Nico (vilakins) wrote,

Space Fall (102)

A good ep and quite revealing of Federation society. Leylan says, "They don't bother! Nobody bothers anymore," which is the impression I get about the Federation: stagnant and slowly crumbling. I didn't realise it was ever so explicitly stated.

The London has the same hovering holo screens the Liberator has; I'd thought that was completely non-Federation tech because of Servalan's ordinary screens.
The London has hyperdrive which I don't think is mentioned again--except in the rdio plays. :-P
Artix is doing his training by listening to something like a small MP3 player. Cool.

Only Raiker mentions the false charges against Blake. Surely the other prisoners didn't all believe he was innocent? Child molesters are despised by career criminals (and pretty much everyone really). However as someone else pointed out, their rations were drugged although they all looked fairly alert to me.
I love that Blake surrenders to stop the killing of prisoners, and that his first destination is Cygnus Alpha to rescue the others.

Avon certainly starts as he means to go on: acerbic, brilliant, and arrogant. That document he looks at twice has to have significance within the ep. I therefore think it's an offer from Raiker to space the prisoners (and probably Leylan) and change the records. I can't believe Leylan would go along with it: he's basically decent if very tired of it all and near burn-out by the weary way he keeps rubbing his face.

She's still capable and tough. I've come up with a couple of things she could have said to Raiker in stories, but in the context of the ep, I have no idea what she said to put him off for 4 months. I note that she and Vila still seem to be friends.
I can't believe she put makeup on every day for those 4 months. I have now decided that she has permanent makeup (tattoo or similar) on her eyes, lips, and brows, available even now. Her hair's another matter. Maybe the prisoners' showers also includes automatic hair grooming machines that maintained their original style while their one and only set of clothing was cleaned.

That conversation between all three of them in the computer room defines them all so well.

For much of the ep, he's confident and calculating. Given his later ability to get through locks including those at Central Control, he must be lying about the palm-print doors because he'd rather not get involved in anything that dangerous--there'd be violence done to the guard just to allow him to get at the lock after which Vila would be right at the sharp end. Keeping a look out and playing distracting games makes him just one of the crowd and possibly allows him to deny involvement if it all goes wrong. I don't know whether he really has claustrophobia, but he looks more sly than scared when he gets out of going into the crawlspace.
His suggestion of killing Avon doesn't sit with his later character, but he does say it in Avon's hearing. Is it an attempt to put Avon off the idea of hacking the records? Pretending to be tough? Either way it doesn't fit with the Vila we get to know.
Interesting point: this was the first ep made. TWB was made second, so this was Vila's first portrayal. Apart from the gun incident, he seems similar in both.

The dropped gun
[rolls eyes] Yes, this comes across as very stupid. It feels contrived and it doesn't match Vila's other behaviour in the ep. OK, it was written to get them captured and also maybe as (unsuccessful) comic relief, but we have to play the game here, so I will.
I don't think Vila had ever held a gun; he'd always been on the other side of one. Given Blake's immediate reaction in TWB of hiding when the troopers turn up, responding to an authoritative order when holding something he's unwilling to have anything to do with could be a fairly reasonable reaction. I note that the other convict with the gun who gets shot does so because he's looking at Vila instead of the trooper his gun's pointing at. Both of them behave stupidly; I'd say only Gan had any experience with weapons, and he was described by BBC publicity as a rebel from Zephron.

I might add that I come from a country where neither the citizens nor the ordinary police are armed, so my attitude to guns and dropping them will vary from that of many, especially those in the US.

I do like his menace when he tells the guard he only needs the hand--and the way he opens his own hand against the guard's to demonstrate what he wants. Very nicely done.

Poor Nova. That's a very effective scene with his ears popping at first with the drop in pressure, then his realisation of what's happening. I was horrified when I saw this in 2001 and it's still a chilling scene. He seems such a decent fellow too; what was he in for? Mind you, they all seem well behaved; we only get to see the nastier side of some convicts on CA.

The Liberator
I love the scene with the London dwarfed by it. And its airlock door is hexagonal! [is filled with joy] I still wonder what's in such a huge ship: the flight deck, living quarters, and treasure and clothes rooms wouldn't take up much room. What's in the rest of it? At least one bay that can take a small ship and freight holds perhaps?
And was that an alien weapon that caused the Altas to abandon ship, or Zen's defence system, never seen again?

Another good ep: surprisingly dark in places, but ultimately optimistic.

Tags: blake's 7 - episode reviews
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