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Gold

Weird scenes inside the gold mine…

GoldThe episode begins with what looks like a high-speed spaceship chase.

Sue: They’ve got loads of room, why don’t they just overtake?

Scorpio docks with a pleasure cruiser.

Sue: Oh look, it’s the Russians… Why don’t they just teleport over there. Is it broken?

Avon has arranged to meet an old acquaintance.

Sue: Oh dear. Tarrant can’t get his gun to stay in his holster; it’s the story of his life. And I wish they would soundproof their ship. I can’t understand a word they’re saying when they clump around the set. Clang – clang – clang. What did Dayna just say?

When Avon, Tarrant, Soolin and Dayna cross to the Space Princess, they are met by a man named Keiller.

Sue: Is he supposed to be the ship’s Redcoat? Is this Hi-de-Hi in space?

Me: Yes, it is a bit. Don’t you recognise him?

Sue: Of course I do. He’s a very famous comedian who’s been in loads of things. I just can’t think of any right now.

GoldMe: Is that the best you can do?

Sue: His name is on the tip of my tongue. It will come to me eventually. I definitely know who he is. He’s really good.

Keiller lets the crew in on his plan to steal a consignment of gold that’s due to be transported from the planet Zerok disguised as a shipment of fruit.

Sue: Is this episode going to be a heist movie? Excellent. It’ll be like Ocean’s 7. You know, a bit like Ocean’s 11, but there’s only 7 of them. Actually, it’s probably more like Ocean’s 5

Me: You’ve cracked that joke before, Sue.

Sue: Have I? How many episodes of Blake’s 7 have we seen now?

Me: This is our forty-ninth.

Sue: Well then.

Keiller chose his old friend for this heist because Avon has a reputation for mischief.

Keiller: You’re getting to be big news.

Sue: Avon will love that. He wants to be notorious. It’s an ego thing.

Keiller has come up with a cunning plan to steal the gold, but there’s a snag (or if you’re Avon, snaaaaag): they have to nick the booty before it can be processed into black gold, which is completely worthless.

GoldSue: This is an excellent way to start the episode. I wonder how Servalan is involved…

Keiller can’t keep his grubby paws off Soolin.

Sue: What a pervy bastard. Wait! Rory Kinnear! That’s it! He’s Rory Kinnear.

Me: Close. It’s Rory’s dad, Roy Kinnear.

Sue: That’s what I just said.

Keiller, Avon, and Soolin arrive at Zerok’s vegetable reprocessing plant, which acts as a cover for a secret gold mining operation.

Sue: The person who designed the logo for this company must have been a frustrated comic book artist.

Me: I bet all their stationary uses Comic Sans.

The mine’s security guards patrol the area, their faces hidden behind black visors.

Sue: Is this guy a welder?

A guard is murdered by Soolin.

GoldSue: Now we’ll never know if he was a welder or not.

Tarrant and Dayna teleport to Zerok a few minutes behind Avon and Soolin.

Sue: Why didn’t they stick together? You know, safety in numbers. Is it because they can only teleport two at a time these days, or is this part of the plan?

Keiller speaks into a computerised lock and then, after what seems like an eternity, the door to the mine finally opens.

Sue: They should get that seen to. Just imagine if there’d been a toilet behind that door and he desperately needed to go. He’d have pissed himself.

Another guard is murdered, this time by Avon.

Sue: What is the point of those masks? Is it so they can use the same stuntman over and over again? I bet it is. Or maybe one of the guards will turn out to be Servalan. Yes, that’s it: keep your eyes peeled for a security guard wearing high heels.

As Avon, Soolin and Keiller make their way to the mine’s processing plant, somebody sounds the alarm.

Sue: Just think, twenty years from now I won’t be able to hear that frequency. I think this is probably the first time that I’ve actually prayed for old age.

Security guards are swarming all over the plant, which means Dayna and Tarrant have a fight on their hands.

Sue: This is very exciting, but if they don’t turn off that smoke alarm, I’m going to have to kill somebody. And you’re the only person here, Neil.

A huge explosion goes off in the mine and Avon and Soolin are presumed dead.

Sue: Of course they are. Why are they pretending that it’s even possible? Blake’s 7 is better than this.

GoldBack on Scorpio, Keiller insists that he had nothing to do with the ambush.

Sue: Roy is such a good actor, you want to believe him.

Avon (who isn’t dead by the way) has realised that the guards’ guns weren’t standard issue, which points to a third-party being involved. But who could it possibly be?

Sue: Um… let me see… No, I couldn’t possibly guess.

Me: Maybe it’s the dwarf from Dawn of the Gods.

Sue: Who?

Avon and Soolin examine the Space Princess‘ computer files.

Sue: The ship’s computers are infested with rattlesnakes.

Me: I think you cracked that joke in Series 1, Sue.

Sue: Shut up, Neil.

Avon realises that the pleasure cruise is a sham, and the passengers are given chemical help to help overcome that fact.

Sue: Sounds fantastic. Where do I sign up?

Me: Chemical help, otherwise known as the bar on a P&O ferry.

Avon discovers that Keiller has links to a Federation president. But which president?

Sue: ARGH!

GoldWhen Avon returns to Scorpio, Keiller tries to explain.

Keiller: They blackmailed me, said they’d use my record against me. I’ve got a criminal record, you see.

Vila: Hasn’t everybody?

Sue: Ha! Brilliant. The script is very funny and Roy is wonderful. You can’t take your eyes off him.

It appears that Keiller’s associates have discovered a way to launder the black gold through Zerok’s banking system.

Sue: This is very clever, Neil. Zerok equals Zürich. See?

The crew stand to make billions if they can steal the gold.

Me: You could buy hundreds of Oracs for that.

Sue: One Orac is more than enough, thanks.

Keiller wants to join Avon’s gang.

Sue: Please take him with you. He brightens the place up.

But Orac has some bad news: they can’t teleport the black gold off the pleasure cruiser.

Orac: The processed gold will have undergone a subneutronic overlap shift. If subjected to the teleport process as well, it will reduce to dust irrevocably.

Sue: That’s convenient, but what the hell. It’ll be much more exciting the other way.

GoldThe pleasure cruiser leaves Zerok with its precious cargo.

Zerok Control: Space Princess, this is Zerok Control. Do you copy?

Sue: Hey! Zen’s back!

Me: He isn’t.

Sue: He bloody is! He just said, “confirmed”. Zen escaped from the Liberator and now he’s working for an air traffic control company somewhere. Brilliant.

Me: Whatever makes you happy, love.

Keiller assures Avon that a drug they’ve given to Dayna is completely harmless, but she’ll need it if she hopes to fool the ship’s doctor. Sue pretends to understand what he’s talking about.

Sue: You can’t trust him. He’s setting them up. And Avon is growling his lines. He’s about to explode.

Tarrant wanders around the pleasure cruiser, pretending to be drugged.

Sue: This is hilarious. Tarrant’s obviously never taken any drugs in his life before.

All the passengers are loved up.

Tarrant: I’m beginning to wish I was eating the same food as them. They seem to be having a good time.

GoldSue: I’m guessing that the drug makes the passengers feel horny. That way they stay in their cabins and don’t notice that they’ve missed all the sights. Not that Tarrant needs a drug to make him feel horny. Just ask Servalan.

When Avon and Keiller reach the cruise liner’s hold, Avon murders the solitary guard.

Sue: The guard’s hockey mask really helped when Avon shot him in the balls.

When Keiller opens the crate containing the black gold, tiny explosives attach themselves to the purser’s jacket.

Sue: It’s bloody good, this. Dudley’s music is very tense, too. I like the way they keep switching between the Muzak on the ship and the exciting bits in the hold. It’s very effective.

Keiller’s plan appears to be working.

Sue: I’m sorry if I’m not saying very much, Neil, but I’m enjoying this too much. Even the model shots are great. Look at that spaceship… Beautiful.

Dayna’s self-induced illness convinces the ship’s captain to put out a Mayday call, which just happens to be intercepted by Vila on the Scorpio.

Sue: Genius. This might actually work.

The ship’s doctor nearly scuppers their plans, but some quick thinking from Keiller puts them back on track.

Keiller: I told you it would work. We’re going to walk off this ship and no one’s even going to try and stop us.

Things inevitably go tits up, which results in a mad dash to the Scorpio‘s airlock before the doors can close. Sue is biting what’s left of her nails.

Sue: Hurry up! Run!

GoldAvon provides cover for the crew. It looks like he’s having a whale of a time.

Sue: He’s taking the piss!

The airlock closes before Avon can make it across.

Sue: Serves you right for taking the piss!

As the airlock begins to disengage, Avon roars down his teleport bracelet:

Avon: Vila, I need teleport now, Vila. NOW, VILA!

Sue: Wow. That was incredible. That has to be the most exciting moment in Blake’s 7 so far.

Keiller is told to contact his associates so they can sell the black gold. The planet they choose for this exchange is Beta Five.

Sue: It’s the same planet they always go to; it’s only the names that change. It isn’t a very diverse universe, is it?

A vehicle containing several hooded figures approaches the rendezvous point.

Sue: (scratching her chin) Now, then. Who could this possibly be?

Me: Well, I don’t see any dwarves…

The camera focuses on the occupants’ feet as they exit the vehicle.

Sue: Look for the heels… Wait for it… Yes, there they are. What a surprise.

GoldKeiller’s associates line up in front of the crew.

Sue: They’ve come to sell them life insurance. They’re the Black Widows, you see.

Me: I’m pretty sure you’ve already done the Black Widow gag…

Sue hits me with a cushion.

Avon wasn’t fooled for a moment. He knew it was Servalan all along.

Avon: It wasn’t hard to work out. But it wasn’t meant to be, was it?

Sue: It’s as if they’re ashamed of their own twist. And who can blame them?

Avon believes that Servalan wanted him to come running to her.

Sue: Or she fancied another go on Tarrant.

Avon pities Keiller’s decision to trust Servalan.

Avon: He doesn’t know you as well as I do.

Servalan: Who does?

Sue: Tarrant does for a start…

GoldAvon moves in for a snog that never comes…

Sue: They are destined to be together. They should run off and rule the galaxy as husband and wife – they’d be unstoppable. That’s how I would end it, anyway.

Avon decides to leave Keiller behind. He just can’t trust him.

Sue: Oh come on! You don’t trust anyone and it’s never stopped you before. Take him with you.

Avon teleports back to Scorpio with a suitcase full of cash.

Sue: Check the case before you leave, you idiot! Oops, too late… I bet it’s full of fruit.

Keiller begs Servalan for his life.

Sue: Aww, this is really sad. Yes, he was a conniving bastard, but I really liked him. They should make a prequel series – The Adventures of Keiller and Avon: The Early Years. I’d watch it.

Me: Maybe they could ask Rory Kinnear to star in it.

Sue is shocked when she discovers that Avon’s suitcase really is full of money, after all.

Tarrant: I’ve never seen currency of that size.

GoldSue: The first thing they’ll need to buy are some new wallets. Those notes are ****ing enormous.

Me: You should see Zerok’s coins – the size of plates.

Tarrant isn’t very pleased when Avon tells him that he knew Servalan was behind the heist all along. In fact, you could slice the atmosphere with a laser probe.

Sue: If looks could kill, Tarrant would be dead now. Do you think Avon knows that Tarrant and Servalan shagged yet? He isn’t stupid, you know.

Yes, we watched this episode before I wrote up the last one and discovered that we inadvertently missed the bit where Tarrant practically admits his crime but doesn’t want to talk about it. So the underlying tension that Sue has detected in this scene isn’t the underlying tension that actually exists in this scene. Oh well.

The next time we see Keiller, he’s lying face down in the mud.

Sue: They put him out of his misery. That’s really tragic. There was no need for that, Servalan. What a cow.

Orac has more bad tidings for the crew: Zerok has ceded to the Federation, which means Servalan can profit from the black gold after all. But it gets even worse:

Orac: The Federation banking system will now take over that of Zerok. All bank notes drawn by the Bank of Zerok will be declared invalid within seven days and all private transactions will be illegal.

GoldSue: Orac actually laughed when he told them that. He actually laughed! The cheeky bastard.

It turns out that the crew risked their lives so Servalan could get rich. The look on Avon’s face says it all.

Sue: That’s it. Avon’s finally snapped.

Cue credits.

The Score:

Sue: That was brilliant. It was a little bit confusing at times, but I didn’t really care because it was such a good ride. And Roy Kinnear was fabulous. I wish they hadn’t killed him off; he could have come back and redeemed himself. Anyway, great script, good direction and a wonderful guest star. Yes, Blake’s 7 is definitely ending on a high.

9/10

Addendum

A few days later…

Me: Sue, I need to tell you something: I think I accidentally broke the blog.

I break it to her that Avon definitely knows about Tarrant’s tryst with Servalan, but we missed that bombshell because we were too busy yakking over the episode and I forgot to hit the pause button; actually, I blame the cat. Anyway, this means Sue thought the crew were disgusted with Tarrant because he didn’t shoot their arch nemesis in the head, when in actual fact they were imagining their arch nemesis giving Tarrant head.

Sue: You idiot. What else have I missed because of you? I knew I should have done this with a Blake’s 7 expert.

Me: Don’t worry, I’m very familiar with the next three episodes. It won’t happen again.

Sue: Well, this changes everything. Avon must be biding his time, then. He’ll murder Tarrant when he least expects it, probably while he’s sleeping. It also explains why Avon has finally lost his mind, so thanks for that. Idiot.

Next Time:

There will be two updates next week, on Tuesday and Friday. Thanks.

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126 comments

  • August 16, 2014 3:12 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Philip Ayres

    Top, top episode. Love it.

    The only time that Avon & Servalan meet in series 4. Yes she was at the Auction in Assassin but they never met then.

    And Avon making Servalan rich maybe the thing that finally pushes him right over the top.

    Sue had better like the next one!

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      August 16, 2014 3:44 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Smile

      They do kind of meet in Assassin though, don’t they? Enough for them to speak to each other, Servalan telling him to address her as mistress…

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      August 18, 2014 4:16 amPosted 2 years ago
      Fiona

      Ah Philip! Please dont do that…now I inadvertently know no more Servalan for rest of series. And I dont know the rest of the series, and everyone raves about it, so really dont want it spoiled after all this time…please, pretty please with sugar on top…

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    August 16, 2014 3:15 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Richard Parker

    Season 4 takes a lot of flak, but the last hurrah of 4 or 5 episodes are really great.

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    August 16, 2014 3:34 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Robert

    I love this one too. Once we’re passed Animals I’m happy, but Sand, Gold and Orbit make me happiest.

    Boucher was so pissed at how Darrow and Jacks played the Deathwatch scene, he was responsible for this being the only time they meet this year.

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    August 16, 2014 3:35 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Robert

    Happy apart from Warlord. Obviously.

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      August 17, 2014 1:07 amPosted 2 years ago
      Rob

      I quite like Warlord…sets up the finale rather nicely but we shall have this debate in a few days time 🙂

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        August 18, 2014 7:31 pmPosted 2 years ago
        Dave Sanders

        I DON’T BELIEVE YOU! I DON’T BELIEVE YOU!!!!

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    August 16, 2014 3:38 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Amethyst

    Best. Ending. EVER.

  • August 16, 2014 3:43 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Chris Allen

    “You’ve cracked that joke before, Sue”

    It’s an old joke Neil, it waits.

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      August 16, 2014 4:38 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Anniew

      Like, like, like.

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      August 17, 2014 6:07 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Fiona

      brilliant Chris!

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    August 16, 2014 3:44 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Dave Sanders

    Nobody’s fooled much by Roy Kinnear,
    ‘Cos guess who’s behind that thin veneer.
    The Feds stiff the bankers,
    Our friends look like wankers.
    Too bad – Avon could have been in here.

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      August 17, 2014 6:08 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Fiona

      And brilliant Dave too! Everyone wildly on form

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    August 16, 2014 3:47 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Dave Sanders

    “I bet all their stationary uses Comic Sans” is the funniest zinger in ages.

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    August 16, 2014 4:28 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Anniew

    Love, love love this episode. Makes you realise again what a sad loss Roy Kinear was to acting – well the world really. I loved the comic strip logos and the whole Space Princess thing which turns so ugly when they drug Dayna for real. Was this Also filmed at a nuclear power station or was that just Redemption? Keller and Avon the early years are a must for any remake . Brilliant idea. I have to confess this episode does kind support RLF’s theory that Avon is a career criminal but a thief more than a con man ( if he was con man wouldn’t he take the role play with Dayna rather than the action stuff? Neil ‘breaking the blog also meant you missed the significance if Tarrant’s exchange with Avon: T ‘ Servalan’s not just some greedy gangster’. Avon, ‘Surely that’s exactly what she is’. Ouch.

    • August 16, 2014 4:30 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Neil Perryman (Author)

      That’s the bit where you can cut the atmosphere with a laser probe.

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        August 16, 2014 4:37 pmPosted 2 years ago
        Anniew

        Ah that’ll teach me to read the blog more carefully before commenting.

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      August 16, 2014 5:05 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Smile

      The filming was at the Refuse Disposal Centre at Poole in Dorset, and a nearby quarry.

      Some trivia – one of the Zerok guard costumes turns up briefly in the first episode of The Twin Dilemma, Colin Baker’s first Doctor Who story, where he’s sorting through some clothes on a rack. The logo on the back, as also shown in this episode, is quite visible.

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        August 16, 2014 5:21 pmPosted 2 years ago
        Dave Sanders

        And it still manages to be the least garish item of clothing in the episode.

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          August 16, 2014 6:33 pmPosted 2 years ago
          James Campbell Andrew

          I thought we had agreed never to speak of The Twin Dilemma ever again?

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      August 17, 2014 6:30 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Fiona

      That was wonderful that bit. That had tension we havent seen since Blake left. The two guys and Servalan in the middle…one’s shagged her and the other knows it…”You think you’re all that, Tarrant, but she’s just white trash”…

      Oh fucking hell. Why did it have to take this long to hit its stride. I get now why people wanted it to continue after the finale, there was just something waiting to click, and what that something was, was a purpose.

      Now we have a proper structure. Here are the Space Heist Gang, idealists, dreamers and rebels please do not apply. While they were on the Liberator, this wasnt possible, due to the room full of costume jewellery. One obvious answer would have been to have all that heisted by someone else and leave them broke, hungry and putting their skills together to become the Most Feared Criminal Firm in the Western Spiral Arm Of The Galaxy. They could have turned totally ruthless and become smugglers and people traffickers as well…now how would that have been for morally ambiguous and bleak? Could we still love Avon when he’s enslaving bar girls from Freedom City and knocking out Shadow cut with brick dust? (Answer: Yes).

      Then they could have kept the Liberator and not be so on top of each other. Scorpio doesnt even allow Avon space to do a girly run. Also, could have still had the ‘Rumours’ scenario and totally betrayed Avon would then have reasonably ceased to care about anyone, even dying addicts and trafficked bar girls.

      So great, they have a reason to exist:and I have no issue with Servalan being the Constant Villain. Its better than breaking in a new villain all the time and the stuff with her and Avon is so original! You didnt see Goldfinger trying to get off with Bond.

      And Roy Kinnear just runs away with the Oracs…how good some of these guest stars are. He was absolutely great.

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        August 18, 2014 10:48 amPosted 2 years ago
        Rob

        ‘And Roy Kinnear just runs away with the Oracs…how good some of these guest stars are. He was absolutely great.’

        Spoiler free I promise….but there are one or two more actors from the remaining eppys who could be challenging for the Oracs 🙂

        • August 19, 2014 12:37 pmPosted 2 years ago
          Michael Clark

          Can I have some Oracs, they sound fun. Like little baby orcs:)

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    August 16, 2014 6:35 pmPosted 2 years ago
    James Campbell Andrew

    Absolutely love this episode. I love the fact that they risk all and win nothing, and make Servalan rich in the process.

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    August 16, 2014 9:14 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Doug

    Once you finish the series, are there plans to make Sue read Paul Darrow’s Lucifer trilogy? I understand that they are based on Terry Nation’s official ideas/plot outline for a Blake’s 7 sequel miniseries that he developed with Darrow before he died.

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      August 16, 2014 10:33 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Doug

      Just to clarify the above, I believe that Darrow turned the scripts into novels when B7 Enterprises failed to obtain the funding to make the miniseries. I have not yet read them myself but apparently they are very faithful to Terry Nation’s ideas of having Avon in exile on an “island planet” much like Napoleon was in exile on Elba, before leading a final revolt against the new quartet of leaders of the Federation.

      Someone please correct me if I am wrong about all of that!

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      August 17, 2014 6:36 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Richard Lyth

      The Kindle versions are quite cheap, I’ve got the first one but I’m not reading it until I’ve finished rewatching the show. Neil and Sue could get the audio CDs and blog the comments they make while listening, though without the visual elements it probably wouldn’t be as entertaining as usual.

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        August 18, 2014 4:20 amPosted 2 years ago
        Fiona

        Oh nice one…I didnt know they were available for Kindle.

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    August 16, 2014 10:22 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Sean Alexander

    Do the hustle.

    As much as Blakes 7 has been treading water since Gareth Thomas bailed, with occasional flashes of brilliance, ‘Gold’ actually has you wishing there were more than three episodes left. It’s arguably the best line-up of crew there’s been, with neither a Gan nor a Cally to be left twiddling their thumbs – even Vila being left on the ship is essential rather than convenient as nobody would be left to operate the teleport.

    Roy Kinnear was always one of those character actors who straddled drama and comedy effortlessly well, and both come to the fore here. So sad to remember that just a handful of years after this he would take a tumble from a horse filming Return of the Musketeers and suffer a fatal heart attack. Still, son Rory is keeping the family flame burning bright.

    A first time viewer would be forgiven for thinking that Avon’s increasingly reckless leadership would all be heading to some massive revolt by the other members, or perhaps a coup from Tarrant who has adopted the thorn in the side role Avon once played against Blake. Perhaps another year, and a continuing upturn in the quality of scripts, would have seen this realised.

    The only letdown is the (seemingly contractual) appearance of Sleervalan in the kind of bad penny reveal that Who would make a habit with The Master over the next few years. Perhaps season four would have benefitted more from a fresh face in the nemesis role? Jacqueline Pearce deserved the kind of grand exit that Terminal would have otherwise granted her as well.

    Still, onwards. And ‘Gold’ does at least raise anticipation levels for the final salvo to come.

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      August 17, 2014 12:38 amPosted 2 years ago
      Dave Sanders

      At least she never dressed as a scarecrow.

      …Oh wait.

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      August 17, 2014 12:44 pmPosted 2 years ago
      RLF

      “Jacqueline Pearce deserved the kind of grand exit that Terminal would have otherwise granted her as well.”

      It’s understated in this episode, but I can’t think of a better Grand Exit than “…and then she wins, hands down…”. She’s wealthy beyond imagining, free as a bird and basically ready to do a proper ’70’s dictator exeunt stage left and escape with all her pillage, confident that her atrocities will never catch up with her and there will never be a comeuppance. That’s an appropriately gloomy resolution to the character, and, looking back, so much the better because it’s never made into a big deal.

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        August 17, 2014 1:00 pmPosted 2 years ago
        RLF

        Sorry to harp on this, but it’s only just occurred to me. Season 5 should have been, metatexurally, how Servie escapes the ’70’s into the ’80’s. She’s already traded up being a despot into being a stockbroker, and I think it fits the ’80’s mode of storytelling for us to get to see how she watches the fat, sleazy Federation administration sag under its own weight, possibly even outright hiring Avon and the survivors, or rehabilitating Clone-Blake as a Popular Leader, while all the time sitting in the background knowing she’s untouchable, and laughing at the bench and walking out of court every time she’s brought to book. It would have taken really, really good writing to pull it off, but I think it would have had legs.

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          August 17, 2014 6:38 pmPosted 2 years ago
          Fiona

          Its got the sound of a movie spin-off rather than a series, but I can see it. Reflect the greed and the growing corruption of the 80s, the undermining of the social consensus. Greed is good and there’s no such thing as society (idiot woman Margaret Thatcher, should have been hanged just for saying that, I cannot believe a state funeral for wrecking everything).
          Maybe, Avon does marry Servalan, survives more than a week and begins to think she actually likes him…and then Blake secretly re-appears and starts rebellion against her…and Avon is torn between self-interest and the inexplicable pull of idealism, between Servalan and Blake…he starts secretly funding Blake and then secretly helping him, but sometimes reneging at the last minute through loyalty to Servalan…and gets even more complex…and of course, ultimately Servalan finds out…what will she do??

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            August 18, 2014 11:15 amPosted 2 years ago
            Rob

            Spot on about Thatcher – so many crimes including the sale of council houses. B7 was so wonderfully left wing and it was highly subversive TV. it was a huge surprise to me that former Tory MP Louise Mensch is such a huge B7 fan.

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            August 18, 2014 3:09 pmPosted 2 years ago
            Louise

            I don’t think Servalan would ever marry Avon, even if he was so inclined. As Keiller said, he was getting to be big news, and Servalan works very much inside the system. She wouldn’t risk his past as a ‘terrorist’ being exposed and bringing her down.

            ” there’s no such thing as society”

            Much as I don’t read these blogs for politics, yes I am a pedant, and I can’t believe people are still getting this wrong almost 30 years later.

            The full quote is ‘And, you know, there is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women, and there are families. And no government can do anything except through people, and people must look to themselves first. It’s our duty to look after ourselves and then, also to look after our neighbour.’ (Taken from Wikiquote)

            What she was saying is that you can’t sit back and expect ‘society’ to fix things. Because society is you, and things will only get fixed if you personally stand up and act.

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            August 18, 2014 9:35 pmPosted 2 years ago
            RLF

            Nah. “No such thing as society” is an invocation of Hayek, whom Thatcher admired greatly, and secondarily of Robert Nozick, who was attempting a rehabilitation of the then-discredited theory of Rugged Individualism (n.b. To the extent that Regan et al took Nozick very seriously indeed, one might argue that his rehabilitation attempts were highly successful.)

            Note that Hayek’s statements in this regard amount to very little more than cherry-picking some bits of Rawls and Proudhon and inverting them with some sophist logic that wouldn’t make it past a secondary-school debating club.

            Anyway, since I promised I’d keep on-topic, and try to keep up with Fiona in our ongoing discussion of “what type, if any, of career criminal is Avon?”. Well, Proudhon says Property Is Theft. Avon says Theft Is Property. (Vila just says theft is easier, and Dayna denies that such a concept is meaningful at all.

            Thatcher, on the other hand thinks that the welfare state and nationalised industry is theft, even when she is using it to build social housing, telecommunications infrastructure and public utilities which she can then illegally sell and line her pockets with. If you see Sid, tell him.

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            August 19, 2014 9:30 amPosted 2 years ago
            John G

            “B7 was so wonderfully left wing and it was highly subversive TV. it was a huge surprise to me that former Tory MP Louise Mensch is such a huge B7 fan.”

            Well, why shouldn’t she like it? Evil, corrupt dictatorships are not exclusively right-wing, and I think there is plenty in B7 for people of all political persuasions to enjoy. I know Chris Boucher was a man of the Left, but when I watched the show I didn’t feel that it was preaching a particular doctrine at me. Speaking of Thatcher, she herself was something of a subversive when she first came to power, striking out against and ultimately overturning the Left-leaning post-war consensus which the majority of the political establishment at that time supported.

            Incidentally, I should congratulate Neil and Sue on another superb blog. This has been every bit the equal of Wife in Space, though I have refrained from commenting this time as it has been a long time since I last watched B7. However, the blog has inspired me to start rewatching, and I am enjoying the show just as much as last time.

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            August 19, 2014 10:21 amPosted 2 years ago
            Rob

            ‘Speaking of Thatcher, she herself was something of a subversive’

            Yes…I suppose she was in a way – quite a talent to control that bunch of crooks. Also particularly good at protecting creepy advisors who should’ve been locked up for life.

            As Fiona said ‘idiot woman’.

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            August 19, 2014 11:48 amPosted 2 years ago
            dpc

            Louise’s quote, in full context, makes much sense… but why would Thatcher say it?

            “Gold” is indeed gold, for B7 and for shows whose makers enjoyed it (like Firefly)…

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            August 19, 2014 1:59 pmPosted 2 years ago
            Fiona

            So what? “Greed is good” wasnt meant to be taken as a life motto, still happened. and whatever Thatcher pretended to mean, what she actually intended was to dismantle the entire social consensus and give a few the chance to get rich while turing the rest of us into debt-ridden slaves, living in stress and fear, and like Americans, not going to the doctor because we cant afford to.

            And it doesnt have to be so either/or. The individual people and families make up one collective group, contributing to one pot, to help everyone. So you can indeed expect the collective to help you, because you’ve put in your share, if you could, that is. And those who cant are helped too. And there’re a few freeloaders, but so what…the benefits for all are so good. Dont see doctors in the UK flying about in helicopters and dont see people driven from their homes because they cant pay that doctor bill or for the insurance company CEO’s billion-dollar package. Billion! Billion that could go back into the system and benefit the collective. Because the one time you need to ‘sit back and be helped’ is when you are sick. Burdening families with the care of the ill, when a collective system alleviates the stress, is outrageous.

            Its like these people want to take us back to Victorian times..Rush Limbaugh said that poor kids ought to be made to do janitorial work at their schools to pay for their free lunches. Its the inhumanity of these people.

            Guardian or Independent turned up a document a few years back showing the old witch had planned to totally dismantle the NHS and get us onto that idiotic American system…set people against each other, saying I’m an individual man, I help myself first…until people are going: “I’m not paying for anyone elses healthcare, only my own!” I can never believe my ears when I hear those people say that.

            oops,,,sorry Neil.But, wait, can we relate B7 to the Thatcher years and before? Its got me thinking, it did bridge those years, didnt it, ended in 81, Thatcherism had done some major damage by then. How do our heroes tie in, if at all?
            They had I suppose, a set-up which right now is becoming favoured by business: you employ a bunch of free-lancers, all operating as independents…. ‘gig’ work, I think it’s called. Its supposed to be so free and dynamic, etc but is really a contemptible way of screwing people’s labour out of them and giving them the very minimum, no benefits, and no security at all, so they can live on the edge of bankruptcy. so you dont have a job, you have ‘gigs’ and have to pay for your health insurance out of that.
            so seriously…they are contributing their skills, but the proceeds are fairly shared, right? Avon doesnt take a giant cut for himself as a bonus, citing his superior talents, and saying if you want the best you have to pay for it. And he doesnt cunningly set the rest against each other. Nor are some skills privileged over others here. They all contribute and all share.
            I’m thinking about Cortez here: he had a similar group but when it came to shares, he snaffled practically all of the loot.

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            August 19, 2014 4:19 pmPosted 2 years ago
            RLF

            “Its got me thinking, it did bridge those years, didnt it, ended in 81, Thatcherism had done some major damage by then. How do our heroes tie in, if at all?”

            I can answer this, but it’ll be a bit longwinded and I’m not going to risk boring everyone senseless without a bit of encouragement….

            anyone?

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            August 19, 2014 9:45 pmPosted 2 years ago
            RLF

            “As Fiona said ‘idiot woman’.”
            Quite. But the terrifying thought is that next to Tebbit, Fowler, Joseph and Nott, she was the least psychopathic and most likeable of the lot.

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    August 16, 2014 10:28 pmPosted 2 years ago
    The Grouchybeast

    I have a love of heist films, so Gold is definitely one of my S4 favourites. Roy Kinnear is always good value.

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    August 16, 2014 11:22 pmPosted 2 years ago
    CatCat

    You should rewatch with Sue the following Doctor Who episodes: The Sun makers, The Two Doctors and Timelash.
    The comments wouldn’t be the same as the last time she saw them

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    August 16, 2014 11:56 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Katie c

    Love Gold, it’s one of the episodes I’ve re-watched more than most. And don’t Avon and Soolin make a lovely couple?

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      August 17, 2014 1:11 amPosted 2 years ago
      Rob

      Watching these episodes again with the Wife & Blake, yes they do. Avon and Soolin are a remarkably good couple on screen and a shame that the writers picked up on that so late.

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        August 17, 2014 6:42 pmPosted 2 years ago
        Fiona

        Dont see it. No sexual chemistry. Great business partners, I like how he gives her the credit for shooting both guys. Was applauding that bit…so many men would have taken the credit for one and implied they did the other. Not lacking in security of masculinity, Avon.
        But I dont feel there’s anything brewing between them. Avon hardly even glances at her.

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          August 18, 2014 10:56 amPosted 2 years ago
          Rob

          I agree – very good business partners and a good team in that sense. Things may have developed between them in S5 but Paul Darrow did state himself that Avon would never have been interested in Soolin as his character liked ‘women’.
          I’m quite biased when it comes to Soolin though – she makes the early wonky part of S4 watchable.

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            August 18, 2014 3:28 pmPosted 2 years ago
            Frankymole

            Avon suggests running off with her and leaving the others! And I’m not sure which side of the girls/women divide Avon sees Soolin as falling on. I suspect as time went on he saw her more on the woman side – after all, Soolin had succeeded in her life’s ambition (killing all her family’s killers) whereas Dayna hasn’t yet managed to kill just one (Servalan).

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          August 18, 2014 11:47 pmPosted 2 years ago
          Katie c

          Yeah I agree, no sexual chemistry there but they work well together (like Avon/Cally) and she seems have got the measure of him now and won’t put up with his crap.

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            August 19, 2014 2:17 pmPosted 2 years ago
            Fiona

            I certainly dont see her as a girl, definitely as a woman. Girl always seems, well, girly to me, even with all this girl power stuff…the girls doing girl power just seem like women. Cant call Soolin the gunslinger a girl. And btw, I thought her gunslinging was ridiculous, really…it reminded me of the scene in Blazing Saddles when Gene Hackman stands with arms folded and guns down people without apparently changing position.

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    August 17, 2014 12:51 amPosted 2 years ago
    Rob

    Possibly the best B7 episode of all time (apart form the next one or two that follow). I couldn’t wait for Sue to review this one and knew that she would love it 🙂

    I honestly think that ‘Gold’ could have been a template for Season 5 had the BBC realised what a great and innovative show they had on their hands back in 1981. Sadly, they didn’t.
    Rory Kinnear was absolute brilliant in this and it was his first serious acting role from what I remember. A contender for an Orac surely?

    That model of the Nova Princess was on display at the Dr Who Longleat event way, way back in 1983 and it look amazing. It was the highlight of my day back then, that and the full sized Triffid outside the BBC effects tent. I was slightly miffed that Orac and the Liberator wasn’t there but what a day that was.

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      August 17, 2014 3:34 amPosted 2 years ago
      Frankymole

      Kinnear had been in a 1964 “Avengers” with John Thaw in which he was fairly serious, but yes such roles were fairly rare as he specialised in the comic-sinister types. Arguably he does so here, too.

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      August 17, 2014 7:02 amPosted 2 years ago
      Smile

      Depends on what you count as comedy, I suppose. He’d already appeared in Scrooge – the Albert Finney musical film version – and the Three Musketeers film, and on television, ITV Sunday Night Theatre, THirty Minute Theatre, The Sweeney, Play For Today and the Richard O’ Sullivan Dick Turpin series.

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        August 17, 2014 6:45 pmPosted 2 years ago
        Fiona

        I remember that Dick Turpin series..cant place Roy Kinnear in it. Wouldnt Paul Darrow and Michael Keating have made a good Turpin and Swiftnick? Dick Turpin is ripe for remake, show him as something like he really was.

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          August 17, 2014 7:44 pmPosted 2 years ago
          Smile

          I think Kinnear was only in one episode as a guest character, much as in this.

          Darrow and Keating as Dick Turpin and Swiftnick? Now there’s an idea! The TV companies missed a trick not getting them to star in some kind of series requiring a duo as the main leads anyway… could have done well in the right kind of vehicle.

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      August 17, 2014 12:16 pmPosted 2 years ago
      RLF

      Was Ian Scoones the model maker on these episodes? I think…the guy who made hundreds of quid look like millions in “Warriors’ Gate”? Half-remembered story….I think he was the guy who pushed for the rental of the Mitchell high-framerate cameras. Just imagine how good this would have looked if he’d held out for budget for travelling matte instead of CSO….

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        August 17, 2014 9:22 pmPosted 2 years ago
        Rob

        Ian Scoones only worked on bits of the first series (he was responsible for all those beauty shots of the Liberator going past planets etc). He was very angry that his design of the Lib was turned down in favour of Roger Murray Leach. Matt Irvine took over towards the end of Season 1 and his first job was to design and build Orac. Jim Frances was then drafted in for the final two seasons.

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      August 18, 2014 4:23 amPosted 2 years ago
      Fiona

      When you look at how many fine guest stars this show had, its amazing really. But he might actually be the winner of the Orac for Best Guest Star because he might even be better than Belkov. Eek what a handsy creep with Soolin!

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      August 19, 2014 11:35 amPosted 2 years ago
      Rassilon

      I was there for that, don’t recall the Space Princess, I do recall the Triffid, Marvin & the ship for Tarrent lookalike Paul “Rosie” Greenwood Zepp 1.

      Someone also nicked the miniature TARDIS (I think it was there by Zepp 1) & no it wasn’t me.

      Liberator & Orac would have been much better to have seen than the Triffid & Zepp 1.

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        August 19, 2014 11:50 amPosted 2 years ago
        Rob

        Haha…it wasn’t me either…honest 🙂 I did however sneak in without paying as they were turning people away from Noon onwards.
        Poor old Peter Davison was sent out to tell people that the event was too full. I had come a long way and was having none of that. I spent the entrance fee money on having my photo taken with Bessie.
        Was Longleat a two day thing? I saw the Space Princess on the Sunday. Agree that it would have been better to see Orac and the Liberator rather than things like R2-D2. The definitive Lib was probably still in pieces though during the time of this odd but fun little event. There were loads of terrific glossy photos featuring B7 model effects inside the tent that I have never seen anywhere since.

        The other prop of interest was a blown-up Dalek with tentacle innards from the forthcoming Five Doctors.

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          August 19, 2014 2:30 pmPosted 2 years ago
          Frankymole

          Longleat was on the Easter Sunday and the Easter Monday Bank Holiday. So yes, it was 2 days. They also had (The Flip Side of) Dominick Hide’s time machine (a full-size flying saucer!) which the kids clambered on. Shame the Scorpio ‘hero’ model had been taken away in a skip by then.

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    August 17, 2014 1:08 amPosted 2 years ago
    Katie c

    “Orac actually laughed when he said that”

    Yeah thanks for not telling us that half an hour ago Orac. It’s not poor Tarrant’s fault everything goes wrong, it’s Orac’s (and Avon’s I suppose)

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    August 17, 2014 2:18 amPosted 2 years ago
    Frankymole

    Sue: “They are destined to be together. They should run off and rule the galaxy as husband and wife – they’d be unstoppable.”

    They’d be dead in a week.

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    August 17, 2014 4:24 amPosted 2 years ago
    Robert Rowles

    A fine episode, genuinely tense in places, and Roy Kinnear was very good: shifty, slightly pervy and pathetic at the end. It fits in cunningly with the overall ark of all their schemes turning to dust and Avon gradually going crazy. That laughter at the end of the episode seems like a final, diagnostic proof: he’s officially lost the plot. And, more disturbing, it’s how I might respond to that news. Maybe not the manic laughter, but a wry chuckle (with some head shaking) definitely. Is it the best ever? I don’t know: for me, the last 3 tend to overshadow it, but it sets them up beautifully. Roll on Orbit.

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      August 17, 2014 12:11 pmPosted 2 years ago
      RLF

      Robert: Some years ago, I was walking home (very) late at night and I passed a guy crouched down on a river bridge, suit dishevelled, one shoe missing, and his nominally very expensive briefcase open on the pavement, as he pulled out invoices and ledger sheets, tore them into tiny little bits, and sprinkled them into the river, alternating between puking neat scotch and giggling like a maniac. Just the same vibe I got from the end of this episode. Not funny. Plot being lost, for real. Not even the lowest point, just the first glimpse of how bottomless hell actually is.

      • August 17, 2014 6:35 pmPosted 2 years ago
        Andy Luke

        Yeah. The expediency with which the Federation are to bring in their currency change is a reminder they’re a brutal regime. Well put and scary to think of.

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    August 17, 2014 5:48 amPosted 2 years ago
    Amethyst

    Think the few episodes that show the crew in a social setting tend to be fan favourites (Gambit, Death-Watch), in part just because they’re so few and far between. But somehow boarding the Pleasure Cruiser just makes the episode more sinister with the drugging of the passengers and the creepy music. And then the ending with normally super-composed Soolin throwing up the worthless bank notes like so much ticker tape as Avon cracks up and brandishes his empty hand… Near perfect stuff.

  • August 17, 2014 8:19 amPosted 2 years ago
    encyclops

    Well, this is another one I’m out of sync with everyone on. I ought to like it — on paper I agree the heist episodes are what this show is best suited for. But in practice I find that no matter how often I’ve watched it, it’s just kind of eh. I forget everything that happens right after I watch it; about the only thing that ever sticks in my mind about it is Tarrant asking about the purser. As with “Games,” I remember all the good moments when I read the blog entry, and I remember that I did enjoy them at the time, but I also remember that no matter how many times I watched Season 4 as a kid — and it was a lot of times — “Gold” was the episode I had to sit through to get from “Sand” to “Orbit.”

    I didn’t even like Keiller that much, to be honest. I’m not sure if it was the performance or the character. I’d definitely rate this above the first five episodes of the season, though.

    If there’s any episode I’d drop Servalan out of, it would be this one. Here I actually agree she detracts from proceedings rather than adding to them. She gets no space to be fabulous and I think it would have been far more interesting if it hadn’t led back to her yet again.

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      August 17, 2014 9:48 amPosted 2 years ago
      Anniew

      I think it had to be her ( Servalan) behind it because it’s the moment when Avon realises that to win he has to attack the Federation rather than just making himself so rich no one can touch him. It’s his second epic failure at the latter and a powerful Federation woman is again behind the failure. It’s a kind of ‘ all roads lead to Rome’ moment and so a life-changer.

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    August 17, 2014 9:55 amPosted 2 years ago
    Anniew

    And I agree Encyclops it isn’t one that is indelibly imprinted in my mind like Rumours,Sarcophagus or Orbit, except for Avon’s laugh and the body of Keiler in the sand. I think that’s because it’s action based without the zinger dialogue but whenever I watch it again I find it seamless, exciting and satisfying. In fact I’m always surprised just how good it is.

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    August 17, 2014 11:30 amPosted 2 years ago
    Smile

    I do like this episode but it was spoiled a little for me when someone pointed out that there’s a bit of a logic quibble as to why they apparently carry on with their incursion into the Processing Plant after the first guard is attacked and especially after the alarm has sounded. Their plan, after all, is to secretly tamper with the gold, or at least the machinery, so that it doesn’t get turned black. As the plan is dependent on no-one checking it, it’s fairly obvious that if there’s been an invasion which has resulted in various guards getting killed, they’re hardly likely to still be as lax as usual and not bother checking the consignment. So, given that, what would they want to go on with it for? What’s it going to achieve? Even if they do manage to get to the gold, and stop it being altered, there’d be no chance of them getting away with it. Why ever risk their lives for that? Or are they intending to also somehow supervise the actual loading of it onto the Space Princess? Or teleport straight up with it there and then, fly to the rendezvous point, and cut out all that stuff with the Space Princess voyage and faked rescue?

    I’m a bit unsure as to whether it would be practical for the Zerok currency to become completely worthless the very same day as Zerok cedes to the Federation? Wouldn’t there be at least a few days or weeks on the planet where it was possible to convert any notes or coins of the old currency into the new or have it automatically converted when opening a bank account there, as otherwise there’d be all sort of financial chaos? Presumably they were also intending to convert the money anyway, unless they were planning to invest or spend it all on Zerok?

    • Visit site
      August 17, 2014 1:55 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Frankymole

      “As the plan is dependent on no-one checking it, it’s fairly obvious that if there’s been an invasion which has resulted in various guards getting killed, they’re hardly likely to still be as lax as usual and not bother checking the consignment. ”

      That’s why such a big play is made of the whole process being totally automated, including the loading on to the Space Princess. It’s only the perimeter guards at the plant who aren’t. And even if they’re all dead the plant continues its process as long as there’s gold. Dodgy, sure, but it is explained. I guess it’s because they prefer to trust Machines to do all the checking rather than Men.

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    August 17, 2014 11:54 amPosted 2 years ago
    RLF

    Avon: It wasn’t hard to work out. But it wasn’t meant to be, was it?
    Sue: It’s as if they’re ashamed of their own twist. And who can blame them?

    Oh but it could be worse. Here it’s a bit of gentle self-mockery. If it was made now, you’d get five minutes of half-smirking, eye-rolling and forehead-crinkling as the writer and director congratulated themselves on their brilliant use of ironic lampshading.

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    August 17, 2014 12:04 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Anniew

    Avon guesses Servalan is behind the scheme after the guards debacle and figures he can outsmart her by selling her the worthless black gold ( which she will think has been transformed) for a great deal of Munnay so it’s worth going ahead with the heist. It doesn’t quite pan out. That’s what I figured anyhow.

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      August 17, 2014 12:24 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Smile

      I didn’t quite mean not going ahead with the heist. Just that they could still call off the expedition as soon as it’s clear that they’ve been noticed, return to Scorpio, and then simply carry on with the rest of the plan much as they do in the rest of the episode, ie where they’re pretending to be passengers etc.

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        August 17, 2014 12:53 pmPosted 2 years ago
        Smile

        That’s why I was speculating that they may have had a contingency plan. Maybe the crew had already decided that if they were disturbed while infiltrating the place, and had to start shooting, then on reaching the gold and ensuring it was restored to its usual condition, they would just take it straight to Scorpio with them via the teleport, and then go with Keiller to trade with the buyer he was involved with. Orac does tell them about the problems with teleporting gold that’s previously been processed, but that’s in a later scene, so may not have been factoring in their calculations here.

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    August 17, 2014 12:04 pmPosted 2 years ago
    RLF

    I’m honestly going into these final episode with a real feeling of trepidation and apprehension and a bit of a heart-pound. Some proper tension building up, which absolutely does not diminish with rewatching. It’s one of those great bits of old telly where absolutely everything comes together, and any problems with production values and the occasional plot hole cease to matter….

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      August 17, 2014 12:34 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Rob

      Totally agree with you 🙂 Watching these final episodes again for the first time in ages and I’m surprised at how enjoyable they still are and how well they hold together. There’s a real sense that everyone involved were making every effort to make these episodes classics before their time – not easy given how the BBC worked back in those days. They also spent the budget very wisely and pushed things as far as they could. All these elements coming together make the finale even more painful really but what a terrific bunch of eppys 🙂

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      August 17, 2014 6:49 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Fiona

      Shush! I dont know what happens…

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        August 18, 2014 9:37 pmPosted 2 years ago
        RLF

        I wouldn’t spoil it for you for the world.

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    August 17, 2014 2:01 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Karyl

    That little piece of shit actually LAUGHED AT THEM!!!

    And poor Avon finally gave up the shreds of his sanity, and cracked like an egg. He looked as if he were on the verge of tears while he was laughing, which is an indication of a VERY unsound mind.

    And the crew doesn’t notice; they just think it’s business as usual for him.

    I didn’t much like Roy Kinnear; he was way too smarmy and greasy for me. Like a shorter, fatter version of Roy Grieco from 21 Jump Street. ICK!

    The MINUTE the guards in robes, masks, etc. showed up, I KNEW that Servalan was behind it.

    The level of flirt going on between her and Avon was almost enough to start me gagging. WHY would he go all flirty over a woman that puts on makeup with a trowel? Oof. That was one thing I never got, even if the chemistry between Paul and Jackie was magnificent.

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      August 17, 2014 9:42 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Anniew

      Wow. You are one passionate viewer!

    • August 17, 2014 10:20 pmPosted 2 years ago
      encyclops

      “And the crew doesn’t notice; they just think it’s business as usual for him.”

      It is, a bit — remember his grin at the end of “Terminal”?

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      August 18, 2014 4:29 amPosted 2 years ago
      Fiona

      Yes, we’ve seen plenty of Avon’s inappropriate reactions to complete fuck-ups. Right back in Horizon he was laughing ironically at having his hand forced to go and rescue them all

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    August 17, 2014 2:06 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Licence

    I didn’t see this when it was first shown (some school event that evening – awards night or parents evening I think) so only saw it when they repeated S4 later.

    I remember getting a friend to tell me what happened and his recollection was so bad I didn’t recognise anything he told me when I did get to see it… I think he told me they were stealing fruit!

    My second favourite from that series behind one still to come.

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    August 17, 2014 2:37 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Amethyst

    Now then: I understand Servalan foresaw the crew would fail to stop the conversion gold to black-gold, and in fact wanted them to bring her the gold in it’s black form. So why does Avon tell her “I shouldn’t imagine it will be much use to you now”? Does he mean

    a) You’ll have to launder it illegally as you’d planned, or
    b) Your plan has gone wrong for you and you’ll have to pay up anyway?

    • Visit site
      August 17, 2014 6:59 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Fiona

      I dont understand that either.

      and there was something else I didnt quite get either…the bit where the fireworks white phosphorus-type stuff went off and Keillor started screaming and panicking…I thought he was up to something at that point, because the cube got turned off…I thought that was just pretending on his part so he could in fact sneakily turn it off. But they didnt get spotted..I hate that kind of thing thrown into a plot because its distracting. It s like JK Rowling creating a dragon for Hagrid to play with and then just not knowing what to do with it and having Ron’s brother take it away.
      ” The cube is off!” cried Avon. Oh no…busted! “I’ll turn it on again” says Roy. And that was that.

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        August 17, 2014 9:39 pmPosted 2 years ago
        Anniew

        Keller warns Avon to be careful when he shoots off the lock of the gold box because it may be booby trapped. That passes without incident but when they uncover the gold a booby trap is sprung and covers Keiler with particles which will, if not removed, eat into his body and kill him. He knocks the cube off when he panics but when they notice he tells Avon it doesn’t matter because no alarm has gone off and they just have to get out. (I think that’s right!! )

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          August 18, 2014 4:11 amPosted 2 years ago
          Fiona

          Yes, I know all that, but, why? You dont do things like that without a reason and if it is for tension then you need to make it tense. Needed to have the other officer looking at the screen and only just missing it…in fact that is what happened, but because no music or back-and-forth cutting was used, the moment evaporated, leading me to think it was actually a plot by Keillor and there was no white phosphorus stuff.

          Careless and sloppy, that bit.

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            August 18, 2014 11:02 amPosted 2 years ago
            Anniew

            I think the tension or point comes from the fact that a) they could actually be killed by something they haven’t foreseen and b) that there are traps lurking so it may not all be that simple.

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    August 17, 2014 5:21 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Fiona

    “Sue: Why didn’t they stick together? You know, safety in numbers. Is it because they can only teleport two at a time these days, or is this part of the plan?”

    Well, never let Sue be in charge of Charlie Company or whatever…first rule of everything military or space robbers is dont bunch up. Dont teleport together so the Gatling gun waiting for you can’t mow you all down!

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      August 17, 2014 10:42 pmPosted 2 years ago
      RLF

      Dont teleport together so the Gatling gun waiting for you can’t mow you all down!

      If that’s a reference to what I think it’s a reference to….you’ve got a treat coming up.

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        August 18, 2014 4:05 amPosted 2 years ago
        Fiona

        No it isnt any reference…I want everyone please stop with hints that are on the edge of spoilers!! I am looking forward to these episodes as I only know the finale one. That’s the one I remember and I dont even remember the story, just the end.

        someone already said, that’s the last time Avon sees Servalan…stop it, please!!!

        • August 18, 2014 7:27 pmPosted 2 years ago
          Glen Allen

          Oh absolutely. Got to agree with Fiona. There is so little time left that we easily forget that some people are watching for the first time.
          I’m sure Neil’s on top of any major spoiler posts so you’ll be safe.

          I do realise of course that the Next Time trailers sometimes contain spoilers, but of course you dont have to listen to them beforehand 🙂

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            August 18, 2014 7:42 pmPosted 2 years ago
            Dave Sanders

            Yes, in the same way a five-year-old doesn’t *have* to stick peas up his nose. 🙂

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    August 17, 2014 5:49 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Fiona

    “Zen escaped from the Liberator and now he’s working for an air traffic control company somewhere. Brilliant.”

    Love this idea…have such visuals of Zen at the interview, glossing over his experience as head of communications for a gang of thieves and rebels and asking about dental benefits and planet leave.

    • August 17, 2014 6:46 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Andy Luke

      Zen at airport security
      Checks destinations accordingly
      Scanning for bombs and weed
      He asks passengers to “please,
      state course and speed.”

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        August 18, 2014 4:05 amPosted 2 years ago
        Fiona

        lol Andy!

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    August 17, 2014 6:59 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Tim

    “Whatever makes you happy, love.”

    You actually got away with that? 😀

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    August 17, 2014 7:41 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Amethyst

    @ Fiona

    Yes, the point of the anti-detection cube plot-branch wasn’t clear to me either.Davis once said the production team didn’t have enough shots to make clear what was happening in the warehouse… Maybe something similar happened in the white phosphorus scene, but AFAIK the mysterious turning off was just a twist that went nowhere… Although Keiller must have had a reason….

    …Darn. That’s going to be puzzling me all day now! 🙂

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      August 17, 2014 7:55 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Smile

      Haven’t watched it in a while but if I recall correctly, I think the idea was meant to be that Keiller accidentally turns it off when his back gets pushed against it. They’ve already substituted a recording on the closed-circuit TV before that, so as to conceal their presence there, but his accident causes it to start showing the genuine images again, with neither of them realising this at first until Avon notices it. Fortunately for them, the guard in the control room had stopped looking at the screen by the time it happened and so he didn’t notice them.

      There doesn’t seem to be any sound carried over, meaning their voices won’t be heard, so the cameras or whatever they are are presumably only broadcasting silent images. It’s just meant to be an extra bit of tension as to whether or not they’ll be found out.

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        August 18, 2014 4:08 amPosted 2 years ago
        Fiona

        Yes, I saw that, but it seemed pointless, and also, the tension wasnt in fact created, no musical intensifier, for example. It seemed a red herring. I thought Keillor was, quick-thinking, inventing the white-phosphorus story, since Avon cant exactly touch him to see if its true. Aha, I was going, here’s his real plan.

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          August 18, 2014 9:49 amPosted 2 years ago
          Smile

          Of course, even if the guard had spotted them, Tarrant and Soolin, who were covering him, would apparently have shot him instantly before he could raise any alarm…

  • August 17, 2014 8:10 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Andy Luke

    Call me slow (and you wouldn’t be the first), but it’s really been a long time since the guest actor didn’t die in the last five minutes. I didn’t notice this as a boy.

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      August 18, 2014 2:57 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Anniew

      Slow Andy Luke. It has a kind of ring to it!

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      August 19, 2014 2:24 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Frankymole

      *Possibly* died, in Belkov’s case.

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    August 18, 2014 1:23 amPosted 2 years ago
    Amethyst

    Thanks for explaining, Smile!

    @ Andy: I wonder if that’s why fans tend to warm to the likes of Belkov and Keiller, despite them being objectively quite wicked? Are they popular just because they’re played by charming actors, or does the audience instinctively sympathise with them believing them to be doomed from the start?

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    August 18, 2014 9:49 pmPosted 2 years ago
    wyngatecarpenter

    Another one that washes over me a bit plot wise. Roy Kinnear is very good though. In fact it’s hard to distinguish from Games in my mind, although I think Games is slightly better.
    Servalan behind it all? Who’d have thought it?
    If they were to insist on Servalan appearing this regularly then maybe they needed to get a writer who could put an original spin on the inevitable Servalan reveal……..

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    August 18, 2014 9:50 pmPosted 2 years ago
    wyngatecarpenter

    Darrow Watch – Got to be the “look at me, I’ve gone a bit mad” laughter at the end.

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      August 18, 2014 11:02 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Katie c

      What about “What’s the SNAAG Kilo?”

      I thought his name was Keiller, was that a dig at his weight?

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    August 19, 2014 10:36 amPosted 2 years ago
    Anniew

    Been struggling with the concept of Blakes 7 as left wing. Blake led them around the universe with a hold full of treasure but there wasn’t any evidence that he was willing to redistribute that wealth. He didn’t of example give Bek any money to start his revolution. He was a terrorist zealot rather than an ideological freedom fighter as he didn’t seem to have any developed political vision for the future beyond a free for all of free men acting and speaking. (Cue Decimas). Avon’s altruistic impulses spring largely from self -preservation ( with the occasional sentimental concern for the elderly (Nebrox) or child-like (Meergat): ‘leave it out , I only saved ‘im cos he reminded me of me old Dad.’) And like every criminal I met when I worked in the probation office, the crew are scathing of the lack of morality of other criminals who they feel should be ( Soolin – he wasn’t armed Avon: Servalan’s a greedy gangster) but feel their own lack is completely justified. It certainly is a marvellously subversive series, questioning the heroic concept and showing the tarnish beneath the surface gloss and anarchistic -I don’t think we’re shown a single society which provides a template for how a political system should work – they’re all intrinsically flawed and either rely on Big Brother Federation, racial isolation, organised crime or tribal autocracy for stability. And unlike the Star Trek community the Liberator/Scorpio ‘families’ are no model for a harmonious, respectful, fair and tolerant society, involved as they are in perpetual power struggles but point up that social interaction is just part of the survival game and civilisation just a veneer that cracks as soon as the resources run out or one group gains ultimate power. In Blakes 7 the only ‘home’ for the Maverick is in the struggle to live.

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      August 19, 2014 10:53 amPosted 2 years ago
      Smile

      You could perhaps make a case for Blake’s 7 having a rather Hobbesian view of life.

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        August 19, 2014 12:37 pmPosted 2 years ago
        Anniew

        To some extent Avon has a Hobbesian view and since he takes over from Blake I guess you’re right! But neither Fearless Leader or Greedy Gangsta make for a satisfying Absolute Monarch. And Helotrix and the next two societies could be seen as criticisms of this view couldn’t they! Many years since I was up on this philosophy Malarkey so could well be off beam here
        On a lighter note, dozed through New Tricks and though how much it would be enlivened if Paul Darrow in some sort of Avon guise ( obviously without the weaponry) became a new cast member. I’d love to see how he got on with a female boss.

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          August 19, 2014 12:38 pmPosted 2 years ago
          Anniew

          Actually WITH the weaponry would be a lot more fun.

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          August 19, 2014 1:45 pmPosted 2 years ago
          Smile

          I mentioned the other day about how a decent format for Paul Darrow and Michael Keating could have led to a fun series back in the day. Maybe a cop series where they were plainclothes detective inspectors working together, like a serious version of that programme Jasper Carrott and Robert Powell did.

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          August 19, 2014 8:10 pmPosted 2 years ago
          RLF

          Let’s think about which one of these is a better fit: in Hobbes, the state of nature is a war of all against all, and the only solution is total submission to an absolute dictator, who has no obligation to grant anyone any rights at all. In Rousseau, man in the state of nature is ignorant, happy, stupid and free, and it’s the whole ‘civil society’ thing itself which cutails freedom and imposes law and order. Then you get yer actual Locke, for whom the state of nature is one of limited but imperfect freedom and limited but imperfect co-operation, which can be improved by a civil society which permits private property (but only as much as an indidual can ‘mix his labour’ with), and which citizens have the right to overthrow if it becomes coercive.

          Not spotting an obvious Blake analogue here, so let’s take a quick look at what was actually hapenning in the mid-to-late ’70’s. You had your ethocentric terror type of revolutionaries (SLA, IRA, B-MG/RAF and the whole slew of pan-Arabists. You had South-east Asian Maoist-inspired groups who were took Lenin’s idea of a ‘vanguard’ (i.e. ‘secret’) cabal government but a popular support base which was based amongst the uneducated agricultural peasantry (and not the educated industrial proletariat). And you had insurrectionist fascist movements, typically within the militaries of developing countries.

          Don’t see much Blake there either to be honest. If the Federation is ‘based’ on anything, it’s a Republic of Korea or Argentina type military dictatorship, presumably the one left over from the war. There doesn’t seem to be any kind of coherent Voice Of Opposition as there was in the real-world case of Mau Mau and the Second Chimurenga, and we’re honestly left a bit in askance as to exactly what the Federation is actually doing that’s so terrible. The Federation is not so omnipotent as to be able to invade a planet straight-out (which is why they have to rely on things like the Lindor Strategy to sneak in occupying forces), and it considers itself accountable enough for Travis killing a thousand civilians to be a big deal.

          But on the other hand, the Federation must have something going for it if it can survive the destruction of Star One and the destruction of four-fifths of its space fleet. By my reckoning, this can only possibly mean a massive popular support base. It’s not unheard-of for terrible regimes to be wildly popular at grass-roots level; examples like Francois Duvallier or Milton Obote show that people will absolutely rally behind a murderous despot as long as the chaos stops. Anything is better than the war of all against all.

          Which puts us in the slightly uncomfortable position of Blake and Co. being no kind of revolutionaries at all. They don’t try to build popular support by helping the common folks, like Mao says you should (and which Hezbollah have done for years, with highly successful outcomes); they’re noisy, flighty show-offs in their posh spaceship, quite unlike the Pathet Lao or Viet Cong.

          What we get, then, is the Sex Pistols in space; shouting slogans, smashing stuff up, painting ‘anarchy’ signs on bus stations, nicking stuff and swearing on telly. Squandering human and material resources and squabbling among themselves, imploding in ego battles and shows of one-upmanship and thinking that being famous and striking a few radical poses will get the job done. Of course, that means we get Avon’s version of PiL to look forward to.

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          August 20, 2014 1:14 pmPosted 2 years ago
          Smile

          By Hobbesian, I was thinking of the implication that rebellion is destructive, even to its own instigators, and the prediction in Terminal that humanity’s ultimate destiny is to devolve into animal brutality, which could theoretically be considered as part of the Federation’s rationale for ‘strong’ centralised power. Not so much a case of thinking that the writers or producers of the programme were consciously arguing that deference to the authorities is always the lesser evil, but a possible inference that could be made from it by an audience may be that the best prospect, if any, for improvement might be working within the system to change it rather than trying to overthrow it from without, which might only have the effect of causing a power vacuum and anarchy.

          Or alternatively, perhaps a view that while selfishness and base instincts are an ineradicable part of human, a predominance of them is a symptom of a society in an advanced stage of corruption and decay. The heroes of the series, and their activities, are symptoms of the situation as much as, if not more than, a cure for it.

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            August 20, 2014 2:35 pmPosted 2 years ago
            RLF

            Interesting idea. A sort-of return-to-state-of-nature, you mean?

            I always had the Terminal experiment pegged as the sort of pseudo-evolutionary ‘study’ that the Nazis and Stalinists indulged in, either to ‘prove’ that Germans were descended from prehistoric god-men or that Happy State Socialists were the next logical development. There is, of course, not one shred of evidence in biology to suggest that evolution has ever back-pedalled, or that phenotype affects genotype. So in your example, it makes sense for the Federation to fake up an experiment to ‘prove’ that Humanity will de-evolve into the Links if order and discipline aren’t maintained.

            Does anyone actually say “the Links are what mankind is destined to become”? Because in that case, the Terminal is clearly bunk and a carnival side-show, designed as a propaganda piece, because evolutionary biology (whether directed by natural selection or some other imperative) isn’t deterministic, probably isn’t ontological and certainly recognises no concept of ‘destiny’.

            I read your reply a couple of times, and I’m still erring more on the idea that Blake is on Rousseau’s side. By ‘Star One’, Blake is openly advocating that people should be forced to be free (nomatter how many of them die in the process) and clearly hasn’t made any plans at all to ameliorate the chaos he’ll cause. So I’m left thinking he’s in the Khmer Rouge camp: the folks who are going to die when their climate control, food production and social infrastructure packs in are those already too inculcated in Federation attitudes to be worth saving, and to lose them is no loss, to keep them is no gain. Omlettes, eggs, y’know?

            Then, all he needs is a converted Secondary School where he can get to work winnowing out all the backsliders, traitors, petit-bourgeois reactionaries and Andromedan spies, and especially so-called friends who might have been conspiring against him all along….

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            August 20, 2014 3:46 pmPosted 2 years ago
            Smile

            Servalan says “They are what man will become” about the Links at the end of Terminal – haven’t checked for the exact quote, but it’s something very like that at least.

            It does mirror, to some extent, Moloch, which also has a creature who is supposedly the endpoint of evolution on Sardos.

            Inaccurate understanding of how it works of course, although as far as determining what Terry Nation may have been thinking of, I suspect it’s an impression of his feelings about the ruthless potential of survivalism, in which power and strength, however bestial, might trump intelligence and relatively civilised modes of behaviour. It’s a recurring aspect of his work – the way in which your chances of making it in his ‘Survivors’ series may be dependent on your resourcefulness and ability – the question of whether you know how to make something even as simple as a candle for yourself. Or the Daleks, which are a sort of representation of remorseless totalitarian xenophobia, tolerating the existence of no race other than themselves. The Exxilons in Death to the Daleks achieving advanced technology and building a city, only for that city to become advanced enough to reject its people, similar to how the Liberator does its crew in Redemption, though for different reasons, and consign them to a primitive existence, where they degenerate into a murderous superstitious cult, memories of any kind of scientific knowledge mostly forgotten. Or indeed, there’s the rejection of the Mutos into the wastelands of Skaro in Genesis of the Daleks for being genetically inferior, where they’re left to scavenge.

            There’s the situation in Deliverance for Blake’s 7, where Meegat is holed up in a tiny corner of the planet, besieged by brutal tribespeople on the outside, while trying to secure a better future for the people via the racebanks in the rocket. Hal and Dayna Mellanby and Lauren are similarly besieged in their ship on Sarran, vulnerable to Chel and his people’s attacks if they’re able to find their way in. Or the Decimas who break into Saymon’s laboratories and smash Geela and Novara to bits in the process. There’s Ensor in his base on Aristo, surrounded not only by hostile Phibians but also seas of acid, much as Arbitan in The Keys of Marinus is with the latter and the Voord.

            It’s interesting that this loneliness and vulnerability, isolated individuals or very small groups, surrounded by mortally dangerous groups or beings, this sense that civilisation is very thin and delicate, easily ruptured, and easily cancelled out, recurs so much in Nation’s work. You could also mention the penal colonies of The Daleks’ Master Plan and Cygnus Alpha. The former is a brutalising environment, and the latter might be more of one if it weren’t for the social control Vargas’s religion is exerting – which is not to say that the latter can’t also be a cruel, or at least undesirable, set of circumstances to be living in either.

            So I’d guess that Nation is trying to raise a disturbing implication about our ability to look after ourselves without technology or civilisation to protect us. It’s a bit like a vice we can be caught between – on the one hand, the vicious tribes or animals that turn up periodically in the programme, on the other side, there’s the extreme of a highly organised society and government which can bring order of some sort, and hold back anarchy, but which can also degenerate into its own kind of brutality, and, if as corrupt as the society of the Federation appears to be, may ultimately be a harbinger of a longer term collapse into the former state, with no restraint, bar superior strength, to any kind of cruelty.

            Blake probably is quite a Rousseau type figure. Too much faith in the apparent ability of the right kind (from his point of view) of reformism to spontaneously arise. Not clear if he has an especially well thought through political programme in mind either, or how his own political ambitions go. Does he see himself as a purely military leader, ie leading a revolution, or does he also aspire to Presidential or senatorial power, and, if he does, what’s his manifesto?

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      August 19, 2014 11:21 amPosted 2 years ago
      John G

      I think you hit the nail on the head in that analysis Annie. Pete Townshend’s sentiments, as expressed in Won’t Get Fooled Again, fit rather nicely into the B7 universe – “meet the new boss, same as the old boss.” In the case of Sleer/Servalan of course, that is quite literal…

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    August 19, 2014 6:26 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Marky Mark

    Was I the only one who lol’ed at the sound of the doors opening/closing on Roy Kinnear’s ship ? Sort of a cross between a “ha” & a deep sigh.

    Well I thought it was funny….

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    August 19, 2014 7:51 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Dave Sanders

    Amazed Sue didn’t pick up on the sound effects for the Space Princess’ sliding doors. Or as I’m calling them, ‘doorgasms’.

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    August 20, 2014 5:15 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Anniew

    Smile/RFL Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Paulo Freire. Revolutionaries use the same methods to achieve freedom as their oppressors used to keep them under and so any regime they establish if they win will be similar in essentials to that of the oppressor. (Decimas) Education not revolution is the key to change. Blake would have done better to set up ragged schools.

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    August 22, 2014 8:27 amPosted 2 years ago
    Anniew

    Just woke from a dream of peeling 22 carrots. Not only tedious but what a terrible pun.

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