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Stardrive

Mad Max Factor…

StardriveWe watched this episode straight after Traitor. I think we both knew that if we didn’t keep going it would have taken weeks before we plucked up enough courage to return to the task in hand.

Oh, and we watched this double-bill on our 15th wedding anniversary. I am a very bad man.

Sue: I’ve got a Star Driver. It’s a screwdriver made by Philips. It’s got a star-shaped head and it’s ****ing brilliant. Sorry, Neil, I’m rambling.

The Scorpio roars into shot, a bit like the Star Destroyer at the beginning of Star Wars. Only smaller. And slower. And browner.

Sue: Why don’t they just put some writing on the ****ing screen and be done with it?

The crew are on a mission.

Sue: Soolin is a very bonny girl, but she’s completely wasted in this. I don’t see the point of her. At least Cally got taken over by aliens every week. I can’t believe I actually miss that.

Me: Soolin is one of the few things that I remember from this period of the show, so she must become important later on.

Sue: Oh, I wouldn’t bet on it. Like I said, she’s a very bonny lass. I think she’s done enough to lodge herself in your brain, Neil.

It’s about now that I suspect watching two episodes of Blake’s 7 back-to-back is probably a bad idea.

StardriveSue: Do you know what really annoys me? It’s the part of the set that they haven’t glued down properly. It’s been doing my head in for ages and they still haven’t fixed it. Look at it! They need some hot glue – it would only take them a few minutes to sort it out. It drives me crazy.

Me: Rosie should have spotted that.

Sue: Did Rosie work on this episode? Oh well, at least the location will be nice.

Avon wants to sneak up on an asteroid so he can use it to shield the ship from the Federation’s prying eyes. Yes, this plan is as crazy as it sounds.

Sue: Just because Avon has a Millennium Falcon doesn’t mean he can fly like Hans Solo (sic). What’s he playing at?

As if to prove her point, the Scorpio slams straight into the asteroid.

Sue: (laughing) They should have been blown to bits! What a farce. Avon has gone completely mad. I don’t know how I feel about Avon any more. Even his hair has lost the plot.

Me: Don’t worry. There’s always Tarrant.

Sue: I admit it, he’s grown on me. To be honest, I think it was the documentary that finally swung it. He’s a really nice bloke.

Avon orders the crew to check the ship’s systems for damage.

Sue: I don’t think Avon is in a position to give any orders after that fiasco. Put Tarrant in charge. Or give the work experience girl a chance. You never know, she might actually be good at something.

StardriveThe Scorpio is left with a whacking great hole in its hull.

Sue: Thank God they didn’t try that manoeuvre with the Liberator – they wouldn’t have stood a chance.

Vila staggers onto the flight deck, drunk as a skunk. He makes a play for Soolin.

Sue: Vila is a walking sexual harassment case. Even the theme music is creepy. It’s the ‘Creepy Sexual Predator’ version of the theme tune.

Dayna: Sometimes, Vila, you can be quite disgusting.

Sue: At least you know that I’ll never fancy Vila, Neil. I’d rather sleep with Orac.

Their predicament reminds Vila of the time an asteroid hit a penal colony ship he was travelling on. The crew fixed the problem by generating an atmosphere inside its force wall. Avon immediately seizes upon this as a solution to his own ineptitude.

Me: Avon only loves Vila when he’s drunk.

Sue: I love the way he doesn’t even bother to thank him.

If only they hadn’t left Orac back at home…

Sue: Can’t they get him on the phone and ask for his advice? And does this mean they have fly home again when it’s past their bed time? That’s a bit limiting. And what are they trying to achieve this week, anyway?

Me: They’re searching for crystals to turn into fuel.

Sue: I expect this is the closest I’ll get to any crystals during our crystal anniversary.

Me: Yeah, I planned this in advance. Happy anniversary, Sue.

Sue: How romantic.

StardriveMe: Give it rest, love. I wrote a book about how bloody lovely you are. (Still available from all good bookshops, by the way.) What more do you want?

Sue: There’s only so many times you can use that line, Neil, and it expired about six months ago.

Vila was only pretending to be drunk, mainly so Avon wouldn’t ask him to volunteer for the dangerous bit.

Sue: Clever Vila. He has his moments. When he’s not being a lecherous sex pest, obviously.

Tarrant and Avon head to the main drive chamber to fix the hole.

Sue: It’s pretty good, this. It’s a massive improvement on the last episode. This is what I want to see: Tarrant and Avon fixing stuff.

Avon seals the breach with a hand-held tool. Tarrant stands back and watches.

Sue: Now that’s what I call a glue gun. Now take it back to the bridge and fix the set.

While they wait for their hole to cool down, the Scorpio runs into a routine Federation patrol.

Sue: Thank God for that. I was beginning to worry that they didn’t have a window to look out of. It’s tiny but it’s better than nothing, I suppose. God, I miss Zen.

Avon suggests that they record the enemy ships’ movements. As luck would have it, as soon as they hit the record button, the ships mysteriously explode.

StardriveSue: They should put that on YouTube. It would probably go viral.

The Scorpio returns to Xenon base.

Sue: Not only are they ripping-off the spaceships from Star Wars, they’re ripping the ****ing wipes off now as well. Have they no shame?

There’s something strange about the video footage of the exploding pursuit ships, but Orac won’t tell anyone what it is.

Sue: Threaten to drop him in a bath. That should loosen his tongue. I don’t know why they put up with him, I really don’t. At first, I didn’t understand why they left him at home – shouldn’t they take Orac with them wherever they go, just in case? But I wasn’t thinking straight. They can’t bear to be in the same room as him. It. Whatever. And who can blame them?

Thanks to Orac’s stubbornness, the crew have to take it in turns checking the video footage, frame by agonising frame.

Sue: **** me! Soolin just pressed a button. That’s the most exciting thing she’s done in four episodes. Hallelujah!

The recording reveals a Space Chopper speeding past the pursuit ships just before they explode.

Sue: I had a Raleigh Chopper. It was orange and I loved it to bits. Gary gave it to me – it must have been a hand-me-down. He could do no wrong in my eyes for a whole week after that.

Avon suspects that the Chopper must have been fitted with a new form of main drive unit.

Sue: That’s handy. That’s just what they need to turn their rubbish spaceship into something half-decent. They may as well have put an advert in the paper.

StardriveThey zoom into the pilot’s helmet.

Sue: Now that’s what I call HD!

It’s a Space Rat. Vila warns everyone that the Space Rats are obsessed with speed.

Sue: Is that speed speed or speed speed?

Me: Both, I think. It’s been 33 years seen I’ve seen this. And it’ll be another 33 years before I see it again – and when I do, it’ll be Alzheimer’s kicking in.

Sue: I’ve seen a lot worse, Neil. About thirty minutes ago to be precise.

Soolin offers to turn the lights back on.

Sue: Calm down, love. You don’t want to over-do it.

Avon instructs Dayna to accompany Vila to the surface of the planet Caspar, planet of the Space Rats, so probably not a very friendly planet after all.

Sue: Oh, come on! Send Soolin instead. Let’s see what she’s made of.

Dayna and Vila teleport to Caspar. Dayna arrives in one piece. Vila, on the other hand, is stuck on a rock formation.

Sue: Soolin can’t even work the teleport properly. I’m sorry, Neil, but besides looking pretty, she’s ****ing useless.

StardriveVila is lying face down over the edge of a cliff.

Vila: Dayna, I’m stuck! Oh oh. I’m stuck!

Sue: He can definitely pull his arm free, so what’s stuck, exactly? Actually, I don’t want to know…

The Space Rats approach the same rock formation.

Sue: Oh, I get it. It’s Mad Max on tricycles. I can see where they’re going with this. It’s Star Wars meets Mad Max meets Star Trek. I like it.

Avon has allowed Vila and Dayna to walk into a trap so they can get their hands on a new space drive.

Sue: What’s Avon got against Dayna all of a sudden?

In a high-tech laboratory on Caspar – which has a lovely tiled floor, according to Sue – Doctor Plaxton is developing a new space drive with some help from her friends.

Sue: It looks like they’ve employed two punk rockers on a YTS scheme. Could this episode be any more eighties?

The Space Rats have an attitude problem are ordered to leave.

Sue: Don’t forget to duck on your way out the door. Your hair will snap in half if you don’t.

The Space Rats’ leader is a crazy loon named Atlan.

Sue: He’s basically Gary Glitter crossed with Gene Simmons and Sid Vicious.

Atlan: What are you doing hanging around? Do you wish to join us?

Me: Does he want some jalapeños with that lizard he’s eating?

Sue: I’ve seen that sofa before! They can cover it up as much as they like, but I never forget a sofa.

Vila and Dayna find the entrance to the Space Rats’ base.

Sue: I’m sorry, Rosie, but this location isn’t really doing it for me. We’ve seen this a million times before: a desolate shit hole on a windy day, with a whacking great door in side of a cliff. Boring.

StardriveAvon, Tarrant and Soolin have also arrived on Caspar.

Sue: Finally! Soolin’s actually left the ship!

Our heroes survey the planet’s surface.

Sue: They look like they’re posing for an album cover. Was this episode directed by Anton Corbijn?

Avon, Soolin and Tarrant pose for more some photos in a shallow valley. If only they could find some Joshua trees.

Sue: What a bunch of poseurs! It doesn’t even make any tactical sense. They are standing around in the open! (Five minutes later) How long is this going to go on for? This location isn’t interesting enough to dwell on it. I’m sorry, Rosie, but it really isn’t.

There’s still time for one more pose.

Sue: Get a ****ing move on!

Dayna and Vila are captured by the Space Rats and Avon watches as his colleagues are escorted to an adjacent door in a cliff.

StardriveSue: I don’t believe it. They’re posing for another album cover! This is hilarious.

Atlan threatens Doctor Plaxton with a game of tonsil tennis if she doesn’t complete her new space drive.

Sue: More violent kissing. This series must have put Blake’s 7 fans off kissing for life.

You can insert your own joke here, if you like.

Dayan battles the Space Rats. She gives as good as she gets, but she’s eventually thwarted by a crafty bum-bump. Watch it again if you don’t believe me.

Sue: I bet that’s the most action that sofa’s ever seen.

Avon, Soolin and Tarrant are still trekking across the surface of Caspar.

Sue: Just one more shot, darling, before we lose what’s left of the light. That’s it, Tarrant, stick your leg out a bit more. Cock your hip, Soolin. That’s it. Lovely.

Me: That’s the back of the 12-inch sorted.

Plaxton’s Stardrive can reach speeds of 15!

Sue: **** me, even I know that’s fast.

Oh, and Atlan isn’t a Space Rat after all. No siree! Not that it makes a blind bit of difference, of course.

StardriveSue: His hair is as fake as his accent. He looks like he’s just stumbled out of a face-painting tent at a village fete.

Me: A face-paining tent on the border between Switzerland and Mexico.

Doctor Plaxton’s Stardrive is designed to work on a proper spaceship.

Plaxton: This drive was intended to be installed in a real spacecraft, not in toys driven by a bunch of murderous psychopaths.

Sue: It’s perfect for a large ship driven by a bunch of murderous psychopaths, though. Ta very much. So far, this series is basically one long episode of Pimp My Ride. First they had to get the teleport working, then they had to fix the stereo, and now they’re going to upgrade the engine. They’ll have Go-Faster Stripes and a new spoiler by the end of it.

Vila and Dayna are taken to Atlan. He tells his Space Rats to “bend them”.

Sue: Bend them? Did he just say “bend them?” It’s difficult to tell with that accent. Nah, he couldn’t have said that…

Tarrant begins burning his way through an adjoining wall in the Space Rats’ garage.

Sue: They could use this shot of Tarrant for the limited edition picture disc, I suppose.

Atlan is completely oblivious to Tarrant’s rear entry.

Sue: This is a bit stupid. I’d like to think that if someone was burning a hole in the wall behind me, I’d notice the ****ing smell. God, he’s so thick.

StardriveJust when we think everything’s under control, Atlan uses Soolin as a hostage so he can escape.

Sue: I’ve changed my mind. She should have stayed on the ship.

Doctor Plaxton wants to do a runner with Avon.

Sue: She could be their engineer. Yeah, she could be their posh Scotty.

Our heroes hijack an eight-wheeled dune buggy.

Sue: Do you remember the Banana Splits, Neil?

Me: Yes. Why do you ask?

Sue: No reason.

Soolin holds the approaching Space Rats at bay with some impressive gunslinging.

Sue: That God for that. I was beginning to worry that Soolin was all mouth and no trouser suit.

The gang escape in the buggy, with the Space Rats in hot pursuit.

StardriveSue: You can see what they are trying to do – Mad Max in space. And it is quite exciting, if I’m honest.

Avon sets off some mines, which causes the Space Rats to tumble off their bikes.

Sue: Finally! Avon is cool again. Well, as cool as he can be with hair like that.

Our heroes race back to their ship.

Sue: Quick! Back to the Millennium Falcon!

When they reach the Scorpio, Avon decides to have a roll call.

Avon: Dayna?

Dayna: Check!

Avon: Vila?

Vila: Check!

Avon: Soolin?

Soolin: Check!

Avon: Tarrant?

Tarrant: Check!

StardriveMe: Blake? Shit, no wait, he’s dead.

Sue: Cally? Shit. Damn it.

Me: Gan? Oh, **** it.

Sue: John-Boy?

Slave has some bad news:

Slave: I’m sorry to have to report, Master, that three Federation ships are approaching on an intercept course of zero-three-zero-zero-seven.

Sue: Slave reminds me of C-3P0. He was an arse-licker as well, wasn’t he?

Doctor Plaxton says it will take her 50 minutes to attach her Stardrive to the ship.

Sue: Sorry, pet, but you’ll have to do it in five!

Avon programmes the main drive circuit to kick in as soon as the Doctor makes the final connection. Dayna reminds him that this will kill her instantly. Avon says the Doctor is dead either way.

Sue: You can’t kill Scotty! You ungrateful…

The Doctor makes the connection, the ship’s Stardrive kicks in, and the poor woman bites the dust.

Sue: Ooh… That’s evil.

At least the Scorpio can do the Kessel run in less than twelve parsecs now.

StardriveDayna: What about Dr. Plaxton?

Avon and Sue: (together) Who?

Cue credits.

Sue: (laughing) What a ****!

The Score:

Sue: That was more like it. I really enjoyed that. Things happened. Compared to the last one, it was a rollercoaster ride of non-stop excitement. Yes, it was a bit silly – especially the bad guy – and the best bits were cheap knock-off of lots of other things I’ve seen, but at least they tried to make it entertaining. Even the album cover moments made me laugh. Give me stupid nonsense like that any day of the week.

8/10

Me: Have you lost your mind?

Sue: No. Shall we watch another one?

Me: That settles it. You have lost your mind.

Don’t worry. We didn’t.

Next Time:

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94 comments

  • Visit site
    July 28, 2014 7:48 pmPosted 3 years ago
    NICK GRIFFITHS

    Woo some other then me likes Stardrive.

    • Visit site
      July 28, 2014 10:33 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Frankymole

      Get off, Nick, I love it!!

      • Visit site
        July 28, 2014 11:14 pmPosted 3 years ago
        NICK GRIFFITHS

        I feel better now.
        Seriously though it is a very strong episode even if the Space Rats look daft in retrospect. Avon is again showing signs of Psychosis, a theme which slowly grows as the season goes on.

  • July 28, 2014 8:03 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Andy Luke

    Vila was only pretending to be drunk, mainly so Avon wouldn’t ask him to volunteer for the dangerous bit.

    Though, it’s implied Batshit-Insane-Avon got his asteroid-hop idea from him, so who knows? Orac as ‘at home’ during all this? A secret rebel base? It has all gone a bit Thunderbirds. I figure, behind our backs Orac been seeing Zelda off of Terrahawks. That’s right, he’s trying to get a promotion so he can lead his own band against Windsor-Davies’ forces.

    Sue: It looks like they’ve employed two punk rockers on a YTS scheme.

    Space Rats! I’m seeing bald bearded bastids carrying crepe paper and doilie ear-rings through the Nevada desert. Fear the Safety Pin, It Means Your Community Harm! They look like the sort who go to zine fairs and plant itching powder and silly snakes between the pages.

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      July 29, 2014 10:38 amPosted 3 years ago
      NICK GRIFFITHS

      The asteroid Vila’s idea? Don’t think so, he vocally objects to it through out. Odd that Tarrant seems to go along with it considering as a pilot he knows how impossible it is.

      • Visit site
        July 30, 2014 1:00 amPosted 3 years ago
        Anniew

        He says he mentioned it as a possibility – not as a recommended course of action. Honest.

  • Visit site
    July 28, 2014 8:05 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Rob

    Wasn’t expecting this one to get such a high score 🙂 Never been a fave of mine though it did make me laugh when I watched it a few weeks ago. The wonky first few eppys of Season 4 have fared much better with Sue than I expected which makes me think that she will positively adore episodes 6 onwards.

  • Visit site
    July 28, 2014 8:29 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Robert Dick

    “Bloody punk rockers”
    “Do you need to go and sit in the Scorpio now, Mr Avon?”

  • Visit site
    July 28, 2014 8:44 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Ann worrall

    Banana Splits? More like Bananas in pyjamas. I’m with Sue. It’s fun and funny though the space rats are a bit shit. Very YTS – oh YTS – those were the teaching days. One girl I was trying to make employable asked me if arm began with an r. And I had to break up a rather violent class room fight. The space rTs remind me of them. I actually like Avon’s crazy hair and the manly way he and Tarrant face the windswept horizon. I kind of identify with the problem of making hair look presentable while coping with the responsibilities you seem to acquire once you’re past 30. Maybe Soolin’s role on Scorpio could be to service Avon’s mane as well as to shoot the enemies. Some sort of service any way! She obviously spends time on her own and Avon needs someone to offer him a bit of home comfort now Cally’s gone.

    • Visit site
      July 29, 2014 4:45 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Fiona

      The ideal would have been Dayna, except, its the 70s and I am guessing one inter-racial kiss would have been enough. Still plenty of people in the UK who would have said “Ooh…ooh, no…ooh, I don’t like that…” and switched off if Avon and Dayna had teamed up. My grandma wouldnt have liked it. My grandma still called a certain shade of brown…word-we-cant-say brown. In Lewis’s department store she would say this..”eeeh, this is a nice N-word brown”. Made me cringe at age 9.

      Havent we come a long way. I reckon for a movie, Avon should actually BE black. A black Avon would be awesomely cool. But who…

      Know what you mean about presentable hair. Used to have long ringlets myself: very signature hair, drew a lot of admiration, but past 30 it started to look so girly and so not-serious.
      so I suppose there is something to be said for making Avon look less physically breath-taking: that’s ok for the second-in-command, especially when he is carping from the sidelines and undermining the boss: somehow, physical beauty goes with this kind of vain and sarcastic behaviour, but when you actually ARE the boss, a more mature and worn and damaged kind of look is sort of…what? believable? Obeyable? Is obeyable a word?
      Interesting that pretty is meant to be so desirable, but we do tend to equate pretty with either dumb or self-centred. So would that perfect Avon from the London have been able to be such a bossy and intractable and also batshit insane Avon?
      No, right?

      I didnt really get that before.

      • Visit site
        July 29, 2014 5:35 pmPosted 3 years ago
        Fiona

        ok early 80s, but still. Still not very far past the 70s

      • Visit site
        July 29, 2014 7:02 pmPosted 3 years ago
        Smile

        A black actor has played Avon in an audio remake of the series a few years ago, Colin Salmon. Keeley Hawes, of Ashes To Ashes and, more recently, Line Of Duty, played Anna Grant.

        • Visit site
          July 29, 2014 7:03 pmPosted 3 years ago
          Smile

          Admittedly, it is only audio rather than on screen, but thought it would be of interest anyway…

          • Visit site
            July 30, 2014 11:00 amPosted 3 years ago
            Fiona

            Yeah…because its funny isnt it how often you can know a black man is speaking? I noticed on Family Guy and other US cartoons, whenever the character is black, they are voiced by a black actor. Often a voice you recognise too.

            I got to get these audios. People seem to reckon them.

          • July 30, 2014 4:16 pmPosted 3 years ago
            encyclops

            Fiona, are you talking about Cleveland? Because he is voiced by this guy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Henry_%28voice_actor%29

      • Visit site
        August 1, 2014 9:45 pmPosted 3 years ago
        Fiona

        It wasnt Cleveland. It was an episode about Lois and Meg and Stewie, I think, sneaking into a spa and the security guard trying to catch them…they were only meant to be two, not three…and the security guard was black. There’ve been other things, cant bring to mind.

  • Visit site
    July 28, 2014 8:47 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Dave Sanders

    The use of this hoary old pun
    Now numbers six trillion and one,
    Oh wait, he’s quipped ‘Who?’
    That’s six trillion and two;
    Still, at least Avon’s having some fun.

    • July 28, 2014 8:51 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Neil Perryman (Author)

      I’ve heard it said that Avon’s “Who?” is a pun on Doctor Who, only Dayna doesn’t say “What happened to the Doctor?” she says “What happened to Doctor Plaxton?” It doesn’t work.

      • Visit site
        July 28, 2014 9:11 pmPosted 3 years ago
        Dave Sanders

        You want me to limerick about the preceeding forty-nine minutes? Even I have my limits.

      • Visit site
        July 28, 2014 10:16 pmPosted 3 years ago
        Robert Dick

        It’s suspected the original last line was “Doctor Who?” but they backed away from the gag.

        • Visit site
          July 28, 2014 10:41 pmPosted 3 years ago
          Dan

          I bet that’s a false rumour. Quite apart from mixing a pun with such a serious moment, it just wouldn’t have worked. Avon isn’t pretending to have only forgotten her name, but her entire existence!

          Avon has become a self-parody so far this season.

          It was quite exciting in places, although for me the Space Rats were the most embarassing thing in Blakes 7 so far.

  • Visit site
    July 28, 2014 8:52 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Jason

    The beginning was really good with the asteroid bit. I honestly liked that Avon f-ed up instead of beating the odds like Han Solo through the asteroid field.

    Then the middle got weird with the 80s punk rockers.

    And finally the end… why did Dr. Plaxton look up dramatically before plugging in the last cable? You know you’re on a time-crunch, plug it in! And why were the 3 pursuing ships terrible red blobs? And how convenient is it that the 3 ships will reach the Scorpio in an hour, and it takes slightly less than an hour to install a new engine?!

    All in all, though, much better than the last episode.

    • Visit site
      July 29, 2014 3:23 amPosted 3 years ago
      DPC

      I thought the red blobs were masks for the models they were supposed to put in, since the masks would blot out the white star pinlights…

      Great point – why would Plaxton do the “ho hum” bit at the end — not sure, but what if she fathomed Avon had already punched in the coordinates in advance? Or what would happen to her if she stayed alive, she didn’t really know who Avon and the rest were and they could have (to her) been just as bad or worse – she already regretted making a mistake with the Space Rats and may have felt as if she was making another mistake…

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      July 29, 2014 5:05 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Fiona

      Come on, things like that happen in real life. I give you the 1999 European Cup Final, Man U v Bayern Munich, for example. How impossibly like a movie was that?
      And my fave player to score the final goal too.

      I reckon Dr Plaxton looked up, because, well, first, what had happened to Avon’s voice? He kept hassling her, giving her a countdown, suddenly cut off. She knew what was up. She was looking up dramatically because, dammit, it is dramatic!
      She had split seconds to make a decision. She’s going to die either way: does she plug the connection and save the others, going out a self-sacrificing heroine? Or does she say: The bastards! Well, you’re all coming with me!” Classic Blake’s 7 stuff that she takes a moment to consider it and doesnt do a Star Trek type thing…what would another series do? Avon would stay in contact til the end: “Doctor? Doctor Plaxton? There is….No…More…Time…I’m so sorry…but if you make the connection, Scorpio will be saved…we will always remember you…”
      “Oh, Avon save my orphan child! No wait, that’s a terrible musical…I still have my teeth….”
      In fact Avon would probably be by her side or something. Wait. Why wasnt he? How did he get away with that? “I’ll show you to the pressurized chamber” or whatever…he went with her! “and I’ll just leave you to it…”
      “Hey, where’re you going?”
      “Sorry, didnt catch that! Got to get back to the flight deck, lots to do! Laters!”
      Great, classic Blake’s 7 absolutely on form. This has made me happy.
      although actually I think Dr Plaxton would have been an asset to the crew. In the same way Gan lent a kind of solidity to the back of the Liberator that everyone thought was so expendable, but which left the whole thing feeling unbalanced when he was gone, she would have added a balance of age and long-term experience and apparent sanity rather lacking in the rest. A kind of respectability to counter-weight all the criminality and gun-slinging. Contrast, always a good thing.
      How would she have handled Avon, though? Older woman, not likely to take any of his nonsense… and double unlikely to be kissed into submission, or indeed obliteration.

      • Visit site
        July 29, 2014 5:21 pmPosted 3 years ago
        Frankymole

        Plaxton would indeed have been an asset to the crew, in fact one of the arcs for the season discussed between Lorrimer, Boucher and Nation was to have Avon collecting experts/scientists of all kinds (Soolin could be considered the first of these, and Dorian the first failure!) and assets to fight Servalan with (with Avon it was always personal, about beating Servie, not the Federation as Avon simply assumes frail humanity will just replace it with something equally oppressive).

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        July 30, 2014 1:05 amPosted 3 years ago
        Anniew

        Oh I don’t know. I’m much older than Dr Paxton but would still quite enjoy being kissed into submission by Avon.

        • Visit site
          July 30, 2014 11:29 amPosted 3 years ago
          Fiona

          lol Annie. But I meant, given the way she reacted to the Space Rat leader, that Avon probably couldnt just win arguments with her this way.
          That might have been cool, Avon’s experts. Still, I guess that’s what Blake had, except he didnt really collect them, just sort of wound up with them. I like that idea though: Avon targets various installations to steal star-drives and force-walls….and improved stereo equipment….and also the scientists who design them, or goes after army barracks to snatch away top martial-arts fighter.
          How would he persuade them to come though? Like someone pointed out re Soolin: if she’s selling her gunslinging skills…what. exactly, do the rag-tag Scorpio bunch have to offer? No more Liberator treasure! Vila rescued Orac, pity he didnt have time to pop under the teleport sofa and get that 5 mill he and Avon scored in Gambit.
          Blake is looking like a better leader all the time. I just dont see Avon on the recruitment path, and also, if I were already hooked up with the Scorpio bunch, I’d feel honour-bound to tell any other poor fool about to sign up just exactly what kind of leader this is.
          Even the genius seems to be deteriorating.. Vengeful, erratic, wild, with bad hair, and is likely to send you into traps for his own purposes. And even if he loves you really, he’s going to send you into worse traps to make sure this doesnt catch him again, because, my foolish signing-on friend, this guy is one hundred percent fucked up.

          It makes me think that Avon must have always been a very shaky character, given that Blake went through so much worse and came out the other side sanity intact.

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            July 30, 2014 1:14 pmPosted 3 years ago
            Frankymole

            Blake seemed pretty insane to me, by Star One. He’d certainly thrown away his idealism and was going for victory at any cost, to (as Blake put it) “be sure that I was right”.

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            August 1, 2014 9:42 pmPosted 3 years ago
            Fiona

            that’s true…I reckon I mean after being fitted up compared to Avon screwing up his fraud. Blake retained idealism…and ok became fanatic, but Avon, seems to have been shaky early on….certainly damaged, look at him saying to Anna, that he ‘could never say’ how he felt.

  • July 28, 2014 9:09 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Andy Luke

    “Mad Max on tricycles”. ARF! Check out that clown music around 27m.

    It’s all a bit The Goodies does Clockwork Orange this ep. Great face-paint on Atlan, The trike bikes, land buggies and flash bombs of the last ten minutes were a lot of fun. I can imagine kids playing at this the following day. Hey Avon, don’t eletrocute Paxo! Otherwise, found this a slow to entertain episode. I couldn’t understand the plot were Tarrant was Green Lantern, staring. while odd music played.

    • Visit site
      July 28, 2014 10:43 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Dan

      The way they set up the others to be captured was totally at odds with every previous episode, and very strange. And to divert attention from the Scorpio landing?! O_o

    • Visit site
      July 29, 2014 5:13 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Fiona

      There was definite Clockwork Orange music playing in the Space Rats lounge. Definite. Sounded just like the Korova Milk Bar.

  • July 28, 2014 9:16 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Chris Allen

    “I don’t see the point of her”

    She does seem to mainly duplicate Dayna’s skills but lacks most of her character and general gusto.

    Watching this again I thought it was probably unwise of Avon to be quite so blatant about setting Dayna and Villa up to be captured. It might make Soolin a wee bit reluctant to go on the next mission. I’m sure she could get really quite annoyed if she thought she’d been the bait in a trap Avon had set.

    “You can’t kill Scotty! You ungrateful…”

    I’m seem to remember Paul Darrow saying in interviews that he sees Avon as the ultimate pragmatist. This is certainly as good an example of that approach that I can think of.

    That reaction at the end (“who?”) might be jarring coming from any other character but it is pure Avon.

    Blake or Tarrant might have agonized about the decision a bit more, but what else could they have done?

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    July 28, 2014 9:41 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Frankymole

    Sue: “I admit it, he’s grown on me. To be honest, I think it was the documentary that finally swung it. He’s a really nice bloke.”

    Welcome to the Tufty club, Sue!

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    July 28, 2014 9:44 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Mark Mark

    I’m with Sue again, which is worrying ! Yes, a mush better episode than the preceding one, apart from the lazy stereotyping of the punk rocker baddies.

    Did anyone else notice that the music straight after the title sequence was rather alarmingly like Star Trek ?!

    And, like Sue, when the crew boarded that buggy outside, all I could hear was “la la la, la la la la. La la la, la la la la…..” Oh, how I ADORED the Banana Splits…”

    But gosh, Avon was unbelievably ruthless at the end. Nasty man…

    Finally, comments like “Atlan is completely oblivious to Tarrant’s rear entry” not only made me snort with laughter, but rather sadly, made me realise how much I’m going to miss this blog. Neil – can’t you persuade Sue to watch something else ? Anything else ??! Pretty please…..

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      July 28, 2014 10:14 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Frankymole

      Things moved much faster then. We could stereotype punks when Toyah and Adam Ant were but newly-minted, and John Lydon didn’t yet know what he had hit. Wow, the word moved so fast. Now, it’s feeding of its recycled waste from the 70s and 80s. Yrch.

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      July 28, 2014 10:17 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Frankymole

      Mark Mark – we have the e-Book reviews to look forward to for the nominated odd telefantasy episodes, which is something. But yes, oh, how I’ll miss Neil and Sue. In a blinkin’ desert of good TV review – this is the sort of material both Radio Times and DWM (and SFX) should’ve been giving us.

      I liked Banana Splits too, that’s why I took to Billie Piper 😉

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      July 29, 2014 3:20 amPosted 3 years ago
      DPC

      Sapphire and Steel? S&S’s even-numbered stories are steeped in suspense and thrills… the odd-numbered ones aren’t as good, though at least the first story is watchable. Never got into 3 or 5…

      How about Red Dwarf? That show reinvented itself many times, with seasons 2, 3, 5, and 10 still holding up remarkably well… and “Cassandra”…

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        July 29, 2014 10:40 amPosted 3 years ago
        GreyAreaUK

        Re S&S:
        Adventure 1 was odd, in that (to me) they hadn’t quite decided whether it was a kids’ drama, or a drama-drama.

        Adventure 2 (the soldier on the platform) was astonishingly good.

        Adventure 3 (the invisible apartment) was odd, but probably better than you remember.

        Adventure 4 (the faceless man) was very good indeed (and the one I tend to re-watch if I don’t want to sit through all of A2)

        Adventure 5 (the dinner party) – I agree, it was a bit too Miss Marple

        Adventure 6 (the roadside cafe) – well, what can you say? Chilling.

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          July 29, 2014 1:46 pmPosted 3 years ago
          django

          I Enjoyed S&S Adventure 5, but it is different very Agatha Christie. Not surprised it stood out as it was the only one not by P J Hammond.

  • Visit site
    July 28, 2014 10:00 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Harriet

    The Space Rats are just so tame. They can’t even look fast and dirty during what is evidently supposed to be an orgy. The one potentially interesting development is Atlan’s “As you well know, I am not a Space Rat”, but it’s never followed up.

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      July 28, 2014 10:24 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Frankymole

      I bet he’s Travis I disguise!

    • Visit site
      July 29, 2014 3:18 amPosted 3 years ago
      DPC

      An orgy? Not in 1981, LOL… Who’d want to see a Space Rat nekkid? Well, there was one blonde bloke who pointed his big gun at Dayna and Vila…

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      August 11, 2014 1:39 pmPosted 3 years ago
      RLF

      Y’know, I remember at the time about the emphasis on “…as you know, I am NOT a Space Rat…”, which I thought was going to be a big deal in the denouement. In fact, it was obviously meant to be followed through. I wonder what happened to that plot thread? And would anyone like to speculate about what it might have been?

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    July 28, 2014 10:01 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Frankymole

    At last! Sue and I agree 100% on something. My first bike was an orange Raleigh Chopper. Circa 1975. I loved that bike so much. The Scorpio was my substitute for it, when I had to get a proper road bike (and damn those Grifter-riding, TARDIS-Tuner owning middleclass brats). The best kind of people, were Chopper riders. Though I must admit the modern lard-arses recapturing their youths at Chopper conventions are too painfully close to my desires. I’ll read “Wiffle Lever To Full” as an antidote… or have a watch of “Jane in the Desert”…

    • Visit site
      July 29, 2014 5:24 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Fiona

      I never had a Chopper. I had…now this is driving me mad…I think it was called a Raleigh 18. But online search turns up nothing.
      I’m sure they had Raleigh 14 and then Raleigh 18. Does anyone remember please…know this off-topic but it will drive me crazy.

      • Visit site
        August 11, 2014 1:42 pmPosted 3 years ago
        RLF

        The 14 and 18 referred to wheel diameter. I remember the 18 very clearly – it was a typical girl’s bike with a step-through frame, chain guard and optional plastic, wire or rattan shopping basket.

  • Visit site
    July 28, 2014 10:10 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Frankymole

    I *like* the album covers! *pouts*

    [Has anyone done album cover shoots in caves?]

    • Visit site
      August 11, 2014 1:46 pmPosted 3 years ago
      RLF

      Many, many Norwegian Black Metal bands.
      Oh! And “A Storm in Heaven” by Verve. In Thor’s Cave in the Peak District.

  • Visit site
    July 28, 2014 10:23 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Jonathan Baldwin

    I seem to remember a monthly Blake’s 7 magazine came out around this time. Crap paper quality.
    The publishers must’ve been delighted with their investment a few weeks later.

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      July 28, 2014 11:43 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Rob

      I always found that very odd that the series came to a conclusion just 4 months after B7 Monthly launched. Still, Marvel did quite well out of it and carried on publishing until the end of the S4 repeats in July(?) 1983.

  • July 28, 2014 11:53 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Mat Dolphin

    I’ve watched this one a few times but oddly I never noticed the painful padding in the quarry before. This time round, I thought it was unbelievable! I agree that the early parts of the episode are pretty good, but I almost expect Hot Gossip to turn up later!

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    July 28, 2014 11:55 pmPosted 3 years ago
    DPC

    8 of 10? Cool! I’d have given it 6 or 7…

    Up until the revelation of the biggest fans of both The Ramones and Easy Rider, this episode was a solid 10, thanks to Vila faking being drunk and Avon taking bigger risks despite having less to rely on. Avon’s progression as a character really shines…

    Then come the Space Rats – who are just a teensy tiny tad bit cliche in presentation, with ersatz slang that doesn’t quite work, and Atlan could have been fleshed out more – what’s revealed hints at something with more potential but, go figure, they ignore it all.

    Definitely very 80s… wouldn’t have minded seeing some of the Space Rats without the silly makeup and clothes… oh, wait, I actually love the early-80s… though the late 80s gagged me with a spork…

    Harsh ending, regaarding Doctor Plaxton – loved it. Avon is a real (what Sue said, hehe!) but he had no real choice and had restrained emotion behind his look of half-resigned shock when he realized she was done for either way.

    Imagine Blake doing what Avon was. Maybe not; the episode would have been a lot worse. Blake had his moments, but the greater dynamic with Avon in charge – and with a less magical ship – has so much more potential. Even if the sets are made from boiler room tubing and TV dinner trays, yet that (usually) works wonders despite the cost restrictions…

    “Sue: Oh, I get it. It’s Mad Max on tricycles. I can see where they’re going with this. It’s Star Wars meets Mad Max meets Star Trek. I like it.” — Sue wins the internet for that!!

    IMHO, there’s only one duff episode left, and after that it’s largely a nonstop rise in episode quality that puts even series 3 to shame. B7 Series 4 is about to find its mojo and I can’t wait for Sue’s responses – as always, thank you both! (Okay, I’m not sure about how she’ll respond to one story coming soon, but it too has the crew doing something so I honestly can’t predict… and I’ve a soft spot for that story anyway…)

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    July 29, 2014 12:03 amPosted 3 years ago
    Katie c

    Wasn’t expecting such a high score for this one, but glad you enjoyed your anniversary Sue. I expect normal service will be resumed next week. Even the worst Blakes 7 episodes have their moments – I love Vila’s trick to get out of volunteering (should’ve done it more often) and great ending too.

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    July 29, 2014 1:04 amPosted 3 years ago
    Amethyst

    Sad to see Dr Plaxton go. I thought she was the sort of highly intelligent, AnnaGrant/Cally type woman Avon might have connected with before he went batshi… before he became stressed.

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    July 29, 2014 1:22 amPosted 3 years ago
    Richard Baker

    One thing I’ve always found a little odd about this episode is the way the script carefully avoids referring to Dr Plaxton as ‘she’ – almost like there’s a payoff scene, dropped at the last minute, where Dayna and Vila breeze in and instantly give away their subterfuge by assuming Napier is Dr Plaxton while the real Doctor pointedly clears her throat in the background. She’s endlessly referred to, to a self-conscious degree, as ‘the Doctor’ or ‘Dr Plaxton’ throughout. It’s similar to what Robert Holmes was up to in the previous episode with lines like ‘Remarkable person, Sleer’ – only he had a decent reason to do so. In fact, it’s only seconds before she dies that Dr Plaxton’s referred to as ‘she’ for the first time, almost like it’s something they’ve only just realised now she’s left the room.

    I’m a little surprised that Avon’s line, ‘Concentrate on the pilot – I want a close-up of his helmet’ passed without comment. On a related note, this seems to be one of those episodes where Tarrant appears to have gone commando.

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    July 29, 2014 10:45 amPosted 3 years ago
    Anniew

    Staged my own re-watch for the hell of it. Space Ladybirds if costumes are anything to go by. Love the weary resignation from Avon as Atlan trips Tarrant, grabs Soolin and escapes. Hilarious trip across the quarry. I’d always thought that Atlan was chewing a hallucigenic root but thanks to Neil I can see its a lizard. Is there a species of hallucigenic lizards? Dr P’s actions in the hold rob me of any sympathy for her eventual fate. Get on with it woman, stop looking around and waiting for a time check. 45 minutes not 46… 47….you haven’t got time to gawp at those attacking ships…just make the final…….too late!!

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      July 29, 2014 5:30 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Fiona

      There are hallucinogenic toads and God knows enough lizards are poisonous. Yeah why not, this is Atlan’s Drug Of Choice.
      Next episode, Atlan in Intervention. Space Rats read from tatty bits of paper: “you’ve changed..you never ride your trike anymore…your make-up used to be so careful…you care more about chewing hallucinogenic lizards than us….”

      Hey , if they have drugs in the future world, they must have rehab!
      Or maybe the Federation rehab you with a bullet.

      • Visit site
        July 29, 2014 8:39 pmPosted 3 years ago
        Anniew

        LOL

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        July 30, 2014 3:37 amPosted 3 years ago
        Frankymole

        The drug to end al drugs, Pylene 50 – then all your troubles are over.

  • Visit site
    July 29, 2014 2:24 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Fiona

    “Very bonny lass”…ok I am just going to have to accept that I come from a different planet and don’t get Earth Attractive. She looks like a Ukrainian peasant circa 1990 who has left the collective farm, moved to the big city and discovered orange blusher, imported from Turkmenistan. She looks like a brood mare.

    Unfortunately, it looks like she offered to lend Dayna her eyeshadow and Dayna was too polite to say no.

    I always have to break off to do something, but this episode is going really well. Space Rats, great idea.

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    July 29, 2014 2:32 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Fiona

    It’s those people from America…the Space Rats! What the hell are they called? They do terrible rap songs and they wear ridiculous costumes….they wrote all these appalling songs full of violence and misogyny and then it turned out they’d been Christians all along and it was their form of Christian Outreach….they did one about the wonders of the universe that was mercilessly parodied, it had the line “Fucking magnets, how do they work?”

    Ah so now can google…Insane Clown Posse. Their followers are called Juggalos. I think this is who I mean.

    “Fucking blankets, how do they work”..Saturday Night Live, that one.

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    July 29, 2014 3:46 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Fiona

    The reason it looks like they take a long time to traverse the quarry is that everything has been speeded up now…take an episode of Hoarders, you’ll see how a truck will arrive at road’s end and then suddenly go into high-speed so we dont have to wait a moment for the action to begin.

    Watch any 70s show and see how often you feel impatient.

    I loved this episode, well deserved 8/10. Even Avon’s hair had good moments. Very becomingly ruffled in that buggy thing. Litterbug, incidentally, Avon. Trash the planet with your old remotes. Bad, that’s a bad Avon.

    When did he find time to put it back in the wretched side-part? Is that the bit on the blooper where he’s shaking his head like a shampoo commercial? hard to tell now he always wears the same outfit.

    Still, just as gorgeous as ever when the hair is messed up. Why didnt anybody TELL him? Were they afraid he would Avon them?

    Especially now Avon-ing someone has become a truly serious matter. Our old Avon would have rescued that poor woman at the last minute. Or at least, if he said “Who?” you’d have felt the sadness beneath. Wow, he really is scary now, and this is good stuff.

    What a development, God, sending Dayna and Vila into a trap like that…did they realise afterwards? Will Tarrant tell them? Soolin is still the new girl, not really her place, is it? And seriously, how can you follow a leader as ruthless as that? One who finds everyone expendable? Avon has lost everyone he loved, but doesnt he even have a soft spot for Vila?

    I dont think these are good people skills, Avon. Nobody is going to be affectionately rolling their eyes like Jenna: ‘there he goes again, what’s he like” style. It’s making me think of Buffalo Stance: “What is he like? WHAT is he LIKE?” I mean, really, what is he like? Simile fails me at this point. Here’s a leader who openly disdains even his oldest comrade, puts him deliberately in harm’s way, and is off on some mad trip to…what? get Servalan? Destroy the Federation? Just to generally cry havoc? Wont have any dogs of war to unleash, because they will all surely jump ship the next time Scorpio gets within parachute range of the next desolate quarry or abandoned car-park.

    I mean, I would. Avon would have to give me a written promise not to do the side part and scrap the studs for me to stay. Not that I would believe it though.

    Speaking of though: Tarrant, though. Hot, or what? Giving Avon a very big run for his money. And is it wrong that the worse Avon is, the more sexy?
    sigh, bad boys. What a cliche, I am ashamed of myself.

    • Visit site
      July 30, 2014 12:18 amPosted 3 years ago
      Katie c

      Funny you should mention buffalo stance, with Animals coming up next 🙂

    • Visit site
      July 30, 2014 10:49 pmPosted 3 years ago
      wyngatecarpenter

      “The reason it looks like they take a long time to traverse the quarry is that everything has been speeded up now…
      Watch any 70s show and see how often you feel impatient.”

      Sorry , I don’t agree. I’ve watched every episode of B7 and every 70s Dr Who episode, and there is no scene as slow as the running through the quarry scene here, with no dialogue at all! I suppose there was Planet of the Spiders part 2 , but that was just done to indulge Pertwee in his final story.

      • Visit site
        August 1, 2014 9:39 pmPosted 3 years ago
        Fiona

        No its not what I mean. It really isnt that long. And I absolutely have seen the same thing on other 70s/early 80s stuff. My students simply cant stand to even see someone walk down the street. Have to do that squiggly speed up thing.

  • Visit site
    July 29, 2014 3:48 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Fiona

    Happy anniversary, by the way! Cool way to spend it.

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    July 29, 2014 4:02 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Fiona

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1uzPHNwGB6Y Here is the awesome punk version of the Banana Splits theme tune. I knew I had seen that buggy before.
    I hated the Banana Splits even more than I hated Tiswas and never ever got and still dont why everyone thought Tiswas was so cool. I liked Swap Shop.

    At Halloween all the local bikers used to go up to spooky Alderley Edge…it is well spooky…and form into two drunken groups across the Edge and yell “Tiswas!” and “Swap Shop!” at each other before starting a massive happy brawl.

  • Visit site
    July 29, 2014 7:21 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Sean Alexander

    Sorry, but Stardrive has all the feeling of a show that was meant to be cancelled at the end of the previous series. Blakes 7 is now Star Wars-lite, and on a BBC budget that can only mean…trouble. Even JN-T was making Doctor Who look relatively expensive in 1981.

    And Darrow’s just lost it – from being the best thing on the show he’s now showing more ham than the deli aisle at M&S.

    • Visit site
      July 29, 2014 9:10 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Rob

      ‘Even JN-T was making Doctor Who look relatively expensive in 1981’

      That’s odd as he was complaining about B7 S4 having a bigger budget that year 🙂 I think over the whole 13 episode run, it looks a lot better than 1981 Who. There was certainly nothing as bad as that final and so obviously done in the studio shot of Tom in Logopolis. Admittedly though, this eppy, the one before it and the dreaded ‘Animals’ are simply shocking on most levels.

      • Visit site
        July 30, 2014 1:38 amPosted 3 years ago
        Geoff

        When we did our version of wife in space years ago (but without the foresight or skill to make it funny and share the results) my wife said exactly the same thing about Logopolis namely: after all of Toms great performances and record breaking tenure he meets his end on a dodgy bit of astro turf from a green grocers display while flaked out on his back surrounded by people he doesn’t even know.

        • July 30, 2014 6:45 amPosted 3 years ago
          encyclops

          You’re talking about one of my favorite scenes in all of Doctor Who.

        • Visit site
          July 30, 2014 10:03 amPosted 3 years ago
          Rob

          It was awful wasn’t it?
          Such a shoddy way for Tom to bow out. The astro turf was painfully obvious and it was so brightly lit. Of course, when a TV critic pointed all this out, I posted a very angry letter to her back in 1981 defending the show but she was right about the poor production.

          • Visit site
            July 30, 2014 1:09 pmPosted 3 years ago
            Frankymole

            Was it any poorer than the regeneration of Pertwee into Tom? That’s how TV drama was made in the 70s. On a budget. At least it avoided all the histrionics and exploding TARDIS and “gags” about being a girl/ginger etc. Now that’s shoddy production – bad writing.

          • July 30, 2014 4:21 pmPosted 3 years ago
            encyclops

            Hear hear, Frankymole. I really hate the exploding regenerations (“We’re losing him, Nurse Dmoratzundomagontha! Everybody clear the operating room! He’s going to blow!”). The girl/ginger stuff was okay once, but “I’ve got new kidneys! I don’t like the colour!” is so forced.

      • Visit site
        July 30, 2014 5:19 amPosted 3 years ago
        Smile

        Would have to beg to differ there, there are several equally obviously ‘done in the studio but set outside’ shots of Justin in Animals, which don’t look any better than that in Logopolis.

        If we’re talking about Doctor Who made in 1981, as with this series, that should really cover Logopolis to Earthshock, which were the stories recorded that year – and even then the location material for the former was in 1980. I’d say that in terms of production values, most of Season 19 DW compares reasonably well to Season 4 B7 and vice versa, and Kinda even has some interiors that look very similar to those from the latter.

      • Visit site
        July 30, 2014 11:05 amPosted 3 years ago
        Robert

        >There was certainly nothing as bad as that final and so obviously done in the studio shot of Tom in Logopolis.

        Oh the shots of Peter Byrne on his patch of astroturf are a thousand million times worse then the ones of Tom.

        > Admittedly though, this eppy, the one before it and the dreaded ‘Animals’ are simply shocking on most levels.

        That’s very harsh on Traitor, it’s very dull but it has a sheen of professionalism and competency than Stardrive and Animals just don’t have (whether or not one *enjoys* any episode more than any other).

  • Visit site
    July 29, 2014 8:39 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Anniew

    Aww Sean but don’t ya just love Deli ham ? And it’s not ( by your own admission) ANY old deli ham. It’s Marks and Spencer’s Deli ham! And after the next episode it all picks up and kicks off.

    • Visit site
      July 30, 2014 8:42 amPosted 3 years ago
      Sean Alexander

      Funny how people have been saying that season four really hits its stride ever since Terminal, and four episodes in it hasn’t.

      I have vivid memories of Headhunter, though it remains to be seen whether that’s a good or a bad thing.

      And I never eat M&S ham. And whether it’s M&S or Aldi, Mr Darrow needs to turn vegetarian before it’s too late.

      • Visit site
        July 30, 2014 11:15 amPosted 3 years ago
        Robert

        >Funny how people have been saying that season four really hits its stride ever since Terminal, and four episodes in it hasn’t.

        But what people always say is there’s a run of bad episodes THEN it hits its stride. It’s a bit odd to disagree with that when still in the run of bad episodes. It’s a game of two halves. Personally I think after Animals there’s only one bad episode (and that it’s only Stardrive and Animals that are appalling beforehand – Traitor is just a dull one, the other two are entertaining enough, esp Rescue.)

        • Visit site
          July 30, 2014 3:01 pmPosted 3 years ago
          Sean Alexander

          Strangely, Miwk’s ‘Maximum Power!’ completely omits Animals – perhaps it’s THAT bad?

          Headhunter, if I remember rightly, isn’t bad. Certainly exciting. I have a feeling Assassin is okay too.

          • July 30, 2014 3:06 pmPosted 3 years ago
            Neil Perryman (Author)

            “Strangely, Miwk’s ‘Maximum Power!’ completely omits Animals”

            Damn it. I wish I’d thought of that.

          • Visit site
            July 30, 2014 3:57 pmPosted 3 years ago
            Dave Sanders

            I’m starting the betting pool now as to how many comments for Animals include some form of aversion therapy joke.

          • Visit site
            July 30, 2014 4:05 pmPosted 3 years ago
            Fiona

            what is Miwk?

          • Visit site
            July 30, 2014 5:31 pmPosted 3 years ago
            Smile

            Miwk is a company that publishes books that are usually connected to a cult TV subject. Maximum Power was a light hearted Blake’s 7 book, like a comedy-style programme guide.

        • Visit site
          August 1, 2014 9:35 pmPosted 3 years ago
          Fiona

          Thanks Smile. It sounds fun

      • Visit site
        July 30, 2014 1:45 pmPosted 3 years ago
        Anniew

        Think of him as a human edition of a prickly pear. That might help…….MmM Meglos. Perhaps not.

  • Visit site
    July 29, 2014 9:01 pmPosted 3 years ago
    wyngatecarpenter

    8/10 wtf???

  • July 29, 2014 10:58 pmPosted 3 years ago
    encyclops

    Well, I’m glad Sue enjoyed herself. Someone had to. 🙂

    It’s more entertaining than “Traitor,” but also quite a bit more embarrassing. I was dreading comment on Atlan’s slur of choice and am glad we managed to gloss over that. This one has its moments — the ending being the best — but the only reason I usually don’t eagerly await it being over is that I know what comes next. Urgggghhhhhh.

  • Visit site
    July 30, 2014 1:40 amPosted 3 years ago
    Geoff

    I’m sure Dr Plaxtons main area of research was dental hygiene with a name like that. For the record I thing Star Drive is nonsense but enjoyable nonsense. Not long to go now until my favourite S.4 episode “Orbit”…

  • Visit site
    July 30, 2014 10:41 pmPosted 3 years ago
    wyngatecarpenter

    I’m still stunned, as far as I’m concerned this is the worst B7 episode other than Dawn Of The Gods. Quite an impressive double whammy by Mr Follett. The funny thing is if you read a plot synopsis this episode would seem like reasonable middling B7 but somehow at the scripting and filming stages layers of crapness have been applied with a trowel to produce a staggeringly bad episode.

    For example the dialogue is some of the worst in B7 , no mean feat. eg the scene where Tarrant and Avon are behind the force wall. Tarrant says something like “It’s weird – like being in space without a spacesuit” (err..effectively they are in space without a spacesuit so how is it “like” it). Avon’s reply is “Yes”. Was Chris Boucher asleep?
    And the attempts at futuristic slang are not exactly Anthony Burgess. “Tell you what this does gook – it goes bang and you go splat is probably the worst line in B7.

    There’s quite a lot of “action”, none of it is exciting. The chasing around on buggys looks silly, and the creeping through the sand dunes scenes are the most blatant padding I’ve ever seen in a TV episode.

    Having one foot in the punk scene the Space Rats stereotypes used to annoy me, not least because clearly they are actually supposed to be a biker gang. Young people these days merrily mix up all these old subcultural identities so I expect in the far future space bikers with mohicans may well exist. I don’t care about that now, I just think it’s a piss poor episode. I don’t mind silliness (I’m one of the biggest defenders of Horns Of Nimon) but this isn’t funny or entertaining.

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      July 30, 2014 10:43 pmPosted 3 years ago
      wyngatecarpenter

      I suppose it could have been marginally improved if when Vila says “and the fellas are just as bad” there was a “boom-tish” and the parp of a trombone.

      • July 31, 2014 8:52 pmPosted 3 years ago
        Andy Luke

        They really didn’t capitalise on the fertile ground for a fart and plop jokes, did they? I suppose an elephant and some bengali tigers was out of the budget but I could have stuck to see a little juggling, or maybe a bloke hop on a ladder.

        TISWAS!

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    July 31, 2014 8:32 pmPosted 3 years ago
    wyngatecarpenter

    Darrow-watch “There are times when even the most cynical has to put his trust in LUCK!!!”

    That and “Who?!!” of course.

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