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Season 4 costumes

 
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Cockroach Boy



Joined: 29 Dec 2005
Posts: 7143
Location: Dancing with the Mara

PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2006 6:01 pm    Post subject: Season 4 costumes Reply with quote

One of the criticisms of Season 4 is the costumes. All of a sudden Servalan (or 'Sleer' if you must) has started dressing like a drag queen and the Scorpio crew wear the same things week in week out.

Leaving aside the obvious explanation for all this - the changes in the production team - is there a way this can be rationalised within the narrative of B7?

Well here goes...

First off, Servalan. She's supposed to be living under an assumed identity and yet she dresses in unbelivably flamboyant outfits and wears heavy eye makeup. It doesn't make any rational sense so maybe there is an irrational motive behind it.

Quite simply, Servalan is in denial. She had spent her whole life chasing power and had finally reached the ultimate pinacle of the Federation by the end of Star One. But her presidency turns out to be an unmitigated disaster. Rebels manage to break into her 'palace' and she has to be rescued from her own cellar. She loses several ships from the already massively diminished fleet due to her obsession with possessing the Liberator. She manages to capture it twice but the first time she is tricked into abandoning it (having lost persuit ships and mutoids in to the bargain) and the second time it is dying andshe nearly dies. Her scheme in 'Death Watch' fails and she is sure to be de-selected as nuetral arbiter - a very embarassing political blow to say the least.

Her presidency is also very short. We can't say for certain how long the third season spans, but it seems likely to be about 18 month. What would we have to say about a Prime Minister who only lasted that long?

And given Servalan's obsession with power and control, she cannot accept her failure. And so she becomes a carricature of herself. Her flamboyant dress is an attempt to convince herself that she is still an important and powerful person when in fact her assumed identity means she is at a constant disadvantage. We can see 'real life' examples of this kind of behaviour in 'fallen' celebrities - most obviously Michael Jackson - and also in ousted politicians - Thatcher springs most readily to mind.

Servalan is trying to convince herself that she is the person she wants to be - invulnerable and unstoppable. At the back of her mind is the knowledge that this belief has already proven to be a delusion and so she is basically overcompensating. This would also explain the increasing flamboyant gestures she use. By a nice co-incidence, she is very OTT in Harvest of Kairos, when her superiority was challenged by Jarvik.

Also, she has never been in more danger. Given the amount of people she stepped on during her ascent to power, it only needs one person to blow the whistle on the 'Sleer' facade at the right time and she's dead. This is yet another challenge to her self-confidence. The Servalan/Sleer of Season 4 is a carricature because that is what she has chosen to become rather than face herself.

And what about the crew? We've never seen them stay dressed in the same clothes for such a long period of time. It would seem strange if Dorian's base did not have the facilities to provide them with a wide array of clothing. The red and gold jacket he wears is very outlandish and a man keen to indulkge 'every vice' doesn't strike me as a person that would opt for a utalitarin wardrobe.

Perhaps the crew are also reacting to recent events - the death of Cally, the loss of the Liberator, the resurgence of the Federation - by clinging on to whatever stability they can. After all even their space ship isn't dependable and the planet they are on was the site for a (admittedly very, very stupid) gender war. Avon is going mad and Soolin has discovered that Dorian was lying to her just as the man who trained her was.

The one time heroes increasingly find they have no control over anything and, like Servalan, their new situation is a challenge to their sense of identity. The one time scourge of the Federatio have been reduced to a gang of space pirates. They continually wear the same clothes because that consistency is all they have left.

So although the changes in costume during Season 4 were due to the fact that Lorrimer was in charge rather than Maloney, they might also tell us something about how the main characters were feeling in the increasingly insane and bleak universe in which they suddenly found themselves.
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BEAST
Forum Hooligan


Joined: 12 Jun 2004
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Location: In your house, watching your wife take a dump

PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2006 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

omg
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Cockroach Boy



Joined: 29 Dec 2005
Posts: 7143
Location: Dancing with the Mara

PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2006 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think I think about these things far too much
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inge



Joined: 16 May 2004
Posts: 1158

PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2006 3:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ever thought about writing fan fic, Cockroach Boy?
Seems to me you could probably do a better job than some professionals.
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Cockroach Boy



Joined: 29 Dec 2005
Posts: 7143
Location: Dancing with the Mara

PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2006 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

inge wrote:
Ever thought about writing fan fic, Cockroach Boy?
Seems to me you could probably do a better job than some professionals.


Thanks Inge. I really ike writing in my spare time so I'm thinking of putting some B7 and Who fiction together.
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THE_LIBERATOR
Goatboy


Joined: 16 May 2004
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2006 7:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Season 4 costumes Reply with quote

Or...Servalan was a drag queen & the Scorpio crew were just dirty b*stards. Mystery solved
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Cockroach Boy



Joined: 29 Dec 2005
Posts: 7143
Location: Dancing with the Mara

PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2006 8:37 pm    Post subject: Re: Season 4 costumes Reply with quote

THE_LIBERATOR wrote:
Or...Servalan was a drag queen & the Scorpio crew were just dirty b*stards. Mystery solved


Well there is that aspect to it!
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