Snow and neurosurgery… and Avon
Yes yes, more Blake’s 7. I’m really enjoying it, okay?? Spoilers ahoy!
The gender equity continues to impress me. Servelan appears again, observing Travis in his latest attempt at trapping Blake – more on that in a moment – and we’re reminded that she is Supreme Commander of the area. A key part of Travis’ plan involves an anti-Federation organiser named Avalon: also a woman. And is there any comment on these women being involved in the military or politics? Hell no. And Jenna and Cally, on the Liberator, continue to take a variety of roles – Jenna in particular playing a key part as pilot. And there has yet to be any suggestion of flirtation or sexual innuendo towards those women from the four men. I keep expecting to see Blake and Jenna ‘naturally’ pair off, but so far – nadda.
That said, Servelan and Travis are so an item. She is just so arch around him, even (perhaps especially) when bossing him around and wearing crazy outfits. I bet there’s just reams of fanfic on that. (Also on Blake and Travis I bet, but I don’t want to go there.)
Anyway. The plot here revolves around Blake wanting to make contact with Avalon. Travis of course gets there first – thanks to a traitor – where ‘there’ is a planet that makes Hoth look like a tropical getaway. He captures Avalon, scans a brain, tests a nasty plague… and then Blake breaks in and gets away with Avalon really quite easily. Bizarre? And just a little sus, yes. Turns out this Avalon is a kill-bot. Happily our heroes figure it out before any of them are killed and they turn the tables quite neatly on Travis, making him look quite the fool and getting away with Avalon in the end.
Another episode with Travis and Blake pitting their wits against one another, with Travis getting to be snarky at his capsicum-headed mutoids and wear his black leather pants and Blake getting all angsty at his crew having to break orbit and not beam them out right now. This seems to be getting towards a standard format.
Aaand as soon as I talk about a standard format, the show breaks from it. This episode reminded me a lot of the Firefly episode “Ariel,” because the crew has to risk themselves to get to a hospital. There, it was River, and the need to read her brain to figure out what was going on; here, it’s Gan, whose limiter is going on the blink and causing him to spin into uncontrollable, violent rages. Blake et al decide to head for an allegedly neutral space station in order to find a surgeon, although it turns out to be harder to get there than it ought to be: Zen flat out refuses to take them there directly, and refuses to actually explain why. Turns out there’s a gravity-something that means the crew have to be heroic, together, because Zen turns himself off for the duration. All very sweet. And that’s just half the episode…
This episode tripped a lot of my suspicions about Zen as a computer, and I’m wild to find out where the writers are actually going to go with it. The fact that it still hasn’t really been discussed just who developed the Liberator, and therefore who Zen originally interacted with, makes me very suspicious indeed. I really, really hope that this gets explained, because I have all sorts of suspicions about Zen being genuinely intelligent, either artificially or as an alien or… something else.
So the second half of the episode is the crew getting to the space station, taking the surgeon over to their ship, and waiting for him to deal with Gan – except that he’s a Federation stooge, so said surgeon notifies the pursuit ships of their location. Oh noes! The surgeon is played by Julian Glover, who I know I’ve seen in other British things.* Anyway, perhaps more interestingly than that – at least for this Avon-phile – is the fact that Avon declares during the gravity emergency that he is outta there ASAP. He heads over to the station… and it’s at that point that my rented DVD started skipping. I never did manage to see all of this episode, and have no idea what the station captain said to Avon to make him go back to the Liberator. Which is just slightly annoying. But the upshot is Avon is still on the ship, Gan’s limiter is fixed, and the seven thumb their noses at the Federation yet again. Hooray!
*Turns out he’s Triopas in Troy, the voice of Aragog in HP & the Chamber of Secrets, and OH! Walter Donovan in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade!! and General Veers in The Empire Strikes Back!!