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Blake's 7: The Web

I love the Liberator. It's such a great set. It's not a good idea to get too enthusiastic with the controls during exciting moments, as they do tend to bend rather, but it's been beautifully put together. I should probably disapprove of Cally, in that case, since she appears to be doing her best to dismantle it at the start of this episode. She does her best to dismantle Vila as well though, so she remains in my good books. Vila is already far less annoying than he used to be, but I haven't forgiven him for episode two yet. That accidental surrender really is the stupidest thing I've seen in quite some while.

Still, poor Cally. It's not easy being a telepath. Pretty much her sole function for the rest of the programme's lifespan is to be possessed by a succession of alien intelligences. This is the first time though, and it's not become annoying yet. It's actually quite effective, although arguably it might have been more so if she hadn't been revealed as a saboteur in the first sixty seconds of the episode. In this instance she's acting under the control of a splendidly low budget head in a jar, and is under orders to take the Liberator to one of the few alien planets in the galaxy that doesn't look like a quarry. There's a base there that's under siege from monsters, and the head in the jar and his rather more mobile accomplices want the Liberator to save them. The monsters are cute, though. Also, they look like they were made with off-cuts of Zygon from the Doctor Who stores. They're certainly a whole lot more engaging than Mr Pompous Head-In-A-Jar.

I love this episode - or at least I love the first forty-five minutes of it. I love the sense of foreboding at the beginning, when nobody knows what's going on, or what they're up against. I love the idea of the web that traps the Liberator. I love the sheer ruthlessness of the bad guys, who cheerfully build living beings to use for their own ends, and then merrily obliterate them whenever they feel like it. I especially love Avon instinctively saving Blake's life at the beginning, and being "just as surprised" as Blake is. What I don't love is the rushed end, with the bad guys being beaten solely because one of them apparently forgets to close a door, which allows the mini Zygon-beasties to break into the compound and destroy everything. As a denouement, it's pretty lame. Still, the head in a jar had it coming, so I suppose I shouldn't complain all that much. I'm less inclined to be forgiving of Blake, however, being determined not to give Mr Head-In-A-Jar some new power cells, but then giving in after two seconds, just because a bad guy pokes Avon with a big stick. It doesn't so much spoil the tension as utterly shatter it, and the episode never regains its momentum after that.

Still. Pictures!


The Liberator bridge. Flight deck and lounge in one. Just don't breathe on it too heavily.


Possessed!Cally. Soon to become a programme trademark.


But all is well in Blake's 7 land (technically Blake's 6), because Avon has discovered the Liberator's wardrobe. You know you're watching Blake's However Many when Paul Darrow is parading about the place in something black, grey and ridiculously dramatic.


Possessed!Jenna. Happily not set to become a programme trademark.


The web of the episode's title. A silica-based lifeform, apparently, which has snagged the Liberator.


Zap!


A Zygon leftover.


And a pompous head in a jar. I especially like his pipecleaner arms and legs, and the way they wiggle when he gets cross.


Blatantly obvious Liberator model being hauled through the web. I miss them making television this way. Somehow it's just better.


Although the Avon torture effect is pretty rubbish.


Baby Zygons on the rampage. One of them loses a hand during the struggle, but I do feel a bit guilty about noticing that. Noticing things that they'd rather you didn't is one of the drawbacks of screencapping.

And now I think I detect the approach of new blood. Is that a Servalan I see before me? I rather think it is. Hurrah!

Comments

( 7 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )
tinx_r
Aug. 7th, 2012 05:07 am (UTC)
:D Awesome. I'm really enjoying these.
swordznsorcery
Aug. 7th, 2012 02:58 pm (UTC)
:) I'd forgotten what a great show it is.
ladygretchen
Aug. 11th, 2012 11:15 pm (UTC)
So Callie is basically the River Tam on board the Liberator? Another cool plot. At least the series got 56 episodes. It makes me wonder if Voyagers was not watered down to being simply a 'kid's show' would it have gotten a chance at a 2nd season, because they could have done spectacular things with time travel, the voyager Tribunal/Community, etc. etc.
swordznsorcery
Aug. 12th, 2012 09:07 am (UTC)
Cally isn't crazy like River, and she doesn't have anything like her powers. Same basic idea though I guess - except that they never seem to remember that Cally is telepathic!

"Voyagers!" would have been great in season two. They could have made it less of a drain on the budget had they kept to one timezone per episode instead of two, and the recurring bad guy plot had great potential. I don't think it was necessarily hurt by being a "kids' show", as I love how much fun it is, and how it avoids the darkness of a lot of other sci-fi. They could certainly have tightened it up a bit though, and given it a bit more drama. That final episode, with the Ripper plot, has a great feel to it.
ladygretchen
Aug. 12th, 2012 01:19 pm (UTC)
I agree with you about Voyagers. The kid aspect doesn't bother me, I love the lightheartedness and general optimistic feel of the series. I don't particularly consider it a 'kids's show anyway. Teen is better. The history is a little white washed, but what can you do, it's the same stuff the way we learned it in school during the eighties and nineties. I LOVE Jack's back! It's one of the best episodes. :)

Edited at 2012-08-12 05:19 pm (UTC)
i_bookwyrme
Aug. 15th, 2012 08:42 pm (UTC)
I cannot remember if it is the show itself or only fan theory that has it that Callie can only really hear other Auron and has only a very limited broadcasting power.

Which, yeah, makes her being a telepath fairly pointless, show wise. I wonder if her people depended on strength in numbers to keep from being co-opted wholesale?
swordznsorcery
Aug. 15th, 2012 09:33 pm (UTC)
She manages to broadcast from the Liberator to a space station in series two, but she can't hear the crew's thoughts, certainly. Her powers are very limited. Given how much she seems to hate the idea of being alone, her people must rely on numbers, yes. Bit rubbish all round, really! I do like her, though. I just sort of wish they hadn't bothered making her telepathic.
( 7 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )

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