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Blake's 7: Weapon

June 6th, 2014 (09:33 am)

I watched Weapon last night for the first time in years, and in company dominated by a generation who had little familiarity with Blake's 7. The question kept being asked: Why spend so long on set-up before reaching the action? I could only answer flippantly that people talking in rooms was something that BBC multicamera studio drama did well. June Hudson's costumes were as ever pleasingly literal in the way they solidify character traits: John Bennett's Coser looks absurdly pompous in his high collar, but in profile on a two-dimensional screen the collar becomes a shark's fin. The medieval accent is present too, with Servalan and Blake presiding over competing courts with their long-cloaked knights in their armour, black for Servalan, green, brown or red for the outlaws of the greenwood vacuum.

Also posted at http://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/2014/06/06/blakes-7-weapon.html.


Posted by: daniel_saunders (daniel_saunders)
Posted at: June 6th, 2014 02:47 pm (UTC)

Oh dear. I like Blake's 7 a lot, but this indicates that it hasn't dated as well as seventies Who. But Blake tended to be at its best when prioritizing the moral debate over the action.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: June 6th, 2014 04:54 pm (UTC)

Weapon was also let down by the 'celestial' music played over each appearance of Clonemaster Fen; this seemed incongruous to the viewership.

Posted by: widsidh (widsidh)
Posted at: June 6th, 2014 10:13 pm (UTC)
Liz & Pertwee

yeesss...that was rather weird...and I did not share some of the reservations the complete newbies hade (being myself an almost-newbies).

One thing I noticed was a bit unfortunate on a big screen was the washed-out colours, especially the light backgrounds. Somehow the design does not seem well-eqipped to cope with aging carrier media...

Edited at 2014-06-06 10:14 pm (UTC)

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: June 6th, 2014 10:17 pm (UTC)

Were we watching the official DVD release, or a digital copy (possibly of the VHS)? It looked more washed-out than it needed to be.

Posted by: widsidh (widsidh)
Posted at: June 6th, 2014 10:25 pm (UTC)

No idea...

Posted by: daniel_saunders (daniel_saunders)
Posted at: June 8th, 2014 08:09 pm (UTC)

This post prompted me to re-watch Weapon. I think the complaints about lack of action are unjustified: this is a character story, not an action one (season two would later provide those in Pressure Point and Star One). It is world-building with dialogue, admittedly in part because it can only afford to show a fraction of what it tells. A bigger problem is that IMIPAK is a rather stupid and pointless weapon prompting the usual "I could kill you now, Blake, but I won't" cop outs. The choral music I found reminiscent of Dudley Simpson's Time Lord music from The Deadly Assassin and, from a contemporary perspective, of the 'Chancellor Flavia' music from RTD-era Doctor Who.

A more modern-seeming element missed by watching the episode in isolation is the seeding of ideas intended to reach fruition later in the season: Travis' descent into madness, the growing tension between him and Servalan and Blake's desire to attack Control/Star One. I would have liked Carnell to come back for a rematch too.

The official DVD didn't look washed out either...