I know a lot of people revere Chris Boucher, but I don't. He's a good writer but I never thought much of Boucher because of his arrogance. I then had my impression confirmed in The Cult of Blake's 7 when he blamed everything on others and trotted out a nasty comment about Gareth Thomas. I already knew he was the one responsible for writing Jenna and Cally's roles down because he thought Sally and Jan were pushy in asking for more, but I hadn't realised what he'd done to Vila.
However when I was watching Shadow this week and puzzling over why Vila was so out of character, I realised that it was due to the writer.
All through season 1--and Redemption--Terry Nation depicted Vila as a clever, witty, and capable thief who is actually very brave despite his protests of cowardice. Then we get to Shadow and suddenly he's a useless idiot with a drink problem. Even if Boucher took Avon's insults as fact rather than opinion, that still doesn't explain where the drinking suddenly came from.
So Vila is useless and stupid in Shadow, what about other episodes; is there a pattern? I only looked at Boucher and Nation episodes because most of the other writers followed Boucher's lead though Robert Holmes wrote an adult and intelligent Vila who could talk to Avon as an equal, espeically in Killer.