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Blake's 7: Seek-Locate-Destroy

Robot time! This episode begins in fun form, with Blake running about the all-purpose power station, being chased by a fabulously slow moving robot security guard. It looks a bit rickety and cautious, but it manages to shoot flame. I think I want one. Calling Vila down to help him, Blake sets about his latest bit of rebellion.

We're seeing the beginnings of retconned Vila in this episode, thank goodness. Back in episode two, Vila clearly knew nothing about computers, or the computerised door-locking system aboard the prison ship. Now he's an expert, able to explain what makes a complicated lock tick, as well as disable it. He also manages a quite splendid piece of distraction, even if he does have one of his annoying panicky moments right afterwards. This is the Vila that the fans like. It's just a shame the writers couldn't have realised before episode two that the original version of the character was totally rubbish. Still, better late than never.

Everybody does a good job in this episode. They act like they've been rebels for some time, working well together, and operating with obvious efficiency. Gan clearly knows what he's doing in planting explosive charges, and Avon even manages to do what Blake asks him without arguing about absolutely everything first. Cally is more than able to handle a roomful of Federation guards without help, and Vila tackles an escaping guard without having to be forced into it. Cally seems to be letting the side down badly when she collapses after a mild slap, but it turns out to be just a ruse. She does suck at hand to hand combat though. But then, just when it was all going so well, she gets blown up, returning the gang to being Blake's 5 again after less than two episodes. Nobody even seems to notice she's missing until they want her for something, so all in all it's not her finest hour.

But while Cally is having a lousy day, the rest of us are having a good one, because Servalan's arrived! Servalan and her bonkers wardrobe, and her psychopathic henchman. She's decided that she's going to take Blake and his gang down, and this, naturally enough, involves a Shakespearean madman in black leather. Travis is a spectacular nut, singularly determined and utterly ruthless, with cybernetic body patches and a lovely speaking voice. He also has a bizarre collection of photographs of Blake being tortured, which is an interesting sort of hobby. Good old Travis. He's evil and despicable, but gloriously entertaining. Quite frankly I much prefer him to Blake - or at least I do until the recast. He fails in his attempts to capture Blake, obviously, but he fails in a lovely dramatic fashion, with ferocious insanity, and quite a bit of shouting in his lovely speaking voice. So it's all good really. Shame we don't see much of Servalan this time though.


Robot!


"Can you open those gates?" Blake asks Vila. Blake, I could open those gates. Or, failing that, climb over them.


Vila being useful. Mostly just because I'm hugely relieved that we're apparently past the brainless moron stage. Also, he sounds strikingly like Robin from Maid Marion & Her Merry Men during this whole segment; voice, dialogue and all. It's uncanny.


Boom!


Cally is not having a good day.


Servalan!


Travis! Proper Travis, that is. 2000% better than the low rent recast.


Travis seems to think that the gun fitted into his cybernetic left hand is subtle. I beg to differ.


Travis sets a technician detail to go over the rubble left by Blake and co. He may be completely mad, but he's a bloody good soldier. His determination to pay close attention to detail provides him with the perfect means to trap Blake. This is one of the things that makes him such a good foil for the Liberator crew. He's clearly smart, as we see from his theorising and his tactical suggestions to Servalan, but he's absolutely stark staring bonkers with it. And with remarkably little provocation, too. All this just because Blake shot his hand off? Okay, and the eye thing, but that looks cool.


Travis does his best to menace Cally, using the world's flimsiest prison chair.


However, sadly Blake has become decidedly trickier of late.


Safe back aboard, Cally is welcomed by Avon with what amounts to profuse relief and affection coming from him. I'm still not entirely sure if those two are flirting. It might be easier to figure that out if Avon had noticed she was missing at the start of the episode.

Crikey. Half way through the series already. I'm running out of decent Travis, and I've only just met him.

Comments

( 3 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )
ladygretchen
Aug. 12th, 2012 03:20 am (UTC)
It must be the rule of science-fiction entertainment that all cyborgs wear some sort of eye patch or mechanism!
elenopa
Aug. 13th, 2012 06:39 pm (UTC)
You do know there is a lot of Blake/Avon fanfiction out there don't you?
swordznsorcery
Aug. 13th, 2012 09:52 pm (UTC)
I'm not at all surprised! The one thing that fandom can always be counted upon to produce is reams of slashfic. I can never quite decide whether to be impressed, or just faintly bored with it all.
( 3 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )

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