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Blake's 7: Voice from the Past

Hmm. The previous episode was a real highlight. This one... not so much.

Blake used to be a revolutionary. Then he was reprogrammed not to be one anymore. Then the reprogramming wore off. This was, of course, covered back in episode one. Turns out that the reprogramming was at least partially achieved through hypnosis triggered by a particular sound; and somebody has begun to beam that sound to Blake via some sort of sub-space telepathic signal. Under the influence of unknown brain saboteurs, he redirects the Liberator, and zooms off across the galaxy for a rendezvous with a group claiming to be revolutionary agents. Vila, who is beginning to annoy me now with his constant vacillating between capable thief and lame-brained pushover, immediately sides with the obviously compromised Blake. Avon and the others attempt to stop the pair of them from getting half the universe killed by probably insane revolutionaries. On the face of it, a good plot idea. Certainly the scenes where Blake is under the influence have Gareth Thomas doing the most acting that he's bothered with all series. There's barely enough story to fill half an episode, though. I find it rather amusing just how much time is taken up with lengthy shots of the Liberator slowly changing direction. There are endless scenes where the crew discuss what's wrong with Blake, both amongst themselves and with Orac. None of this goes anywhere. There's a nice bit at the end, where everything begins to go even more wrong than it's been going all episode, but it's too little too late; and the denouement is pretty silly anyway. It's good to see a darker side of Blake, certainly, but I wish it was in a story where something actually happened. Ultimately this is rather a pointless episode.

The gang are doing some fabulously silly relaxation exercises. Cally's idea, apparently. Presumably they're her revenge for always being left behind on the ship, whilst the others go off and have all the fun. In the middle of it all, Blake starts hearing things, and runs away to turn the ship around.

The others are not impressed (although I'm quite impressed with Avon's buccaneer look), and after a brief consultation, turn the ship around again.

Blake is having bad dreams, caused by some sort of flashback to his old programming at the hands of the Federation. Orac suggests that Jenna and Blake's brains be plugged into each other through him, so that they can form a bridge, and... I don't know. Obviously there had be some attempt by the gang to figure out what's wrong with Blake, but did it have to be so long-winded and dull? Not to mention utterly pointless.

There's wires, there's theorising, there's Jenna getting a bit upset, and having to be taken off for a nice hot drink and a lie down. It's not the most exciting that the show has ever been, let's put it that way.

Blake tells Vila that Avon and Cally have fallen in love, and are now plotting to rule the universe together, or something. Vila obligingly turns the ship back around again. That's three times now that we've been treated to a five minute scene of the ship doing a very slow U-turn in space. I love the model work in this show, but that's going a little far even for me. And for heavens sake, stop being such a prat, Vila.

Avon and his appalling bowl haircut attempt to break out of the room that Blake has trapped them in. Presumably he wants to turn the ship around again, because we haven't seen nearly enough of that yet.

Blake gets Vila to teleport him down to an asteroid. Vila apparently sees no reason not to comply. After all, when somebody goes nuts, turns the ship around, and races across the galaxy in search of something inexplicable, it's always a good idea to cheerfully tag along, and assist them with everything.

Blake takes a walk on an asteroid that seems to consist entirely of foil and canvas.

With Vila being a useless pillock this week, Avon is forced to allow at least one of the women to have some screentime instead. It's a difficult thing to accept. Finally getting out of their prison, they follow Blake down to the surface. Sadly they're too late.

Blake has made contact with a group of rebels, nominally led by a wildly overacting oddity wrapped up in bandages. Blake considers it a great idea to take him and his army of nutcases aboard the Liberator, and go charging off with them in an effort to undermine the Federation.

Avon attempts to point out that a): this is not a very good idea; that b): Blake is having his brain programmed by these people, so trusting them is probably even less of a good idea; and that c): this is really, really, not a very good idea. At all. Blake - probably because he's having his brain programmed by these people - doesn't agree.

Avon, Cally, and a slightly less threatening-looking Orac attempt to reiterate Avon's above points, with extra underlining, bolded text and italics.

Blake, a brilliantly loony Federation traitor, and a bloke with a silly beard, all prove incapable of listening to reason. Sadly, Avon, Cally and Orac fail to shoot the whole silly lot of them. Even a little bit.

In the biggest shock of never, the appallingly overacted 'rebel' turns out to be Travis. Well of course it did. Who the hell else was it likely to be, wrapped up in bandages, and delivering all his lines with the ham dial turned up to fifteen? Whilst the loony traitor and the bloke with the silly beard are getting themselves wiped out by Servalan's guards at a revolutionary meeting, Travis goes off after Blake. Blake chooses this moment to fight the brain conditioning, so he's just gripping his head and making no attempt to defend himself. Remarkably fortuitiously, Travis just stands around doing nothing, until Blake has both recovered and teleported away to safety. Lucky old Blake. Considerably less lucky audience. The end.

Sometimes this show does its best to drive me up the wall.


( 6 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )
Oct. 20th, 2012 10:29 pm (UTC)
Oh, it's a bummer when you come across a lousy episode. Though the 'Darkman' looking disguise is intriguing with that eyeball. lol.
Oct. 21st, 2012 08:42 pm (UTC)
It's not that bad an episode. Just dull. Good old Avon can make just about anything watchable, which helps. There are some bad episodes, though. Really, really bad episodes. They're still to come!
Oct. 27th, 2012 11:27 pm (UTC)
You wouldn't happen to be thinking of one with a huge orang-ish ant in it would you? Or one with a MAN at the helm?
Oct. 28th, 2012 11:38 am (UTC)
However did you guess?!
Oct. 24th, 2012 11:03 pm (UTC)
After all, when somebody goes nuts, turns the ship around, and races across the galaxy in search of something inexplicable, it's always a good idea to cheerfully tag along, and assist them with everything.

To be fair, that's more or less what they've been doing since the show began.
Oct. 25th, 2012 09:10 pm (UTC)
You make a good point! Like Avon, I can never understand people's willingness to follow Blake. The man clearly has no good idea what he's doing.
( 6 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )

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