Down and Unsafe #5

Mini Review By Sarah Thompson

Judith Seaman's story in #5 bashes Blake, but in this case I don't mind so much because he's shown as downright evil, not merely stupid. Twisted heroes are OK with me, just not dumb ones!

Review By Julia Jones

Another nice fat digest zine from the Down and Unsafe series. This one is fiction, two cast interviews, and cartoons. One dud story, and one well-written one that I personally dislike, but still excellent value for money.

This Ill-wresting World - Judith Seaman

Thirty pages of AU PGP from Judith Seaman in which Blake tells Avon that of course he hasn't betrayed him, it's a cover. Then Soolin is murdered, and Avon is blamed. Eventually Avon realises who the murderer is and what the motive is. Blake intends to kill Avon and his crew and collect the bounty to finance his cause.

Personally, I think it's a complete load of bollocks. I simply can't reconcile this with Blake's behaviour as portrayed on-screen in the first two series. It's also at odds with Chris Boucher's stated intentions. But at least it's competently written bollocks, unlike far too many Blake-bashing stories I've read recently. I dislike the story because I find it utterly implausible, but those who share the author's dislike of Blake will probably enjoy this one.

Four pleasures - Yvonne S Hintz

One-pager with Vila discovering that practical jokes are great fun until he's the one on the receiving end. Very funny, and nice characterisation.

In Search of Identity - Mary Moulden

Third in the Changeling series. This story follows the path of Threha, one of the fugitive Andromedans hiding in human form, as he makes plans for his revenge on Skaan (the Andromedan who found that he took on more than he bargained for when he stole Avon's form and personality). It's an intriguing look at things from the point of view of an Andromedan. There's a suggestion that Threha is about to discover the hard way that he's judged Skaan's irregular behaviour too harshly. Highly recommended. I think there's probably enough backstory worked into this instalment that it would work as a standalone, but ideally you should read the series in order.

Margin for Error - Sheila Paulson (reprinted from Starlines; S2; A-hc) Blake blames Vila for setting off an alarm during a raid, resulting in a nearly fatal injury to Jenna. Blake's fear for Jenna makes him lash out unfairly at Vila, who decides to leave the ship. Then an emergency forces the group to work together... Some nice h/c between Vila and Avon in this one.

The Price of Silver - Sue Bursztynski

Avon persuades Jenna to leave Blake on Cygnus Alpha - and discovers too late that he does have a conscience after all. A short, believable "what if".

Particularly Merciful - Kathy Hanson

After LeGrande is arrested on Atlay, the evidence she and Glynd had put together is be shipped to the President. It goes astray on the way, ending up on a planet hostile to the Federation. There are quite a few interested parties who want to retrieve it...

Well-written story, with some excellent, believable interaction between Jenna and Travis. Recommended.

Under the Influenze - Helen Pitt

Series 3 - Avon sets Vila up as bait in an unnecessarily convoluted plan to blow up a Federation installation by exploiting the religious beliefs of the natives. The plot device is an interesting concept, but implausible and poorly executed. Two of the pages in my copy were interchanged, which didn't help matters. Yet another story which demonises one or more of the rest of the crew in order to make the author's beloved one look better. There aren't actually that many in D&U, but unfortunately this was the third issue in a row with a badly written one for Vila, and it was setting my teeth on edge by this point.

The Heart of the Matter - Linda Terrell

Blake has survived Gauda Prime, but not with his mind intact. He's dealt with the shock of Avon trying to kill him by deciding that he himself is Avon, the man who knows how to cut off emotion. Which means that Avon has to lead him back to reality...

Considered rationally, it's not all that plausible, and the writing could do with some polishing. But I like the story for the way it (deliberately) puts the boot into the "Oh, poor Avon, having to deal with the trauma of nearly killing me" cliche . There's some nice h/c, and the story is remarkably slashy for those as likes that sort of thing. Some flaws, but a lot of fun.

Brian Croucher interview - Kathy Hanson
Sally Knyvette interview - Kathy Hanson

Two more interviews from the Scorpio 3 con in 1985, and like the other interviews in D&U, well worth reading.

D & U Looks at the 3rd Season, Part 1: The Shows
D & U Looks at the 3rd Season, Part 2: The Newcomers
Cartoons by Kathy Hanson. Nothing outstanding, but generally amusing.


Editor/publisher: Kathy Hanson (Christchurch, New Zealand)
Date: [1986]

Judith Seaman, "This Ill-wresting World" (alt-Blake, S5; A-B)
Yvonne S. Hintz, "Four Pleasures" (S2; post-Shadow; V)
Mary Moulden, "In Search of Identity" (S4; Changeling series #3; B-J)
Sheila Paulson, "Margin for Error" (reprinted from Starlines; S2; A-hc)
Sue Bursztynski, "The Price of Silver" (alt-S1; A)
Kathy Hanson, "Particularly Merciful" (S2; J-Tr)
Helen Pitt, "Under the Influenze" (S3)
Linda Terrell, "The Heart of the Matter" (S5; A-B)

Kathy Hanson, "The Scorpio Interviews: Brian Croucher"
Kathy Hanson, "D & U Looks at the 3rd Season, Part 1: The Shows" (cartoons)
Kathy Hanson, "The Scorpio Interviews: Sally Knyvette"
Kathy Hanson, "D & U Looks at the 3rd Season, Part 2: The Newcomers" (cartoons)
Zine ads
"Meet the Contributors"
Kathy Hanson, "Enditorial"

Kathy Hanson front c. Tr2-Se
p. 1 Liberator handgun
p. 2 A-B; illo for "This"
p. 6 A-V; illo for "This"
p. 25 A-B; illo for "This"
p. 32 V
p. 33 Brian Croucher
pp. 39-44 "3rd Season" cartoons
p. 45 B-J
p. 52 B-J
p. 56 V-B; illo for "Margin"
p. 65 V; illo for "Margin"
p. 75 A-V; illo for "Margin"
p. 80 illo for "The Price"
p. 84 illo for "Particularly"
p. 96 illo for "Particularly"
pp. 99-104 "3rd Season" cartoons
p. 105 Sally Knyvette
p. 113 illo for "Under the"
p. 120 illo for "Under the"
p. 124 hands; illo for "The Heart"
p. 128 A-B; illo for "The Heart"
back c. J
Harvey Kong Tin p. 137 Liberator
assorted computer graphics

Back to Kathy Hanson

Back to Fanzines

Back to Blake's 7 Index Last updated on 13th of January 2003.