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Recap / Blakes Seven S 2 E 5 Pressure Point

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Written by Terry Nation.
Directed by George Spenton-Foster.
Airdate: 6 February 1979.

Blake decides to deliver a decisive blow by destroying Central Control, the Master Computer on Earth used to run the Federation. To help him he makes contact with a rebel leader called Kasabi, not knowing that Servalan and Travis are waiting in ambush.

This episode has the following tropes:

  • Abandoned Area: The rendezvous point is in the ruins of an abandoned church.
  • All for Nothing: Not only is the mission to destroy Control a failure, but Gan is killed as well.
  • And I Must Scream: Berg and Arlie find themselves locked in place as the radiation grid fires up to destroy them.
  • Anyone Can Die: Gan is the first but not the last member of the Seven to get killed.
  • Being Watched:
    Vila: I've the feeling we're being watched.
    Avon: [Slasher Smile] Automatic scanners will have picked us up as soon as we got here.
  • BBC Quarry: Averted (it is Earth, after all); apparently the Forbidden Zone is in a woodland in Oxfordshire.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Only Jenna prevents a Federation victory by teleporting down with more bracelets, then capturing Servalan as a hostage with Veron's help.
  • Bitch Slap: Servalan slaps Travis for hesitating to let Blake go to ensure her own safety.
  • Booby Trap: The Forbidden Zone is protected by a high-intensity radiation grid that will burn up anyone who tries to cross.
  • Bridge Bunnies: Subverted. Jenna and Cally appear to have been left behind to man the teleport, again. Then Jenna goes and pulls a Big Damn Hero.
  • Casual Interstellar Travel: Last episode the Liberator was on the edge of the galaxy, now they're back on Earth.
  • Crazy Enough to Work: Blake says they still have the element of surprise, as with the rebel column destroyed no-one would be expecting another attack so soon. Even Gan thinks he's trying to justify himself, but goes along anyway.
  • A Death in the Limelight: Gan teleports down with Blake to give him more emphasis in his final episode.
  • Dies Wide Open: Gan
  • Economy Cast: Travis has just two mutoids aiding him. He refuses reinforcements because he wants to kill Blake himself, but it looks particularly ridiculous when these two single-handedly wipe out an armed rebel column (compare the number of mutoids and Security troops Travis has in "Project Avalon"). The lack of security also enables Servalan to be captured because she has no-one to protect her.
  • Evil Is Petty: It's implied that Servalan denounced Kasabi out of spite over a poor evaluation when she was her instructor, rather than because Kasabi was spreading subversion.
  • Evil Laugh: Travis witnessing Blake's Heroic BSoD on finding an empty room instead of Control.
  • Failed a Spot Check: A pretty egregious one. Servalan in a gorgeous white dress with two mutiods stands twenty meters above the line of advance of the resistance fighters. They walk right past them - some even seem to be walking in their direction up the hill and STILL fail to see them!
  • False Reassurance: Blake calls the Liberator to say that everything is alright because they've made contact with the rebels, not mentioning that it's only one wounded rebel. Avon is rightly suspicious.
    Avon: So you've made contact with Kasabi?
    Blake: No, not yet.
    Avon: Then everything is not alright.
  • Forbidden Zone: Control is located inside a Forbidden Zone protected by automated defences, which no-one can enter without the authorization of the Federation High Council.
  • Foreshadowing
    • This is the start of a Story Arc for the rest of the season involving the search for Star One, the hidden location that the Federation's Master Computer was moved to.
    • As Servalan has to go all the way to the High Council to get the Forbidden Zone deactivated, she warns Travis that they'll both be held responsible if he fails again. As Blake does in fact escape, the next episode has Travis being on trial for his life thanks to Servalan's machinations, so he can't be a witness against her.
  • Girly Run: Avon running across the minefield.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: Avon in his red quilted leather outfit.
  • Hypocrite: Travis complains about Servalan indulging her personal vendetta with Kasabi, because it could jeopardise his personal vendetta against Blake (though he also mentions that Servalan has said this is his last chance to get Blake). Servalan in turn blames Travis for letting Blake escape, when she forced Travis to give up Blake to save her own life.
  • Impractically Fancy Outfit: Jenna saves the day in a gorgeous blue ankle-length evening dress and high-heel boots, even though her coming to the rescue would have involved climbing a lot of ladders. She's even carrying a handbag!
  • It's the Only Way: The only way across the security grid is to blast a path through, then run through the narrow gap in the eight seconds before it repairs.
  • Kicking Ass in All Her Finery: Jenna in her blue gown with starburst brooches, and Servalan in her white gown with boater and High Collar of Doom. She later turns up in a cleavage-revealing white gown being hugged by a jeweled salamander.
  • Killed Off for Real: Gan becomes the first main character to be killed off.
  • Knockout Gas: Vernon uses a canister of sona gas to knock out our heroes, steal their teleport bracelets and lock them inside the crypt for capture.
  • La RĂ©sistance: Knowing his crew might be reluctant to risk their lives, Blake enlists the help of Kasabi's men.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Blake knew his crew would object to their landing on Earth, which is why he mislead them "just a little" by saying they were just going to make a quick recon pass to check out the defences at long range (Avon of course never believed a word of it). When Blake discovers that Kasabi has been killed along with all her men, he fails to pass on this information to the others back on the Liberator.
  • Master Computer: Control
    Blake: Two hundred years ago, when the Federation began expansion and conquest, the Administration established a computer complex to monitor information: political, civil, military — everything! That computer is the nerve centre of ALL Federation activity. Smashing that would be the biggest single step toward the destruction of their power. I don't think they would ever recover from it.
  • More Expendable Than You: Gan's last words are "Go. I'm not worth dying for!"
  • My Greatest Failure: Kasabi's dying words are a regret that she didn't try to help Servalan when she was one of her cadets.
  • Navel-Deep Neckline: Servalan has a white dress with a jeweled lizard clutching at her exposed cleavage.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain:
    • Servalan kills Kasabi in an act of spite, motivating her daughter to help Jenna.
    • Travis throws a grenade that brings the roof down, killing Gan but blocking the passage so they can't chase after Blake.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Jenna single-handedly capturing Servalan.
  • Plot Hole:
    • Veron steals the teleport bracelets but not their firearms, which they could have used to Shoot Out the Lock or fight off Travis' mutoids. This is so they can use the weapons to shoot through the security grid.
    • Blake leaves Veron underground inside the Forbidden Zone, instead of teleporting her out with them and setting her down elsewhere. Servalan has turned off the defences, but he doesn't know that.
  • Point Defenceless: Control has resisted all attempts to destroy it with Orbital Bombardment or ground assault, but Blake thinks he can infiltrate with a small band of rebels, using Avon's skill with computers and Vila's with locks.
  • Properly Paranoid: Even though the correct rendezvous signal has been transmitted, Blake has himself teleported a mile away so he can scout out the area first.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    Kasabi: But don't try and browbeat me Servalan. Or have you forgotten that I knew you as a cadet? You were a credit to your background: spoilt, idle, vicious. [Pushes Servalan to the floor. To Travis.] My confidential assessment listed her as unfit for command. But I forgot how well-connected she was.
    Travis: That is no concern of mine.
    Kasabi: Then it should be. It should be everyone's concern. The Federation is degenerate, run by creatures like her.
  • Rebel Leader:
    • Kasabi is former Federation Political Officer who escaped after Servalan denounced her for talking treason. She now leads a rebel group on Earth.
    • Avon points out that the destruction of Control will throw the Federation into chaos and in the subsequent rebellion, Blake is the only figurehead that all rebel factions will accept. This would mean he'd have to stay on Earth to lead the revolution there, leaving Avon free to take command of the Liberator.
  • Redshirt Army: Two mutoids massacre the entire rebel column without anyone firing back.
  • Sacrificial Lion: A decision was made to kill one of the Seven to raise the stakes of the series.
  • Sarcastic Clapping: Avon's response to Blake's declaration that he can destroy Control where all others have failed.
  • Schizo Tech: An ultramodern control room is hidden inside a thatched cottage.
  • Security Cling: More an emotional sort of security than a physical sort, but still, Blake, of all people, does this to Avon while Heroic BSoD-ing.
  • Self-Healing Phlebotinum: Avon cuts the sensor grid, then watches the two halves join up again.
  • Sinister Surveillance: Monitors and automated defences detect anyone entering the Forbidden Zone.
  • Slow Doors: One causes the death of Gan when he stops to hold up a descending door and gets killed when the roof collapses on him.
  • Spiteful Spit: Kasabi does this to Travis.
  • The Starscream: Avon makes it perfectly clear to Blake that he wants the Liberator. "Sooner or later, I will have my chance."
  • Take Up My Sword: Rather than teleport up to the Liberator, Vernon chooses to stay on Earth to continue her mother's fight.
  • Teleportation Rescue
    • Avon and Vila are teleported down long enough to examine the automated defences, and teleport out Just in Time to avoid being blown up by them.
    • Even with the rebels destroyed, Blake goes ahead with the attack because he figures that they can just teleport out if something goes wrong. But the building that Control is in is screened, and later their teleport bracelets are stolen.
  • Tempting Fate:
    • "We don't intend to die making some heroic gesture."
    • Blake rushes into Control shouting, "We've done it!" only to find himself in a White Void Room.
  • This Is Something She's Got to Do Herself: Servalan is determined to dispose of Kasabi herself, rather than leave it to Travis. Later Travis turns down the idea of calling for reinforcements, to ensure that he'll be the one to kill Blake.
  • Those Two Guys: Berg and Arlie, the two rebels who get killed in the opening scene to demonstrate the deadly nature of the Forbidden Zone.
  • Truth Serum: Used to get the rendezvous signal out of Kasabi. Servalan deliberately injects her with a lethal dose.
  • Try and Follow: Travis works out that Blake would have gone into the Forbidden Zone rather than flee, as it's the last place anyone would look for him.
  • Wham Episode: For the first time in the show, a regular character is killed off.
  • World of Snark
    Blake: I want to hit at the heart. And the heart of the Federation is Earth.
    Jenna: Where, exactly, or do you plan to take the whole planet?
    Vila: I don't want to go.
    Avon: You surprise me.
    Vila: I don't feel well. I'm going to be a big handicap.
    Avon: I'm used to that.
  • Year Zero: Blake has to explain to Gan what a church is as "The Federation had them all destroyed at the beginning of the New Calendar."
  • You Have Failed Me
    Travis: They'll dig us out eventually.
    Servalan: Oh, yes. They'll dig us out eventually. And then I'll bury you!
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: Control was moved to another secret location thirty years ago, but the former location on Earth was maintained as a target for the Federation's enemies.
  • You Said You Would Let Them Go: Veron is cooperating with the Federation to save her mother, not knowing that Servalan has already killed her.