Man Of Iron
Reviewed by Kathryn A
A 4th season Blake's 7 script by Paul Darrow.
Available from Horizon c/- Ann Steele 66 Sherwood Park Road Sutton, Surrey SM1 2SG U.K.
I can understand why this script was rejected. If it had been used, it would not have been a good episode. It was too thin, and too predictable. As chevron said, one long chase scene.
(-- spoilers --)
The most commendable bit was where everyone but Vila leaves Avon for dead, so Vila desperately forces them to return. Unfortunately this elevates Vila at the expense of the other characters. I do not really think they would have been quite that callous. Not Dayna, anyway.
The continuing crisis with fuel is inconsistent with all the other episodes where it is never mentioned at all, and as it is rather central to the plot, that makes it rather hard to fix.
Other elements of the plot make me wonder when he wrote it, since they seem to be very similar to other episodes: * Servalan plotting with Evil Genius is like ORBIT * The Ultimate Robot is like HEADHUNTER * the being-chased by an unstoppable foe is by no means new * robots shorting out in water. You'd think an Evil Genius would consider decent waterproofing, wouldn't you.
It is quite possibly too violent, too. Besides lots of robots getting their heads blown off, you have Avon being badly beaten up, looking half-dead, and then the scene where Avon kills the Evil Genius with his bare hands by drowning him in the bath!
However, the random pick-up and put-down for the teleport was a good idea to confuse the robot, though I am not so sure their teleport technology was good enough (or set up in such a way) to differentiate between bracelets. It also made for a fun end to the story! (Poor Vila!)
Another thing that puzzled me is why Avon was so het up about this Evil Genius in particular. What was so different about him that could not be said of the whole Federation? What were these human/robots? What made them different from androids or mutoids, both of which were produced by the Federation.
Comparing it with DEATH SQUAD, another unproduced script (this time by Pip & Jane Baker of Doctor Who fame) even though I do not have the whole script, DEATH SQUAD struck me as better written, with more suspense and tension than MAN OF IRON. Maybe it had more good lines too, but I wasn't counting.
Sad as I am to criticsize anything put out by Horizon, unless you feel like donating to charity (which is what this script is doing), don't waste your money.
Sid & Nancy scale: a cheap BBC Special Effect of an exploding android