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Episode C12: Death-Watch
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boroboy



Joined: 28 Dec 2005
Posts: 298

PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2015 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some interesting updates to federation life in this episode.
The civil transportation system seems to be working and lots of people can afford to travel - so the federation economy has recovered from the effects of the war.
Tarrant talks about planetary systems of about 20 million people. This implies a very sparse population for a planet. I think these low population numbers are mentioned in other episodes. This would imply a great deal more natural resources than people. Maybe this is why the federation economy can recover so quickly from the war?
The arch campness of the TV production crew was a bit cringeworthy. I like to think that this mirrored actual TV production of the time.
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boroboy



Joined: 28 Dec 2005
Posts: 298

PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2015 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another few observations:
- It seems absurd to me that noone on the Teal Star (is that like a beige supernova?) responds to the gunfire in the opening scenes. This isn't Oakland*.
- Some horrible dialog: Vila's "It's feista time!" is particularly dire. As is the highly tongue-in-cheek "space... the final frontier..". Incidentally, it always puzzled me that people know about the ultimate experience and the party atmosphere (wine, women and sing) surrounding the gunfight - but they don't seem to know that it is a gunfight. The way they discuss it at the beginning of the episode is a little weird to me.
- Some good characterization as Vila and Cally tease each other wonderfully as they leave the flight deck. And what is up with Avon when he shakes Max's hand?
- I like that teleportation is still amazing (well, it is to Max). As it bloody should be!
- I wonder what perspective Cally and Avon see on the viscast?
- The androids in B7 are totally ace. Both Vinny, here, and Avalon are really, really realistic. What went wrong between here and Muller's android? It seems like there should be some great story possibilities. Just how many characters were really androids? Could we just have created and android Sarkoff and not need to see leopard print in the British countryside quite so much?

* - In fairness - I live there and its a great city. But does have some pretty dodgy neighbourhoods.
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boroboy



Joined: 28 Dec 2005
Posts: 298

PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2015 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One more thing. In powerplay Tarrant is cool with stabbing people in the back to get what he wants. But now he can't shoot an android in the back. An android that recently killed his own brother. Give me strength, but that is beyond ridiculous. I have this theory to explain this that has Del and Deeta secretly switching places before the gunfight with Vinny... make of that what you will.
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Commissioner Sleer



Joined: 17 Feb 2015
Posts: 40
Location: Asteroid PK-118

PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2015 11:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love this episode.

If I'm introducing a friend to the series and giving a sampler, I refer to this one as the episode where they sit around getting drunk watching the big screen TV. It's something I like to do when viewing this one.

But there is so much more to this episode than that. The weariness of their struggles is weighing on them, so they decide to go watch another society's war. Cally might be right that that shouldn't pass for entertainment. Televised fights to the death aren't new in pop culture, but with the recent success of The Hunger Games it's nice to see my favorite show addressing the multiple inherent problems within.

And with no real budget to speak of, this episode managed to do a lot of info dumping as best they could. The beat with the news guy went on a bit too long, but they managed to convey what the stakes were. Del and OMG look it's Professor Jones from Doctor Who: The Green Death also have an exposition that works as a natural conversation.

Avon's behavior in this episode calls back to Harvest of Kairos, when he was on a completely different page than everyone else, and as usual, right. His ordering the battle computers to come online was both funny and enlightening to his mental state. This guy's idea of relaxing is to make sure they'll be around long enough to relax.

And we get a terrific follow up scene between Avon and Servalan after their last encounter in Rumours of Death. There, they were both completely at their weakest, their most vulnerable moments on display for the other to see. Here they've recaptured their sense of self promotion and well being. Avon already knows what she's up to, but he can't resist going to tell her that he's on to her. The kiss was well done and down to the actors' chemistry. And of course you have Darrow's hilarious "I'm ready to come up now" after the clinch.




boroboy wrote:
One more thing. In powerplay Tarrant is cool with stabbing people in the back to get what he wants. But now he can't shoot an android in the back. An android that recently killed his own brother. Give me strength, but that is beyond ridiculous. I have this theory to explain this that has Del and Deeta secretly switching places before the gunfight with Vinny... make of that what you will.


Ooooh I like alternate universe theories. If this were true, it makes sense that Deeta didn't see the gun coming when Avon points it at him in the next episode. It also explains Tarrant's nonchalance at sleeping with Servalan in Sand.
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thunda



Joined: 27 Jun 2005
Posts: 1364
Location: Kaldor City

PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2015 10:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Commissioner Sleer wrote:
I love this episode.





boroboy wrote:
One more thing. In powerplay Tarrant is cool with stabbing people in the back to get what he wants. But now he can't shoot an android in the back. An android that recently killed his own brother. Give me strength, but that is beyond ridiculous. I have this theory to explain this that has Del and Deeta secretly switching places before the gunfight with Vinny... make of that what you will.


Ooooh I like alternate universe theories. If this were true, it makes sense that Deeta didn't see the gun coming when Avon points it at him in the next episode. It also explains Tarrant's nonchalance at sleeping with Servalan in Sand.


If that was Del in the beginning, why would he give up his advantage and agree to a straight up gun draw?

This episode always reminded me of a Marcello Mastroianni movie, The Tenth Victim.
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