December 4, 2021

Gabbing Geek

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Blake’s 7 “Seek-Locate-Destroy”

The series's Big Bads make their first appearances.

Generally, when I dive into a new show here on Gabbing Geek, I’ll try to read up on it a bit to find out a bit about the show beforehand.

Apparently, Blake’s 7 had two major reoccurring antagonists, and they both appear for the first time in this episode.

Now, one of the overall joys of Blake’s 7 is the great character banter between the different members of the main cast.  They’ve all managed to become somewhat distinct, and this episode opens with Blake conducting a hit-and-run attack on another Federation base.  Everyone more or less has a job to do, and how they accomplish those jobs works the way it does based on their personalities.  Vila, though required to pick locks and get Blake inside of different places, is also something of a coward who frequently suggests bugging out before things get worse.  Fan-favorite Avon–seriously, just about everything I checked up on about the show said Avon was far and away the most popular character–will go in with an arrogant sneer as he thinks he knows better than everyone else and would be so out of there if he could.  Blake holds the group together.  Gan is steadfast and keeps Vila in line.  Jenna makes sure the ship is running and does a lot of fast maneuvers to get the team in and out of danger.  And then there’s Cally.  Arguably, she’s had the least development, but she was also the last member of the cast to join up.  Jenna remarks that Cally is also the only one who isn’t a wanted criminal, but as the only survivor of her rebel unit, she maybe also has no one to go back to either.

The opening attack almost goes off without a hitch because Cally loses her transporter bracelet and the others don’t notice right away she didn’t beam back with them in their rush to escape some pursuit ships.  That mostly leads to Blake deciding he needs to go back for her, particularly when he learns she survived the explosion and is in Federation custody.

Now, of course Blake manages to rescue her without any issues.  But what this episode does more is set up the bad guys.  One was an accident.  Federation Supreme Commander Servalan was intended to be a one-off character, but she ended up impressing the people working on the show, making her more of a reoccurring character as a result.  She’s cold, precise, but maybe not that impressive…yet.  What I did pick up is that she will stand by the man she picked to find and bring down Blake.  Blake’s exploits are inspiring rebels and freedom fighters across the Federation, and he needs to go.  To that end, Servalan’s choice is a man with a reason to despise Blake and a reputation for ruthlessness.

That would be one Space Commander Travis.  Travis lost an eye and a hand the first time Blake was captured before the series started, so he had a grudge against the man.  That by itself would make for a potentially interesting development, but what makes Travis even more memorable, moreso than the laser gun he had installed where his missing hand used to be, is the fact that his reputation for brutality and violent reprisals is so bad even other members of the Federation are really wary of the guy.

So, this is a villain even other villains think goes too far.  Multiple characters say he’s a bad egg, and all we get from Servalan is she is sticking with the guy who will use torture on Cally to get what he wants, and even after Blake and Cally escape, having damaged his ray gun arm, the last thing we see of the episode is Travis vowing to bring Blake in no matter what, and it may not necessarily be alive.

So yeah, Travis.  This guy is gonna be trouble.  I think I’m gonna love to hate this guy.

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