Nico (vilakins) wrote,

Countdown (209)

Ice-cold in Albian! A much better episode than last week's, and one that shows Avon at his best.

The early fight sequences are well done, and they must have blown half the season's budget on explosives (which certainly shows in the next episode). One gets a sense of the extent of the uprising and why the Federation force had to retreat. I also thought the bomb was a good device to keep a planet in line, and would be much more efficient than the later Pylene 50 as the Federation would still have a working population.

When I was a kid, I was devastated by the final episode and furious that the character I most hated was the one left standing. I fully expected to loathe Avon when I watched reruns in 2001, but was surprised to find that I liked him.
Here, Avon shows all the qualities I like so much in him in seasons 1 and 2: he is brave, selfless (even taking his bracelet off to give himself and Grant the best chance of saving the Albians) and he obviously cared very much about Anna. He may talk about selling his gadget to the Federation, but, like Vila, it's what he does, not what he says, that counts. OK, he's a criminal, but he has a set of ethics and morals that are higher than the law of the land, or in this case, Federation.
I wonder why he thought Blake wouldn't understand about Anna, having lost his own family. Perhaps it was just an excuse not to tell him; Avon is after all a very private person.

Wow, he's packed on the weight since season 1. Greg thought he looked big in 'Hostage', but I can certainly see it here. That's a real muffin-top over those tight trousers, or possible, as Greg suspects, corset.
OK, that aside, he was once again the Blake of S1, helper of the oppressed, and I can quite see why he'd stay as long as possible while Avon was in danger but I'm not sure why he demanded that Vila stay too. An expectation that everyone else shares his views, or that all have to take the same risks?

Because this is Terry Nation, Vila doesn't turn into a quivering wreck when Blake forces him to stay when he tries to teleport, but stands there beside him, obviously trusting that it will be all right, very much as he does in 'Time Squad'. He doesn't just like Blake, he trusts him.
I have no idea in terms of the plot why he had to go and find Blake to tell him about Provine as it served no purpose: he got there after Blake had already found out and shot him. And why have him immediately forget the location? He's very competent otherwise, finding the bomb by using Orac, and opening the safe.

Solium radiation and rocket propulsion
I suppose if the stuff dissipates within a day, it's not wind-borne but kills directly by radiation right through the planet. OK, I'll accept that.
But not that anyone could survive in a room where a rocket is being fired. And having the controls just under a light? I bet Health and Safety would have something to say about that. :-P

He's not keen on the idea of killing millions, but once he's shot and knows he's dying, it doesn't seem to matter any more. I'm fairly certain none of our crew would do that. And sorry, but I cracked up when his bloody face appeared and he set off the bomb because all I could think of was that scene in the wonderful "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" B7 Monty Python video; bwahahaha! If you haven't already, do go and watch it.

Del Grant
He obviously became a mercenary after Anna 'died' and can't have had any other family or they'd be sold into slavery or killed after his desertion or treason. Like Avon, even if he's doing it ostensibly for the money, he cares enough to risk death to stay and defuse the bomb. I think they're very alike in many ways.

The bomb
Despite the lack of visible breath, I got a real feeling of cold, claustrophobia, and danger in those scenes. When Grant said that he'd lost the last pin, I thought (like many others) that Avon would just leave the drill bit in, but no. I suppose it added to the tension and the usual last-second disarming that is de rigueur. ;-)

All in all an excellent episode which told us more about Avon's past and the bravery and altruism he would vehemently deny he possesses. And I do love Vila's exchange with Grant at the end, so very him.
GRANT: Goodbye Cally, goodbye Vila. And thank you.
VILA [expansively]: Any time.
GRANT: I'll remember that.
VILA [disconcerted]: Oh. Will you?
Tags: blake's 7 - episode reviews
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