Monday, September 9, 2013

Remember my B7 series?

Yeah, didn't think so. Anyway, I mapped out Series E and wrote a full FIVE episodes of it before lack of any public sychophancy and adulation killed off my enthusiasm. So, here's a quick program guide.

Short Story: The Worst Day of My Life
Vila reflects on one day on Gauda Prime and how close he came to death. Following the death of Blake and the Federation attack, they were rescued by Zanto, Gamren and Raffelo who were able to take them to a secondry base. While Soolin is given medical treatment, Vila finds himself taking over the group. His first act is to cremate the bodies of Blake, Dayna, Tarrant and the others. Although he has kept the truth of Blake's killer secret, Avon is put in a cell and not allowed out until he confesses where he left Orac.

Servalan, trying to track down the Scorpio crew, approaches Gauda Prime and forms a tense alliance with Orac to discover what happened to Avon and the others after the Federation stormed Blake's base. It turns out that the only survivors were Avon, Vila and Soolin, who were rescued by the rest of Blake's rebels who are hiding at their second base. With Soolin still recovering from life-saving surgery and Avon unstable, Vila takes command and tries to manipulate Avon into revealing Orac's location by letting him escape. Instead, Vila, Avon and Servalan end up prisoner of the Federation team at Blake's base. Some of Vila's team - a psychostrategist called Zanto, a pilot called Gamren and her boyfriend Rafello - come to the rescue and they escape in Blake's escape shuttle with a technician called Lora. Rafello remains behind and triggers the base's self-destruct, sacrificing himself to wipe out the Federation troops before they can inform the rest of the galaxy that Blake is dead and Gauda Prime is now under rebel control. Once aboard Servalan's ship, Vila has her broadcast her true identity to the Federation and claim she has Orac and is about to take over the empire. With the Federation in a panic, they will not be looking for the rebels. Vila shoots Servalan and has Zanto dispose of the body, and then informs Avon he is to be given a second chance after killing Blake.

Short Story: Decline and Fall
Servalan is not dead, but mortally wounded. Squeamish about killing her, Zanto dumps her in an escape pod and launches it. The chances of rescue are remote and Servalan's life flashes before her eyes before she is rescued by a sinister man named Keer, who puts her on life-support. She is mortally-wounded and will soon die, but Servalan has a plan to survive. In return for new of Avon killing Blake, Keer agrees to help her.

Vila has the crew carry out modifications to Servalan's ship, but these adjustments lead to malfunctions that threaten to kill them all. Orac suggests they raid a nearby derelict space station for spare parts. Once aboard, they discover the station is inhabited by desperate cannibals who have been trapped there for years. The inhabitants manage to take Avon captive, while the others are forced to flee in the ship as the Federation have arrived to destroy the derelict station. Vila is accidentally thrown out of the ship in a spacesuit, sent hurtling into space. Using the partially-complete star-drive, Gamren is able to avoid the pursuit ships and the incomplete teleport rescues Avon from the cannibals. In return for having authority over the computers once more, Avon works out a rescue for Vila. The two reconcile after the events of Malodaar and dub their new ship the Phoenix.

The Federation have developed a new weapon, the particle canon, which can neutralize enemy ships. The rebel alliance gathers on an old mining base, where it is attempting to recruit other forces - including an independent mining magnate called Keer who has his own space-fleet. Arriving at the conference, Soolin is alarmed to discover Keer is her former mentor who she believed she had killed. Keer betrays the alliance to the Federation, but then destroys the approaching pursuit ships - ensuring the Federation have been lulled into a false sense of security. He agrees to aid the rebels but in return he gets Soolin to hand over the only recordings of Blake's demise, which Vila has entrusted her with. The Phoenix and the rest of the rebel fleets attack the convoy and, against the odds, manage to capture the particle canon. Keer discovers a genuine traitor, but easily overpowers him - Keer is seemingly indestructible. With the rebels victorious, Vila decides to contemplate their next move as Orac completes the Phoenix's main flight computer: Blake.

Travelling through a dense matter field, the Phoenix approaches a planet orbiting a dying sun. Curious about a crystalline city on the surface, the crew investigate - and are caught in attacks between the invisible inhabitants. To survive the dying planet, the natives have split into two groups: the surface-dwellers who are composed of high-frequency light, and the underground groups who appear to be living shadow. The surface race have developed radiation lasers to destroy their foes while the underground race have created a toxic nerve gas to fight back. The crew learn that the surface dwellers have created a fusion bomb that will act as a new sun, destroying all life unlike their own, but the shadow creatures use the Phoenix as a Trojan horse to penetrate the city. In the fighting, the fusion bomb goes off, destroying the city and everything in it, while the Phoenix and the crew escape in the nick of time.

The Federation storm the planet Langsuir when the natives discover immunity to Pylene 50 and attempt to install a new tactical computer to control their warfare. Zanto teleports to the surface and infiltrates his way into the Federated forces, and learns that they are more interested in looting the planet of its art treasures - as one of the paintings contains a clue to some treasure. Vila decides to aid the native rebels in keeping the art out of the Federation's hands, derailing a monorail train and teleporting the artworks to safety. Meanwhile, the new computer system comes online and decides that the conflict is unwinnable as human beings are self-destructive. Thus, it begins to try to destroy all life on Langsuir. Zanto and the others manage to shut it down, but the Federation - unaware their new computer will try to destroy them - are going to install it on Earth. Thus, the rebellion must overthrow the Federation before it takes place and the computer is able to wipe out all humanity. Luckily, the treasure Avon discovers can help them prepare for that.

Orac picks up a distress signal from Gamren, even though Gamren is still aboard the Phoenix. Over the communicator, the other Gamren explains she is from the future and has been sent back into the past, and can prove it by remembering the "future" for the others. The Phoenix goes to collect Gamren from a cemetary planet where they are attacked by Weeping Angels who live on the planet. The Phoenix escapes with the future Gamren who says that a Weeping Angel is aboard and it sends the current Gamren into past on the other side of the galaxy, forcing her to make her own way back. Avon has the Angel trapped in a box of mirrors, but the reflections begin to turn into Angels themselves. Zanto and Lora jetison the mirror box full of Angels back to the planet they come from and Orac is able to purge Blake's memory before another Angel forms and is able to attack them.

The Phoenix is summoned to the planet Epsilon-Gamma where android and mutoid development is carried out. The eccentric scientist in charge, Algarn, meets the crew warmly and introduces them to his guest, a bed-ridden Servalan on life-support. Soon, she finally expires. Algarn reveals he has built a perfect android duplicate of Servalan and even copied her mind; like Keer before her, she is now immortal and indestructible. With no limits, Servalan activates the prototype combat robots and orders them to kill everyone. By the time Vila and the others have dealt with the androids, Servalan has already escaped and is preparing to run her own coup to overthrow the Federation.

Servalan goes to the one planet no one would look for her - Gauda Prime. Unfortunately, Soolin is waiting for her, but Servalan's newfound strength and power over computers makes her more dangerous than ever. Ultimately the rebels are forced to let Servalan escape or she will reveal their stronghold to the rest of the Federation. Servalan keeps her word, as she wants to use the rebellion to weaken the Federation and allow her to take over.

The Federation training facility uses virtual reality to implant memories and skills into new troopers. The Phoenix crew attempt to sabotage the complex, but end up scattered in different unreal scenarios. Finally, they program the troopers to believe they have won and killed all their enemies, rendering them harmless.

A malfunctioning escape pod dumps Gamren and Zanto on a desert planet. Seeking shelter in a small research base, they discover that an alien organism is taking over the crew one by one - it is highly-advanced polymorph that is trying to uncover a spaceship in the dunes nearby so it can escape to absorb all life in the galaxy. In a desperate battle, Gamren and Zanto destroy the base and escape to the Pheonix, but the creature still survives on the planet and waits for another chance.

Rejoined by Soolin, the Phoenix crew and the rebel fleet storm Earth at the same time as Servalan is attempting a takeover. As an android, Servalan intends to link up with the new central computer and thus take over the entire Federation - unaware the computer is insane and wants to destroy all human life. In the pitched battle, the central computer is destroyed while Servalan is linked up. She is able to escape, but is now determined to wipe out humanity by any means necessary. Without the computer, the Federation falls and the rebel alliance seizes control of Earth, ending the conflict. But as the Phoenix crew rejoice at finally winning, Keer broadcasts the footage of Avon killing Blake across the entire galaxy to prove that the new regime will not tolerate such a crime, even from their own leaders...

Avon is arrested and taken to Earth to stand trial for killing Blake. Keer visits him in a cell, curious as to Avon's origin. Avon explains his father was a fugitive from the Federation who was hunted down and killed by his half-brother Axel Reis. Avon was brought up by his warped mother Rowena, intending to use him to avenge her lover. When Reis killed Rowena, Avon tried to forge his own destiny with Anna Grant and got Vila Restal to help him organize a bank fraud. However, they both ended up in jail and sentenced to Cygnus Alpha. Axel came for Avon, who managed to kill him before being deported aboard the London. Looking back at things, Avon is unsure if he would have been better off dying then.

Avon is put on trial for murdering Blake and is found guilty. Keer, new ruler of the new Federation, decides to have him executed to help cement the new regime with its people. Zanto pretends to agree, but is actually working to find out details so Vila and the others can rescue him. Keer however has fed false information to Zanto to test his loyalty, and ultimately Vila is unable to prevent Avon's death by firing squad. Avon finds himself as a ghost with Cally as his guide to the afterlife; though highly skeptical, Avon accepts that life was not as pointless and as cynical as he imagined and as they watch, Keer sentences Vila to Cygnus Alpha for attempting to pervert the course of justice. Zanto remains on Earth to try and stop Keer from becoming another dictator, while Soolin, Lora and Gamren travel in Phoenix to see if Vila can be freed - even though that means they will become outlaws once again. Keer prepares to use Orac as the new central control of the Federation... only to discover Vila has stolen the key. Amused, Avon and Cally leave this plane of existence. Meanwhile, Servalan has tracked down a distant planet with a hybernating army of Daleks which she intends to use to her own purposes against all mankind...

Hopefully that is truer to the spirit of Blake's 7 than some -AHEMMAGICBULLETAHEM- have managed.

Questions? Comments? Do any of you bastards still read this blog?


Persona Herein said...

Well, I've read a couple of the scripts and this post, but due to a tragic condition known as "only having seen half a dozen Blake's 7 episodes" (otherwise known as being a dolt. A busy dolt, but a dolt), this only makes a certain amount of sense. It's like trying to retroengineer what the Virgin NAs must have looked like by reading descriptions of the Bernice Summerfield line.

I agree with you that Spara's new material seems tragically worked out, though. It seems so...generic. Not properly out-there crazy at all, really, just cut-and-paste filler.

Youth of Australia said...

Ah, well, PH, don't worry, you were probably not the target demographic (given the difficulty of finding B7 on DVD, I can hardly blame you.)

And, yes. When the only real point of interest is Clara being written as a very tame Spartha Jones, well, is there any point? I mean, BC himself didn't even appear...

Matthew Blanchette said...

Sorry about Abbott. Jesus.

Youth of Australia said...

Abbot and Jesus are two very individuals, it must be stressed.

To return to the B7 theme, this is what it feels like for folk when Servalan becomes president in a coup.