307 – Blakes 7 – Animals

Not to go on all-fours; that is the Law.
Are we not Men?

Not to suck up Drink; that is the Law.
Are we not Men?

Not to eat Fish or Flesh; that is the Law.
Are we not Men?

Not to claw the Bark of Trees; that is the Law.
Are we not Men?

Not to chase other Men; that is the Law.
Are we not Men?”

Not to chew up this B7 Script and use it for our bedding; that is the Law.
Are we not Men?

Ben and Eugene turn their gaze to the uncomfortable Blakes 7 episode, Animals.

3 thoughts on “307 – Blakes 7 – Animals”

  1. Partic. enjoyed your discussion about computers with “personality” that gets in the way of getting things done. I think it’s in our nature to anthropomorphize, but agree that it’s gone too far here. Now with Orac, it was set up as being more than a computer, as a brain, a genius. It has a sense of self and its own desires. With Slave it’s just too much. It’s like “Talkie the Talking Toaster” (is AI really a good idea in every device) or that bit in one of the Star Wars original trilogy where they were torturing droids (who thinks it’s a good idea to put pain receptors in an android?!).

  2. Your discussion of speeds reminded me of old notes I have on this topic. Apologies in advance for a long post. I had to edit out some info on speeds but there is still a lot to think about.

    So how fast were we whizzing between planets and star systems? I will leave aside the practical issues of the massive distances between stars in real life (although we will get pretty close) and just stick with context from the show. The terminology for the Liberator was Standard by.. that I will shorten to StdX followed by the appropriate number. The Federation ships used the Time Distort terminology I will refer to as TD followed by the appropriate number.
    I will start by using the limited info we have to speculate on what Std and TD might be then support my assumptions/estimates by looking at examples from many episodes.
    There are two key episodes:
    1. In Mission to destiny we know that the journey for the sub-light Ortega would be about 5 months. But the Liberator could do it in four days. Waving hands a little – if we think the Ortega could do the trip in 4 months at light speed then the Liberator is about 30 times faster at a quoted StdX6. If StdX6=30 times light speed then StdX1=5 times light speed. Assuming a linear scale then StdX2=10 times lightspeed, StdX3=15 times.. and so on…
    2. In Duel Travis and the mutoid tell us their approach speed is TD6. Jenna says that StdX2 would enable Liberator to make a run for it, therefore StdX2>TD6. If TD1 = lightspeed (which has a nice symmetry to it) then StdX2=10 times light speed which is greater than six times light speed. So far the assumptions hold together.

    There is more confirmation in Horizon where the Liberator is at StdX2 to follow/track the freighter at TD6.

    StdX6 appears quite a bit as velocity that allows Liberator to escape:
    In Duel StdX4 does not allow escape from Fed ships, but Stdx6 allows escape. This implies Fed ships have a max speed between 20 and 30 times light speed TD20-30.
    In S-L-D interceptors can be evaded at StdX6. Implying the same Fed tech. max. speed of TD30.
    In Deliverance, Harvest of Kairos and Moloch it stated/implied that StdX6 means the Liberator sill get away.

    How fast can the Liberator go? Most evidence points to StdX12 or 120 times the speed of light:
    e.g., In Trial StdX12 is used to “get us out of here”. There are several other examples that this is Liberator’s control limit.

    In Terminal they travel at StdX8 for almost 97 hours. This implies a distance of 7760 light hours, or nearly one light year. This is the right order of magnitude for interstellar distances. Our nearest star, Proxima Centauri, is 4.2 light years away. Though not definitive, this lends more support to the StdX scale. It also implies travel times in days/weeks/months for most interstellar travel – which fits in with much of the rest of the series – where the crew complain about how long they need to be on alert and the boredom of travel.
    In Moloch they travel at StdX3 for 27 days – thats more than a light year…. could be realistic for interstellar travel?
    In Moloch the time shift discussion implies that if they travel in real time they are subject to relativistic effects and that Zen can only correct for this up to a maximum of 159 years. I like this concept that the key to FTL travel is to correct for timeshift so that at near to or supra-light speeds you don’t miss out on tens or hundreds of years of activity for non-travelers. A nice trick.

    In summary:
    std speed is multiples of 5 times light speed
    Time distort is just light speed
    The fed ships cant beat StdX6 or 30 times light speed.
    Max Liberator speed is SdtX12 or 60 times light speed – but it is possible to go faster (the system ships do it)
    Liberator speeds are reasonable for the distances they travel in the time available (with a little hand waving).

    Note – just after I finished this I found that there is a summary of when some speeds are mentioned in the show in Neil Faulkner’s Sevencyclopedia: http://www.hermit.org/Blakes7/SevenCyc/S.html. This does have added notes for the Scorpio.

  3. So, Serverlan is flumoxed by Justin being ensconced in an impregnable underground concrete bunker. Her only hope of getting him is to brainwash Dayna and trick her way in. Avon just kicks the back door in – kicks a chair – nearly falls on his arse – and still manages a cool pose.

    Even in 1980 I tried to pretend that Dayna was a 30 year old and her thing with Justin was sorta kinda alright. I failed to convince myself.

    The haircut-mutoids appear to have wandered in from a Hot Gossip dance number on the Kenny Everett set next door.

    Considering there’s zero budget for costumes and effects, the creatures are reasonably impressive. Goofy, but impressive.

    Does everyone have only one costume this season? Has the production lost access to the BBC dressups box?

    Serverlan’s infamous Whale/Penis ship has been replaced!

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