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Criticism of Blake's 7
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meegat39



Joined: 02 Apr 2012
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2015 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've just watched Children of Auron, but failed to detect a gong when Ginka was shown. Could anyone tell me which this was in?
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white afro in space



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2015 12:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is when Ginka and his men ambush Avon, Tarrant and Cally at the Auron communication centre. At 29'21", Ginka lifts up his visor that obscures his face and 'Bwwwaaaaaaaannnng' rings the announcement that yes, we have a man of South-East Asian appearance on screen.
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meegat39



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2015 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay I've seen it and I agree it's racist. The gong would seem to imply that the sirituation is so much worse with a scary man of a different race controlling things. Unfortunately, this kind of attitude was wide spread at that time.
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thunda



Joined: 27 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2015 6:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Team ups:

In General
This is minor criticism and may actually be because of my personal taste. It has to do with the B7 crew preparing for a mission the way they choose the “away team” and the ones left to watch the ship. For the majority of episodes the writers stuck with safe, compatible teams, meaning characters who liked each other rather than shake things up by pairing crew members who didn’t particularly see eye to eye. I realize that a compatible team makes for a smoother, quicker mission and easier writing, but it also makes for duller interchanges because one character always suffers becoming “Robin” to the other character’s “Batman.” Compare teaming Blake with Jenna in Time Squad and Duel to Avon with Jenna in Cygnus Alpha and Redemption. Which did you like more? To clarify, easy team ups would be; Blake/Jenna, Vila/Gan, Avon/Cally, Tarrant/Dayna, etc. Sure, they work well together because they think alike but once in awhile you get a Avon/Vila or Tarrant/Avon where both characters can shine and to me those scenes are more memorable. In real world terms, which do you think people would enjoy watching more, you solving a problem with one of your mates or with someone whose political views are opposite of yours?


Tarrant/Dayna
Although I haven’t formally counted, I suspect these two have paired the most on away missions. They have good chemistry, being that they’re similar(soldier/warrior), and get the job done. My only complaint is that they both arrived in the beginning of season three and they immediately started doing missions. I didn’t think that was fair especially to Cally from a crew member and also performer standpoint. Cally should have either paired up with one of them or been sent as an observer/advisor until they got the hang of it. I would have loved a Cally/Dayna team up with Cally instructing the younger woman on when to use lethal force. I also wish we had a Soolin/Tarrant team up with him getting all snarky and her putting her hand over her gun saying something like “I couldn’t possibly have heard that correctly. Care to repeat it?”
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SHARPBLUE



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2015 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A very good post this one. The one thing that has always bothered me is the initial premise of Blake's intended downfall by trying to destroy his reputation by alledging he had molested three kids.

Given what was going on behind dressing room doors at the BBC at the time I have often wondered if this was some social comment or used as a plot device because it was actually going on and was rife at the BBC in the 70's and 80's.

I am not implying at all that Terry Nation or any of the cast and crew were involved in or knew about the goings on in the Corporation at the time but it has always struck me as 'odd' the storyline they chose to discredit Blake. Even more so in light of the Jimmy Saville scandal.

Just thoughts.
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thunda



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2015 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SHARPBLUE wrote:
A very good post this one. The one thing that has always bothered me is the initial premise of Blake's intended downfall by trying to destroy his reputation by alledging he had molested three kids.

Given what was going on behind dressing room doors at the BBC at the time I have often wondered if this was some social comment or used as a plot device because it was actually going on and was rife at the BBC in the 70's and 80's.

I am not implying at all that Terry Nation or any of the cast and crew were involved in or knew about the goings on in the Corporation at the time but it has always struck me as 'odd' the storyline they chose to discredit Blake. Even more so in light of the Jimmy Saville scandal.

Just thoughts.


I wasn't aware of that so I had to look it up. Were there rumours circulating in the 1970's?

I always thought the BBC made a bold choice with how they wanted Blake framed but I was shocked. Over here in the States they would never have the hero accused of being a pedophile back then or even now. I wonder if they re-boot Blake's 7 will they keep that part of the storyline or change it to something like he's framed for killing his wife or girlfriend?
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Commissioner Sleer



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thunda wrote:


I wasn't aware of that so I had to look it up. Were there rumours circulating in the 1970's?

I always thought the BBC made a bold choice with how they wanted Blake framed but I was shocked. Over here in the States they would never have the hero accused of being a pedophile back then or even now. I wonder if they re-boot Blake's 7 will they keep that part of the storyline or change it to something like he's framed for killing his wife or girlfriend?


For me, the decision to frame him as a pedophile really set the bleak tone for the entire series. You get to see just how far the federation is willing to go to get rid of a political prisoner. They're willing to tamper with three kids' minds. Those kids actually believed Blake did those things and would have to cope with that trauma for the rest of their lives. There's just no coming back from that as a viewer.

Thunda is absolutely right. This would never get made today in the U.S. Well, possibly on HBO but I don't see that happening.
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RichardWho



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2015 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It probably wouldn't get made in the UK either these days. People are more risk averse.
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thunda



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2015 7:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Commissioner Sleer wrote:
thunda wrote:


I wasn't aware of that so I had to look it up. Were there rumours circulating in the 1970's?

I always thought the BBC made a bold choice with how they wanted Blake framed but I was shocked. Over here in the States they would never have the hero accused of being a pedophile back then or even now. I wonder if they re-boot Blake's 7 will they keep that part of the storyline or change it to something like he's framed for killing his wife or girlfriend?


For me, the decision to frame him as a pedophile really set the bleak tone for the entire series. You get to see just how far the federation is willing to go to get rid of a political prisoner. They're willing to tamper with three kids' minds. Those kids actually believed Blake did those things and would have to cope with that trauma for the rest of their lives. There's just no coming back from that as a viewer.

Thunda is absolutely right. This would never get made today in the U.S. Well, possibly on HBO but I don't see that happening.


RichardWho wrote:
It probably wouldn't get made in the UK either these days. People are more risk averse.


Another reason Blake's 7 won't get made today is because of the timing. With all that is going on in the world now people may not respond well to a series about rebels trying to overthrow the established regime. However, I've read that Captain America 3 and Avengers 3 will be based on the comic book storyline Civil War where after a catastrophe the US government decides to put reigns on super powers. This results in a rift and then war in the superhero community with Iron man leading the pro-government faction and Captain America leading the rebels. The government wins but is portrayed as the "villains" of the story. If this goes over well in theaters worldwide then it may open the door for more anti-establishment productions. Just my thoughts.
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thunda



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PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2015 4:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Liberator

Interior -
We were never able to get a good understanding of the inside of the Liberator. Sure, we get bits and pieces, we know about the flight deck which gets most of the attention, the surgical unit was shown once I believe, we were told there was a room full of jewels and one full of clothes, we assume they have crew quarters but I only recall seeing Cally’s, the teleport room, a relaxation room, a docking bay, escape pods and perhaps a shuttle bay. Unfortunately they’re not shown or explained in relation to each other. I would assume the flight deck and surgical unit would be in the center of the ship, the most protected. The crew quarters towards the front of the ship away from the engines and power source. But how many levels were there? If more than one then did they have ladders or elevators? Did they have a kitchen? Some type of bathing room? Exercise room? Armory? Was Blake’s room near Jenna’s? Yes I realize that on a tight budget you can’t have extravagant sets but this is a case where you can tell instead of show. Characters could comment on the levels, rooms in proximity to their quarters, how long it takes to get from one end of the Liberator to the other, etc. Things to give the viewer a mental picture of the inside of the ship. Or better yet, use one of those ‘You are here’ displays as they did in Ultraworld
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Commissioner Sleer



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PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2015 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've worked out the teleport must be behind the flight deck, equidistant to both entry points on the flight deck. Otherwise it doesn't make any sense when they rush to the teleport from either side. And the teleport has to be perpendicular to the flight deck so that they always enter the teleport through that one side.

At least one episode in season two, Shadow, we see behind where the camera is normally placed in the teleport set. (Presumably this is when the show actually had a better budget) and that leads to some corridors where Cally gets knocked out, possessed, what have you.
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thunda



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PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2015 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Commissioner Sleer wrote:
I've worked out the teleport must be behind the flight deck, equidistant to both entry points on the flight deck. Otherwise it doesn't make any sense when they rush to the teleport from either side. And the teleport has to be perpendicular to the flight deck so that they always enter the teleport through that one side.

At least one episode in season two, Shadow, we see behind where the camera is normally placed in the teleport set. (Presumably this is when the show actually had a better budget) and that leads to some corridors where Cally gets knocked out, possessed, what have you.


I don't think they're too close. In Redemption when Gan is attacked in the teleport section it takes the crew about seven seconds to get there and it appears they run through two corridors.




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thunda



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2015 4:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Music

This is a slight criticism and actually more of a suggestion. The overall music was good but I thought a bit too tame for what the series was portraying. I would have liked if it was less generic and more experimental and much darker. Something that gave you a feel for the type of bleak society Blake was a part of and also the sheer hopelessness of his crusade. I also would have liked if the Federation had some sort of theme that was lightly played in the background when they appeared. Something like the way Star Wars used the Imperial March, but not that overpowering. Might have been nice if Servalan or Travis had a brief theme when they made an entrance.




Sound Effects

Again, this is more a suggestion than a criticism being that the sound effects were quite good. I think they could have tried a few new things rather than go with the traditional when it came to things like explosions, impacts, arms fire, propulsion. It’s the future, experiment. Liberator and Federation blasters should have sounded more formidable and dangerous when fired. I think that could also be said for the plasma bolts when launched (and yes I realize there’s no sound in space). Maybe, also, convey how the Liberator’s hull and shields were able to absorb most of the impact when struck.
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thunda



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PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2015 7:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Animals

That’s right, the whole episode. I realize some of you might like Animals or at least tolerate it, but you have to admit it was so poorly put together. So much so that it doesn’t even feel like Blake’s 7. Even some of the cinematography seemed a bit off. In my opinion this was a case where the writers had the characters forced to fit the story rather than adapt the story to fit the characters. Like forcing a square peg into a round hole. Rather than dredge up all the bad points, which has been done in other threads, I’m going to point out what could have been done to improve the story.

Note: Since I brought up cinematography I have to compliment the camera work near the end when Servalan’s craft is escaping.


Relationship

Instead of implying Dayna had a previous relationship with Justin, either:
a) make it Soolin. They’re closer in age so we don’t have to think of him as a pedophile. It would also be an opportunity to give some back-story on her character.
b) replace Justin with his son who accompanied him to Sarran and is now continuing his father’s work.
c) replace Dayna with Tarrant and make Justin a female.



Servalan’s Chair

Get rid of that portable lie detector and brain washing seat. That scene was degrading to the Dayna character. No member of B7 should be broken so easily. If Servalan needs to get into Justin’s laboratory just have her walk up with a gun to Dayna’s head.



Tragic Figure

If you want viewers to care when a character dies you have to give us a reason. Perhaps you could have Justin close to reversing the process that turned those men or animals into creatures but is killed before he accomplishes it. You could also have Og exhibit a bit of intelligence early in the story and then sacrifice his life for a member of the crew or his people at the end.



Moral Dilemma

Every good story needs a ‘is it right or is it wrong’ moment that leads to a decision that the main characters have to make. As it was, Justin wanted to create a new species that could go where humans couldn’t but he doesn’t make a good argument. So let’s take this a little further. Suppose Avon finds out about his work and believes an army of these ‘Ogs’ could tip the balance in favor of the rebellion. He wants it, however, the rest of the crew may not feel the same which would lead to some good debate amongst the crew rather than who cleans the engines. It would also create a situation where Dayna, or whomever, has to choose between love and friendship.


As always any comments or criticisms welcome.
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