Monday, 30 May 2011
Blake's 7: Project Avalon
“Hope is very dangerous…”
We start with what looks like some stock footage of heavy snow until we see a mutoid walking through it, accompanies by a cowled figure. We cut to the studio and this cowled figure is, of course, Travis. He has another big plan to get Blake. Good for him. He seems to hang around with fit young mutoid ladies a lot, though. Does he have some kind of thing for them?
We cut between Travis and Blake & co on the Liberator, and between them they give us all the exposition we need. Terry Nation seems to be doing this sort of thing a lot lately. Travis intends to use Avalon, a previously unmentioned resistance figure, as bait to lure Blake into his latest trap. He’s captured her, and summarily murdered everyone else in her resistance group, in typical Federation fashion.
Travis’ less-than-spectacular success rate has not gone unnoticed so far; Servalan has come to check up on him, and she’s made it clear that he’s for it if he doesn’t shape up soon. Two recent assassination attempts don’t seem to have put her in a forgiving mood. Fortunately, Travis’ latest plan is apparently a good ‘un, so nothing can possibly go wrong. It seems to involve a virus, shown by means of some very weird visual effects, which is used to kill an unfortunate prisoner as an experiment. How nice.
Meanwhile, Blake, Jenna and a typically reluctant Vila are trying to break into the Federation facility where Avalon is being held without being seen by one of those hilarious-looking “Security” robots. Unfortunately the Liberator is being chased by some Federation pursuit ships, and will duly be out of teleport range until the very last second before they would otherwise get killed, as per usual. It’s early days, but this is already looking like an established trope of the series.
Our heroes break into the building, and force a guard to pretend they’re his prisoner so as not to arouse suspicion. It’s about time that hoary old Terry Nation favourite finally turned up in Blake’s 7. Before long, though, it all goes horribly wrong and a guard sets off an alarm. I think we may have established a second trope for this series.
The team manage to rescue Avalon, in spite of the fact that Jenna seems to be spending an awful lot of her time playing Operation Wolf. The Liberator arrives, in the exact circumstances we expected, and that’s it. Avalon is rescued and everything is fine. Although, once again, Gan’s attentiveness towards Avalon, who just so happens to be female, could perhaps come across as creepy and once again hinting at the possible sexual nature of his crimes. Still, at least he’s not the one who says, a few minutes later, “Get something to tie her up with.”
It’s all a trap, though: this “Avalon” is in fact a robot, programmed to kill them all with that nasty little virus and then deliver the Liberator back to Travis. Fortunately, Blake is able to turn the tables, and humiliates Travis in front of his boss. (This is the first time Blake and Servalan have met- it’s actually quite exciting!) That’ll be another established trope for the series, then; Blake going back to somewhere he’s just escaped from to finish the job. Meanwhile, Travis has now been relieved of command by Servalan. That’ll improve his mood no end…
That was all enjoyable enough, but there are a few worrying signs that Terry Nation is starting to repeat himself and resort to his own tricks. Time for someone else to write an episode, methinks.