Nico (vilakins) wrote,
Nico
vilakins

Duel (108)

Ah yes, B7's Arena episode, but the best example I've encountered so far. It offers more questions than answers though.

Travis's grasp of astronomy (or lack thereof)
"The other patrols have pushed him into this galaxy." Surely he didn't mean galaxy. I mean, space is unimaginably huge and it's extremely unlikely that Travis could find the Liberator in another galaxy--let alone this one, actually. I shall assume he meant 'galactic sector' and had some way of tracking other ships. At least the neither the Clouds of Magellan nor Uranus get a mention. ;-)

Jenna and Keera (as it is spelled in Liberation)
Sinofar chooses Jenna as Blake's friend, and  Travis's mutoid as his. Why? Is the fact they were both pilots relevant (it would add an extra reason to keep them alive) or do they both matter more to Blake and Travis than either lets on? Jenna is probably the least troublesome member of Blake's crew: obedient, loyal, and never critical, but did Travis know Keera before? He knows her name and past, but is it from personal knowledge or just having found out about her via her records? If the latter, it can't have been information that was readily available; the mutoid herself neither knows nor cares who she was before.

Mutoids
We learn that mutoids are given military rank and therefore respect within the Space Feet hierarchy; Keera is a Federation officer. Fanfic often depicts them as being punished, but perhaps people choose to become mutoids in a sort of extreme version of joining the Foreign Legion to forget. Travis also tells us in Seek-Locate-Destroy that he prefers mutoids to human troops. However he is quite cruel to Keera, first promising her Jenna's blood, then denying it to her so that she is too weak to chop the trap loose in time to kill Blake and Jenna. Is he being spiteful because Keera does not remember her past--and possibly him?
Travis also threatens her with a court-martial, implying that she is a full officer and is treated as such. Interesting.
It's also interesting that vampire legends and fear of them still exist.
I wish we had found out more about mutoids in later episodes.

Giroc and Sinofar
Giroc is a nasty piece of work, but that aside, who or what are they? Giroc tells Blake that none are left; they are a dead race, so neither is alive (as we know it, Jim). They say that they are the Guardian and the Keeper and that the power of the race is in them; are they perhaps the stored intelligences or memories of two people long dead, or the distillation of two points of view prevalent among that race?

Their planet
For once, the planet looks realistic, pleasant and liveable from space, so I'm guessing that it recovered from the wars and that the forest was real. It certainly looked like a good place for some R&R, it has a breathable atmosphere and thriving plant and animal life, and I suspect that Blake chose a much better spot on the day side but he, Jenna, and Gan got diverted to the memorial area.

The crew
I like Vila playing Avon at his own game of standing close and staring him down. A near-draw, I'd say.
When I was at Star One in 2004, Michael Keating told me that he wrote part of an episode and never got credit (he was joking, not at all resentful). I asked him when that was, and he said it's the scene where Vila and Gan discuss what they'd do if Blake and Jenna don't come back. The film taken of them up the tree had large scratches in it at that point and they decided to cut to another conversation during those bits, so MK wrote that little exchange for Vila and Gan. :-)
Ah yes, the famous Avon statement "I have never understood why it should be necessary to become irrational in order to prove that you care, or, indeed, why it should be necessary to prove it at all." Very clever; one can take it to mean that he does care (as Cally does) but he hasn't actually said that. (Though I choose to believe that he does, at least at that point.)
Gan says he didn't see Sinofar at the end, but he did. Probably not long enough to see what she looked like though, she says, playing the game.

Tech
Blake can use this data-pad thingy to write on the screen! I'm sure that technology wasn't available back then, so that's a very nice and prescient touch.

This is an entertaining episode despite all the unanswered questions it raises; in fact Greg thinks it's the best so far. I'm not normally fond of arena stories but this one was neither boring nor excessively violent.

Tags: blake's 7 - episode reviews
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