Sunday, February 3, 2013

Spiteful Immaturity

For when even bloggers should have something better to do...

[Train station. Dave sits on a bench, swigging from a bottle of 7-Up. A man sits next to him, flipping through a script he's just typed up.]

Mr. Stevens: Morning Dave.

Dave: Morning, Mr. Stevens. What you got there?

Mr. Stevens: My script for my new audio play.

Dave: Oh. What is it?

Mr. Stevens: A sequel to Blake's 7. I've got the proper actors and everything.

Dave: Oh. Cool. Can I have a read?

Mr. Stevens: Sure.

[He hands over the script. Fade to black.]

[Fade up. Dave finishes the script. He is unenthused.]

Mr. Stevens: Well, Dave. Any thoughts?

Dave: Uh... yeah. A couple. Um, this title.

Mr. Stevens: Yes! The Logic of Empire!

Dave: Not very Blake's 7-ish, is it? I mean, shouldn't it be more one-word, punchy?

Mr. Stevens: Is that what you said about City at the Edge of the World?

Dave: Yes, actually. And, um, The Logic of Empire... you nicked that, didn't you?

Mr. Stevens: Titles are exempt from plagiarism. So what if there are other works by that name?

Dave: Well, it's just it's a dumb name. And not original.

Mr. Stevens: Tough. It reflects the fact that for regimes to survive, they must control both their side and their enemies or else collapse from within.

Dave: Didn't that get said in Shadow?

Mr. Stevens: Yes. Your point being?

Dave: Well. It's been said. Already. So the Federation infiltrate the rebellion. Whoopee-shit.

Mr. Stevens: Did you read the end?

Dave: Yeah. The Federation were actually creating Blake in the first place.

Mr. Stevens: Yes.

Dave: So he'd lead rebellions they could stop. Except that he didn't.

Mr. Stevens: Well, they didn't see the Liberator coming did they, he got out of control.

Dave: You don't say that anywhere.

Mr. Stevens: It's subtext.

Dave: Oh yes, it's buried in all this suspiciously-familiar text.

Mr. Stevens: What are you saying?

Dave: Well, this first episode. It's just Gold all over again. Some dodgy pal rings up Avon, tells him a patently dodgy plan to steal some gold - so they all stand around talking about the plot of Gold - and it turns out said dodgy pal is working for Servalan. Again. I mean, if I want to watch Gold, I've got the bloody thing on VHS.

Mr. Stevens: Don't you realize that the repetition is to lure Avon into a false sense of security...?

Dave: No. I mean, this whole gold scam is complete crap Lydon has come up with to bluff Avon. They don't even leave the castle. For all intents and purposes, Lydon might as well never mention his complete-rip-off-of-Gold plan in the first place, and just have the troops turn up right away. It's just padding.

Mr. Stevens: It is not padding!

Dave: Come to think of it, there's a lot of extraneous detail here. I mean, this first scene.

Mr. Stevens: There's nothing wrong with that first scene.

Dave: It's just five seconds on Xenon before the last episode. Where Avon and Orac tell us all the stuff we already know from the episode. You could cut that easy.

Mr. Stevens: It's to chime in with Kelso's claim that Avon was luring the rebels into a trap.

Dave: But he didn't. At least not deliberately. We know all that.

Mr. Stevens: Do we?

Dave: Yes. We do. The whole first scene has no point to it. You're just copying the start of Blake. And what about this bit, Avon's nightmare. You could have anything there!

Mr. Stevens: Like, say, Avon tied to a tree and whipped by Servalan?

Dave: Well, that'd be more bloody interesting than Avon dreaming about the start of Aftermath.

Mr. Stevens: It's the last time he saw Blake before Gauda Prime. Their last argument.

Dave: So? It's a dream and you've got the actors there and Blake has about two lines that aren't direct quotes from Terminal! Jeez, dude, he might as well not be there. I mean, if you want to put all subtle hints that Blake is either a demon ghost or a brainwashed spy, do something new! This is just the same old stuff all over again!

Mr. Stevens: It is entirely original.

Dave: Hang on, didn't Afterlife come up with this whole Blake-was-controlled-all-along-stuff? And the Federation starting wars to keep their military busy?

Mr. Stevens: ...might have.

Dave: Smegging hell! Your big reveal isn't even new! So, cut away the pointless flashback scenes and dreams - since you never actually bother to explain them, there's no reason for Avon to dream about Dorian's Basement. No one listening to this would even know what it is. Or care. And then you have Avon shoot some people then get captured. Which seems quite a lot like Blake.

Mr. Stevens: Yes, Lydon mentions that...

Dave: Whooppee. Pointing out the crap beforehand doesn't negate it. You know what, Mr. Stevens, you should have just scrapped everything before Avon got captured and have that start right after the end of the final episode. I mean, what would we be missing? A doomed love affair, Orac being useless and some wierd shit about a Sea Devil in a basement. You can start right off with Servalan dropping her bombshell and brainwashing Avon.

Mr. Stevens: No!

Dave: Why not?

Mr. Stevens: Because I like it the way it is!

Dave: And the last scene is word-for-word copied from The Way Back! I mean, you couldn't even think of even five different lines of dialogue? A whole scene copied, because of course a brainwashed Avon would use the exact same friends, conversations, locales and everything as Blake twenty years earlier...

Mr. Stevens: It's proving a point! That history repeats!

Dave: It proves you're not coming up with anything new. Look, if this gestalt thing can save Avon from death and stop him aging, why can't it undo his brainwashing? Actually, that would be cool. It'd be like Avon would know what was going to happen, that the meeting was rigged with traitors, and he could totally tear the plan apart...

Mr. Stevens: No! That ruins the whole point!

Dave: What is the point?

Mr. Stevens: You tell me.

Dave: You don't have a point! This is just some depressive nihilistic wank - I mean, this bit: "Avon's an actor stumbling through his farewell performance"! And you can't even copy the cool episodes, like Gambit or Assassin. The last ever adventure of Avon is an old castle in a quarry? Give us some robots, some evil sand, some alien warrior babes or something! You've got Orac and Slave and Zen and Blake and Servalan and they do absolutely fuck all, just stand around expositing bits of plot that aren't even new! Servalan spends the whole story in her room reading the script for the story - BORING! Dude, why would listening to this make anyone feel better?

Mr. Stevens: It's not meant to make them feel better!

Dave: It's not going to! It's depressing and blunt. Everyone's either an arsehole or a traitor! Wow, that's really thought-provoking, that is! Oh, yes, and everything in Blake's 7 was a totally worthless waste of time and effort.


Dave: ...what?


[Dave throws his bottle in the bin.]

Dave: Yeah, good luck with that, Mr. Stevens.


Dave: I'm going to catch the bus from now on.

[Dave gets on the train which trundles off, leaving Mr. Stevens laughing evilly.]

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