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The Web

Saymon says…

The WebSue: We’ve landed on the planet of The Prisoner balloons, and a Yeti is running riot.

This is what I’ve done to Sue. Whenever she sees a mysterious alien web these days, she automatically thinks it’s a Yeti. Not a giant space spider – a Yeti. Not that there are any giant space spiders in this story, but you know what I mean.

Sue: Center Parcs has really let itself go in whatever the hell year this is supposed to be.

Inside a domed habitat, a disembodied voice is repeating the same phrase over and over again. Sue can’t make out the words because the music is too loud. But if Sue’s brain can’t make out three simple words, it goes into meltdown when she finally claps eyes on the source of this half-whispered mantra.

Sue: What the hell is THAT?

Words can’t describe it, but Sue has a bloody go anyway.

Sue: It’s an alien catheter cock monster!

My wife looks disgusted. I’m laughing like a drain. It’s a defence mechanism; I haven’t seen this episode for 36 years and seeing it now brings back floods of memories, none of them pleasant.

The WebSue: That was really disturbing. And this is even worse!

Yes, Blake is reclining in bed with his shirt open. Sue laments his absent six-pack as he strolls half-naked onto the Liberator‘s flight deck.

Sue: Blake wants Jenna to see his chest. Is he trying to laugh her into bed?

Meanwhile, Cally is touring the Liberator‘s rather spacious interior.

Sue: There are a lot of empty rooms on this ship. The aliens who designed it didn’t think it through. Why would you have a massive room like that for one single panel? The ship must be dragging lots of unnecessary weight. It can’t be very fuel-efficient.

Vila bumps into Cally in a corridor.

Vila: Cally, what do you think of the outfit?

Sue: You look like a medieval butcher.

Cally caves Vila’s head in.

Sue: Nice hand-held camera there. That was nicely done. And Vila has been asking for that for a while.

Cally finds Avon tinkering with the Liberator‘s flight systems.

Sue: Avon has decided to dress as a bad guy. Everybody else has gone for a Merry Man look, but not him. He’s dressed as the Sheriff of Nottingham.

Cally puts her finger to her temple and then she asks Avon where the ship’s forward detector links are located.

Sue: She’s the only telepath I know who extracts information from people BY ASKING THEM!

The WebAccording to Sue, you can cut the sexual tension between Avon and Cally in this scene with a laser saw.

Sue: She doesn’t have to be a telepath to know what Avon is thinking right now. For heaven’s sake, get a room!

But Cally has other things on her mind, like sabotaging the ship.

Sue: Blake should have vetted his crew better.

Me: His crew is made up of thieves and murderers, and he’s a convicted child molester, so I’m not exactly sure how a vetting process would work.

Gan is resting in his room when he is called to the flight deck.

Sue: Does no one ever wear pyjamas on this bloody ship?

Me: Just be grateful that he didn’t get his baps out.

Blake and Avon confront Cally, who has burnt out the ship’s detector links.

Avon: Look at the burns on her hand.

Sue: Wow. That is very realistic. Too realistic for this time slot. This is a very disturbing episode and we’re only ten minutes in. The direction is interesting, too. I like the POV shots a lot.

And then – and this completely ruins the mood – we pay another visit to the alien catheter cock monster.

Sue: I don’t know how they did it, but that is stupid and scary at the same time. I don’t want to look at it but I can’t take my eyes off it. And by it, I mean IT! Look, Neil!

I can’t. It’s 1978 again and I’m about to wet the bed.

Meanwhile, on the Liberator…

Sue: Is Zen made from copper? Does he ever get verdigris? I bet Zen would look nice with some verdigris.

Thanks to Cally’s handiwork, the Liberator is flying blind.

The WebZen: Position is unconfirmed.

Sue: Why doesn’t somebody just look out of a window?

The Liberator is ensnared in a giant space web.

Sue: Is it the Great Intelligence? Are monsters from Doctor Who allowed to appear in Blake’s 7? Or is that against the rules?

Me: I think Terry Nation wanted the Daleks to appear in an episode but the BBC vetoed it.

Sue: He would have pulled out one of his old scripts, changed all the names, and hoped no one noticed.

Avon demonstrates the ship’s automatic repair systems to Gan.

Gan: That is fantastic!

Sue: It’s Gantastic! Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

And then this happens:

Avon: There’s always a market for technology like this.

Gan: I don’t think Blake would agree to that.

Avon: There will come a time when he won’t be making the decisions.

Avon smiles. Sue laughs.

Sue: The cheeky ****er. I love him.

The WebBack on the flight deck, Jenna is giving Blake one of her funny looks.

Blake: Jenna? What’s wrong?

Sue: Your flies are undone.

And then the alien catheter cock monster – Saymon to his friends – uses Jenna as a conduit to drop a very confusing bombshell:

Saymon: We have examined your ship most carefully through our daughter Cally.

Sue: Eh? What? Pardon?

Blake tries to fire his way out of the web with the ship’s neutron blasters, but Vila forgets to raise the neutron flare shield. The idiot!

Sue: This is the best bit. I love how they still don’t know how to work the ship yet. They haven’t got a clue. Four months they’ve had to work it out. Four months.

The Liberator doesn’t make much headway.

Blake: How much distance have we covered?

Zen: One hundred spatials.

The WebSue: How long is a spatial? Is it an inch? A mile? What?

Me: I don’t know. I don’t even know if it’s ‘spatial’ or ‘spacial’.

Sue: I think I’ve finally worked out why Avon hates Blake so much. It’s because Blake won’t stop calling him “Avin” and it’s getting on his tits.

Blake prepares to teleport to the co-ordinates given to him by the alien catheter cock monster, but if Sue thinks this creature is the weirdest thing about this episode then she’s in for a bit of a shock.

Sue: Oh… My… God.

Sue is momentarily lost for words as the Decimas wreak havoc on Center Parcs.

Sue: Shit Ewoks. That’s what they are. They’re shit Ewoks.

Me: That’s a tautology if ever I heard one.

Sue: Look at that one with the wild staring eyes! Wow. Either he really loves his job or he’s high on ketamine.

And then Sue hits a brick wall.

The WebSue: I thought Blake’s 7 was going to be easy. I thought it was going to be this gritty, adult space drama. But it’s shit. Utter shit! Even Doctor Who would have thought twice about this. How many months will it take us to get through Blake’s 7? I’m having second thoughts.

Blake teleports down to the planet.

Sue: He looks like he’s going fishing in that anorak. At least Millets is still going in the future.

A Decima throws a spear at Blake. It grazes our hero’s hand.

Sue: Actually, that was really good. Basically, the make-up department are saying, if you want gory, messed-up hands, that’s fine. Not a problem. Bring it on. Anything else, forget it.

A Decima pleads with a very confused Blake.

Decima: Help us! Help us please!

Sue: What the ****? You just tried to kill him!

A door in the habitat opens and a humanoid dressed in tin foil and see-thru plastic – so Sue immediately spots his bright red underpants – kills the little fella with a shock stick.

Sue: I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

Blake is introduced to two humanoids – Novara and Geela – who, according to Sue, look like they are waiting for Steve Strange to turn up so they can form a band. Geela tends to Blake’s wound, which looks really nasty. In fact it’s so nasty, I have to turn away.

The WebSue: You can look now, Neil. They cured it with some bacon. Ha! Cured bacon.

For some inexplicable reason, Sue falls for Novara’s charms.

Sue: Is he the final crew member? I like him. He can stay. This is what Paul McGann will look like when he goes grey.

Blake watches helplessly as a Decima cries its little heart out.

Sue: Aww. I feel sorry for it. Sorry and a little bit nauseous.

I’m wiping tears away too, because I’m laughing my head off.

Geela: It’s almost as if they had emotions.

Sue: Almost? It’s crying its ****ing eyes out! I’m not worried, though. Blake will save them.

Me: I don’t want to give too much away, but one of those little critters is the last crew member. You have to guess which one. They call him Weepy, and he gets into all sorts of funny scrapes. Put the cushion down, Sue. I’m joking.

Blake would love to stop and chat but several Federation pursuit ships are closing in on the Liberator.

Zen: If they maintain present course and speed they will pass at a range not exceeding two million spacials.

Sue: That’s about a yard, I think.

Novara and Geela tell Blake that they created the Decimas.

Sue: They must be really embarrassed about that. I bet you can’t take them anywhere.

And then, suddenly and unexpectedly, and for approximately two and a half minutes, Sue engages with the plot.

Sue: It’s a fascinating moral dilemma, I think, but I don’t really give a shit. And Blake is hogging all the plots. Yes, his name in the title of the programme but Avon doesn’t get a look in. Blake loves it when he’s the centre of attention.

Blake meets with Saymon..

The WebMe: Gareth Thomas isn’t acting here. That look of horror and disbelief on his face is completely genuine. This was his reaction when he saw the Saymon prop for the first time.

Sue: It’s just a man sticking his head through a hole in a wall. His arms, legs – and his ‘you know what’ – are made from pipe cleaners. Actually, I can’t listen to this any more. I can’t take it seriously.

Avon teleports down to the planet with the power cells Saymon needs to destroy the web (and the Decimas).

Saymon: If the Decimas reach him, he’ll be in danger. Those power cells must be protected.

Blake: I don’t give a damn about your power cells. There’s a friend of mine out there.

Sue: Aww, Blake thinks Avon is his friend. How adorable. Poor Blake.

Avon strolls towards the domed habitat.

Sue: What’s the point of these orange balls? The last time I saw this many inflatable balls, I was at a Muse concert.

Blake catches up with Avon.

Avon: What’s going on?

Blake: Let’s get under cover first.

The WebSue: Or we could just squat next to this tree. Good grief. I’m losing what little patience I have left, Neil.

Blake buries the power cells in the undergrowth. And then he throws away the box that they came in.

Sue: Why not put the cells back in the box and bury that instead? What if a shit Ewok accidentally steps on them? You idiot, Blake.

It’s all academic anyway, because the cells are immediately discovered by Novara.

Sue: Oh well, that killed two minutes, didn’t it, Terry.

And then the Decimas go batshit mental and all hell breaks loose.

Sue: Did you put something in my tea, Neil?

The revolt is as violent as it is relentless.

Sue: Vicious little bastards, aren’t they. They make the Ewoks look like cuddly teddy bears.

Me: Er…

Sue: And that noise! That noise is giving me a headache. Make it stop! Please!

Me: Utini!

The WebThe revolt culminates in a scene where the Decimas play football with their parents’ rotting heads. I’m not making this up. Sue is horrified, appalled, and a little bit sick.

Sue: This is definitely the most messed-up piece of shit you’ve ever made me watch, Neil. When we divorce, this is definitely Exhibit A.

Me: I’m sorry. I must have blocked it out. I definitely saw it in 1978, though. It traumatised me. In fact, I didn’t sleep for weeks. It’s all coming back to me now. In fact, I think I may need some counselling.

Sue: Not on your salary, you don’t.

The episode concludes with Blake and Avon pontificating about all the weird shit they’ve just been put through.

Sue: They should all go back to bed and pretend it was just a dream. That’s what I’m going to do.

Cue credits. Thank God.

The Score:

Sue: It was too noisy, too gory, and too stupid for words. They should be ashamed of themselves. I don’t know what else to say.

1/10

Sue: And that’s only because Avon was in it. A bit.

Next Time:

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63 comments

  • Visit site
    January 17, 2014 7:03 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Nick Mays

    The Web was one of the very first programmes I ever re-watched on a (reel to reel) Video Recorder! (Liberator Popular Front meeting in Hackney, October 1979).

    The effects are mainly poo and a lot of it is quite disturbing. I think Sue (as ever) sums it up brilliantly:

    Sue: It’s an alien catheter cock monster!

    ‘Nuff said I think. Thankfully, for the most part, it does get better.

  • Visit site
    January 17, 2014 7:31 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Jim

    “This is definitely the most messed-up piece of shit you’ve ever made me watch, Neil. When we divorce, this is definitely Exhibit A.”

    Actually laughed so hard I coughed there. Aha!

    I struggled watching this episode but stick with it, Sue. The series gets better.

    • Visit site
      January 18, 2014 5:54 amPosted 3 years ago
      John Miller

      Yes, but then it takes another turn. If Sue had such difficulty with The Web, I can only imagine what she’ll make of much of Series 4(assuming she hasn’t killed Neil and buried him in the back garden by then).

      • Visit site
        January 18, 2014 10:48 pmPosted 3 years ago
        Frankymole

        There are more webs to come in Harvest of Kairos… things get dicey long before Season D!

  • Visit site
    January 17, 2014 7:42 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Rassilon

    I have a vague recall of the general smashing things up at the end being quite grotesque mainly from the video tape & the S1 DVD boxset as I effectively only listened (like so many things) to anything on BBC1 as the old 60’s 405 line TV was on its way out (badly tuned picture BBC1, ITV clear as a bell) with chronic field collapse, so the mind filled in a lot of the blanks from what detail I could make out (fortunately I had already seen a picture of the Decimas in a pre-publicity photo in the Radio times or some such).

    Might have to dig out the dvd now to recheck.

  • Visit site
    January 17, 2014 8:12 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Kris

    It got more surreal after the decimas discovered hip hop:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FrQ6MhfJSyE

  • Visit site
    January 17, 2014 8:24 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Mat Dolphin

    Does Sue know that Terry wrote the entire first series? After the sliding marks since Spacefall, she’ll actually be shocked when the next few turn out to be good.

  • Visit site
    January 17, 2014 8:46 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Frankymole

    Avon as the Sheriff of Nottingham. Best thing in that 1970s BBC Robin Hood – except for Ford Prefect as Mad Prince John. Their steam bath scene together is a hoot. Get it on DVD folks, AFTER you get the superb Blakes 7! (But before Timelash…)

  • Visit site
    January 17, 2014 8:51 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Mark A. Smith

    Catheter Cock Monster, best album title the Butthole Surfers never had!

    Off topic but I loved the book. The “false memory” carpet, wall colour and curtains bit gave credence to my own “I do remember watching Planet of the Spiders at age 4” until I realised we had the same carpet, wall colour and curtains up until about 1982.

  • Visit site
    January 17, 2014 9:02 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Frankymole

    The tags are fairly functional: the crew members’ character names.

    I think you should add “alien catheter cock monster”. Or at least “space spiders” for when Brian shows up.

  • January 17, 2014 9:05 pmPosted 3 years ago
    encyclops

    My first time seeing this was almost certainly more traumatic than Sue’s. Not only did my girlfriend and I have to endure all of this episode’s endless faults, crowned of course by the creature she dubbed “Fetusman,” but…well, without getting too personal, let’s just say that one of the people we watched it with seemed to think “The Web” would be the perfect backdrop for getting a bit handsy with my girlfriend.

    God, “The Web” sucks. B7 might get more offensive or more boring later, but I’m not sure it ever gets worse. Hang in there, Sue.

    Sue: That’s about a yard, I think.

    I laughed out loud.

    Sue: Aww, Blake thinks Avon is his friend. How adorable. Poor Blake.

    Nice!

    • January 17, 2014 9:10 pmPosted 3 years ago
      encyclops

      I should clarify that both the handsiness and the episode were far more traumatic for my girlfriend than for me. I’ll still watch and enjoy Blake’s 7, but every time I mention the show she just yells “FETUSMAAAAAAN!” and will have nothing to do with it.

    • Visit site
      January 18, 2014 1:22 amPosted 3 years ago
      Romen Catsteeple

      Your Robots Of Death avatar is appropriate for this episode, of course, as SV7 himself is in this one.

      • Visit site
        January 18, 2014 10:53 pmPosted 3 years ago
        Frankymole

        His fantasy credentials are sound as he has shown his prowess in another iconic role – as one commentator on IMDB attests: “In the late 1970’s, Miles Fothergill played Rocky in The Rocky Horror Show in the King’s Road London. He was described as ‘A muscleman who can really act’ by one critic. He was simply breathtaking in the role and looked every inch the perfect specimen created by his maker.”

        No doubt those rippling biceps are concealed by the somewhat fey Auronar costume, though maybe SV7 has a six-pack to die for…

  • January 17, 2014 9:31 pmPosted 3 years ago
    John Callaghan

    Now IMAGINE how much better it would have been had someone been beamed into space and exploded.

  • Visit site
    January 17, 2014 9:33 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Sally M

    Poor Sue… but that was wonderful. Tell her the worst is over… for now {eg}

    “His crew is made up of thieves and murderers, and he’s a convicted child molester, so I’m not exactly sure how a vetting process would work…” could sum up the series, couldn’t it?

    • Visit site
      January 18, 2014 4:47 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Jane

      How could it possibly get worse than this?

      *shudders*

  • Visit site
    January 17, 2014 9:35 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Mike

    I’d actually forgotten all about this episode until I started watching in sympathy with Sue. God it’s dull, soul crushingly dull, mind bendingly dull – sort of Time Monster dull – but worse.

    But what really kicked off the flashbacks was the horrid Alvin and the Chipmunks Decimas squealing which sort of gets under your fillings. It’s hard to sympathise with Poundshop Ewoks when they make your jaw ache.

  • Visit site
    January 17, 2014 10:23 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Chris Allen

    I can’t wait until Sue sees the Moloch from season 3. Season 3 has several episodes that make “The Web” look high high art.

    I thought the Decimas were pretty good given the money available and the episode has some atmosphere (just not much in the way of entertainment value).

    • Visit site
      January 17, 2014 10:32 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Harriet

      Richard Proctor made a much better Decima outfit for his son to wear at the Deliverance convention in 1998. (Pic halfway down this page.)

  • Visit site
    January 17, 2014 11:24 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Sean Alexander

    At the risk of defending The Web it does fall into the ‘so bad it’s (nearly) good’ category.

    The Decimas are possibly the worst design in the history of BBC VFX, and in Doctor Who terms you’re talking on a scale only seen by the Taran wood beast.

    The Web is a gift that keeps on giving, provided you’re high on mescaline or have recently lost four pints of blood. The Bo Selecta stick-your-head-through-a-wall creature would have won hands down in every other episode, but with the Decimas (Zygons that were conceived in Noël Edmonds’ grunge tank) it’s only a close second.

    The words unintentionally hilarious run like a stick of Blackpool rock. Jenna’s ‘possessed’ act – she looks more like someone has (quite understandably) pinched her pert little bum – is straight out of Garth Merenghi’s Darkplace, and Planet of the Haemmoroids where an aged Paul McGann tries out the latest fashions in new-wave has to be seen to be believed.

    I remember way back in the days when Blake’s 7 was first released (escaped?) on VHS and late-night Friday cult car-crash ‘yoof’ show The Word had Lemmy of Motörhead give his opinion of the show based on one clip. “CRAP!!!” was his concise response, and I’ve always meant to YouTube it to see if The Web and its catalogue of design disasters was the subject of his wrath.

    And are the Decima voiced by the mice from Bagpuss?

    • Visit site
      January 17, 2014 11:33 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Dave Sanders

      Now I’m picturing them grabbing Geela’s legs and head and calling ‘Heave! Heave! Heave!’

    • Visit site
      January 17, 2014 11:52 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Mat Dolphin

      Hi Sean, I remember that episode of The Word. Lemmy was shown the clip from Cygnus Alpha in which Jenna, Blake and Avon make the ship go too fast and have air blown in their faces. So they basically chose the stupidest bit of the episode to suit their own comedy purposes (yawn)…

  • Visit site
    January 17, 2014 11:29 pmPosted 3 years ago
    jsd

    I haven’t seen it in ages but The Web was one of the S1 eps I liked quite a bit back in the day. Much better than Time Squad which is just dull. At least The Web is weird. Stick with it, Sue, it gets better!

    • Visit site
      January 18, 2014 3:56 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Nick Mays

      It’s certainly better than Time Squad and a few others I could mention. It’as not great, but it was pretty good for what they could afford and visualise at thye time.

      The Web is a guilty little secret-type favourite of mine.

  • Visit site
    January 17, 2014 11:31 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Dave Sanders

    By and large, it’s hard to figure out what The Web thinks it’s doing here. It doesn’t really serve much purpose except to showcase the moral difference between Blake and Avon, which is best done early on in the series’ run, but at the same time it nuetralises any mystery about Cally by shouting ‘look how shit the new girl is’ and dumping lots of backstory about her people long before it’s really needed. It’s like Terry Nation is worried we’ll all go BORED NOW once we’ve left Earth, but the way to cure that is not with throwaway fluff as early as episode five.

    There’s a strong Prisoner vibe with series one, where one ends up trying to figure out in which order the stories were conceived and written, because it’s not the order they were made or broadcast. When Terry flexes his worldbuilding muscles and has a good think about how the series should develop, then he and Chris Boucher produce strong work; we’ll get the instinctive and reinvigorated Nation next time, but it’s sandwiched between two ‘that’ll do’ standalones that don’t contribute much except to once again demonstrate why good Blake’s 7 isn’t Star Trek.

    • Visit site
      January 18, 2014 10:57 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Frankymole

      Season B is incredibly mixed up in the order it was written / produced, it makes season A look positively linear! Gan in “Killer”?

  • Visit site
    January 17, 2014 11:38 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Derek Handley

    I have to confess that I didn’t make it through the episode. I thought I could, but I couldn’t. The only thing that made the time I spent on it go past is thinking “Sue is going to have a field day with this”.

    I could forgive the uncomfortable combination of stomach-turning and ludicrous effects if the story made even vague sense.

    Awful!

    Could it be an exhibit in a divorce trial? Depends on whether you make Sue watch it again! But you’re not that cruel. You proved that you’re not with Marco Polo Redux.

  • Visit site
    January 18, 2014 12:46 amPosted 3 years ago
    Harriet

    The sad thing is that there was a potentially interesting story back on the ship. There’s something wrong with the Liberator! What’s causing it? Sabotage! Who can it be? Cally! I told you we shouldn’t pick up strange aliens! Cue more interesting explanation of why Cally is sabotaging the ship, followed by the story of how she regains the trust of her shipmates.

    I suspect the problem is the opposite of Sydney Newman’s “No bug-eyed monsters” rule – someone thought they had to put in the occasional bug-eyed monster for it to count as science fiction. I said elsewhere that this was the episode the BBC tended to pull out if it needed a one-off sample of Blake’s Seven, which seems incomprehensible to B7 fans – where’s the rebellion against the totalitarian government? – but makes some sort of sense if they were thinking “it’s SF, where’s the bug-eyed monster?”

  • Visit site
    January 18, 2014 2:37 amPosted 3 years ago
    wyngatecarpenter

    I thought this was brilliant and easily the best episode so far – when I was 8, that is.
    I still quite like it be seem to be in a bit of a minority here. The script is the usual bog standard Nation fare, in fact it’s the plot of the first Dalek story compressed into fifty minutes. The bits where the aliens explain the plot to Blake goes on way to long, and it’s a bit poor that the story is resolved because the door is left open accidentally, but there you go – it’s Terry Nation, you can’t expect too much. But the direction is atmospheric, particularly the forest scenes. And I like the Decimas – is that a crime?! Ewoks in Zygon bodies. Perhaps they should also have a story with teddy bear aliens plotting to take over the world from under Loch Ness and attacking people with pitchforks.
    You’re speeding through this, I need to get back and comment on Cygnus Alpha and Time Squad.

  • Visit site
    January 18, 2014 2:53 amPosted 3 years ago
    John

    This is seriously some of Deep Roy’s best acting in all 4 of his B7 roles. The emotional impact of The Decima wouldn’t have been there without his eyes piercing through the latex and into the viewers’ minds.

  • Visit site
    January 18, 2014 5:57 amPosted 3 years ago
    John Miller

    ”Blake: Let’s get under cover first.

    Sue: Or we could just squat next to this tree. Good grief. I’m losing what little patience I have left, Neil.”

    This always was strange about B7 wasn’t it? “Hiding” involves standing somewhere very slightly less out in the open.

    • Visit site
      January 18, 2014 2:00 pmPosted 3 years ago
      wyngatecarpenter

      It’s the kind of hiding pioneered in Dr Who, and parodied in the massively underated Horns Of Nimon. It reaches an epic scale in the sand dunes scene in Stardrive.

      • Visit site
        January 18, 2014 2:35 pmPosted 3 years ago
        Dave Sanders

        Still not as impressive as the TARDIS ‘hiding’ in The Five Doctors.

        • Visit site
          January 18, 2014 10:59 pmPosted 3 years ago
          Frankymole

          George A Cooper as ‘Cherub’, hiding (and spying/eavesdropping) behind a small twig on a lawn in “The Smugglers” Dr Who story, takes the ship’s biscuit.

  • Visit site
    January 18, 2014 7:27 amPosted 3 years ago
    Sam

    These Aventures are hilarious and Sue’s comment on the last one about her least-favourite character being “anyone who isn’t Avon” really took me back to my own Avon-adoring youth when I resented the hell out of Blake for taking screen time away from him.

    But I’m not enjoying the fact that the comments about Jenna have gone from nudge nudge wink wink admiration of her bum to saying that just by having a “pert little bum” she’s asking to get it pinched. It’s not the ’70s anymore, thank God, so can we leave the Gene Hunt attitudes back in the era where they belong? Otherwise the Ben Steed episodes risk igniting a flamewar.

    • Visit site
      January 19, 2014 6:42 pmPosted 3 years ago
      DPC

      You know people are going to want to ride that Steed and then beat the dead horse once it’s finally put to pasture…

      (Can I conjure up any more puns? Right now, I can only say ‘nay’…)

      • Visit site
        January 19, 2014 6:43 pmPosted 3 years ago
        DPC

        I forgot to start my post with “Hey” as a wordplay on “hay”… sorry about that… I’m off to make some coffee. With some sugar cubes…

        • Visit site
          January 19, 2014 6:52 pmPosted 3 years ago
          Nick Mays

          Sounds like this could be a night-mare scenario… 😉

  • Visit site
    January 18, 2014 9:21 amPosted 3 years ago
    Gareth M

    “Sue: It’s an alien catheter cock monster!”

    Like your two I also find this episode disturbing.

    The only part of this episode I like is that this is when the Liberator finally gets to fire the neutron blasters. But first they need to put up the force wall and clear them for firing.
    This process will become familiar when they start getting into battles, but it’s nice to see it here.

    The web effect in space is also kinda good.

    But the cock monster. Ugh.

    Everyone however seems to be really trying to make this show look different, even if they veer wildly around what would be acceptable.
    I continue to be surprised how early Blake’s 7 went out. This could never be broadcast before 8:30pm today.

    The bacon curing slug monster looks good when it eats Blake’s hand to cure him. I seem to recall it moving around as it did so.

    The Decimas are the first shit monster on Blake’s 7, they’re not quite the last, I think there’s a few more here and there along the way.

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    January 18, 2014 10:29 amPosted 3 years ago
    Lettered

    ‘I continue to be surprised how early Blake’s 7 went out. This could never be broadcast before 8:30pm today.’

    Although they did actually repeat the first series on BBC2 in 2000 around teatime on Saturdays, before it slipped back to earlier in the day…

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    January 18, 2014 11:14 amPosted 3 years ago
    Richard Lyth

    I don’t think the episode is THAT bad – it’s a lot more entertaining than Time Squad, and there are some good Blake & Avon scenes. Ridiculously gory though, I’m surprised Mary Whitehouse never complained about it, when she went after Doctor Who episodes that were a lot tamer than this. Maybe she was on holiday this week?

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      January 18, 2014 12:39 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Frankymole

      Doctor Who was on at teatime (starting between 5:15 and 6:15, usually) whereas Blake was in the adult drama slot now occupied by soaps. Soaps which have an awful lot more for the Whitehouse brigade to complain about!

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      January 18, 2014 5:54 pmPosted 3 years ago
      James C

      I felt the same, a much more interesting instalment than the previous one. The costumes are pretty rubbish (what are they, shredded Zygons?) and the voices are annoying as hell, but their vicious assault at the end was pretty powerful, and a deliciously dark twist on the norms (but that’s been Blake’s 7 so far). It was sick, twisted and disturbing. Which I particularly enjoyed.

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    January 18, 2014 3:24 pmPosted 3 years ago
    The Grouchybeast

    I really like The Web, and it genuinely confuses me that other people don’t. Okay, the special effects are bad, but they were working on a budget that makes local am dram look flush with cash. It’s got some good lines, it’s got a bit of SF, it’s got an effort to make aliens that are more than humans with nose ridges. And I like to think there’s a planet of the Decimas still out there, with the little buggers brutally murdering anyone who tries to land.

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      May 10, 2014 4:29 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Annie's

      I agree. It’s a creepy episode and if (I realise it’s a big ask) you can get over the special effects limitations it’s quite effective. Love the Blake/Avon debate survival v idealism and it’s really scary how easily Blake’s confident plan is overthrown. I wouldn’t trust him to lead me on a scout trip . Which is what he reminds me of – an earnest scout master. At least 4/10

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    January 18, 2014 5:02 pmPosted 3 years ago
    MarkyMark

    Like Sue, I thought this episode was total shit when I recently saw it for the first time. I mean, the Decimas ?! Come on.

    After it’s strong start, I was surprised how many dull episodes there have been in this series. However, the show finally takes off in a major way in the next episode when Servalan appears. The next story is so good it’s like it belongs to a different series to The Web !

    Keep up the good work, Neil & Sue – loving the commentary !

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    January 18, 2014 10:39 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Geoff

    Funny that Sue didn’t like this. Me and my wife watched B7 in items entirety about 2 years ago as well. Now my wife is in no way a sci fi fan at all but this was the episode where I knew she’d “got” Blakes 7. It was the scene where Blake and Avon are hiding badly and Blake is discussing his quandary over whether or not to hand over the goods to SV7 and the woman knowing they will kill the Decimas if he does. Before Avon could even respond my wife just giggled and said ” you’re wasting your breathe Blake we know what he’s going to say” and sure enough she was right. Luckily as you say the pace picks up after this ep. Tell Sue to stick with it, after one more series it becomes “Avons 4 and a bit”.

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    January 19, 2014 4:44 amPosted 3 years ago
    Trixie

    I still can’t get over how, after the business in the woods with the power cells, they all just ambled back to the compound and _nobody thought to shut the front door_ *sigh* You just can’t get the staff….

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    January 19, 2014 11:32 amPosted 3 years ago
    Mat Dolphin

    My sister just watched it. She thought that thing looked like a parsnip in a jar. Anyway… Bring on Servalan and Travis! Love the next one.

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      January 19, 2014 2:33 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Harriet

      Your sister is getting her parsnips from a very weird supplier…

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    January 19, 2014 6:40 pmPosted 3 years ago
    DPC

    Sue, do not give up! This is one of the very few times B7 gets crap.

    There are some big gems coming up! A number in series 1, 2, 3, and 4 all have some great entries.

    If nothing else, at least B7 tried bending its franchise, even if it ultimately feels out of place. In a way, it’s neat to see Blake and his ideals put into a situation not relevant to his. WHO could never do that…

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    January 20, 2014 12:21 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Shan

    About Paul McGann and what he’ll look like if he goes grey, I thought it was well established by now that he obviously has a portrait in his attic.

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      January 20, 2014 2:04 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Mat Dolphin

      Save that one for when we get to ‘Rescue’ 🙂

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    January 22, 2014 8:30 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Grant M

    The Web of Jeer. Yes, wtf was that thing in a glass tank? Like Sue, on first viewing I thought *that* bit was supposed to be its genitalia. Eek. It was like some horrible subliminal message to watching adolescents to lay off the five-fingered shuffling if you know what’s good for you. Even the Muppets would have thought twice before trying to pull that off. (Ho, ho, readers.)

    Oh, and it all started so well, opening on creepy camera work in spooky, web-festooned woods; whispering voices filling the air.

    I didn’t think the Decimas weren’t that bad, really. Apart from the starey one off its head on the shrooms that obviously grow in abundance round those parts. Lucky Jenna that Saymon was able to psychically transmit the effects to her during their later tête-à-tête. Anyway, have we all so quickly forgotten the Nucleus of the Swarm? Unfortunately any monster credibility the Decimas could lay claim to was lost as soon as one of them opened its mouth. Clearly they’re imbibing Helium, too.

    And just when we get to the really good bit – Blake’s moral dilemma of sacrificing the Decimas to ensure the Liberator’s escape – it all ends in a car crash. Or a habitat crash. Did they lose the last few pages of the script or something? Maybe that’s why we never find out why Novara and Geela revert to skeletons after their shoeing from the Decimas.

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      January 23, 2014 6:13 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Frankymole

      No-one ever forgets the Nucleus of the Swarm. Contact has been made.

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    January 23, 2014 10:25 amPosted 3 years ago
    BWT

    Y’know… I’d completely forgotten this episode. Then I saw your picture of the “alien catheter cock monster!” and it all came back. Repressed memories of sheer horror will, no doubt, haunt me all night and mess up my tomorrow.

    Curse you, Perrymans! 😛

  • May 12, 2014 1:01 amPosted 3 years ago
    Elizabeth Lang

    1/10

    Sue: And that’s only because Avon was in it. A bit.

    Yup.

    And Blake claiming Avon is his friend when he’s clearly pressured him at every turn to do things Avon doesn’t want to do.

    And the whole ridiculous stuff about the power cell and Blake’s pathetic attempt to ‘hide’ it. Seriously? By this point I was wondering why the writers want to portray their lead character as an imbecile.

    Love that Blake didn’t even save them. It was all an accident because Novarro et al left the door open by accident and let the ewok -type creatures in.

    I was with Avon about the dubiousness of saving such vicious creatures.

    “alien catheter cock monster!”

    LOL Love Sue’s way with words.

    I love that at first Avon didn’t mind saving the creatures, even giving Blake a suggestion how to do it. He only objected after he found out it meant endangering their own lives. Blake easily throws away the lives of his own crew to help creatures he knows very little about, even after it is clear from his conversations with Novarro and Geela that Saymon, because he created the creatures, only sees them as tools, or at best tool-animals. He doesn’t believe they’re sentient.

    If this had been a Star Trek episode, it would have delved into the morality of this kind of scientific research and they would have tried to convince Saymon to see them differently, something which ST and STTNG have done.

    But instead we have Blake contemplating offensive action and coercion rather than intelligent thought, conversation and debate, and then looking on while the ewok-things ‘killed’ Novarro and Geela, kicking their lifeless bodies to pieces and leaving the now helpless Saymon to his death.

    Love what a positive message that is, given that it was a kid-centered show.

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      May 19, 2014 7:58 amPosted 3 years ago
      Fiona

      Avon began that supposed statement about saving the ‘creatures’ as he called them, with the words “if it concerns you….” implication clearly, “I really don’t know why it would”. It’s all of a piece with Avon’s remarks to Vila in Killer, that “Blake takes risks for Other People, sometimes people he doesn’t even know” and when he says Other People, he gives it more scorn and contempt than I would have thought possible.
      He is 100% indifferent to the Decimas and is just irritated by this tendency of Blake’s to care more about Other People, or in this case Other Creatures than themselves.

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        May 19, 2014 1:14 pmPosted 3 years ago
        Nick

        I remember talking to some work colleagues about the different charaters in Blake’s 7 back in 1980 and of course Avon cropped up quite a bit.

        It was funny, because all the girls in the group said “Oh, I think Avon is really attractive” and/or “I think deep down, Avon really likes Vila/Blake/Jenna/the crew.”

        One of my rather blunt friends Nigel dismissed all that nonsense and neatly summed it all up: “Look, Avon doesn’t give a fuck about anyone. He’s a c***. He only cares about himself.”

        And all these years on, I still think that’s an accurate summary of Avon’s so-called ‘hidden depths’ and ‘motivations’.

  • May 12, 2014 1:10 amPosted 3 years ago
    Elizabeth Lang

    “According to Sue, you can cut the sexual tension between Avon and Cally in this scene with a laser saw.

    Sue: She doesn’t have to be a telepath to know what Avon is thinking right now. For heaven’s sake, get a room!”

    Yes! Forgot to mention in Time Squad about Avon’s initial reaction to Cally. He’s the one who asks her all the questions, something which rarely happens when Blake is also around because as Sue points out “And Blake is hogging all the plots…Blake loves it when he’s the centre of attention.” And he makes sure of it. Something which I’ve always noticed and bugs me to no end.

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    May 19, 2014 7:50 amPosted 3 years ago
    Fiona

    To me, the redeeming part of this admittedly awful episode was when Blake agitatedly told Avon all about how the poor Decimas were going to be wiped out by their creators and you could see Avon thinking, I give exactly zero fucks about the Decimas, Blake. Why are you even telling me this?
    Its a good job they made all that squealing noise so we didnt have to care about them at all and we could just take the Avon Attitude.

    Ah, who can do attitude like Avon.

    Still to be fair…they have no money! Fuck the BBC really.

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    July 25, 2014 12:54 amPosted 2 years ago
    David

    The decima threw a spear at Blake to see if he was flesh and blood where as the two inside the domed structure weren’t flesh and blood. Ah what do I know, am just making it up justifying a bad plot hole.

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