I hate personal violence, especially when I'm the person.
It's a new day here at the Time Treadmill Command Center. Having exhausted the entirety of officially broadcast Doctor Who stories, I have moved on to other similar programs of the same era. Ok, fine, that era spans more than fifty five years, but still.. For decades I have heard about Blake's 7 but have never watched it. This morning, that all changed.
The Way Back
(Blake's 7 Wiki Recap)
Writer Terry Nation has always had a fascination with dystopian societies. Here he creates a world that is a cross between 1984 and Logan's Run, with mankind living inside domed cities under the control of the Terran Federation. Going outside is illegal, and the government controls everything. The show opens with the title character Raj Blake slowly discovering that his memory has been modified by the totalitarian government, and that he was formerly a leader of the resistance. After being previously captured, his family was executed and then he was brainwashed into publicly renouncing the resistance movement before having even that memory wiped.
So far, pretty standard dystopian stuff.
I was completely floored when, less than ten minutes into the program, virtually every character introduced so far is slaughtered by Federation shock troops. From there Blake is once again captured, and once again the government does not want to turn him into a martyr, and so he is charged with a list of bogus crimes committed against children who are themselves brainwashed into believing their accusations are true. If I was floored at the beginning, I was absolutely gobsmacked by the end. Blake's public defender goes on a quest to prove Blake's innocence, is able to gather all of the incontrovertible evidence, and then in the final minute of the show he and his wife are murdered by a Federation security officer while Blake is loaded on board a prison ship to be sent to the off-world Cygnus Alpha penal colony.
I don't know what exactly I expected from this show, but it certainly wasn't this kind of unrelenting bleakness and high body count. The series debuted in 1978 at a time when the political winds in the United Kingdom were changing rapidly. The Labour Party, which had been in control of government since 1974, was about to face it's so-called Winter of Discontent which would lead directly to the ascension of the Conservative party with Margaret Thatcher as Prime Minister. The themes present in Blake's 7 absolutely reflect the societal fears of the day, especially with the year 1984 rapidly approaching. I was only ten years old at the time, and American, but I remember that climate very well.
I have to say, I am absolutely delighted to have begun this new series, and it has invigorated my workout time. Prior to the treadmill I hit the gym for some strength training, and I feel absolutely fantastic. My five-day moving average is moving firmly in the right direction, and I sincerely hope to move back under 260 lbs before the end of the month. I have long said of this ridiculous project that I am not focused on any particular number, and that's true as far as it goes, but I can honestly say I never want to see the north side of 270 ever again (or at least for as long as I remain in good health and physical ability). I am genuinely excited and anxious to get back on the treadmill tomorrow morning to find out what happens next in Blake's 7, and it's probably the first time in nearly a year that I have felt that way. Life is good.
Episode(s): Blake's 7: The Way Back
Steps Walked: 6,011 today, 4,661,088 total
Distance Walked: 2.49 miles today, 2,431.51 miles total
Push-ups Completed: 0 today, 11,650 total
Sit-ups Completed: 0 today, 6,565 total
Weight: 266.60 lbs (five day moving average), net change -40.70 lbs