A Conversation for 'Blake's 7' - the TV Series
Researcher 33337 Started conversation Sep 26, 2000
Just to start something new, (and thsi seems liek the right place) I would like to engage in a little gripe of mine. Now I also like Doctor Who and Classic Star Trek (Among others, you don't want the list). People know this and will often say what they think about one episode to me because they think I care. What annoys me is the fact that people often say to me. Oh, blakes seven it was rubbish, and tehn complain about the production values. Well its hardly going to look like Deep Space 9 is it. I feel that too many people base their opinions on a show on its production values and not content. For example, people criticise classic trek for Shaters ham acting. Yes its bad, but there is greatness in some of teh script. I don't know, bloomin star wars generation, all they want is a whoosh, a bang and some simple legend stuff with a comedy sidekick. (And before the flames start, I do like Star Wars too)
Saint Taco-Chako (P.S. of mixed metaphors) Posted Sep 27, 2000
Of course, sometimes you get the best of both worlds, like on Babylon 5.
Sweet Babylon, how we miss ye.
Mr Prophet (General Purpose Genre Guru) Posted Sep 27, 2000
I can honestly say I've never watched an episode of Blakes' 7 and thought: That was crap; the sets wobbled. Gareth Thomas incidentally insists that wobbling sets was not a problem that particular programme had, and I'll buy that.
I did laugh at the psychostrategist's 'greatest chess computer ever', but that was because it was an old Chess Challenger. My parents had one of those; it used to cheat all the time. No wonder no ordinary chess player could beat it.
And even when the effects were terribel, I think it adds character to the show. Who cares if Blake and crew were shooting people with heated hair curlers? Who cares if the Daleks couldn't pick up a piece of paper? I certainly don't.
Just look at The Phantom Menace: All flash and no splash.
And Villa was a comedy sidekick, but he was a comedy sidekick who could do things. He wasn't just irritating dead-weight.
Seagull's Lost Horizon Posted Sep 27, 2000
I've said many times that I hate computer special effects, because they don't look real, I like doctor who, blakes 7, prisoner cell block H, star cops etc, i've never noticed the so called wobbly sets, these programmes get such a reputation, and thats what people say, reguardless of if its true, they probably haven't even noticed it themselves.
don't care what they say I love them
Cheerful Dragon Posted Sep 28, 2000
Dr. Who went down hill when they started to pay more attention to the special effects than they did to the story-line and characterisation. I loved Dr. Who, Blake's 7 and the original Star Trek. The scenery and effects were often so bad they were brilliant. But then, the sets and effects on Red Dwarf were cheap and ropey when that first started, and it has now done about 8 series and is still going strong!
I can remember Gan dying. I cried because he was my favourite character at the time. My big sister told me that it was 'immature to cry over the death of a TV character', and I proved how mature I was by hitting her with an umbrella. It bent! (OK, I shouldn't have hit her. In my defence, I was only 12 and who was she to tell me that crying when a character dies is immature If that's true, there are an awful lot of immature women out there!)
I often got the feeling that Villa was only acting the fool and the coward. I got the impression that he was actually pretty smart, he just didn't want to get dumped on or have to risk his life unnecessarily. Smart guy!
Jeff Posted Sep 29, 2000
Blakes 7 and Doctor Who were and still are brilliant. I agree with all who say special effects a great show does not make! Look at Space Precinct, Star Wars Phantom menace. Bring back the good old days when the BBC invested time and quality scriptwriters into making shows like B7, Doc Who and the highly underrated Tripods and BBC production of Day of The Tiffids!
Underground Caroline Posted Sep 29, 2000
Doctor Who and Blake's 7 made a huge impact on most people's childhoods (if they happen to be of a similar age to me, that is!). You can always tell roughly how old someone is depending on which Doctor they grew up with and, by all accounts, one of my best mates can play a blinding version of the Blake's 7 theme tune on the recorder. Oh, happy days.
Researcher 33337 Posted Sep 29, 2000
Ahh, sing along everybody, Dum dah DUM da DUM. I was (and still am) too young to remember blakes seven but the few episodes I've seen I liked. Its what I try to say to a friend who doesn't like classic trek because of the (in his opinion) bad acting, ropey effects annoying music and moralising. I liked the show having themes and a point, made you think. Similarly shows like blakes seven, B5 and doctor who make you think because you are often called to question the motives of teh characters. (I grew up with sylvester McCoy Dr who and liked the fact that teh doctor was often really quite cruel and schemeing. You weren't always cheering him on quite as much as you'd like to.) My main problem with Star Wars is that it is too black and white. I know its aimed at a younger audience and is far more simplistic and I do like it. But really, we all know that Darth Vader is bad (Until Jedi where he looses his badness actualy quite well done) Luke is good, Han has a heart of gold and is not bad. Lando could have been treated more as a friend before he double crossed. And teh pantom meanace, don't get me started. Give me Blakes seven and a good episode of Classic trek and any Dr Who instead.
Sho - employed again! Posted Oct 2, 2000
hear hear (again)
And don't forget that along with bringing in all the (spectacular) effects, they brought in a "let's invent a solution instantly" to get them out of everything (Voyager being the principal offender - I end up shouting at B'lana "why don't you just flaming well bombard it with some tacheon (sp?) beams and get on with the plot?!!")
Blake's 7 had ropey effects, hair curlers, Dana wore some pretty disgusting outfits, polystyrene computers etc etc but they didn't constantly moralise (with no grey areas) and they didn't always win. And they didnt encounter spatial anomolys/entities and never ever bombarded anything with tacheon beams. Great.
And this weekend I introduced my kids to Dr. Who. And made them watch the programme from behind the sofa in the time-honoured fashion. Great. (they got upset when the "monster" went home!)
Researcher 33337 Posted Oct 2, 2000
Ah yes. As was said in "Free Enterprise" The problem with kids today is that they think all science fiction started in 1979 with Star Wars"
As for modern stuff. Babylon 5 was good, Deep Space 9 got good once sisko went nuts and I'm really enjoying Farscape. Waiting for new Dr Who though, but, of course, teh BBC don't see any demand for it. Rumours of a Blakes seven movie have been whispered in quite corners. Will tehy do it with cheap effects again though?
Cheerful Dragon Posted Oct 3, 2000
The problem is not just that kids think that science-fiction started with Star Wars, it's also that people think that films started with Star Wars. A year or two ago, some magazine (can't remember which) asked its readers to nominate the best films of the century. It probably has something to do with the age range of the readers, but none of the films (or very few, as I recall) pre-dated Star Wars.
People seem to equate film quality with spectacular special effects, not with good dialogue, storyline and characterisation. A month or so ago, I saw two films, a week apart. The first film was 'Frequency', co-starring Dennis Quaid; the second was 'Mission Impossible 2', starring Tom Cruise. More people will have seen MI-2 than saw Frequency, partly because Tom Cruise is more of a draw than Dennis Quaid, partly because MI-2 is a bigger budget film with more special effects. However, I rate Frequency as the better film. The acting, storyline and characterisation all beat MI-2 into a cocked hat. We'll probably end up with both on video, when they come out, but I'll always prefer Frequency.
Researcher 33337 Posted Oct 3, 2000
I know that feeling. I personally think this year's best film so-far has been Gladiator, it was heavilly publicised and flashy but didn't have the big name pull. It also wasn't a summer blockbuster ala X-Men or MI2. I actually wanted to see frequency but missed it. Worst thing I saw was that already listed in top 100 "Classic" films is Titanic. which I personally thought was absolute rubbish and carrying some very ropey effects. (The pan away from the ship looked like season 1 B5) I agree that the general public will always go for newer stuff. Interesting fact actually, SFX recently did two top 50 SF Tv series polls. The first was judged by a panel of judges. Its number 1 show was Dr Who with teh top 10 includeing Deep Space 9 (Arount 10) Classic trek (Arount top three) and Thunderbirds. There were complaints that buffy didn't even make the top 10 (UFO came before it) SFX poinjted out taht they didn't open a public vote because the public will normally vote for whatever's en vouge that month. Sure enough, the readers poll voted buffy, interestingly enough teh result now would probably be Angel or Farscape. I think I've digressed so I'll stop this one before it goes too far off topic.
Cheerful Dragon Posted Oct 4, 2000
Topic drift is a fact of life on H2G2, so don't worry about it.
On the subject of what people in the industry rate as classic films, as opposed to what the public rate, when film critics were asked to rate their top films the list included the likes 'Citizen Kane', 'Gone with the Wind' and 'Singing in the Rain'. I've never seen 'Citizen Kane', but the other two both beat most of the modern output.
Oh, and I didn't rate 'Gladiator' much. Richard liked it, so we'll probably have it when it comes out on video (he already has the soundtrack on CD). However, I studied Latin at school, as well as a certain amount of Roman history (they did invade Britain nearly 2000 years ago, after all). 'Gladiator' contained too many inaccuracies and implausibilities for me to really get into it. Plus, being a woman, I can't get worked up over men fighting each other.
Mr Prophet (General Purpose Genre Guru) Posted Oct 4, 2000
According to Empire readers you're out of touch, since they voted Maximus from Gladiator the sexiest film character of all time (followed by Princess Leia). The Soundtrack is great, and I enjoyed the film, but no more than that.
As for top 100s (or whatever) in general, there's usually a pattern involved in any decent-sized survey. First you get the power, then you get the women... No, sorry; wrong thing. First you get a bit of a mixed bag, then nearer the top a lot of new stuff which the kids and the people with the short attention spans like. Then the very top goes back to the classics, and number one is Stairway to Heaven (or Citizen Kane, or whatever enough people feel they should vote for).
The Empire poll had a greater spread of old and new than usual, with James Bond (as played by Sean Connery) squaring-off with Neo from The Matrix and Holly Golightly evil-eyeing Jessica Rabbit (god help us).
I went to see MI:2 at the same time I went to see Chicken Run. One was filled with plasticine characters, and the other was filmed using plasticine models. I was so much more involved with the clay chickens than the flesh-and-blood cut outs that it just wasn't funny. While Mission Impossible had some beautiful choreography (sp?), without a doubt the cleverest thing in the whole programme was the trailer for Chicken Run which spoofed the MI:2 trailer.
And I'll cheerfully second pretty much anything bad anyone has to say about Titanic.
I should say at this point that, watching it again, I find the Original Series Star Trek to be sad and laughable in a great many ways, despite the fact that its production values are probably marginally higher than Blakes' 7's. As for the instant solution issue, TOS suffers from that without any special effects. In a huge number of episodes, the plot is resolved when either Kirk makes a speech, Scotty breaks the laws of physics, Bones performs a miracle of medicine, Kirk bluffs the super-intelligent aliens, Spock does a mind meld or Kirk hits things until they're sorry (or a combination of the above).
And anyone who thought the holodeck was a cheap plot device to lever in pseudo-historical episodes hasn't seen an episode where the Enterprise visits a planet where a rogue Starfleet officer has broken the Prime Directive to remodel the society after their favourite period in Earth history (which is always twentieth-century or earlier).
Researcher 33337 Posted Oct 5, 2000
I think, with classic trek you have to get into that late sixties oppression shaking thing to really appreciate it. And I just felt that in Next gen and voyager teh Holodeck was a plot device for stories when the writers were stuck (Crew memebrs A, B, and C venture on to the holideck for some R&R, but, Something goes wrong and tehy find themselves fighting for their lives in an unlikely situation (eg, teh old west, 20's chicago, the orient express) Classic trek actually retreaded old plots alot too (Civilisation controlled by computers, Kirk talks it to death) I always felt that tehre wern't more exciting solutions due to budget limitations.
I agree with teh movies thing I think. And I will happily bad mouth Titanic but we shoudl probably create a proper forum in which to do it. Anyone want to write an article on why Titanic Sucket royally?
Oh and Gladiator, for interesting roman fact. The furthest point the romans bothered to settle was really near where I live. But its so boring up here that I can tell that they just lost interest.
Mr Prophet (General Purpose Genre Guru) Posted Oct 9, 2000
This post has been removed.
Researcher 33337 Posted Oct 9, 2000
Maybey I could try to find an article on Titanic, the film, and start a thread on it sucking. I heard of roar. It looked rubbish. Umm, oh yes, sexiest women, A good one to watch out for is SFX's poll for sci-fi. Fewer docile woen and sweaty men. Obviously SF fans prefer blonde vampire slaying women to docile, and large brooding vampires to sweaty men. Odd huh?
Mr Prophet (General Purpose Genre Guru) Posted Oct 10, 2000
I guess SF/Fantasy (and other associated genres, by which I mean the stuff that gets in the same magazines) fans just have all the taste (although leave us not ignore the non-blondes). A bit of a switch I guess from the genre that brought us those low ebbs of combat fashion - the chain mail bikini and the skin-tight spacesuit.
Researcher 33337 Posted Oct 10, 2000
This is clearly very mail of me but I liked teh skintight spacesuit. Thats actually another thing that older sci-fi was good for, attractive women in skimpy outfits. For women, you had, umm kirks chest. oh well.
Cheerful Dragon Posted Oct 11, 2000
As far as I'm concerned, there has always been a yawning gap between what (adult) women find attractive and what film-makers think we find attractive. Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio may be attractive to teenagers and young twenty-somethings, but I wouldn't cross the street to say hello to either of them.
Key: Complain about this post
- 1: Researcher 33337 (Sep 26, 2000)
- 2: Saint Taco-Chako (P.S. of mixed metaphors) (Sep 27, 2000)
- 3: Mr Prophet (General Purpose Genre Guru) (Sep 27, 2000)
- 4: Seagull's Lost Horizon (Sep 27, 2000)
- 5: Cheerful Dragon (Sep 28, 2000)
- 6: Jeff (Sep 29, 2000)
- 7: Underground Caroline (Sep 29, 2000)
- 8: Researcher 33337 (Sep 29, 2000)
- 9: Sho - employed again! (Oct 2, 2000)
- 10: Researcher 33337 (Oct 2, 2000)
- 11: Cheerful Dragon (Oct 3, 2000)
- 12: Researcher 33337 (Oct 3, 2000)
- 13: Cheerful Dragon (Oct 4, 2000)
- 14: Mr Prophet (General Purpose Genre Guru) (Oct 4, 2000)
- 15: Researcher 33337 (Oct 5, 2000)
- 16: Mr Prophet (General Purpose Genre Guru) (Oct 9, 2000)
- 17: Researcher 33337 (Oct 9, 2000)
- 18: Mr Prophet (General Purpose Genre Guru) (Oct 10, 2000)
- 19: Researcher 33337 (Oct 10, 2000)
- 20: Cheerful Dragon (Oct 11, 2000)