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Project Avalon

The Federation Strikes Back…

Sue: Is this one directed by Douglas Camfield?

Me: Wait and see.

Project AvalonI challenge Sue to name the actress playing this week’s featured Mutoid.

Sue: I have no idea, but I do know that Douglas didn’t direct this. I can just tell.

Her second challenge is to not only recognise the location for this episode – Wookey Hole – but to remember which Doctor Who story was filmed here as well. She fails hopelessly on both counts.

Sue: I haven’t got a ****ing clue. Was it a Tom Baker?

Me: Yes.

Sue: Something of the Daleks.

Me: Is that your final answer?

Sue: Something of the Cybermen.

Me: That’ll do.

Space Commander Travis has arrived in some frozen caves to set a trap for Blake. He intends on using a woman named Avalon as bait.

Sue: Snow goggles are wasted on Travis; he should have a snow monocle instead.

Project AvalonTravis: This time we’ll be ready for you, Blake.

Sue: Did Travis look straight down the lens just then? It’s difficult to tell because he’s only got one eye.

Meanwhile, on the Liberator, Cally is tracking Avalon’s signal.

Sue: Cheer up, Cally, it may never happen. They always look so bloody miserable on this ship. Are they actually trying to out-frown each other?

Avon: We’ve come at the worst time, of course. The northern hemisphere is just entering its winter cycle. They call it the Long Cold. Something of an understatement, it lasts the equivalent of eight and a half Earth years.

Sue: It’s just like –

Me: Game of Thrones, but with less incest. Yes, we know.

Sue: Hey, this is Blake’s 7, there could be more incest.

A resistance group has gathered in the caves. Travis, flanked by four Mutoids, makes his presence felt.

Sue: (singing) Your lights are on, but you’re not home…

Travis wants to know where Avalon is, and he holds a gun to a man’s face in order to find out.

Me: Oh look, it’s Stuart Fell.

Sue: Oh yes, so it is. He’s dead then. Spectacularly.

Once again, Stuart doesn’t disappoint.

Sue: Ouch! That must have hurt. I’ll give him a 9.8 for that.

Avalon is taken away and the Mutoids massacre the rest.

Sue: We’ve seen this before, with the same shit guns. I wish Douglas had directed this. Very bleak, though.

Project AvalonThe featured Mutoid of the week still doesn’t ring any bells with Sue.

Me: Do you recognise her yet?

Sue: Has she been in EastEnders?

Me: Yes.

Sue: Is she the one who gave that blow job in the car?

Me: Not as far as I know.

Sue: Does she ever take her hat off?

Me: No.

Sue: Then I give up. Who is she?

Me: She’s Makepeace from Dempsey and Makepeace, otherwise known as Glenda Mitchell, or Glynis Barber to her friends.

Sue: You have to start somewhere, I guess. I bet she doesn’t like to talk about this, though.

Blake and Jenna prepare to teleport to the planet.

Vila: Surface temperatures are down to minus one-eighty. Better wrap up warmly.

Sue: That’s the understatement of the century. I’m sure you can’t survive in temperatures like that, especially in a Parka from Millets.

Project AvalonMe: It isn’t Fahrenheit or Celsius – it’s minus-180 Terrys. That means it’s a bit chilly.

Down on the planet, Travis is torturing Avalon..

Sue: Wait, don’t tell me: you definitely remember watching this scene when you were eight years old – it explains a lot, actually. Either they are interrogating her or they’re going to give her one hell of a tan.

Blake and Jenna join forces with Chevner, the lone survivor of the massacre. Chevner warns them that they will have to override the Federation’s security systems if they want to rescue Avalon, so Blake orders Vila down to the surface.

Vila: Now wait a minute, it’s cold out there, and I’m very susceptible to low temperatures. I’ve got a weak chest.

Avon: The rest of you’s not very impressive.

Sue: Brilliant. I half expected Avon to belt Vila across the chest with a handbag when he said that.

Project AvalonVila is dispatched to the planet, but not before he makes a big song and dance about it.

Sue: That was quite funny. At least the programme knows that Vila an irritating dick.

After Vila leaves, Avon and Cally exchange a meaningful look before laughing their heads off.

Sue: They are definitely shagging. All they have to do now is put Gan to bed and they’ve got the place to themselves.

Me: Just open a Live Journal account and be done with it, Sue.

Servalan arrives on the planet to give Travis his annual appraisal.

Sue: How many space minks died to make her coat, do you think? The bitch.

Servalan is feeling the pressure.

Servalan: There have been two attempts on my life… I consider Blake to be responsible.

Sue: Have we missed two episodes?

Project AvalonServalan: Oh, not personally, of course, but stories of his exploits are still circulating. They excite people.

Sue: Which exploits are these then? Are you sure we haven’t missed an episode, Neil? They can’t be talking about the one with the catheter cock monster, surely to God.

Servalan chastises Travis for not doing his job properly.

Sue: I bet they’re at it.

Me: Why not, everybody else is! Look, can you watch an episode of Blake’s 7 without imagining all the lead characters having sex with one another, just for five minutes.

Sue: It’s not my fault. Look at them! Tell me they haven’t done it, Neil.

Servalan changes the subject, thank God.

Servalan: I think the labs have come up with what you wanted. It’s totally new, and very costly.

Sue: Have the Federation been cooking up some space meth?

A prisoner is taken to a secured booth. A glowing ball is placed on a conveyor belt which rolls the ball into the booth and across a table.

Sue: This is the worst episode of The Generation Game ever. Sparkly ball… sparkly ball… sparkly ball. Didn’t he do well!

Project AvalonThe ball is smashed and the hapless guinea pig is turned to mush.

Sue: Whatever it is, it’s painless. He didn’t even flinch. Which makes it easier for the vision mixer, I guess.

When the process is over, all that remains of the poor bastard is his skeleton. Travis is very impressed with his new weapon.

Sue: He’s Chemical Travie.

Meanwhile, on the Liberator…

Zen: Sensors report spacecraft approaching.

Avon: Identify.

Zen: Analysis indicates they are Mark Four Federation interceptors.

Sue: Is Avon blind? The baddies’ logo is on the ****ing radar screen. And who else could it possibly be? The Klingons?

The tunnels are by patrolled by a security robot and Blake’s gang are forced to take cover.

Sue: Watch out, it’s Dusty Bin again. It’s head can spin round and yet its peripheral vision still manages to be shit. How is that even possible? How can it not see four terrorists hugging that wall over there? That’s ridiculous.

Vila opens the hatchway which leads to the detention centre.

Sue: Vila should get himself a nice shoulder bag. That cooler box is a nightmare. There he goes – clunk, clunk, bang, clunk – down a narrow corridor like a baby elephant.

Project AvalonChevner leads Blake into the detention centre.

Sue: Wasn’t this guy in Crossroads?

Me: No, it’s not Ronald Allen, although I can see where you are coming from. It’s David Bailie.

Sue: The photographer?

Me: No. Although he does work as a professional photographer now, which is very confusing, especially as Big Finish keep pestering David Bailey to do a cameo.

Chevner searches the prisoner database for Avalon’s cell number.

Sue: Just free all the prisoners! Open all the doors and free everyone – it’s the right thing to do!

But Blake only has eyes for Avalon.

Sue: It’s quite exciting, this.

Me: Does it remind you of anything else?

Sue: Star Trek. They all remind me of Star Trek.

Me: Not Star Wars?

Sue: Oh yeah. I see what you mean. It is very similar. So which one is Chewbacca, because Vila is definitely C-3PO.

Still not convinced? Take a look at this:

Blake frees Avalon from her cell.

Blake: I’m Blake. We had hoped to get you out sooner, we’ve had a bit of trouble.

Me: Aren’t you a little short for a Blake?

Blake blasts his way out of the detention centre.

Sue: I still think Douglas would have done it better, but that wasn’t bad at all.

The Liberator – which has been on an evasive detour – returns for Blake.

Avon: You’d better switch on the communication channel.

Gan crosses flight deck and switches it on.

Sue: Finally, Gan actually did something useful. Things must be serious.

As they escape, Blake’s gang are confronted by the Federation’s security robot.

Sue: There are five of you! Shoot the bloody thing!

They teleport to safety before the robot can attack.

Project AvalonSue: Oh my God, it’s actually peeing fire.

The Liberator hightails it out of there.

Sue: Servalan will have Travis’s balls on a plate for that. What a **** up. And in the middle of his appraisal as well.

Blake suspects that his escape was far too easy. Raising his suspicious further are the Federation’s new weapons.

Sue: It’s a mastic gun. I’ve got one in the shed.

Avon examines the weapon.

Avon: It’s not standard issue. Low energy bolt discharge. This could bruise or stun, but it couldn’t cause any serious injury.

Sue: Great for sealing windows, though.

Meanwhile, Avalon has changed into something more comfortable.

Sue: It looks like Christmas has come early for Gan. And it proves once and for all that the Liberator does come equipped with pyjamas after all.

Avalon tells Gan that Chevner attacked her.

Sue: She’s the baddie! It’s definitely her! Come on, Gan, it’s a Terry Nation script so it must be her. The Federation have brainwashed her. It’s obvious.

Avalon prepares to launch a chemical attack on the crew, and it takes the combined might of Gan, Jenna, Blake and Vila to restrain her.

Sue: Avon would have put his fist through her face.

Project AvalonIt’s a good job he didn’t because he would have broken his fist in the process. You see, the Avalon they rescued is a robot duplicate.

Sue: That’s a clever effect for its time. I can just about buy that.

Even though she’s a telepath, Cally never suspected a thing.

Cally: I still find it hard to believe.

Sue: What is the point of Cally again? I’ve completely forgotten.

Blake asks Avon to reprogram the robot, and then he teleports back to the planet and demands to speak with Travis.

Sue: The look on Travis’s face is priceless. I almost feel sorry for him.

Servalan and Blake face each other for the first time.

Sue: Do you think Servalan secretly fancies Blake?

Me: ARGHHHHHHH!

Blake instructs the robot to open its thumb and forefinger, just enough to grip a ball.

Sue: This isn’t the first time Avon has programmed a robot to do that. I’m saying nothing.

Blake: The robot will crush the phial in response to one of three triggers. A particular word, a specific sound or a certain movement. You had all better be very, very careful about what you say and do.

Blake teleports to safety.

Sue: If Blake was really a terrorist, he would have programmed the robot to drop the ball as soon as he got out of there.

Travis moves towards the robot and the ball is dropped.

Project AvalonSue: Or maybe he did. Or maybe Travis set it off. We’ll never know for sure, but this only works if Blake planned to murder the entire room, so I’m going with that.

Travis catches the phial before it can break.

Travis: If it takes all my life, I will destroy you, Blake. I will destroy you. I will destroy you.

Sue: They have to stop ending episodes like this. It’s a bit silly.

Me: I’ll get you, Blakey!

Cue credits.

The Score:

Sue: That was pretty good. Some of it was very exciting. I think Blake’s 7 has finally found its groove. When Servalan and Travis are around it feels like we’re actually going somewhere. It’s all that mucking about on mysterious space ships and shitty planets for no apparent reason that I don’t get. This is what I thought Blake’s 7 would be like; it’s only taken them nine episodes to get there.

7/10

Next Time:

The next blog will be published on Friday 7th February. There won’t be an update this Tuesday. Sorry about that.

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51 comments

  • Visit site
    January 31, 2014 1:35 pmPosted 3 years ago
    John Miller

    Sue: She’s the baddie! It’s definitely her! Come on, Gan, it’s a Terry Nation script so it must be her. The Federation have brainwashed her. It’s obvious.

    Oh dear, Sue’s worked out the shock twist to at least 40% of the remaining episodes!

  • Visit site
    January 31, 2014 1:50 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Chris Allen

    Even though I KNOW Glynis Barber was in an episode as a Mutiod, I still never recognise her.

    (I think I’ve got a promising future as a Federation security officer.)

    Servalan fancying Blake, that’s a new one on me. I wonder if they’d have pursued that had Blake been rescued by Dayna in “Aftermath”?

    Much as I like Blake I can’t quite see it myself.

    Good episode, part of the “Travis is foiled (yet again)” episodes that run through Season 1. Things become a bit more interesting for the character later on.

  • Visit site
    January 31, 2014 1:51 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Dave Sanders

    Robert Holmes is CERTAINLY not going to disappoint Sue’s imagination with Orbit and Gambit, that’s for sure. And for Tanith Lee, Sue will need to make a whole new set of flowcharts.

    Kairos, Moloch and Power will be easy, mind. A simple Venn diagram will do; a tiny circle in the top left marked ‘Ben Steed’, and a fucking big one at the other corner as far away as it can get on the massive sheet of paper, labelled ‘everyone else’.

    • January 31, 2014 8:42 pmPosted 3 years ago
      encyclops

      And for Tanith Lee, Sue will need to make a whole new set of flowcharts.

      Awesome.

  • Visit site
    January 31, 2014 1:54 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Dave Sanders

    I think Micheal E. Briant directed this one, rather than old stalwart Pennant. The gun battles give it away, they’re competent.

  • Visit site
    January 31, 2014 1:55 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Chris Allen

    And still no love from Sue for Villa.

    I know there are certain characters that get a bit of stick in B7 fandom (Blake himself quite often) but I can’t remember anyone not liking Villa before.

    • Visit site
      January 31, 2014 1:58 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Dave Sanders

      Micheal Keating’s kids didn’t like Vila. “Daddy, you’re silly.”

      • Visit site
        January 31, 2014 9:05 pmPosted 3 years ago
        wyngatecarpenter

        I’m sorry to attempt one upmanship over Micheal Keating but you haven’t really suffered mockery at the hands of your children until your child, days after his 2nd birthday, has pointed at you while you’re queueing in the supermarket, said “eyebrows like gorillas”, and started making monkey noises.

        • Visit site
          February 1, 2014 3:45 amPosted 3 years ago
          Frankymole

          You are Derek Deadman and I claim my five hundred pound gorilla 🙂

          • February 1, 2014 3:44 pmPosted 3 years ago
            Arje Fastron

            Or Terence Oblong.

  • January 31, 2014 3:08 pmPosted 3 years ago
    John Callaghan

    Vila’s glory days are ahead of him, though. At this point, he is something of a goof. Jenna is the one who passes me by somewhat; all the others have their one-word summaries (the comical coward, the gentle giant etc.). But Jenna always seemed to me to be written as ‘the other one’.

    • Visit site
      January 31, 2014 3:38 pmPosted 3 years ago
      John Miller

      “The arse”?

  • Visit site
    January 31, 2014 5:02 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Mike

    Is Avalon the world’s least inspiring resistance leader? She’d be hard pressed to get the neighbourhood watch to write a letter to the council about the streetlights let alone fearlessly leading a revolution against a massive faceless empire. Whinge, whinge, whinge, where’s my cloak? I must have my cloak!

    • Visit site
      January 31, 2014 8:59 pmPosted 3 years ago
      wyngatecarpenter

      Not exactly Che Guevara is she?

      • Visit site
        February 1, 2014 3:48 amPosted 3 years ago
        Frankymole

        To be fair it’s the robot version that wants her cloak. With the purple lamé judogi she’s forced to wear, I’m not surprised she’d cover up. The real Avalon is content to wear nothing but two silver elastic bands.

  • Visit site
    January 31, 2014 6:57 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Richard Lyth

    Wouldn’t it have been easier to hypnotise Avalon into betraying Blake rather than building an exact robot duplicate of her? It seems a bit of a cheat really, there’s never been any indication in previous episodes that the Federation had that level of technology. They could have built a robot Blake and used it to well and truly frame him, for one thing. It’ll be interesting to see if they ever use this sort of thing again.

  • Visit site
    January 31, 2014 7:20 pmPosted 3 years ago
    executrix

    This was the point at which I gave up on Blake’s revolutionary leadership. Someone–no matter how uninspiring Mike found her–who had a CV laden with successful revolts–and Blake just lets her head off without so much as a simple “Can I borrow a cup of sugar AND FOUR HUNDRED REBELS to fill up my spare bedrooms”?

    Although now I’m watching “Revenge” with its Real!Manda and Faux!Manda–Travis probably thinks that’s the show he’s starring in.

  • January 31, 2014 8:41 pmPosted 3 years ago
    encyclops

    Sue: Brilliant. I half expected Avon to belt Vila across the chest with a handbag when he said that.

    Line of the week!

    Sue: They are definitely shagging. All they have to do now is put Gan to bed and they’ve got the place to themselves.

    Me: Just open a Live Journal account and be done with it, Sue.

    Normally I hate shipping and slashing, but somehow I love when Sue does it. I think it’s Neil’s reaction that makes it so much fun.

    I believe that might be a cute male Mutoid in the Servalan snap up there, so I have no idea why I recalled them all as female last week. Maybe it’s that there’s always a Glynis Barber hogging the spotlight of the Mutoid fetish I’m suddenly realizing I must have. You can edit this out, can’t you?

    When Servalan and Travis are around it feels like we’re actually going somewhere. It’s all that mucking about on mysterious space ships and shitty planets for no apparent reason that I don’t get.

    I couldn’t agree more. This ain’t Doctor Who and it’s at its best when it’s not trying to be.

    Ugh, a whole week until the next one? If it takes all my life, I will shake my fist at you, Neil.

    • Visit site
      February 1, 2014 3:51 amPosted 3 years ago
      Frankymole

      The Mutoids managed to be Goth/Emo long before Robert Smith managed to make it fashionable. Mind you, he’s still looking even more Mutoidish these days.

      • Visit site
        February 2, 2014 4:12 pmPosted 3 years ago
        Marionette

        It must have been the incipient goth in me that had me fancying last week’s mutoid. If it were happening now I could see me cosplaying one at cons.

    • Visit site
      May 8, 2014 11:14 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Mark

      She’s shipping now; just wait until Avon and Servalan lay on the serious sexual tension in the later series.

  • Visit site
    January 31, 2014 8:57 pmPosted 3 years ago
    wyngatecarpenter

    “They have to stop ending episodes like this. It’s a bit silly.”

    Yep!

    Efficient but predictable episode. I couldn’t really remember it from when it was broadcast. I knew the twist by the time I watched it on VHS, but I can’t help thinking it’s signposted a bit too obviously. The direction’s quite good otherwise.

    Is it me or is it impossible to imagine Avalon as a revolutionary leader?

    The best bit is the virus testing scene – Travis’s barely restrained glee and Servalan’s blank but possibly a bit squeamish expression. You get the impression in the first series that Servalan doesn’t really like to get her hands dirty with all the messy killing.

    Nation’s already getting bored with the Mutoids after all the vampire stuff in Duel. He’s a bit like my two year old in the way that he seems to get really excited about something only to completely forget it 2 minutes later.

  • Visit site
    February 1, 2014 12:29 amPosted 3 years ago
    Sally M

    What is the point of Cally again? I’ve completely forgotten.

    I’ve been wondering that for 20-odd years…

    • Visit site
      February 1, 2014 3:53 amPosted 3 years ago
      Frankymole

      Cally’s point? To be not-Soolin.

  • Visit site
    February 1, 2014 12:07 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Russ Massey

    Cally, with her telepathy and alien(ish) background was obviously originally added as the ‘mystic female’ member of the group, to fulfil the role of Troi in Trek, Delenn in B5 or Zhaan in Farscape. The writers though, seem mostly to have ignored her archetypal role and concentrated on banter between Avon, Vila and Blake.

    I have seen it suggested that writers sidelined the female characters because they tended not to use the lines that were written for them, which isn’t much of an incentive to put in a lot of effort to showcase that actor.

    • February 1, 2014 3:46 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Arje Fastron

      Potentially because the writers were really bad at writing for women.

      • Visit site
        February 1, 2014 4:05 pmPosted 3 years ago
        executrix

        Cally was necessary so that Blake could argue that at least 20% of his putative Followers actually cared about the Rebellion.

    • Visit site
      February 1, 2014 8:21 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Frankymole

      It’s not really an archetypal role though if it came first – presumably Troi, Dlenn and Zhaan were all conceived much later.

      Tanith Lee wrote an episode centred around Cally in which Cally spent most of it unconscious! Though I do have a soft spot for Lee’s psychic-ish follow-up with Servalan (somewhat out of character) getting some attention.

      • Visit site
        February 2, 2014 12:43 amPosted 3 years ago
        Harriet

        Well, look what happened when David Jackson was told he was getting a Gan-centred episode!

    • Visit site
      February 2, 2014 12:55 amPosted 3 years ago
      Harriet

      Knyvette and Chappell said they didn’t realise part of the game was to go and chat to the writers and say “Hey, why don’t you give us more to do? It would be really interesting if…” But I do think the writers found it difficult to write women – or at least hero-women. They start off with the best of intentions – Jenna shines in the cell and on the London, and Cally’s first entrance is stunning. But then I think they’re victims of the too-many-crew-to-write-for syndrome, along with Gan. Servalan gets away with it, because there are never more than two primary villains. Occasionally we get strong one-offs, like Kasabi. But there’s rarely room for women to take the initiative on the Liberator once the writers, like everyone else, become transfixed by the Blake-Avon dynamic.

    • February 7, 2014 12:00 amPosted 3 years ago
      Iain Coleman

      I have seen it suggested that writers sidelined the female characters because they tended not to use the lines that were written for them, which isn’t much of an incentive to put in a lot of effort to showcase that actor.

      I heard that suggested – to put it mildly – by none other than Chris Boucher, who was quite expansive on the time and effort required to come up with a great line, and the disappointment of hearing it roughly approximated.

  • Visit site
    February 2, 2014 8:38 amPosted 3 years ago
    BWT

    “Game of Thrones, but with less incest.”
    “Hey, this is Blake’s 7, there could be more incest.”

    AND

    “I’ll get you, Blakey!”

    GET THEM ON T-SHIRTS. AT ONCE.

    Chur… 🙂

  • Visit site
    February 2, 2014 9:45 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Sean Alexander

    Nine episodes in and Blake’s 7 has a default setting: Travis is basically the Master – arrogant, inept and always being beaten by Blake/The Doctor – and Avon is by far the most enjoyable, funny and laconic of characters. While Blake is the goody two-shoes. This can only end one way.

    We seriously need another writer that El Tel by now.

  • Visit site
    February 3, 2014 12:12 amPosted 3 years ago
    DPC

    “Sue: Which exploits are these then? Are you sure we haven’t missed an episode, Neil?”

    Offscreen adventures, to help pulp up the premise and need to get rid of Blake.

    It’s a great plot, helped up by Avon’s dialogue (as usual), but let down mostly by a couple of BAD effects…

    B7 has indeed found its groove, and there’s a lot of grooviness to come. And some episodes that feel like one is sobering up and jonesing for the munchies… 🙁

  • Visit site
    February 3, 2014 11:05 amPosted 3 years ago
    Chris-too-old-to-watch

    I’ve not commented before, because I’ve wanted Sue to get into her stride. I think it’s great that already she’s gone straight into fan-mode: Avon’s great, Villa’s a prat, What does Gan do? etc. Although the “What is the point of Cally?” sounds too much like a deep philosophical question to me.
    Must admit can’t wait for her reaction to Orac, and Blake’s 7 New Generation (which isn’t a dance group).
    Oooooh, there’s so much fun ahead…..

  • Visit site
    February 3, 2014 6:37 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Dave Sanders

    The next episode is called Breakdown because the scene breakdown is about as far as Terry got with it.

    • Visit site
      February 3, 2014 6:43 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Dave Sanders

      Bounty refers to the bribes Chris Boucher required by this point to finish the damn scripts. Deliverance needs no further explanation whatsoever.

      • Visit site
        February 4, 2014 9:06 pmPosted 3 years ago
        wyngatecarpenter

        Orac is obviously meant to be an oracle, warning our heroes of their fate, so clearly Nation didn’t even get as far as completing the episode title.

        • Visit site
          February 5, 2014 4:06 amPosted 3 years ago
          Frankymole

          Boucher also asleep on the job then, to be fair…

          • Visit site
            February 5, 2014 9:07 pmPosted 3 years ago
            wyngatecarpenter

            He probably had his work cut out for hime script editing a 13 episode series by Terry Nation.
            I guess a few people here are familiar with the story about the scripting of Destiny Of The Daleks that’s on one of the DVD extras but for those who aren’t allegedly Nation submitted Episode 1 (ie the Doctor and Romana wandering around a quarry filling in time until the Daleks appear) and a rough outline of Episode 2 and then buggered off to the US leaving Douglas Adams to work it into a full 4 episode story. Nice work if you ca get it.

          • Visit site
            February 6, 2014 9:46 amPosted 3 years ago
            Frankymole

            And episode 1 is far and away the best one.

            See also “The Persuaders!” and “The Avengers” for where Nation script-edited others to great effect.

            Can’t believe I’m defending the man! Ever seen “Survivors”? Presumably that was saved by Terance Dudley?

            I like Chris Boucher a lot and his Who episodes and standalone Blakes are top notch – even Death-Watch which many seem not to like, bizarrely. But his Star Cops and Who novels are dreadful – far less entertaining than Nation’s sketchiest work.

          • Visit site
            February 6, 2014 9:47 amPosted 3 years ago
            Frankymole

            Douglas Adams himself was not notably a prolific writer, “incredibly lazy” seems to be the general consensus 🙂

  • Visit site
    February 5, 2014 10:09 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Sean Alexander

    I’m sure Dennis Spooner tells the same story about Nation on The Daleks’ Master Plan.

    • Visit site
      February 6, 2014 9:42 amPosted 3 years ago
      Frankymole

      Donald Tosh, shurely?

      • Visit site
        February 6, 2014 9:43 amPosted 3 years ago
        Frankymole

        Here we are: “According to the credits, the serial was written by Terry Nation (episodes 1–5 & 7) and Dennis Spooner (episodes 6, 8–12), with the credit “From an idea by Terry Nation” on Spooner’s episodes. Script editor Donald Tosh claimed in an interview that the work done by Nation on the serial amounted to less than 20 pages of work, and that he wrote most of Nation’s episodes. However, Doctor Who historian David Brunt has disputed this, saying that Nation submitted over 30 pages of script for each of his episodes (apart from “The Feast of Steven”) and that Tosh only polished the dialogue and/or cut scenes out for time or budget reasons.”

        • Visit site
          February 6, 2014 10:06 pmPosted 3 years ago
          Rob

          I share your love for ‘Deathwatch’ 🙂 A brilliant, thought provoking script and some terrific performances particularly from Pacey – and possibly the saddest sequence in the history of the show towards the end of the eppy that pulls at the heart strings a bit. i think that Sue will love that one 🙂

  • Visit site
    February 7, 2014 1:26 amPosted 3 years ago
    jsd

    “This is what I thought Blake’s 7 would be like; it’s only taken them nine episodes to get there.”

    And it gets even better, pretty soonish.

  • Visit site
    March 7, 2014 1:15 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Steve Berry

    I used to play Blakes 7 with my dad’s mastic gun.

  • Visit site
    May 13, 2014 3:15 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Fiona

    Is Sue, like, a handywoman? i’m jealous. I’d like to be a competent type who knows what a mastic gun is. and have a shed. Can’t have a shed in Hong Kong. Only billionaires can even have a back garden. Not even big enough for a picnic table. I always get a shock back in the UK when I see my mum’s garden. Its only a semi-detached but has a whole playpark for my niece.

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    July 30, 2014 1:54 amPosted 3 years ago
    Dave Sanders

    Direction this cheap’s not a poor course
    When there’s whole scenes to lift out of Star Wars.
    Plus Pennant’s had his turn,
    So the lesson to learn
    Is the gun battles could have looked far worse.

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