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Who is your Favourite Guest Rebel?

Avalon - (Project Avalon)
Avalon - (Project Avalon)
23% [37 Votes]

Selma - (Horizon)
Selma - (Horizon)
4% [6 Votes]

Tyce - (Bounty)
Tyce - (Bounty)
13% [22 Votes]

Norm One - (Redemption)
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1% [2 Votes]

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8% [13 Votes]

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14% [23 Votes]

Hal Mellanby - (Aftermath)
Hal Mellanby - (Aftermath)
17% [28 Votes]

Hunda - (Traitor)
Hunda - (Traitor)
4% [7 Votes]

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Deva - (Blake)
11% [18 Votes]

5% [8 Votes]

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Started: 09 July 2016

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Question about names
Cygnus Bazza
Something I often used to wonder about: why are some members of the posse always called by their 'surnames' (Blake, Avon, Gan) while others are always called by their 'forenames' (Vila, Jenna, Dayna)? Was the idea to make Vila, for instance, appear somehow 'softer' to the viewers?

(Obviously surnames weren't a thing on Auron - or the planet was afflicted by a severe surname drought - so Cally never had a choice what she was called. Or perhaps she just had an embarrassing surname - maybe Fragilistic, Fornia or Donian - and chose never to divulge it....)
Or Graphy? Or Pso? The possibilities are endless...
There is no apparent pattern.

'Higher' grades seem to generally be called by their surname.

Lower grades are generally called by their first name.
Soolin (from a farm family?)

A glaring exception is Jenna, a 'Superior Grade Citizen' according to Servalan in The Keeper. Another is Dayna.

One fan theory (okay, MY fan theory) is that the eldest gets to use the surname, while the younger siblings must use their first name. There is absolutely NO evidence for this, but it would explain why Avon's brother calls him Avon.
There was a young man
From Cork who got Limericks
And Haikus confused.
Cygnus Bazza
Cally Graphy wins it for me.

I like to think that the whole of Avon's family were only on last name terms with him. I'll bet that made for some awkward Christmases. Can't imagine him in a party hat anyway.

Which gets me thinking... Who among the posse would have made the best house guest? Will start another thread on that scurrilous and irreverent topic.
Vanessa Doffenshmirtz
JustBrad wrote:

One fan theory (okay, MY fan theory) is that the eldest gets to use the surname, while the younger siblings must use their first name. There is absolutely NO evidence for this, but it would explain why Avon's brother calls him Avon.

That's how it was in by-gone eras for women anyway. The eldest daughter would be Miss Doofenshmirtz while the younger ones would be Miss Candace, Miss Isabella. Miss Stacy etc.
I used to be such a sweet sweet thing
Till they got a hold of me.
One Spare Part
Or...perhaps some of the future people are like my younger brother who seems not to hear anyone shouting for him until they use his surname!
"We're in the centre of a mystical convergence here."
I did wonder if the first names were used primarily for women (except perhaps those in a position of authority, such as a certain Supreme Commander... unless Servalan is her first name?) or the lower grades of male. But that theory implies that women in Blake’s time are still seen as second-class citizens.

The question of how women seem to be viewed in the society of Blakes 7 would require an answer the length of an essay!!
Joe Dredd
An excellent article on the naming conventions in B7 is here: Click!

"Earth-born females also bear a family name and a given name, but both the type and the usage of the latter are different from those of males. A woman is regularly known by her given name, using her family name only on such formal occasions as those for which a man uses his given name. Jenna Stannis, for example, introduces herself by these two names, but not even Vila, plainly her social inferior, considers addressing her as anything except "Jenna". Female names are more elaborate than male; they are usually of two or three syllables, and more often than not, end in -a, a convention persisting remarkably from at least pre-Anchaean Greek times. The use of a family name is obviously unfeminine, and a woman very conscious of her femininity may even introduce herself without it, as Piri does when pretending to be a weak, helpless little thing (5). The family name is apparently never used by itself; although she is her father's only surviving child, Dayna does not consider calling herself "Mellanby" after his death. The exception to this is among women who have official rank or qualifications, for Clonemaster Fen and Doctor Plaxton are known by their family names. It is to be noted that a married woman abandons her father's name and takes her husband's; Vena Muller and Sula Chesku are our evidence for this. These customs of female nomenclature are quite remarkable in a society in which equality between the sexes has apparently been achieved, for they argue a fundamental and obstinately persistent conviction that a woman is to be regarded as socially inferior, or as belonging within the family circle."
Cygnus Bazza
Thanks very much for posting that, Joe! A bit depressing, but hey-ho.

As for the male characters, I always found the use of 'Gan' and 'Vila' kind-of contradictory, as I considered them kind-of equals. That was one of the discrepancies that bugged me most. I always assumed that some warped sense of 'macho-ness' was to blame.
Yes I had always taken it that females were largely known by their first name whatever their grade and I had assumed it was to do with issues of femininity (and you can still be a strong character and feminine at the same time of course). As others have mentioned, Servalan is not so clear cut: as far as I recall it is not made clear in the prog anyway whether it is her first or last name (personally I'd always thought it was her first name but I may be wrong!) She is by her own admission "unique" so I could see her going by her first name only even though she is Supreme Commander.
Cygnus Bazza
I always thought of Servalan as one of that rare breed of people who only has/needs a single name. Maybe it was a kind of 'nom de guerre', like 'Zorro', and meant something appropriate and suitably implacable or fearsome in some obscure Earth or galactic language of the future.

Travis on the other hand is clearly just a surname whose relentless use served to deflect from an 'embarrassing' forename - let's call it the Lovejoy/Morse syndrome.
Maybes males that are born out of wedlock or have come from social care are addressed by their first name as a term of insult?
One Spare Part
Or maybe it's arbitrary.
"We're in the centre of a mystical convergence here."
Cygnus Bazza
That'd be disappointing!
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