Tuesday, 13 October 2015

The Way Forward

The Amazon man cometh. He knocketh on my front door very loudly because the doorbell has gone (in actual fact, it's gone peculiar: yesterday, with nobody at the door, it rang itself, not with a Big Ben chime but a burst of saxophone). The Amazon man handeth me a parcel.

Sandwiched between layers of cardboard: a bold new future!


I've never watched 'Blake's 7'. It's become increasingly clear that this is as an oversight on my part, perhaps even a serious character flaw. A bit like being a committed churchgoer who's skipped a great wodge of the Bible, or an enthusiastic carnivore who's never tried sausages.

I've been a 'Doctor Who' devotee since I was 10 years old; being nearly 33 (though still looking, I like to think, a beardy 29) that not only makes me a fan of 20-odd years standing but, if you do the maths, a fan who spent his formative years in the wilderness between TV shows. I'm dedicated; I put in the hours.

Besides 'Doctor Who', I have written 'Avengers' fan fiction (we're talking Mrs Peel, of course) and would happily recreate the Sapphire and Steel intro for you with singing and interpretive dance ('Space:1999' and 'Ace of Wands' also available on demand).

But I've never watched 'Blake's 7'.

It's not true to say I've never seen it. In my teenage years, I borrowed the odd episode from Dulwich Library on VHS. I remember a couple of details from Gold – well, I remember the title. And about five years ago I tried to watch the Pilot Episode. Got bored. Switched it off.

And here it is, in my house, on my kitchen table right now. Some sort of Dutch collection which gathers all four seasons together like a stack of silver pancakes with a delicious, tempting aroma. What will it taste like?

Will I be captivated? Will I be bored? Will it feel like watching hours of the opening scenes in 'Doctor Who' episodes before the Tardis arrives? Will it all be in Dutch?

What do I think it will be? Judging by the Pilot episode, rather serious for the first season. Probably with some nice terse angry exchanges when Chris Boucher is writing, and a few cynical loners when Robert Holmes takes over. I don't know when Jacqueline Pearce turns up, but I reckon it changes the whole series when she does, and I think I'll be rooting for her, the way one does Roger Delgado's Master – or Michelle Gomez's Master, come to think of it.

I expect to find the Liberator crew rather earnest and awful, like the Archer family members in 'The Archers', while most alien planets will be populated by the Grundy's. I'm fairly certain there has never been anyone like Servalan in 'The Archers', but please do write in.

Will there be anything as gorgeous as a Dalek, as lovable as Alpha Centauri, as cherishable as Beryl Reid in Space?

I'm going to found out, and I'm going to try and blog about it. You out there – you just wish me luck.


PS: You may wish to read my exploits with theSecond Doctor, or the Third Doctor, or just ogle my reading blog. Grab a cup of tea and a sponge finger and settle back.

All the best,
Nick Campbell

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