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B7 Episode You'd Least Want Your Friends to Watch
Cygnus Bazza
We've all been there (probably). There's a TV show we love that we recommend RIDICULOUSLY highly to our friends. Eventually they get round to watching it - but, thanks to ess-oh-dee's law, the episode they tune in to is a complete embarrassment, a total turkey. And they take it as cast-iron confirmation that you really are utterly clueless when it comes to matters of televisual entertainment.

So which B7 episode would you least like your non-B7-literate friends to sample as their introduction to the series? Sarcophagus for me, followed at a respectful distance by City at the Edge of the World, The Keeper and Stardrive. There are a few others too, but these would be the credibility-busting biggies, I think. Lest I be judged and be thought to have completely lost my marbles.
And the blessing of the hour was the twilight and the tower...
 
Paula
It's a draw between Dawn of the Gods and Animals.
Resist the Host




 
Cygnus Bazza

Paula wrote:

It's a draw between Dawn of the Gods and Animals.

Yep - both strong candidates! 'Animals', in particular, would take a lot of explaining.
And the blessing of the hour was the twilight and the tower...
 
Travisina

Cygnus Bazza wrote:

We've all been there (probably). There's a TV show we love that we recommend RIDICULOUSLY highly to our friends. Eventually they get round to watching it - but, thanks to ess-oh-dee's law, the episode they tune in to is a complete embarrassment, a total turkey. And they take it as cast-iron confirmation that you really are utterly clueless when it comes to matters of televisual entertainment.

So which B7 episode would you least like your non-B7-literate friends to sample as their introduction to the series? Sarcophagus for me, followed at a respectful distance by City at the Edge of the World, The Keeper and Stardrive. There are a few others too, but these would be the credibility-busting biggies, I think. Lest I be judged and be thought to have completely lost my marbles.

Good grief, Cygnus B - you've listed two of my favourite eps!

Though admittedly, I wouldn't show City to a newbie as it relies heavily on knowledge of characters, especially Vila. Likewise Sarcophagus, and Rumours of Death - which was one of the first eps I ever watched and it had zero effect on me as I hadn't seen 'Countdown' or got to know Avon.
There is no point being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes
 
Travisina
For me, it would be:
Hostage
Voice from the Past
Dawn of the Gods
Ultraworld
Moloch
Series 4 'Power' to 'Assassin' (inclusive)
Blake - not because it's bad, it's one of the very best - but because of the massive spoiler that could put anyone off watching the series.
There is no point being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes
 
Brad

Travisina wrote:

For me, it would be:

Blake - not because it's bad, it's one of the very best - but because of the massive spoiler that could put anyone off watching the series.


Story time. It was the mid 80's. I as working at a consumer electronics store. Every Sunday night I would tape Blake's 7 and bring it in the next day. The satellite tech (a brand new thing) and I would watch the episodes between customers. A new hire (smart lad and friend of mine), who was working the summer between grad school and going off for his PhD (told you he was smart) joined in, and asked if we could watch from the beginning. I was more than happy to oblige.

Turns out year prior in Buffalo, he had seen episode 52. So he had the spoiler, but he'd spent the intervening year trying to find the show so he could 'see how things got to that point.'
i.imgur.com/AD5ikh4.png
Modthra
 
Cygnus Bazza
Top-quality tale, Brad. I wonder if your colleague did the same thing with Peyton Place?

Dawn of the Gods is a good shout from Travisina/Paula. I'd definitely counsel anyone sampling B7 for the first time to avoid any of the episodes which stray too far towards the 'kid' end of the 'kidult' spectrum.
And the blessing of the hour was the twilight and the tower...
 
OneSparePart
Voice from the Past for the acting of LeGrand and the terrible script. Harvest of Kairos because you can't explain those spiders to a non fan. Stardrive cos the baddies are so naff.
But I would definitely show them the equally terrible Assassin because it is so gloriously bad it is brilliant.
There's an angel standing in the sun Free to get back home
 
Cygnus Bazza

OneSparePart wrote:

But I would definitely show them the equally terrible Assassin because it is so gloriously bad it is brilliant.

Which brings us neatly to the flip side of the question: which episode would you MOST want your friends to watch? And to take that a step further, is there a definitive/quintessential B7 episode - not necessarily the best or your favourite, but the one that encapsulates most effectively what the show was all about? It would have to have Blake in it, naturally. And Servalan. And not be one of the 'wacky' ones. Tempted to say 'Star One'. What do you all think?
Edited by Cygnus Bazza on 08-08-2022 17:16
And the blessing of the hour was the twilight and the tower...
 
Travisina

Cygnus Bazza wrote:

OneSparePart wrote:

But I would definitely show them the equally terrible Assassin because it is so gloriously bad it is brilliant.

Which brings us neatly to the flip side of the question: which episode would you MOST want your friends to watch? And to take that a step further, is there a definitive/quintessential B7 episode - not necessarily the best or your favourite, but the one that encapsulates most effectively what the show was all about? It would have to have Blake in it, naturally. And Servalan. And not be one of the 'wacky' ones. Tempted to say 'Star One'. What do you all think?

Definitely 'Seek-Locate-Destroy', which in fact is the episode that I show friends / family who've never seen B7. It's a great ensemble piece - the crew are all in place, each one gets a share of the dialogue and action to showcase their skills. We get some of Blake's back story, and a fab introduction to Servalan, Travis and Federation politics. (My mother's reaction to Servalan: 'Ooh, I like her!)
There is no point being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes
 
M1795537OCVirn
Fairly predictable from me:

Not watch (ever): BLAKE. Close seconds: SARCOPHAGUS, BOUNTY, HEADHUNTER. (And any that don't have SERVALAN.)

First watch: SEEK, LOCATE, DESTROY. Close/almost equal seconds: SAND (just because), RUMOURS.
"You're not sulking, I hope?"
 
Paula
Rumours of Death, Sarcophagus, Blake, Orac..... some of my favorites.
Resist the Host




 
Travisina

Paula wrote:

Rumours of Death, Sarcophagus, Blake, Orac..... some of my favorites.

Mine too!
But (Brad's friend notwithstanding) not necessarily the ones to show someone who's never seen B7 before!

When I first started going to Horizon meetings, people would choose which eps to watch on video, and 'Rumours' was a strong favourite, for obvious reasons. But I'd hardly seen any B7 at that point, and it would be years before I'd get to see 'Countdown', so it didn't have much effect on me.

Sarcophagus is brilliant, but out of the ordinary and relies on knowledge of the characters, espeically Cally and Avon.
Orac... possibly, it's a very strong story - but it's the culmination of the first series and the final appearance of Travis 1, so possibly not for newbies, either?
There is no point being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes
 
OneSparePart
Duel. It is apart from the main story but you get the idea of the fight against tyranny. Plus it has action, comedy and a bit of insight into all the characters.
There's an angel standing in the sun Free to get back home
 
Travisina

OneSparePart wrote:

Duel. It is apart from the main story but you get the idea of the fight against tyranny. Plus it has action, comedy and a bit of insight into all the characters.

Plus it has some superb camera work / directing, and great dialogue, especially the lines added by Chris Boucher Wink
There is no point being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes
 
Obsidian
Coming in a bit late here, but for some reason I find I really don't like Ultraworld. I can't find any redeeming features in it and The Core is embarrassing. Voice from the Past is pretty shocking also. I find it hurtles me right back to the 1970s and not in a good way. Dated, one might say. More embarrassment. Not one to show friends and especially not enemies.

I understand what Travisina means about showing anyone Blake but, rather like Brad's friend, when I finally clawed my way back to B7 having thought for years that I'd missed the final episode, the 'final episode' that Google and YouTube offered me was Blake. I watched it and, rather than not making sense of it, I could fully accept the ending given the bleak nature of B7, but then simply HAD TO find out what had led there. Of course, I found that I'd missed Terminal and a whole extra series. As a 'first time' episode it's a real teaser.

These days I find 'The Way Back' isn't a bad introduction, but I still put my money on Star One for excitement.
Don't philosophise at me you electronic moron.
 
https://www.seraglio-design.com/
Cygnus Bazza
A few random additional thoughts. Still edging towards 'Star One' as the best one to show a non-B7er. It might even pique a bit of curiosity and lead them along that 'how did the story get to this point?' slippery slope to fandom. What's absolutely for certain is that it'd be quite perverse to choose an episode without Blake in it - not sure I could be bothered doing all the necessary explaining, for one thing. And I mean Blake in his pomp, without the battle scars. 'Seek, Locate, Destroy' and 'Duel' both have their merits, but they're a little early in the piece and still slightly 2-d (in the sense that the actors, inevitably, don't quite inhabit their characters as they do further down the line).
And the blessing of the hour was the twilight and the tower...
 
Moon Disc
Adding my twopenny's worth, it would be POWER for me. Sexism, racism, domestic violence - by gum, it's grim. One watching was enough for me. Never watched it since. Awful.

I'm also with Cygnus Bazza in nominating SARCOPHAGUS. Not because it's bad - get past the silliness at the beginning and it's a solid story - rather because it's atypical of the series.

On the other hand, if I was recommending an intro the series, I'd probably say AFTERMATH, but then I'm biased because that's where I started all those years ago and never once - call me silly - did I wonder who Blake was or why his name was in the title. Oh, to be that young and naive again!
 
Gauda Cheese
Servalan in IMAX. For sure.

Animals at least has Kevin Stoney in it.
 
Vanessa Doffenshmirtz

Moon Disc wrote:

Adding my twopenny's worth, it would be POWER for me. Sexism, racism, domestic violence - by gum, it's grim. One watching was enough for me. Never watched it since. Awful.



Oh my goodness yes, Avon has spent three seasons with Jenna, Cally and Dayna ,Servalan and those Mutoids , and now he's bitch-slapping some-one whose skill are now "Plot-Twist" downplayed just to make him look superior. F that shiz...
I used to be such a sweet, sweet thing
Till they got a hold of me
 
Cygnus Bazza

I think we can all get behind that sentiment. Oh yes. Good work!
 
Brad

Moon Disc wrote:

Adding my twopenny's worth, it would be POWER for me. Sexism, racism, domestic violence - by gum, it's grim. One watching was enough for me. Never watched it since. Awful.



And then there is Moloch (Give her to your men), by the same writer as Power, IIRC.
i.imgur.com/AD5ikh4.png
Modthra
 
briggsy1
Perhaps these days a remake of this episode would see the gender roles reversed, with women in charge on the planet and the men playing subservient roles. There are a few interesting elements to the story, such as is Vila going to walk out on the rest of the crew permanently and throw in his lot with Doran's gang. The puppets of Astrid and Moloch are abysmal though.
 
dragonq

briggsy1 wrote:

Perhaps these days a remake of this episode would see the gender roles reversed, with women in charge on the planet and the men playing subservient roles. There are a few interesting elements to the story, such as is Vila going to walk out on the rest of the crew permanently and throw in his lot with Doran's gang. The puppets of Astrid and Moloch are abysmal though.


That would not make the subject any better. There is a dreadful first season episode of STNG which does precisely this, and it is far far worse than the Blake's 7 one.
If I had to pick episodes that I would not want people to see, I'd have to say Animals, which I find so ghastly I have not watched it in a quarter of a century; and also Volcano, which is so boring might as well be a sleeping tablet. There are other episodes that are not great, but which have redeeming features. Assassin and Harvest of Kairos, for example, I would put into the bad but fun category, and I don't mind Voice from the Past either, despite Governor LeGrand. Jacqueline Pearce is mistress of the bated threat, and it is hammy enough I can find it amusing, despite the silly storyline.
Elegant, my friend. Simply elegant.
 
aussiepamela

Travisina wrote:

Cygnus Bazza wrote:

We've all been there (probably). There's a TV show we love that we recommend RIDICULOUSLY highly to our friends. Eventually they get round to watching it - but, thanks to ess-oh-dee's law, the episode they tune in to is a complete embarrassment, a total turkey. And they take it as cast-iron confirmation that you really are utterly clueless when it comes to matters of televisual entertainment.

So which B7 episode would you least like your non-B7-literate friends to sample as their introduction to the series? Sarcophagus for me, followed at a respectful distance by City at the Edge of the World, The Keeper and Stardrive. There are a few others too, but these would be the credibility-busting biggies, I think. Lest I be judged and be thought to have completely lost my marbles.

Good grief, Cygnus B - you've listed two of my favourite eps!

Though admittedly, I wouldn't show City to a newbie as it relies heavily on knowledge of characters, especially Vila. Likewise Sarcophagus, and Rumours of Death - which was one of the first eps I ever watched and it had zero effect on me as I hadn't seen 'Countdown' or got to know Avon.


I also love Sarcophagus, although I have heard Jan Chappell (in a video from a convention) say that she was actually really unhappy with her performance. Both Sarcophagus and Rumours of Death do definitely, as you say, need context before you watch them. Actually, I am old enough to have seen Blakes 7 when it was originally broadcast, so I saw everything in order first time round, then again recently on TV, in order too.

Episodes I'm not fussed on include Cygnus Alpha (Brian Blessed being his usual OTT self!) and like others I'm not excited about Animal. Harvest of Kairos would be better without "the bug" too.
 
aussiepamela

Vanessa Doffenshmirtz wrote:

[quote name=Moon Disc post=11953]Adding my twopenny's worth, it would be POWER for me. Sexism, racism, domestic violence - by gum, it's grim. One watching was enough for me. Never watched it since. Awful.



I think that you have entirely missed the point of this episode.

Firstly, you have to remember that this episode was made in 1980 - that's a very long time ago when the world was a very different place. Secondly, even when I first watshed it way back then, I didn't see the writers as saying that the things you criticise are GOOD. They are saying exactly the OPPOSITE! Yes, these things are indeed awful, that's the point, so much that no-one would want a world that has degenerated to that extent.

I am reminded of a pop song from the 1980s by Joe Jackson called "Real Men", where the lyrics say in part:

Time to get scared, time to change plan
Don't know how to treat a lady
Don't know how to be a man
Time to admit, what you call defeat
Cause there's women running past you now
And you just drag your feet

Man makes a gun, man goes to war
Man can kill and man can drink
And man can take a whore
Kill all the blacks, kill all the reds
And if there's war between the sexes
Then there'll be no people left

That's what's happened on Xenon with the Seska and the Hommicks.
 
aussiepamela
Definitely 'Seek-Locate-Destroy', which in fact is the episode that I show friends / family who've never seen B7. It's a great ensemble piece - the crew are all in place, each one gets a share of the dialogue and action to showcase their skills. We get some of Blake's back story, and a fab introduction to Servalan, Travis and Federation politics. (My mother's reaction to Servalan: 'Ooh, I like her!)[/quote]

Agree "Seek-Locate-Destroy" as an intro for someone new if they couldn't start from the beginning. As a 17 year old when it was first broadcast (yes I know that makes me very old!) it was wonderful to have a strong female character like Servalan. The late 70s were the height of the original "Women's Lib", and I had the same hair cut so it was actually quite wonderful. I definitely wanted to be her, but only if I could have Avon as my boyfriend too! His ambiguity of moral/not moral - which is exactly what both Terry Nation and Chris Boucher had in mind when they wrote the character - was, IMHO what made Avon so popular despite being the "bad boy".
 
Vanessa Doffenshmirtz

briggsy1 wrote:

Perhaps these days a remake of this episode would see the gender roles reversed, with women in charge on the planet and the men playing subservient roles. There are a few interesting elements to the story, such as is Vila going to walk out on the rest of the crew permanently and throw in his lot with Doran's gang. The puppets of Astrid and Moloch are abysmal though.


Star Trek TNG Angel One..https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angel_One
Edited by Travisina on 22-10-2022 07:46
I used to be such a sweet, sweet thing
Till they got a hold of me
 
Travisina

I remember this one (only saw it once, which was enough) - gosh, it was utterly cringe-worthy!
There is no point being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes
 
Brad
Any of the Ben Steed episodes. The misogynist themes were hard enough to watch in the late 70's, and are downright anathema today.
i.imgur.com/AD5ikh4.png
Modthra
 
Deva
Any episode other than The Way Back.
"Time really is getting short, you know..."
 
Gauda Cheese
D is my fave series, but Animals is Animals Frown

Looks like I've answered twice. I've had wine.
 
AnneArthur
Not to watch - Power and Animals, for obvious reasons, but also anything with really dodgy effects - so no Harvest of Kairos, Moloch (both of which are also very dated in terms of sexual politics), Ultraworld. Probably not Voice from the Past - I don't mind it myself, but Shivan/Travis is pretty hammy, and so many people seem to dislike it intensely that I would worry that my friend would be one of them. Not Cygnus Alpha because of the tediously predictable BadReligion.

I agree that 'Seek, Locate, Destroy' is a good place to start, but I would be tempted to start right at the beginning, with 'The Way Back'. It's a very strong episode, and it gives you a glimpse of what Blake is fighting. When I picked up Blakes 7 again as an adult, it had me hooked from the start. That said, when I first watched it as a teenager I started with Aftermath, and loved it - the fact that Blake was never seen and rarely mentioned turned him into a sort of ghost haunting the crew, and made him all the more powerful when he finally appeared.
 
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