Zu den Episoden „Cygnus Alpha” und „Time Squad“ (Series A, episode 3 & 4):
Über das Grundthema:
“Cygnus Alpha” gives us our third iteration of a totalitarian society (in this case, a theocratic one), demonstrating that, even on the outskirts of civilisation, oppression persists.
Über die “Liberator”:
The secondary plot, with the crew exploring the Liberator, is mainly a means of introducing the ship and its abilities. We learn that it is very fast, and can travel in ‘negative hyperspace.’ We also learn that it contains roomfuls of clothes and jewellery (the latter of which provides a serious temptation for Avon to abandon Blake); an armoury that prevents people from taking out more than one gun at a time (while seemingly doing nothing to prevent people from acquiring more than one once they have been removed from the armoury itself), and a teleport platform. (Curiously, at this stage the Liberator appears to have a second teleport platform, which is never seen again, suggesting either a last-minute design change or a slip of communication between director and scriptwriter.)
Über „Zen“, den Bordcomputer:
Zen, similarly, does not give direct answers, but leaves the crew to figure out the meaning of its statements: as it says, ‘Wisdom must be gathered. It cannot be given.’ The name Liberator, however, also refers to Zen’s actions as much as it does to the ship’s role in ‘liberating’ the trio from Federation control; Zen allows the crew freedom of action, rather than guiding or directing their behaviour.
Although Zen is prevented, by its programming, from giving direct warnings, it seems that, when the crew are threatened, it will try to work around its limitations.
Über Avon & die Frauen:
Finally, this story reveals more details about the central characters. As well as establishing the extent of Avon’s greed, it also gives us a sequence in which Jenna flirts with Avon, and Avon reciprocates with a flirtatiously-phrased threat, foreshadowing later hints regarding his attitude to the opposite sex.
The relationship between Jenna and Avon, however, continues to be hostile, and Cally quite clearly looks up and down Avon’s body suggestively when she first sees him. A sexual dynamic is thus now beginning to be felt on board the Liberator.
Cally, a native of the planet Auron, capable of telepathic projection (although not, it seems, of reading minds) (…)
The script also builds up the regular characters nicely, leaving aside a regrettable (and rapidly-abandoned) attempt to recharacterise Jenna as a high-kicking warrior babe.
The picture that emerges from the subtext is, therefore, that Gan’s limiter has been implanted not to prevent him from killing in general, but to prevent him from killing for sexual pleasure. Gan’s limiter causes him pain when he is alone with Jenna. Furthermore, his story about the guard killing his ‘woman’ is too close for coincidence to the events of Cygnus Alpha, in which a guard kills Kara and Gan is, shortly thereafter, seen driving a spear into a guard; this is the first hint of a pattern with regard to Gan’s disorder. Under those circumstances, it seems likely that he went into the capsule as bait in a trap for Jenna; when she comes looking for him, the guardians will attack her, and he will get a vicarious thrill.
“Time Squad” is a confusing and difficult-to-follow story. When observed carefully, however, it reveals much about Gan, the nature of his crimes, and his reasons for following Blake, as well as about the sexual dynamics on board the ship.
Über Blake, Avon und die Gruppendynamik:
In an early draft of the script, he (Blake) says that the ship is a democracy: they talk it over, argue about it, and then do it his way. Avon is now established as an oppositional figure; he cooperates with the others, but regularly threatens to leave, and is quite aggressive towards Blake.
Über die Geschichte und wie sie dargestellt wurde:
Another point against this story is that it is poorly directed. Much of the lighting is too harsh, and the low-budget feel, an asset in some episodes, here gives us television’s least convincing nuclear explosion, and a pair of warriors wielding what look like salad forks. The acting, however, is very good, apart from that of a few overly melodramatic stuntmen.