Malfunctions, space spiderwebs and tight black leather

Alex’s Discovery of Blake’s 7 continues…

numerous spoilers, if you’re concerned.

1.5

Turns out telepathy in our new alien friend Cally might not be such a good thing after all. I really liked the cinematography when Cally was under the influence of the evil little homunculi, which by the way was very icky, especially when it’s revealed to be a corporate entity. Bit sad that it proved Jenna’s suspicion of Cally as worthy, and so quickly, although she does end up proving herself (again) and Jenna too falls under the telepathic spell.

These aliens (dressed in cling wrap), like the last set, are not particularly nice. They have plans to cull their run-away mutant experiments (dressed in papier mâché) who keep attacking them; and I’ll bet Tansy won’t be happy if I suggest that the female alien reminds me a lot of Luna Lovegood…. Blake and co are drawn to the planet by the experimenting telepathic psychopath so that they can get a power boost, and their ship (the Liberator) is kept there by a fungal space spiderweb analogue.

I was disappointed in Blake when he gave in so easily, giving the power cells rather than bargaining a bit harder for the cling-wrap aliens to leave the Decimas alive. However, when the experimental papier-mâché-clad types did get access to the base and not only destroyed the place but also their creators… well. I’m amazed that here, in the fifth episode, the writers have made the show quite so problematic. Those Blake wants to protect have twice proven to be nearly disastrous for the crew. And interestingly, despite their brutality, Blake still insists on defending the Decimas’ right to live. Perhaps this is one of the big things that differentiates him from the Federation.

Avon saved Blake from a bomb blast!! Aw, so cute. I bet there’s heaps of Blake/Avon slashfic out there… and I bet I get people at this post because of those words… it amuses me that Blake insists on seeing the good in everyone, while Avon keeps making snarky comments and even overt plans for what he will do when Blake is finally no longer in charge. Can’t wait to see how that relationship develops.

1.6

Blake’s crew carry their explosives in an esky. And the Federation’s security robots are even funnier than the original Marvin.

I don’t believe that it’s actually explained to the viewer what Blake et al is doing on this new planet at the start of this episode. Perhaps we are meant to go along with randomly progressing through the galaxy sabotaging our merry way. … Oh, turns out they’re after a cypher machine. Useful thing to steal.

I was just beginning to think that Vila’s extreme cowardice might eventually get quite wearing, when all of a sudden he sprinted to try and take down a guard! Remarkable. Perhaps he will continue to grow a spine.

Now there’s an idea: if Blake is Dorothy, what does everyone need? Avon needs a conscience, Vila bravery, Gan self-determination, Cally a purpose in life… can’t figure out what Jenna might be lacking.

It continues to be a really awesome aspect of this show that we get to see the perspective of Blake’s enemies – not just to see their evilness, but to watch their deliberations and understand their purposes. There’s not many shows like this that are either so confident in their viewers’ love for the good guys, or are so willing to show the grey realities of life.

The fashions continue to be spectacular. Supreme Commander Servelan’s ice-queen-and-diamonds outfit is particularly impressive (although I don’t yet understand why Tansy and others used #ignorethestrings on Twitter when discussing her…). And I’m guessing that, since our first introduction to Space Commander Travis is by looking at his butt in rather tight black leather, Travis will be an important character in this show. (I am also guessing this because I remember seeing a Blake’s 7 doll with a black eyepatch on Tansy’s blog.) I think I am going to enjoy Travis. His evil makes Avon look amateur. And the fact that Blake and Travis have A History will surely add some lovely nuances. Where ‘lovely’ is coloured by the fact that Travis has no compunctions about shooting unarmed prisoners, using drugs on Cally to get information out of her, and using the knowledge that Blake has a cypher machine to manipulate him. Everything a good villain needs to be capable of.

I’m now nearly halfway through this first season. If the format continues to be explode-Federation-base-and-meet-new-aliens, I’m not entirely sure that I’ll be able to go four seasons. However I will keep going, because for the moment it’s certainly entertaining.

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