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Pressure Point

Gan’s gan…

Pressure PointThis episode immediately squeezes Sue’s pressure point.

Sue: Oh no! Terry ****ing Nation! Why, Neil? Why?

Resistance soldiers are being spied on from a cottage.

Sue: That’s quaint.

She quickly changes her tune when we enter the cottage.

Sue: Oh my God. What have the Space Vampires done to the place?

Her disappointment with the Federation’s restoration work dissipates when she realises that Travis and Servalan are in this one.

Sue: Is Servalan on her way to Ascot?

Travis and Servalan are preparing to spring a trap on Blake.

Servalan: I have waited for 18 days!

Sue: So Travis and Servalan have been cottaging for 18 days? I wonder how they passed the time…

Me: Stop it, Sue.

Pressure PointSue: Poor Servalan. She can’t tilt her head back because her hat will hit the back of her collar. That must be really irritating.

The resistance soldiers are blown to bits in the Forbidden Zone.

Sue: That looked all right. In fact, that was pretty horrific.

Meanwhile, Blake is preparing to return to Earth.

Sue: Here we ****ing go. About bloody time.

Blake wants to locate Control.

Blake: Two hundred years ago, when the Federation began expansion and conquest, the Administration established a computer complex to monitor information: political, civil, military – everything. That computer is the nerve center of all Federation activity.

Sue: Oh no. Not another computer. Hasn’t Blake got enough computers already? What does he want another one for?

Blake wants to smash this particular computer to pieces. Its destruction will throw the Federation into chaos.

Sue: There are no words to describe how stupid Vila looks this week.

Me: But you’ll have a go anyway.

Pressure PointSue: He looks like a JCB driver who’s been interrupted as he takes his safety jacket off.

Me: Right…

Sue: Apart from that, this is a good start. A rest has done Terry the world of good.

Servalan and Travis disagree about the best way to spring their trap.

Sue: I like the direction in this episode. Plenty of meaty close-ups. And this set must have been a nightmare to light. Everything is so white. No, it’s very good, this.

Blake wants to know if Avon will help him.

Sue: He’s got no chance. Look at Avon’s body language – arms folded, no eye-contact.

Avon: Well, of course. I am surprised you ever doubted it.

Sue: Eh?

Avon has an ulterior motive.

Avon: The resistance movements on Earth will launch an all-out attack to destroy the Federation. They will need unifying. They will need a leader. You will be the natural choice.

Sue: He wants the ship.

She guesses right.

Sue: You know, Avon is even more handsome when he smiles.

Pressure PointBlake: Could be you’re planning just a little far ahead.

Avon: Perhaps. But sooner or later, I will have my chance.

Sue: Ooh, you can cut the tension with a knife. I know it’s still early, but this is easily the best episode of Blake’s 7 so far. Don’t **** it up, Terry.

The Liberator enters Earth’s orbit.

Jenna: It’s been a long time.

Sue: Far too long. About eight episodes too long, actually.

Servalan has captured the resistance leader, Kasabi. The pair have previous.

Sue: Bloody hell, she just pushed Servalan over. I think Servalan’s hat must have unbalanced her.

Back on the Liberator, the crew are waiting for Kasabi’s signal.

Sue: There’s more than enough room for them on that sofa if everyone budged up a bit. There’s no need for them to sit on the floor like that.

Travis uses a truth drug to extract the details of Kasabi’s planned rendezvous with Blake.

Sue: I’m actually impressed with Travis this week.

Servalan gives Travis a smack when he tries to stop her from killing Kasabi. Sue laughs.

Pressure PointSue: And now I can’t take him seriously again.

Before she dies, Kasabi puts Servalan in her place.

Sue: She wasn’t a very good actress. That scene could have been so much better, but you can’t blame Terry for that. The script is really good.

Blake prepares to teleport to Earth. He tells Avon to put him down a mile away from the homing beacon.

Avon: What’s the matter, Blake? Don’t you trust your friends?

Blake: Of course. I trust them the same way I trust you.

Sue: Blake’s people management skills are horrendous.

Blake teleports to Earth.

Sue: Could Avon put Blake down in a tree if he wanted to?

Blake takes cover in some bracken.

Sue: There he goes, crashing about the place like a baby elephant. And speaking of baby elephants…

Gan is down and safe.

Me: Have you noticed anything unusual about this episode so far?

Sue: It’s really good?

Me: What about the music?

Sue: There isn’t any. Good, isn’t it?

Pressure PointBlake and Gan enter an abandoned church, where they find Kasabi’s daughter, Veron. She drops her gun and faints.

Sue: Was that supposed to be a toy gun? When it hit the floor it sounded like it was made out of wood.

Back on the Liberator, Avon is feeling jumpy.

Avon: I have a feeling that we are not being careful enough.

Sue: You wouldn’t get this half-cocked shit with Avon in charge. If Blake screws this up, Avon should make the crew vote for a new captain.

Gan treats Veron’s wounds.

Sue: Is it Gan’s turn to be the ship’s doctor? Was Orac teaching him First Aid last week? And where is Orac anyway? They never turn him on when it’s important.

Veron rests her head on the church’s muddy floor.

Sue: Teleport her back to the ship! Cally wouldn’t let her sleep on the floor like that. Come on, Gan, that’s rubbish.

Avon and Vila prepare to teleport to Earth. Vila doesn’t want to go.

Vila: I don’t feel well. I’m going to be a big handicap.

Avon: I’m used to that.

Sue: Vila only really works as a character when he’s stood next to Avon. They work so well together. I could easily watch a show with just these two in it. And Avon really suits oxblood leather. Just saying.

Pressure PointAvon tests the Forbidden Zone’s security system. A field of automated mines stand between them and the entrance to a blockhouse.

Sue: Just teleport right outside the door. Come on, it’s not rocket science.

Avon and Vila are teleported to the church a split second before the Forbidden Zone erupts in an almighty explosion. Avon isn’t surprised to discover that Blake was lying when he told him that everything was fine.

Sue: Blake’s gone rogue. You can’t lie to your crew like that. That must be the final straw. Bad Blake.

While Blake considers his next move, Veron leaves the church for some air.

Sue: Kids with guns; that’s not very nice. And either she isn’t what she seems, or she’s a really bad actress. Or maybe she’s both.

Blake alters his plan.

Blake: All right then, we teleport right up to the door of the entry blockhouse.

Sue: There you go! See, that wasn’t so hard, was it?

However, before they can implement this plan, they are overcome by a gas grenade. Veron removes their teleport bracelets and does a runner.

Sue: Why isn’t the gas affecting her? Is she a robot or something? Listen, you can still hear the gas coming out of the grenade.

When Blake and his crew regain consciousness, they discover that they have been locked in the church with no means of escape.

Sue: They should put an extra bracelet on their ankles from now on – you know, for back-up – so this never happens again. I bet they won’t, though.

Pressure PointVeron has been doing Travis and Servalan’s dirty work under duress, and when Travis violently assaults the young girl, Sue rose out of her chair in anger.

Sue: ****!

Servalan: I’ll deal with her. You just bring me Blake.

Sue: Servalan looks like she’s auditioning for a part in a Morecambe and Wise Christmas Special.

Gan uses his strength to open the church door.

Sue: Gan actually did something useful for a change. Will miracles never cease?

Travis arrives at the church to find Blake gone.

Sue: I’m sorry but this Travis isn’t as good as the other one. This Travis is a bit silly.

Blake and his crew prepare to make a run for the blockhouse.

Sue: Fifty yards in eight seconds. That’s easy enough, although Gan might struggle.

Blake makes the first run. However, when Vila makes his dash, Gan decides to follow him.

Pressure PointSue: That’s Gan dead, then.

Incredibly, Gan survives.

Gan: I needed a pacemaker.

Vila: Me too. Implanted in my heart.

Sue: Love it.

When Avon makes the final run, he trips and falls.

Sue: No! Avon! No!

With a little help from Blake, Avon eventually makes it to the blockhouse.

Sue: Avon looked like an idiot, there. Vila should have been the one who fell over. Still, that was pretty exciting.

Our heroes descend a ladder which leads to the bowels of the computer complex.

Sue: The set looks great. This is much better than them running around some power station. The ladder makes the studio look enormous.

A few moments later, Blake’s crew descend another ladder, only this time the set has been bathed in red light.

Sue: OK, the ladder does look good, but it’s not that good. Actually, I should show this to my TV studio students.

Me: To show them how imaginative lighting can maximise your sets when you’re working on a tight budget?

Sue: No, I thought they could do with a laugh.

The crew come up against an electrified floor. However, just when you think they will have to turn back, they notice some handrails above them.

Pressure PointSue: Handy!

Unfortunately, one of these handrails snaps when Gan puts his weight on it.

Sue: That’s Gan dead, then.

Incredibly, Gan survives.

And then the ladder makes another cameo.

Sue: I wonder which colour will be next. I’m going with green.

Sue is biting what’s left of her nails when Blake finally reaches his goal.

Blake: We’ve done it! We’ve done it! We’ve done it! I’ve done it!

Sue: Interesting use of the word ‘I’ve’, there. Blake is a raving egomaniac.

But the room is empty. There’s nothing there. When Blake realises this, he collapses into Avon’s arms.

Sue: Blake has completely lost it. Time for Avon to take over, I think.

Travis arrives to explain the trap.

Travis: You see, it’s the great illusion, Blake. You give substance and credibility to an empty room, and the real thing becomes undetectable, virtually invisible.

Sue: That’s clever. I didn’t guess that. I just assumed that Federation security was rubbish.

Even Travis doesn’t know where the real Control is.

Sue: I bet Orac knows. Ask Orac.

Pressure PointAnd then Servalan turns up.

Sue: A dragonfly is tweaking Servalan’s nipples. I’ve seen it all now.

But that’s the least of Servalan’s problems.

Sue: Jenna may have out-smarted her, but she’ll never out-dress her.

Travis takes this turn of events extremely badly.

Sue: Every. Single. Time. I almost feel sorry for him. And even though he isn’t as good as the other Travis, he does have a very nice arse.

Blake makes a run for it.

Sue: Don’t forget to shoot Travis and Servalan in the head before you leave! Oh, wait, too late.

Servalan slaps Travis across his face. Hard.

Sue: Ooh, it’s all go this week!

Travis throws a strontium grenade at the escaping terrorists. And then Servalan and Travis run after it.

Sue: Don’t run towards the explosion, you idiots!

The roof comes crashing down.

Sue: That could have been directed a lot better. I didn’t really follow that. I thought it was Travis’s foot under that rubble for ages.

Pressure PointIncredibly, Gan doesn’t survive.

Sue: He can’t be dead. He looks fine to me.

As Gan slips away, Sue turns to me with a confused look on her face.

Sue: Is Gan really, really dead?

She’s so shocked by this, she doesn’t notice that David Jackson is still breathing heavily. And I’m not going to point it out to her.

Vila: Where’s Gan?

Blake: Gan’s dead.

Sue: Oh, I’m not that bothered. It’s sad, but he didn’t do very much. He was the most expendable member of the crew. I’m sorry, but that’s just the way it is. Still a bit of a shock, though. I didn’t expect them to go through with it.

Me: I believe the original plan was for Vila to die.

Sue: Oh no. That would have been awful. And why did they have to kill one of them? Was the wage bill spiralling out of control?

Travis and Servalan are trapped underground.

Travis: They’ll dig us out eventually.

Servalan: Oh, yes. They’ll dig us out eventually. And then I’ll bury you.

Sue: What a brilliant line. Maybe Avon and Servalan should get together…

Me: Stop it.

Pressure PointAs the Liberator breaks orbit, Blake stares at Gan’s empty chair.

Sue: Gan bloody loved that chair. Blake will have to step down now. He’s gone too far.

Cue credits.

Sue: Poor Gan. They didn’t turn the music off, and they didn’t play a sad version of the theme tune on the piano, either. That is sad.

The Score:

Sue: That was excellent. Probably the best episode yet. I’m sorry that I didn’t say very much towards the end – I was enjoying it too much. The acting was a bit dodgy at times, but the regulars were great, and the direction was excellent, too. I can’t believe Terry Nation wrote that one. Well done, Terry. Why can’t they all be like that?

9/10

Next Time:

Warning: Glen’s trailer includes minor spoilers for the next episode.

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50 comments

  • Visit site
    March 18, 2014 1:35 pmPosted 3 years ago
    John Miller

    ”And either she isn’t what she seems, or she’s a really bad actress. Or maybe she’s both.” Haha 🙂

    With Sue’s ”That’s Gan dead, then.” comments I assumed someone had revealed his death in advance to her. An while he wasn’t the most likable character, it still was very sad seeing it for the first time.

  • Visit site
    March 18, 2014 1:49 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Marky Mark

    I had two laugh-out-loud moments in this episode – first, when I saw Servalan’s wedding costume, and then when the crew broke into the white building and climbed down the same ladder and ran down the same corridor twice with different lighting – no padding there at all then !

    At least they bothered to take their guns with them when landing on the planet – they’ve obviously learnt something since last episode’s debacle.

    I can’t say I blubbed when Gan died, especially as he was still obviously breathing.

    Doesn’t Gan get replaced by someone ? After all, they don’t suddenly call it Blakes 6 ?! 😉

    • Visit site
      March 18, 2014 4:08 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Frankymole

      They’ve been Blakes 8 for a while, since Orac showed up.

      • Visit site
        March 19, 2014 8:45 pmPosted 3 years ago
        MarkyMark

        Why did they include the computers in the numbers anyway ?! Fucking weird…

        • Visit site
          March 19, 2014 11:07 pmPosted 3 years ago
          Frankymole

          According to David Maloney, they count the “seven” as seven “assets” the rebels have, from crewmembers to spaceships to computers. This allowed him to swap things in or out as required (saves changing the title / logo every few weeks).

      • Visit site
        March 19, 2014 9:38 pmPosted 3 years ago
        Marcus Sheppard

        I know many folk count Blake as one of his own 7 but it always felt a bit tautological to me. The start of S2 is the only time the name is accurate IMO.

  • Visit site
    March 18, 2014 2:27 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Dave Sanders

    Ah Gan, we hardly knew ye ‘cos you barely did jack shit.

  • Visit site
    March 18, 2014 2:34 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Thomas Bush

    Well, colour me impressed! Sue actually likes a TN story. The acting was very good for the most part. Jane Sherwin was merely adequate as Kasabi, but Yolande Palfrey was woefully inadequate as her daughter. I cringe whenever I see her try to emote.

  • Visit site
    March 18, 2014 2:40 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Jonathan

    I think this episode was shown later because of the winter olympics or something but whatever, I missed it at the time (either it was after my bedtime, or my sister had turned the pre-VCR TV on to ITV for some shite or other).
    So I was distraught to find out the next day at school that Gan had died. Ironically I was told this by the friend who played Gan in our schoolyard recreations (I was Blake).
    We should probably have grown out of that by 16 but there you go. (I jest).
    Anyway, just to show how things have changed, with no BBC 3 repeat or iPlayer or anything I had to wait 20-odd years to see this episode.

    And the thing I still don’t get: how was the Liberator not detected in orbit around Earth?

    • Visit site
      March 18, 2014 4:07 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Frankymole

      There’s a reference to some detector shielding device Avon made (may be in a later season 2 episode – forgive the minor spoiler, anyway I won’t mention the context it’s mentioned in, so new viewers can have the pleasure of hearing it).

    • Visit site
      March 18, 2014 5:13 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Gareth

      Yes, this episode was shown about an hour later than usual due to being bumped from its normal slot by the Variety Club Awards. That was beyond my bedtime and my parents refused to listen to reason, they just said that they’d tell me what happened in the morning. Yeah, like *that* was supposed to be any consolation.

      Anyway, I was shocked to find out about Gan the next day and I’m not sure I believed it when my Mum told me, but at school I got solemn corroboration from the kids whose parents were much more relaxed about bedtime.

      I didn’t get around to seeing the episode until it was finally released on VHS in 1991.

    • Visit site
      July 28, 2014 9:19 pmPosted 3 years ago
      David

      Winter Olympics in February 1979?

  • Visit site
    March 18, 2014 4:03 pmPosted 3 years ago
    The Grouchybeast

    Alas, poor Gan, you were superfluous to requirements and not especially useful in a high-tech setting. We will miss you, a bit.

    This episode (along with Weapon) makes me feel rather sorry for Brian Croucher. Since he supposedly did not get on at all well with George Spenton-Foster, it seems really unlucky and unfortunate that GS-F directed the first two episodes with the new Travis. I do wonder if the new Travis might have got off to a better start with a more sympathetic director.

    This is another great episode for the Blake/Avon shippers. I’m not one, but I have to admit that if you want to make a pairing songvid for Blakes 7, Blake/Avon is where to go for the best clips.

    • Visit site
      March 18, 2014 7:58 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Sally M

      I am one, and yep, this episode is great for us 🙂

  • Visit site
    March 18, 2014 4:36 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Sooty

    I prefer the original Travis’s arse

    • Visit site
      March 19, 2014 8:47 pmPosted 3 years ago
      MarkyMark

      As neither of them is good looking (discuss), I have no opinion on either of Travis’ arses !

  • Visit site
    March 18, 2014 4:51 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Dave Sanders

    Outside of Phillip Martin and a couple of near-misses on Doctor Who, killing off an established good guy was pretty well unheard-of within the confines of ’70s BBC, so it really made an impact in 1979. Deprived of this twist, the episode still holds up well; it’s well-enough directed that Terry’s usual plot conveniences can be glossed over, and for once his lazy-seeming will-they-won’t-they action-TV tropes are meant to be trotted out in the usual fashion, just so the effort can be turned on its head.

    Pressure Point is pretty much the textbook definition of what that other famous Tewwy calls ‘good solid Terry Nation stuff’, and Bawwy would describe as ‘a pageturner’. Like a Mills and Boon library, ‘good’ Terry Nation means ‘does the job and passes the time effectively’; you go in knowing what to expect and a prior decision that this is what you want. A packet of crisps then, but it’s a bonus bag that occasionally slips into a six-pack of Tayto cheese and onion.

  • Visit site
    March 18, 2014 4:58 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Jason

    Malibu Servalan… with new hat accessory!

    My significant other made an astute observation about nuTravis. He’s the Michael Gambon of Space Commander Travis recasts. Always angry, shouting, hitting things, over the top, whereas the original Travis/Dumbledore was much more reserved.

  • Visit site
    March 18, 2014 5:08 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Dave Sanders

    It also doesn’t hurt that the Terry Nation has set the action on proper Terra firma for a change, so there’s a blissful absence of meaningless Space Everythings.

  • March 18, 2014 5:35 pmPosted 3 years ago
    encyclops

    I’ve never thought of this episode as one of my favorites, but Sue makes a very good case for it. I always forget how nice it can be when they actually, you know, try to accomplish something.

  • Visit site
    March 18, 2014 5:39 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Duncan

    “Me: I believe the original plan was for Vila to die”.

    “Sue: Oh no. That would have been awful. And why did they have to kill one of them? Was the wage bill spiralling out of control”?

    Is Sue finally warming to Villa?

    • Visit site
      March 18, 2014 9:19 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Dave Sanders

      It could have been Anthony Ainley disguised as a scarecrow versus Gan, and Sue would still have voted for Gan to get the chop.

    • March 20, 2014 11:04 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Derek Handley

      How different the show would’ve been without Vila! I can’t imagine it. The banter with Avon would be missing for a start.

  • Visit site
    March 18, 2014 6:43 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Chris Allen

    “I can’t believe Terry Nation wrote that one.”

    I find it a little incredible myself. From a basic plot description I would have picked Chris Boucher as the author. Especially the “obsessive Blake” aspects.

    The whole business of the Liberator hanging there undetected in earth orbit is a little convenient. Even a minor planet like Centero was able to detect it in orbit.

    I guess the Federation didn’t want to scare Blake off, but that should make him even more suspicious.

    (The detector shield would have been handy but hasn’t yet arrived.)

    • Visit site
      March 19, 2014 3:19 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Frankymole

      It probably has arrived, hasn’t it? The next mention of it is being broken, Avon ‘can’t get the parts, guv’.

    • Visit site
      March 19, 2014 3:20 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Frankymole

      Alternatively, Orac could be pretending to be a freighter transponder, or a satellite or something.

  • Visit site
    March 18, 2014 6:53 pmPosted 3 years ago
    AST

    I wouldn’t worry too much about Gan. As one of the few good-hearted people on board the Liberator he’ll definitely go to Blake’s heaven.

  • Visit site
    March 18, 2014 6:57 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Sean Alexander

    Real Gan Gone Girl (as The Beautiful South once – nearly – sang).

    Gan’s death pretty much left me cold – perhaps it’s because it was signposted at least twice previously in the episode. Or perhaps because, bar Breakdown, he was always given bugger all to do.

    I can see parallels now between Blakes 7 and Dallas – the more they spent on the costume budget, the less believable and more camp the shows became.

    The only effective moment is when a crushed Blake collapses into Avon’s arms, and for once they appear to have a real sense of camaraderie. Interesting to see how Gan’s death – and Avon no doubt reminding Blake of it as a consequence of his crusading spirit – will come to affect that dynamic.

  • Visit site
    March 18, 2014 7:25 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Rob

    Glad that Sue rated this one very highly (and the very best of B7 is still yet to come :)). Someone has already mentioned how rare it was back in the 70’s for a series to kill off a main character. I remember being allowed to stay up an hour later to catch this episode and in a world free from spoilers, Gan’s death was a huge shock and a reminder that this wasn’t your usual standard sci-fi fluff or jokey Graham Williams produced Dr Who.
    I do suspect (though could be wrong) that Chris Boucher may have had a hand in that terrific scene where Avon tells Blake that he wants the Liberator.

  • Visit site
    March 18, 2014 8:05 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Richard Lyth

    Someone should do a YouTube edit of this episode with the end credits playing out in silence over a picture of a broken teleport bracelet. Or possibly a half-eaten pie.

  • Visit site
    March 18, 2014 8:28 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Mat Dolphin

    It’s a series 2 highlight. I’m glad to see that Sue has temporarily gotten over her Nationophobia! Terry really pulled his finger out this time, even managing to explain why the crew couldn’t just teleport straight into the complex. 9 out of 10 for me too.

    Is it just me or does Servalan find time to change her clothes between when Jenna turns up (off camera) and when she emerges at gunpoint underground?

    • Visit site
      March 19, 2014 9:45 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Marcus Sheppard

      It’s not just you.

  • Visit site
    March 18, 2014 9:01 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Katie C

    Wasn’t it nice of Jenna to allow Servalan time to change into something more “comfortable”?

    • Visit site
      March 18, 2014 9:49 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Dave Sanders

      The favour gets returned later on too.

  • Visit site
    March 18, 2014 9:34 pmPosted 3 years ago
    wyngatecarpenter

    Agree with Sue and most others here, very good episode. It takes one of Nation’s favourite storylines – a raid on a base – and turns it on it’s head. Nation is pretty good at the action adventures when he tries. I also think Boucher must have had a big hand in this though, this is an episode where we see Blake believing his own myth with disastrous consequences (assuming you think the death of Gan is a disaster of course). Not without it’s weaknesses of course, I’m still trying to get the scene where Kasabi’s daughter delivers her big speech out of my head.

    Interesting to read that it was shown later, as this was only the second episode of Season 2 I saw at the time – perhaps I was home from cubs in time to be traumatised by Gan’s death! I remember it although I’m not sure it had a big impact on me at the time.

    And the next episode is better still.

  • Visit site
    March 18, 2014 9:43 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Robin

    Poor Gan. And poor David Jackson. There’s a lot of stuff in series one – not all of it visible on-screen – about the back-story to Gan and how his narrative would have played out. Ots all dropped when Nation steps back by S2. Suffice to say it was a lot more interesting than what we got, not to mention wholly unsuitable for the timeslot.

    Also, Richard Lyth. I LOLed.

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      March 19, 2014 3:17 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Frankymole

      Interesting. What was the Gan backstory, and who created it?

      • Visit site
        March 21, 2014 1:59 pmPosted 3 years ago
        Simon Ferns

        I think the back story that is being alluded to was one fleshed out in the book Liberation – the unofficial and unauthorised Guide to Blake’s 7 – its on Amazon, and was a pretty good read.
        Controversially the authors suggest that Gan was lying about his crime and that he was a rapist – the evidence being the attacks on Jenna and Cally in Breakdown – and a few others that I cannot recall now. Interesting interpretation…

        • Visit site
          March 21, 2014 7:11 pmPosted 3 years ago
          Robin

          Yep that’s the one. Though the authors claim that the I tension had been there all along, at least as far as Terry Nation was concerned. Arguably you can see elements of this in the shows – Gan is quite able to commit violent acts, despite his limiter, and his limiter gives him a right twatting whenever he’s left alone with the ladies.

          • Visit site
            March 21, 2014 7:11 pmPosted 3 years ago
            Robin

            Intention. Not I tension. Though that’s a great name for a B7 episode.

        • Visit site
          March 21, 2014 9:46 pmPosted 3 years ago
          Frankymole

          Ah, right. I have Liberation. I thought the rapist thing was just the author’s interpretation, not an actual BBC plan.

          • Visit site
            May 13, 2014 7:26 pmPosted 3 years ago
            Fiona

            Holy shit really?? Gan a rapist? Will never be able to watch the same..he will look all sinister now.
            all that nice gentle giant stuff…wow.
            There was just nothing like Blake’s 7 at the time…and to think that we watched this as kids. Great to be a 70s kid. Nobody cared about bike helmets and all that stuff. Gravel round the swings instead of rubber matting, how that toughened you up losing half your skin and having raw dettol poured on the wound…now this may sting…shut up that howling…
            absolutely nothing done about the paedophile that haunted the playpark…no food in the house, no snacks..I read one 70s guy saying he was so hungry he drank vinegar from the cupboard… and how I relate, I ate all the haliborange vitamin tablets…and then settle down, aged 10, with a show about murderers, pirates, rapists and sexual tension to burn, at 830. It was awesome.

  • Visit site
    March 19, 2014 1:06 amPosted 3 years ago
    Lauren

    Gan was my favourite character (up until this point). He may not have done a whole lot, but he was loyal to the last and used his strength when he needed to. I cried during his death, though I didn’t believe it at first because he looked perfectly fine after being supposedly crushed 🙁

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    March 19, 2014 1:06 amPosted 3 years ago
    Chris Allen

    “Outside of Phillip Martin and a couple of near-misses on Doctor Who, killing off an established good guy was pretty well unheard-of within the confines of ’70s BBC, so it really made an impact in 1979.”

    Toby Wren in “Doomwatch”?

    Greg Preston in “Survivors”?

    (“Survivors” is full of the deaths of supporting characters, e.g. Tom Price and Vic Thatcher, but Greg had the highest profile.)

    Lisa Colbert (Jan Francis) was one of the main characters in “Secret Army”. She was killed off in 1978, a year before Gan.

    (Other “Secret Army” deaths of main characters include Andrée Foiret [Bernard Hepton’s screen wife] in 1977 and Max Brocard in 1978.)

    According to Wikipedia (not always the most reliable source of info I know) the death of Toby Wren brought more letters to the BBC on his unexpected death in the series than any other subject since World War II.

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      March 19, 2014 10:17 amPosted 3 years ago
      Dave Sanders

      I forgot about Toby Wren, yes.

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    March 19, 2014 8:51 pmPosted 3 years ago
    MarkyMark

    I meant to comment that did anyone notice that Servalan refers to herself as Serval’n – I.e. with no emphasis on the final “lan” ? Also, if Orac is so clever, how come he (it ?) doesn’t know that the word ‘data’ is plural (the singular is ‘datum’), as he started a sentence in the previous episode with “The data is….” Not so smug now, eh ?

    • March 19, 2014 10:09 pmPosted 3 years ago
      encyclops

      I feel as though Orac deals with so much data (and we never say “many data”) that he (and we) are justified in allowing it to drift into being a mass noun, like “milk.”

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      March 19, 2014 11:05 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Frankymole

      Even now data is also being recognised as a singular (according to usage guides) so in 1000 years’ time that should be commonplace… actually it’d be interesting to see if there’s Latin in use in any other episodes.

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    March 19, 2014 11:21 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Geoff

    I like this one, the death of Gan is the last event in what is already a quite exciting episode. Blakes breakdown into Avons arms is dramatic enough but Gans exit compounds the failure in a very cruel and realistic way. I love the next episode too, well half of it. I don’t think it’s a spoiler to add its the Travis half I love because he’s in the “next time” picture posted above. As for the half of the story that doesn’t feature him…I’ll be interested to hear what Sue (and others who’ve never seen it) make of it.

  • March 20, 2014 10:59 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Derek Handley

    When you think of the season structure of more recent television shows, it’s very odd that one of the core cast dies early in the season – almost unceremoniously, not in a heroic sacrifice, not in a cliffhanger. It’s something that might be done for shock value on an HBO or Showtime series, but there’d still be more buildup and it’d be a major plot point.

    Gan’s death is shocking and in terms of unsettling the audience, it’s effective.

    This is the kind of thing that made Blake’s 7 so memorable – as camp as it could be, as wobbly as it could be, it could go very dark at a moment’s notice.

    I was upset as a child, as I recall.

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