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Blake's 7 vs Fawlty Towers
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Cockroach Boy



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 7:02 pm    Post subject: Blake's 7 vs Fawlty Towers Reply with quote

Been watching a few episodes of Fawlty Towers recently. It's a great comedy series with some priceless moments - but how come it's obviously shoddy production standards were/are never commented on in the same way that Blake's 7 were/are. The sets wobble and at one point actually fall apart, production staff are visible (watch Gourmet Night closely!) and sound mikes hover like vultures.

None of this stops Fawlty Towers being funny but why it has escaped criticism for these things when B7 didn't?

The rather too convenient arguement normally trotted out to counter any criticism of B7 is that people today don't appreciate scripts, only see the visuals yadda yadda. Unfortunately Blake's 7 got roasted at the time of broadcast, long before CGI was a glimer in James Cameron's eye, so logically there's got to be more to it than that.

So why was B7's such a target when its flaws where shared by its contempories?
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Rojblake



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

B7 was supposed to be a serious drama while FT was a very slap stick, nutty comedy where some production value problems just added to the overall tone of the show.
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Cow of Zot



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If English musicians are anything to go by,( & I certainly think they are), critics in the UK hate anything or anyone who becomes successful. Having a go at the cheap sets is perhaps the best they could do. When one understands the motivation of the critic, one can brush it off & pay it less attn.

Roger Glover of Deep Purple was once asked by one of these guys; Why don't you step down & give someoene else a chance? A ridiculous question, He's not preventing anyone else from succeeding.

Tony Iommi of Sabbath mentioned a notable critic from a prominent magazine came dowm to review them one time & there was a power outage in the city & they couldn't play. He saw the guy at the bar. Next day this horrible review comes out in the paper, band s***, flippin neanderthals etc. They didn't even play!!
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BLAKESCREWE



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

FAWLTY TOWERS is one of the best comedies ever, can`t be compared to a drama that was supposedly deadly serious when it comes to wobbly sets etc, whilst they add to the comedy in FT they should`nt be happening in shows like B7, thats one of the biggest sins in Sci Fi on TV - you can do it and get away with it in comedy!
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Futsie
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I blame Star Wars, personally! People's expectations about sci-fi visuals changed somewhat in 1977/1978 I reckon... And I think Fawlty Towers got away with it because it wasn't sci-fi...

Although I don't remember Doctor Who being criticised in the same way... But to support my theory, I'd claim that it wasn't supposed to be a grandiose space opera in the way B7 was...

Plus Doctor Who had been around for a while, so it was probably "traditional" to have alien monsters that looked like something that had been sneezed out of an elephant...
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Cow of Zot



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 12:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Janitors serve a useful function, critics do not. The audience buys the tickets, watches the shows, or buys the albums. The critic is irrelevant.
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Cow of Zot



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 6:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Case-s in point, Star Trek & Blakes 7. Was it critics reviews that brought Trek back,( in it's varius forms, TAS, TNG etc), or almost brought 7 back?
No it was people like you & I.

Beatles were trashed by pseudo music experts who thought they were "in the know"
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RichardWho



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 8:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Futsie wrote:
I blame Star Wars, personally! People's expectations about sci-fi visuals changed somewhat in 1977/1978 I reckon... And I think Fawlty Towers got away with it because it wasn't sci-fi...



B7 was BBC's answer to Star Wars. Before you laugh, I recall this being said in the Radio Times article which introduced our heroes. Because the BBC realised that they could not come close to Star Wars's budget, they said they would rely on character development. Or as I think Nation put it "We may not have their money, but we have more time to develop the characters".
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dave



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

George Lucas has always been criticised for his inabality to write good dialogue. This has become more and more evident with Stars Wars episodes 1,2,3. For that matter the 4th Indiana Jones was a pile of rubbish as well.

Sadly the public in general prefers good visuals over a decent story. This is quite evident in what sells.
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Cockroach Boy



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dave wrote:

Sadly the public in general prefers good visuals over a decent story. This is quite evident in what sells.


Well, not necessarily...Phantom Menace was a commercial success but wasn't widely liked and no-one remembers much about it.. Remember that in art, longevity can sometimes count as much as initial success.
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Futsie
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

umm... I quite like The Phantom Menace
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Cockroach Boy



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Futsie wrote:
umm... I quite like The Phantom Menace


Ooh really? Counsel for the defence then, please!
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Futsie
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ermm... I'm not sure I could defend it really, hence the " " !

In fact actually you're right - what happened in it again?

I just like the world that Lucas creates with sound and visuals, which is the main appeal of his films for everyone including himself I think... And I like how it fits in with the rest of the story in the other films... But yes, the dialogue is pretty cringeworthy in places!

There are occasional good moments tho, like when Obi-Wan cheekily says to Qui-Gon "You were right about one thing, Master. The negotiations WERE short."
Or when Palpatine says to young Anakin "And you, young Skywalker. We will watch your career with great interest."

And of course the classic "Me-sa day startin' pretty okey-day with a brisky morning munchy, then BOOM! Gettin' very scared and grabbin' that Jedi and POW! Me-sa here! Me-sa gettin' very very scared!"

Mind you, I think he does have a knack for telling a story in an appealing way, even if there's something a bit simplistic about the dialogue. I've seen him in an interview where he describes his films as "silent movies", which I thought referred to the occasional dialogue cards that came up in those... So I guess he thinks dialogue is just a way to move the story along, without getting too into character drama...? I think there are some good acting performances in his films, but the characters seem to just state their position and their character motivations without exactly interacting with each other in a more realistic (or do I mean dramatic??) way.


Whereas B7 is a character drama first, and a sci-fi show second IMO...
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BlakNo1



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lucas can't write female characters at all, incapable of it.
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Futsie
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Or male ones... although Chewbacca had some good lines...
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