Vila: “Where are all the good guys?”
Blake: “You could be looking at them.”
Avon: “What a very depressing thought.”
Because when you have finally watched your way through Classic Who (or all that you can get your hands on) and wonder where you can find your next fix of improbable 1970s SFX, BBC quarries, Terry Nation cliches and Robert Holmes scripts, where else is there to go?
You’ll find familiar actors and props reused regularly. You’ll recognise the names of all the crew (created by Terry Nation, produced by David Maloney, script-edited by Chris Boucher, music by Dudley Simpson, set design by Roger Murray-Leach, costumes by June Hudson, directed by Douglas Camfield, Pennant Roberts, Michael E Briant, George Spenton-Foster etc. etc.)
It’s really the first Doctor Who spin-off - not officially, but Terry Nation wanted to bring in the Daleks (the BBC finally got a moment of revenge and refused permission), Gareth Thomas and Tom Baker wanted their characters to nod in passing in a corridor, and Chris Boucher maintains (and there’s been a PDA novel and audio series on this premise) that Kaldor City (from Robots of Death) is one of those colonies lost on the edges of the Federation and had one of his B7 characters wind up there with Uvanov, Toos and Poul. It kind of makes it the 1970s Torchwood. (Ish.)
Imagine the BBC on a strange endeavour to mash up a Shakespearean tragedy, Doctor Who, Star Trek, the Dirty Dozen, all the WWII Resistance series ever, Robin Hood, and 1984 IN SPACE all in one thing, but with Michelin Men, giant ants, polystyrene rocks, endlessly epic snark, and the most fabulous costumes, and you… probably can’t even, can you?
I came to mock, I stayed to wonder, roll around the floor laughing (that was the Michelin Men), quote all the snark, and find myself unexpectedly being slapped in the face, punched in the gut, and yet thanking the show nicely and wanting only MORE MORE MORE. There are endless shades of grey but the only thing that’s black and white is Servalan’s wardrobe.
Never has anything so fundamentally bleak, cynical and depressing been so much fun.
Please stand by while I attempt to convince you. I’ve reached that point where I have to rewatch it yet again, and I’m thinking I should have more company…) Also, there’s supposed to be (*splutter*) a reboot coming up, so if you want to be one of the really
annoying cool people who saw it before it died a terrible death was made extra famous, now’s the time to jump on board. (I will have companions for my death B7 rewatch, yes.)
Some facts: 4x13 eps made by the BBC (1978-1981). It’s not out in Region 1, which is the big catch, but search YouTube at the moment and you should be okay (but I didn’t say that). The first episode is The Way Back.
Oh, and don’t Google it unless you already know stuff. Really. Do not Google it, do not Wiki it, do not look at fanvids on YouTube and don’t read the reviews on Amazon. You can thank me later.