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Blake's 7, the Forerunner of Lexx
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mayaXXX
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 Posted: Thu Apr 5th, 2007 11:42 pm

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Hey Cheshie, I think you're referring to Paul Darrow, not Paul Donovan. Paul Darrow was the actor that played Avon. And Paul Donovan did mention Blake's 7 in an interview once in a UK scifi mag, and how it had inspired lots of imitators.

The comparisons are surprisingly evident...see the first post I made to compare the two series.

 A group of misfits trying to avoid detainment and capture by the reigning 'evil' government steal a ship, ( sentient being infused into a mechanical ship) with a cold detached, unemotional lead male character, dark dangerous and mysterious, wears lots of black and is the heart-throb of the series, has a lot of adventures fighting against whatever regime or aliens that  are trying to destroy them etc, etc...

The series is the forerunner of not only Lexx but Farscape and many others.

Since the Lexx series was called 'Star Trek's Evil Twin', the obvious forerunner would have been a show that was the 'anti-Star Trek' of it's time.  Paul probably would not have admitted point blank that he'd patterned the show after Blake's  7, but the show ran during a time period that I'm sure he'd have watched it , (like Dr. Who) and I'm sure he was influenced by it to a great degree.

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milesteg1000
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 Posted: Thu Apr 5th, 2007 11:46 pm

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Do you remember which magazine that was, by chance? (The one in which Donovan references Blake's 7.) Is it on the Michael McManus web site, incidentally? (I thought I'd looked at all of them, but maybe I missed something.)

Thanks.

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 Posted: Fri Apr 6th, 2007 10:00 pm

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No it's not on the website. I'd have to go do a search thru all my mags and see which one it was. The magazines on the site are pretty much the interviews that include Michael. There are TONS of other Scifi mag interviews (UK mostly) with Paul, Lex, Jeffrey, Xenia, Brian, and some of them with the 3 main stars as a group.

I have over 75 magazines with Lexx articles and it takes a long time to go thru all of them, hehe

The UK mags that feature Lexx cast and writers are:

Cult Times, TVzone, Starburst, SFX, Dreamwatch, Xpose', Scifi World, and there's always US mags too, like Parsec, Scifi.com, Starlog, Cinemafantastique and a few others. Each of these mags above has more than one interview over the years with the cast members, many of them have numerous interviews. The only way to really find all of them is to buy them. There's no site that has all the mag interview articles online, since it's such a momumental task to scan them in.


:bunny3:

 



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 Posted: Thu Jul 5th, 2007 04:00 am

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It was an event in our house the first time it aired. When I look back on it it was a bit cheesy, but I had a schoolgirl crush on Paul Darrow AND Stephen Tennant, and used to do a mean impression or Orac (maybe thats not such a good thing lol).

I had them all on DVD but sold them on ebay. Sendit dot com occasionally have deals on the sci-fi box sets (I paid something like £11.99 there for each Stargate box set when they're £50 usually) but they are region 2 Europe.

Back to Blake's 7, I was very disappointed with the ending and that kind of spoiled the whole thing for me, like they couldn't be bothered to end it properly so just kill everyone.

mayaXXX
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 Posted: Sat Jul 7th, 2007 04:38 am

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Yeah, it was not up to the usual standards of British Scifi shows. They were pressured to end the series and of course, a spectacular and controversial ending...sound familiar? hehe

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CheshireKat
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 Posted: Sat Jul 7th, 2007 05:45 pm

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I thought they had Blake totally out of character in the last ep. And Avon wasn't any better. It was obviously a rush job to end the series and it really didn't fit the tone of the rest of the series. I was really disappointed too.:(



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 Posted: Sun Jul 8th, 2007 01:18 pm

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Actually, the end was carefully written so that they could save most of the characters as the only one you see die is Blake (shot by Avon). The rest are seen to get hit and go down but it is not evident precisely how fatal the shots are. Avon, while we see him stand up with his weapon is never seen to be shot at all. Which is why the new Blake's 7 was initially envisioned with him tucked away in an obscure prison.
I spent 20 years pining after Avon with his dry british humour so like my own - my first and only real crush on a character. (Which is not to say I don't love Kai but its more an empathic thing - I feel with/for Kai. Avon was a much more visceral 'hey that Servelan bitch is just so wrong for you - hang with me instead'. Considering that I was born in late 1971 and it aired here in the early 80's that is just plain disturbing.)

As for the characterisation in the last episode: there is a lot to be said here about the pressures both guys are under. Blake is at a point where he really doesn't trust anyone except Avon and even him he's a bit leery of. He says himself that he can't tell any more who might be Federation! He's burnt out by years of bitter struggle to no avail - how many thousands of people are dead because of his actions alone? We don't know exactly but Avon comments quite early on in the series that more people have died because Blake fights than if he just gave up. The attempt on Star One alone would have caused millions to die by his hands if he had succeeded as all the weather, traffic and other types of essential service controls were centralised there. (In the end the aliens got it so he achieved his goal and was off the hook for their deaths.) In his first attempt to take out the central computer he manages to kill one of his own friends.
Avon on the other hand would have done fine if he'd stuck to the plan of getting rich and running away. Unfortunately Blake trusted him and Avon - queer as his sense of honour is - won't let him down. After some initial revenge hits, he settles down to try and be the eponymous hero - something he will never achieve. He is also trying to prove that Blake isn't the only one who can save the universe. In that last episode he has lost everything, first the Liberator at the end of Season 3, now all his plans to fight have circled the drain and his base is compromised. He has to destroy it and flee ahead of any incoming strike teams. Fortunately he has had Orac looking for Blake ever since they lost him and now he has a solid lead. Still, when he loses even the Scorpio on arrival at the planet he is down to his last roll of the dice - totally desperate. Tarrant doesn't see Blake's bounty hunter guise for the cover it is and ever paranoid (is it paranoia when they are out to get you?) Avon has a crisis of faith. The scene where they confront each other and Avon asks Blake "Is it true? Have you betrayed us - have you betrayed me?" is a profound one for me. The man he has spent all this time searching for - the only one he has given any allegiance to seems to betray him. When Blake underestimates (I told you he was burnt out) Avon's determination to shoot if pushed, that is the end of all hope. Avon specifically warns him not to come any closer or he'll shoot but Blake just runs on in where angels would throw stun grenades.
I hated the ending - simply because it was the end. Of all the episodes (we got all 4 seasons the first go around on the ABC) I only ever missed 5 minutes. That 5 minutes was after just too much horror for a little girl - when that mummified guy started strangling people I had to go. Pity because it was all downhill from there in horror terms. All the rest of the shows I sat glued to the screen. I know the effects are cheesy these days but this was the era of bad effects when no one knew what really good effects could be like for tv. Certainly no BBC production could have afforded them anyway - especially not this SciFi stuff which was lucky to get a broom closet to shoot in.
I now own all 4 seasons on dvd (family is wonderful stuff though I did scrimp up the $$ for the first 2 myself). I was watching an interview of Paul Darrow where he discussed Avon in great detail - motivations etc. The truly scary thing is that he would say something about Avon, starting a train of thought on my part and then he'd say exactly what I was thinking. The entire interview went like that - I couldn't say how long it was, maybe 10 mins? (I have absolutely no time sense beyond now and before.) But everything he had to say about Avon was exactly what I was thinking just before he said it.

Anyway thats quite enough for now I think.
(Note to self: buy new typing fingers - these ones can't keep up with the brain.)

Last edited on Sun Jul 8th, 2007 01:25 pm by katzarai

mayaXXX
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 Posted: Mon Jul 9th, 2007 06:02 am

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Oh goody, a real Blake's 7 fan !! I worshipped the show for the entire time it was on the air here in the US. I subscribed to the Taliel Cell newsletter and bought tons of lovely 8 x 10 glossies...) Some of the pics of Avon (Paul Darrow) are so gorgeous you can hardly look at them. I have the series on DVD also, (I have multi-region code player) and have tons of fun going back over them from time to time.

As for the ending, this was my problem with it. They had Blake disappear (actor dispute?) then bring him back in as the 'betrayer', after Avon has gone above and beyond his own mercenary sensibilities and then even KNOWING how much of a hot button Avon is, he rushes him with a weapon in his hand !! Complete and total continuity mistake ! As for the rest of the crew members biting the dust, I think at that point in the series, most of the attention was on Paul Darrow's character and they were considered expendable to the plot. Did you notice how much more money they started spending on his costumes compared to everyone else's except Jackies?

heheh



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sabeanqueen
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 Posted: Mon Jul 9th, 2007 08:33 am

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Are you getting Torchwood in the US? if you are then watch out for the episode 'Ghost Light', Gareth Thomas (Blake) is in it. I hardly recognised him :)

sabeanqueen
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 Posted: Mon Jul 9th, 2007 08:35 am

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Oh I meant to say, on UK DVD this week 'Timelash' is out, that's the Doctor Who episode where Paul Darrow plays Tekker. My copy arrived this morning :D

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 Posted: Wed Jul 11th, 2007 07:12 pm

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Has anyone read Paul Darrow's book Avon. It goes deep into Avon's background and how to came to mistrust the people around him. I found it a fascinating read.



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 Posted: Thu Jul 12th, 2007 05:44 am

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Indeed, a truer dyed-in-the-wool fan was never born! With regard to Blake's dissappearance, Gareth didn't want to continue in the role anymore so he was written out. When he does reappear in the show it is someone else (like Travis) and (again like Travis) who didn't prefer the first? When they were informed this would be the end of Blake's 7, Gareth wanted to put the seal on his character making utterly certain he could never be brought back again - just like Michael and Kai *sob*.

As for the focus on Avon, I think they had noticed the knee-deep adoring fans & airconditioners. However even quite early the Avon/Vila dynamic was firmly established - the differance is at the end he (Avon) is actually participating rather than an onlooker. With Blake as the eponymous hero, Avon has to take backstage except when he has the opportunity to show up just how dumb everyone else is. (Except Vila - who is actually very smart but so lazy its only his survival ethic that kept him breathing. I could probably write a dissertation on Vila all himself but he's much more interesting as Avon's foil. He goes from being Blake's adherant to being Avon's very quickly after the initial rescue from Signus Alpha to realising that Avon is much less likely to get him killed. They develop a trust which is betrayed just before the end when Vila comes to understand that Avon will save himself first even if it means sacrificing Vila. Despite that when the other shoe drops he is the first to step up to the plate in the last episode - which gets him shot, we will never know how badly.)

Damn, you make me write a lot! Maybe I should send you the bill for the fingers LOL.

Angel Happy birthday!
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 Posted: Thu Jul 12th, 2007 11:40 am

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sabeanqueen wrote: Are you getting Torchwood in the US? if you are then watch out for the episode 'Ghost Light', Gareth Thomas (Blake) is in it. I hardly recognised him :)
We're not getting Torchwood in the U.S. as far as I know, but there is a thread further down about it.  A lovely lexxian friend of mine in Ireland has been taping the series for me and I've seen all of the first season, and he'll be taping the second season for me as well.  He's sending me the rest of the third season of Dr. Who soon.  There were a few eps in torchwood I didn't care for, but overall I did like the series and Capt. Jack is rather hot as well. :D



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