Blake’s 7 s01e01 – The Way Back

00 Crossstitch

This would make an excellent cross stitch. Just sayin’.

 

Our Hero, Roj Blake

Roj is wearing a turtleneck  and some kind of moss pelt that’s been belted to him as a sign of his … I guess conquering some moss people? Maybe there are moss people in this show. I watched Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace, I know that plant/human hybrids can exist anywhere.

We meet a woman now who nags our hero about his eating and drinking habits, and a weirdly sweaty blonde guy who watches in the background like a creeper while Nagging Chick claims that there are drugs in the food supply. Apparently Roj’s family are out on another planet and gets videos of them sometimes. That seems incredibly depressing for some reason. We learn that going outside is super illegal, but Roj is down for this adventure to get some news about his family, so their new guide friend puts some jumper cables on a smoke detector in order to open up the wall with a hand crank. They’re observed by Sweaty Guy, who then follows them through at a brisk limp.

New Friends

New Friends

Sweaty Del

Sweaty Del

Not Creepy

Not Creepy

Yeah, that’s not creepy.

Outside, everyone stops to drink a bit of what I originally assumed was sewer runoff, but apparently is fresh water, which everyone but Roj thinks is pretty awesome. Nagging chick mocks Roj for being a drugged up amnesiac and generally treats him like a moron, which he does NOTHING at all to try and dispel by being a bit of a loud whiny jerk by screeching that he’s never had any treatments. We’re shown that apparently everyone lives in a dome, that looks a lot like the Death Star, or a place I lived a couple of years back out in the desert.

Roj is told that he has to see some guy named Foster, but he’s really not feeling this whole “talking to Outsiders” thing, because it’s also highly illegal. His friends let him know that they’ve taken steps to frame him for some serious criminal acts (worse than going outside and talking to dudes, apparently), so he needs to get with this Foster program or else. Not for nothing, Roj, but maybe you should ditch these guys once you get back.

Foster introduces himself, and seems to know Roj, but Roj doesn’t know him. Sweaty guy turns out to be a friendly face, and Foster pulls Roj aside to let him know that his family is actually dead, the tapes are fakes, and Roj was apparently a rebel leader. Uncomfortable close ups lead to memories of the treatments, and what might be the most hilarious way to run down a hallway ever.

5 Foster and Sweaty Del 7 Uncomfortable Close Up 2 6 Uncomfortable Close Up 1 8 BLINKING LIGHTS

I laugh every time I see it. Every time.

RUNNIN

RUNNIN

I should point out, too, that he is wearing the same clothes. That also seems incredibly depressing.

Foster tells him that they’re getting the rebellion band back together, and it would be great if Roj would be the Joilet to his Elwood, but Roj’s had a lot of take in, and goes to sulk off down a tunnel while a bunch of stunningly normal looking people watch Foster talk about disobedience and giving power to the people. While he talks, Roj notices that some security guys are driving up, and he hides behind things like air, and very large grates, to escape their attention.

9 How Does No One See

Seriously, no one sees this guy? How do you people live with yourselves? I mean really.

Sweaty guy, who we learn is named Del, suggests that they disrupt supply lines to cause ration cuts while using the same Arms Akimbo pose as Foster, but he’s disrupted by Cyberm – er, guards, who proceed to SHOOT EVERYONE.

Menace!

That Wasn’t So Bad

Nope I Was Wrong It’s Bad

Guess you don’t need to worry about keeping those friends, Roj.  It should be noted that Roj could have probably warned these guys, but decided against that course of action – maybe because they pre-framed him.  Dick move, meet dick move.

Roj, meanwhile, looks uber bored. He returns to find that everyone is dead, and this doesn’t so much freak him out as it apparently mildly irritates him. We get more visions of him running (HAHAHAHA!  Every time!!) and getting treatments, which then fades to a man with some very serious realness going on who tells Roj that he has had a pretty bad day, but it was all in his mind. The entire time a sound like one of my computer fans is failing plays, and after Roj accepts that maybe he did have a bit of an acid trip the doctor leaves, which prompts a meeting of conspirators discussing how Roj can’t just be killed since it would make him a martyr.

Doc Realness

Keepin it Cas

I kind of like how completely casual Lady Conspirator is keepin’ it.

In the end they decide to just mess with his head a bit more, and two of them wander off – only to reveal Sweaty Del talking about how he pretty much won’t be happy until Roj is dead.

They assign a brash young lawyer to Roj’s defense over some serious charges, and he lets Roj know that he’ll be trying to get him not killed. Roj doesn’t even care, though, and says that he didn’t kill anyone, which surprises his lawyer, who reads off charges of corrupting minors. That manages to get under Roj’s skin, but he just says that he’ll plead not guilty, preferring to get deported rather than even pretend that these kid toucher charges might be anywhere close to real.  Roj tries to convince his lawyer that he’s been framed, and it does seem to plant a seed of doubt in his mind, even though he’s talked to the kids Roj’s been accused of corrupting. I’m really not sure how I feel about these mullet robes of justice everyone is wearing.

Flashy Thingy

Flashy Thingy

Like A Boss

Like A Boss

After a trial where Roj gets sassy and the judge gets sassy right back, Blake’s fate is decided by flashing lights. Roj starts looking a little worried, while conspirator woman looks incredibly smug, and he is found guilty. He has a mini freak out, and tries to gtfo, but he gets tasered, and as he falls he sees Sweaty Del before passing out.  I swear, everyone in this world has to be completely oblivious, because the conspirators cannot make it more obvious that they are getting away with something.

Val

Val

Frowny Blon - er, Jenna

Frowny Blon – er, Jenna

While he sleeps off being tasered, a man we learn is named Val steals everyone not stapled to his person. He lets Roj know that he’s a compulsive thief, and a frowny blonde woman tricks Val into handing back Roj’s watch, before pretty much telling our hero that he’s an idiot and no one cares about him at all.  Frowny blonde turns out to be Jenna, and she is no wilting wallflower.  I kind of like her, though not her tendency to smack people on the back of the head, which I fear could be a secret fetish she harbors.

22 Rockin' Out

 After blowing off sex with his good looking girlfriend/wife, the defense attorney shows up at the hall of records, where they interrupt a guy who’s just trying to rock out. I guess the attorney’s name is Tel, since that’s what it says on his ID that he flicks out like it’s really a picture of a naked lady. Reluctantly, our civil servant (after what looks like a Christmas gift bow bribe) opens up the medical/hospital records to reveal that the kids were all absent from school the day before, and Tel realizes that there just might be a conspiracy afoot.

Tel has a short talk with Mr Blake, to learn how he got outside, and then heads out after promising that he’ll get Roj out in a few hours, by talking to Doctor Realness about the possible conspiracy. After a bit of back and forth, Tel realizes that Doc Realness is in on the whole thing, and they do some old school eavesdropping and phone phishing, before Scooby Dooing their way to the tunnels.

This of course gets picked up by the security teams, who are actually doing their jobs like a proper security force would. It doesn’t matter, though, because our young detectives won’t find anythi – are you serious? They just left the bodies laying there? I thought that this was a well put together conspiracy, but that is just lazy, Doctor Realness.  Tel gets plenty of footage with maybe the coolest camera ever made.

Are You Kidding Me

Are You Kidding Me

I'd Buy It

I’d Buy It

Roj gets lippy with a guard and hugged into his seat on the shuttle transport, while Sweaty Del tells a guard to make it look like the Scoobies got offed in an accident as the shuttle pulls away from the dome.  As Roj leaves the Earth’s orbit, the head guard tells him to get a good look, because that’s the last he’ll see of it. Roj vows, in what might be the most stoic way ever put to film, that he’ll be coming back.

Creeper No Creeping

Creeper No Creeping

Aw, Goodbye Tel

Aw, Goodbye Tel

Hugs

Hugs

I Don't Even Give A Fuck

I Don’t Even Give A Fuck

Credits.

Blake’s 7

Opening Screen

The updated opening screen

A friend of mine told me about this show, saying that it “stands up as one of the grim-and-bleak era of British Sci Fi” series.  I like grim and bleak, so I decided to give it a whirl.  I watched the first episode, and knew that this thing needed to be recapped.

According to Wikipedia, it was broadcast from 78 to 81, and the first paragraph is all I read, in order to avoid spoiling myself, so I’ll be watching this with fresh eyes.