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Blake the Failure: Season 1 
10th-Sep-2010 10:49 am

I really never understood why people thought Blake was such a great success and that Avon constantly failed when canon don't support such a conclusion. So I decided to count the number of successes and failures of each man.

And everyone should know by now this is my personal opinion, and I have a right to it, so don't come whining to me if you continue reading and don't like it.

The counting is done according to the following criteria:

1)      Genuine successes do not rely on luck - these will be noted but not included in the success count.

2)      Genuine successes are directly correlated to the deliberate plans, intelligence and actions of the leader.

3)      Genuine successes meet the objectives of the plan. Just barely surviving even though the plan is a failure does not count.

4)      The one exception is traps by Servalan or Travis, in which case survival directly due to the actions of the leader, and not luck, will be counted as a success.

5)      Half-and-Half Failures/Successes is if the leader only partially succeeds or the cost in that success is far greater than what is gained.

 

Season 1

Episode 1 - The Way Back

Blake tries to find out information on his family - Success

Blake tries to free himself from fake charges - Failure

                Total Success - 1

Total Failure - 1

Episode 2 - Spacefall

Blake plans to take over the ship - A dismal Failure that results in the deaths of 10 prisoners

Blake escapes - Pure Luck (The arrival of the Liberator, the failed plan resulting in all three being sent over to the Liberator)

              Total Success - 1

Total Failure - 2

Total Pure Luck - 1

Episode 3 - Cygnus Alpha

Blake gets himself a crew - Half and Half (Blake only manages to get 2 people, he gets 2 killed plus the only one of Vargas's people sympathetic to them, and he leaves all of the other prisoners to misery and death. A man who gets half his people killed and leaves others to suffer and die, I wouldn't call that a roaring success even if the people he rescued were Vila and Gan, because the other people's lives were not less valuable or count less than theirs.)

              Total Success - 1

Total Failure - 2

Total Pure Luck - 1

Total Half-and-Half - 1

Episode 4 - Time Squad

Blake blows up the communication and navigation complex on Saurian Major - Success

Though, considering the other things that happened on the ship, you wonder what kind of a success it was. First, Blake increasingly turns Avon against him by betraying the trust of the crew at the beginning when he breaks his agreement with them and then he threatens Avon when Avon objects. Second, Jenna considers leaving and thinks it's far safer getting away from Blake. Third, Gan accuses Blake of making them all murderers. Oh, yes, great success in this episode.

Total Success - 2

Total Failure - 2

Total Pure Luck - 1

Total Half-and-Half - 1

Episode 5 - The Web

Anything achieved in this episode was due to Pure Luck. Both of Blake's plans failed dismally.

Blake's plan to save the Decimas by hiding the crystal - Failure

Blake's plan to save the ship by negotiating with Saymon - Failure

The only reason why the Decimas were safe and the ship was saved was because Geela and Novara made a stupid mistake and left the door open. This let the Decimas in, who then saved themselves and the crew. This had absolutely nothing to do with Blake. He did not lift a finger to make this happen. It was entirely due to stupidity on Geela and Novara's part./p>

And for those who think that the Decimas saw Blake and deliberately did not kill him, should watch the episode again. Blake and Avon were prisoners being herded into an inner room by one of Saymon's people. Then the Decimas entered the complex. They never saw Blake and Avon had no idea they or Geela were in the other room. It was only thanks to the Decimas killing Geela and Novara that Blake was able to take the crystal. - Pure Luck

Total Success - 2

Total Failure - 4

Total Pure Luck - 2

Total Half-and-Half - 1

Episode 6 - Seek, Locate, Destroy

Blake's plan was another dismal - Failure

But wasn't it a success? They went down to get the cipher machine and that is what they did, isn't it? Take a look at the episode again folks. The plan wasn't to get the cipher machine. The plan was to get the machine without the Federation finding out, because if they did, then the Federation would just change the cipher and the machine was worthless and was little more than an expensive paper weight. That was the real plan and they failed miserably all directly due to Blake's failure as a leader and his lack of intelligence.

As a plan to get an expensive paperweight, it was a wonderful success. Blech.

Not to mention, Blake's inability to come up with a responsible, well-thought out plan resulted in Cally being captured, which by the 6th episode, is already a typical feature of Blake's ill-conceived plans (Spacefall, Cygnus Alpha, The Web), and put them in far more danger than they should have been in.

Let's take a look at how Blake failed as a leader on all levels.

The moment Travis arrived, he already knew that it wasn't simply an act of sabotage.

Now, why would Travis think this? Well now…many reasons, all directly because of Blake's inability to think.

First, Blake says in full hearing of the technicians that they found it, and they were in the cipher room when he said it. Duh.

Second, instead of having Gan plant charges normally, he has him plant two in the cipher room only, to make sure that it is destroyed totally, something Gan didn't seem to think was a good idea. That's like putting a big sign, saying we came here to do something in this room. Look here. The second Duh.

Third, because Blake showed inordinate interest in the cipher room while the techs were still in there. Because of Blake, only a blind man wouldn't notice that Blake's people spent 5-10 minutes in there, much more than was necessary if they were only planting a bomb. Travis instantly realized that this was more confirmation that their true goal was something in the cipher room. And it had nothing to do with Avon taking longer than expected, because it took 30 seconds at most to plan charges as Travis pointed out and Avon would have taken longer than that to remove the more complex cipher machine regardless of whether he ran into trouble or not. So Blake's sorry excuse for a plan told Travis something in the cipher room was their target.

Fourth, they had one of the greatest secret weapons, the teleport. Blake pretty much tanked that advantage in this episode with his lack of forethought. He had Avon and Vila teleport directly into the cipher room while the techs were still in the room. Travis immediately realized they must have had working teleport technology. Big DUH.

Fifth, Blake put them in far greater danger than they should have been because of yet another instance of inability to think. He and Vila knock out two guards, and left them there unconscious in the middle of the street. They don't tie them up. They don't hide them in case patrols run across them. It was one of these guards who woke up and set off the alarm after a few minutes. It would only take seconds to get the guards out of the way. Vila had enough time to go back to check the guards were all right.

Blake failed in so many ways in this episode, his leadership was a farce and as a result, they got a useless paperweight, and he endangered all their lives because his failure enabled Travis to set a trap for them.

Blake's plan to rescue Cally - Success (I will count this a success but a lot of it had to do with Pure Luck)

Blake went down, successfully rescued Cally and trapped Travis. But was it really because of his clever planning or was he just lucky again? In my opinion, it was again luck. Why do I think this? First, Blake had no idea his plan to get a cipher machine and keep it secret was a dismal failure. And as a result, the communiqué they heard was a trap by Travis. Second, he had no idea that he had given away the secret of the teleport. Blake was lucky that Travis misjudged the capabilities of the teleport. Travis thought that the teleport required them to make two passes, one to get a layout of the base and the second for teleport.

It's interesting that Avon shows very little respect for Blake as a leader when Blake tells them how the Freedom Party was annihilated. He obvious thinks Blake was a reckless man who did very little thinking. And this episode pretty much confirms his opinion of Blake's inabilities as a leader.

Total Success - 3

Total Failure - 5

Total Pure Luck - 2

Total Half-and-Half - 1

Episode 7 - Mission to Destiny

Blake rescues Destiny colonists - Success, just barely. Again partially due to Pure Luck but I will count it as a success.

Why do I say Blake barely saved the colonists and again relied on Pure Luck? First, he took an empty case without verifying the contents. Second, against Vila's objections, Blake risks going through a meteor storm even though Zen says the storm is of such magnitude that there is no margin for error and that he doesn't know if they have enough reserve power to maintain the force wall in order to prevent being killed. This is a far greater warning than Avon got in Terminal when Zen only suggested it was better to go around the cloud because there was no information. The crew were extremely lucky. They were within seconds of being killed with reserves almost gone and no longer able to operate both main drive and the force wall simultaneously. Again Blake got lucky within seconds of getting them all killed.

Avon uncovers the mystery - Success, due to sheer brilliance.

Avon fixes the ship - Success, due to his technical abilities and leadership.

Total Success - 4

Total Failure - 5

Total Pure Luck - 2

Total Half-and-Half - 1

                Avon Total Success - 2

Episode 8 - Duel

                Blake gets them out of the trap with Travis's 3 pursuit ships - Failure

                Blake wins the duel with Travis - Success

Total Success - 5

Total Failure - 6

Total Pure Luck - 2

Total Half-and-Half - 1

                Avon Total Success - 2

Blake's cleverness with the force wall and the ram saved them? Hmm. Look at it again. Blake obviously can't do simple math and was about to get them all killed. Blake is obviously delusional, insane or incredibly stupid as a leader and this exchange with Travis's ship shows it.

At the start of the fight, they are down to their last three energy reserve banks. They cannot manage more than Standard by 4, to get away, to do that, they need at least Standard by 6. They no longer have enough power for weapons. At the rate at which the plasma bolts were eating up their remaining energy reserves, they would have nothing left to keep the force wall up long before the last ship started firing at them, even with the ram and Blake's tactics of keeping the force wall down except for the plasma bolt strikes. And his idiotic manoeuvre with the ram not only risked damaging the ship, it ate up even more of their energy reserves by having to use full thrust, and because Blake knew Travis would fire a full salvo of at least 3 plasma bolts at point blank, which will take their energy reserves down even further plus, Blake has to bring up the force wall just to survive the impact, which will cut into their energy reserves even more. They have even less of a chance because of Blake's moronic stunt than before.

Assuming they survive the ram with minimal damage, and the only way that would work is if Travis is stupid enough to sit still and not try to move out of the way with his superior speed, and canon shows us Travis wasn't that stupid and moved away right away), they still don't have weapons. And they will now be so slow with almost no energy left, they'll be crawling. What exactly does Blake plan to do at that point? Throw food at them?

And no, Blake does not have brilliant ideas to save them at the last second if his pointless manoeuvre with the ram or the musical chairs with the force wall is any indication. Not to mention, with Travis moving out of the way, Blake will still be left facing two ships.

Blake was about to get them all killed against Zen's advice to surrender. The only thing that saved them was the intervention of Sinofar. Pure Luck.

Blake did succeed in Sinofar's test. He realized what the nature of the test was.

Episode 9 - Project Avalon

Blake's first rescue of Avalon was a trap by Servalan. The only reason why they survived was not due to any cleverness on Blake's part. It was Pure Luck that Travis used a robot that couldn't fool Avalon's assistant. As a result, the robot tried to kill the assistant and the game was up at that point. The Avalon robot did what it was there to do, drop the vial that would kill them all. Pure Luck caused the vial to fall on her tunic, not breaking. No cleverness on Blake's part there. Just Pure Luck. He had no idea it was Avalon who was the plant. He thought it was the assistant.

Blake's second plan to rescue Avalon, using Avon's skills, was a Success.

Avon succeeded in rescuing the ship and the crew from the interceptors while Blake was off-planet. Avon's plan worked beautifully and without any flaws or hint of luck. It was skill, leadership and intelligence.

Surviving Servalan/Travis's trap - Pure Luck

Rescuing Avalon - Success

Avon saves them from the interceptors - Success

Total Success - 6

Total Failure - 6

Total Pure Luck - 3

Total Half-and-Half - 1

                Avon Total Success - 3

Episode 10 - Breakdown

Blake getting them through the gravitational vortex - Pure Luck

Blake saving Gan - Success with a lot of help from Avon

Blake keeping Avon on the ship - Pure Luck

Total Success - 7

Total Failure - 6

Total Pure Luck - 5

Total Half-and-Half - 1

Avon Total Success - 3

Blake nearly got them all killed when he refused to listen to Zen and Avon. He had no logical reason for going through the center of the vortex. Just relying on luck again.

Blake didn't have the intelligence to help Gan. It was a good thing Avon stopped him from trying to do brain-surgery-by-numbers. Gan owed his survival far more to Avon than Blake. It was Avon who gave them XK-72. It was Avon who saved them from the trap. It was Blake's lack of intelligence in showing his face on XK-72 that endangered them all, and told the base about the teleport and for a man who is so adept at lying, he gives a very weak explanation to the people on the base. Makes you wonder if he deliberately did that to make sure that Avon could not escape him by seeking refuge on the base, because Blake had already identified that the only reason Avon hadn't left yet was because he couldn't do it without identifying himself with Blake and the Liberator.

Blake's tactics failed because Avon was so pissed off and disgusted with Blake by this point that even the danger of staying on the ship, knowing full well he would be identified with Blake and the Liberator, didn't stop him from trying to leave. The only reason why Avon came back to the ship was because he was a good man and couldn't leave the crew in a lurch when they were in danger.

Episode 11 - Bounty

Blake's plan to convince Sarkoff to fight again was an unmitigated disaster - Failure

Blake's plan to defeat the Amagon's - Success, with a lot of help from Jenna's plans

Total Success - 8

Total Failure - 7

Total Pure Luck - 5

Total Half-and-Half - 1

Avon Total Success - 3

Avon Total Failure - 1

Blake's plan to convince Sarkoff not only didn't work, he turned this man against him. The only thing Blake achieved was forcing Sarkoff back to the ship, at which point Sarkoff, who was so turned off by Blake's tactics, he immediately shopped him to the Amagons.

The only reason why Sarkoff agreed to go back to fight was because his daughter, Tyce convinced him. By the end, Sarkoff is still hostile to Blake and threatens to sell him to the Federation if he sets foot on Lindor. Oh yeah, great success there.

Blake's plan to escape and defeat the Amagons partially succeeded. He got free but if Jenna hadn't been there to stop the Amagon from shooting him, the success would have been very short-lived.

Avon and Gan's plan failed. Avon should have insisted that they follow his lead instead of being a much more democratic leader. But then if Blake had been a leader, they would have fallen into the trap even sooner.

Episode 12 - Deliverance

                Avon's plan to find the life capsules - Half and Half

                Avon's plan to rescue Jenna - Success

                Avon's plan to help Meegat's people - Success

Blake couldn’t save Ensor, Jr. - Failure Due to Bad Luck

Total Success - 8

Total Failure - 7

Total Pure Luck - 5

Total Half-and-Half - 1

Total Failure Due to Bad Luck - 1

Avon Total Success - 5

Avon Total Failure - 1

Avon Half and Half - 1

Avon had Success in finding the life capsules and rescues Ensor but he lost Jenna. But this wasn't due to any lack of leadership or intelligence on his part. Unlike Blake, he had people paired in teams. Gan had only one person to keep track of and he couldn't do that. Gan failed Avon.

Avon's plan to rescue Jenna was a Success. It was due to his determination, perseverance, courage and planning.

Avon's plan to help Meegat's people, another unqualified Success. No luck. Just pure intelligence and skill.

Episode 13 - ORAC

                Blake tries to get ORAC - Pure Luck

Save Ensor - Failure and…they went to the aid of someone who needed a surgeon, without having a surgeon onboard. Maybe they can do a surgery-by-numbers again… Plus they couldn't get Ensor back on the ship fast enough to save him

                Save the crew from radiation sickness - Success, but really it had a great deal of Pure Luck

Avon goes down to find and save Blake and Cally - Success

I love the way Blake keeps insisting there will be radiation decontaminant drugs on Aristo. He obviously thinks that by saying it loud enough and enough times will make it happen. Another instance of relying on luck, Because really, why would they have any such drugs on Aristo if there is no danger of radiation there. The Liberator didn't have any. Blake got lucky here because he had no idea if Ensor had any, but I will count it as a success.

Blake got ORAC, but he was unarmed facing Travis and would have been killed if Travis hadn't missed and Avon hadn't saved him and if Servalan hadn't stopped Travis from killing him at point blank range the second time because she was more interested in ORAC. Pure Luck. No cleverness on Blake's part.

Total Success - 9

Total Failure - 8

Total Pure Luck - 6

Total Half-and-Half - 1

Total Failure Due to Bad Luck - 3

Avon Total Success - 6

Avon Total Failure - 1

Avon Half and Half - 1


Smile of a Smug Cold-Blooded Murderer
Comments 
10th-Sep-2010 02:56 pm (UTC)
I don't think you're being fair. I mean, I'm not EXACTLY Blake's biggest fan, but the fact is that he's one guy with a handful of "followers" who don't think he's all that, up against the assembled might of the Federation. Under those circumstances, even the greatest military genius in history couldn't just stroll in and conquer. (And even conquest doesn't mean much without an administrative apparatus to back it up.)
10th-Sep-2010 02:59 pm (UTC)
I'm just being accurate because so many people hail Blake as a great success as opposed to Avon when canon doesn't support it. To me that's Avon-bashing and highly unfair to Avon. I'm just setting the facts straight and giving Avon a better shake because he always gets such a bad rap. It's extremely unfair to Avon and I'm not taking it anymore.

People complain I'm bashing Blake. Well, everywhere I turn I see people bashing Avon by opinions like this. I'm supposed to accept that while people complain I'm doing it to Blake? Forget it. I'm mad and I'm not taking it anymore. I may be one lone voice against a crowd, but I will defend my poor Avon.

Edited at 2010-09-10 03:22 pm (UTC)
10th-Sep-2010 07:17 pm (UTC)
You are onto a winner with me ... Blake wasn't a favourite when I first watched it in the 70-80's ... and since then, every time, it is the failures I seem to notice!

Well done with the maths!
10th-Sep-2010 07:33 pm (UTC)
Thanks. It always flabbergasted me that anyone would have the opinion Blake was a great success when canon never supported it. And don't even get me started on whether Blake was a good man or not. I had been of the opinion that he was a good man but very flawed, but as I continue this detailed study of everything he does and says and the inconsistencies, I'm really questioning if he ever had any good intentions at all, or was he just a good faker. But that's just my opinion again.
10th-Sep-2010 07:45 pm (UTC)
I think Blake did start off with good intentions ... and I suppose we can blame the mind manipulation that was done in episode 1 ... but he did seem to think he was both the boss, friend to all ...and his way was the only way.

I'm not saying Avon was a great leader - but he was a leader ... and most people knew where they stood with him.
10th-Sep-2010 07:47 pm (UTC)
Yup. I agree there. Avon wasn't a great leader either, but for me he was a far better one than Blake.

I will also do an essay on why I'm convinced Blake never had any good intentions, but he was very good at 'acting' like he had.
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