ending we did get.

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        August 28, 2014 10:57 pmPosted 2 years ago
        Doug

        At least we know now from the Lucifer books (which are novelisations based on the aborted mini-series/telemovie screenplay) how Terry Nation and Paul Darrow thought Avon could be saved from certain death at the end.

  • August 28, 2014 8:16 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Glen Allen

    Typing on an iPad is crap. #justsaying

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    August 28, 2014 8:16 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Supersynths

    Remember watching this as a kid and really looking forward to actually seeing Blake for the first time (series 1 & 2 were well past my bedtime!), and coming away from it feeling intensely angry for a 9 yr old. Everyone gets killed because of a misunderstanding! A bloody misunderstanding!!

    I can remember shouting at the screen “Tell him!! Just tell him!!” In the time it takes Blake to say “Avon, it’s me,” and Avon to say “Have you betrayed us? Have you……………….betrayed…………me?” he could have quite easily said “Avon, this is all a test, i’m raising an army against the federation.” I was LIVID (and still am a bit!). It was like a 70’s/80’s BBC sitcom with half an hour of cheap laughs from a single situational misunderstanding – AAAARRRGGGHHH!!

    Neil’s right – it WAS Tarrant’s fault! And no Servalan!! The one episode she should have been in and she’s nowhere to be seen!

    On a positive note, the location and studio work is top notch and Blakes 7 went down in history for that ending. Definitely wouldn’t happen in today’s Disney coated world.

    Finally, well done to Neil & Sue and all the contributors to the blog. Really enjoyed reading and adding to this blog and the Dr Who one.

    Take care one and all!

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      August 28, 2014 8:21 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Smile

      To be fair to Tarrant, it isn’t really because of his misunderstanding that the guards arrive and gun them down. Even if Avon and Blake had sorted it out and meeting and established what was going on, the latter would presumably still have happened after that.

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        August 28, 2014 8:53 pmPosted 2 years ago
        Anniew

        Yes. I don’t know if that makes Avon’s killing of Blake better or worse!!!

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          August 28, 2014 8:58 pmPosted 2 years ago
          Supersynths

          Oh I’d say worse. They should have gone down together, fighting on the same side. They may have even survived, it was pretty much one on one with the guards.

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            August 28, 2014 9:33 pmPosted 2 years ago
            Anniew

            But chances are they’d have been captured and Blake would have been conditioned again to betray the rebellion. Death by a friend – surely preferable?

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            August 28, 2014 9:35 pmPosted 2 years ago
            Frankymole

            Blake and Avon going down in a blaze of glory and free-frame would’ve been pure “Butch and Sundance” as Sue rightly surmises; Paul Darrow and Chris Boucher knew their westerns too well to repeat that trick!

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      August 29, 2014 8:30 amPosted 2 years ago
      Fiona

      But he does say that: “Tarrant doesnt understand…I set all this up…” but what Blake doesnt know is that Avon has been set up by a solid expert: Bartolomew, aka Anna Grant, love of his life and the Federation’s best agent.

      Imagine this. Imagine being a person of extremely deep and vulnerable nature and you build a hard shell to protect you. (There’s something wrong from the start that made him unable to relate and share : “I could never say how I feel” Avon says to Anna.) First a girl gets inside it, and she dies, a terrible agonizing slow death, and you blame yourself, seeing it is your own humanity that made you hesitate to kill. How do you beat yourself up for being too decent to kill? But failure is what it was….

      So you determine to make yourself not a shell, but a solid siege wall and never let anyone in again and make yourself so psychopathic you’d even plot with guards to kill all your fellow prisoners…condemn them to a terrifying death suffocating in airless limitless space, pushed one by one at gunpoint from an airlock…like walking the plank…plus, you see that the supposed good guys, forces of law and order, the London’s crew, even the apparently decent captain, are all well up for this, nobody is decent, nobody is good. But, anyway, they cant be trusted not to kill you too…so that gives you an out, you dont actually have to decide to do that…just convince yourself you would have, like you can convince yourself you’d let the prisoners be massacred, knowing Blake wont let it happen.

      You can pose to yourself and everyone else as a machine, heartless and guilt-free and demonstrate it by your cruel cutting remarks and icy demeanour. And it fools Vila and Gan, and Jenna doesnt care, but not Cally (being telepathic, and all).

      But it doesnt work, because having decided that everyone in the whole world, except for Anna and maybe her brother, are completely untrustworthy and out for themselves, here is this man Blake, who, although having been betrayed and brainwashed and set up and bereft of his family and witness to massacre, remains totally idealistic and determined to fight to set the galaxy to rights, overthrow evil and return “power to the honest man”: the honest man you know for a stone fact does not exist. Guy has no love for money and will use a room full of treasure for this ‘doomed crusade”. Imagine. He cant be bought. He actually means what he says. He actually is ‘an honest man’.

      And so Blake starts cracking and undermining this carefully constructed wall, sapping the structure and making it unstable, which makes Avon panic. He lashes out more frequently. He attempts to get away. Its only going to end in tears, and so Avon hates Blake for doing this to him, finally making him a deal: I will help you destroy Star One and you give me Liberator and I will go far away and never see anyone again.

      Instead, he ends up in charge of the shattered remains of the crew, with nowhere to go and with Blake vanished. And now Blake has gone, Avon panics even more and wants to get him back. It must be more painful to lose someone that has made their way through the walls than he thought. Still…there is memory, the memory of Anna, whom he has put on a pedestal. He was willing to die for her and since he couldnt, he decides to make a grand and theatrical and really futile gesture, which will mean putting himself through serious physical pain.
      Del Grant seemed to believe that Avon wasnt telling the truth when he said he was unconscious for a week. He wasnt, either. He didnt stand the pain of the shooting and go and warn Anna. He let himself be hidden while Anna was caught, so this explains why Avon doesnt now just have Orac tell him where Shrinker lives, which is the logical thing to do. Instead he puts himself through a dangerous captivity, and five days of agony. In an unstable and disintegrating mind, this would make amends for not warning Anna…

      …and then look what happens. The pure girl he was willing to die for was the lowest most devious crawling thing, a spy, an agent, the worst kind of all, the femme fatale kind, getting inside a man’s heart, breaking his reserve and gaining his complete love and trust: “I’m afraid I do trust you…” to wheedle out all his secrets and all his friends and then hand him over for torture and death…
      But, there is still Blake. Blake didnt betray them. He was lost. He is out there somewhere, and Avon knows Blake is ‘the honest man’. Isnt he?

      “Tarrant doesn’t understand!”
      “Neither do I!”

      What does he mean? I dont understand what’s going on here? No. He means, he doesnt understand what happened to Blake, how the one and only honest man could become a thing as low as an agent, an agent himself and worse, an agent working as a bounty-hunter, just for a paycheck, not even for a big haul. Just a lousy dirty killing job, gaining people’s trust and dragging them in to be murdered. The scar on his face says a knife fight, not an honourable wound, but some poor creature trying to get away, or some altercation in a seedy bar, or something else low and despicable.

      And then to find out in his last moments that he was wrong, that Blake was the honest man after all…now would Avon want to go on living after that? Would that give you reason to hope that there might be other honest men, or might you think you’d killed the only one, or might you think that the struggle to know is not worth the effort?

      How could Blake have communicated the truth to Avon? How could Avon ever know what it was? You know, even Blake’s death and Arlen’s statement might be ambiguous. “Your friend Blake said he couldnt tell any longer who was Federation and who wasnt. He was right”. That could be taken a multitude of ways. As could “Avon, I was waiting for you!” To capture you and hand you over? Really, why do we assume Blake hasnt become corrupt? He’s doing a fine job of pretending it. How do we know he isnt even deeper undercover than Arlen or even Anna?
      What if Blake is working for Servalan? Servalan saw how making a mock-up of Blake drew Avon running full-speed and full-tilt, so why not do it again? Liberator is gone, she made herself a bunch of money, and the thing to do now is get Orac and deal once and for all with Avon, because Servalan isnt exactly in love with Avon but she certainly wants him but cant forget the way he’s treated her…its clear she cant get him out of her mind, nor can she be satisfied without paying him back for pitching her on the floor. Moreover, she can get rid of Tarrant too, she was getting to like Tarrant too much and nothing can stand in the way of regaining her power.

      So why not use Blake to draw them in, kill them, and get Orac too? Imagine. Blake becomes so corrupt that Servalan decides to make him her partner…no, her Head of Security…

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        August 29, 2014 8:31 amPosted 2 years ago
        Fiona

        wow, that was long!

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        August 29, 2014 10:15 amPosted 2 years ago
        Anniew

        I think the ‘honest man’ ironically, is Avon. If he promises something he delivers. And I think it was that honesty that Blake trusted. ‘ I was waiting for YOU’, indicates that he knew Avon would try to keep his promise to return him (Blake) to Earth so he would find him eventually. Blake thinks he’s honest but from Avon’s POV he has always held the lives of the crew second to the Revolution while professing he cares about them. Avon has never claimed to care as he throws them between him and death.

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          August 29, 2014 11:41 amPosted 2 years ago
          Katie c

          Whew! Well said Fiona, and it’s a shame Avon’s tortured emotions take over his logical, rational mind and he shoots Blake (who wasn’t armed) and not Arlen, who was pointing the gun at him.
          Oh well at least he didn’t shoot him in the back!

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            August 29, 2014 3:43 pmPosted 2 years ago
            Fiona

            Now that would have been interesting. If Blake had said, well fuck you then Avon, if you dont believe me and started to walk off….hmm, Avon is well capable of back-shooting, Paul Darrow said he even argued for Avon to do that to a guard when the director wanted him to tell the guard to turn round.

            Isnt it funny how we are in Britain about chivalry and giving people, maybe not a sporting chance, but the right to look death in the eye? Its cowardly to shoot someone in the back, but not cowardly to say Hey and shoot them in the stomach when they bob round in surprise.

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        August 29, 2014 8:41 pmPosted 2 years ago
        dlee

        That was a brilliant summary of Avon’s psychology and history, Fiona. I agree with absolutely evrything you said. Well done!

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          August 29, 2014 8:48 pmPosted 2 years ago
          dlee

          To clarify, I agree withall you said about Avon. I don’t reaaly believe Blake would have turned. The events in Way Back alone make it hard to believe he would switch sides and, later on, his fanatcism shows he is prepared to destroy the Federation no matter what the cost to innocents.

          Of course, aith Avon we must factor in all of the other tragedy in his life, too: the loss of the security which the Liberator provided, the death of Cally, the fact that he himself turned out to be a terrible leader, and the events of Gold and Orbit all before Zukan’s betrayal.

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          September 5, 2014 5:30 pmPosted 2 years ago
          Fiona

          Wow, thanks! I was re-reading it and thinking, look at me, rambling on, so that is nice of you guys to say.

      • August 29, 2014 8:49 pmPosted 2 years ago
        encyclops

        Awesome.

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      August 31, 2014 11:13 amPosted 2 years ago
      Fiona

      But he did say: “I set all this up!” and not really his fault that it was an unfortunate choice of words. Blake wasnt to know what Avon’s been through and how likely he is to err on the side of believing everyone will betray you and let you down.

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    August 28, 2014 8:24 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Frankymole

    Is “Blakes Junction 7” still on the cards?

    • August 28, 2014 8:26 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Neil Perryman (Author)

      She’s seen it and I’ll cover it in the final, final, FINAL update in September.

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        August 28, 2014 8:52 pmPosted 2 years ago
        James Campbell Andrew

        If you’re after something shorter can I recommend ‘Ultraviolet’? Only 6 episodes.

        • August 28, 2014 9:16 pmPosted 2 years ago
          Adam Whitehead

          ULTRAVIOLET is absolutely phenomenal, and more that just for introducing the world to Idris Elba. I bought the special edition DVD last year and it still holds up superbly.

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            August 29, 2014 12:46 amPosted 2 years ago
            The Grouchybeast

            I loved Ultraviolet, right up until the silly plot twist at the end. It was so utterly stupid that the only thing I could think at the time was that there was supposed to be a second series in which we’d find out it was a deliberate lie, and that’s why it made no sense at all.

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    August 28, 2014 8:31 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Smile

    A neat thing about the ending is that on the one hand it seems so final, and on the other it still leaves open seemingly endless possibilities for what might have happened next. Whether they were all killed, or only some of them, or none, and what might actually be going on during those scenes… the sheer range of ideas that have been written about in all the PGP – ie Post-Gauda Prime – fiction that has been produced since, whether in fanzines, novels, the internet or anywhere else, just demonstrates that you could still go in all sorts of directions from there if you chose to.

    It’s a bit like those sections on James Burke programmes where a view of something in the camera would prove to be misleading after it was zoomed out or turned upside down or whatever, that being that you’re processing what you see on limited information. That’s the nature of the ending here too. So much narrative potential in various directions as to what might be happening around or after it, if you’re interested in that.

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    August 28, 2014 8:36 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Smile

    Oh and sorry, but I don’t agree when people say it couldn’t happen today. Torchwood did something similar in effect after all, it’s just that it was staggered over several episodes, and they killed off a child by blowing his head up too.

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      August 28, 2014 8:49 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Anniew

      Do you know I’ve never thought about that. Of course you are right.

      • Visit site
        August 28, 2014 8:52 pmPosted 2 years ago
        Anniew

        But Torchwood took itself so much more seriously than blakes7 ! I got really fed up with ham and treacle sentiment.

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          August 29, 2014 1:36 pmPosted 2 years ago
          RLF

          What Torchwood did….Annie, help me out. It’s a simulacrum of seriousness. It’s tell-don’t-show of the “look how edgy-edgy we are” variety, which every time chickening out of anything actually transgressive.

          It’s kind-of the television equivalent of a little boy who’s just learned he can upset his parents by saying “fuck” in front of their house guests, and can’t figure out why the effect wears off after the fiftieth time, and everybody just ignores the potty-mouthed little shit. Melodrama? Is that what I’m looking for?

          B7 is the opposite. It comes dressed in Disco outfits and with loud, echoey plywood flats and plywood-flat lighting and quite often has you on the edge of giggles, until it whips out the rug and you suddenly find yourself looking at the real dialectic and existential horror of what the Church Hall ‘Oklahoma’ production values were covering up. That’s when you start to feel the gooseflesh and your stomach sinking lower into your abdominal cavity.

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            August 29, 2014 2:06 pmPosted 2 years ago
            Smile

            Opposite in one other respect too – it killed off a character played by Gareth Thomas right near the beginning rather than at the end of its run.

            I’d exempt Children Of Earth – the 3rd series – from that description though, insofar as, while I only watched two episodes of it, it did manage to pose some interesting moral dilemmas, and went some way towards producing a reasonably effective depiction of a government acting in ruthless pragmatism, as well as putting Jack in a hard place after he purposely sacrificed his grandson’s life against the latter’s will to avert the crisis. Certainly I know it’s been praised even by people who couldn’t stand the rest of it.

            Like I said in another post below, I don’t particularly care for the programme, and indeed have watched less than half of the episodes they made, and shall probably never watch any of it in future. But the third series does seem to have been a fair stab at meeting its potential, with reliance on the superficial aspects of being “adult” – swearing, sex references etc – mostly avoided.

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            August 29, 2014 6:08 pmPosted 2 years ago
            Anniew

            You said it RFL. Nothing to add except Torchwood and its star and its writer suffered from the sin of seriousness so the ‘message’ becomes everything and gets rammed down our throats whereas Blakes 7 takes a view on life and lets us discover it for ourselves. Torchwood treats the audience like children who need to be told, whereas Blake treats us like adults and allows us to make our own sense of events ( hence the plethora of fanfiction taking different views of the whole shebang.

            AND RFL while we’re on the 80s don’t forget the real Servalan, Madonna!

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            August 29, 2014 6:29 pmPosted 2 years ago
            RLF

            What have I got to say about Maddie – the person who was so consistently on the crest of the cultural wave that I’m almost willing to reconsider my position on supernatural powers.

            Who needs standing armies and weapons stockpiles when you can call on a massive, universal popular support base, just by sensing exactly how far you can go with religious transgression, sexual transgression and cultural transgression, give it enough actual intellectual meat to make it worth studying, and then market it all as a product range that actually pays dividends to its investors?

            Alright, if you want me to say good things about ’80’s popular culture, I just started. Nice job, miss Fiona.

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            August 29, 2014 6:32 pmPosted 2 years ago
            Frankymole

            The “Children of Earth” moral dillemmas were great the first time round, in 1979, when “Quatermass” did them.

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            August 29, 2014 7:31 pmPosted 2 years ago
            Nick

            Oh yes, the 1979 Quatermass with Sir John Mills…excellent!

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            August 29, 2014 6:47 pmPosted 2 years ago
            Smile

            Yes, so I understand – not having watched, but I’ve read they were similar.

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          August 31, 2014 11:25 amPosted 2 years ago
          Fiona

          I hope this reply ends up in right place..not easy to tell…but somebody has posted Quatermass on youtube, tho the sync is a bit out. I loved that and I read the book a dozen times.

          That could use a remake what with all the police brutality and such going on.

          Has anyone noticed how many kids books are dealing with revolution these days? Divergent and Hunger Games to start. There’s a lot of bleak future stuff right now, its def the zeitgeist, and my students love it, has allowed me to sneak Brave New World into their non-reading Facebooky lives. Blakes 7 could be done now. I think, so much stuff went overboard with ‘nice’. So we had the unbelievable nice vampires of Twilight, which can come out in the day and are vegetarians or something..I absolutely couldnt read it…but I know the main vampire was going to school.
          There’s an appetite for bleak now. And an appetite for the simplicities of idealism: look at the kids running off to join ISIS! Blake and Avon need bringing back to the screen.

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      August 28, 2014 9:18 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Supersynths

      Maybe, maybe not. In the 30 odd years since this aired, the only ending that I’ve seen that comes close in terms of killing off the entire cast is the final episode of The Sopranos, and even Pauley managed to survive that bloodbath!

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        August 28, 2014 9:31 pmPosted 2 years ago
        Frankymole

        Wasn’t there a Dynasty or something that slaughtered everyone at a wedding (long before Game of Thrones)? And then there was the infamous Emmerdale plane crash episode…

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          August 28, 2014 9:44 pmPosted 2 years ago
          Anniew

          But it’s the new hero killing the titular hero that’s so shocking! Also the slight ambiguity. At the time of watching it I really entertained the idea that Avon had set it all up with Servalan and his smile denoted his satisfaction at the outcome. I wondered if his straddling Blake’s body was a kind of hunter and trophy kill moment. Now I think it’s all about the fact that Avon always thought it would end this way and so all his actions have served to bring it about – a self fulfilling prophecy.

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            August 28, 2014 9:49 pmPosted 2 years ago
            Smile

            There’s a theory that one fan has developed which I’ve read about – not saying I agree with it necessarily, juts throwing it out there – that the whole confrontation between the two of them has been deliberately staged by Avon and Blake who’ve planned it together, for some strategic reason. It was based on various bits in the episode they’d interpreted as suggesting it, though I couldn’t specify what they were now.

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            August 28, 2014 9:50 pmPosted 2 years ago
            Frankymole

            Avon said of Blake, in Terminal: “Death is something that he and I faced together on a number of occasions. I always thought that his death and mine might be linked in some way.”

            Spooky.

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            August 28, 2014 9:51 pmPosted 2 years ago
            Frankymole

            Though even more ironically, Avon’s prophecy is in response to Servalan’s “I was right. I knew you’d never let Blake die.”

          • August 28, 2014 10:57 pmPosted 2 years ago
            Andy Luke

            Aye, I saw this twenty years ago and the elaborate thing was lost on me. I believed Blake had set them up, defected or sold them out.

            My post-Blake fanfic was largely comprised of a comic of Gan’s ghost comically haunting Tarrant. Long gone, just as well.

            Wow. I don’t drink much but I’ll be getting sozzled on Rathlin Island next week, cert. by the time I’m through toasting you all.

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            August 28, 2014 11:01 pmPosted 2 years ago
            Doug

            I think the symbolism of Avon protecting Blake’s body and smiling ironicallybecause he realises he is “the butt of a cosmic joke” is the best interpretation.

            John Kenneth Muir discusses it in his book. There is a great article about it here:

            http://www.hermit.org/Blakes7/Merchant/Books/Critical.html

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            August 29, 2014 8:34 amPosted 2 years ago
            Fiona

            see what I am saying. ^^..that it might be BLAKE that set it all up with Servalan. Limitless possibilities.

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            August 29, 2014 10:27 amPosted 2 years ago
            Anniew

            I think the intonation ‘ have YOU betrayed ME’ suggested to me that Avon might have been busily betraying Blake behind the scenes or intending to do so. ( yes I know Wyngate that’s why you’re calling Darrow watch. For me Its BECAUSE of the weird delivery that the moment sticks it the memory and has inspired so much and such different fan fiction interpretation. It also highlights the fact that the whole show has really been about the clash between different philosophies, Blake’s and Avon’s, and it’s Avon’s that proves the weaker. hope shown to be ultimately less destructive than cynicism)

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      August 28, 2014 9:28 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Rob

      Good point but for whatever reason, Torchwood seems to be largely forgotten about now. I kind of hoped that Babylon 5 would have a similar ending to B7 since JMS was such a fan but i think he bottled it in the end and made a bit of a has with the Shadow War and how that was resolved.

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        August 28, 2014 9:52 pmPosted 2 years ago
        James Campbell Andrew

        Ah, interesting story there: When JMS conceived B5 he intended it to last for 5 series. However, during season 3 he was told “You need to wrap it up next series”. So he rejigged stuff, and condensed series 4 & 5 into one series, which is why series 4 is so intense. Problem is, the studios (upon watching how series 4 was playing) said “This is great! You can have that series 5 after all!”, to which I imagine JMS saying “Oh, for fu…fine!”, and explains why series 5 is so…lacklustre. And also explains why the Shadow War was essentially ended by Sheridan shouting “Sod off, the lot of you!”

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      August 29, 2014 12:18 amPosted 2 years ago
      DPC

      Torchwood just lacked good characters and deep stories, and the underlying premise is one THE worst in sci-fi history.

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        August 29, 2014 6:40 amPosted 2 years ago
        Smile

        Not a fan of it myself, and watched very little of it after its first series, but then that wasn’t really anything to do with the point being made.

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    August 28, 2014 8:48 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Rob

    What a *fantastic* update to end on 🙂 The split-screen was a lovely touch too and well worth the wait -the 1981 Blake’s 7 ‘Christmas Special’ is still intense viewing all these years on.
    A brave ending indeed and it really couldn’t have ended any other way. i’m glad that this episode was free from Servalan. Sue’s comments echoed my Mums when this was first broadcast about Servalan showing up in the final moments to save Avon but of course that was too obvious and B7 often played against viewer expectations.
    I vividly remember December 21st 1981 – I actually knew what was coming in that final episode as a snotty TV critic in The Daily Mirror took great pleasure in revealing that Avon & co all end up dead in the closing moments of B7’s last ever episode. The first shock in reading this article some 4 or 5 hours before the finale aired was that I had no idea that this the ‘final’ episode. B7 Monthly was only 4 months old and I assumed that B7 would run for a few good more years. I grabbed 10p from my mum and rushed to the local public phone box to ring the BBC and I vividly remember saying the words ‘Is it true??!’ to the chap on the BBC desk (spooky choose of words) to which he replied ‘I’m afraid so’ and I replied ‘but…but you can’t kill them’. And then the pips went. I was 13 at the time and B7 was the only show on the box that i really cared about. i even remember the weather on that day, it was cold damp and grey and dreading the hours leading up the ‘Blake’. Despite this huge spoiler (who on Earth leaked that to them??), the ending was still shocking – even that Daily Mirror spoiler couldn’t prepare me for this conclusion.

    Oh and i think that David Collins should be up for an Orac too – he gave a terrific performance in this finale.

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      August 28, 2014 9:34 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Frankymole

      Yes, I love how Blake has managed to get another intriguing technical wizard as a lieutenant, and no less than Sapphire and Steel’s “Silver” (what a good job Collings did as the “Avon” to David McCallum’s “Blake” in that contemporary series, rubbing the hero up the wrong way and being effortlessly charismatic and scene-stealing).

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        August 28, 2014 9:42 pmPosted 2 years ago
        Rob

        Ah you’ve just reminded me 🙂 Sapphire & Steel’s finale was every bit as good as ‘Blake’ in my humble opinion – very memorable and atmospheric and it lived on in the minds eye much like Blake plus another great performance from Collins as (traitor?) Silver 🙂

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          August 28, 2014 9:55 pmPosted 2 years ago
          Licence

          Silver was never a traitor. I won’t have it! 😉

          • August 28, 2014 11:02 pmPosted 2 years ago
            Andy Luke

            Oh that S&s finale can still scare. But David Collings bless him: last ep of S&S and I’ve been re-watching Press Gang, were he re-appears in the first two episodes of the final series, marking Lynda Day’s descent into darkness. He is the harbinger of the apocalypse, bless.

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    August 28, 2014 8:52 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Chris Allen

    “I like Blake’s outfit.”

    Definitely the best costume Garath Thomas ever got in the show. And it still looked good when Garath Hale wore it in an episode of “The Young Ones”.

    “Of course, they’ve never met before. Although you’d think Tarrant would know what Blake looked like”

    As Tarrant himself said to Avon in his first episode: “You weren’t Blake, I’d have recognized him.”

    “Imagine if this had been their spaceship for a whole year…”

    Imagine living on Scorpio for a year. With the eating and sleeping quaters back on Xenon base, it would have been a bit… basic. There must be a toiltet on Scorpio and a food dispensor but there’s only the flight deck as living space when in flight.

    “You didn’t see any blood when the others got shot, like you did with Blake”

    That would have been interesting. I think the shootout was transmitted at about 8:30-ish? If they’d all shown as much blood when shot as Blake did, I’m sure Mary Whitehouse would have kicked off.

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      August 28, 2014 9:28 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Frankymole

      Tarrant certainly seems to know its Blake, in the flyer. But he doesn’t trust him. Avon’s probably poisoned his mind against Blake.

      • Visit site
        August 29, 2014 8:36 amPosted 2 years ago
        Fiona

        I didnt get the impression he knew it was Blake til Blake began to talk about Jenna. Tarrant, like, froze at that point.

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          August 29, 2014 8:40 amPosted 2 years ago
          Smile

          It might be a reason for his telling him about Jenna. A subtle way of indicating to Tarrant that, yes, he is Blake, without directly telling him his name.

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            August 29, 2014 5:19 pmPosted 2 years ago
            Frankymole

            Smile, I agree. That’s how I took it. I wonder if Blake tried it often on the off-chance one day someone who’d met Avon would show up – but Blake seemed to recognise Tarrant (and maybe the Scorpio) else he wouldn’t have pulled Tarrant’s gun on him and told Deva about Tarrant being one of Avon’s associates.

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            September 5, 2014 5:50 pmPosted 2 years ago
            Fiona

            yes, I agree that is probably why. Blake knows who Tarrant is, doesnt he, because he has used his bounty-hunter cover to follow Avon, to know Avon has a price on his head and by clocking that, he’s then found about Avon’s ship and crew. He must have been following his adventures to some extent.

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          August 29, 2014 4:44 pmPosted 2 years ago
          Nick

          I always thought it was a bit sad hearing that Jenna had died, but what a way to go!

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            August 29, 2014 4:55 pmPosted 2 years ago
            Rob

            That was the first real shock of the episode for me way back in December 81, hearing of Jenna’s fate – no doubt in my mind that Blake wasn’t making all that up. Wonderful performances from both Gareth and Steven. Both of them seem to get overlooked with Paul getting so much attention but they were both terrific actors and seemed to relish their scenes together.

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            August 29, 2014 5:11 pmPosted 2 years ago
            Smile

            Whole not wanting to get into an argument as to whether she could be dead or not, it’s worth remembering that Blake could still be telling the truth and be wrong anyway. Del Grant believed Anna Grant was dead in Countdown and she still turned up later. The crew believe that Servalan is dead in the early episodes of S4 and…

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            August 29, 2014 11:22 pmPosted 2 years ago
            Geoff

            When Blake says Jenna’s name to Tarrant you see him looking for a reaction. I think Blake dropping that information meant to be a deliberate act rather than Blake just being chatty. Of course it serves the other purpose of letting us the audience know what happened to Jenna.

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      August 31, 2014 11:37 amPosted 2 years ago
      Fiona

      How do we know that the flight deck is all the living space? Anyway, future people might live like we do in Hong Kong: crushed, but harmonious. You dont get explosions of cabin fever here, its amazing how you can have a family, plus helper, in 2 bed flat, no more than 400 square feet.

      Still, having said that, several volatile personalities, crammed together in about 250 sq ft …they could have just had the massacre be over Tarrant leaving the seat up…

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    August 28, 2014 9:00 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Chris Allen

    “Now Sue has a achoice of reading either Afterlife or Paul Darrow’s Lucifer trilogy to find out what happens next”

    Don’t do it Sue! In some countries, “Afterlife” is regarded as a war crime.

    “Lucifer” is really no better though. Both feature characters with the same names as those in the series, but that’s about the only connection. Both are pretty much devoid of the spirit of the series. Either because Attwood and Darrow aren’t much cop as writers or, devoid of any influence from Terry Nation or Chris Boucher, the books don’t feel like “real” Blake’s 7. In “Lucifer” for example, Avon doesn’t have one decent caustic put-down in the whole book.

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      August 28, 2014 9:29 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Frankymole

      Surely first up must be “Avon: A Terrible Aspect”.

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      August 28, 2014 11:07 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Doug

      Lucifer is based on Terry Nation’s plot treatment for the sequel mini-series though, isn’t it?

      He and Darrow discussed it a lot when he was still alive and it certainly features those few elements that Nation let slip in interviews: the “island planet” being analagous to Elba, for instance.

      I’d say the lack of caustic put-downs is due to the lack of involvement from Chris Boucher.

      I do admit though that the troubling thing about Lucifer is the extreme violence in it. In a way, though, this is “good” in that it highlights just how vicious both Avon (as a terrorist) and the military/establishment really are. There are no good guys in it, just a succession of evil characters, each one more ruthless than their predecessor. I read in a review somewhere that that was apparently Paul Darrow’s intention – to leave you wondering which character really is the titular Lucifer when they are all, in fact, fallen to various degrees.

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        August 29, 2014 6:03 pmPosted 2 years ago
        Frankymole

        “Avon: A Terrible Aspect” is the prequel featuring Avon’s childhood and young life, right up to the point he’s on the transport to Cygnus Alpha. It was “authorised” by Nation who wrote the foreword.

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          August 29, 2014 6:05 pmPosted 2 years ago
          Smile

          It also, as a matter of interest, includes an explanation of what was on the piece of paper that Avon’s looking at in his first scene, where he’s talking with the others.

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    August 28, 2014 9:01 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Rob

    I will really miss comments like these:

    Sue: Why is Orac pretending to be a Christmas tree?

    Me: Well, this is Blake’s 7‘s Christmas special.

    Please do another blog you too. Don’t make us start a ‘Bring Back Wife & Blake’ campaign….

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      August 28, 2014 9:14 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Jason

      “Please do another blog you too. Don’t make us start a ‘Bring Back Wife & Blake’ campaign….”

      Or write and record an 80s pop song, “Wife in Distress.”

  • August 28, 2014 9:12 pmPosted 2 years ago
    encyclops

    Brilliant finale. Excellent video — split-screen and captioning made it perfect. Extra thanks to Nicol for filming it and to Sue for forgiving it.

    Even that five minutes reminded me how fantastic this final episode was. Much better than crazy mixed-up Terminal, honestly. In the end they’re undone by lack of trust — both Blake’s, with his elaborate cover persona, and Avon’s, with his jumping to conclusions and itchy trigger finger. Darrow plays it weird, unreadable, which is why it took me a long time — really, until now — to see what he must have been thinking. Until today I always assumed there was an element of mystery there, perhaps bolstered by the silly post facto justifications in Afterlife, but fundamentally it all boils down to the fact that Blake always trusted Avon but Avon didn’t always trust Blake.

    I’m surprised Sue didn’t comment on Vila’s skillful disarming of (and apology to) Arlen. Heroic AND hilarious. She must have been in shock.

    I’m sure I’ll say it again on one of the final posts, but I’ve loved this blog so much. In some ways it was even better than Wife in Space, and that’s saying a lot. Thanks so much to Neil and Sue for putting all the work in — 52 hours of television, followed by who knows how many more hours typing up the entries and moderating the comments. A sheer pleasure.

    Props also to Glen for the awesome trailers and to Paul Darrow for spicing them up even more. And to all of you for some frankly astonishing comments. This is the best fan club I’ve ever been in.

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    August 28, 2014 9:51 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Steve Trimingham

    Well done you two and thanks for the journey I went on with you. Haven’t watched the show in years and agreed with Sue all the way. Even more than Doctor Who, Blake’s 7 could be the best of times and the worst of times. Watching some made me remember how good it could be; others made me squirm like a specialist trying to convince his sceptical parents what an important piece of drama it was.

    Steve

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    August 28, 2014 10:06 pmPosted 2 years ago
    DPC

    Thank you, much, to you both for an always-engaging blog!

    Those final 5 minutes still get to me, every single time.

    Even without that ending, I wanted a series 5 – but, back then, all the ideas had been used and it’s amazing series 4 had an improving streak toward the end (the last 6~7 episodes). But the characters and dialogue made even some of the worst episodes a little better…

    The one episode Servalan should have been in, and she’s not in it!!

    Wasn’t there some rumor that, in 1981, there was a number of suicides after “Blake” aired?

    And as there was only one take, wasn’t Gareth Roberts trying to get Paul Darrow to corpse while straddling?

    Paul Darrow was in the promo teaser that Glen did? Cool!

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      August 29, 2014 2:46 amPosted 2 years ago
      Frankymole

      There is often an increase in suicide rate around Xmas, perhaps because it brings home to depressed and/or lonely people the happy times they once had at Xmas before things changed in their lives. “Blake” can’t have helped much. Perhaps the BBC should have put up the Samaritans’ number – these days they’d have an “if you’ve been affected by some of these issues in this programme…” helpline.

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        August 29, 2014 8:40 amPosted 2 years ago
        Fiona

        They’d probably need one of those trigger warning things. “This programme may leave you feeling wretchedly hopeless at the eternally fallen condition of humankind, and in addition, perpetually confused and spiralling ever inward through limitless ambiguity. Enjoy. Or not. Better dont think about it. Oh, and Avon dies. Thought we should warn you”.

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          August 29, 2014 6:04 pmPosted 2 years ago
          Frankymole

          Ah, a bit like every Eastenders Christmas episode. Though at least Michael Keating’s character survives in that show.

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      August 29, 2014 9:01 amPosted 2 years ago
      Fiona

      *And as there was only one take, wasn’t Gareth Roberts trying to get Paul Darrow to corpse while straddling?*

      What does that mean, please?

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    August 28, 2014 10:09 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Anniew

    I agree Encyclops this has been an amazing experience. I’ve fought shy of all fan clubs before because a lot of the fans when I visited sites just seemed plain nasty to anyone with whom they disagreed and I felt intimidated about contributing. Here I finally plucked up courage to join in and I have found it so exhilarating and welcoming; even better, I’ve been stretched intellectually by the erudite analysis of many contributors and entertained royally by wonderful witty comments of others. The knowledgeable wear their knowledge lightly with just enough irony to make it funny without discrediting it. It is amazing to feel I know so many different people from all over, entering their homes, heads and hearts via a blog. Neil and Sue have been such generous hosts and are obviously lovely people. They have shared their lives wholeheartedly and I am such a fan that I blush when Neil answers one of my tweets! ( I’d probably hurl myself under a table if I found myself in the same room as Sue and Nicole – they are such awesome women). Thanks everyone. Oracs all round!!

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      August 28, 2014 11:10 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Doug

      +1 about some nasty fansites out there. I still remember the fights between “Cats” and “Flipper” on the http://www.blakes-7.co.uk/ forums. After those two departed, everyone else became really terrible too. I think that forum is just about dead these days and, I hate to say this, but I am truly thankful for it.

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      August 29, 2014 8:44 amPosted 2 years ago
      Fiona

      and you’ve been mega! What would it all be without Annie’s poems. How about a finale from you?? May I suggest a take on “The Adventures Of Isabel The Self-Reliant” by Ogden Nash? Full disclosure, was trying to do it myself and could not. But its perfect. “The Adventures of Avon, the Much Too Self-Reliant”.
      You know the one? “Isabel, Isabel, didnt worry, Isabel didnt scream or scurry”

      Avon, Avon didnt worry….Avon didnt scream or scurry…

      I couldnt get all the cadences right.

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        August 29, 2014 6:43 pmPosted 2 years ago
        Anniew

        For Fiona

        The cautionary tale of a man who cared too much or couldn’t give a toss.

        The catastrophe at Gauda Prime
        Caused quite a rumpus at the time.
        Avon heard Blake was in the vicinity
        Tracked by Orac through lines of infinity
        And decided to make him the figure head
        Of the rebels’ alliance ( now Zukan was dead).
        Unfortunately this grand reunion
        Was wrecked by understandable confusion
        Caused by Avon’s trusting no one at all
        And Blakes’s belief he was loved by all.
        The balloon went up when Blake ignored
        Avon’s “Stand still” ( he was possibly bored),
        And Avon shot thrice to show he meant business,
        Though once was ample to those less suspicious.
        This murder (he shot the unarmed with intent,
        Though Blake had a knife that came and went),
        Brought everything to an untimely head
        Leaving everyone either bent badly or dead.
        The lights went out. Smoke filled the room.
        Sirens shrieked the sound of doom.
        Deva hit the floor when Arlen unmasked
        And Dayna died, question unasked.
        Villa and Soolin cartwheeled to death
        And Tarrant, called Avon and breathed a last breath.
        Last Avon, alone with a crocodile smile,
        Defied his fate for a little while,
        Taking his enemies down as he fired
        Seeking the death he had long desired.
        When Servalan came ( now this is surmise)
        She faced the carnage with outraged surprise.
        Blake’s four or five ( some would argue seven)
        Were on their way to hell or heaven.
        Avon and Orac had escaped her clutch
        Which frankly she thought was a bit too much.
        And the moral of this cynical charade?
        A man who trusts will be betrayed!

        • September 3, 2014 3:44 amPosted 2 years ago
          Andy Luke

          Incredible. *grins*

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            September 3, 2014 9:02 amPosted 2 years ago
            RLF

            And on that note, it’s time for me to say to everyone: thank you for the lovelies, see you all where next we convene.

            Night-night and sleep well.

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    August 28, 2014 10:16 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Anniew

    But Franky isn’t Avon’s comment in Terminal because he’s decided to tell Villa to get the hell out and expects to be killed as a result? More ‘I knew the bastard would get me killed in the end’ than a mystical feeling of their fates being entwined

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    August 28, 2014 10:17 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Katie c

    Thank you Neil and Sue for taking me back to one of my teenage obsessions.
    I’ll miss this blog so much.

    Yes, well done Vila, a hero to the end. I like the reference to Cally as well (I’m completely harmless and armless, what he said on first meeting Cally).

    I don’t think it could have ended any other way. I used to imagine that Avon was raising his gun to Servalan at the end and the first shot after the credits was him blowing her away in her cocktail dress before getting shot down himself,
    It was actually more of a surprise that Servalan didn’t turn up.

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    August 28, 2014 10:17 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Sally M

    It took me years to forgive everyone for ‘Blake’ (hey, I didn’t even know it was the last of the season, let alone the last episode and DEFINITELY let alone… that end!) but it’s one of my favourite episodes now. Chris Boucher, who wrote it, always said he wrote it as a cliffhanger, not as THE END, and anyone who wanted to come back would have only been stunned, but it’s better this way. even if I’m in denial over Avon, Vila and (yes, I can manage it!!) Blake…

    And I’d lay good money that the first fanfiction fixit was probably written within half an hour of the screen going dark {g}

    Thank you, Neil and Sue for the re-ride through my show, it’s been great 🙂 I haven’t always agreed, but then that’s half the fun, isn’t it?

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    August 28, 2014 10:20 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Cheekster

    Neil and Sue, thanks so much for bringing along with you on the journey.

    I’ve not watched series 4 since the original transmission and found it strange which bits I remembered and which bits I didn’t. Avon pushing a perspex cube with a toy dumper truck, but not Villa crying in a crawlspace in Orbit.

    Villa was my favourite back then, but I’m surprised watching the series through again, how little his character actually did. I can only suppose that the long weeks and months between episodes I couldn’t rewatch were filled with imagined adventures and playground improv. His act of heroism at the end of Blake was almost his best moment, and I remember feeling vindicated in my faith in him.

    Thanks again for the fun.

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    August 28, 2014 10:26 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Tim

    The four words at the end.. what an epitaph for Tarrant 🙂

    Thanks for the blog, it’s been great fun.

    Now… how about every single episode of Prisoner Cell Block H next? I hate it, but it’s thousands of episodes long.. well… six hundred odd.

    Go on… lol

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      August 29, 2014 8:48 amPosted 2 years ago
      Fiona

      Oh what a suggestion! I had Charlie’ sAngels for an idea, due to the complete seventies-ness of it and the crazy coincidences, but Prisoner, wow. I love it.

      But, sigh, what is like unto Blake’s 7? Good old Avon, havent seen his like since. Not with so many layers and spirals…and God knows, not with such looks…shallow, I dont care. Heart-stopping, he is.

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    August 28, 2014 10:27 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Ade Jacobs

    Sue, your accent is just soooo sexy!

    Blake is a love hate episode for me, it’s action packed with a powerful conclusion. But it’s also the end, and with no announcer sating about another series next year, it really is the end.

    It seems as though the budget was used in the second half of the series, or as I call them – The summer episodes, as opposed to the dull grey cloudy winter episodes of Rescue-Headhunter.

    Sue you have made me smile over the past few months, and like Blakes 7, I’m really going to miss you (and Neil too)

    I was a real latecomer to this site, but if you are going to Kickstarter another sequel then I’m in.

    Love to you all.

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      August 28, 2014 10:28 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Ade Jacobs

      PS: How about Eldorado next? 🙂

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        August 28, 2014 11:50 pmPosted 2 years ago
        RLF

        I keeps on tellin’ ya, ‘Triangle’!

        • August 29, 2014 1:41 amPosted 2 years ago
          John Callaghan

          Star Maidens or nothing. And we all know which of those it’ll be. 🙂

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          August 29, 2014 11:25 pmPosted 2 years ago
          Geoff

          Ah! Triangle trumps my Howards Way! I happily concede defeat!

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        August 29, 2014 8:43 pmPosted 2 years ago
        Ade Jacobs

        Then you could call it

        ‘ADVENTURES WITH THE WIFE IN SPAIN’

        Mind you If you do as RLF suggests, then can I watch with you?

        I would dearly love to see ‘Triangle’ again!

  • August 28, 2014 10:27 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Mat Dolphin

    Oddly I was expecting Sue to be absolutely livid at the end! She was quite calm, presumably enjoying it too much.

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    August 28, 2014 10:37 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Duncan B

    Had not seen the ending for years and in my memory I had placed Servalan as arriving at the end. Strange how your mind does these things.

    Now I’m off to complain about the ending to the BBC 🙂

    Thanks Sue and Neil & Glen for the engaging blog, the best £7 I have spent.

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    August 28, 2014 10:46 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Aidan Artymiuk

    Well fortunately we now know what happened to Avon in the last year or so Paul Darrow has began to release a trilogy of novels under the title Lucifer which explains what happened after this the final book going to be released next year I believe. http://www.bigfinish.com/releases/v/lucifer—book-and-ebook-741?range=80

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      August 28, 2014 10:52 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Rob

      It’s great that there is new B7 fiction out there after so many years (I even snapped up Tony Attwood’s ‘Afterlife’ in 1984 believing it to be official). I don’t know about anyone else but any continuation of Blake’s 7 would have to be written by Chris Boucher. It surprises me that he has (so far) resisted the temptation as he did have a few ideas for S5 back in 1981. Quite how Avon survived that shoot-out though is anyone’s guess 😉

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        August 28, 2014 11:14 pmPosted 2 years ago
        Doug

        Lucifer is based on Terry Nation’s synopsis for a sequel mini-series (I believe.) It does come up with a *relatively* plausibly explanation for how Avon may have survived (a third party intervenes before he is shot and no, it is not Servalan herself, at least not directly).

        See my commetns above for more thoughts about Lucifer. It is repellantly violent but, in some ways, that is the point. It is showing that neither the terrorist (Avon) nor the military nor the political rulers are “heroes” – they are all morally bankrupt, ruthless figures. A lesson for our times, if ever there was one.

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          August 28, 2014 11:26 pmPosted 2 years ago
          Rob

          Ah..I didn’t know that Lucifer was based upon Terry’s premise for the mini-series. I would still prefer an official follow-up from Chris Boucher though as he did rewrite most of Terry’s original scripts for the series.
          I have the same problem with Big Finish. It’s wonderful that they are doing new stories but to not ask Chris back to oversee and tweak them is a huge block for me.

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            August 28, 2014 11:36 pmPosted 2 years ago
            Doug

            I *believe* it is largely based on Terry Nation’s symopsis. At least one part is pure Darrow and that is the Chinese Empire, autonomous of the Terran Federation. Darrow said in an interview somewhere online he came up with that bit himself in an effort to make the books topical with regard to the rise of China as an emerging world power and competitor to the USA/Terran Federation.

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            August 28, 2014 11:38 pmPosted 2 years ago
            Doug

            PS – Neil, you know Paul Darrow personally, don’t you? Any chance you could ask him how much of Lucifer is based on Terry Nation’s synopsis and how closely it is based on B7 Enterprises’ would-be mini-series? We’d all love to know.

          • August 29, 2014 9:36 amPosted 2 years ago
            Neil Perryman (Author)

            I don’t know Paul Darrow personally. I’ve never really met him.

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            August 29, 2014 12:10 amPosted 2 years ago
            Doug

            PPS – Neil, maybe you could even interview Paul Darrow as a way of wrapping up this blog so you could have his response now that Sue has seen the show. Also, it would give him an opportunity to plug the Lucifer triloy for free, so everyone wins. 😀

            Am I the only person in the world much more excited about Lucifer, the Blake’s 7 sequel trilogy, than the upcoming Star Wars sequel trilogy? (I always preferred the Scorpio over the Millenium Falcon as a kid back in 1981 too. 😉 )

            BTW, do you know if Darrow reads your blog? He might be following Sue with as much as enthusiasm as we all have!

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        August 28, 2014 11:16 pmPosted 2 years ago
        Andrew

        The troopers directly behind the ones that confront Avon are Servalan’s own guards. They shoot their comrades in the back and take Avon prisoner to Servalan who now has Orac, as part of a deal Avon – suspecting a trap – made in advance.

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        September 5, 2014 7:31 pmPosted 2 years ago
        david tulley

        Logic of Empire!

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          September 5, 2014 7:34 pmPosted 2 years ago
          david tulley

          Meant to say Logic explains Avons survival, and Chris Boucher did like the explanation!

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    August 28, 2014 10:55 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Dave Sanders

    There were only two ways the show could realistically end while giving it proper closure; Terry Nation wrote one and Chris Boucher (and Paul Darrow) came up with the other.

  • Visit site
    August 28, 2014 11:12 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Andrew

    Thanks for all the laughs, Neil and Sue. The internet won’t be the same without you both.

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    August 28, 2014 11:25 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Jess Patton

    Being born in 1996, I stumbled upon Blake’s 7 by total accident during the dead season of television, whilst trawling through YouTube in search of something decent to watch. I was sixteen at the time, and my basic thought was ‘ohhh, they’ve got all four series on here- spacy-wacy, that’s good, my kind of thing. Hey, Terry Nation! Let’s see, 1979… that’s the same time Tom Baker was the Doctor… might try a couple of episodes…’

    Two days later and I’d mainlined the whole of series one. With a pinch of curiosity and a blob of coincidence I’d stumbled on one of the best things I’d ever watched. It also meant I had no idea whatsoever what the ending was. I remember that sickening feeling when I realised what was going to happen a second before it did. I remember being repeatedly asked all day if I was ill by my parents, due to the fact I spend the rest of the day staring into space with a mildly traumatised look.

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      August 28, 2014 11:48 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Rob

      Wonderful account Jess 🙂 I’ve had that same mildly traumatised look since Christmas 1981..

      • Visit site
        August 29, 2014 12:20 amPosted 2 years ago
        Jess Patton

        It took me a good two days to recover properly, and that only happened because I could watch the earlier episodes over and over and over and over. By the end I’d worked myself into a thorough state of denial that I still haven’t emerged from.

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          August 29, 2014 11:34 pmPosted 2 years ago
          Geoff

          Now image the same thing but not being able to rewatch the show because it’s 1981 and no one has a VCR yet! Then in TV summer of 1982 (or 83 I forget which) they re run S.4 on Saturday evenings during the summer in the Dr Who time slot. You tune into the last episode, by now knowing the show is never coming back and try to absorb it as fully as you can because you genuinely believe this will be the last time you ever see Blakes 7 in your entire life. As it turns out you do eventually see a condensed version of S1/2 on a BBC video in April 1990 when the BBC finally drop it’s retail price from about£2500 to a mere £9.99 but by God that was a long wait…

          • Visit site
            August 30, 2014 12:03 amPosted 2 years ago
            RLF

            My first time to see ‘The Way Back’ was on very early-morning TV in BRD (maybe RTL….?) in ’86, I guess. My hosts recorded a lot for me, but as I could only afford an ex-rental Granada VCR at the time, I couldn’t play SECAM VHS. Frustration!

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            August 30, 2014 6:07 amPosted 2 years ago
            Smile

            The repeats were on 4 June – 27 August 1983.

          • Visit site
            August 30, 2014 6:54 amPosted 2 years ago
            Katie c

            Does anybody know the dates Blakes 7 was aired in Australia?
            I’m sure it was repeated in the early 80’s as well. I only have a very vague idea..

          • Visit site
            August 30, 2014 11:42 amPosted 2 years ago
            Frankymole

            I have a vague feeling that Superchannel (cable) repeated some Blakes 7 before the BBC videos came out from 1985 onwards… but not available to most UK people? I did shell out for 3 or 4 videos before the proper (nearly) unedited full series came out.

          • Visit site
            August 30, 2014 5:30 pmPosted 2 years ago
            Rob

            Ah the memories 🙂 I went straight into HMV’s Oxford Street store to grab ‘The Beginning’ VHS back in 1985 – it cost something like £29.99 back then and then another year for ‘Duel’ and then Australia got ‘Aftermath’ a good few years before it finally got released here in the uK in 1990 for the more reasonable price of £9.99.
            I was fortunate enough to get the first three episodes sent over from Australia back in 1984 on a Betamax tape(!) Took a good while to find someone who was able to convert it to grainy old VHS.
            I would have to wait until 1987 when Super Channel began a repeat run only to frustratingly end it with Star One.

  • Visit site
    August 28, 2014 11:33 pmPosted 2 years ago
    JarrickA

    Well done, I enjoyed the blog very much. This ending works on so many levels. I like to think they are all dead, some stories don’t have a happy ending and this was beyond brave of Boucher to do. I’d love to see him write again for Big Finish and do some more adventures from the original series.

  • Visit site
    August 29, 2014 12:14 amPosted 2 years ago
    Nick

    Wonderfuli, if brutal ending. I always thought the lack of blood on the crew indicated that they’d been stunned, although Dayna of all of them looked like she’d been killed. Who knows? Different gun… Maybe she was badly sounded?

    So… Do the sequels say they survived? And are they worth seeking out?

    And big omission that Servalan wasn’t in it and had her comeuppance. Mind you, I remember an interview with SFX designer Iain Scoones in DWB fanzine and he said that it was ‘politics’ that Jacqueline Pearce was deliberately left out of the final episode.

    • Visit site
      August 29, 2014 12:25 amPosted 2 years ago
      Doug

      In the first attempt at an official sequel, Tony Atwood’s Afterlife, Avon, Vila and Orac survive. Here is what Atwood himself said about the book on Amazon.co.uk:

      **********************
      I’m moved to write this to try and clarify a couple of points that related to the writing of Afterlife. The book came about when it became clear that there was not likely to be a 5th series of Blake’s at least for another couple of years, because of contractual arguments which by and large had nothing to do with the series, but were happening off stage.

      Having written The Programme Guide to the series I was asked to write a book which could be turned into four episodes. My instructions were to work with Avon and Vila and to keep within the format – but not to introduce anything that would cause too much confusion if the 5th series were made. As the novel developed I suggested that we could consider doing 2 novels – the second being State of Mind, which would resolve the issues in Afterlife – which are left hanging reading for the next events. This idea was welcomed, but then those contractual arguments got in the way.

      A lot of hardcore fans didn’t like Afterlife – criticising both what I did with the characters, and what happened in the storyline, but to balance that (and to keep me feeling moderately happy) there was a lot of nice stuff from people who just watched the show but never subscribed to the fanzines etc.

      If you enjoyed Afterlife – I’m glad you did. If not – well, sorry. I thought it worked ok, but we all have our own style.

      **********************

      In the Lucifer trilogy (the first two parts of which have been published, only Avon and Vila have survived (I am hoping Vila can somehow be resurrected for the final book, Mr Darrow if you are reading this….)

      Again, opinions vary on it. It is extremely violent and features a lot of detailed discussion of military weapons which I, frankly, found quite repugnant. However, as I mentioned in the posts above, it does serve the purpose of highlighting just how morally bankrupt all of the characters in the Blake’s 7 world are – terrorists, military and politicians. There are no good people. They are all “Lucifers” and only the extent to which they have fallen varies.

      Darrow’s writing style is, surprisingly, quite readable. The books read to me like screenplays that have been adapted to prose – there is a lot of dialogue and not much insight into what characters are thinking. That makes me suspect these are the scripts to B7 Enterprises’ sequel trilogy mini-series that have been converted to prose by Darrow when that venture failed to gain funding. I am thankful for that, for otherwise, we would never have known what Terry Nation/Andrew Mark Sewell/Paul Darrow intended for the sequel.

      There are also a lot of scientific inaccuracies in the books which a lot of people have found annoying. These don’t worry me so much because I am more focused on the drama.

      Having some Chris Boucher dialogue would definitely have improved things though and prehaps the emergence of a moral character – another Bran Foster – is needed to give some kind of hope at the end or perhaps that would go against the nihilistic tenor of the books and the television show.

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        August 29, 2014 12:30 amPosted 2 years ago
        Doug

        Sorry, that should read, “In the Lucifer trilogy (the first two parts of which have been published), only Avon and ORAC have survived” – not Vila.

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          August 29, 2014 12:56 amPosted 2 years ago
          Rob

          Interesting stuff Doug 🙂 My memory of Afterlife is hazy now (I lapped it up at the time and quite enjoyed bits of it) but doesn’t Villa release Avon from a cell in that novel? I always liked that idea of Villa releasing Avon back then but after re-watching ‘Orbit’, it seems more likely that Villa would let Avon rot 🙂 I’m surprised that Villa doesn’t survive GP in Paul’s novel. Very interesting regarding Tony Attwood’s comments regarding issues with rights over B7 following the ending of S4. Sounds like the BBC might have been considering a possible 5th series around 1984-ish.

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            August 29, 2014 6:19 amPosted 2 years ago
            Louise

            My main memory of Afterlife is that Tarrant turns up suddenly not-dead half way through, only to be eaten by a tiger two pages later. The most pointless resurrection of a character I have ever come across!

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            August 29, 2014 8:22 amPosted 2 years ago
            Smile

            He does release Avon, yes, although at the time of Vila entering the cell, he doesn’t know who is there. He’s just looking for anyone or anything, having been alone for five months.

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            August 29, 2014 2:01 pmPosted 2 years ago
            RLF

            Louise.
            I’m imagining it in Avonspeak:
            GUEST CHARACTER: So, what happened to Tarrant?
            AVON: He re-appeared not dead and got eaten by a tiger two pages later.

          • August 29, 2014 8:57 pmPosted 2 years ago
            encyclops

            In fairness, I think that’s the fate a lot of us wanted for Tarrant.

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      August 29, 2014 12:38 amPosted 2 years ago
      RLF

      “And big omission that Servalan wasn’t in it and had her comeuppance”
      But it’s the capstone of an era bounded by Francois Duvalier and Idi Amin, with charmers like Ortega inbetween, when brutal dictators didn’t ever get their comeuppance, and either escaped with a suitcase full of diamonds or died peacefully in their beds. The brave rebels always got betrayed and butchered, the bastards always got away with it. I don’t think it’s cynical or cheap shock-tactics for B7 to be influenced by that.

      The next few years were marked by a popular culture which lionised fictional dictators and drug-lords and fossil-fuel robber-barons and predatory stockbrokers who were putative ‘villains’ in their own stories, but were purposefully presented as glamourous, sexually potent, magnetic anti-heroes who _also_ always walked out of jail free as birds and smiling, survived assassination attempts, or better still, got a Tony Montana blaze of glory. I’d say B7 was a good 2 years ahead of the curve on that one.

      Next, I promise I’ll start to say some good stuff about the ’80’s.

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        August 29, 2014 9:07 pmPosted 2 years ago
        dlee

        Without gettingtoo political, it of course still happens now but the leaders are democratically-elected. Do any of us really think that Tony Blair, George W. Bush, John Howard or any of their advisers or military leaders will ever face justice over Iraq and Afghanistan? They, too, will likely die peacefully in their beds.

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          August 29, 2014 10:31 pmPosted 2 years ago
          RLF

          I’m not trying to brush off your question, but I am trying to stay on topic. Don’t assume that ‘dictators’ are not democratically empowered. Duvallier and Ho Chi Minh were wildly popular with the indigenous peasantry: so much so that the Haitians allowed Papa Doc’s idiot son to take over after dad died.

          We’ve discussed a few times in the last few weeks how the Federation could survive the destruction of Star One and the loss of 85% of their fleet, and apparently saw no loss of power or influence. Which means that they must have been popular at grass roots level. And at the risk of sounding like a broken record, popular support is one thing that dictators absolutely must have, and must invest in, and by any sane definition, that’s democracy.

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      August 29, 2014 12:47 amPosted 2 years ago
      Rob

      Jacqueline had appeared in all her contracted episodes for S4. Chris Boucher has denied that it had anything to do with ‘politics’ but felt that Servalan’s appearance in the finale would have been too obvious. What they should have done is kill off Servalan in Warlord just to give her a good send-off?

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      August 29, 2014 8:58 amPosted 2 years ago
      Fiona

      Oh no, it was the very omission of Servalan that made it for me. She cannot be other than camp…although having said that, she was the best thing in Rumours of Death. She played with real feeling then, instead of the usual slink about here and there, undulate this way, sashay that…and her voice is so over emphatic. She was so different in Rumours, the shock of capture and humiliation of being chained up in a cellar quite humanised her…
      …but if she’d come in camping it up here in her heels and frock: “You see, Avon…he was your friend after all…you FOOL!!!”
      And no come-uppance! The bad guys win! Brilliant! This is where all their campaigns led them, a squalid death on a planet full of criminals, bounty-hunters, and double agents. Just brilliant.
      Also Servalan’s costumes would have spoiled the whole look of the thing which was very B7 circa Spacefall, and therefore top.

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        August 29, 2014 4:49 pmPosted 2 years ago
        Nick

        Oh agreed, it was realistic all right. But if she HAD been in it, it would have been so great if the guards had turned on her, just as she was crowing over Avon’s defeat, telling her she was being executed for treachery and ear crimes, or the foundation of a he’s register the life… then they could gave surrounded Avon…

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    August 29, 2014 12:58 amPosted 2 years ago
    The Grouchybeast

    The first time I watched ‘Blake’, the ending was like being punched in the chest — I genuinely had trouble breathing for a few minutes. Seeing it unspoiled is such a great experience.

    I heard Chris Boucher at a con describe his strategy for planning a series as starting with the first and last episodes, and then filling in the space between them. It’s funny how what was supposed to be just another cliff-hanger series ending that would’ve been resolved in the S5 opener is now one of the best-remembered endings of a TV show.

    Thanks for the blog, Neil and Sue! It’s been a highly enjoyable read. 🙂

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    August 29, 2014 1:00 amPosted 2 years ago
    Mrs L

    I’ve not seen ‘Blake’ since it first aired but I can still remember the numb, shocked feeling I had when it ended. Then I phoned the only schoolfriend that also watched it. It was a mostly silent conversation.

    Really enjoyed sharing your adventures with B7, many thanks.

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    August 29, 2014 1:06 amPosted 2 years ago
    Doug

    By the way, Sue in her pyjamas didn’t bother me but what on earth is Neil doing wearing a baseball cap inside – and at night too? Doesn’t he realise that is bad manners? :p

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    August 29, 2014 1:24 amPosted 2 years ago
    Robert Crowder

    I’m really going to miss Sue’ s wonderful comments, but completely understand why you want to stop. If you ever change you minds try Sapphire and Steel, at least there’s only 6 serials to get through.

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    August 29, 2014 1:53 amPosted 2 years ago
    wyngatecarpenter

    Darrow – watch “HAVE – YOU – BETRAYED – ME?”

    Darrow is guilty of crimes against acting and specifically of murdering the final scene of Blakes 7. Sorry it’s true, if I was Chris Boucher I’d be furious.

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      August 29, 2014 9:56 amPosted 2 years ago
      Anniew

      Oh Wyngate. So young and so misguided. I bet you think Clark Gable spoiled the end of Gone with the Wind as well. Well Darlin’ don’t GIVE a damn. Darrow rules!

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        August 29, 2014 3:39 pmPosted 2 years ago
        Fiona

        Totally, Annie. No way wyngate, it was awesome. He supposed to be shocked out of his mind and completely bewildered…it was perfectly played, didnt need to be understated.

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          August 29, 2014 11:39 pmPosted 2 years ago
          Geoff

          I agree, he comes over as totally unhinged, a man who is falling apart. The delivery is completely at odds with the mannered version of Avon we saw for most of the 4 years and I’m sure this was quite intentional.

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      August 29, 2014 11:58 amPosted 2 years ago
      Rob

      Sorry Wyn. If Paul’s acting was as bad as you claim in those final moments then none of us would still be talking about this episode or series all these years on and you certainly wouldn’t waste your time posting about it either

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        September 5, 2014 7:37 pmPosted 2 years ago
        david tulley

        go forth and multiply, Wyn

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      August 29, 2014 12:39 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Harriet

      Absolutely, that’s why I give it only 13 out of 10. Fortunately my brain edits out his delivery and substitutes the underplayed reaction he might have managed earlier in the series.

      Of course, it’s a gift for fix-it ficcers, who can argue that it’s so OTT it’s proof that Blake and Avon set it all up together, faking their own deaths for the benefit of CCTV.

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        August 29, 2014 6:12 pmPosted 2 years ago
        Frankymole

        According to Attwood in the “authorised sequel”, Avon is under the influence of MIND as operated by his never-mentioned-before sister, Tor, and consequently it’s not really him who pulls the trigger – hence why he looks as shocked when it happens (all three times) as Blake does.

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          August 29, 2014 11:50 pmPosted 2 years ago
          Anniew

          I thought I’d read Aftermath but I don’t remember the bit about Tarrant being eaten by a TIGER. A space tiger????? Have to buy the book and read it now. A F..cking. TIGER and a mind controlling sister no one’s mentioned before. I trump your slow moving spider ant and telekinetic Seska with with my space tiger and Avon’s mind controlling twin. Take that Ben Steed.

          This did happen didn’t it ? You’re not having me on ‘cos I’d feel silly if you’re having me on!

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            August 30, 2014 6:09 amPosted 2 years ago
            Smile

            All genuine. The space tiger was actually one of the evolved life forms on Terminal.

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          August 31, 2014 12:38 pmPosted 2 years ago
          Nick

          The more I hear about the ‘What Happeed Next’ sequels,whether ‘official’ or fan-five,the more I think the original ending was best: They are all killed.

          Some years back,there was a TV film called Mrs Sundance which was a sequel nit Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid about Sundance’s widow and what she did next with her life. There was aldosterone novel dialled ‘Whadda we do next Butch?’ where both are badly wounded in the final shoot out, but survive and are recruited as Governent agents!

          But both sequels dilute the impact of the film, one because it states explicitly that they were killed, and the other because it says they survived. Does that make sense?

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            August 31, 2014 1:18 pmPosted 2 years ago
            RLF

            Since Annie invited Nietzsche to the party, and he’s been following me round all evening, talking my ear off and being a monstrous cock-block, the ‘uncertain death’ is a brilliant way for the tragic hero to achieve immortality. The most influential figures in human literature – Jesus, Mohammed, Sir Galahad – and lesser but notable ones like Frodo Baggins and Titus Oates find a way to exit their narratives without dying OR survivng, and the ‘uncertain fate’ is great way to elevate a character to mythic status (if the stories and characters are worth it). The stories I always enjoyed most as were the ones that ended “…and no-one knows what became of them…” or “…and some say he never really died at all…” or “…somewhere, a boy and his bear are still playing…”.

            Makes sense to me, Nick.

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            August 31, 2014 1:49 pmPosted 2 years ago
            Fiona

            How the hell is Titus Oates only a possible death? You step out of a tent in the middle of the Antarctic, already debilitated and completely demoralized…you are brown bread. You are toast. You are whatever starchy carbohydrates come to mind, what you are not is alive.

            Do you mean, the body is not found, that kind of mystery? The one Hitler was trying to create, and might have if it wasnt for his inconvenient dental records. Memo, future Hitlers, off the dentist first.

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            August 31, 2014 2:14 pmPosted 2 years ago
            RLF

            It’s nowt but a cutesy narrative trick, sure…”and I think I’ll stop there…”, but it’s a way of allowing your character to escape the narrative.

            Honestly, Hitler had never occurred to me.

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            August 31, 2014 4:29 pmPosted 2 years ago
            Smile

            Ah thanks, Fiona. That Titus Oates. I’d been wondering what the person who started the panic over the Popish Plot in 1670s England had to do with any of this.

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            August 31, 2014 5:33 pmPosted 2 years ago
            Fiona

            I was thinking very much of Titus Oates in Orbit…that Avon could have done the great and noble, I’m popping in the airlock, I may be some time, but Paul Darrow was quite cool and certain, that Avon wouldnt and he himself wouldnt. Dont find yourself in a leaky lifeboat or tumbling helicopter with Paul Darrow, people.

            It is Titus Oates, right? Smile is confusing me now with Popish plots.

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            August 31, 2014 6:15 pmPosted 2 years ago
            Smile

            Titus seems to have been his nickname. His full name was Captain Lawrence Edward Grace Oates.

            The Titus Oates I was thinking of was a priest who, around 1678 – 9 onwards, made allegations, now generally recognised as untrue, implicating large numbers of Catholics in supposed plots against Charles II.

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            August 31, 2014 6:48 pmPosted 2 years ago
            Smile

            I think that’s the strength of the ending, Nick, by the way, in reply to the point you raised. That being that whatever did happen next is simply not made available to us. This is partly what I was thinking of the other day when talking about incomplete information. The closing minutes of the episode appear to finish off almost everything about the format and characters, bar a few tantalising loose ends.

            But the fact that it ends there without it ever being definitely confirmed as to whether they’re alive or dead and with Avon’s fate also left unclear means that it’s also effectively a huge cliffhanger. The strength of it is that there’ll probably never be a definitive answer, in the form of a following series – though I admit that it is theoretically possible that some day a ‘Next Generation’ style sequel, set decades or a century or more later, with new characters, might happen, and if it did that would make it possible for some kind of on screen explanation of what was going on to appear. If there never is any kind of follow-up on screen though, all there can be are books or audios or fan fiction presenting possible scenarios for what might have happened. As these can only be based on the opinions or theories of their writers, the mystery is maintained.

            It could be an interesting exercise to put to anyone inclined to attempt it: write a sequel to Blake’s 7 in which Blake and all five of the Scorpio crew are definitely and irreversibly dead. Because even that wouldn’t quite make it impossible either…

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    August 29, 2014 2:20 amPosted 2 years ago
    Dave Sanders

    What you don’t see at the end just out of shot is Sarah Sutton and Janet Fielding trying their best not to corpse their heads off.

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    August 29, 2014 2:27 amPosted 2 years ago
    Shan

    This is the one I’ve been waiting for since the very beginning of this project. The perfect ending really, one season less or more and I doubt the show would have passed into legend like it has as it wouldn’t have had this realistic and tragic an ending. Other shows since think they’re doing this as well but they’re really not even in the same ballpark (looking at you BSG for starters).

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    August 29, 2014 3:40 amPosted 2 years ago
    Fiona

    Yes, so well done, Neil and sue, this is what the internet was made for! I love how we could sit in the living room with you at the end.

    This episode was absolutely brilliant. “Why couldnt Blake’s 7 be like this all the time?” ….yes, I kept thinking it every minute!

    And Sue was saying: they knew it was going to end and so had to go out with a bang, as it were, but they didnt, did they? I saw that interview with Paul Darrow where he was saying he didnt know why it had been cancelled and was being very understated and British about it..”of course, they don’t have to give us any reasons”….and wasnt it Blake is the only one definitely dead?…so all the others could have been stunned and captured.

    I cannot decide if I wished they had done that. Its such a traumatizing ending, so completely perfect…Sue was so calm! I was fingernails scoring cheeks with shock. I knew they died, but I didnt remember the story. But given the way that the other characters were shaping up, and the excellent last few stories, it could be a pity. Should have had Chris Boucher write and Mary Ridge direct whole shebang. And then maybe we’d be surfeited with brilliance.

    And maybe the fact that its so patchy is what makes it. So the gems sparkle. Shows now have such a lot of money and they are so worked on….holy Christ, there’s a Filipina maid leaning clean out of the opposite window to clean the outside…she’s holding on with one finger, I swear….she’s gone back in. God’s sake.

    so…the shows nowadays are all dazzling and perfect…that Sherlock is awfully good, although I do not see that Benedict one as Avon, not nearly vulnerable enough, also looks totally weird, James Purefoy circa A Knight’s Tale, I like him for it…

    That maid has shaken me up.

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      August 29, 2014 6:14 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Frankymole

      The problem with making a series 5 would be – how do you follow that? You can’t do a bigger more impact-laden ending than that. And gareth Thomas was right – in the end, one side or the other has to win, otherwise it just undervalues the struggle and the antagonists.

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        August 29, 2014 6:44 pmPosted 2 years ago
        Smile

        In all honesty, if they had followed it up, it might have been better if they’d just made it a spin-off or a sequel programme instead. Dropped the Blake’s 7 title altogether, and not bothered trying to maintain the format, but do something else. Perhaps, say, a series about the exploits of Avon on the run from the Federation, a fugitive battling the odds, with him being the only regular character, well apart from Orac, and with Servalan as his semi-regular enemy in pursuit of him. Bringing their rivalry to some sort of conclusion at the end. Maybe a scenario where they appear to become allies but either may have an ulterior motive of some sort or be acting out of expediency, and a last episode where each is hunting the other, and it’s only a question of who wins, with the survivor gaining Orac. Perhaps Orac gets accidentally destroyed somehow in the struggle, so both ultimately lose out on that.

        If Avon wins, maybe he could end the final episode alone, walking quietly along a deserted stretch of beach, with the waves crashing along beside him, as the camera slowly moves out and he gradually gets smaller and smaller, almost disappearing into the sandy reaches and blue sky above, with the credits rolling in silence and the only sound being the sea. A deliberate contrast to the high melodrama and peril of how Blake ends. A quieter representation of one man’s absolute isolation.

        Just being fanciful.

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          August 29, 2014 8:00 pmPosted 2 years ago
          Frankymole

          Yes, I suppose a kind of revenge tragedy would’ve been achievable. That seemed to be what the post-Terminal arcs was, in some ways.

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          August 31, 2014 12:27 pmPosted 2 years ago
          Fiona

          I thought it would have been good to have Blake win, become a Stalin figure and become so mistrustful of Avon due to the machinations of some Gingka-like figure who feared losing his own power…one of those sleek types behind the scenes, Sir Humphrey from the Dark Side…that Avon was forced to flee for his life, ultimately finding Servalan hidden in squalid exile on some battered planet where all the derelicts wash up. Like Bangkok, really.
          She’d be a gin-soaked bar-fly with no obvious means of support when Avon finds her and lights a fire back under her…then they would start their own Rebel Alliance, against Blake.

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            August 31, 2014 1:35 pmPosted 2 years ago
            Vera

            Big finish already did it in “Spoils”

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        August 29, 2014 6:45 pmPosted 2 years ago
        RLF

        The answer is “you can’t follow that”, not without undercutting the killer blow you’ve just delivered. It’ll take me a while to figure out why I don’t find it a cheap suckerpunch, and my previous suggestion (that’s how the world was in 1981) is only half-satisfying to me. It should feel like a cheap suckerpunch – everyone dead, nothing at all achieved, the Federation entrenched in its power, the larger rebellion in ruins but I think what keeps it from being either that or a straight-up downer is the moral courage with which the show itself goes out. Whatever lows it might have sunk to (here’s lookin’ at you, ‘Stardrive’), the programme gets to finish with its integrity intact and knowing that it didn’t compromise. And in the end I think that’s what makes the difference.

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          August 29, 2014 6:55 pmPosted 2 years ago
          Nick

          Very succinctly put RLF. Of course, we can all speculate on what happened next?are they all dead? etc., but you’re right – anything after this would lessen the impact.

          The Federation fell, or near as dammit, but was resurrected, most likely under new controllers, but ultimately just as bad ( or as good) as the last lot. Blake’s crew and his wider supporters could never hope to topple that position of power unless they did it from within, and in positions of responsibility, if not actual power. The destruction if Star One and the thwarted alien invasion was a tipping point, but ultimately the Federation – of whatever political hue – continued.

          Nihilistic? Yes, but very true to life and very brave back in 1981.

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            August 29, 2014 7:01 pmPosted 2 years ago
            Smile

            There is also the consideration of how the failure of Blake and his various crews to destroy it for good didn’t necessarily mean the Federation was there to stay indefinitely. Chris Boucher discussed this in an interview, saying he thought the Federation would still have ended up falling eventually. All empires do in the end, after long enough. The series has a fairly tight focus in terms of its duration. While opinion on how many years pass between the first and last episodes is divided among fans, it’s obviously not that huge an amount given that the regulars don’t age that much, so it’s only a fairly short amount of time in historical terms that the series covers.

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            August 29, 2014 9:03 pmPosted 2 years ago
            dlee

            Good points, Smile. Some people like Jonathan Kenneth Muir have pointed out that the Federation is in decline anyway as per the London captain’s comments in Space Fall. The cheap sets and drab locations like quarries and disused gas works actually work in the show’s favour in this regard asit looks like a worls where infrastructure is crumbling. Blake may actually have halted theFederation’s decline for a few years by givingit something to rally against.

            In a second irony, some people have noted that Avon’s initial plan to undermine confidence in the Federation’s banking cartel would have done far much more long term damage than Blake running around blowing things up like a goon ever did.

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    August 29, 2014 3:49 amPosted 2 years ago
    San

    Brilliant end, if a bit… abrupt. I too had no idea what was going to happen–I’d also missed the title so REALLY seeing Blake again was a proper shock–then the massacre… No, can’t think of anything else ever that stunned me like that.

    Famous last words, Sue (“Tarrant, you…”)! SO right! Although I don’t know what Blake was thinking with his stupid setup. No wonder he lost one eye.

    This has been a wonderful experience, you will be much missed. I’ll live in hope that once everyone rests, some other subject will be found for collective amazement and amusement.

    Thanks for all the fun!

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    August 29, 2014 3:56 amPosted 2 years ago
    Robert Rowles

    I don’t think I watched this as a child: the ending was so shocking I think (hope?) I’d have remembered it. Their deaths seemed to come out of nowhere. Yet there was a pattern: ‘The Tragedy of Errors’. Some of it was pure chance, but most of the mistakes seemed to flow naturally from Blake and Avon’s bad judgement. Poor Tarrant, barely surviving the crash, then caught up in Blake’s web, what else could he do? Character was fate, in a ghastly manner. Originally I thought it was their mutual paranoia, but I can now see that, in two ways, Blake was too trusting. Arlen, the little snake, and Avon, I recalled his line from season two ‘I’ve always trusted you’. When Avon shot him my irony meter, seriously overworked since Games, finally packed up. As for Avon, his decision to go to Gauda Prime seemed like a final throw of the dice: also, the Avon from series 1 and 2 would have checked for any blockade of the planet (federation? more bounty hunters? I still don’t know). There was a desperate recklessness, about his decision making. But in comparison with Terminal, and after his gradual descent into psychosis this season, it now seemed perfectly plausible. So shocking, yet it was like the intricate, jewel-like mechanism of an antique pocket-watch.

    In fact, I’m a little in awe of how good that story was. Imagine Shakespeare writing TV Science Fiction drama in 1980, he’d have been proud of that script. Chris Boucher take a long, long bow. And Terry thank you for an awesome concept. I enjoy some Star Trek, but Blakes 7 is much closer to my worldview. And well played Neil and Sue, a wonderful blog and a delightful internet community.

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    August 29, 2014 5:50 amPosted 2 years ago
    Chris in New Jersey

    I had the ending spoiled for me when I spotted a copy of the B7 Programme Guide at a book store and flipped through its pages. Even so, a few months later when I finally saw the last episode, it still left me in shock. Watching it again just now still makes me feel cold. I remember rewinding my VHS and watching the last few minutes over and over back then, I couldn’t believe at first what I’d seen.

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    August 29, 2014 9:17 amPosted 2 years ago
    James Armstrong

    Going to really miss you two.
    PLEASE do Sapphire and Steel. Or NuWho!
    (Yes – I know – you’ve repeatedly said no more blogs, but I’m not too proud to beg!)

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      August 29, 2014 12:07 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Rob

      Another vote for Sapphire & Steel 🙂 I’m not sure if Nu-Who has that re-watchable quality for me personally but i would enjoy reading Neil and Sue’s comments about it all. Another show that would work well for this format is ‘UFO’.

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    August 29, 2014 10:07 amPosted 2 years ago
    TempusFugit

    I’m gonna miss you so much! I’ve been watching Blake’s 7 alonside with you, and reading Sue’s comments after watching the episode. So, this is definitely the end (has the moment been prepared for?)
    I would absolutely love if you did Sapphire and Steel or Survivors, or Red Dwarf, or Ufo, or… ok, ok I’ll stop

    Congratulations to the pair of you, you are amazing and know it 😉

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    August 29, 2014 10:13 amPosted 2 years ago
    TempusFugit

    Just for the sake of it…. it’s fun to remember Sue’s comments when watching Doctor Who – Timelash:

    Tekker has become the planet’s new Maylin.

    Me: That’s Avon.

    Sue: Is it really? We named a wild cat after Avon.

    Me: Avon is definitely wild.

    Sue: It’s a shame the cat turned out to be a girl.

    Paul Darrow definitely isn’t underplaying the role of Tekker.

    Sue: Is he always like this?

    Sue: Paul is desperately trying to upstage Colin, here.

    Me: This is Paul Darrow’s revenge for an appearance Colin made in Blake’s 7 a few years ago. Colin is still picking bits of the set out of his teeth.

    Sue: Paul Darrow is trying to make Colin laugh. He’s not even trying to hide it. This could get messy.

    Sue: He’s playing it like Tom Baker played the Doctor. Paul Darrow would have been a very interesting choice for the role.

    Sue: Wow. That was terrible. But it isn’t without merit. The Borad was excellent – probably some of the best make-up I’ve seen in the series – and Paul Darrow was hilarious. I could watch him all day

    Also, it’s also fun to read her comments on Doctor Who and the Silurians:

    Sue: I know that voice. I’m sure I’ve heard it somewhere before.

    Me: You have. He’s very famous.

    After spending several minutes trying to place him, she gives up.

    Sue: Just tell me.

    Me: It’s Paul Darrow!

    Sue: Is that supposed to mean something to me?

    Me: He’s Avon! From Blake’s 7! We named a cat after him! She’s out there playing with Blake and Orac the hedgehog right now. How can you live with me and not know this stuff?

    Sue: I thought Avon was a girl’s name!

    Me: I thought the cat was a boy. How did I know Avon was going to get pregnant!

    Sue: But we’ve never watched Blake’s 7 together. I thought we were going to save that for the sequel? Adventures with the Wife and Blake? His voice is very familiar though. Would I have seen him in anything else?

    Me: Well, he did insult some of my students last week.

    Sue: That’ll be it

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      August 29, 2014 5:03 pmPosted 2 years ago
      dpc

      Sue: He’s playing it like Tom Baker played the Doctor. Paul Darrow would have been a very interesting choice for the role.”

      WIN!! 🙂

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    August 29, 2014 10:33 amPosted 2 years ago
    James Armstrong

    Oh – and Neil – you need feeding up. Eat cake!

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    August 29, 2014 10:58 amPosted 2 years ago
    Geoff

    I guess what always grated with me is that Blake was always blundering around and just putting faith in people, a proper boyscout. Then when he comes back in contact with the one person he probably should just trust he fucks it up by dithering around with his stupid bounty hunter routine. I mean he knows Avon better than anyone. Surely he must have heard what Avon had been up to over the years so why all the testing of Tarrant. Also Blake of all people should have known that Avon has a “shoot now ask questions never” approach to some situations! I guess it works though because unlike us Blake doesn’t know that Avon has through recent events become unhinged to the point where he is pretty much no longer functioning as an interactive human being (and he was never much of one to start with!).

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      August 29, 2014 11:22 amPosted 2 years ago
      Smile

      There is also the possibility, as some have previously suggested, that Blake may not initially be entirely certain it really is Tarrant and not an imposter, say a spy sent by the Federation, and so tests him, so as to absolutely satisfy his uncertainty.

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      August 29, 2014 12:14 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Rob

      The Blake we see in the finale is very much a damaged man, perhaps as psychotic as Avon in the end? To be fair, Deeva does pull Blake up over his ridiculous bounty hunter routine.
      Watching the series again in 2014, I can’t imagine a more perfect conclusion than the one presented to us in Blake. I read somewhere that Vere and Chris had discussed the possibility of Avon and Blake leading a final assault on Earth and defeating the Federation which would have been ridiculous and a bit too much like Star Wars (minus the Ewoks). I’m glad that they went with this Macbeth ending 🙂

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      August 31, 2014 3:59 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Fiona

      Cant agree with you Geoff. The one thing Blake didnt do is blunder around and the one thing he had going for him was a superb ability to read people.
      Consider in Spacefall, when they first snatch the Liberator. Blake tells Jenna to set a course to follow the London to Cygnus Alpha “to rescue our people” knowing that will make Jenna happy…and it does, she gives him a warm smile for reward. But to sell the same proposition to Avon, he cant say, let’s save our comrades, he has to give him a practical reason, one Avon can live with without compromising his I-dont-care-about-anyone pose. He tells Avon he needs some more people to safely fly the ship. We need a full crew, he says.

      Blake also knows he needs to lie to his crew, or they wont go along with some of his schemes, and he has no compunction doing so. He isnt often fooled by anyone and he’s plenty ruthless when he needs to be. Remember the threat to break the surgeon’s hands? He meant it.
      He understood what to do in the fight with Travis: not to kill him when he’d downed him…Avon knew that Blake had the right answer, because they were more in tune than with the others who were urging Blake to kill.

      As for the bounty-hunting: it is perfect. First, its obviously a good disguise, hiding in plain sight. Second, what better way to introduce yourself to a prospective new bunch of rebels? There will be some actual rebels and there will mostly be criminals…but that’s what the last bunch were: he met them on a convict transport!

      Naturally, he would need to test them and try to ensure they werent really Federation agents undercover looking for such a scheme. I’m guessing Arlen had been set to actually catch Blake, that he had been uncovered, and they were going to either send him off for torture, or continue, a la Anna Grant to keep running him and see who else decided to throw in his/her lot with the man. He could have been being run for ages, maybe even Deva was actually Federation….and Arlen didnt know….

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    August 29, 2014 12:18 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Rob

    I should add (and i don’t say this too often about men) but hasn’t Gareth Thomas got such a wonderfully rich voice? A terrific actor and a great move from Chris Boucher to give him scenes with Tarrant who was originally viewed as nothing more than a Blake ‘clone’. Pacey and Thomas are electric in all their scenes together and I love how Pacey delivers the line ‘what on Earth happened to you?’

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      August 29, 2014 12:35 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Chris Allen

      “hasn’t Gareth Thomas got such a wonderfully rich voice?”

      For years the only copy of “Terminal” I had was an 1980 off-air tape recording. Gareth in voice only form sounded fantastic. At times I’d swear he sounded like Roger Moore (not an insult).

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      August 29, 2014 11:47 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Geoff

      I love that line too, and Blakes response. That’s always the moment that the dread in the pit of my stomach sets in for me and I know that this time, just like every other time I’ve watched it the same ending is coming.

      I have a friend who says everytime he watches The Great Escape he hopes that just this once Steve McQueen will escape the Nazis on his motorbike, and if course he never does. Well after that exchange between Tarrant and Blske I always start to hope the same thing because I know (to misquote Matt Smith) any moment now it’s acoming!

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        August 31, 2014 4:03 pmPosted 2 years ago
        Fiona

        I always hope that Clark Gable this time wont walk out on Scarlett.

        And yes, those are great lines…”Oh most of it wasnt on Earth, Tarrant…” it has a terribly bitter sound, doesnt it.
        wasnt Gareth brilliant! I feel like writing to him and saying so, I really do. At the very very start, I thought he lacked fire but as the episodes went on he got right into the part…I was holding my breath to see Avon lay eyes on him again.

        If I owned a bar, I would have a Blakes 7 night.

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    August 29, 2014 12:21 pmPosted 2 years ago
    mike

    And so it ends.

    Thanks for the ride, Neil & Sue, it’s been a lot of fun.

    I know you say you aren’t doing any more, and I know you’d like your lives back, but think of us, you selfish b…………………

  • August 29, 2014 1:11 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Michael Clark

    Well done Neil and Sue, it’s been a fun ride.

    I remember when I saw Blake for the first time, I didn’t move for about half an hour afterwards. Excellent episode in a series mostly made out of tinfoil and egg cartons.

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    August 29, 2014 1:42 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Marian de Haan

    Many thanks for this wonderful blog, Sue and Neil. And for the Wife in Space, which I’ve equally enjoyed tremendously (and often go back to reread). Great stuff!

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    August 29, 2014 1:53 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Philippa Sidle

    Sorry to see the end of such a great blog. In a way I’ve enjoyed this more than the original, simply because it allowed me to revisit Blake’s 7 in spirit – something that was so hugely important to me as a young teenager, more important than Doctor Who was at the time even.

    That ending was the Red Wedding of the 70s, wasn’t it? I remember my father saying sententiously, “But that’s what happens to these kind of people in real life.” Thanks, Dad!

    I think you should definitely do Sapphire and Steel next. It wouldn’t even take that long, there’s not much of it.

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      August 29, 2014 2:31 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Rob

      Yay! That’s three votes now for Sapphire & Steel – the greatest TV series (after B7 of course) 🙂

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        August 29, 2014 2:40 pmPosted 2 years ago
        RLF

        SELF-REPEAT. I would wholeheartedly agree with you about the greatness of S&S, but I for one would get medieval on the ass of anyone who tried smartypantsing their way through it if I was in the same room. I might have to form a special organisation names Smartyert Shpantshiyonam (SMASH) to deal with them.

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      August 29, 2014 3:03 pmPosted 2 years ago
      James Campbell Andrew

      I think the problem is that they’ve already seen it, and the beauty of these is that Sue hasn’t seen them before.

      I still say ‘Ultraviolet’ would be a though, assuming Sue hasn’t seen it.

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        August 29, 2014 3:24 pmPosted 2 years ago
        Rob

        Ahhh I didn’t know that Sue had already watched Sapphire & Steel…shame as it would have been perfect for a future blog 🙁

  • August 29, 2014 2:08 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Beth

    As I wandered out on a Gauda Prime morning
    As I walked out on a Gauda Prime day
    I said to myself, I should take target practice
    Poor Blake was careless — he got in my way.

    With his bloody “ideals” and his damned Revolution
    He screwed up my life from that very first day.
    Were it not for Roj Blake, I’d be . . . on Cygnus Alpha.*
    I’m not at all sorry I blew him away.

    They said he’d betray me, and why should I doubt it?
    I wouldn’t put anything past my friend Blake.
    Letting us think we’d been sold for the bounty —
    He won’t be repeating that kind of mistake.

    I expect a straight answer when I ask a question**
    I asked him one time, then two times and three —
    Damned fool wouldn’t answer, so I let him have it —
    As perfect a bull’s-eye as ever you’ll see.

    Now some call it tragic, and some call it murder,
    Some say I’m crazy, but I don’t agree;
    What’s the big deal? It was just target practice!
    And Blake had it coming, if you should ask me.

    *Okay, yeah, I’d be rotting in prison, or dead. That’s not the point.
    *not really

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      August 29, 2014 6:51 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Anniew

      What a wonderful poem Beth. Brought tears to my eyes.

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      August 31, 2014 5:41 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Fiona

      Beth, that is brilliant!

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    August 29, 2014 2:44 pmPosted 2 years ago
    RLF

    That is beautiful. I’ll be singing it in my Andy Partridge voice for the rest of the evening, to the metre of ‘Jesus Joy of Man’s Desiring’.

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    August 29, 2014 3:02 pmPosted 2 years ago
    James Campbell Andrew

    And now for the series finale,
    It’s time to put it to bed.
    A hail of gunshots, a blackened screen,
    But is Kerr Avon dead?

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    August 29, 2014 3:18 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Gareth M

    My over riding memory of this episode is the alarm at the end. It really goes on and on, it’s like a theme for this episode.

    Then suddenly it cuts out and you’re just left with the slowly pulsing light.

    It is a bold way for a series to end. It’s an extremely final way to end it.

    Now though I’m sad, that going into the future, into next year, there will be no more blogs from Neil, observations from Sue. No more weekly blogs about perms, wood work or quarries.

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      August 29, 2014 6:30 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Frankymole

      Good point about the alarm – I love the “running down” sounds during the close-ups to Avon… the sound design gurus like Elizabeth Parker really did an incredible job on the whole series.

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        August 29, 2014 7:44 pmPosted 2 years ago
        Rob

        Elizabeth Parker is an electronic pioneer 🙂 She doesn’t get much credit these days but her electronic sound effects on B7 are sublime. B7 used electronic soundscapes to great effect – the closing moments of ‘Blake’ are a great example of her talent.

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        August 30, 2014 5:48 pmPosted 2 years ago
        Fiona

        yes, i loved the red alarm. Unlike the alarm in Gold, which I thought would actually drill into my central brain. God whose idea was it to have it go on for ten minutes? When Tarrant and Dayna are forced to yell over the racket, like, hello: enough, already.

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          August 30, 2014 6:14 pmPosted 2 years ago
          Rob

          God yes…that was such an awful racket comparable only to Murray Gold’s incidental score of Dr Who. I think Liz Parker must have been out of the office on the day they were dubbing the sound effects for ‘Gold’.

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    August 29, 2014 4:16 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Fiona

    Now, how about the Further Adventures Of Orac? Because thats the one character who didnt get shot. I think Orac should have been there and shattered with a stray round. Avon left him stashed in the long grass by that wrecked hut, did he? Its not that easy to conceal Orac. He/it is colourful.
    Aha! who has the key? Avon, right?

    So now. Servalan is going to want to know two things. First are they all brown bread and specifically Avon? And also Tarrant?

    Then she will throw a wild tantrum like the Marquise did at the end of Dangerous Liaisons. She’ll smash up her boudoir as she realizes she’ll never get to shag Tarrant again or Avon ever.

    Having calmed down, she’ll remember Orac and send out a search party and find him pretty fast. But the key, the key…where is the key! Oh no, has Avon been chucked in the common pit and covered with quicklime!

    eek. I can see Servalan teetering in her heels on the pits edge and forcing her guys to go through the corpses til they find Avon’s….nad what would quicklime do to a plastic key? Anyone?? Im not a chemical engineer but I bet someone here is.

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      August 29, 2014 4:29 pmPosted 2 years ago
      RLF

      Bases don’t have much effect on plastic. You can use very strong Sodium Hydroxide to clear your waste-pipes with very little risk. It’s ketones that dissolve polyurethanes and polyethenes.

      Actually, I suspect the disposal method would be a grille made from worn-out railway lines, with a thermopile mass (tree trunks and kerosene) underneath and the bodies stacked on top, so as to recycle the combustible fats. Quicklime promotes adipocere production (in fact, that’s all soap is – fat boiled in alkaline), making your massacre much harder to cover up. So someone’s got to go through the mess of bones and ash, looking for the tarriel cell from Orac’s key. In her evening dress and heels.

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        August 29, 2014 5:13 pmPosted 2 years ago
        Frankymole

        I always saw the series, ever since “Deliverance”, as a battle between Servalan and Orac. Two utterly amoral protagonists with a desire for total freedom (Orac to learn/investigate, Servalan to indulge her every whim – probably involving teasing men like Rai and Avon), using the groups at their “command” (or open to manipulation) to get their way. We don’t see either Servie or Orac at the very end – they’re two survivors who aren’t susceptible to the weaknesses of Avon and Blake.

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          August 29, 2014 8:57 pmPosted 2 years ago
          dlee

          Interesting interpretation.

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          August 29, 2014 10:10 pmPosted 2 years ago
          Anniew

          Fascinating: Apollo versus Dionysius – Nietzsche’s The Birth of Tragedy! I have never seen Blakes 7 in this way but it is a theory that works very well.

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            August 30, 2014 4:39 pmPosted 2 years ago
            Fiona

            say that again. annie…who is Apollo and who dionysus?

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        August 29, 2014 7:44 pmPosted 2 years ago
        RLF

        Ketones and plastics…who do we know who needs to be very careful with her nail-varnish remover….?

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        August 30, 2014 4:35 pmPosted 2 years ago
        Fiona

        They dont need to cover up any massacre. This is the bounty-hunting planet. The Federation are in the middle of a redemption effort, taking it back from the ‘thieves, killers, mercenaries and psychopaths’ they encouraged in the first place.

        The bounty-hunters are bringing people in and if the Deva/Blake scene is anything to go by, summary execution or possibly…well, what? Deva said he would decide what to do with Arlen, and joined her to Blake’s crusade, but how does he get away with making such decisions, since nosy Stakhanovich Klyn is on duty, not doing as any good flunky does, look busy when the boss is coming.

        Anyway, presumably, the ones Blake doesnt want get to stand against a wall at the back. (How about that?) Whatever, it doesnt need covering up. This isnt The Way Back. But it would need dissolving fast. There must be a fair old bunch of these people who need killing. and there must be some nasty burial pits.
        It was always the big problem at Auschwitz, disposal. The railway lines and trees stuff certainly has that Schindler’s List sound.
        I mean, I am assuming they are being killed. They could be being sent off to Cygnus Alpha! Wouldnt that have been something, to have the London show up to collect them?

        This actually makes it all look more likely that they were only stunned, and series five would have opened with a shot of Avon lying across Blake’s body, giving rise to a new genre of necrophile slashfic.
        Please do not, repeat do not, tell me that is already a thing.

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          August 31, 2014 12:22 amPosted 2 years ago
          Vera

          Well.. Since you asked so nicely…..

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      August 29, 2014 5:17 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Smile

      Where Orac was concealed or left is one of the pleasing unexplained mysteries of the episode. Presumably Avon had indeed hidden it somewhere for safety, although my guess would be that it was probably somewhere in the base or silo that they went into, or even on the flyer that they went there in. They still have it with them when they’re flying to the base, as it’s Orac who sends the signal for the entrance to activate, admitting them inside.

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        August 30, 2014 4:37 pmPosted 2 years ago
        Fiona

        oh yes, I forgot that! He/it was in the flyer…but they didnt bring him in, did they.

        No way is Servalan going to pick through dissolving or smouldering bodies her own self. what does she have balaclava henchmen for! The balaclavas will even keep the smoke form their noses. What a task tho…

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    August 29, 2014 6:08 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Robin Brown

    I do dearly adores Blake’s 7 for all its faults, which are many and obvious. But it can’t half pull it out the fire from time to time. Blake is the kind of epic cliffhanger / pay-off that’s kind of a staple of genre telly these days, but it was seared into my memory.

    I remember watching this for the first time (presumably a repeat as I would’ve been three at the time it was originally on) having seen the whole series through with my Mam and Dad. I asked who shot Vila (no answer to that one) and whether there would be another series (an unambiguous negative).

    This was possibly the only time I watched Blake’s 7 as a child and understand that Tarrant – or Avon – were not Blake. The perms and changing leadership absolutely baffled me.

    Anyway, loved the blog. Thanks for the effort.

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      August 30, 2014 4:06 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Fiona

      Why do people keep saying perms? They arent perms….are they…wasnt Sue a hairdresser, guess she would know. But that looks like real curls to me. Since I am wild wild curly myself and can only be rid of it by cropping to the scalp, I have some idea.

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    August 29, 2014 6:10 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Robin Brown

    ETA: As a parting gift, here’s a short video of me walking out to the quarter finals of my cricket club’s annual darts competition to the B7 theme music:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eY5WcE7i_fo

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      August 31, 2014 11:44 amPosted 2 years ago
      Fiona

      Did you win?

  • August 29, 2014 6:55 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Neil Perryman (Author)

    I took Sue to Obsidian and Auron today… Photos on our Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/wifeandblake

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    August 29, 2014 7:40 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Marky Mark

    It was great to see Blake again. I know that he was disliked by a lot of you, but I liked him, and although the show carried on without him, Gareth has a tremendous screen presence that I’d missed.

    Anyway, what a grim ending 🙁 I especially liked the fact that that final scene is overcut with that alarm sounds and the flashing red lights – it really adds to the tension.

    And I, too, was surprised that Servalan wasn’t in it…

    Anyway, thank you so much, Neil & Sue, and good luck with whatever you decide to do in the future. I’m really gonna miss the blog. And interesting (?), despite being a huge fan of classic Dr Who (not this new shit), I had never watched Blakes 7 before, so watched all the episodes in time with your blog.

    I had seen the final scene, so I knew they all died, but my memory had played tricks on me, as I had thought that Blake shot them all – oops !!!

    Despite the great ending, still largely disappointed by Blakes 7 – some brilliant episodes, but more that were completely forgettable…

    Farewell all, sniff

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    August 29, 2014 7:41 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Nick

    I was thinking of other instances of heroes ( or at least protagonists) dying in a blaze of glory. Preb7 pattern was the 300 Spartans, then Butch and Sundance and The a Wild a Bunch. After B7there were a fair few series that emulated the last episode of B7… Michael Praed’s incarnation of Robin of Sherwood going down in a hail of arrows, the cast of Blackadder series 2 and 4 all being killed (4 especially)… The hail of glory trope is a powerful,one when handled well,and generally B7’s was…

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      August 30, 2014 7:58 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Fiona

      But heroes who go down after first killing their once-and-meant-to-be-future leader?
      I am lost to find anything at all to compare this to. A leader so flawed and damaged he isnt really a leader at all, but sends his crew into traps all the time, and appears to more loving towards their arch-enemy than them? All that intense you-naughty-girl flirting in Gold, after she’s shagged Tarrant…find me anything like this.
      And finally so completely disintegrated and confused he cant tell what is real anymore “Its me, Blake!”

      I am going to go back..well I am going to buy all the DVDS now…and watch it all again!

    • September 4, 2014 3:54 amPosted 2 years ago
      Andy Luke

      And of course Angel, which is Bolivian Army/Conservation of Ninjitsu, a double-edged sword in the motivation of the central protagonist, set up in the first two scenes of the episode and debatable by the last.

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    August 29, 2014 7:46 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Richard Lyth

    I never watched Blakes 7 when it was originally on, but somehow I’ve always known how it ended – they must have reported it on the news or shown a clip on Points of View or something. Knowing about it doesn’t diminish the impact though, even watching it on quarter-screen on Neil and Sue’s audition tape for Gogglebox it’s still incredibly powerful.

    The whole episode does a fine job of building up to that moment, gradually destroying every part of the show – first the base, then the ship, then the actors. If anything Tarrant should have died when the ship crashed and Blake should have got to interact with someone who already knew him – Vila. They were both in it from episode one and having a few scenes with them together would have bookended the show nicely, plus it would have been more natural for him to talk about Jenna with someone who actually knew her. And Terminal already showed us what a Blake and Avon reunion would have been like, so it’s probably best they went with the ironic Shakespearean ending for them.

    Well done to Neil and Sue for another fantastic run of blogs, and I wish you well for whatever you do next. I would suggest Adventures With The Wife And Bond, but that would only work if Sue had never seen any Bond movies, and I imagine that’s extremely unlikely.

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      August 29, 2014 7:52 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Frankymole

      Personally I find the Tarrant’s crash treatment brilliant because instead of spreading out the deaths – which would reduce the impact slightly – we get them all together in one shocking moment with barely time to realise what’s happening. They do hint Tarrant has bought it (the Slave farewell scene – when interestingly, like Zen, he forgoes the formalities and doesn’t call Tarrant “Sir” any longer). Then when Tarrant turns out to be alive – if only barely – we get the pleasant sense of security like in all other episodes where our heroes cheat death. Then they go and do a Gan on us a few minutes later – with all of them. I love how it subverts expectation this way.

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        August 29, 2014 8:56 pmPosted 2 years ago
        dlee

        Completely agree.

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        August 30, 2014 4:03 pmPosted 2 years ago
        Fiona

        Agree with you , Franky. I think it was better to have the shock of Avon and Vila together seeing Blake: I loved Vila’s “That’s him…” he sounded…how did he sound? Frightened? apprehensive? What he didnt sound was completely delighted..and Tarrant hadnt yet said Blake had sold them. You might have expected Vila to have a big grin.
        So the shock must be partly the terrible look of the man. God, did Blake have to step out looking so unsmiling and menacing and every kind of bad news like that?
        Wasnt the eye thing brilliant? These make-up people are real artists.

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    August 30, 2014 1:51 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Smile

    About endings where the the main cast are apparently all killed off… would the film of Up Pompeii count?

    • Visit site
      August 30, 2014 3:35 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Nick

      Ooooooo yeeerrrrrrssss missus!

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    August 30, 2014 5:24 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Anniew

    Apollo Greek God of order, (music) enquiry, civilisation Dionysus Greek God of chaos, impulse, (wine), self expression. According to Nietzsche tragedy occurs because humans are forever pulled between the two, trying to reconcile these opposites. Building from frankie’s point it seemed to me that Servalan is a kind of Dionysian and Orac an Apollinarian and the tragedy occurs because they manipulate the crew for their own ends.

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      August 30, 2014 5:59 pmPosted 2 years ago
      RLF

      Isn’t the Apollonian / Dionysian dichotomy supposed to occur at right-angles to the Erotic / Thanatic one? We get quite enough thanatos in our season 4 of B7. Do we have an eros? I’m not sure.

      Not disagreeing with you but Orac and Servalan both seem conservative, control-obessed forces. I don’t see them being diametrically opposed at all. Servalan might incorporate her actual material power into her power-fantasy dress-up kink, but there’s no indication that she’s personally degenerate or anything less than a competent peace- and wartime leader. And Orac’s defining characteristic is that he can control any other computer. If Servalan is anything from classical mythology, she’s a Diana figure, with a good deal of all of those character traits. Just so that Fiona can make fun of me, I suppose I should mention that the Federation insignia is a stylised pair of labia majora and labia minora surrounding a symbol of menstruation and overlaid with a feminine pubic triangle.

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        August 30, 2014 6:49 pmPosted 2 years ago
        Anniew

        Yep. Servalan is interesting as I think she is Dionysian ( who was also quite a controlling and vengeful God in defence of his impulses ( The Bachii) and followers. He would deliberately drive his enemies mad ( torture?). Avon certainly Thanatos – he is in my view someone unconsciously seeking the thrill of death – Eros? His love for Anna/ Blake – the whole theme of trust/ friendship/ responsibility for others/ gestalts?

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          August 30, 2014 7:45 pmPosted 2 years ago
          Fiona

          Ever read Donna Tartt, The Secret History, because if not and if you like The Bacchae then you will like this, I think.

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            August 30, 2014 10:06 pmPosted 2 years ago
            Anniew

            Thanks Fiona. Hope you liked your poem!

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            August 31, 2014 11:40 amPosted 2 years ago
            Fiona

            What poem??

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        August 30, 2014 7:15 pmPosted 2 years ago
        Anniew

        RLF: Servalan jumps every man she meets – enjoys killing (26 is it to keep her identity secret and God knows how many before) has creepy helpers, (terminal) committed Genocide just in order to have babies, is attractive to and plays up to Krantor and Egrorian and would probably have followed through if she’d had to with the latter, has murdered her way to an underground room, is criticised by Sula for her misuse of public money to recreate an ancient manor house and lavish dinner parties. I always thought she was a sleezy greedy gangsta and ergo quite degenerate.

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        August 30, 2014 7:47 pmPosted 2 years ago
        Fiona

        Please, arrows cutting across circles…lets just not go there….reminds me of that scene about the silk Cut ad in Nice Work. Great book.

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          August 30, 2014 9:33 pmPosted 2 years ago
          RLF

          Top marks for reference!

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      August 30, 2014 7:42 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Fiona

      Confused, Annie, would have seen them as the same. I can imagine Servalan kicking back with Orac of an evening and feeling most relaxed with him.

      Even with Jarvik, Servalan kept control, sending him down to fight Tarrant for no reason.

      If anyone, apart from obviously Avon, portrays that conflict, though, its Vila. Here we have a guy, on the one hand a disciplined thief, who must have served an arduous apprenticeship to bring him to his incomparable standard, a man who does fine and delicate work and is a master of tools. On the other, he is a convict, so must have not applied his discipline to life, plus he is a drunk who certainly acts on impulse.

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        August 30, 2014 9:05 pmPosted 2 years ago
        Anniew

        I think they are similar in that they both want to impose their ways on the others but Orac approaches everything rationally from the intellect and Servalan approaches everything from the sensual. Actually am not entirely convinced by my own argument but I think there is something there. Orac = icy logic! curiosity! the drive to improve its knowledge and discover new things. Servalan = demonic fire! Greed! the drive to have whatever she wants and enjoy it without interference. Both using the Liberator crew to get what they want. Orac making sure they keep him safe and free to do his research, Servalan tricking them into destroying her enemies, providing her the resources to win back power so she is free to indulge every appetite ( nothing we can not do).

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          August 30, 2014 9:16 pmPosted 2 years ago
          Anniew

          I am indebted to Franky for her insightful idea about the role of Orac & Servie after Aftermath in the tragedy that unfolds, something I really hadn’t considered in any depth but which I find fascinating. Also Fiona, Villa mistrusts Orac who he thinks withholds or distorts truth and Avon recognises that Servalan is his nemesis , hence his increasing obsession with her, whereas he admits he would have left Blake to rot on Gauda if his deal with Zukan had worked out. This suggests that Orac and Setvalan are the movers and shakers , with Avon and the others helplessly trying to survive their games.

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            August 31, 2014 11:01 amPosted 2 years ago
            Fiona

            Oh yes, that is a a good one, Annie. Actually, more than this, I can see Orac being the mastermind behind the whole thing. When Orac felt like closing down the whole ship to explore his ‘fascinating insights’ he would do so.
            And his advice to Avon that Vila weighs 73 kilos would seem to imply he’s pulling various strings: it would have made more rational sense if he had said near the start of them trying to lighten the weight: “Vila weighs 73 kilos, Avon, and Vila, Avon weighs…erm…probably 45….but add that to the tachyon funnel and stuff one of you can make it: I suggest, thee probLIM is this…which one of you can get the firearm in the under-desk cupboard, and force the other to strip the ship before shooting him dead? I suggest, you do not carry out the shooting until he is in the airlock.”

            But he only told Avon! still, I suppose Avon was asking him, as Avon always did. Most unusual for a man. I bet Avon will even stop and ask for directions.

            In fact he did! didnt he! In Horizon! Where the rest did the guy thing of just heading off: no, I dont need any help…even Cally, infected with guy-ness…Avon asked, tell me where to go. Amazing. That proves Avon is the God of Rational, therefore Apollo. And also Adonis.

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    August 30, 2014 7:48 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Fiona

    And also, cant see Servalan as Diana: Diana is so remote. Servalan is Eris, Goddess Of Discord, who never forgives a slight and bears a grudge forever.

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      August 30, 2014 8:26 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Frankymole

      It’s implied Dayna is Diana, in “Aftermath”, complete with Grecian-style costume and hunting with bows…

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        August 30, 2014 9:41 pmPosted 2 years ago
        RLF

        Well, I’ll step aside for better arguments (especially when we know Diana is really Robyn Penrose, at least in Vic’s wet dreams). I was after a mythological vision of the Threatening Feminine, and you gave me a better one.

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          August 31, 2014 3:43 pmPosted 2 years ago
          Fiona

          You know I was absolutely thinking of that scene, where Vic is thinking of how he saw the painting of Diana, about to set her dogs on the Peeping Tom and how she had the same indignant goddess look of Robyn disturbed from her bath.

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        August 31, 2014 11:49 amPosted 2 years ago
        Fiona

        An Amazon, surely, with the one-shouldered frocks. I really thought that was the reference, make us think of the one-breasted warrior women, plus there’s a theory, tho I may be thinking of John Charity Spring in Flash For Freedom, that the Amazons were from Africa.

        Flashman is my very favourite, btw, and anyone who hasnt read the series, I envy you, having it all to enjoy. I have read my copies to pieces four or five times.

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      August 30, 2014 9:33 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Nick

      Sounds like JN-T’s deity of choice… 😉

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        August 30, 2014 9:34 pmPosted 2 years ago
        Nick

        That’s Eris, I mean!

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          August 30, 2014 9:43 pmPosted 2 years ago
          RLF

          JN-T’s deity of choice would be Pan in ‘The Piper at the Gates of Dawn’. Because the memory cheats.

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            August 30, 2014 9:51 pmPosted 2 years ago
            Nick

            Lol! Respect, Ratty, respect! 🙂

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    August 31, 2014 7:12 amPosted 2 years ago
    Fiona

    If I scan something, how can I attach it to a post here? Because I swear I have just seen Neil in Viz at a sci-fi convention…

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    August 31, 2014 11:37 amPosted 2 years ago
    Anniew

    The trouble is, Fiona, that Avon for all his rationality is fatally attracted to Dionysius. Evidence: his love of money, his addiction to gambling (even at the considerable risk to Vila’s life) ,his love of ice cream, his fatal attraction to Servalan , his desire for pain as a punishment ( why else 5 days of torture – bet he secretly flagellates), his fascination with leather, studs, and hooker boots. He may ask Orac but the answers will manipulate him. He may spurn Servalan but she will always hook him into going where she wants him to.

    If Ensor programmed Orac to kill Servalan prior to planning to sell it to her, maybe everything Orac does is to put itself into her hands to carry out the order. Hence ‘suddenly’ finding Blake on Gauda Prime at the time Servalan was planning to arrive there. (Would explain why Serviesleer fortuitously arrives at places in volcano, traitor, gold, orbit, and probably lots more episodes that I can’t think of as I have to get 4 grandchildren ready for a party.)

    Pick the bones out of that !!!

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      August 31, 2014 11:54 amPosted 2 years ago
      Fiona

      Yes, that is certainly something to think about..
      Avon and the five days…I think that was partly so he could go through what Anna went through, and partly to redress some kind of emotional guilt/balance. She was tortured, so he will endure it too, because it was his fault she got captured, plus, he could have warned her, but stayed in hiding with the Good Samaritans who found him shot.
      Avon totally failed to explain that. he said he was out cold for a week, but Del Grant instantly told him he was lying…and Avon just said…nothing at all.

      Because otherwise, that whole scene is a lot of ridiculous elaboration…or it has to be your idea, he likes it!!
      I just dont want to think of Avon in the BDSM underworld…not that it is an underworld anymore. There are no taboos left to transgress anymore. People are going to have to go back to the puritan.

      Enjoy your party….

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      August 31, 2014 12:04 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Fiona

      I see Avon as absolutely in the middle: the rational man, who sees what is the right thing to do, but cant keep control of his nature. Cant stop himself falling in love, cant stop himself following and looking after Blake…

      but isnt his love of money more like a rational thing too, rather than a voluptuary’s desire? Its to secure yourself, so “nobody could touch us” because it is “the only reality”.

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    August 31, 2014 12:06 pmPosted 2 years ago
    RLF

    “I just dont want to think of Avon in the BDSM underworld…not that it is an underworld anymore. There are no taboos left to transgress anymore. People are going to have to go back to the puritan.”

    I have so many pithy comments, bad jokes and tasteless puns to make about this. But I don’t know if I dare 😉

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      August 31, 2014 12:08 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Fiona

      Go on. Maximum Power….

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        August 31, 2014 1:09 pmPosted 2 years ago
        RLF

        Well, this is only tangentially relevant to this topic, so I’ll confine it a bit (snigger). It seems to me that masochism in literature is very much about the topic of “Is it possible to use extreme self-abnegation as a route to spiritual, moral and personal strength?”; it’s a topic which is front and centre so much as to overshadow the actual works from which the genre derives its name. It’s also a big deal in the branch of Buddhism which the Liberator’s on-board computer names itself after, and the implications in the name of Scorpio’s computer are fairly obvious. It’s an idea that I think Avon would be very comfortable with, so much so that he doesn’t even see a contradiction in indulging his own Bacchanalian impulses.

        Of course, there are lots of areas of human activity and enquiry which stress the importance of discipline, and fascism is just another one. But there is an undeniable aspect of fetishism to the way it’s depicted in B7. Avon’s self-flagellation in “Rumours” is markedly different to Blake’s self-pitying self-justification in “Trial” (or Travis’ unprotested emasculation in ‘Trial’, come to that.)

        I’m toying with the idea that ‘Avon’s Plan’ by the end of season 4 is to transcend defeat by experiencing utter defeat, and that’s a thoroughly masochistic concept. Blake’s “you may kill me but you will never kill the spirit of the revolution” is a piece of false consciousness that has to be eliminated and disgraced before the real revolution can start.

        It’s not even the first time Boucher has brushed up against this concept; it’s a subplot in ‘Image of the Fendahl’ too.

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          August 31, 2014 3:04 pmPosted 2 years ago
          Anniew

          Schopenhauer – Avon denial of the will to live in order to achieve enlightenment? Don’t buy it myself but it is a defendable theory. Sorry that sounds rather patronising. I am in awe of your erudition and only google is reminding me of things I used to know well but have since largely forgotten.!

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            August 31, 2014 3:32 pmPosted 2 years ago
            RLF

            Annie, my blushes! I picked up some stuff. Thank you.

            I’m rusty on my Schopenhauer, and I really struggled with the key concept of the Projection of the geist being the Manifestation of the geist itself. But if I’ve got you right, we’re talking about conscious survival instinct being denied as a statement of Will but in denial of the Will.

            Is it an Orphic quest, or a far earthier, masculine version: when you’ve been falling for so long, you have to taste the floor just to know where you’re at? I’ve got a couple of other textual examples which I have to think about because it’s possible I’m up the creek and I’ll sound ridiculous (since when has that ever stopped me?)

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          August 31, 2014 3:35 pmPosted 2 years ago
          Fiona

          As in, the extreme Catholic concept of beating the shit out of yourself in an icy church or kneeling up in a crucified position for hours and days til your arms wither?

          “Extreme Catholics”…why havent we seen this on The Learning Channel or Discovery yet?

          Mortifying the flesh: I suppose that could be what Avon is doing if you consider that his drive for wealth is what wrecked his life in the first place and got Anna killed. I still think it is more like an insane making amends balancing act, showing a mind that is already starting to flake at the edges.

          Overcome defeat by experience defaet: I used to have a junkie fried…actually there are heaps of them in Asia, in respectable positions too, (engineers, journalists, the senior editor of Time-Asia) and we were watching The Lost Weekend. There’s a scene where the main character goes in a bar and having used up all his money orders another drink, and steals a girls purse to deal with the bill. He goes off to the toilet to extract what he needs and tries to slide the purse back but her boyfriend catches him…
          …like, oops. Next scene shows him slung out, literally thrown, landing on the sidewalk, while the whole bar sings a jeering song about stealing a purse.
          Shame, shame, shame…right? But the junkie pal said: “Result”.
          Result?? He explained, that the guy had got the drink he wanted, hadnt had to pay for it, the cops had not been called, his family hadnt been informed, they hadnt beaten him up…he got away with it! Result!
          But the shame and self-loathing?
          No. He explained that one of the “lesser known advantages” of heroin addiction, or alcohol in this case, is the transcendence of shame..that was the word too. A junkie with no drugs will, as Burroughs said, ‘crawl through a sewer and beg to buy”. Its not the crime or such, he said. Its the fact that you can lower yourself, beg and plead and be completely helpless and terrified in the face of cold turkey, so all such concepts as pride and shame and so on become, forever, totally meaningless and no longer affect you. You are free to do anything at all, because this convention no longer holds you back.
          Wow…..who knew…I was pretty stunned by this line of thinking but can see the appeal.

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            August 31, 2014 3:54 pmPosted 2 years ago
            RLF

            “when your ass goes down, you may feel a slight pain. That’s Pride fuckin’ wit’ you. Fuck Pride. Pride only hurts and never helps.”

            “In the short summer night, she learned so much, so that she would have thought any woman would have died of shame. Instead, it was shame which died and she was left, essentially, shameless”

            “The rest of you animals should take a lesson from Private Pyle. He has won the victory over himself. He is squared away. You are all squared away. And tomorrow you will be Marines”

            Something like that?

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        September 2, 2014 12:48 pmPosted 2 years ago
        RLF

        No. I can’t. I keep thinking of Sean Connery in ‘Zardoz’ and I sort-of lose the will to irony.

        Thigh boots should only be attempted by….well, the Household Cavalry, the skilled and experienced.

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    August 31, 2014 12:07 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Fiona

    So how about Vila at the end? When he went over to Arlen, with that little backward glance at his colleagues, was that a distraction in the hope one of them would be able to shoot her, or was that a real attempt to turn his coat?

    I hate to say I think its the latter. He looked stunned for a second when Dayna went down and then his knocking out Arlen seemed to be the result of rapid calculation: turning my coat isnt going to work.

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    August 31, 2014 12:17 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Fiona

    file:///Users/Fiona/Desktop/Scan%20viz.tiff
    file:///Users/Fiona/Desktop/Scan%20viz1.tiff

    please someone tell me can this open??

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      August 31, 2014 12:22 pmPosted 2 years ago
      RLF

      .tiff file: you might need Photoshop; or a quick Google for “Download Freeware TIF viewer”

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        August 31, 2014 3:04 pmPosted 2 years ago
        Fiona

        No its not for me to open..its a scan of the Viz I just got delivered. It features a Roger Mellie cartoon in which roger decides to cash in on selling autographs at a sci-fi convention by pretending to have once played a Dalek. And there in the autograph queue, stripy scarf and all…is what looks like Neil.

        Hilariously, given my attempts to learn how to use my computer, which are getting better, there is another sci-fi cartoon in it featuring a Captain Kirk (Captain Cook) and three or four crew trying to avoid being eaten by incredibly enough, the giant ants from Kairos! Really! Captain Cook is trying to ‘phase’ back to his ship by using a mobile phone to contact it. Message goes “Ping” on the bridge.

        “It won’t open” says Lieutenant O’Hoolahoop. “Keeps asking for the password. It says the incoming server hasnt been found. It wants to know whether its an SMPT, POP or iMAP host”
        “You must have changed something in the Preferences” says Mr Logical
        “I havent TOUCHED it” snaps Lieutenant O’Hoolahoop
        “You must have”.
        “I HAVEN’T …”
        “It’s Outlook Express. Its utter rubbish. Why is yours iMAP and mine’s POP? They’re supposed to be on the same system” (these are the Scotty and Chekov guys…)
        “I dont even know what they are. Clive from IT set mine up”.
        “Try opening it again, Lieutenant. Double click”. says Mr Logical.
        “Erm, I cant see it. Its gone. It was there at the top”.
        “You must have deleted it”.
        “I DIDNT TOUCH IT!”
        “You’ll have done it by accident. Check your spam folder. It’ll have a blue dot next to it”.
        “I dont get it. These messages are from ages ago. Look at this one: Stardate 11.45.98″. What the bloody hell’s going on?”.
        “You’ve sorted them alphabetically”.
        ‘I didnt touch it!”
        “Just click on Date Received”.
        “Where?”
        “In the the thing at the top”.
        “WHAT thing?”
        “The…the…THING..you know! The bloody THING!”
        “WHAT BLOODY THING?”
        “The toolbar” says Chekov
        “Yes, the toolbar” says Mr Logical. “There. Not THERE! The BOTTOM there! Where it says “Sort by Date” with a little triangle thing”
        “Right, it’s back. Let’s see what the Captain says. “File type not supported”. What does THAT mean?”
        “I told you Outlook Express was utter rubbish”.
        ‘Is Clive around? He set mine up”.
        “I think he phased down to the planet with the captain…”

        (On the planet, Clive is eaten by the alien).

        “Another message from the Captain. See if you can open that one, Lieutenant”.

        “I’ve got the spinning beachball thing”, says the Lieutenant.
        “Give it time…”

        By now the entire crew is assembled around the Lieutenant.
        “Outlook Express has unexpectedly quit. Report problem/ignore?”
        “Click ignore”.

        (The giant ant eats the Captain).

        How many times I have been through this scenario, minus ants. “You must have deleted it”. “I DIDNT TOUCH IT!”
        Id love to have seen the B7 crew do this scene.

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          August 31, 2014 3:57 pmPosted 2 years ago
          RLF

          Oh my dear lord. I may even stop laughing today.

          So I think you need to convert your .tiff file into a .jpg. Do you have a utility for that?

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            August 31, 2014 4:30 pmPosted 2 years ago
            Fiona

            I cant believe it. I did it. I found out how and I did it. So I did what it said, I opened it in preview..its a Mac…and converted to a jpeg. so now it is sitting in the dock, minimized,

            so I have it here…what now?

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            August 31, 2014 4:37 pmPosted 2 years ago
            RLF

            Upload it? Was that what we wanted to do?
            To our generous hosts? Is there a way Fiona can do this?

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            August 31, 2014 4:47 pmPosted 2 years ago
            Fiona

            thats just it…you cant attach images, can you, here. I mean, you cant upload..is that what I mean.

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            August 31, 2014 5:44 pmPosted 2 years ago
            Fiona

            I have sent it as an email to you so you can laugh at it anyway, and it definitely saved as a jpeg. I have got to remember to send stuff in Drive because attached images just seem to fail if more than one.

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          September 2, 2014 6:09 pmPosted 2 years ago
          Anniew

          This is quite brilliant. Definitely an Orac for best original script.

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    August 31, 2014 12:18 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Fiona

    No, right…damn its really funny. I swear they have copied the cartoon of Neil

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    August 31, 2014 12:20 pmPosted 2 years ago
    RLF

    That’s how thieves think: always opportunistic. How can I turn this situation to my advantage? What’s here to steal? Who can I sucker? Who’s side do I need to appear to be on? Never take anyone at self-declared value; always assume that everyone is as canny and quick-thinking as you, and might have their own scam you can hop onboard. Vila’s long-suppressed personality finally finding a way to assert.

  • August 31, 2014 1:38 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Andy Luke

    No finale appearance of Servalan
    She must not have her motor-caravan
    Tarrant’s still Arrogant
    Blake, breaked late: a pirate,
    With his smashed up eyelid
    Avon’s a ravin’ loon too.

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    August 31, 2014 1:46 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Vilawhoop

    Two things I recall about the end here:
    1. Vila does something brave and then gets shot!
    2. Federation Stormtroopers suddenly learn how to shoot on target!
    However, an ending only equalled in poignancy by Blackadder Goes Forth

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      August 31, 2014 3:12 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Fiona

      I wonder why it was, when you saw that Blackadder, you knew it was the final total end, like they were actually dead. I mean Blackadder died at the end of the other series as well, but this one was just so shocking…maybe because they seemed more like real people, being closer in time.
      But Avon and Blake seem plenty real too. Its a good job they werent tricked out in some insane space-clothes like series two or the horror and shock and poignancy would be maximum diluted.

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        September 1, 2014 1:27 amPosted 2 years ago
        Vilawhoop

        I think part of the poignancy was in a real world sense as Blackadder Goes Forth was at the time, as far as I knew, going to be the last Blackadder series. However, I think you are right in that for me the characters in BGF did feel more real as “common people” (ok George and Melchett excepted) compared to previous series where they were all hobnobbing either as, or with royalty.

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        September 1, 2014 5:01 pmPosted 2 years ago
        Frankymole

        Yes, we’re very lucky June Hudson wasn’t there to sabotage the final series with her insance costumes. Tom Baker’s Dr Who wasn’t so lucky…

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          September 2, 2014 12:43 pmPosted 2 years ago
          RLF

          But I love Loopy June’s costumes! I can just imagine her rampaging around around the (old) Rag Market: “Oooh!! Pink tuille with turquoise sequins for thirty pence a yard! And! A velveteen mourning dress….I have some gold lace cuffs left over from a Mariachi shirt at home that will go beautifully on there! What’s that? No! Of course there’s nothing wrong with gold lame polyester and spandex leggings for the space monks. Whatever else would space monks wear to convey their solemn dignity and scholarly remoteness!”

          And her air hostess outfit WAS about two years ahead of the curve, if you can find a picture of Yves Saint Laurent’s final designs for Air France / SAS.

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      August 31, 2014 6:59 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Anniew

      Said Villa, ‘ I need to show courage;
      Dispatch Arlen, the traitor with flourish.
      I’ll pretend to be gormless
      She’ll think I am harmless,
      I’ll kill her and ‘scape all this carnage.

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    August 31, 2014 2:16 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Fiona

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0Hiukr_IcU

    Guys, if you havent seen it, this is a very beautiful video done by the awesomely talented zukalis (have mentioned 1000 times, I know, but just so brilliant) about the last episode, set to Adele’s Skyfall and contrasted with ….oh just watch and burst into tears….

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    August 31, 2014 6:44 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Anniew

    RFL. I think : humans are driven by the will to live. This ‘will to live’ manifests itself as desire – we are driven to seek things, experiences in order to survive. However desire is intrinsically evil; wanting stuff leads us into selfish acts and good can only be achieved by denying our desires. Sublimation is the easiest way to do this but pure transcendence of self can only be achieved by denial of all desire. To voluntarily seek defeat, or more truly to deny the desire to win, would be a way of transcending selfish desires. Herbert Reed’s The Green Child explores this idea with his heroes seeking the perfection of death and their bodies becoming crystal and one with the nature of the Universe. Translated into your theory about Avon, it would go ‘ the desire to create a new world can never succeed because it is intrinsically selfish. Bringing about a new world order is only possible if the desire for it is transcended. In this case, bringing about the death of the revolutionary forces could be considered an attempt to bring in a new world order, in the same way that Wotan in Gotterdammerung setting fire to Valhalla in order brings about a new world that is free of his will.’ I think. Philosophers out there feel free to comment.

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    August 31, 2014 7:31 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Simon Fletcher

    When series 4 aired, I think I missed most of it as school work took precedence at the time, but I do remember the last episode and that ending has stayed with me all these years. I haven’t watched that episode since 1981, until this week. It’s a great ending to the series – brutal, but apt. I was in two minds about whether to watch again, but I’m glad I did as I’d forgotten just how good this final episode was.

    Thank you Neil & Sue for a great blog and good luck with your future projects.

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    August 31, 2014 7:38 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Anniew

    Fiona. What d’ya mean, what poem? Written you a whole cautionary tale based on those of Hilaire Belloc. It’s not nearly as good as Beth’s but at least read the bloody thing!!! Scroll up or down. It’s there.
    Really enjoy your analysis of Avon by the way. It’s the interpretation I like most but I enjoy postulating alternatives for the hell of it.
    RLF: haven’t signed up with you cos my brain freaked at your instructions so I shelved it as ‘ difficult … Postpone…. Postpone..”

    And about the ending: the fan fic Post Gauda Prime is variable but at its best it creates some chilling scenarios that capture and deepen the mood of the ending. This wouldn’t have worked as well as a televised series but does as prose probably because it mostly focuses on one or two cast members. I think Smile that the scenario you propose will have to be the ending of the Lucifer trilogy, with Avon riding off into the sunset or alternatively he will have to be shot in the back Billy The Kid style by a younger version of himself. Or (supreme irony) if Franky is right he will be electrocuted by Orac.

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      August 31, 2014 8:25 pmPosted 2 years ago
      RLF

      Annie: If you don’t mind me getting your real email address, just write to rlf@lofilabo.com, and forget Guerrillamail.

      And. Um. Everyone else, too.

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      September 1, 2014 5:09 amPosted 2 years ago
      Fiona

      What? How in hell can I not see it…going to look, I swear to God something funny happened there…I would have seen that…I looked before, when you said, hope you liked your poem…ha, got it now. (I dont have email response activated as email so full all day long.).

      Its totally brilliant. what can I say. It really is Hilaire Belloc-style.
      Thank you!!

      There needs to be a book of essays about Blake’s Seven, or in some way, something done with these comments…and your poems, Dave and Katie’s limericks…Beth’s Gauda Prime morning is really good too.

      Unless, will Neil and Sue turn this blog into a book as well? I would buy it and I have the blog before me, but I’d love a Greatest Hits.

    • Visit site
      September 1, 2014 5:35 amPosted 2 years ago
      Fiona

      I think the thing about my interpretation is it is something we can relate to all of us. One of my other B7 correspondents said she “knows how Avon feels’ about being betrayed and not knowing who to trust, has even “felt like killing them”. And I reckon just about everyone has felt bewildered and let down at one point. Doesnt it happen especially when we are teenagers, when the ruthlessness of sexual competition sets in? So it cuts deep and leaves a scar, because you arent armoured then. When you’ve seen your supposed best friend deliberately get off with the guy you fancied for ages, or another supposed friend deliberately undermine your looks (and those of the other disloyal bitch as well…what a happy little group).

  • Visit site
    August 31, 2014 7:42 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Anniew

    And speaking of Orac: how the hell is it powered?

    • Visit site
      September 2, 2014 12:30 pmPosted 2 years ago
      RLF

      Tarriel Cells! They do Everything!!
      Annie….in a genre of fiction which routinely asks, politely, if you can just accept faster-than-light travel, instantaneous transfer of information, artificial gravity, fully-conscious artificial intelligence, telepathy and teleportation (in other words, the violation of just about our most rigorously peer-reviewed and validated touchstones of physics, neurology and psychology), I don’t think that bending the Second Law of Thermodynamics and accepting perpetual motion machines with auto-repair systems is a very big stretch.

      Especially when it seems that the psychiatry of human relationships is no better than the one we have right now.

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    August 31, 2014 8:14 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Alex

    My understanding is that Gareth Thomas requested that there’d be no doubt about his death as a condition for appearing. Hence the blood.
    Of course that does leave the fate of the others open!

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      September 1, 2014 5:35 pmPosted 2 years ago
      John Miller

      It’s a pity Avon couldn’t have survived and escaped to somewhere with robots.

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        September 4, 2014 8:08 pmPosted 2 years ago
        Anniew

        Just got this. duh! It’s very funny!!

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    August 31, 2014 8:17 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Alex

    *If* this blog were to have a sequel, I’d vote for Chris Boucher’s “Star Cops”. More sparkling dialogue and moral ambiguity in space 🙂

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    September 1, 2014 5:01 amPosted 2 years ago
    Fiona

    Dear Neil and sue, totally Ot, but then again you have many times mentioned your cats…I have cats too, I think others here. Iread this on Alternet today so I am just sharing it around where I know people have cats.
    http://www.alternet.org/personal-health/attention-cat-lovers-make-sure-your-cat-doesnt-have-hl?paging=off&current_page=1#bookmark

    I had never heard of HL and now I have, I will sure be keeping an eye out for it. Be warned its a sad story.

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    September 1, 2014 9:48 pmPosted 2 years ago
    wyngatecarpenter

    How about a blog on Blakes 7 series 5 – 8? Just a thought. I wouldn’t have known about them but for a chance encounter at a car boot sale when I was trying to flog the VHSs. A man approached me and challenged my hand written sign offering “every episode” for the princely sum of £20 (had them all on DVD by this point). He insisted that there were a further 4 series after Blake, and wouldn’t be persuaded otherwise. I’ve never been able to find any evidence of their existence, but surely a random bloke at a car boot sale can’t be wrong.
    I did sell a few of the VHSs to and old guy who said that DVD just wasn’t the same as good old VHS!

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      September 1, 2014 9:55 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Nick

      Wow! Did he have the Timewyrm season of Dr Who from 1990/91 as well?

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      September 1, 2014 11:07 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Anniew

      You were selling the DVDs and didn’t think to advertise them here! How could you……sob….

    • Visit site
      September 2, 2014 3:55 amPosted 2 years ago
      Frankymole

      Sounds like “Maximum Power!”. And with that… we’re done! Thanks for the chat everyone. See you on the other side!

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        September 2, 2014 6:50 pmPosted 2 years ago
        Anniew

        I hope that doesn’t mean ‘ the rest us silence’ but that by ‘other side’ you are indicating that you intend to contribute to the new bloggy thing. Your contributions have been so interesting!!

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          September 6, 2014 7:22 pmPosted 2 years ago
          Frankymole

          Is the new blog set up yet? I went to spyhoppingblog.wordpress.com but there’s nowt there yet. Guess there’ll be some announcement on the Facebook group for this, AWTWAB, blog? Or here?

          When it’s ready. No rush 🙂

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            September 15, 2014 8:24 amPosted 2 years ago
            Fiona

            Its just I had a sudden mad rush of work. every day, I keep going, I need to do this and then just flaking out on the sofa! There’s a typhoon coming today so I may be off work in a couple hours.

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            September 15, 2014 9:01 amPosted 2 years ago
            Christine

            Don’t stress, Fiona. It’s just that we are all looking forward to it!

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    September 1, 2014 11:46 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Doug

    In a timely coincidence, Big Finish have, this morning, put up an announcement for the final part of the sequel trilogy, Lucifer: Genesis. You can pre-order it on their website.

    Here is the ad for it:

    http://www.bigfinish.com/releases/v/lucifer-genesis—book-ebook-1136

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      September 2, 2014 12:30 amPosted 2 years ago
      WelshAfroInSpace

      Awesome news! It is great that the entire Blake’s 7 sequel trilogy (of books) will be out before the first Star Wars sequel trilogy film hits the cinemas. 😀

  • September 4, 2014 4:54 amPosted 2 years ago
    Andy Luke

    “If Ensor programmed Orac to kill Servalan prior to planning to sell it to her, maybe everything Orac does is to put itself into her hands to carry out the order.”

    Oh, I love that suggestion Annie. He’s been the one having Servalan appear in every episode. They survive her traps, because unknown to all, these are Orac’s traps. “Orac, have you betrayed ME?”

    I’m just remembering I did some recent B7 fanfic I’d forgot about. For a few years I’ve been doing surrealist pantomimes in comics strip form. I tried to do it in prose this year with the ‘7’ being John Craven, The Silver Surfer, Jetfire, The Elephant Man, Thomas Carnacki and Tori Amos. ‘Christmas Live’ is on the front page of my website if anyone is interested in a load of silly cobbling. I got a runners-up prize from a local writers competition (of Paul Magrs’ and Julia Bell’s Creative Writing book, nice)

    Excellent work on the video Neil. I tried to really scrutinise both your reactions but kept getting drawn away by the shock of what was happening across screen. Thanks for letting me watch a very chilly episode with yous. The ‘hes going to give him a cuddle’ line and parting ‘fucking Tarrant’ made me feel a lot better.

    So after his electric whisk incident Travis really is dead?

    Fiona suggested a book of poems and essays from this blog. Let’s do this! I’m up for some text sifting and pasting if you like.

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      September 5, 2014 5:03 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Fiona

      I would also be very willing to help with such a project. Actually, I had in mind something along the layout of those ‘Forgotten Voices’ books. A title for each chapter like ‘Avon: mad or what?” and then short comments made to look almost like a conversation. Poems on separate pages. i can really see clearly.

  • September 4, 2014 12:25 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Neil Perryman (Author)
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      September 4, 2014 12:56 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Nick

      Oh wow! It’s official! Sue liked B7 better than Dr Who!

    • September 4, 2014 4:26 pmPosted 2 years ago
      encyclops

      It totally is. I’d agree with Sue overall in the average ratings for the seasons: 3, 4, 2, 1 seems just about right to me.

    • Visit site
      September 4, 2014 8:12 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Anniew

      The charts look fantastic but are pastels really appropriate for a series that begins with accusations of child molesting and ends with everybody dead? Or am I taken this far too seriously. And yay! So glad Sue likes Blakes 7.

    • September 4, 2014 9:24 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Andy Luke

      Oops, yes, where’s the edit button? Paul Smith, Wonderful (Books) job.

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    September 4, 2014 8:43 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Nick

    Maybe just a tad, Annie… 😉

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      September 4, 2014 8:51 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Anniew

      That was rhetorical Nick. You were supposed to say’ oh not at all Annie, no one could accuse you of taking Blakes 7 too seriously’. (I do I know )

      • Visit site
        September 4, 2014 9:56 pmPosted 2 years ago
        Nick

        A rhetorical tad Annie! 😉

  • Visit site
    September 4, 2014 10:39 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Anniew

    LOL

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    September 5, 2014 5:08 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Fiona

    I was going to say I dont see why we cant all chat on facebook too. But it occurred to me, it isnt really suited to the style of people who can actually read posts of more than one line. My students simply recoil at the sight of this blog. ‘So long’ is the invariable comment.

    Probably my third or fourth post on my own blog is going to be about Fahrenheit 451….
    Still, facebook..I am fiona beswick, with a picture of me with a tiger. A real tiger!

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    September 6, 2014 8:59 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Anniew

    Frankie you’re back. I’ve missed you. Fiona and Smile I don’t think Avon is earthy enough for Heathcliff. Heathcliffe’s like granite rocks Avon’s more quartz crystal. Byron though. He’d make a great Byron. Or the Duke of Avon from the Georgette Heyer novel These Old Shades. I seem to be sending emails via the mail address RFL set up trying to start up a debate about new Dr Who. Capaldi may well become my next obsession. He is quite Avon-like. Bit rougher and of course Scottish but same cynical vibe and issues about believing in anything.

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      September 7, 2014 2:32 amPosted 2 years ago
      Frankymole

      Thanks – well, I’ll chat anywhere. I’m a ten credit touch.

      Just need to know where Freedom City is!

      • Visit site
        September 7, 2014 2:35 amPosted 2 years ago
        Frankymole

        PS my Facebook is “Frank Almiles Mole”. My current Avatar is a violet-backgrounded Simon Templar (The Saint) with halo. Happy for anyone from here to “Friend” me.

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