Blakes 7

257 – Blakes 7 – Volcano

The planet Obsidian has a secret.  Will the crew of the Liberator find Blake on a planet of pacifists?

Ben and Eugene discuss Volcano.

4 thoughts on “257 – Blakes 7 – Volcano”

  1. + If you’re colonising a vast planet with exactly one volcano, why do you build your only settlement within that volcano?

    + Blakes 7, in my opinion, has the distinction of possessing both the best starship design (in the Liberator) and the worst starship designs (in everything else). I give a pass to the London, as it’s sort of utilitarian, but El Presidente Servalan’s new command cruiser looks to be made from Play-Doh and chrome spraypaint by a five year old.

    + For two episodes running, the flight deck of the Liberator has been overrun by Federation troops. What happened to the hallucinogenic psychotronic bridge defence system? It handily killed all those troops the London sent across when Blake first acquired the Liberator, but now it seems to be dead/forgotten.

    + I know the one of the Pyroeans said they rarely go out onto the surface, but did makeup really need to give everyone the complexion of Dracula?

    + Good space battle! There was some tension and excitement! I liked it. I hope we get to see more of salty Admiral McSeadog in charge of the Federation ships. He just needs a mug o’ grog and an eyepatch.

    + I had a good laugh at the over-the-top shot of the trooper falling into the lava. Cheesy fun.

    + Michael Gough shouldn’t have been left in charge of the Big Red Button. He really had a very low tolerance for not pushing it. The director could have turned this episode into something interesting by having Gough turn the Cult Leader dial up to 11.

    1. You’re probably not expecting answers but…

      1) Free, limitless geothermal energy!
      2) The Hawk-Whale ship was actually the winner of a Blue Peter “Design Servalan a Giant Space Penis” contest. The contest was won by 9-year old David John McDonald of Renfrewshire.
      3) Two Words: Orac. Oh, wait, that’s only one word.
      4) Union rules. There’s a strict minimum about of makeup that must be applied in each episode or the whole production gets shut down in an industrial action. It couldn’t happen today, but in 1980 Britain. Remember Shada? Same situation.
      5) As for Salty McSeadog’s future… spoilers!
      6 and 7) … yeah, fair dues.

  2. Great podcast, guys. Delighted to have just discovered these. One minor niggle, you seem to regard pacifism and non-pacifism as absolutes rather than consider that there are different types of pacifism. Serial killers and soldiers are non-pacifistic and may kill but most non-pacifists won’t. Most non-pacifists won’t go looking for a fight but if they had to defend themselves….

    Also pacifism doesn’t mean ethics, so yes, they could commit unethical practices on their children and still be pacifists.

    1. Thanks for joining us!

      Generally, I agree about pacifism being non-absolute – or more correctly, I agree that people usually fall along a spectrum, but I think pacifism, as presented in the episode, was supposed to be absolute – despite it obviously not being absolute. I don’t believe that an absolute pacifist would kill others while committing suicide, nor would one person be able to decide that now is the time for all of us to die.

      One of the things that Blakes 7 does well demonstrates how awful people really are. Typically, pacifism is considered to be a noble, ethical thing – “I will not harm others.” But here, B7 has twisted that to show them not as ethical, moral believers in peace, but fanatics willing to kill and force their will on others. (More on that later.)

      It sometimes makes me wonder just how the production crew can get out of bed in the mornings when they have such a dire view of mankind.

      For me, the worst aspect of these so-called pacifists is the treatment of their children. Like religions and cults everywhere, the children are the vulnerable ones, at the whim of their parents’ beliefs. They have no context and no choice in what they believe. From the time they are born they are conditioned to believe what their parents tell them to believe.

      But here in B7-land, they go one or two steps further – not only do their children undergo routine psychological manipulation – which may or may not be worse that what some religious sects do today – but they mutilate their children’s brains to remove aggression – and who knows what else?

      And all of that would be horrific and bad enough, but then they step it up a notch… the leader doesn’t have his child altered. No matter what the reason, that’s nasty. Who knows what he was really thinking:

      • Someday we might need someone with the ability for violence – OK, but if you think that, you can’t truly believe that pacifism is a viable solution.
      • My convictions and training are so right, that we don’t need to alter my child – OK, but do you doubt the conviction and teachings of the other members of your cult? Why don’t they get the same training?
      • My child is better than the others – Yeah. People who think their children are better than others are usually extrapolating from themselves. “My child is better” usually means “I am better.”

      While it is spoken in the episode that the first is true, I think it is the later two that are the real reasons. Hubris.

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