November 28, 2021

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

Blake’s 7 “Breakdown”

Gan's inhibitor chip starts to malfunction, and Avon decides he may have had enough.

Oh hey, it’s Julian Glover!  And he’s playing a guy who really believes in a certain malevolent authority as being better than, well, whatever the alternative is!

He’s gonna pay for that, isn’t he?

As it is, this episode at first blush would appear to be focused on Gan.  The crew’s gentle giant and all-around muscle is generally a good egg, but it would be nice to learn more about him.  Small problem then when, for no clear reason after he gets what looks like an awful headache, he attacks Jenna.  It takes the combined efforts of most of the others to finally subdue Gan and lock him up in the infirmary.

Gan spends most of the episode sedated after that, but he keeps clenching his fist over and over again.  The others know just enough about medicine to know his chip is malfunctioning and will, if it isn’t repaired, kill him.  There’s a medical station nearby, one that prides itself on both its research and its neutrality.  Can they get over there and get some help before Gan dies or kills someone?

It’s probably worth noting that at one point, Gan plays innocent well enough to trick Cally into letting him out.  Likewise, there’s some excitement as Zen goes off-line due to a general reluctance to put itself in danger by going too close to a nebula that happened to be on the most direct route to the station, forcing Jenna to fly the ship more or less on her own without the powerful computer to offer back-up.  They do manage to get there, and Glover’s Professor Kayn is apparently the best specialist anywhere when it comes to repairing Gan’s chip.  The other station personnel are a little suspicious when a type of ship they’ve never seen before shows up and Blake teleports onto the station, but Kayn at least agrees to see the patient.  He likewise asks for his younger assistant to join him, and that guy rather obnoxiously hits on both Jenna and Cally.  However, that’s the worst thing that guy does.  Kayn, it turns out, is much worse.

See, Kayn believes in order, and he sees Blake’s crew as a bunch of chaos agents who just cause trouble.  He decides to stall, maybe allow Gan to die, and he’s already called the Federation because Blake is many things, but a skilled liar is not one of them.

However, this is a tight crew, and by this point, Kayn’s gig is up.  Avon decides to leave.  He’s had enough, and he and Blake more or less agree to leave the computer genius behind.  Avon changes his mind (eventually) when a station administrator fesses up about Kayn calling the Federation.  Vila himself, who here admits he stays with Blake simply because he likes the man, gets the drop on Kayn when he realizes Kayn’s not doing anything.  Even Kayn’s assistant says he’ll do the surgery himself if he only knew how.

Blake does convince Kayn to act with a threat no surgeon can ignore, especially anyone who has seen the movie Dr. Strange:  Blake won’t kill Kayn, but he will break the man’s hands if he doesn’t get the surgery done in the amount of time Zen says it should take.  By then, Avon has come back, Gan wakes up fine, and the Liberator escapes.

Kayn, however, strangled his supervisor and took over the station, but then freezes up when the Federation ships open fire on the station as well.  Kayn was a villain for the episode, so he probably got what he deserved.  But that station had a lot of other innocent people on it.  That’s not very helpful, especially as it was a cutting edge science station.  That would no doubt have ripple effects across the galaxy.

So, another episode that showed the crew more or less working together with some solid character work.  If anything, it also shows that not everyone out there appreciates what Blake is doing.  That is probably important to remember going forward.

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