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Episode D11: Orbit
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pickle



Joined: 31 May 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2007 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've not seen series 3, so the transition from cool avon to completely barking avon was unexpected.
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white afro in space



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2007 12:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

pickle wrote:
I've not seen series 3, so the transition from cool avon to completely barking avon was unexpected.


Completely barking?

He merely developed his pragmatism. A dog that gnaws off its leg to get out of a trap isn't barking is it?


.... oh, and pun intended
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pickle



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2007 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The distinction is lost on me.
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Cockroach Boy



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2007 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

white afro in space wrote:
pickle wrote:
I've not seen series 3, so the transition from cool avon to completely barking avon was unexpected.


Completely barking?

He merely developed his pragmatism. A dog that gnaws off its leg to get out of a trap isn't barking is it?


.... oh, and pun intended


But if one aspect of a person's nature subsumes everything else, surely that is a form of mania? Besides, it wasn't necessarily pragmatism that drove him. Post Terminal he is a man who has been humiliated and decieved and under who's leadership the rebellion is failing. He has a lot to prove to himself.
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white afro in space



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2007 7:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not convinced Avon was driven by anything other than the pragmatism surrounding his own survival. In contrast to Blake, who clearly had a social/moral responsibility, Avon's crew and the rebellion generally were mere tools that could assist his own survival.

The chief complaint thrown at Avon regarding the famous Orbit scene is that he has dropped his social/moral responsibility in favour of his own survival. This poses the great question: When does pragmatism fall foul of social/moral responsibilty?

Avon's predicament in Orbit is almost an exact replay of the one at the end of Stardrive. That is, Vila and Dr Plaxton were dead either way! The difference is that in Orbit, Avon is the sole beneficiary of his pragmatic survival instincts (that quote to Blake in Redemption now comes to mind) whereas in Stardrive, the rest of the crew survive with him.

Furthermore, in the final episode, Avon finds himself in a similar situation with Tarrant. However it is Tarrant's choice/reasoning to allow Avon to survive. Again, Tarrant was dead either way!

The seemingly gradual erosion of Avon's social/moral responsibility is, I think, an interesting thread with which one can understand the fourth series, if not all four series.
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pickle



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2007 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it depends whether you view sociopaths as mad or not. They might be mad however "pragmatic" they are.
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Futsie
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2007 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Two events from season 4 that spring to my mind are Avon's treatment of Dr Plaxton at the end of Stardrive, and Vila at the end of Orbit.

I think Avon IS being pragmatic in that it's hard to fault his logic... if there really wasn't time to get Plaxton safely out of the engine bay after she connected the last drive link, then why should the rest of them die too, just so they're not killing her? "She's dead either way." (And no other crew members actually tried to stop him)
And if the shuttle in Orbit really couldn't reach escape velocity with both Avon and Vila on board, then SOMEONE had to get off, now didn't they?

But what worries me is Avon's reaction to the decisions he makes. It seems to me that the way he coldly writes off Plaxton by saying "Who?" means he either hasn't got a conscience, or he isn't going to listen to it. Although I could just about believe that he's so firm in the belief there was nothing that could be done to save her that he feels no guilt about it... but then in the later episode "Orbit", there's something a bit "cracked" about the way he calls "Vilaaa...."
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thunda



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PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2007 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What worries me is that Avon neither considers nor asks for any alternatives.
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Futsie
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2007 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought in those two cases he'd run out of alternatives....
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pickle



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PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2007 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Futsie wrote:


But what worries me is Avon's reaction to the decisions he makes. It seems to me that the way he coldly writes off Plaxton by saying "Who?" means he either hasn't got a conscience, or he isn't going to listen to it. Although I could just about believe that he's so firm in the belief there was nothing that could be done to save her that he feels no guilt about it... but then in the later episode "Orbit", there's something a bit "cracked" about the way he calls "Vilaaa...."


yes... brilliant tv though. apparently the "who?" line was the actor's input and caused a measure of controversy. peter davison thought he should have said "dr who?" heh.
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BabylonRebel



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PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2007 11:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

couldn't Orac have landed the shuttle?
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thunda



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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 12:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Futsie wrote:
I thought in those two cases he'd run out of alternatives....

Well,in the case of Stardrive,once the plasma bolt is fired it's pretty much a done deal,but he had about forty five minutes to come up with a plan B in case the drive failed.It doesn't appear as if he consulted with the crew or Orac on a second solution.Just before the bolt is launched he never even opened up communications in order to buy a few precious minutes.It really seems like he had his course of action determined in advance.I've seen plenty of starship captains in similar situations and they at least try to bluff or lie their way out.
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Futsie
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm, that's a point... Yes Smiley
So Avon was taking quite a gamble there by hoping Plaxton would get the drive set up in time... and then had to take desperate measures when time was running out...
... and that business with the asteroid at the beginning of the episode seemed to be due to desperation as well...

By the way, when I saw this comment -
thunda wrote:
I've seen plenty of starship captains in similar situations and they at least try to bluff or lie their way out.

- I wanted to ask which starships you've served on...
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Cockroach Boy



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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To be honest, I've always felt that the inevitability of Plaxton's death dampens the impact of the scene. Stardrive is great fun if you're in the mood, but it's such a light episode that it Avon's decision feels more likea matter of convenience for the writer rather than an attempt to raise moral issues.

Wheras Orbit is in many ways an exploration of the abuse of powrer by one individual over another (Egrorian/Pinder parallels Avon/Orac and foreshadows Servalan/Egrorian) so to an extent, Orbit explores the issues pragmatism better than Stardrive, even if the peformances of almost everyone involved are very mannered.
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thunda



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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 6:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Futsie wrote:


By the way, when I saw this comment -
thunda wrote:
I've seen plenty of starship captains in similar situations and they at least try to bluff or lie their way out.

- I wanted to ask which starships you've served on...


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