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Redemption

Now completely spoiler-free…

RedemptionSue: The title sequence hasn’t changed. That’s disappointing.

It’s not the only thing that remains the same.

Me: Ouch.

A cushion bounces off my face.

Sue: TERRY ****ING NATION!

Me: I told you that Terry didn’t write all the scripts for Series 2. I never said he didn’t write any of them.

Sue: I really hate you sometimes.

Blake is still watching the Series 1 cliffhanger.

Me: I didn’t mention this at the time, but as John Williams pointed out in the comments, it was the first time a television drama series ended on a cliffhanger. Impressive, eh?

Sue: That is quite interesting, I suppose. Shame I can’t read the comments.

This gave me pause for thought, because even though it doesn’t affect Sue – she reads these posts before I publish them – if anyone has decided to follow us and is watching Blake’s 7 for the first time, they can’t participate in the discussion below without being spoiled. Sometimes, the comments are about anything but the episode we’ve just seen! So from this point on, I’ll be moderating the comments for spoilers. Any comment that mentions a future episode, or even hints at a future development, will be edited or removed.

Sorry about that. It’s my fault for not implementing a spoiler policy in the first place.

Redemption Right, where were we?

Sue: How long has Blake been waiting for the Liberator to explode?

Me: I have no idea.

Sue: Give John Williams a call and find out.

Cally is doing some maintenance work in the teleport section.

Sue: Cally’s had her hair cut, so quite a lot of time must have passed between this one and the last one. The only other explanation is that Cally thought to herself: “Imminent destruction? I know, I’ll get my hair cut!” And that would be silly.

Me: What do you think of her new hair style?

Sue: I like it. It suits her. She needs to put some weight on, though. I worry about her health.

Everyone has decided to change into something more comfortable while they wait for certain death.

Sue: Blake has dressed for a fishing trip, Jenna is off night-clubbing again (nice boots by the way), Gan has joined the priesthood and Avon is heading for a session in the ship’s sex dungeon. I’d love to see the Liberator‘s wardrobe – I bet it’s mental.

Relations between Avon and Blake are extremely frosty.

Sue: (as Blake) For the last time, Avon, could you at least try to dress as a good guy. Black leather sends the wrong message, and you look like Travis from behind.

RedemptionMe: I thought I told you to stop shipping.

Avon tells Blake to watch the Series 1 cliffhanger one more time.

Sue: They are definitely getting their money’s worth out of this special effect. And I’m convinced that several months must have passed between this episode and the last one.

Me: What makes you say that?

Sue: Because Blake has lost weight. His clothes don’t fit him any more. Look at his jacket flapping about. Maybe he put Gan’s costume on by mistake.

Avon explains that the Liberator can’t explode if they never visit the exact position in space where the explosion occurs. And then an explosion occurs and Blake and Avon are thrown to the floor.

Sue: Avon gave Blake a sneaky cuddle, there.

The Liberator is under attack.

Sue: Nothing important will happen in this episode. I can just tell.

Me: Eh?

Sue: It’s going to be one of those ****about episodes. You know, where they get distracted by pointless nonsense for 40 minutes. And the direction is appalling. It’s so flat. Everything is shot straight on. Douglas Camfield directed a scene like this once and it was brilliant. This is hopeless.

Blake: Zen, identify the hostiles.

Sue: And put a microphone on Gan while you’re at it. I can’t hear a word he’s saying.

RedemptionZen suggests that they head for a nearby planet.

Sue: Look at the muck on this film. I can barely see anything. And why didn’t Orac predict this? What is the point of Orac if he can’t predict this?

Sue grumbles when the action on the Liberator keeps switching from video to film, and when we are on video, she complains that it’s over-lit.

Sue: I can’t get into this. Did Terry find a spare script in the bottom of a drawer? This is just more of the same. I expected Series 2 to be better than this. In fact, you promised me that Series 2 was better than this.

At least Vila and Avon provide some light relief.

Vila: When you get Zen working, ask him to prescribe something for a headache, will you? I’ve got this shocking pain right behind the eyes.

Avon: Have you considered amputation?

Sue: Poor Vila. This is basically workplace bullying. Funny, though.

Avon: Those ships should have been able to knock us out completely. Why didn’t they?

Sue: Ask Orac. I thought Orac was supposed to be the answer to all their prayers. All he’s done so far is make everyone paranoid.

Elsewhere, on Spaceworld…

Sue: It’s a jumpgate from Babylon 5.

A woman in a skin-tight blue Lycra bodystocking is, er, I’m not quite sure. I got distracted.

Sue: This is your favourite episode, isn’t it, Neil.

I fidget uncomfortably in my seat.

Sue: Even Kate Bush would think twice about wearing that. Nice arse, though.

RedemptionBlake has lost control of the Liberator, so he heads to the subcontrol room to sort it out.

Sue: What a stupid place to put a gear stick.

Blake is threatened by some sentient wiring.

Sue: It’s like The Abyss, but with electric instead of water.

Me: I think you mean it’s abysmal.

Sue: No, it’s all right. It’s quite scary. I like the idea of the ship turning on them. I just don’t understand why it’s taken so long.

Zen is no help at all.

Sue: Is Zen in a huff because he’s jealous of Orac? I bet that’s it. He hasn’t been the same since they turned Orac on.

Cally replaces a computer component on the Liberator‘s flight deck.

Sue: They’re trying to turn Cally into Romana. They’ve even given her a sonic screwdriver. Has Terry forgotten which programme he’s writing for?

The component shorts out.

Cally: It’s rejecting the replacement.

Avon: It’s more fundamental than that. We are the cause. It is rejecting us.

Sue: Maybe it was something you said? Perhaps if you promised to clean the toilets more often, the ship will let you off with a warning.

RedemptionAvon arrives in the subcontrol room to help Blake.

Avon: The ship is working against us. From now on we are just passengers.

Blake: The question is, where to?

Sue: They’re going to the one place they can’t go, obviously. Maybe Orac is doing this to prove himself right. I trust Orac about as far as I can throw him, which is probably quite far, but you know what I mean.

Avon distracts the computer and Blake escapes. When the door slams shut on Avon, Sue gasps.

Sue: For a second there, I thought Blake had locked Avon in that room on purpose. I honestly thought Blake was using that opportunity to get rid of Avon. You wouldn’t get that on Star Trek.

Meanwhile, Gan has buggered off somewhere.

Cally: He tried to reconnect one of the servo links and it burned his hand.

Sue: Typical Gan. Always on the sick.

Gan is ambushed by unwelcome visitors in the teleport room.

Sue: They’re using the same guns as Blake. Wait a minute… I know what’s happening. Either the BBC have run out of money and they’re recycling props, or this lot have come back for their ship.

Me: Are you excited that you’ll find out who built the Liberator?

Sue: I couldn’t care less. I hadn’t given it a second thought.

RedemptionAt least the Liberator‘s supply of bracelets has been replenished.

Sue: Lesley Judd’s been busy.

Cally searches for Vila, who went missing searching for Gan.

Cally: Vila? Vila!

Sue: Cally – the only telepath who needs to shout.

The Liberator‘s walls are splattered with blood.

Sue: It’s turned into The Texas Chainsaw Massacre now. Listen! you can hear a chainsaw starting up.

Me: That’s Dudley’s maracas, love.

Sue believes that Blake should give the Liberator back to the aliens.

Sue: Well it is their ship. Maybe if they asked nicely, Blake would give it back. He’s a very reasonable terrorist.

Blake switches Orac on.

Sue: Finally! What took you so long?

Blake: Orac’s systems are entirely independent of the Liberator‘s.

Sue: So Orac is basically a laptop. If they made Blake’s 7 today, you’d fit Orac in your pocket. And you could probably play mp3s on him, too.

RedemptionSue didn’t notice that Orac’s voice has changed between series, but she has noticed that the same actor voices Zen as well. This doesn’t surprise her.

Sue: Anything to save a bit of money.

The Liberator‘s flight deck is taken over by aliens, and Blake is subdued with a gun-nozzle to the face.

Sue: So Terry Nation invented the taser. I bet they didn’t know their guns could do that, which is funny when you think about it.

The Liberator is taken to Spaceworld.

Sue: I like it when the women are in charge. Although if these women were really in charge, the men would be the ones walking around in skin-tight cat suits.

Sue is impressed by Sheila Ruskin’s screen presence.

Sue: She has a very nice voice. She reminds me of Diana Rigg. She’s got a nice arse like Diana Rigg, too.

Me: I would have got a cushion in the face for that.

Orac makes a funny noise.

Sue: Orac sounds like a kitten begging for a cuddle.

Armed guards escort Blake’s crew into the depths of Spaceworld.

Sue: What is it with this programme and fetish gear? Why do all the bad guys look like they’re on their way to a sex dungeon? Avon must think that all his Christmases have come at once.

RedemptionBlake is interrogated by the System.

Sue: This is all Blake needs. Now he’s got two sets of bad guys to worry about. That doesn’t seem fair.

Alta 1: State the circumstance by which you came to be aboard Deep Space Vehicle II.

Sue: What a boring name.

Alta 1: State the astral location in which you found DSV II.

Sue: What sort of name is DSV? They don’t deserve the ship if that’s the best name they can come up with.

Me: What if they called it spaceQuest DSV, would that be any better?

Sue: No.

Blake is sentenced to death, so he fights back. He even manages to disable Alta 2.

Sue: You can punch her in the face if you like – she’s a robot. At least I think she’s a robot. Although why you’d make a robot with a nice arse is beyond me.

I say nothing.

Blake shoots at a guard on a gantry above him.

Sue: That was an incredible fall. Was that Stuart Fell?

Me: I don’t know.

Sue: Text John Williams.

Blake finds himself in a dead-end.

Sue: I’m sure this is a map on Call of Duty.

A slave provides him with an escape route.

RedemptionMe: It’s Roy Evans.

Sue: Oh no, not again.

Me: No, it’s the real Roy Evans this time.

Sue: He’s no spring chicken, but I bet he’s still a thousand times better than Gan.

Vila frees Jenna and Avon from Spaceworld’s cells, but not before Avon accidentally punches Vila in the stomach.

Sue: I don’t care what you say, Avon enjoyed that. This is just a regular Thursday night on the Liberator.

Avon: Come on!

Sue howls with laughter when Avon growls “Come on!”

Avon, Jenna, Gan, Cally and Vila run for their lives.

Sue: (as Avon) Come on!

A System guard fires on them.

Sue: I’m surprised they were allowed to set off explosives in a gas works. The risk assessment for this episode must have been a nightmare.

At least Roy Evans can shoot straight.

Sue: Taxi for Gan!

But Roy doesn’t make it – he’s shot in the back.

Sue: No! You can’t do that! He’s the best thing in this!

System guards teleport to the Liberator, armed with grenades. But they are teleported back to Spaceworld before they can throw them and the hapless guards end up attacking their own base. Sue laughs so much she spills her tea.

RedemptionSue: They make the Federation look good.

The Liberator escapes from Spaceworld.

Sue: That looks like an airport runway at night. Oh wait… it is an airport runway at night. Hang on… where are the Liberator‘s wheels?

The System sends a ship after them.

Zen: Sensors register secondary launch, a space vehicle in pursuit. Speed Standard by Fourteen.

Sue: Speed Standard by Fourteen? **** me!

The Liberator‘s sister ship is destroyed by Orac. His prophecy came true after all.

Sue: What a cop out. At least they didn’t drag it out for a whole season, I suppose.

Blake congratulates Orac.

Sue: Orac is the most useful member of Blake’s crew and he’s strapped to a ****ing trolley.

RedemptionBlake tells Zen to take them back to Earth sector.

Sue: About bloody time.

And then he tells Avon to return to his post.

Sue: If looks could kill, Blake would be having an aneurism right now.

The Score:

Sue: I struggled with that. I couldn’t get into it at all. The direction was horrendous, and did we really need another group of jackbooted villains? Hasn’t Blake got enough on his plate? And I bet we never see the Sisters again, so what was the point?

Me: System.

Sue: Sisters. System. Whatever. The episode was a complete waste of time. Avon was good, and the end was quite exciting, but this is still really, really cheap. I’m sorry, but that was disappointing.

4/10

When it was all over, I showed her this video by Gareth Roberts and Clayton Hickman. Embedding is disabled by request, the swines.

Sue: Very clever, and a massive improvement on the original.

Next Time:

Warning: Glen’s trailers can spoil specific plot points in the next episode, so please play with caution.

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56 comments

  • Visit site
    March 4, 2014 1:08 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Jonathan

    What I don’t get about this episode – which I liked at the time but find tedious now – is that no one questions the idea that Orac can see the future. If he does that in every episode, it’ll get dull very quickly.

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    March 4, 2014 1:17 pmPosted 3 years ago
    solar penguin

    No reference to Space Mutiny after that railing kill…? I guess Sue isn’t a MiSTie then. Right, that settles it. Your next project has to be “Adventures with the Wife in the Not Too Distant Future.” You can watch and comment on the SOL crew watching and commenting on the cheesy movies!

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    March 4, 2014 1:19 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Dave Sanders

    Show her the Hokey Kokey one. 🙂

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    March 4, 2014 1:36 pmPosted 3 years ago
    John Miller

    I’m not sure Blakes 7 was the first show to end a series with a cliffhanger. But it does show that that can be a problem in itself, as you then have to resolve that cliffhanger.

    This is a bit like Blakes 7: The Virgin New Adventures, in that it feels the need to explain something that was much better left as a mystery, and ends up botching it, and delivering a below average story to boot.

    • March 4, 2014 8:31 pmPosted 3 years ago
      encyclops

      Blakes 7: The Virgin New Adventures

      Touché! Though, to be honest, one of the things I like best about this episode is that it DOES explain the mystery and it’s no big deal. I don’t think it’s any worse for no longer being a mystery, myself.

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    March 4, 2014 1:46 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Mark Nickol

    So Blake is still around, after I was corrected by all the Oracs who can predict the future out there, lol !

    Like Sue, I didn’t see this episode as any better than anything in series 1, so I still wait to be impressed. I also have to say I was disappointed that they solved the series 1 cliffhanger so quickly – they could at least have dragged that one out for the whole of series 2….

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    March 4, 2014 1:46 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Chris Allen

    “Everyone has decided to change into something more comfortable while they wait for certain death.”

    I think one or two probably had to change their trousers at least.

    I must admit Alta 1 and 2 are the highlight of this episode for me, particularly Harriet Philpin. Mmmmm…..

    The BBC could have stolen a march on the independent channels by spinning them of in their own series, “DSV1 Hunt”.

    Each week they run about in blue lycra looking for the Liberator while a cameraman follows behind (if you know what I mean).

    Instead of Kenneth Kendall we could have had Zen back in the studio, with ORAC supplying the reference material.

    Would have run for years.

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    March 4, 2014 1:55 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Mat Dolphin

    After an agonising wait for this blog, it was so worth it! That’s the funniest one for ages. Did Sue not question where the garden furniture appeared from on the flight deck?

  • March 4, 2014 2:02 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Steve Manfred

    iirc, that wasn’t a gas works they were filming at and setting off all those explosions… oh no… it was a _nuclear power plant_ .

    • March 4, 2014 3:58 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Iain Coleman

      I should think it’s much safer setting off explosives in a nuclear power plant than in a gas works.

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        March 4, 2014 6:22 pmPosted 3 years ago
        Frankymole

        They did the fire in the gas works in episode 6. A big fire and some explosions!

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          July 28, 2014 8:19 pmPosted 2 years ago
          David

          But technically Fulham Gas Works(AKA Centero communications base) was disused. No danger of gas explosions.

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    March 4, 2014 2:06 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Gareth M

    I never really thought about their change of clothes. It just was a series of stories one after the other. In fact I’ve never really considered the time scale between this and “Orac” at all. The recap does make sense though if some time has passed.

    I prefer Orac’s new voice than his other one. Tuddenham’s voice is more pompous, while his original voice was more grating and old man-ish.

    I have the same problem that Sue has. “Where are the Liberator’s wheels?” I do question them even deciding to use the runway footage. Could’t they have just used some more model shots, flying though something dark with bright spotlights occasionally or something.

    The Blake’s 7 crew would actually fit right in within the Babylon 5 universe.

    Was it actually called ‘Spaceworld’ in the dialogue?

    Avon and Blake. Blake and Avon. Sneaky cuddles and looks to kill. There’s a lot of shipping by Sue in this episode.

    Of this episode I like everything up to the Spaceworld stuff. Avon working out that the ship is rejecting them, the tension on the ship. The fight sequence in space with the assault craft. It still seems fresh and exciting.
    Once on Spaceworld it’s all a bit…grim, glam and dull.
    Of course they escape because it’s the first episode of the series.
    The ‘oh that’s how it happens’ moment with the sister ship I think could have been played differently to ratchet up the tension.

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    March 4, 2014 2:18 pmPosted 3 years ago
    The Grouchybeast

    Thank you for moderating spoilers! I watched B7 for the first time in 1998, and I woud’ve been so sad if someone had spoilered me while I was watching it.

    > She needs to put some weight on, though. I worry about her health.

    The person who lent me the videos in 1998 was built very like Cally — tallish, very thin, and flat-chested — and Cally was her favourite character because it was so nice to see someone on TV who looked like her. She’d spent her whole life having random people commenting on her weight and giving their unsolicited opinions about how she ought to eat a sandwich, ha ha ha, which as you can imagine got less funny after the first decade or so.

    > I’m surprised they were allowed to set off explosives in a gas works.

    At least they weren’t setting off explosions in a nuclear power plant! That would be madness!

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      March 4, 2014 4:12 pmPosted 3 years ago
      AST

      My own Wife In Space looks very like Cally and that’s her favourite crewmember too. I like Zen best – something about that shiny dome, perhaps.

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    March 4, 2014 4:26 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Dave Owen

    Redemption was not pleasant for me at the time. My father had commandeered the telly to watch “The Great Egg Race” on BBC2 and would not let me switch over until Heinz Wolff’s competitors had won or lost their anoraky Mcguyvering (Gratuitous Nation reference).

    I was an apoplectic little Aspie. “I have to find out what happened at the end of the last series!”.

    We turned over. The crew were not clinging to flaming space wreckage. Avon and Blake were having a conversation on the flight deck. Oh.

    Father disappeared behind his paper, occasionally snorting “As if”, as was his wont, perhaps not quite appreciating the remit if speculative fiction.

    The Altas appeared. Specifically, Harriet Philpin and Sheila Ruskin’s arses appeared. The paper was put down. My father began to take an interest. He left me in no doubt as to what he would like to do with said arses.

    Lovely man.

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      May 13, 2014 5:56 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Fiona

      you are Aspie too! Lot of us around….

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    March 4, 2014 6:41 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Richard Lyth

    Sue didn’t mention that between series the crew have all sorted out their own seats on the flight deck, so they look like a proper starship crew for the first time. The downside is that Avon has to run over to the sofa area to turn the force wall on, which could be a problem if they need shields in a hurry…

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    March 4, 2014 7:47 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Sally M

    I adore Redemption, but then the series is all about Blake and Avon for me 🙂

    : What is it with this programme and fetish gear? Why do all the bad guys look like they’re on their way to a sex dungeon? Given that the costume director for S2 bought quite a bit from a place called Hard Core Leather… Sue’s probably not far off here.

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    March 4, 2014 8:15 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Michael Bater

    Blake tells Zen to take them back to Earth sector.

    Sue: About bloody time.

    And then he tells Avon to return to his post.

    IS THAT THE SEX DUNGEON?

  • March 4, 2014 8:38 pmPosted 3 years ago
    encyclops

    I love this one. I think there’s something really delicious about the fact that the Liberator’s origins are suddenly revealed and done away with at the very start of the second season. “Where do technologically advanced ships come from? Technologically advanced civilizations. Let’s move on.” We meet the “gods” and they’re just fascistic aliens and no more deserving of worship than anyone else. I like that a lot.

    For some reason, Sue’s Blake/Avon commentary on this story reminded me of True Detective. But probably until next Monday, everything is going to remind me of True Detective.

    • March 4, 2014 8:40 pmPosted 3 years ago
      encyclops

      Also, when I rewatched this recently, I somehow had misremembered it as containing the death of a crew member. I was obviously thinking of “Roy Evans,” which I suppose is a compliment to him.

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    March 4, 2014 8:40 pmPosted 3 years ago
    wyngatecarpenter

    I quite like this episode despite it being fairly standard Nation fare. The first half on the ship is the kid of stuff Nation writes quite well, and the tension between Avon and Blake is ratcheted up a bit.
    The Spaceworld section is a bit of a standard Nation capture and escape story with a moral about being nice to slaves because they might know where there’s a secret passage. I think it probably just about works as a reintroduction to B7 to start the series – ie they are fighting totalitarianism, with The System being a mini-Federation.

    I hate to spoil things for everyone but I think this episode is supposed to follow on very quickly from ORAC, what with all the frantic checking of the ship. Maybe Cally has a way of cutting her own hair using telepathy while still concentrating on checking circuits. I’ve got a vague idea I’ve heard Jan Chapell on a commentary saying that she got her haircut without thinking about cotinuity.

    It does get better than this by the way (hope that’s not a spoiler)
    I did think the resolution to the cliffhanger was very clever at the time, but then I was 9.

    Disaster was about to strike for me though. Season 2 was shown on Tuesdays which was also the night I went to Cub Scouts. I think it was still summer holiday when this episode was on but I was fully aware that I wasn’t likely to see much of the rest of season 2. For this reason Season 2 managed to have a mystique for me that nothig else on TV has ever had.

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      March 4, 2014 10:37 pmPosted 3 years ago
      The Grouchybeast

      > I hate to spoil things for everyone but I think this episode is supposed
      > to follow on very quickly from ORAC, what with all the frantic checking
      > of the ship.

      At an absolute minimum, it’s been ‘several hours’, because that’s how long Avon says it’s been since he worked out that they could avoid Orac’s prediction by staying away from that particular location. So it could be anywhere upwards of that, from several hours to days or even longer.

      My personal guess is that it’s been somewhat longer than several hours, because if Avon could possibly plausibly claim that he worked out the answer right away, then he would 🙂

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        March 5, 2014 6:33 pmPosted 3 years ago
        wyngatecarpenter

        “At an absolute minimum, it’s been ‘several hours’,”

        Agreed, and it coud be the next day, but I don’t think it’s meant to be much longer than that, which is what I thought people were suggesting earlier.

  • March 4, 2014 9:14 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Lastik Banz

    I never understood why this episode was generally well regarded (though not any more, judging by the comments here) – after building up the Liberator as a mysterious technological wonder made by a rich and ostentatious super-race, he then blows that by having them instead yet another tedious robotic race. There’s nothing about the System which correlates to the richness of the Liberator.

    • March 4, 2014 10:27 pmPosted 3 years ago
      encyclops

      There’s nothing about the System which correlates to the richness of the Liberator.

      I do think creators tend to be more disappointing than their creations. 🙂

      I’m not saying that doing it another way couldn’t have been interesting, but I also think it would have derailed the series a bit. To me it fits well with the bleakness of the B7 universe for no rich and ostentatious super-race to exist — they’re as alone as ever. Otherwise, the narrative weight such a race would have commanded would have taken over the whole show, and Blake would have rightly spent all his time trying to get them to intervene against the Federation. This way Nation and Boucher can have their mysterious technological cake and eat it too.

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        March 5, 2014 3:34 amPosted 3 years ago
        Graeme

        You have a race of robots which enslaves humans designing a space craft with humans comforts in mind – padded seating, clothing, and ergonomic hair curlers (see what Cally did with one).

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        March 5, 2014 6:41 pmPosted 3 years ago
        wyngatecarpenter

        “I do think creators tend to be more disappointing than their creations.”

        B7 worked better when it kept it’s aliens a bit mysterious which it did on more than one occasion.

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      March 4, 2014 11:00 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Licence

      Yes. I could never imagine the System lazing on the comfy sofa on the flight deck let alone wearing any of the the clothes on board. I can justify the store of precious gemstones – maybe for barter with primitive races?

      • March 4, 2014 11:22 pmPosted 3 years ago
        encyclops

        Or maybe they built it to someone else’s specifications, someone who never took possession of it. Then again, how did it get abandoned in deep space in the first place?

        • March 5, 2014 10:01 amPosted 3 years ago
          Adam Whitehead

          According to ‘Space Fall’ there was a big battle, the Liberator was damaged and the crew abandoned ship. I always thought this was odd, as the Liberator seemed to be reasonably intact when Blake and co. found it.

          My personal theory is that Liberator suffered damage to its engines and drifted into Federation territory. The crew, terrified of being captured (the System probably avoids the Federation like the plague for fear of destruction/dissection), abandoned ship and returned home. They may have assumed that the Liberator would crash into a planet or star or something, but Blake and co. found it first. Why they just didn’t set it to self-destruct I don’t know. Maybe they did but Zen got arsey and switched it off?

          If there’s an area of Blake’s 7 that definitedly needed work, it was the worldbuilding and how all these powers/worlds related to one another.

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            March 5, 2014 3:38 pmPosted 3 years ago
            Harriet

            My theory was that DSV2 was originally stolen by a handful of renegade Altas and slaves of the System, who spent several years coasting round the galaxy having adventures and picking up nice stuff. (I can see a slave used to rags might be enthusiastic about glitzy costumes.) Finally, they were tracked down by the System, joined battle in an attempt to preserve their freedom, and were forced to abandon ship, just as the London was passing by.

          • March 5, 2014 6:23 pmPosted 3 years ago
            encyclops

            Well, the Liberator has auto-repair capability. The crew presumably had to abandon ship before the repairs could be completed enough to allow them to escape. And, as we see, they eventually do attempt to recover their ship (rather than assuming or ensuring that it will self-destruct) — they just take almost a whole season to do it.

            I kind of like the fact that humanity is so scattered at this point (and presumably the rest of the universe is far enough apart) that the powers/worlds barely do relate to each other most of the time. For me it adds to the feeling that anything can happen.

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        March 5, 2014 6:39 pmPosted 3 years ago
        wyngatecarpenter

        “I could never imagine the System lazing on the comfy sofa on the flight deck let alone wearing any of the the clothes on board.”

        Perhaps they were raiding clothing collections aroud the galaxy, keeping any blue lycra jumpsuits they found, and then abandoning the rest in the Liberator wardrobe. And I’m sure even the Altas like to recline on a comfy sofa after a hard day inflicting “destruction level” punishment on slaves.

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    March 4, 2014 11:17 pmPosted 3 years ago
    BWT

    Vila: “When you get Zen working, ask him to prescribe something for a headache, will you? I’ve got this shocking pain right behind the eyes.”

    Avon: “Have you considered amputation?”

    Surely the above exchange is worth more than a 4/10? And I’m sure Avon would agree with me. Avon?

    Avon: “Come on!”

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    March 4, 2014 11:19 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Thomas Bush

    The Altas ruined it for me. Cheap and silly looking. They make the Decimas look good!

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    March 4, 2014 11:31 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Sean Alexander

    I have little to add to this except to say that ‘Redemption’ is a wholly inappropriate title for this episode. Seriously, I looked it up in a dictionary to check. Was Nation trying to do what JN-T tried with 80s Dalek stories by having a linking theme to their titles: Resurrection, Revelation, Remembrance? First Deliverance, now Redemption. Shame he didn’t bother to check his dictionary as well.

    And Blake fighting an electric cable is as near as Blakes 7 has got to Airplane! yet.

    Meanwhile, Sheila Ruskin’s blue, Lycra-clad pert bottom. Hmm.

    • March 5, 2014 2:55 pmPosted 3 years ago
      encyclops

      “Deliverance” makes sense to me: it doubly refers to Ensor delivering power cells to his father, and to Meegat and her crew being delivered from the almost uninhabitable planet Cephlon.

      “Redemption” probably was supposed to mean “taking back what had been given,” but usually there’s a reward involved and in this case the reward was a death sentence. Maybe it was also supposed to mean “being saved,” but again, usually that’s “from sin” and in this case it was “from Orac’s being-blown-up prophecy.” So it does seem a little poorly chosen.

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        March 6, 2014 1:48 amPosted 3 years ago
        Frankymole

        One meaning was “Free (oneself or another) from slavery or captivity by paying a ransom” – sadly, yes, the ransom for Roy Evans’s character was his life.

        However another meaning is “fulfil or carry out (a pledge or promise)” and Orac did both as regards his prophecy!

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          March 6, 2014 1:16 pmPosted 3 years ago
          Sean Alexander

          I have no problem with ‘Deliverance’ as a title – despite, like ‘Redemption’, having a pseudo-religious suggestion to it that really doesn’t play out in the episode – but using ‘Redemption’ for an episode about the creators of the Liberator ‘taking back’ its ship is rather non-sensical given that the word redemption has most meaning in a religious or spiritual context.

          But then Resurrection, Revelation and Remembrance of the Daleks were equally irrelevant, and used simply because they sounded dramatic. In fact Remembrance only works as a title in a meta-context for viewers aware that this was the first (Dalek) story of the 25th season.

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            March 6, 2014 9:37 pmPosted 3 years ago
            Frankymole

            It does end with a funeral though, and we also get the grave with the Hand of Omega’s “coffin” being buried, a funeral parlour, and lots of references to WWII. So remembrance is a bit of a theme in some ways. Tenuous, I know. I’m more intrigued by what the “Revelation” was! The Blakes 7 one-word titles can either be bland or ambiguous, but Dr Who’s sually made sense after watching the story (and none beforehand).

          • March 6, 2014 11:13 pmPosted 3 years ago
            encyclops

            Was the “Revelation” supposed to be: hey, we’re making Daleks up in here! Surprise!

            Or maybe: There are Daleks in this story with “Daleks” in the title! Surprise!

            Freaking Daleks. We might not have Doctor Who without them, but some days I wish we could.

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        March 6, 2014 2:04 pmPosted 3 years ago
        John Williams

        The crew stole the ship originally, they were cursed by Orac’s prophecy and finally they were granted salvation, or redemption. Works for me.

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    March 5, 2014 12:04 amPosted 3 years ago
    Geoff

    What I love about B7 is its philosophy that the future will be just as shit as now, just with better technology…and even that is usually going wrong in someway or other. The fact that the Sisters home planet (or space station-whatever) is a bit crap is just another example of this. I think B7 is probably closer to what the future will really be like than anything else that has ever been made… That’s a cheerful thought!

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    March 5, 2014 2:38 amPosted 3 years ago
    Graeme

    ‘Sue: The title sequence hasn’t changed. That’s disappointing.’

    Anyone else notice it’s out-of-sync?

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    March 5, 2014 3:17 amPosted 3 years ago
    Graeme

    The moral of this story is: Always believe a computer’s prediction when you know the computer can affect the outcome.

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    March 5, 2014 11:24 amPosted 3 years ago
    Rob

    Redemption was my fave eppy whilst the series was originally on air and have fond memories of everyone raving about it in the playground the following day. Whilst the Altas are very silly and ridiculously sexy, I still find this episode to be enormous fun if slightly light weight compared to the likes of ‘Shadow’ and other gems that soon follow.

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    March 5, 2014 4:40 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Nick Mays

    I remember being very disappointed at the “super aliens” who built the fantastic Liberator and how easily they were defeated. (I wasn’t disappointed at their arses, but then I was a hormonal 16 year-old at the time).

    Maybe I was expecting them to be somewhat more “exotic” after reading a short fan fiction story in one of the ‘Liberator’ newsletters put out by the B7 ‘Liberator Popular Front’ fan club.

    Basically, the story starts with Cally ( think) asking Zen what the chemical element that the sensors have detected in the ship’s artificial atmosphere is, but Zen won’t answer. “Restricted Information” or somesuch.

    The crew discuss it and speculate whether it’s harmful of not – they can’t smell it, they don’t notice any ill effects etc.

    Later Cally (I think) finds out that it’s a pheremone put out at regular intervals to supress the original crew’s sexual urges, because they have a specific mating cycle. So basically it’s to keep their minds on the job (or off it). Avon leers and says: “Shame!”

    “Does it work on humans?” queries Vila. “No, it doesn’t!” blurts out Jenna and blushes. Blake frowns as he’d tried so hard (ahem) to keep his and Jenna’s relationship secret. The crew all look elsewhere…

    Silly litle story, but most amusing at the time. And actually far more interesting than the Altas actually were in the programme itself! 🙂

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    March 5, 2014 10:13 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Graeme

    I think this is one of the best episodes the series. 10/10 for me.

    If nothing else, it shows us Orac’s ability to reprogram computers at distance, like he did with the Liberators teleport in ‘Orac’.

    The ultimate fluke in this episode is that they found Orac just in the nick of time for Blake, without a second to spare, to issue an instruction to Orac to erase external control, thereby rescuing Blake and Co. from the System. Nice!

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    March 7, 2014 2:04 amPosted 3 years ago
    James C

    I don’t know if it’s been mentioned before, but almost all the episodes so far seem to have been in two halves. Here we have half an episode where Liberator is under attack, and half an episode where the crew are imprisoned and must escape. A lot of the first season episodes seemed to change their entire premise around halfway through. Perhaps that’s a consequence of coming off a 25 minute show?

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    March 7, 2014 1:19 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Robin

    I quite like this one. There’s quite a nice tracking shot of the gang escaping across what looks like a reactor hall. So not only was it shot in a power station it was likely shot – explosions and all – a foot above a tonne of uranium.

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      March 8, 2014 11:01 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Frankymole

      Yep, it was filmed in the same Bristol reactor as Hand of Fear for Dr Who. Jan Chappell has some amusing anecdotes about the Geiger-counter decontamination regime, and not wanting to eat her sandwiches on top of the reactor pile.

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        March 21, 2014 7:16 pmPosted 3 years ago
        Robin

        Love the idea of them all sorting through their packed lunches in their get-up; Darrow probably having a crafty fag behind a boiler.

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    March 21, 2014 7:17 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Robin

    Oh, and geeking out massively, I though Hand of Fear was filmed in Dungeness?

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    July 2, 2014 5:31 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Fiona

    You know this remote piloting of the Liberator, where the aliens take control and there’s nothing the crew can do…I was reminded of this when I just read a scary report on a website about Police atrocities in the USA.

    The thing was about a Rolling Stone journalist who had a big story going on about people in high authority and he told his friends he’d be ‘going off the grid’ for a while…they said he seemed scared. Next he turns up dead. His car was seen on surveillance going very fast down a straight road, suddenly making an inexplicable 60 degree turn and slamming into a tree, then exploding into a fireball…except witnesses said it exploded before it hit the tree. The guy was then cremated (what was left of him) without his family’s permission or even knowledge.

    From the website (Police State USA…its very good and so shocking):

    “It has been proven that modern computer-driven cars can be “hacked” remotely, as early as 2011 as reported by the New York Times. Forbes journalist Andy Greenberg participated in the demonstration of this with two DARPA researchers in July. Using a laptop, hackers demonstrated their ability to take total control of a vehicle. They could jerk the wheel, slam on the brakes, tighten the seatbelt, forge speedometer readouts, disable the brakes, disable the headlights, and more. A car ‘accident’ could easily be created by powerful people with something to lose”.

    And catch your salvaged spacecraft and drag it home and imprison you all.

    Wow Blake’s 7 really ahead of the technology again!

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