Episode 20 Latex Gorilla Ducks

Welcome to the twentieth episode of Down and Safe, where Michael, Liz, Scott, and Amal embark on a discussion of the seventh episode of season two, Hostage.

This is a useful reminder that this podcast is very probably not safe for work, and may contain mild spoilers for the rest of the Blake’s 7 series throughout the episode (we keep major spoilers to a spoiler section of the podcast that we give warning is going to be particularly spoilery.)

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7 thoughts on “Episode 20 Latex Gorilla Ducks

  1. I actually feel the federation commander made a good decision not to join in the space battle. That would presumably have given away the fact that his ship was hidden by a detector shield. My impression was that his ship had it, but the other 20 didn’t.
    This is not my most hated episode. I like the space battle stuff, the Servalan and Joban bit, the wobbly wire spaceship effects, including the pursuit ships that seem to be flying with their noses pointing slightly upwards (as if they were speedboats or something), the styrofoam rocks, and the ladies teleporting a guy into space. Cally actually throws a kick, reminding us that she still might just be awesome. All in all, I rank the episode about the same as “the web”.
    The central concept of Travis inviting Blake to join forces while threatening his cousin is just insane. I think there’s a quote later in the series “be careful when so and so offers the hand of friendship, the other hand is holding a dagger”, or similar. That expression describes Travis, who actually threatens with the dagger while offering the hand of friendship. Ridiculous.


  2. If 19 federation pursuits weren’t enough, it’s unlikely 20 would be the magic number.

    Again, more out o place attempts to force ideas from an ideology that didn’t exist as such more than 36 years go, and is becoming increasingly irrelevant today. Feminism content? Don’t care, doesn’t matter. This is a worthless ‘tool’ for examining the ideas in this show. A hammer doesn’t work to take off lug nuts, no matter how much you want to use it on everything.

    In similar vein: Canada and mexico constitute the ‘world consensus’…but the US and china DON’T? Try looking up population figures.

    I’d go on about how silly and provincial these notions are, but just the fact that you don’;t realize how sad they are in general really would make that unkind.

    Tell you what: if you, as British subjects wish to criticize you own culture, have at it…but you’re in no position to to do so for the US. Period. Yes, we do consider first cousin lovin’ creepy, so deal with that as the default position and accept that as culturally valid.

    It would make more sense to mention that perhaps this is an indication that in this particular future there are different rules in play in these matters.

    Personally, I like d the idea of the crimmos, as one of those little details that implies a bigger galactic culture that BBC budgets can’t afford to actually show on screen. On the other hand, if this is a penal colony, where are the other colonists? Are the crimmos more typical of the inhabitants of this plant? The Black Naugahyde and masks make sense as environmental suits if in fact parts of this planet are hazardous…..

    Still, I can’t say that This episode really needed some rewrites and perhaps some editing…too mush suspension of disbelief and your suspension bridge collapses.


  3. Gareth Thomas at the time had this to say about filming this episode, “i have no idea what we’re doing any more.. We have these ‘amazing guns’ that can kill anything in the known Universe, and we’ve instead spent the day throwing polystyrene rocks on the baddies..”
    When i saw this as a young teenager, perhaps i was naive, but i did not get any indication that Blake had dated his cousin Inga, just that she “was important to him”, as any first cousin would be, as friends growing up with parents who are siblings of course.. Only when Blake kisses her goodbye and Jenna gets mad is there any real indication of anything else, and i thought that was just the producers asking Sally Knyvette to act that way to show SHE wants a kiss from Blake, maybe jealous, but must we assume that Blake actually had an affair with inga? i still say no


  4. One person who likes Hostage…Rodney Marshall, author of “Blake’s 7: a critical guide to series 1-4.” He ranks Hostage at 4 out of 5 stars, along with Space Fall, Time Squad, The Web, Duel, Bounty, Shadow, Horizon, Pressure Point, Trial and at least one later episode that I really don’t like. I won’t say he’s wrong in his analysis or opinions, I just don’t understand how it deserves a better than mediocre rating.


  5. Pingback: Down and Safe: Episode 20 – Latex Gorilla Ducks | Amal El-Mohtar

  6. Hello.. Missing my fix of Down And Safe!
    I hope you are all well.. Please come back soon! Appreciate your work in producing this Podcast.. We wouldn’t want to take 7 years to go thru all Blakes 7 episodes would we? Thanks!


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