The Way Back, again

A couple of years back I started, but didn’t finish, rewatching Blake’s 7. I’m giving it another try for , and so started inevitably by returning to “The Way Back”. On top of my comments from last time, I will add the following two points once the discussion starts:

First, the look of it is even better than I remembered. The camera shots through bars, or stairs angled to look like bars, reinforce the claustrophobia. The close-ups on Blake’s eye bring home to us that his perception (and thus ours) has been altered and may not be completely reliable. The silent guards in their masks and black uniforms are very sinister indeed. The shots of Blake’s memory being wiped are effective so it’s not surprising that they get used twice.

Second, the show does a good job of subverting our expectations for what kind of series this is going to be. The very first word from an on-screen character is spoken by former child star Gillian Bailey, who was one of the Double Deckers (if you don’t know, don’t ask). Then we go to the rebel meeting chaired by Robert Beatty, veteran of various screen performances (Who fans will know him as the General in The Tenth Planet). It looks rather as if Bailey and Beatty are going to play central characters in this new series; but they are mercilessly mown down. (A bit like Temmosus of the Thals, with some important differences.)

Then it loolks like Blake may be sprung by his lawyer, even though the lawyer and his wife are played by less luminous actors, and we may be moving towards a series with Blake’s new friends Jenna and Vila in space, and Tel and Maja Varon as his agents on earth, Blake somehow operating in between. But the Varons too are killed, off-screen, though we glimpse their twisted corpses.

The Way Back gives us no idea of what sort of show this is going to turn into. The first episode ends with Blake’s permanent deportation from Earth, for crimes he didn’t commit, his only allies killed by the government. It is not a happy ending, but it certainly left my ten-year-old self wanting to watch more back in 1978.

This entry was posted in Uncategorised. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to The Way Back, again

  1. wshaffer says:

    Only ever heard it as “keen as mustard”.

Comments are closed.