Sunday, March 9, 2014

B7 Re-Watch: Project Avalon

Where can I watch it?

The episode starts on an ice planet. No, not Hoth. Another one. Travis and a Mutoid are meeting a resistance fighter looking to make a deal. The Mutoid is played by Glynnis Barber who, in true BBC fashion, goes on to play a series regular later. 

Just biding my time till these other tramps buy it. 

Travis is planning to capture a resistance leader named Avalon. In and of herself she'd be a prize target but in this case she's a stepping stone to get to Blake. Blake who is on his way to meet with her. Federation forces capture Avalon and butcher her resistance cell. 

Travis takes her back to their base and prepares to torture her for information. Amidst their conversation we get an idea both of the size of the Feferation and the scope of the rebellion. Avalon claims that thirty planets have broken off from the Federation. 

"Interrogation". Is that what the kids are calling it these days?

Servelan arrives in all of her grandeur bragging about the assassination attempts in her life. It's revealed that not only is this an elaborate ruse to take out Blake but also capture the Liberator. A special disease has been cooked up that kills everything, including itself, in less than a minute. 

Meanwhile Blake and Jenna teleport down to the meeting site to find the recent massacre. One lone little resistance fighter survived and almost shoots them by mistake. Imagine the bitter irony if Blake had been killed by someone on his side. They realize that Abalon has been captured and decide to rescue her. Unfortunately they have to do it without help from above. 

The Liberator is driven out of orbit by approaching pursuit ships leaving them stranded. All still part of Travis' plan. While the Liberator bravely runs away Blake, Jenna and the surviving fighter break into the base. During the rescue we get to see Jenna play bad ass very convincingly. 

Barbarella can eat her heart out!

Yes, that's really what their guns look like. I won't lie though, I love em. They're at least unique. Our little rebel oddly enough has a Vietnam Era M1. No wonder they want to ban them. They're so effective people will be using them to rebel with on distant planets. Or they just needed a cheap prop that wouldn't be readily recognizable to a 1970s British public. 

They make good their escape just as the Liberator returns to scoop them up. Unfortunately this is still all to plan. On board Blake realizes that a captured blaster has been rigged to be non lethal. The surviving rebel is found dead and Avalon is discovered to be an android double. 

An android or what British men thought women's brains looked like. 

The crew stops her before she can release the disease and return to save Avalon. The real one this time. Travis is left in disgrace and the rebels escape. Again. And Avalon, the most effective rebel leader we've met, is never seen again. That's what she gets for making Blake look bad!

Final Thoughts:
I enjoyed this episode. We get to see several things that I feel are important. One, Avalon states that at least thirty worlds have rebelled against the Federation. That's a large chunk of planets which implies that rebellion is fairly widespread. The fact that the Federation still has overwhelming force means they still have a vast number of planets still under their control. 

We learn that Avalon has personally started resistance movements on a dozen worlds. Honestly I vote that we ditch Blake and give her the Liberator. Her track record is far and away better. 

So, a few rough patches here and there but as a whole pretty good. I hadn't actually seen this one and I enjoyed it. They're playing up the whole Robin Hood in space fairly well. If Blake is Robin then that makes Servelan the sherrif and Travis Guy of Gisbourne and they play those roles well. I like seeing Travis as a cunning, remorseless enemy. Only four more episodes left in this season. 

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Memorable Quote:
Blake: Does it support any intelligent life?
Avon: Does The Liberator? [pause] There are creatures called "Subterrons". they live in caves, quite what that says for their intelligence I really wouldn't know.

Coffee of the Day:
Green Mountain Half Caf. I wrote this one at night and needed to be able to sleep. Normally I like my coffee extra strong with lots o caffeine. But this was pretty good stuff. Definitely worth having in the cabinet. 

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