Sunday, 20 July 2014

The Beginning of a Beautiful Friendhip

My previous review of my favourite episode of Blakes 7, Powerplay, is here. This is just going to be some pictures with captions as a companion piece.

Powerplay picks up from where Aftermath left off, including a recap of the last few seconds.

"What are you doing on my ship?"

"Your ship?"

Tarrant is not alone, he is accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister Klegg (TEH SATIRES!111) who is played by Michael Sheard, an actor who was in Doctor Who so many times as different characters that there is bound to soon be a story arc where the Doctor goes looking for the reason why so many mannys he met looked like Michael Sheard.
The answer is because they were all played by Michael Sheard.

"This is my ship."

Avon, who still doesn't know that Tarrant is really on his side at this point, thinks he is going to have to fight for control of the Liberator, and to ensure that he is still the most handsome character in the series. For the first time Avon has some serious competition in that department.


However Avon wastes no opportunity to demonstrate how handsome he is, even just peering out of a trapdoor. Purr purr.

By the end of the episode Avon and Tarrant have teamed up, which is the main reason that this is my most favourite of all Blakes 7 - because it is the story of how Avon and Tarrant got together. They quickly become best friends and work together to defeat Klegg and his coalition partners henchmannys.

Even when it looks like Avon has betrayed Tarrant to Klegg so he can save Dayna (who gets captured off-screen for the first - but by no means the last - time), this is just a clever ruse so that they can both get close enough to pounce on the baddys.

Dayna gets her own back for when she was captured off-screen by hugging Klegg to death.

Tarrant and Dayna join the Liberator's crew and are now main characters. Now the best season of Blakes 7 has really begun!

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Brer Rabbit boss 'hates' fans who spoil show's secrets

Brer Rabbit chief writer Bunny has attacked fans of the show who reveal crucial plot lines ahead of transmission.

Bunny's comments were prompted by briar patch postings by Brer Rabbit fans.

"You can imagine how much I hate them," she told Big Gay Longcat's Big Gay Longblog. "It's only fans who do this, or they call themselves fans.

"I wish they could go and be fans of something else."

Before the current series began, a fan posted the entire plot of the first two episodes on a briar patch forum.

They were among a number of fans who were invited to a press screening, at which the production team asked people not to give away spoilers.

"It's heartbreaking in a way because you're trying to tell stories, and stories depend on surprise," said Bunny.

"So to have some **** who came to a press launch, write up a story in the worst, most ham-fisted English you can imagine, and put it in the briar patch is heartbreaking.

"I just hope that guy never watched my show again, because that's a horrific thing to do."

She said the majority of Brer Rabbit fans were "spoiler-phobes" who refused to go to the briar patch for fear of finding out any information in advance.

"They want to preserve the surprise," she said. "The tragedy is you have to work hard at that now."

Bunny said she believed that keeping elements of storylines under wraps was an essential element in drama.

"Stories depend on shocking people," she said.

"Stories are the moments that you didn't see coming, that are what live in you and burn in you forever.

"If you are denied those, it's vandalism."

The current series of Brer Rabbit continues on BBC1 on Caturday.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Clever. Clever. Not that clever.

Look, Google's "Auto Awesome" (mew) is clever enough to recognise that this picture from my earlier post about Aftermath shows a kiff, but not clever enough to realise how inappropriate adding a load of hearts to the picture is. Lol.


My previous review of Aftermath is here, so this is just going to be some pictures with captions as a companion piece.

Dayna kiffs Avon and says
"You are very beautiful, Avon."

I think Dayna is intended to be a viewer identification character, even though she is not a cat.

"It has a perverse kind of logic to it. Our meeting is the most unlikely happening I could imagine. Therefore we meet. Surprise seems inappropriate somehow."

"You are ambitious. Ruthless. You want power and you'd never let conscience stand in the way of achieving it. Well?"
"You overestimate me."

Servalan tries to persuade Avon to become a baddy like her, but she has misjudged him. Avon is not a baddy - just earlier in the episode he stopped Dayna from killing a defeated Sarran, never mind all the other times he has acted like a goody and shown himself to have a conscience. But we can't expect Servalan to know that about Avon yet.
Avon plays along with her.

"I never really had an offer I felt was worthy of me."

"All those worlds could be yours, Avon, they're there for the taking. You and I could build an empire greater and more powerful than the Federation ever was or ever could have been. Now, Avon; at this moment. We can take history and shape it in our own image. Think of it: absolute power. There is nothing you can imagine that we couldn't do."
"I am thinking of it."
"We can do it Avon."
"I know we can."
"We'll be answerable to no one. Ours will be the only voice. Imagination our only limit."

Oh just kiff.

They kiff. Then Avon rejects Servalan with
"Imagination my only limit? I'd be dead in a week."

He knows Servalan a lot better than she knows him.

Avon has bed hair, purr. However this is at a sad moment because Avon was woken up when Servalan killed Hal Mellanby.

"Summary execution is the usual punishment for boarding a Federation ship without authority."

"What are you doing on my ship?"

Cliffhanger ending: it's Tarrant! Even Avon is surprised.

Oh just kiff.

No? Well never mind, the next episode is my favourite out of all Blakes 7: Powerplay.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

The Final Act

My previous review of Star One is here. Here is a new review with more pictures of Avon in it.

"A single planet orbiting an isolated, dying star."

So this is it - the moment when Blakes 7 has to make up its mind whether to be about Blake, or Avon, or Blake/Avon. Under the surface of the story arc about the search for Control and then Star One ongoing throughout season 2 has been the tension between these three competing dynamics, and now that the Liberator has finally reached Star One it comes to the surface in the most sizzling dialogue yet:
Blake: "We are not going to use Star One to rule the Federation, we are going to destroy it."
Avon: "I never doubted that. I never doubted your fanaticism. As far as I am concerned you can destroy whatever you like. You can stir up a thousand revolutions, you can wade in blood up to your armpits. Oh, and you can lead the rabble to victory, whatever that might mean. Just so long as there is an end to it. When Star One is gone it is finished, Blake. And I want it finished. I want it over and done with. I want to be free."
Cally: "But you are free now Avon."
Avon: "I want to be free of him."

Meanwhile on Star One, aliens from the planet Skaro in the galaxy of Andromeda have disguised themselves as mannys to take over Star One.

Avon, Blake and Cally teleport down to Star One and are promptly separated by events. Avon gets a brief action scene while Blake pretends to be Travis to the aliens pretending to be mannys.

Avon is still convinced that the best way to take over the series is to get rid of Travis, so that there will be no rivals to come between Blake and him.

Avon captures Travis, who is for some reason in disguise (possibly as General Chang from Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country), but he gets away.

Travis then manages to finally shoot Blake, which he has been trying to ever since he first appeared a season and a half ago. I think Travis was even more surprised by this than Blake was.

Avon arrives in the nick of time to shoot the baddys and stop their plan to turn off all of the minefield stopping the aliens' spaceships invading the galaxy.

Travis tries to have one more go at shooting Blake, but Avon is here this time...

...and he shoots Travis into a hole in the middle of the floor. Baddys don't like falling down holes, just ask the Evil Emperor from Return of the Jedi.

Back on the Liberator, the aliens can send their spaceships through the gap in the minefield that they did manage to make, and only the Liberator stands between them and the Federation. But first...

Blake has been injured and he did not manage to stop Travis without Avon. While the series has been going this way since at least Gambit, if not Countdown (when the quest for Star One began), Blake is from this moment no longer the main character in the series. It looks as though Avon is finally going to be free of him and have the series to himself. But Blake has one last line to say to Avon...

"Avon, for what it is worth, I have always trusted you. From the very beginning."

Paul Darrow's expression says it all: Avon knows he will never be free of Blake.

That leads on to the last scene of the episode and season, which the story has been building towards for maximum impact. The Liberator is about to fight alone against an entire alien spaceship fleet, and ends on a superb cliffhanger as Avon says:


Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Big Gay Longcat reviews Dogtanian and the Three Muskehounds

Dogtanian and the Three Muskehounds is Puppy's favourite TV programme. It was also Duncan's favourite TV programme when he was 6 years old, although that was a long time ago!

I have mixed feelings about it. It starts off very well, telling the story of The Three Musketeers - which I have seen a very good film version of with Oliver Reed in it - except that all the main characters are played by doggys. In fact all the characters are played by either doggys or other animals.

The main character is Dogtanian, who is only a young doggy but he is brave and fierce and loyal, so he displays all the best qualities of doggys and I think this explains why it is Puppy's favourite.

The secondary characters are also, for the most part, very good. The Three Muskehounds Porthos, Athos and Aramis all have distinctive looks and characterisation, with Aramis being the same breed of doggy as my friend Charlie.

Here we see Charlie preferring sleeps to swashbuckling.

The main antagonists are also excellent, such as mastermind Cardinal Richelieu, his bumbling henchdoggy Captain Widimer, and Count Rochefort, a.k.a. The Black Moustache, whose character develops considerably over the course of the series until he finally sides with Dogtanian in the last episode.

However the best of the baddys is easily Milady, because she is a cat! Milady uses her brains and her charms to outwit the Musketeers, and is only defeated by their strength and prowess at swashbuckling and swordfighting. (There are parallels here with how Tevildo, the legendary Prince of Cats, was chased up a tree by Huan Captain of Dogs.)

At one point Milady uses hypnoeyes on Dogtanian to control him.

There are also some good guest characters, the best of whom is the pirate called the Blue Falcon.

His striking appearance is matched by a distinctive voice, which has a scary effect when he - a master of disguise - first reveals himself.

However it is not all good. About halfway through the series it becomes something of a mouthpiece for mouse propaganda with the introduction of the character Pip Squeak. Pip becomes Dogtanian's sidekick for the remainder of the series, during which he is constantly annoying with a grating, 40-a-day voice and boastful, clownish antics interspersed with either whining about how hungry he is or gluttonously devouring any food available. And he is supposed to be a goody!

Worst of all, he is at no point pounced on and nomed by Milady, even when the opportunity to do so presents itself to her, and is instrumental in her defeat and humiliation towards the end of the series. This is an outrageous slur on the ability of cats everywhere to pounce on and nom mouses and conclusively proves the anti-cat bias of the makers of this series.

If we ignore the presence of Pip Squeak, the series is an excellent one which stands up well today. The theme music is very memorable, although perhaps overlong with its two verses played in full at the start of every one of the 26 parts.

Once the episodes begin they are fast-paced and full of action, making good use of swashbuckling cliches where necessary, even those you maybe wouldn't expect in a series based on The Three Musketeers such as Ghost Ships and Desert Islands - actually these elements both appear in one of the strongest storylines as Dogtanian hunts for the Blue Falcon and Milady takes her opportunity for revenge.