Saturday, January 20, 2007

Blake 7 and his "Liberator" Crew

Blake 7 isn't your ordinary sci-fi show. Sure, its a low budget BBC production but it has its fun moments intertwined with some very unique characters. The oppressive Earth Federation in Blake 7 aren't peaceful like Star Trek's United Federation of Planets but instead their tyrannical government specialise in mass brainwashing, torture techniques with a lust for crushing the Freedom Fighter rebellion. Blake is the brainwashed guy whose Freedom movement challenges the Federation and incurs their wrath. To begin with, Blakes ill equipped supporters are no match for the Federation and face mortal danger. The Federation is powerful and snuffs out Blake's family along with the first freedom movement he joined.

Bad news this Earth Federation. Worse again, good guy Blake becomes an outlaw after escaping the evil clutches of the Earth Federation which brainwashed him in an effort to control him. Along with prisoner champions of his own stripe, Blake gets lucky a second time round as a freedom fighter, star trekking the galaxy with his super cool alien ship.

With the help of an alien ship "Liberator" and Blake as the Leader, his merry band of intergalactic "bandits" have one primary goal. Bring the mighty Federation to its knees. However, Blake's crew of crooks, killers and smugglers suffer casualties along the way and remain high priorities on the Federation's extermination list.

Families go through pain over the loss of their loved ones, but Blake's crew are expendable losses sacrificed for the good of the cause... His crackerjack outlaws knew what they were getting into. This was going to be a dirty fight but at least now they could fight back! Blake himself is a worthy leader, dedicated to the cause with burning hatred towards his former captors which becomes his obsession. Snuffing out lives is a mere inconvenience for Blake who creates a major disruption for the Earth's oppressive Federation of Planets.

But what does this make Blake? Intergalactic Terror or Good Guy bandit...? You can judge for yourselves. The shows atmosphere is a tad dark however which makes it interesting. It doesn't show an entirely hopeful future. Lets hear it Trekkers, Aawwww..... Instead you've got sinister states, spooky guards and the heroes fighting amongst themselves in the name of freedom and personal wealth.

Blake7 Interstellar Trek

Can you really blame them? How would you feel if you were wanted on the Federation's top 50 list? And you can't seek asylum within the protection of their Earth Federation either because they'll torture you for information.

Poor devils. The show has its flaws and so do the characters, thats what makes it interesting. It even has a meek apologetic computer with a severe inferiority complex called Slave but that's another post!

Live Long and Prosper Trekkers! Keep on Star Trekking.


Edward Ott said...

That was a good show

Nova Dove said...

It showed that a set of science fiction characters could have real personalities, make mistakes and encounter problems that could not be solved.

Unfortunately sometimes it got confused and gave us cardboard soap instead of space opera (the relationships between the characters involved a lot of dramatic kisses but no real sexuality let alone sexual tension).

TV science fiction in general is unfortunately troubled by the fact that it is targetted primarily at males between 13 and 23.

B7 had enough interesting personalities and dystopian depth to keep adults watching.

Firefly actually broke TV's "scifi is for guys" bubble and finally delivered characters and "humanity" that made it attractive to women too.

To my mind however, the first science fiction to do this are the Alien and Aliens movies:
- great characters, flawed and human
- superb female lead in Ripley/Weaver, interesting male roles that don't just scratch at stereotypes (Dallas, Parker; Hicks, Gorman, Hudson)
- "human" robots that represent either the worst or the best in us (Ash, Bishop, Call); actually that's the first time I've realised the androids are alphabetically ordered in order of their humanity

Spacerguy said...

The liberator Spaceship was such a cool design and the varied computer personalities added to the good fun.

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