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Dawn of the Gods

Do Not Pass God…

Dawn of the GodsThe episode begins with a quick game of Space Monopoly.

Sue: They’ve definitely given up on Blake and Jenna if they’ve got enough time to play games like this. On the one hand, I’m happy that they are chilling out together, but on the other hand, haven’t they got anything better to do? Like saving the universe, or something like that?

It isn’t all bad news: Avon is wearing a pair of tight red leather trousers this week.

Sue: I was playing tennis with my doubles-partner, Helen, today. And when I told her that I had to watch Blake’s 7 tonight, she screamed “AVON!” at me. I told her to keep her hands off him. He’s mine.

The Liberator isn’t heading where it should be heading.

Sue: The set is knackered. It’s falling to bits. If Avon leans on that console, the whole thing will probably give way. It’s a bit sad, really.

Tarrant: Vila, Cally, Dayna. A full manual check on all systems, weapons, force wall, everything.

Sue: Hang on a minute. Who put posh boy in charge? Avon is in charge; everybody knows that.

Tarrant believes that the Liberator is in the grip of a tractor beam. Avon isn’t convinced.

Tarrant: Just because you don’t know how to build a high-energy traction beam doesn’t mean that no one else knows how to build one.

Sue: It’s as if Blake never left. What a dick.

Tarrant believes that Cally’s people, the Aurons, could be responsible for their sudden change in direction.

Dayna: Do they all have your telepathic powers, Cally?

Cally: Some, to a degree, but our powers are limited.

Sue: You said it, love.

Dawn of the GodsAt least the director, Desmond McCarthy, is doing is best.

Sue: Ooh, that was a very nice focus pull. And not just because we’re now focusing on Avon. That would have been a difficult shot to pull off in that studio. I’m impressed.

According to the sensors, the ship is falling into a sling shot orbit.

Sue: Their sensors are playing the theme from Psycho. Turn it off! Argh!

Tarrant: But there’s nothing there.

Avon: Three guesses, if you need them.

Sue: It’s a black hole.

Vila: A black hole. My god.

Sue: Yeah, it isn’t rocket science. Actually, it probably is, but you know what I mean.

But if the black hole doesn’t surprise Sue, something else does.

Sue: Bloody hell, Vila was quite good in that scene. He didn’t crack a pathetic joke; he looked genuinely upset. There’s hope for him yet.

Avon: If it is a collapsed white dwarf star, gravitational distortion will tear the Liberator apart. Our remains will spread out over the entire surface adding a thickness of a few atoms to its diameter.

Sue: The man from Cosmos (she means Neil deGrasse Tyson) would tarted that up so it sounded more cheerful.

Dawn of the GodsWhile the crew ponder their imminent death, Sue is distracted by something else.

Sue: Why is the top right-hand corner of the screen flashing?

Me: That’s Zen.

Sue: Oh. I thought an ad break was coming.

And the reason why the Liberator is falling into a black hole? Yes, you guessed it: Orac.

Orac: I have noticed that the occupants of this spacecraft have a lamentable lack of interest in the more fascinating aspects of the universe. You must excuse me, I have many observations to make.

Sue: I don’t believe it. Look, if Orac is that interested in black holes, open a window and throw him into one. No one will miss him. He’s useless.

The Liberator is hit by a large sheet of Mirrorlon.

Sue: What the hell is Avon doing? Is he trying to hide under a blanket?

No, he’s trying to put a space suit on so he can do a runner.

Sue: And where is he going to go, exactly? He hasn’t thought it through.

A large eye fills the screen.

Dawn of the GodsSue: And that must be Servalan’s eye. I was wondering how long it would take her to show up.

The ship has taken one hell of a beating; most of the power has been drained.

Sue: They should light the ship like this all the time. It hides the chipped paintwork.

Tarrant isn’t impressed with Avon’s talent for self-preservation.

Tarrant: One day, Avon, I may have to kill you.

Sue: I’ve gone right off Michael Ball. He’s just Blake with a tighter perm.

Orac has been a very naughty boy.

Orac: It has been necessary for me to assume control of the ship. Excuse me. I have many observations to make.

Sue: This has been on the cards for a while now. Orac will be the death of them.

Cally has been knocked unconscious, so the crew take her to a resuscitation chamber. A voice calls to her telepathically. Hey, I’ve just noticed that Cally’s name is in the word ‘telepathically’. Terry Nation, you card!

Thaarn: I am the Thaarn.

Cally: The Thaarn?

Sue: What is it with this show and thongs?

Dawn of the GodsMe: Not thong – Thaarn. You’ve got thongs on the brain.

Sue: I haven’t got a ****ing clue what’s going on in this episode, that’s for sure.

Back on the flight deck, Sue is distracted by something else.

Sue: I’m pretty sure that Dayna just fell down the stairs. She just looked at the camera as if to say, “Are we OK or are we going for a another take? I think I’ve broken my ankle.”

Two more distractions made it practically impossible for Sue to concentrate on whatever it is the crew are waffling on about: namely the interminable ‘clacking’ sound in the background and Vila’s decision to join the Hare Krishnas.

To cut a long story short: the Liberator is outside normal space, and Vila will have to leave the ship to check it out.

Vila: Oh no. Not me. Not a space suit. Nothing, absolutely nothing in the whole galaxy can or will persuade me to wear one. Not a chance.

Cut to Vila in a space suit.

Cut to Sue’s impression of a trombone.

Sue: Give me strength.

When Vila leaves the ship, he finds himself on solid ground.

Vila: We must be on the surface of a planet. It’s hard, and even, like it’s artificial.

Sue: Like a studio floor painted black.

Dawn of the GodsThe voice of Thaarn contacts Cally again.

Thaarn: Cally. Come to me. Come to me, Cally. I need you. Need you.

Sue: This has to be the weirdest obscene phone call ever. Maybe if he cut back on the heaving breathing, it wouldn’t be quite so creepy.

Vila explores the outside world.

Sue: This reminds me of Alien. Even the space suit is similar. It’s quite eerie, this.

Like a facehugger launching itself from an egg, Sue’s next statement takes me by surprise:

Sue: Vila is actually quite good in this.

Vila is blinded by some lights, and for a moment, it looks like it could be the death of him.

Tarrant: I’ll go and fetch him. We can deep freeze his body until we’re back into space, where we can give him a decent star orbit burial.

Sue: They don’t seem that bothered. Still, it was Vila.

Well, that didn’t last long, did it.

A clawed machine is attempting to turn the Liberator into scrap metal.

Sue: So it’s basically WALL-E.

Dawn of the GodsAvon, Tarrant, Cally and Vila decide to investigate further.

Sue: That shot would make a great album cover. The story is a bit rubbish so far, but at least the director is making an effort, especially when you consider what he’s been given to work with.

Desmond McCarthy has been given a bumper car to work with.

Sue: OK, this is officially a bit mental now. And shit. Really, really shit. Have they run out of money already? We’re only four episodes into the season. Oh dear, this is dreadful.

Just when we believe that things can’t get any weirder, the Caliph of Krandor turns up.

Sue: Why is Willy Wonka in this?

The Caliph apologises for the dodgem car. Well somebody has to.

Caliph: We usually use this for rounding up runaway slaves. Oh, quite inappropriate in this instance, but it was the nearest at the time. I do hope you understand.

Sue: And when we aren’t using them for rounding up slaves, we use them as ghost trains.

Dawn of the GodsThe Caliph wants to know where Orac is.

Dayna: There is no person of that name aboard this ship, and never has been.

Sue: And that’s why you shouldn’t count Orac as part of the seven. Although that’s the least of the title’s problems. I don’t even know why I’m still thinking about it.

The crew are locked in a cell, and Cally passes the time by telling everybody a story.

Cally: The story goes back to the mists of Time, to the Dawn of the Gods… blah… blah… million years… blah… blah… rage…blah…blah… chariot… blah… blah… terrible vengeance.

Sue: I bet it took her days to learn all that. And I bet nobody could be bothered to follow it.

Krandor’s senior technician, Groff, makes an appearance.

Sue: EH?

Groff looks like he’s been supervising a card game in a Western Saloon.

Sue: Did wardrobe deliver the wrong costume by mistake or something?

The Caliph wants to know where Orac might be hiding.

Caliph: How tall is he? (Tarrant raises his hand a couple of feet from the floor) A dwarf?

Tarrant: We never think of him as one.

Caliph: What is the color of his hair?

Tarrant: He hasn’t got any. A bald dwarf shouldn’t be too hard to find.

Dawn of the GodsSue: That’s my favourite line in Blake’s 7 so far. Genius.

In Krandor’s gravity generator room, Avon and Tarrant are given some maths homework to do.

Tarrant: Graphite writing stick? I’ve never seen these things outside museums.

Sue: I’ve been to a pencil museum. It’s in Keswick. Fascinating place.

Sue’s mind is definitely beginning to wander. But then something happens that takes her breath away.

Sue: NO! You can’t do that!

The Liberator‘s flight deck is being dismantled for scrap.

Me: You said the ship had seen better days. Maybe it’s for the best.

Sue: Are you mad?

Thankfully, Orac and Zen generate a defence mechanism that stops the salvage crew in their tracks.

Sue: And why have we never seen anything like that before? That could have been really useful loads of times in the past.

Meanwhile, Cally is splayed out on a fur rug.

Dawn of the GodsSue: Now that’s what I call a cell.

The Thaarn tells Cally his plan.

Thaarn: And the great universal force that controls the universe, is gravity. The orbit of the planets, the slow turn of the galaxies. I have built a machine that can generate gravity. When it’s complete, it will be powerful enough to move planets, and stars. He who controls gravity, controls everything.

Sue: My favourite song is about gravity.

Me: (trying to sound interested because I know what’s coming) Is it really?

Sue: Yes. I think you should make all our readers listen to it. I have to watch Blake’s 7 twice a week, so the least they could do is listen to the song.

Me: Very well, if you insist…

Sue: He should sing this to her if he wants to get into her pants.

Me: I’ll try to remember that.

The Thaarn wants Cally to rule the universe with him.

Sue: If I were Cally, I’d be asking him three questions at this point: 1) What do I have to do? 2) What are the hours like? and 3) Can I have a look at your face, please?

Cally manages to trick the Thaarn into turning off the cell’s energy isolators. She blasts the room with her gun and all hell breaks loose in the gravity generator room.

Groff: The energy isolators have been switched off! Get back to your ship! Quickly!

Tarrant: What about you?

Groff: I’ll be alright, get going! But if you could tell them, my family, they were always in my thoughts.

Sue: Just leave with them, you fool! Why are you staying there? YOU DON’T MAKE ANY SENSE!

Avon decides to leave Cally behind.

Sue: She just saved your lives! The way this lot carry on, I’m surprised there aren’t five new crew members every couple of weeks. They go through crew members like they go through bracelets.

Dawn of the GodsCally gets to see what the Thaarn really looks like.

Sue: So the bald dwarf was hiding in that room all the time!

Our heroes rush back to the Liberator, but Vila is caught in the headlights of an oncoming bumper car.

Me: Scream if you want to go faster!

With everyone safely on board, the Liberator re-enters normal space. Sue tuts loudly.

Zen: Detectors indicate that a small spacecraft has left object centered on main screen and is flying on a reciprocal course.

Cally: That must be the Thaarn. I should have killed him.

Sue: If that bald dwarf turns out to be the next Travis, there will be trouble. I don’t know how many jokes about Ian Hislop I can make.

Tarrant switches Orac off.

Sue: Now throw his dongle away and stick him on eBay.

Cue credits.

The Score:

Sue: That was dreadful. I’ll give it one mark because Servalan wasn’t in it, and another mark for the direction, which wasn’t that bad, considering. The rest of the episode was a mess.

2/10

Next Time:

There will only be the one blog update this week. I’ve got a man flu and writing this up has almost finished me off. Plus, we are both heading for the Guernsey Literary Festival this weekend, where I will be giving an after dinner talk dressed as Matt Smith. Yes, I know! Follow us on Twitter if you want to see how that pans out.

We’ll be back next Tuesday. But before we go, here’s a trailer for a new interactive computer game starring Paul Darrow.

Sue: He’s still got it.

84 comments

  • May 13, 2014 7:15 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Glen Allen

    Thankfully, Orac and Zen generate a defence mechanism that stops the salvage crew in their tracks.

    Sue: And why have we never seen anything like that before? That could have been really useful loads of times in the past.

    OK I’ll be the first as I was going to mention it in the trailer and then decided not to. This harks back to series 1 doesn’t it, when they first board The Liberator. The ship’s self defence mechansim.
    Orac has nothing to do with it other than wisely telling them to avoid it ๐Ÿ™‚

    • May 13, 2014 7:17 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Neil Perryman (Author)

      Quite right.

    • May 13, 2014 10:50 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Chris Limb

      …although why didn’t it attack Klegg and co three episodes previously?

      • May 14, 2014 9:49 amPosted 3 years ago
        Glen Allen

        I guess because they weren’t trying to destroy the ship?
        …although then we have to ask why it attacked Blake and co in Series 1. I think I’ll leave that one there ๐Ÿ™‚

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        May 14, 2014 5:54 pmPosted 3 years ago
        Smile

        Avon instructed Zen to allow the ship to dock in Aftermath, so perhaps that was assumed by the computer to be an implicit order not to activate that system.

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        May 15, 2014 4:52 pmPosted 3 years ago
        solar penguin

        Maybe it had attacked them, but they survived it like Blake & co. survived in series 1.

    • May 13, 2014 11:06 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Mat Dolphin

      Glen, you should seriously do a CD of all your trailers when we get to the end. I would definitely purchase it!

      • May 13, 2014 11:37 pmPosted 3 years ago
        encyclops

        Seconded and seconded.

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          May 14, 2014 11:09 amPosted 3 years ago
          Ian Banks

          Thirded

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            May 14, 2014 12:12 pmPosted 3 years ago
            Marky Mark

            Fourthed !! Please, Glen – please !!

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      May 23, 2014 3:07 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Fiona

      Yes, totally, and I remember thinking at the time, when that defence thing attacked Janna and Avon and Blake, that my grandma had some curtains that looked exactly like that, it was a common 70s pattern, with the shiny stuff, …this episode also had some very grandma flowery curtains and apparently, the padded thing from inside the airing cupboard. In Cally’s cell. The boiler, is it? (I don’t mean Cally).
      BTW, does anybody still take clothes from the washing line and put them in the airing cupboard now? To ‘air’? My mother and everyone else was convinced that if you didnt ‘air’ clothes, they would kill you. Never mind they had dried perfectly on a sunny day. They must be ‘aired’.
      So why is, then, that when Tarrant invaded the ship, and then Klegg and his bad guys, why wasn’t it, like, curtains for them?

      And would it work twice on the ship’s crew? If it activated against an enemy, would it drag them in again…no Blake to save them this time.

      Wow Tarrant is sure cocky. And I absolutely do not get how the New Boy has so smoothly assumed command like this, after Avon wanting the ship for so long. I thought they were going to be big mates: it was working out nicely, now they’re at total loggerheads.

  • May 13, 2014 7:39 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Glen Allen

    Oh gawd, what have I become???

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      May 13, 2014 9:10 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Robert Crowder

      Obsessed?

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      May 22, 2014 3:56 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Anniew

      You are he who has mastered the trailer. And therefore a God.

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    May 13, 2014 7:45 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Frankymole

    I stayed at Keswick and almost went to the Pencil Museum. They boasted that they had the world’s “second largest” pencil. There was also a “Cars of the Stars” museum, with things like an Avengers (Emma Peel) Lotus and Lady Penelope’s Rolls Royce. I didn’t go in that, either. I’m sure this anecdote is more interesting than “Dawn of the Gods”, to some people. But not to me. I love its nuttiness, and the Vila scenes as he drops into “space” are first rate.

  • May 13, 2014 8:16 pmPosted 3 years ago
    encyclops

    He who controls gravity, controls everything.

    He who controls the spice — controls the universe!

    Oh, “Dawn of the Gods.” So goofy.

    I hadn’t remembered Orac being so peripheral to the action of Blake’s 7. I really thought he had more to do. Maybe the plastic box gets a better agent by the time Season 4 rolls around.

    This is only the second John Mayer song I have ever listened to, and for the same reason. I have to wonder now, as I did then, whether this song would have any effect on women if it were written and performed by the Thaarn.

  • May 13, 2014 9:02 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Mat Dolphin

    I think the fact that everyone’s talking about pencil museums sums it all up really! Yes this was pretty stupid stuff. James Follett’s not up to scratch here, but his two radio 4 serials (Earthsearch 1 and 2) are excellent and well worth seeking out.

    And what an interesting thing about Cally’s name! But then, it took me twenty years to realise that Orac comes from ‘oracle’.

    • May 13, 2014 10:52 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Chris Limb

      Did James Follett recycle an element of this episode in Earthsearch or was it the other way around?

      • May 14, 2014 9:36 pmPosted 3 years ago
        Mat Dolphin

        Earthsearch 2 was 1982 (I think) so he recycled the Blake idea for his Spaceguard station in Earthsearch.

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    May 13, 2014 9:05 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Dave Sanders

    Was it a conscious decision on the part of the production team to cram together as many of Terry Nation’s worse scripts as possible, and draw a great big cock all over them? Or we’re they just having a laugh?

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      May 13, 2014 10:03 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Mark Mark

      LMFAO !!!!

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        May 13, 2014 11:02 pmPosted 3 years ago
        Dave Sanders

        I’m not kidding, there are at least three recognizable squibs in here; The Web, Breakdown and Redemption. You can’t possibly convince me they were trying to play it straight, and it’s only made worse by being yet another instance of an omnipresent cosmic threat that’s easily defeatable in about fifteen minutes, after the crew have wasted half an episode yammering about how deep the shit they’re supposedly in.

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          May 14, 2014 1:32 amPosted 3 years ago
          wyngatecarpenter

          Although The Web was quite atmospheric, Breakdown had a good actor as the main supporting character, and the build up in the first half of Redemption was good – none of which you can say about this! It’s as if they’ve recycled the worst bits of those episodes into one uber-crap episode. Although I still suspect that Follett didn’t really know B7.

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      May 15, 2014 5:40 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Frankymole

      You can’t blame Terry for this one.

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        May 22, 2014 1:03 amPosted 3 years ago
        Dan

        I prefer this to an Allan Prior script. This has a reasonable decent hard sf story trying to get it. The weakest thing I thought was Cally’s paper-thin deception being the downfall of this determined Sutekh/Omega-like being the Thaarn. Hmm, I guess he just loved her.

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    May 13, 2014 9:08 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Dave Sanders

    Oh noes! The ship’s falling into a cackpole!

  • May 13, 2014 9:23 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Andy L

    The best use of full covering black paint, a supermarket trolley and headlamps I’ve seen since Frank Carson at Belfast’s Grand Opera House in ’81.

    ‘old on. My panto might have had a dwarf too.

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    May 13, 2014 9:28 pmPosted 3 years ago
    wyngatecarpenter

    Worst. Episode. Ever.

    And the moment of destiny has arrived because Sue has done the unthinkable and scored this pile of crap higher than Trial, and I said I would abandon the blog if that happened.

    That said she’s given it the extra point because Servalan isn’t in it which at this stage in B7 is a good thing and just about the only good thing about this episode.

    I’m staying – someone’s got to stick the boot into Seasons 3 & 4.

    • May 13, 2014 11:36 pmPosted 3 years ago
      encyclops

      I’m glad you’re sticking around. Even if you ARE dead wrong about both Servalan and Seasons 3-4. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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        May 14, 2014 1:25 amPosted 3 years ago
        wyngatecarpenter

        Thanks. seasons 3 & 4 (and Servalan) have their moments as well. The good episodes are great. Sometimes its hard though. When I started rewatching B7 last year I got as far as Volcano and then couldn’t face Dawn Of The Gods for months!
        I’m on Season 4 but I’ve got stuck at a similar point!

        • May 14, 2014 2:09 amPosted 3 years ago
          encyclops

          Is it “A*****s”? That’s the one I always dread watching. When I watched it again recently, I hoped it had gotten less creepy with time. Nope: just the reverse.

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            May 14, 2014 10:54 pmPosted 3 years ago
            wyngatecarpenter

            Nail on the head! I finally watched it tonight, it seemed wrong-er than ever.

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      May 14, 2014 1:36 amPosted 3 years ago
      DPC

      Series 3 and 4 have some VERY solid episodes. “Dawn” is definitely not one of them… Can’t namedrop since, in doing so, false expectations might be considered if read by certain people, but there are indeed some very solid stories coming up. Along with a couple more clunkers, too… ๐Ÿ™

      “Trial” definitely deserves more points than “Dawn” – the Travis trial subplot is top-notch; the alien flea subplot is a novel concept, though I can’t think of any way to make it properly work – even if it had 50,000x the budget it was given…

      And, yeah, Servalan did get overused… ๐Ÿ™‚

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    May 13, 2014 9:51 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Mark Mark

    I haven’t really got that much to say about this rather nothingness of an episode other than the dodgem car was absolutely shit, and two other things :

    1. Steven Pacey’s hair ‘style’ looks remarkably like Tom Baker’s (same era), and…
    2. Who can sit comfortably on those seats on the Liberator with those weird blobs on them ? No-one had designed them ergonomically, had they ?

    P.S. Still don’t get the ‘Avon’s hot’ brigade – sorry !

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      May 13, 2014 10:02 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Mark Mark

      P.S. My mother often goes on about the pencil museum in Keswick. We were in the Lake District a couple of weeks ago. We didn’t go.

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        May 14, 2014 12:50 amPosted 3 years ago
        Robert Crowder

        Not even with Keswick being so close to the UK’ s only graphite mine? ( I’ve probably spent too much time listening to “open country” on Radio 4) Ok I’ve never been in either, I even went past it twice today, and never contemplated going in. (The graphite stuff came from listening to the aforementioned radio show, it’s very good and has Claire Balding in it sometimes.)

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          May 14, 2014 12:13 pmPosted 3 years ago
          Marky Mark

          I didn’t even know the UK had a graphite mine, nor that Clare Balding was in it sometimes lol

          What a shallow life I must have led….

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      May 14, 2014 1:33 amPosted 3 years ago
      DPC

      Pacey’s hair was a lot like Blake’s, too… ๐Ÿ™‚

      The Liberator was designed to be conceptually alien, but the humanoids that built it would surely not have cared to sit in those chairs…

      Avon is hot! Yum! Especially with the right hairdo, and especially in series 4…

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        May 14, 2014 12:14 pmPosted 3 years ago
        Marky Mark

        True about the hair, although Tarrant is a lot posher than Blake – not that that has any bearing on his hair (!)

        So Avon hots up in series 4, eh – well, I wait with baited breath….:-)

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          May 25, 2014 4:25 pmPosted 3 years ago
          Fiona

          I so hate his hair in series 4 and to me, it nearly wrecks his looks…its all bouncy and flouncy and makes him look older.
          In Spacefall, it almost seems like he could have been cropped like a convict and just let to grow a bit and it suits him so.
          I think so, very much. But I’m totally in the minority always.

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            August 27, 2014 6:39 pmPosted 2 years ago
            David

            Remember Tarrant is supposed to be 35 years old.

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        May 15, 2014 5:37 pmPosted 3 years ago
        Frankymole

        “the humanoids that built it would surely not have cared to sit in those chairsโ€ฆ” The Altas didn’t seem to mind thongs, or at least some wedgie-causing skintight latex suits… so they probably didn’t mind the rather chafing saddle seats.

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      May 14, 2014 11:31 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Anniew

      Finding Avon hot is not a pre-requisite for enjoying Blakes7 – just a nice little bonus and it don’t half help you to get through the dross!

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      May 23, 2014 3:21 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Fiona

      seriously…..I can actually just look at him for hours.

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    May 13, 2014 10:11 pmPosted 3 years ago
    wyngatecarpenter

    I get the impression that Chris Boucher needed one more script to fill up the season. On a night out he bumped into Jim Follet who as it happened had an old script lying around , provisionally titled Generic Sci-Fi Adventure, probably previously rejected by Space 1999. “That’ll do – can you rewrite in with the B7 characters by the weekend” “I’ve never watched B7” says Follet. Boucher grabs a fag packet and hastily writes a summary of the characters on the back. “Don’t worry too much, any old crap will do at this stage”.

    The one thing that irritates me the most, more than it should, is that only a few episodes earlier in Star One there was a real sense of suspense built up that they were travelling to the edge of the galaxy, but here they just pop into another universe, have a very mundane adventure, and pop back again.

    The “bald dwarf” conversation is quite good. Everything else in the episode is rubbish – the cheesy Space Monopoly scene; the “Vila’s dead – oh, it’s ok, he isn’t” scene; the amateur drama class dodging the bumper car scene; the Caliph’s costume; Groff; The Thaarn (the “dramatic” editing only draws attention to how crap he looks); etc, etc. If one scene sums it up it’s when they cut to Dayna and Vila sitting in a cell just to remind you they’re still in the episode, then cut away again, as if no one could be bothered to write or deliver any dialogue.

    To cap it all Jim Follett then sets things up for a sequel!

    And would Avon really consider travelling halfway across the galaxy just to pass Groff’s love on to his nearest and dearest. Of course he wouldn’t, unless there was something in it for him.

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      May 14, 2014 8:48 amPosted 3 years ago
      Katie C

      Good explanation for “Dawn”, makes sense. But what about the next one?

      “Boucher grabs a fag packet and hastily writes a summary of the characters on the back..”

      Ben Steed must have lost the fag packet.

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        May 14, 2014 11:05 pmPosted 3 years ago
        wyngatecarpenter

        The next one will take significantly more explaining than Dawn Of The Gods. I look forward to seeing what Sue has to say.

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      May 25, 2014 4:36 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Fiona

      Also, things seemed to be in a bizarre slow-motion, almost like a rehearsal to see where they would actually stand on the day. I think it may be called blocking, that, is it?I got the feeling nobody had really learned their lines. Vila’s return to life…no surprise…the fight in the pencil homework room…curiously as if someone had forgotten to shout action and the crew were improvising.

      Pretty hilarious, Tarrant and Avon doing maths homework…I thought they were being taken away for torture and instead, they got detention…

      so they had so little money they couldnt even buy or mock up calculators…they were dear back then…..so there was this transparent explanation about the Tharn not wanting them. I also like the plastic pencil organizers: now, they were hip and new then.
      What if you cant do the calculations? Do you get six of the best? (Stop it, Fiona)
      and how, exactly, are they going to find the Irish/Jewish whatever he was…Groff… family on a whole planet? I mean, what was he? IRA from the Warsaw ghetto? It was the weirdest accent. It veered around like a weathercock.

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    May 13, 2014 10:11 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Sally M

    But Sue, surely the red leather trousers are worth a point!

    …Other than that (and Vila’s “I’m in Hell, and it’;s full of Avons”, I got nuthin’. There’s a good reason it’s aka Yawn of the Gods.

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    May 13, 2014 10:54 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Pat S

    Is it me, or does the Caliph’s “pain cane” look just like a plastic pepper grinder?

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    May 13, 2014 11:06 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Dave Sanders

    Space Monopoly sounds like it would be a bloody easy game to play:

    1 – Go first.
    2 – Land on a Federation territory / draw a No Chance card.
    3 – Lose.

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    May 14, 2014 1:24 amPosted 3 years ago
    Chris Allen

    “Itโ€™s as if Blake never left. What a dick.”

    Avon fans really don’t like it when someone bosses him around (or tries to in the case of Tarrant).

    “Still donโ€™t get the โ€˜Avonโ€™s hotโ€™ brigade โ€“ sorry !”

    I’m strictly “butter side up” (as Ace Rimmer would put it) but I can still understand why Avon has the appeal he has. He’s the ultimate Alpha male bad boy with an undercurrent of tragic romantic hero (yes, honestly, just wait a few episodes).

    Men want to be him and, judging from some of the female Avon’s I’ve seen pictures of at conventions, so do some of the ladies! Hmmm….

    Definitely a bit of a duffer this one. I didn’t like it at the time and it’s only marginally more enjoyable now. I don’t like the idea of Orac willfully endangering the crew (shades of Follett’s Angel One and Angel Two from “Earthsearch) and the cod Dickensian costuming just doesn’t work for me.

    Still, just think what it would have been like with a less talented director. -2/10?

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      May 23, 2014 3:34 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Fiona

      Its not really the silly alpha male nonsense! yes, that what we want…a proppa man to give us a proppa hiding, a la Tasha Slappa’s Mam.. fuck’s sake honestly. This stupid alpha business has given a lot of assholes carte blanche to behave even worse and if they are Americans…oh my God.

      … Its because he is absolutely unbelievable to look at. I have never seen anybody with such astonishing features…almost doesnt look real. Plus, he’s really slender and even tiny..that was unusual in the 70s when the Burt Reynolds hairy-chest he-man thing was in vogue. Avon looks kind of ethereal, but is well handy. And yes, he is also intriguing, in that there is stuff going on that he isnt sharing and all the I-have-no-feelings stuff is so transparent.
      And because he is so pretty, he can be forgiven anything.
      Its a really powerful thing.
      I was rewatching ‘Wilde’ the other day…Jude Law was also very lovely then, and slender and delicate in the same way…and I got interested and looked up the trial and other stuff.
      Well when I’d finished, I felt Wilde should have got far more than two years. Not for being gay, obvs, but for being a contemptible abandoner of his very dignified wife, and of his two kids, for showering literally all his money on worthless Bosie, and for being a disgusting sexual predator, preying on those ‘renters’, who in the film were depicted as knowing, and gay themselves and leading ‘wicked lives’..but who were actually frightened straight boys who were starving on the street and who were so desperate they could be recruited by the sinister Alfred Taylor…Wilde’s big mate…for his male brothel. They described awful scenes of being made to act like girls and of being painfully sodomized by Wilde..it was horrible.
      And all Wilde cared about was that they were ‘pretty’. Same with Bosie. Couldnt find a single good thing to say about him. He was absolutely vile in every way. And also useless. His poetry was crap, he couldn’t translate, he was an anti-semite..on and on. He fleeced Wilde for every penny he could and wouldnt even look after him when he was sick.
      But he was pretty…very very pretty…

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    May 14, 2014 1:31 amPosted 3 years ago
    DPC

    Hope you feel better soon!

    Yeah, “Dawn” is nowhere near the classic it could be. It starts decently, sans Avon trying to escape in a pressure suit (seriously?!), and at that point things start to go downhill…

    Thankfully the next few episodes have an upward trend (IMHO)…

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    May 14, 2014 7:43 amPosted 3 years ago
    dave

    I wonder if Sue would be so enamoured with Paul Darrow if she knew he was bezzie mates with Jeffrey Archer?

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      May 14, 2014 1:31 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Anniew

      Is Avon mates with Archer? It’s Avon we’ve got the hots for. Most ladies love Bryronic heroes. I’ve never met Paul Darrow and might love or hate him if I did although I do enjoy/admire his acting which is terrific fun !

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        May 23, 2014 3:40 pmPosted 3 years ago
        Fiona

        I must be much more shallow than you because I just like how Paul Darrow looks, Avon or not. Of course I love Avon’s style..but its the face that does it for me…

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          May 25, 2014 10:32 pmPosted 3 years ago
          Annie's

          Oh I’m pretty shallow too! Lips,eyes, bum and voice! Yum

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      May 15, 2014 11:55 pmPosted 3 years ago
      wyngatecarpenter

      Really? I’m sort of shocked by that , but oly sort of. I suppose they’ve got writing rubbish novels in common.

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    May 14, 2014 11:02 amPosted 3 years ago
    Rob

    An absolute naff episode by Blake’s 7 standards but still oddly more watchable than most of 80’s Dr Who (edited for spoilers).

    Tarrant’s bald dwarf just about saves it.

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    May 14, 2014 12:13 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Richard Lyth

    I can see what they were trying to do with this episode – at this point in the series they needed a standalone adventure to show how the new crew all work together, so I guess it fulfils that brief. And Cally and Orac get more to do than usual, which is something. But really it’s just like a bad episode of Star Trek, and completely skippable.

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    May 14, 2014 3:02 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Robin Brown

    Just think if Cally was called Tele. Or Path. Or Ical. Or Elepat. I certainly wouldn’t have put any of them past Terry.

    Or Yllacihtapelet.

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      May 17, 2014 12:32 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Anniew

      Or pathetically!

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      May 25, 2014 4:08 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Fiona

      Funny, when my students need to write alien stories or elf stories or something, I always get them just to do names backwards. Seems to work and they really like it! So we had for boys today Nodnarb and Cinimod, and then Nairda. Annaoj and Aicila for girls!

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    May 14, 2014 7:18 pmPosted 3 years ago
    San

    Truly, them leather trousers (NEVER the wrong trousers, red leather!) are the best thing in this.

    But, as anxiety rises with the anticipation of the next story and the deplorable injection of BS into B7, I’m not sure I don’t prefer dumb & boring to dumb & aggressively offensive.

    Good thing there are good things yet to come…

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      May 22, 2014 1:14 amPosted 3 years ago
      Dan

      So a run of three bad episodes after two of the best episodes in the whole series? Yes, that sounds like BBC SF from this period.

  • May 14, 2014 9:39 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Mat Dolphin

    I can’t even begin to predict which way Sue will go next week!

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    May 14, 2014 11:28 pmPosted 3 years ago
    NICK GRIFFITHS

    Ah I see I am still unique in loving this episode.

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      May 15, 2014 10:10 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Rob

      I quite enjoyed parts of it last week when I had one of those nights when I jumped ahead of this blog ๐Ÿ™‚ It definitely contains Servalan’s greatest ever line but i wonder if C. Boucher slipped that one in?

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      May 17, 2014 12:03 amPosted 3 years ago
      Anniew

      Oh no not alone. I’ve learned to love it

  • May 15, 2014 5:59 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Davee Mac

    “Thank you for your interessssssssssssst.”

    That game looks interesting. Sorry, what were we talking about?

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    May 16, 2014 4:49 amPosted 3 years ago
    Gareth M

    I like that that props department had to make a space Monopoly for them.
    But where did the crew get the board from in the first place? It suggests one of them (probably Vila) picked it up in Space City or somewhere with the intention of playing a game together.

    The direction is good of this episode.

    Though Orac acting weird and basically being the plot motivation could have been handled better.
    Really the Liberator could have just ‘fallen’ across the black hole, there didn’t need to be all this him taking them in there.

    I quite like this episode, it’s got some humour in it, the direction’s good and the Liberator lands.

    Though on that, how it lands is another good question. Does it have wheels / landing struts? It’s not like it’s returned home and they’d have specialist things to land on.
    Also even just flat Vila would have to gave gone out to one of neturon blasters to get close enough to the ground.

    We keep getting tantalising hints of Cally’s people, if only it continued to be mysterious and interesting.

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      May 17, 2014 8:15 amPosted 3 years ago
      wyngatecarpenter

      I think Space Monopoly was left behind by The System. They probably wanted something to pass the time while travelling around, and barking orders and killing slaves probably wears thin even for them.

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      May 22, 2014 1:19 amPosted 3 years ago
      Dan

      More to the point, how does it land anywhere and how is there a planet anywhere in an environment where time and space don’t apply? It makes very little sense.

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    May 16, 2014 10:33 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Anniew

    Just listened to Sue’s favourite song. My God! I thought it would never end. Sorry Sue! Enjoyed the Contradiction trailer a lot however. Guess my tastes tend less to the soulful and more to the Meat Loaf end of the pop spectrum.

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    May 20, 2014 6:59 pmPosted 3 years ago
    anxious_triffid

    Bizarrely enough, I think I also saw Frank Carson do the supermarket trolley/headlights trick at the Grand Opera House in Belfast circa ’81… stage lights down and the sound of a car pulling up?

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    May 20, 2014 8:35 pmPosted 3 years ago
    wyngatecarpenter

    It’s been a while. Has Sue given up after Dawn Of The Gods? Can’t say I blame her.

    • May 20, 2014 10:31 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Neil Perryman (Author)

      Please refer to latest twitter status to the right of this page.

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    May 20, 2014 11:37 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Anniew

    Sue at her best and Harvest. Match made in heaven. Can’t wait.

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    May 22, 2014 4:47 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Mat Dolphin

    John Williams’ Twitter comment is genius!

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    May 22, 2014 4:49 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Anniew

    Noooooo. Not up yet. Get better Neil. It’s only flu.

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    May 23, 2014 2:47 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Fiona

    I’m just up to the bit where they began chopping up the Liberator and I was yelling “No!” at the screen too. It’s funny how attached I feel to the ship….

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    May 25, 2014 3:34 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Fiona

    Oh. My. God. Paul Darrow is still beautiful…at what, 73? That is beauty you just can’t kill, maybe……
    sigh

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    August 16, 2014 5:15 amPosted 2 years ago
    Dave Sanders

    ‘The one they call Orac’ is bitter
    Being treated just like a space Twitter,
    But give him one mystery
    In mythical history
    And bingo, they’re all up the shitter.

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