“Coming onto visual…now.”
I remember the first time I watched ‘Children of Auron’, as it gave me the impression of something new – a little stylistic shift. And then I recognised the name of the director behind it. Andrew Morgan was responsible for introducing Sylvester McCoy into the rigor of Doctor Who production, giving the series a few new stylistic shifts of its own. I remember being amazed at the ‘bubble traps’. His handling of ‘Remembrance of the Daleks’ (1988) is excellent. This was a more mature, socially aware version of Doctor Who. His direction really complemented the tone that the series was heading into. I’ll talk about him later in this blog.
But it got me thinking about the other directors of Blake’s 7 and what I picked up as a viewer. (In order of appearance.)
Michael E. Briant.
He had the unenviable/enviable job (delete as appropriate) of directing the first ‘take it or leave it’ episode. His Doctor Who work suggests someone with a strong and distinctive style. For all the ‘classic’ stories he was responsible for, it is ‘The Sea Devils’ (1972) that sits at the top for me. He uses dutch tilts, crash zooms, vertical shots, and very strong sound design. The overall feel is harsh, clanking, aggressive. It sounds like a template for ‘The Way Back’. In various interviews he mentioned how he worked closely with the designers of his episodes, as what they created would have an impact on where the cameras would fit in. Again it’s the first episode of Blake’s 7 that springs to mind here, as the cameras work around the interchangeable sets, rather than the other way around.
He had the unenviable/enviable job (delete as appropriate) of directing the first episode in studio. I always thought of him as the director that took on the ultra-technical Doctor Who episodes, and made them work by hook or by crook. I mean, look at ‘The Pirate Planet’ (1978). Head of Series and Serials Graeme MacDonald was right to question whether it could be done, just as Roberts and Anthony Read (script editor) were right to argue that it could. I’ve always felt that his Blake’s 7 episodes were weaker affairs, lacking a ‘spark’, but following a re-watch of ‘Space Fall’ I’m re-evaluating everything I thought. It’s such a creatively directed episode. I’m starting to realise that what Roberts really brings to his episodes is an emotional awareness to his casting, performances and direction. Take his slow controlled handling of Sarcoff’s turmoil, and the suspicion and conflict aboard the Ortega. The technical realisation comes second to a sensitive portrayal.
What can I say about Vere. Sometimes his personality looms over the entire blog. I remember seeing a video of him talking to the audience of an early 1980’s convention (Teal Vandor, I think) like he is addressing a class of unruly pupils – I instantly warmed to him. I really enjoy every episode he directs (yes, even ‘Moloch’) and his direction straddles the lines between subtle creative flourishes, and solid, appropriate direction. I always felt he was enthusiastic towards Blake’s 7, not just because the format worked for him, but it was a new challenge after such a long time directing police dramas. I think ‘Cygnus Alpha’ is the episode that encapsulates his willingness to experiment. For example, take the photographic backdrops on location and marvel at how well they work. I’ve always felt his handling of film work is a touch inconsistent, especially in the way it comes across in the final edit (I’m thinking of moments in ‘Seek – Locate – Destroy’ and ‘Hostage’) but he packs in plenty of content, and his episodes nip along at a good pace. Oh, and he clearly as a natural affinity with Betchworth Quarry, and enjoys rolling around in order to demonstrate how a stunt should look. If I was to attempt to sum up his contribution, it would be that he is the ‘quintessential’ Blake’s 7 director, who straddled the line between action adventure, and melodrama. He is also the ‘getting your hands dirty’ kind of director.
(See ‘Duel‘). Thinking about it, his contribution to the series might be one of his less impressive works, reduced to the status of ‘very good indeed.’ It’s atmospheric and haunting, but occasionally slips technically. It’s tricky to make any kind of comparison as he hasn’t tackled a space adventure in the mid-late 1970’s.
Jonathan Wright Miller.
This almost forgotten name might be my favourite director in terms of impact. (See ‘Shadow’ and ‘Horizon’ for more on this.) ‘Shadow feels a bit ‘new wave’ at time. This is a director who uses video effects and studio set pieces in a very distinctive way, and can switch from psychological horror, to cultural exploration with considerable ease. He’s also not afraid to attempt some quickly cut studio action, something that is never easy to pull off (I’m thinking of how Largo is overpowered in ‘Shadow’). Oh, and he casts very well. I would rather see more of him in season B than…
The man in the white suit. There’s various stories about tensions between him and Brian Croucher. But on-screen at least, Spenton-Foster is an interesting one, as I really rate his two Doctor Who stories – ‘The Ribos Operation’ might be one of the greats. His can turn on an operatic style with ease, but his technical skill is less sophisticated. He needs the right kind of script, with the right kind of tone. ‘Gambit’ was perfectly suited to him, but ‘Pressure Point’ isn’t witty enough for him to bite. Overused in the series, if I’m honest.
Whenever his name is mentioned I always think of the how he uses elaborate crane shots on the Liberator flight deck. But of course there is much more to his work than that. ‘Trial’ is excellent, as he finds the right ways to increase the political intrigue. But try as he might, he can’t quite save ‘The Keeper.’ As a viewer I associate him as the director who gives Avon something for his hands to play with while he delivers his dialogue. He also likes locations with plenty of vegetation.
He wrote the rule book for the visual style of mid 1970’s Doctor Who as far as I’m concerned. His Blake’s 7 episodes are also good, but somehow not the grandiose statements that his Who’s are. This is not down to his direction, but more down to the format of the series. 50 minutes can’t contain him. As I discussed in ‘Powerplay’ his real talent during his involvement with Blake’s 7 was his ability to produce with the same effectiveness as he directed. He was a fast learner.
Another interesting one. Like Jonathan Wright-Miller, he was a new face, and did a couple of stories which contained some interesting little visual and creative touches (figures fading in and out of film, close ups of eyes and his simple depiction of hell – full of Avon’s.) He does a pretty good job of making the scripts work, but there is only so much that can be done. If his work is slightly ineffective at times, it is because his contributions fall at a peculiar time for Blake’s 7, as it experiences its first ever identity crisis. I always associate his episodes are being quite ‘noisy’ in that he likes his background sounds effects high up in the mix. I see him as a director that bought something a little bit different, and in his own way. So I take my hat off to him.
I always remember Doctor Who producer Graham Williams actively seeking out Gerald Blake to direct ‘The Invasion of Time’ (1978) has he couldn’t think of a better director to keep the personnel happy during tougher than normal circumstances. Like Spenton-Foster his work is very contrasting, based on the tone of the two episodes. Unlike Spenton-Foster, he gets it spot on. ‘The Harvest of Kairos’ is realised in the true spirit of the script. Bombastic, unsubtle, bold. ‘Death Watch’ on the other hand is quiet, reflective and at times quite touching. This shows how versatile he was. Like Martinus, he liked big crane shots on the Liberator flight deck.
Sensitivity, maturity and a very human depiction of tense situations are at the heart of her two stories. She was the perfect fit to handle two of the emotionally bruising stories, without lapsing into maudlin sentiment. I think her real talent is knowing when some scenes need to be played deadly straight, or slightly underplayed, which allows the high drama unfolding to appear quite natural. I reckon there was a reason she was selected to helm these important tales, and to quote Servalan, she “functioned beautifully.”
‘Terminal’ shows just how creative she could be. It’s full of ideas, shot selection and creative detail. Season D is altogether a different beast, and if I’m honest she falls foul of over-lit studios and dreadful weather on location, resulting in a solid but not spectacular style. But her strengths were elsewhere, namely in how to tell a story and handle the performances to create a captivating 50 minutes of drama. Take ‘Power’ – no matter what you might think of the script, her handing of the cast, how they deliver their lines and motivation behind them is fabulous.
David Sullivan Proudfoot.
Conflicting thoughts here. He clearly was a well established professional, and some of the work I have seen, such as opening instalment of ‘Adam Adamant Lives’ is stylishly directed, especially some nifty handheld camerawork in the heart of 1960’s London. I also get the impression that, like Gerald Blake, he was a director who could bring a unit together through good humour and people skills. Take this recollection from Maggie Allen, who worked as a production secretary with him in the 1970’s.
“…he was shooting a longshot of an actor playing the hero on a hillside some distance away, who kept asking how he should play a short scene – what his motivation was, etc. After many patient explanations which the actor failed to understand, David picked up a megaphone and shouted in a camp voice “Just butch it up, love!”, resulting in the collapse of the entire unit. But the actor got it.” (1)
I don’t mean to be overtly critical of anyone in making such a demanding show, but sadly his work on Blake’s 7 falls short for me. I think he struggled to create much in the way of dynamism visually – even the screen wipes didn’t help. The location footage of ‘Stardrive’ is plodding and repetitive, and the studio based jungle of Helotrix in ‘Traitor’ doesn’t do anyone any favours, and he manages to turn a climactic fight sequence into a confusing mess. He also seemed to be unable or unwilling to reign in some of the performances. There are some nice moments, such as how he handles the location footage in ‘Traitor’, and the controlled, measured way he depicts the final moments of Dr. Plaxton. But his legacy is three episodes that have dated more quickly than the others.
Like Gerald Blake, she was given two completely different briefs during her involvement in the show. ‘Games’ is full of energy and fizz and is nicely paced, while ‘Sand’ is altogether a different beast – brooding and atmospheric. So in this regard she comes across as a very versatile figure, at the beginning of her directorial career. Her film work in particular is visually dynamic.
Here is a director that is given two strong scripts to play with, and plays out the humorous content without losing the overall drama. Mind you there is a fine line between theatrical and O.T.T, something of which I am reminded of during little moments in ‘Gold’ and the Servalan/Egrorian relationship in ‘Orbit’. These both sail close to the wind. But then look at the climactic moments onboard Egrorian’s shuttle for dramatic impact. He also appears to distribute the resources at his disposal to ensure the high production qualities. ‘Gold’ gets the lions share, but ‘Orbit’ benefits from a claustrophobic studio bound production.
A director with a strong relationship with Douglas Camfield, but based on his solo outing, is able to stand out in his own right. ‘Warlord’ is an episode that is full of matinée style melodrama, and an ability to express the emotions of the characters nicely (perhaps something that his work on ‘Secret Army’ allowed him to hone). He also makes slick use of the resources available in the television studio – split screen, inlays, vignettes, transitions, and hand-held camera. Ritelis uses what he thinks will give the drama a push. There are some accounts that he was a tough taskmaster in the studio, but listening to him, he strikes me as someone who was really dedicated to his job…as indeed all the directors were.
Blake’s 7 was really lucky to have such a wide range of directors at its disposal, and I think that David Maloney made some really wise decisions when mixing experienced and inexperienced directors to ensure the show never got stale. So let’s now explore how Andrew Morgan made his mark on Blake’s 7 during his solo outing.
We open with a slow fade into Servalan’s space creature. I’ve always wanted to say those words.
On her ghastly ‘command cabin’ set – I’ve never liked it – Servalan is plotting her next strategy, and bossing as many people in the space of 30 seconds as she can. Special marks to the clinic who holds up the pathogens proudly before walking out of shot. He looks a cheery sort of chap who takes pride in aiding mass murder.
On the Liberator, the crew are on their way to Earth. How time has flown since they were last on their way there. In ‘Pressure Point’ it was Blake’s turn to announce it all “hey look at me, I’ve gone and taken us to Earth” whereas here, Cally trips over the fact, while Avon isn’t thinking about anything other than Shrinker.
Tarrant says “in the absence of a more pressing engagement.” I know it has its detractors, but I really like the fact that the crew have very little to do, as it allows the stories to develop from their personal situations or personalities, such as Dayna’s links to Hower, Vila’s talents, or Tarrant’s relationship with Jarvik the Artisan. It also gives the chance for new tensions to be established – take the moral differences between Cally and Avon when talking about revenge.
There’s something about this scene that highlights Cally’s isolation within the Liberator. At the end of the discussion, her viewpoint is universally dismissed, even by Vila. It’s an isolation that will be a trigger for all kinds of drama in a couple of episodes time.
Meanwhile an Auron ship piloted by ‘Four Zero’ is gobbled up by the space whale. Servalan’s ship is such a fascinating, organic image and because it doesn’t really comply with standard spaceship design, it becomes a more ominous, sinister presence, floating around the galaxy, like some kind of Portuguese Man O’War.
Servalan turns the pink water into wine. Albeit a deadly genocidal form of wine, complete with refreshing effervescent sound effect by Elizabeth Parker.
It’s a nice little performance by Michael Troughton as the pilot – quiet, gentle and slightly insular.
On the Liberator, we are treated to a bloomin’ lovely crane shot of the Liberator flight deck. Different directors have made good use of cranes over time. In ‘Project Avalon’ we have what I’m going to call ‘the Briant trackback’ – from the virus ball being scanned by Zen to an extreme long shot. There’s the ‘Martinus reverse swoop’ – this is from Cally walking from her flight position to the sofa area, used at the end of ’Trial’. We have the ‘Gerald Blake sweep’ – a slow track and zoom into the central section of the flight deck from an extreme long shot – something of which is used in both ‘The Harvest of Kairos’ and ‘Death Watch’. But the camera move that is used in this episode is pretty exhilarating. I remember an interview with Andrew Morgan – I think in Doctor Who Magazine – where he says she wanted to give a feeling of space flight. I think he definitely achieved that.
Meanwhile the crew are still bickering over the motivation for traveling to Earth. Vila gets a great line when responding to Avon’s observation about the people of Auron having a superiority complex. Surely this episode isn’t going to test that out?
Dayna finally appears. I forgot she was there. But she is witness to a great line directed by Cally towards Avon “Why do you imagine I’ve never gone back? Affection for him?” It’s a perfect season C line, and therefore a perfect Blake’s 7 line. Barbed insults or responses usually hit hard in this show.
Meanwhile at Leeds Polytechnic…sorry I mean Auron, we find ourselves in their air traffic control centre, the interior of which looks not to dissimilar to Star One. In long shot it’s a good model, but then the camera zooms in too deep, undoing all the good work. Inside the studio, I was thinking about how I never noticed the identical twins in the background. I was always too busy recognising Ronald Leigh Hunt.
Pilot Four Zero is about to meet his end. It’s a really gruesome shot, perhaps one of the bleakest moments in the entire show. Theres something about the lighting, and the impassive lean forward and the skull like face complete with vacant stare. Even the shrill, grating sound effects make it a pretty visceral shot. It’s pretty horrible, and that’s before we’ve even reached the Ambrosia.
We’re at the mid way point of season C, and I’m interested in how often the war is mentioned, but how little it has played an active part in the proceedings since the end of ‘Powerplay’ and the establishment of the new crew and situation. ‘Volcano’ makes reference to the conflict, but apart from the Liberator’s desire to find a base, there is nothing to suggest that the war is a driving factor of the series. ‘The Harvest of Kairos’ expands on Servalan’s attempts to re-build the Federation following the war but it is more of a character piece. The rest of the episodes have been more about the situations the Liberator crew find themselves in. In this respect ‘Children of Auron’ feels like the first real opportunity to explore the post-War landscape, and Auron is the point of focus.
Cally senses there is trouble on Auron, and we are introduced to Franton and Cally’s twin, Zelda. I remember Jan Chappell mentioning that she wanted to play Zelda as a slightly drippy character. In that sense Cally almost, but not fully, becomes a bit more rock and roll – a shade of her early spirit that has been missing since around the mid-point of season B.
We get a nod that the Clonemasters from ‘Weapon’ are no more, and Servalan’s desire to pursue this strategy is not so much to rebuild the Federation. As an aside, Clinician Franton (senior) looks like one of the great stage and screen actors of the 1950’s.
“We cannot risk the Liberator for sentiment” says Avon, who wants to use it to get to Earth and seek the revenge against those responsible for the death of his lover. Once again here lie some of the exciting elements of season C – the fact that hypocrisy, irrationality and bloody mindedness are the drivers of the season. In season A and B, the head ruled for the most part, but it is matters of the heart that play a primary role at this stage in the series.
There’s trouble in the ranks of the Federation too. This is an area of the season that I find both fascinating and slightly frustrating. Throughout we have various male captains and commanders who, for a variety of motivations, throw a spanner in the works of Federation order and unity. This is an area of post war destabilisation that I find interesting – as though Servalan really is working with the leftovers of her space fleet captains. The increasing tension between Deral and Ginka is nicely played throughout this episode. Sure we’ve seen disagreements between Servalan and Rai and the tensions between the presidency and space command, but this is a very visible and waspish conflict. It left me thinking of how it represents the post war Federation, where conflict and disagreement is not nipped in the bud efficiently, resulting in the vulnerability of the administration.
A little note about Orac. It’s a great character, and I would guess is usually remembered for its bi-play with Avon. But there’s something lovely about a scene where a third-party tries to keep things moving forward positively. Take the scene between Orac, Avon and Tarrant. Both Avon and Orac are stubborn as a mule, and neither will give in, so it’s up to Tarrant to gently intervene. And coming from Tarrant, that’s quite an achievment.
It’s disco time on Servalan’s cruiser, as Franton is cured. But the price of mercy is high, as Servalan’s plan starts to come to fruition. The Liberator has arrived, although it is too late for the first civilians who board the space whale. They are all doomed – wanted simply for their suits.
On film at the Replication Centre, Servalan seeks to use the facilities. It’s a nice use of interior location and well dressed. It made me realise that this is an episode that looks like there is a bit more budget spent on it than others. And then I’m reminded that although this is a mid-season tale, it was recorded fairly early on in the run.
It’s quite a serious episode, in fact up to this point I can’t think of a single instance of humour, so when Avon calls “idiot” and we cut to Vila in the helmet from ‘Dawn of the Gods’ it’s a refreshing little moment.
The control centre is taken over by Ginka, accompanied by a gong. The establishment are taken out and shot by Servalan’s troops. There was something quite touching and understated about C.A. Two’s line “You did what you thought was right at the time.”
Once the business of reproduction is done, Servalan switches into prime diva. There are little smirks and a knowing glance at Avon at one point, but it is her self-satisfied glance at Avon through the door that is the most delicious of all.
However, the crew escape thanks to the help of useless Federation guards. Sweaty Avon looks so dangerous when he is startled by Franton.
They escape the doomed control centre, and towards the sanctuary of the replication centre – a fact that Servalan hears about quickly and delivers some excellent cup throwing towards her passive guards. I have a mental image of this scene being rehersed at Acton, with Morgan and Maloney realising that they are in the firing line, and having to duck quickly as the cups speed towards them.
I have to say the make up, costumes and visual effects in this one are really good.
Ginka’s sub-plot is starting to come into play as he convinces Servalan to destroy the replication centre.
Zelda decision to save Servalan’s off-spring is sound in character terms, but I just needed a little more background about her morals and ethics in order to make her taking off the teleport bracelet more plausible. This detail would have helped shape more of a contrast between the twins.
I love how sometimes dialogue is uttered that is interpreted as something else – like mondegreens in song lyrics. Zelda’s “I think it’s the nutrient flow balance” was misheard by me as “I think it is the Neu-tree-no flow balance” which sounds far more space age.
Zelda dies – with a buildup of Elizabeth Parker sound effects. In fact once again Blake’s 7 demonstrates it’s aural chops which contributes as much intensity to Servalan’s loss as the expressive and powerful acting for the small screen by Jacqueline Pearce. I reckon that a dramatic moment like this would be something that she would have relished.
I talked about the slow horrible death of Pilot Four Zero earlier, but here we have the opposite, namely the deaths of Deral and Ginka, whose quick and agonising dispatch is both well acted and technically executed.
Auron’s children will return, but not before Pater and Franton get their last moment of peace and quiet before their lives will change – twice in the space of hours.
And yes the ending really is godawful. Perhaps it might be the crowning glory of bad endings. I prefer to think more about the fact that we never see Cally grieve or mourn in this episode. Once she faints, that is it – the rest is left to our imagination as she comes to terms with the events, alone and silent.
Children of Auron is the episode which feels like the beginning of season C proper. The first two episodes were the set up, then the series goes into a kind of identity crisis which seems to mix up season B characterisations and set up, or simply not knowing where to go with its situations – even the excellent ‘City at the Edge of the World’ is simply a tale about Vila, without much in the way of consequence for the rest of the crew. But ‘Children of Auron is also perhaps the perfect encapsulation of season C in that it continues with the theme of character studies, but with real consequence and emotional turmoil that will feature in future episodes. I’m not saying it is the best episode of the run (although it comes close), but it certainly captures the possibilities of this ‘era’ of the show. The plot hinges on personal desire, and the emotional connections between characters, rather than the typical battle between the Liberator and the Federation – although it doesn’t hide away from this conflict either. It really is the best of both worlds. It’s heart over head. It’s melodrama in its truest sense – intended to connect with the emotions of the characters and audience.
It’s also the episode that gives the overall series another little lift. Here we have a director, new to the series, who is finding production techniques that have not been seen before; new and dynamic camera angles and composition, electronic sound effects that highlight an organic piece of footage (take the drops of blood that Franton transfers into the dishes) and other production flourishes, such as filmed interiors, sound treatment, and overlays. In ‘Space Fall’ I discussed how different directors handled shooting on the Liberator flight deck, and it is in this episode where the director comes along and seems to be excited by its vast and ambitious design. It will never look this good again. The preceding episode, might be the better story, but this is the one that takes a lot more creative risk, and that is precisely what Blake’s 7 should be doing at this stage of its run.
Morgan’s arrival seems to energise the design teams, costume, and music score. Its production values are very high, and the tone of the episode is darker and more disturbing than anything we have seen in the season up to this point. It points the way to a more mature and adult feel that characterises a lot of the second half of this run. In fact it makes me really value how the Liberator is the source of comfort and security – for the time being – and how the outside universe is once again a place of danger and threat. It makes us connect with the crew that little bit more closely.
It’s the last time that the filming block that took place in north England is featured. They’ve got good mileage out of the locations, and the use of Leeds Polytechnic gives it a suitably futuristic feel. Alas the Brunswick Building is no more, swallowed up by an arena, just like the Auron ship was swallowed up by the space whale. There’s more about this building in the discussion of Gambit.
Time to talk casting. Sarah Atkinson has appeared in all kinds of things such as ‘Jason King’, ‘Emmerdale’, and the BBC 1990’s offering ‘Trainer’ where she appeared with a hint of regularity. ‘Children of Auron’ would appear to be one of the last credits for Beth Harris, who enjoyed some regularity in ‘Within these Walls’. Rio Fanning has appeared in tons of stuff, as has Ronald Leigh-Hunt – if I was to name them all we’d be here for ever. Ric Young has enjoyed a long career – I definitely recognised him in ‘You Only Live Twice’. Jack McKenzie has some good sci-fi credits to his name, including ‘Space 1999’ and ‘The Empire Strikes Back’. Michael Troughton has a list of credits as long as my arm but for me, he will always be on the receiving end of Ric Mayall’s arm in ‘The New Statesman.’
As for the non speaking roles, there are tons of people to talk about, including a host of twin actors, but I’m going to choose David Glen, who plays the happy medic. He has a handful of credits to his name, but he’s also familiar within Blake’s 7 itself.
And as a footnote, Johanna Briggs, who played Zelda, was and is a resident of Leeds. She’s moved from dance, to acting, to Yoga teaching, and continues to practice Homeopathy in Leeds to this day.
Gerry Scott handled the location material – the replication centre is a nice mix of the location and bespoke set elements. In the studio, Ray London also designed for Doctor Who – ‘The War Machines’, ‘The Krotons’ and ‘The Mind of Evil’. Here he revisits his designs for ‘Star One’, and gives it an even more ‘contemporary home’ feel. Check out the wallpaper used in the backgrounds.
His doorways look a bit ‘Ken Ledsham’ with the curved ends (he worked with him on ‘Star One’) but all in all, he definitely has his own style. Naturally there’s a bit of borrowing – if I’m not mistaken the Kairopan transporter doubles up again as the Auron ship.
In my ongoing quest to catalogue some of the standout chairs seen in Blake’s 7, I was able to discover the stools that the Mutoids sit at. This is the Tractor Chair (2) designed by Rodney Kinsman, a classic chrome tubular design.
I couldn’t find the brown leather chair that Pilot Four-Zero is plonked into – the ‘Hay Ray’ lounge chair is the closest I could find, but doesn’t fit within the timeline of 1980. I can only assume it was a off-shoot of an established design.
It’s as though a new director has fired up Dudley. There is something about the opening bars that accompany the first scene set on the Liberator, particularly as Cally descends the stairs. We’re not talking about imminent threat, but something more sweeping and majestic – a string laden score. There’s big dramatic cymbal heavy music for the pick up of the Auron ship, while melodramatic strings and synths collide when Cally communicates with Zelda.
HOW TO SELL THIS TO AN UNBELIEVER?
Tricky. But just sit them down and see if they relate to the emotional turmoil!
MY FAVOURITE MOMENT
The sweeping camera shot across the flight deck.
THE MOMENT I’D RATHER FORGET
Sigh… The ending.
VERDICT IN TEN WORDS EXACTLY.
A distillation of the third season – it hits you hard.