Reviewed By: NannaSally
Review Date: 12/22/16 9:48 am
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This episode, first of Volume 8, consists of a discussion between Servalan and Secretary Rontane. They are sitting in a prison cell, waiting for the executioners to be ready to carryout their duty. Listening to their conversation, I can place this story in Season 2, after Trial.
Rontane asks to know the truth about how Servalan set up the President – after all the verdict can not be changed now and he would like this to be a final courtesy. She agrees and discusses the events leading up to the trial.
Servalan had visited the President on the Moon in his main residence. He persuaded her to participate in a tour of the outer planets, spreading goodwill and being seen – much like Royalty would go on a Progress to be seen by the citizens. He hands out largess to the population – helps to feed the starving and is seen to be taking a personal interest in the running of the Federation for the ordinary people. We also have an insight into just what it means to be an ‘ordinary’ person even when starving.
When they came back, Rontane took a reading of the Councillors – we hear a bit about political machinations of the Federation, and how things are ‘done’.
Servalan and the President want to introduce programmes with full publicity to help deflect some of the problems Blake has being showing up and reduce the likelihood of people turning to the Rebellion. They go to Mars and lots of people come to see him. The President accepts the peoples petitions personally which excites the locals. They have to deal with the local press. The message is ‘The Federation Looks After It’s Own’.
There is a terrorist attack – and Servalan saves the President’s life, and the day. He rewards her with his attention. Her power is now enhanced and the President wants her by his side, partly to keep an eye on her.
How will Servalan use the results of this event to further her own personal program? What has been the long lasting effects of this event and what came of it? Just who is waiting to be executed?
The music is quite clashing – probably right for the background of the story but a bit uncomfortable. The sound effects are very good of course.
Jacqueline Pearce as Servalan is a good narator, and she is quite menacing during the conversation. Peter Miles is a good foil as Secretary Rontane.
Issues raised are still around the total control of society so that even starving people will remain silent out of fear. Power is everything. Politicians are only interested in themselves. In some countries, these stories could well be considered subversive…. But that has always been the place of Science Fiction in society – see 1984, Brave New World, Farenheit 457, Blade Runner, Logan’s Run and many many more.
So, where does this put us as readers, listeners, viewers of this bleak, totalitarian universe? For more time than any of us have been alive, somewhere in this world many of these issues have been true in our world. Even now we see it reported daily in the news - and those living in the reported countries do not even get that....
I certainly don't have the answers - I do Vote, and participate in my countries electoral process. Here in Australia it is actually compulsory, though of course many get round it. But in many countries it is voluntary whether you vote or not - and the participation statistics are not high at all.
Both Australia and the US have had elections this year - were YOU counted?
Thanks for reading
Nanna Sally - who is finding these series more and more thought provoking and would frankly rather discuss sport than politics - and I hate sport....