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Northern Exposure: Mixed By Sasha & John Digweed (UK 2 Disc Edition)
Northern Exposure: Mixed By Sasha & John Digweed (UK 2 Disc Edition)

5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless, 11 Jun 2014
I used to have this double CD compilation on constant repeat during the years 1997-1998 as I tried to navigate my way through the various levels of Quake 2. I loved it back then and eventually like all CDs, it got filed away to gather dust and was eventually forgotten about. fast forward to 2014 and all my CD collection was boxed up as I moved back to the warmer sound of vinyl. For me, CD has become the worthless format of the digital age, ugly plastic things in broken plastic cases (and in most cases with very tinny sound quality). Whilst going through these storage boxes looking for CDs to sell on Ebay, I came across my copy of Northern Exposure Vol 1 after remembering a work colleague telling me back in 2006 that this collection was changing hands for silly money. I checked Discogs and was surprised at the 60 price tag that this collection can now attract. I then cleaned both discs to test that they wouldn't jump in preparation for an Ebay auction and then found myself lost in this cunning mix of timeless electronic tunes. A few minutes into the second disc and I've come to the conclusion that this particular CD digipak is far too good to sell. If you're lucky enough to come across this long deleted gem then grab it very quickly. I'm not a fan when it comes to the 'art' of DJing - but 'Northern Exposure Vol 1' is genius.

One other surprise is the excellent sound quality on these CDs and then I heard a few tell tale pops and crackles. This compilation is sourced from superior vinyl hence the improved sonics. Grab a copy whilst you can.


Reflektor
Reflektor
Offered by Empor UK
Price: 6.91

42 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Here come The Reflektors..., 6 Nov 2013
This review is from: Reflektor (Audio CD)
Arcade Fire? Just a band...and a hugely over hyped one at that which might go some way to explaining why this 'abstract' and 'difficult' 4th album has divided hard core fans and rock dullard music journalists.

My own personal hero worship of Arcade was a brief two year fling between 2005 and 2007 that ended once I had overplayed the rather brilliant 'Neon Bible' with its gorgeous deluxe CD boxset. By the time that 'The Suburbs' came along, I had totally lost interest, skipped that particularly album despite all the praise and nonsense written about it until a week or so again when 'Reflecktor' blasted out of the radio and lifted a sterile playlist full of Top 40 twerking junk.
Was this really Arcade Fire with a pulsating Giorgio Moroder bassline, deliciously offbeat vocal interplay within a indie disco stomper that was subversively altering the airwaves of Planet Pop? The title track was worthy of further investigation and after one play of both volumes, I was hooked once again by this curious Canadian band and giving the entire album another listen, followed by another listen.

The first thing that struck me about this album as a whole was its wonderful diversity - each track is so different and so brilliantly bonkers how they all build then wrong foot the listener with a nifty chord change or a curve ball in the form of a frantic finish within a clash of ideas. It is this unique brilliance across both volumes that inspires wonder with each play. LCD's James Murphy certainly adds something new and exciting to Arcade's already rich pallet of sounds but his input has been massively overstated by those who have rubbished the album.

'Reflektor' isn't the full-on electronic album that critics claim, nor is it a traditional Arcade Fire album but it is something that will reward patient listeners with a love for vinyl and soundscapes and 'Reflektor' has plenty of that. There's enough 'classic' Arcade to please long term fans on Volume 1 with tracks that flirt with everything including reggae and 'rock' as well as influences that evoke fond memories of Bowie's finest album 'Low' merged with early Talking Heads & Eno. Then there's Arcade's trademark life affirming choruses all sung and performed as though the band are close to breakdown - edgy yet violently happy.

For me, the best is all left for volume 2 that contains my current choice track 'Porno' with its minimalist new wave synths, stripped bare and free of bombastic production that enables the track to take on a hypnotic, twisted journey. Someone really needs to lock Arcade in a studio awash with classic Moogs and other collectable analogue keyboards because 'Porno' could well be a future blueprint for a band keen to embrace new sonic adventures.

Perhaps the biggest compliment I can give to 'Reflektor' is that with each listen, my fave track changes. One night its 'Porno', the next its 'Afterlife' (a track that will be *everywhere* soon trust me) and at the time of writing these words, 'It's Never Over (Oh Orpheus)' has crept into the scheme of things.

Some people think 'Reflektor' is 'too long'? Nonsense I say. It's not long enough.

I want volumes 5 & 6 and I want them now.

The 180g double vinyl is quite steep with a retail price of over 20 pounds but the sturdy cover and inner sleeves are printed on lush light reflective card. This provides a brilliant effect on the inlay of volume 2 which is covered with stylishly spooky phototgraphy from Depeche Mode's visual director Anton Corbijn. Grab this vinyl deluxe edition whilst you can before future pressings revert back to cheaper packaging.
Comment Comments (7) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 30, 2013 8:14 PM GMT


Electric [VINYL]
Electric [VINYL]
Price: 24.66

6 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Emperor's New Clothes...(actually), 19 July 2013
This review is from: Electric [VINYL] (Vinyl)
Twenty years on from the release of the much loved 'Very' and the Pets are back with a new label and a full-on return to analogue dancefloor pop.

'Electric' does have it's moments even though it ultimately sounds like a disregarded 'Disco' project or a sequel to 1993's far superior 'Relentless'. 'Axis' gets things off to a promising start but there are too many brash sequencing tricks and silly sound effects on 'Bolshy' and 'Love is A Bourgeois Construction' - both tracks are firmly rooted in 1990's clubland and conjure memories of those painful CD single dub mixes. 'Fluorescent' get's 'Electric' back on track even it it sounds like a new extended version of Visage's 'Fade To Grey', Ironically though, it takes a cover of a Bruce Springsteen track to move the album away from hit and miss dub mixes and back to the Pet Shop Boys we all love and know. There are some haunting 'la la la' moments during the Pet's version of 'The Last To Die' and like most people, I've no idea what Brucie's original version is like but 'Electric' comes alive with this track. 'Shouting in The Evening' contains some very nice orchestral synthy chords but the bits in the middle are straight back to 90s dub land.

My choice 'Electric' track is 'Thursday' which contains the strongest hooks of the album (and there aren't too many of them), it also features the return of Chris Lowe's deadpan vocals - something we don't hear enough of. Some of my fave Pet moments feature Chris on vox, 'Paninaro', 'One of The Crowd' and the glorious 'We All Feel Better In The Dark'. 'Thursday' also has a proper rapping bit that actually surprisingly works rather well (provided by a chap called 'Example' according to Amazon) even if the bass and chords are pure 'West End Girls' with some ABC strings.
The album closes with the next soon to be released single 'Vocal' that does evoke the euphoria of 'Introspective' finale 'Its Alright'.

When 'Electric does actually click, there are some wondrous new PSB moments - the Springsteen cover and 'Thursday' are instant gems but the rest of the album seems to be lacking good old fashioned hooks. There is also a worrying lack of electronic originality on offer here and a real sense that the Pet's have done it so much better on collections such as the original 'Disco', 'Relentless' and the first b-side compilation 'Alternatively'.

If you've never heard a PSB track in your life then you'll probably adore 'Electric' but for those of us who snapped up 'West End Girls' back in late 1984 before it reached Number 1, the chord changes and lead synths in 2013 lack the spark of the Pet's imperial phase of 84-93.
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 7, 2013 3:00 AM BST


Logitech Z-2300 Multimedia Speaker System - 200 Watt (Total)
Logitech Z-2300 Multimedia Speaker System - 200 Watt (Total)

5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too much bass?, 14 Feb 2008
I bought these speakers from Amazon after reading all the glowing reviews and there is no doubt that this is a quality product and the bass truly is astonishing.
This is all well and good if you only listen to drum and bass or instrumental music - the bass even on zero drowns out mid range frequencies. Powerful vocals end up sounding like they were recorded in a another room away from the studio.
Biggest shock of all was the lack of treble control on the 'remote' unit which is hopeless if you love electro.
I can see this set being ideal for video games but if you have a well tuned ear and like detail in sound then I would advise you to avoid these speakers.
Amazon to their credit offer an excellent returns service and I purchased a sleek black Atlec Lansing set for an extra 30.00 with treble control and crisp sound and they are heavenly.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 9, 2008 5:36 PM GMT


Penthouse And Pavement
Penthouse And Pavement
Price: 6.47

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars (We Need This) Heaven 17 Groove Thang, 21 Aug 2006
This review is from: Penthouse And Pavement (Audio CD)
Listening to the remastered 'Fascist Groove Thang' a quarter of a century on and you wouldn't think that it was recorded within a week. Nor would you believe that that H17 took random lines from their favorite US soul records and mixed in a few heart felt socialist observations deep from the heart of Sheffield concerning the early warning signs about our 'special relationship' with the US.

Things were bad back then, but Reagen (President elect) and Thatcher are nothing but quaint figures of comedic proportions when compared to the current nightmare scenario of Bush and the UK leader whom he addresses as 'Yo Blair!'.

As a 14 year old listening to this track for the first time, I couldn't quite understand H17's American stance in this song. The Russians were the ones pointing the missiles at us (although we later learn that the Red's nuclear arsenal was in fact a joke reinforced by alien agencies that included the CIA).

It is a delight to report that the remastered opening track has an added vibrancy that should serve to remind most listeners how H17 were simply light years ahead of the Visage and Duran crowd who were content back then to use the nearest pre-set synth option.

NME were wrong about a lot of things over the years but during this time, even they understood the genius that combined the production talents of Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh - the founders of The Human League and two individuals who would mess around with unstable analogue synths regardless of current fashion to create just for us, brand new sounds that you would hear no where else.

The remastered version brings out many layers lost on the old 80's CD transfer including the brilliant soul infected female vocals of Josie James on title track 'Penthouse & Pavement' (no one was doing this at the time and it took a while for other acts to catch on to the power of such an exotic mix of musical styles).

'Penthouse & Pavement' is a rare gem of an album of epic 'Dare' proportions (which is apt as both shared the same genesis in a run down recording studio during alternative shifts in Sheffield). Every track is a melodic stomper with infectious choruses, and one ultimately has to wonder why H17 aren't universally adored and appreciated for that they achieved. Forget the ground breaking production techniques of BEF and those bizarre electro sounds that current acts would strive to sample today, H17 should also be remembered for their killer vocal hooks superbly delivered by Glenn Gregory.

'Geisha Boys & Temple Girls' is a perfect example of H17's talent in knocking out a tunes that you simply have to whistle along to whilst clapping in time to it's complex drum pattern.

Curious chord changes (that no doubt set alight the creative mind of a very young Martin Gore back in 1981) are attributed to the track that has an almost impossible task of following 'Ghesha Boys'. 'Let's All Make A Bomb' is no mid-album filler (infact there is no filler on this H17 debut) and whilst it's central CND message may have subsided in recent years, the song is simply adorable containing everything you want from an album track.

The first H17 track I ever heard was 'The Height of The Fighting' (though the 12" version my brother bought was different to the album version and it's a shame that it wasn't included as a bonus track), it's one of those tracks that instantly grabbed me as coming from somewhere completely different.

It was released as a single in 1982 but never dented the charts but looking back, it really should have done with it's innovative synth bassline (Arthur Baker would copy it a few years later with Freeze and their massive 1983 hit 'IOU').

'Song With No Name' is a curious number with some rather spooky electro backing that oddly sounds very current. The track appears to tell the story about an artist struggling to come up with creative ideas expected of him but things seem to take a sinister twist. Curious chord changes too that evokes memories of Travelogue's 'WXJL Tonight', chord changes that few bands could get away with in today's musical climate (except Depeche Mode and Hot Chip).

H17 always knew a thing or two about album finales and their debut is rounded off by an 'attack' on organised religion.

It's a ridiculously catchy track sung from the perspective of happy-clappy Christians who think the rest of us are damned, a song about religious fundamentalism 25 years ahead of it's time.

The remastered P&P comes with one or two welcome extra tracks most notably the extended version of H17's second single 'I'm Your Money' (a track that should have made the final tracklisting for the original album but was neglected which is odd considering that it is a definitive H17 stomper). Containing some very clever wordplay, the track pays mock homage to capitalism with terms such as 'the overnight treasury' and other city buzzwords that you're unlikely to ever hear on any other pop track, and the amusing line 'I'm offering you the post of wife' always makes me smile.

'I'm Your Money' is one of the few H17 tracks in which the lads proudly display their musical heritage for it is a track that Kraftwerk would have been proud of and it also provides a blueprint for the current crop of electro acts that includes Mute's Client (their 2004 single 'In It For The Money' even used a H17 rift) and The Modern who were recently agonizingly close to scoring a UK chart hit with 'Industry'.

'Are Everything' is presented here for the first time on CD in it's original 12" mix, a superb electro cover of a Buzzcocks track and (an edited version first appeared on the B-side of 'I'm Your Money'). Most people will be new to this ancient H17 cover and I can assure you that it's worth purchasing the remastered P&P just for this rarely heard track (though the whole album is worth so much more).

Also worth checking out is the BEF instrumental 'Decline of The West', a haunting and distictively beautiful analogue instrumental that would have fitted in perfectly with the Vangelis Bladerunner film score a few years later in 1982 and it begs the question, why didn't H17 do film scores?

The instrumental also evokes memories of Wendy Carlos and her soundtrack for Kubrick's 'A Clockwork Orange' (pictured opposite) that introduced us to the name 'Heaven 17'.

Together with the BBC's now defunct Radiophonic Workshop, both would go on and influence many of the major players in the UK analogue movement during the late 70's/early 80s.

A huge round of applause should be directed to Donal Whelan of Hafod Mastering who has done such a fantastic job in cleaning up these archive recordings.

This is one of the best digital remasters I've ever heard.


The Warning
The Warning

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Hot Chip will break your legs' and bend your ears, 25 May 2006
This review is from: The Warning (Audio CD)
Hot Chip are a very strange band. They look strange and they sound strange, it shouldn't really work but on their second album 'The Warning', they have recorded an album that most artists will be hard pushed to match in 2006.
Like the recent single 'Boy From School' (a nostalgic and regretful song of things long passed and teenage alienation), the album will most likely pass by the ears of most which is a great pity because Hot Chip have brought back all the inventive fun that most would normally associate with electronic music.
If you snap up a copy of 'The Warning' (and believe me, you really ought too), you will hear some of the strangest electro sounds this side of the Human League's sublime 'Reproduction'.

Analogue Sound Hooligans aided by the precision of laptops and an ear for a stonkingly wicked tune, some of it may be 'experimental' in nature but there is a pop sensibilty at work here which admittedly is a bit too clever for the charts.
Some of you will know the single 'Over & Over' included on this new long player. If you have already heard it than you'll know it's brilliant - a track put together by chemically infected alchemists from another dimension (a bit like The Human League back in 1979).
'The Warning' includes an absolute stomper of a track called 'No Fit State' which I think will probably be the next single. I've felt tempted to go up to complete strangers in the street this week, hand them my headphones and play them the track asking 'how brilliant is this?!'
It's all about someone not feeling worthy enough to even engage with the object of their desire all to a backbeat of some of the greatest analogue sounds heard since the dawn of time (this could actually be a lie as some of the sounds are straight out of 'A Clockwork Orange' when the second and ultimately uplifting half of the song kicks in). The beats are all wayward but precise throughout, no wonder that Alison Goldfrapp adores them.
Hot Chip mix the the past with the present but push it somewhere else. They are using ancient analogue keyboards but it's all mixed in a similar vein to that of Bjork's 'Verspertine' album - multi-layered - a trademark of Mark Bell and absolutely *perfect* for playback on headphones where the music takes you to another place.
This album has got me through a week of no money and a truly dire week work - I feel I owe it something ;)

There are one or two tracks that don't work on this album, if creative control had been a little bit tighter then they would have had an album that wasn't in danger of being trapped beyond the fringes but for those who delve a bit deeper than the charts for new musical frills than they will discover an album as great as Ladytron's 'The Witching Hour'. Just too good for the masses but pure heaven for those of us who live and breath this unique analogue genre.


You Are The Quarry
You Are The Quarry
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: 4.99

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I can't stop playing this album..., 4 Jun 2004
This review is from: You Are The Quarry (Audio CD)
Years after the event, I came to love The Smiths...finally appreciating the sardonic and often hilarious wit that I and many others mistook for pure miserabalism.
However, I could never really warm to Morrisey's solo career apart from the obvious such as Suedehead and the like.
The appeal of 'Irish Blood, English Heart' was instant - easily the best thing Morrisey had written in over a decade with the kind of lyrics that you rarely hear from anyone else and any top three 'pop single' that mentions that traitor Oliver Cromwell with such delicious disdain has to be embraced.
The oddly titled 'You Are A Quarry' may not win you over within the first two listens. It has many layers and many unique musical turns with a blend of styles that may initially bemuse the diehard NME fan of yesteryear.
There are drum patterns that are modern and complex as well as some subtle electronic effects on various tracks encouraged most likely by Morrisey's musical heroes Sparks. All of it though fits perfectly into place on the third or fourth listen.
Opening track 'America Is Not The World' takes that troubled country aside for a few words of truth like a funny yet caring uncle: 'I love you, I just wish you'd stay where you is', all to a heart warming, uplifting chorus and the track sets out the mood of the entire album. Very reflective, honest and incredibly melodic.
'I Have Forgiven Jesus' and 'Come Back To Camden' are both classics worthy of most of The Smiths output where the former paints so many visual pictures with just a few words: 'Drinking tea with a taste of the Thames' whilst one of my favourite lines from Camden is the simple yet effective; 'Under Slate-grey Victorian sky'.
'The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores' attacks the plastic and meaningless culture particularly with regards to the state of pop with it's artists who are; 'thicker than pig shit'. It does seem that the seven year hiatus has really recharged Morrisey's senses. If only other artists would resist releasing albums with endless padding and wait until they had something of interest to say.
'Quarry's' biggest achievement is that there isn't one single track that you'll want to skip and that makes this album one of the best I've purchased and heard in quite a while. Accessible, yet unique, this album contains 4 or 5 other tracks that could easily see Morrisey chalking up more top ten hits and at the moment, the charts need him badly.


Firefly - The Complete Series [DVD] [2003]
Firefly - The Complete Series [DVD] [2003]
Dvd ~ Nathan Fillion
Price: 15.10

71 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning!, 5 May 2004
On paper, Firefly sounds like a terrible idea. I could never make it through an episode of either Buffy nor Angel and believed it to all be overrated. Nor was I a fan of dodgy old westerns - however, this series was highly recommended and as I'm always wanting something new to get lost in, I gave it a go.
Time to eat humble pie - Joss Wheldon is a genius. Just when you thought that Babylon 5 and Farscape had pushed the genre to it's creative limits, Firefly turns up and turns the whole thing on it's head. The show is unique, beautifully written with fantastic characters driven by different and contrasting emotions within a very believable future. Huge amounts of praise must also go to the cast who all give great performances. Within 20 minutes of the pilot, you'll fall in love with each and every character - the series has instant appeal which makes Fox's decision to axe it prematurely even more baffling.
With the crew dynamics that helped Blake's 7 and Farscape become overnight successes - Firefly easily matches both shows and each episode is a gem - full of delightful one-liners and sharp dialogue. The artistic look of the show is also very distinctive and ground breaking particularly with regards to how the CGI was put together.
Episodes such as 'Ariel' have that epic Babylon 5 feel to it with a neat twist that most won't see coming and the 'villains' are suitably creepy whilst another returning character will remind some viewers of Dustin Hoffman's German torturer in The Marathon Man.
Having sat through 7 episodes all in one session - I now find myself counting the days until the release of the Firefly movie in 2005.
If you appreciate gritty characters and intelligent stories - give that Voyager boxset a miss and snap up Firefly - you'll love it!


Black Cherry
Black Cherry
Offered by Dirty Deals UK
Price: 5.00

36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nu-electro, 19 Feb 2004
This review is from: Black Cherry (Audio CD)
Goldfrapp emerged onto the music scene at the turn of the century with the debut album Felt Mountain. The excellent single Lovely Head got hijacked by mobile phone adverts and helped shift half a million units for Mute. Containing atmospheric John Barry inspired lo-fi songs, Felt Mountain became one of those coffee table albums filling a gap for those who mourned the passing of Portishead and The Sneaker Pimps. Personally, I could take or leave it and soon forgot about them.
Fans were expecting the follow-up to be a safe version 2.0 of Felt Mountain. You can imagine how shocked some are to find that Black Cherry is in fact an in-your-face electronic album with grinding analogue basslines, chattering synths and dominant beats. As the lead singer Alison said, ‘we went into the studio and turned on the machines’ and this welcome change in direction has thankfully provided a more varied album. Goldfrapp are no longer a band for 40-something dullards. This sleazy electro pop with suggestive lyrics (about the delights of oral sex on Twist) is aided by many weird sounds of invention. Analogue in nature with as many layers as the Human League’s 2001 Secrets album, Black Cherry is quite an achievement technically. This is the kind of album Madonna had tried to make with Music and American Life but she never quite pulled it off.
With no retro nods back to that era, all the tracks sound oddly modern. The first single released ‘Train’ was enough to win me over with its updated glam rock sound moulded into some very deep bass sounds. This track really owes more to the early 70s than anything released a decade later. The second single 'Strict Machine' (which deserves a rating of 9/10 on its own), has similar glam rock routes but with no guitars in sight. If 'Train' didn’t win you over, Strict Machine will blow you away. It is infectious and unforgettable and no pre-sets were used during the making of this record. Those not yet familiar would hace heard the pervy electro of Strict Machine many a time on TV trailers and adverts in recent months.
Although melodic throughout, this isn’t a conventional album in the classic pop sense. Crystalline Green’s title hints at how sharp this album sounds. You can hear every sound, crisp and clear as most electronic music should be. Fans of Felt Mountain shouldn’t be too despondent, there are still a few of those John Barry moments such as Deep Honey whilst Hairy Trees is very seductive like Saint Etienne at their peak.
Title track Black Cherry though is the real star of the pack. Warm analogue synths and beautiful string arrangements dominate this electro ballad with a vocal performance that simply gives you the shivers. It was seeing Goldfrapp perform this track live on BBC-2 that turned me into a committed fan and the album has rarely left the CD player. The final bonus is that Alison Goldfrapp has an enchanting voice and possibly one of the best female singers the UK has produced in quite a while.
Nu-electro for the cool kids
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 5, 2012 9:05 AM GMT


Blake's 7 - Series 1 [DVD] [1978]
Blake's 7 - Series 1 [DVD] [1978]
Dvd ~ Gareth Thomas
Price: 16.75

30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the BBC's finest ever TV shows..., 19 Feb 2004
Originally devised by Dalek creator Terry Nation as a 'dirty dozen' set 'in space', this groundbreaking series was the first and last of it's kind, other shows including Star Trek The Next Generation, Babylon 5 and Farscape would all borrow elements from it.
Blake's 7 was a darker more fatalistic reply to the American vision of future utopia depicted in Star Trek. Born out of the Cold War,Terry Nation could only see a hostile Orwelian future where human nature would never change.
In Nation's vision of the future, the B7 Terran Federation is a corrupt totalitarian superpower born out of atomic conflict. Expanding into space, drugging it's citizens and executing all those that stand in it's way.
Small pockets of resistance are easily dealt with on Earth but one man manages to put up a stubborn but ultimately hopeless fight. Old Vic actor Gareth Thomas brilliantly portrays a tortured freedom fighter whose belief that 'power should be with the honest man' drives him to commit acts that some would now regard as terrorism.
At it's very core, Blake's 7 was a study about the thin line between freedom fighter and terrorist - the descent from idealism into fanaticism.
With a powerful cast including Paul Darrow's brilliant self centred Avon, a stark realist constantly at odds with Blake's simplistic views - Avon's psychopathic nature would eventually match that of power crazed Supreme Commander Servalan. This show relied more on character conflicts & crisp dialogue than anything else (the low budget was one normally reserved for cheap police shows such as Softly Softly).
As the series progressed, the writers began to explore the political aspects of the show (no bug eyed monsters here that had often blighted Dr Who), the lower ranks of the Federation were often portrayed as likeable characters simply following orders who believed that Blake represented 'chaos'.
Armed with a powerful alien battle ship (found abandoned and drifting in space and beautifully designed), Blake wages a futile war on the Federation with a questionable crew of ex-convicts (some were murderers), blowing up gas works and shooting endless amounts of Federation guards on various planets (often the same quarry pit in the South East of England).
No traditional good vs evil fight here in B7 but various shades of grey pretty much like the world we live in today.
The finale of season one sees the arrival of Orac (later and accurately described by Servalan as 'just a box of flashing lights'). Never has a cheap prop had so much personality showing once again, the rare talent that writers such as Chris Boucher and Robert Holmes had. The episode is also memorable for introducing to the world of TV the season cliffhangers. Season one has a spectacular ending (those old enough will remember the impact this episode had next day at school with many thinking the crew were actually all dead despite the assurance of a further season). However, there was a more controversial cliffhanger yet to come but that is another story and another DVD boxset.
This B7 DVD set is essential for anyone who lost interest in Dr Who after the golden era of 1977 and those who enjoyed Babylon 5 and Farscape many years later.
Television script writing and character development are things that Blake's 7 still excels in some 26 years later whilst so many shows have since been forgotten.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 31, 2009 8:53 PM BST


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