Zur Episode „The Web” (Series A, episode 5):
Über die Grundidee:
This story sees the fourth and – for the time being – last iteration of the fascist society, indicating that even far outside the Federation, there is both oppression and the possibility of revolution. Significantly, this final version is the one in which the revolution actually succeeds; equally significantly, the next story sees a departure from allegorical representations and a return to the Federation itself, where we will encounter a man and a woman (foreshadowed in Geela and Novara) who will become the main antagonists of the series.
Über die Antagonisten:
Novara and Geela are genuinely creepy, with Ania Marson being simultaneously beautiful and coldly mechanical.
In this story, for the first time, we see a successful rebellion. Which, we learn, is not a pleasant thing to witness. ‘These are what you wanted to protect?’ says Avon to Blake, in a phrase that can be read as encompassing not only the Decimas, but the Federation people as well. While the viewer cannot help but sympathise with the Decimas, the sight of them trampling the bodies of Geela and Novara is a disturbing one. This ambiguity is also present in the sequence in which Blake looks out of the window at the rioting Decimas; it is difficult to tell whether the expression on the face of Gareth Thomas (whose performance in this story is of an even higher standard than usual) is sympathy, disgust, astonishment, or a mix of all three.
Über Avon, die Frauen & Blake:
Avon also benefits from further character development. Cally openly flirts with him over his computer equipment, saying coyly: ‘I’m interested in your work’; he visibly gets the message, as he maintains eye contact for a full ten seconds afterwards. Once she has been disarmed a short time later, he grabs her by the throat – somewhat unnecessarily, as she is being restrained and is therefore helpless. Avon is thus violent to her for unstated reasons, which seem to have something to do with her flirting with him. More significantly, Avon’s ambitions have now emerged fully; he is no longer talking about abandoning Blake and making off with the money, but he does say that Blake may not always be in charge, smiling broadly afterwards. At the end of the story, his remark about how balances of power change appears to refer less to the Decimas and more to himself and Blake. However, this ambition is tempered by Avon’s association of Blake with his lost brother, of which Blake appears to be aware; when Avon saves his life by pulling him away from an explosion in Hold 3, Blake asks him, ‘Why?’, to which Avon responds, ‘Automatic reaction, I’m as surprised as you are,’ and Blake remarks, ‘I’m not surprised.’ Again, this ambition is a later addition to the story; the first draft had Avon talking about selling the Liberator’s technology and running away, but not about taking over the ship.