Together Again - Elements

Elements is the fifth in Sheelagh Well's series of interview tapes and has much to recommend it.

The cover photo is lovely. For heads set against a starry background. Gareth looks lovely, Paul looks sexy, Jackie looks great and it was nice to see what David Maloney looks like. (I recognised him instantly by his voice at Deliverance. I heard a voice sounding just like the one on the tape, turned round and there he was, looking just like the photo. Shows that the sound reproduction is good too <smile>)

Joe Nazzaro is an ideal interviewer: he knows what questions are likely to lead his guests down interesting tracks and once they are started on reminiscences, he sits back without interrrupting and lets them tell their story.

The first side faetures Paul Darrow, Gareth Thomas, David Maloney and Judith Smith (and Sheelagh Wells of course). I found that David was probably the best contributor here, having many new things to say on how they attempted to save money on the show and the problems that were caused by not having the scripts in advance to help them estimate the costs.

There were several new Vere Lorrimer stories which I won't repeat here (go and buy the tape!)

David also commented on his dislike of 'magic' in Blake's 7 and how they had tried to keep it firmly rooted in science, rather than fantasy. (I agree wholeheartedly with that aim.)

Judith Smith had some interesting comments to add on occasion. Her and David's contributions to this tape make me feel that it might be interesting to hear more of the behind the scenes people talking, although I would always want a few of the cast members in the mix.

One comment of Paul's that I particularly liked was about how Avon's character changed over time. He wasn't very happy with the script for 'Aftermath' which had Avon preventing Dayna from killing an injured Sarran. I always thought this was out of character myself.

I say this about every tape in this series, but I'll say it again. The atmosphere was great. I could listen to these tapes once to hear all the anecdotes, but in actuality I listen to them several times and come back to them again after time has passed. I feel as though I'm with a group of people I know and that they are just chatting around me. It's friendly and relaxing.

The second side of the tape features, by popular request, Jacqueline Pearce talking to Paul Darrow. A combination that many of us were hoping for.

They both talked of the pleasure they had doing 'The Sevenfold Crown' (though I'd swear Jackie was thinking of 'Logic of Empire' with regard to one particular comment about the passage of time for the characters). Performing on radio has its own quirks which they mentioned.

The talk then moved onto the relationship between Avon and Servalan during the original series. A topic close to my heart! Jackie talked about Servalan's wardrobe and her development as a character. She also disclosed Servalan's thoughts about Tarrant after 'Sand'.

Both Paul and Jackie discussed what a 5th season of Blake's 7 might have contained. Some fun ideas there, including one that reminded me a lot of the plot of 'Nova' (fanzine, available from Horizon).

All in all, I recommend this tape highly, especially if you want to hear Paul and Jackie together.

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