Tuesday, 26 January 2016


This morning I find myself asking the question, was rock monolith Patti Smith's seminal 1975 album track 'Redondo Beach' written about a member of the Blake's 7 crew?

Late afternoon, dreaming hotel
We just had a quarrel that sent you away
I went looking for you-ou-ou
Are you gone, Gan?

Desperate I know, but if we never do get anything more about Gan's back-story and why he has that 'inhibitor' than, 'They took my woman', perhaps it will have to do. I've already amended his Wikipedia page but we'll have to see if it stands.

In this story, we saw the inhibitor develop a fault and certain aggressive elements of Gan's personality rose to the surface: it gave the perfect opportunity for the show to return to its more fascinating themes of repression, mind control, the consequences of taking a life and how our actions make us what we are. It was also an opportunity to take a relatively supporting character like Gan and make them the focus of the show.

It gave the perfect opportunity for all of this, but all the programme-makers really wanted was a couple of punch-ups and a stand-off with this week's

Count Scarlioni

 To be a little fairer, there were a few seeds sown for a much bigger storyline, Avon's dissent from the Liberator crew or at least from the captaincy of cuddly Roj Blake. I must admit, they're doing that very nicely – it's a constant presence in the storyline, it's witty, it makes sense, it's nicely played.

But I do feel sorry for Gan, because what seemed like a story that was all about him turned out to be a story in which he was barely present. In the opening episodes we had a new flashbacks in the mix, including one (in hindsight jarringly dissonant) image of Jenna's mother being arrested in a hospital gown. Breakdown should have been Gan's moment.

We should have seen him and 'his woman' walking through a Cadbury's Flake advert. We should have seen 'his woman' zapped by assassins / revealed to be an android / arrested in a hospital gown. Instead, he did a lot of clenching and unclenching of his fists. But I was left confused – was this Gan au naturelle, as he would act with no inhibitor at all? Or just Gan put into psychosis because his brain computer needed a defrag?

Not to get too crazy, but with the hindsight of thirty-odd years, wouldn't it have been fun to see some of this episode through Gan's eyes – and to kid the audience for a while that the Liberator crew were muttering behind his back, reporting him to the Federation, or all perhaps a bunch of aliens in disguise (ones with faces of burnt spaghetti and one big poached egg eye, underneath a rubbery mask – do you see what I did there?).

There are some great stories to tell about a freedom fighter who is physically unable to kill. It would be great if we got one before Gan karks it (gunned down, I hope, by a return appearance from 'his woman' played by Yootha Joyce – with plastic hair). I just don't think Terry Nation cares all that much about him.

Not like Patti Smith does.

Call you on the phone, to another dimension
Well you never returned, oh you know what I mean
I went looking for you-ou-ou
Are you gone, Gan?

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