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Showing posts from May, 2012

Have you ever seen an honest man?

Blake's 7 1.2: Space Fall

I owned a copy of the BBC video release of the butchered first four B7 stories, and it was Space Fall that made the strongest impression (I joined the original broadcast of the series during Season Three). The difference between this and The Way Back is very evident in terms of atmosphere, and as such it feels like a second pilot, or the way in which US TV commissions a pilot and then rejigs a significant number of elements (tonally, cast or otherwise) by the time the series begins. It’s interesting to note that this was shot before the opener.
Despite the first episode being very much its own beast, Space Fall is in many ways its equal. While The Way Back feels, to some extent, as if the characters are being moved about in order to meet the demands of where the plot wants to get to and the world it wants to establish, Space Fall (despite having been as well-catered for plot-wise) places the characters front and centre. This is where we get to know the futur…

No, I’m coming back.

Blake's 7 1.1: The Way Back

I probably buck the trend when it comes to appreciation of Blake’s 7, in that I enjoyed it more as it went along. Season One, at times, felt too much like it was emulating the drab monotone of the dystopian Earth we’re introduced to in the first episode. That said, I don’t think I’ve seen any episode of the series more than four times, and the vast majority no more than twice, so I’m looking forward to discovering new things to like (or not) about it. For the most part I’m going to avoid straight plot recaps, so it may sometimes seem like a slightly disconnected collection of impressions and observations. As a curiosity, I’ll be noting cast members who also appeared in Doctor Who roles, and parallels to that series where it seems appropriate.
The structure used for the first episode is probably its most compelling feature, throwing the viewer into the action behind the point Blake has reached, which is far behind where his former compatriots are (I have to…

The Motion Picture Dedicated to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happenings.

The President's Analyst
(1967)

Writer/director Theodore J Flicker’s The President’s Analyst was released at the tail end of 1967, a year which, in retrospect, appears to have been the peak moment for a generation who believed they could bring about real and lasting societal change. Flicker’s film refracts the spirit of the times through the prism of comedy. And the result, as is often the case with great satires, endeavours to have its cake and eat it too. So its ideas and themes are dressed in a recognisably ‘60s style, from the saturated colours of the widescreen cinematography and the jazz-pop score by Lalo Schifrin to the climactic set piece straight out of a Bond film. The President’s Analyst’s approach is to gleefully revel in a landscape of absurdly amped up psychedelia while swiping at its façade.


Dr Sidney Schaefer: If I were an analyst, which I am, I would say that I was turning into some sort of paranoid personality, which I am!

“Ted” Flicker’s background was in improvised …