Blake's 7

Blake's 7

Infobox Television
show_name = Blake's 7

caption = The logo used for the first three series of "Blake's 7"
format = Science fiction
Space opera
camera = Multi-camera
picture_format = 625 line (576i) PAL 4:3
audio_format = monaural
runtime = c. 50 minutes per episode
creator = Terry Nation
producer = David Maloney (series 1-3)
Vere Lorrimer (series 4)
starring = Glynis Barber
Jan Chappell
Brian Croucher
Paul Darrow
Stephen Greif
David Jackson
Michael Keating
Sally Knyvette
Steven Pacey
Jacqueline Pearce
Josette Simon
Gareth Thomas
Peter Tuddenham
theme_music_composer = Dudley Simpson
country = UK
language = English
network = BBC1
first_aired = 2 January 1978
last_aired = 21 December 1981
num_series = 4
num_episodes = 52
list_episodes = List of Blake's 7 episodes
website =
imdb_id = 0076987
tv_com_id = 3281

"Blake's 7" is a British science fiction television series made by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) for their BBC 1 channel. Created by Terry Nation, a prolific television writer best known for creating the popular Dalek monsters for the television series "Doctor Who", it ran for four series between 1978 and 1981. Popular from the time it was first broadcast, it remains well regarded [cite news | url= | title=Blake's 7 poised for Sky comeback | publisher=The BBC | work=BBC News | date=2008-04-24 | accessdate=2008-04-24 | quote='The time is ripe for a revival of a show that represents the best traditions of the genre, not to mention one of the best-loved and most successful dramas of all time,' Elaine Pyke, commissioning editor for drama at Sky One, Two and Three, said.] on account of its dark tone, moral ambiguity and strong characterisation. It is also remembered for the shock ending that concluded the series.


Set in the "third century of the second calendar", [The reference to "Blake’s 7" being set in the "third century of the second calendar" does not appear in the series proper, but is mentioned in the publicity material associated with the series (although the Federation introducing a 'new calendar' is mentioned in the episode Pressure Point). (cite journal | last = Pixley | first = Andrew | year = 2002 | month = October | title = Blake's 7. 'The Dirty Dozen in Space' | journal = TV Zone | issue = 156 | pages = p48–56 | id = ISSN 0957-3844 )] "Blake's 7" follows the exploits of revolutionary Roj Blake as he leads his band of rebels against the forces of the totalitarian Terran Federation which rules the Earth and many of the planets of the galaxy. The Federation controls its citizens by means of mass surveillance, brainwashing, and pacification with drugged food, water and air. Sentenced to deportation to a penal colony on a remote planet, Blake escapes with the help of his fellow prisoners and gains control of the "Liberator", an alien spacecraft far in advance of anything the Federation possesses. The craft has superior speed and weaponry and a teleport system that allows crew members to be transported to the surface of a planet without having to land the ship. Blake and his crew then attempt to disrupt and damage the Federation.

Whereas Blake is an idealist freedom fighter, the others are criminals, including petty crooks, smugglers and killers. Notably, Kerr Avon is a technical genius more interested in self-preservation and seeking personal wealth than engaging in rebellion. When Blake is separated from his crew, Avon takes over, confirming the inherent duality in his personality and the loyalty he had for Blake's vision. However, Avon remains a target for Federation forces.

Although many of the tropes of space opera such as spaceships, robots, galactic empires and aliens are present, the series is primarily noted for its strong character interaction, ambiguous morality, and dark, pessimistic tone.cite book
last = Fulton
first = Roger
title = The Encyclopedia of TV Science Fiction
edition = 3rd Edition
year = 1997
publisher = Boxtree
location = London
id = ISBN 0-7522-1150-1
pages = p66-74

The series was originally planned to conclude at the end of its third series, but was unexpectedly and suddenly re-commissioned for a further series.cite book
last = Stevens
first = Alan
coauthors = Moore, Fiona
title = Liberation. The Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to Blake's 7
location = England
id = ISBN 1-903889-54-5
chapter = Season D
publisher = Telos
year = 2003
pages = p154
] Some changes to the programme's format were necessary, such as the introduction of a new spacecraft, "Scorpio". Aware that renewal for a fifth series was unlikely, the production team devised a memorable conclusion for the series which left the fates of the main characters highly ambiguous. Because of this uncertainty, events following the final episode have been the subject of much speculation and debate among aficionados of the series. Fact|date=May 2008

Cast of characters

The first three episodes introduced the following main characters:

* Roj Blake portrayed by Gareth Thomas. Blake is a political dissident, who was captured after attending a proscribed political meeting outside the Domed City. Blake is framed on child molestation charges and sentenced to deportation to a penal colony on Cygnus Alpha, a remote planet.
* Vila Restal portrayed by Michael Keating. Vila is a cowardly thief with a skill for lock-picking and conjuring. Vila is usually reluctant to risk his life for Blake's cause.
* Jenna Stannis portrayed by Sally Knyvette A space smuggler and skilled pilot.
* Olag Gan portrayed by David Jackson. A convicted murderer, Gan cannot kill enemies because of an electronic implant in his brain to control aggression.
* Kerr Avon portrayed by Paul Darrow. Avon is an electronics and computer expert and erstwhile fraudster, Avon often clashed with Blake during the series.
* Zen portrayed by Peter Tuddenham. The main computer aboard "Liberator", Zen became a presence and a character in its own right.

The seventh and final member of the original crew (introduced in episode four) was:

* Cally portrayed by Jan Chappell. Originally from the planet Auron, Cally is a guerrilla fighter for the anti-Federation resistance forces on the planet Saurian Major. Cally is a telepath and can transmit thoughts silently to the rest of the crew.

As the series continued, other main characters were introduced:

* Servalan portrayed by Jacqueline Pearce. Servalan was the glamorous but ruthless and megalomaniacal Supreme Commander of the Terran Federation. She later conducted a military coup, installed herself as President, and became Avon's nemesis in series 3 and 4.
* Travis portrayed by Stephen Greif in series 1 and Brian Croucher in series 2. Travis is a dedicated, ruthless Federation officer. He became increasingly obsessed with killing Blake and later betrayed the Federation to the invaders from Andromeda.
* Orac portrayed by Peter Tuddenham. Orac is a portable super-computer capable of reading any other computer's data. Orac was built by computer engineer Ensor.

After Thomas and Knyvette left the programme, two new characters were introduced in Series 3:

* Dayna Mellanby portrayed by Josette Simon. Dayna is a weapons expert and daughter of dissident Hal Mellanby. She was born on Earth but emigrated to Sarran with her father at an early age.
* Del Tarrant portrayed by Steven Pacey. Tarrant is a former Federation space pilot turned weapons smuggler who boarded "Liberator" whilst abandoned by its crew.

Following Cally's death and Zen's destruction, two more characters were introduced in Series 4:

* Soolin portrayed by Glynis Barber. Soolin is a gun-slinger and mercenary. She was girlfriend of Dorian. Soolin's parents were murdered on Gauda Prime, where they emigrated from Earth.
* Slave portrayed by Peter Tuddenham. Built by Dorian, Slave was the master computer of Dorian's ship 'Scorpio'. It was frequently apologetic and obsequious.cite book
last = Attwood
first = Tony
title = Blake's 7: The Programme Guide.
co-authors = Davies, Kevin; Emery, Rob; Ophir, Jackie.
location = England
id = ISBN 0-426-19449-7
chapter = The Index
publisher = Virgin Books
year = 1994
pages = pp128 - 197

ources and influences

"Blake's 7" draws much of its inspiration from the legend of Robin Hood. It follows a small band of outlaws, under a figurehead leader, leading a rebellion against a tyrannical regime.cite book
last = Muir
first = John Kenneth
title = A History and Critical Analysis of Blake's 7, the 1978-1981 British Television Space Adventure
year = 2000
publisher = McFarland
location = Jefferson, North Carolina
id = ISBN 0-7864-2660-8
pages = p178-181
chapter = A Futuristic Robin Hood Myth
] Blake's followers, however, are far from being a band of "Merry Men". His diverse crew include a corrupt computer genius (Avon), a smuggler (Jenna), a thief (Vila), a murderer (Gan), a telepathic guerilla soldier (Cally), a computer with a mind of its own (Zen) and, later, another wayward computer (Orac). Later additions were: a naive weapons expert (Dayna), a mercenary (Tarrant), a gunslinger (Soolin) and an obsequious computer (Slave).

Series creator Terry Nation pitched "Blake's 7" to the BBC as "The Dirty Dozen" in space",cite journal
last = Pixley
first = Andrew
year = 2002
month = October
title = Blake's 7. 'The Dirty Dozen in Space'
journal = TV Zone
issue = 156
pages = p48–56
id = ISSN 0957-3844
] a reference to the 1967 Robert Aldrich film in which a disparate and disorganised group of convicts are sent on a suicide mission during World War II. This film's influence shows in the nature of the majority of Blake's followers; Avon, Vila, Gan and Jenna are escaped convicts.

Thus, while Blake intends to use the "Liberator" to strike against the Federation, the others are reluctant followers – especially Avon - who is more interested in self-preservation and using the "Liberator" to obtain personal wealth. Blake and Avon's clashes over the leadership represent a conflict between idealism and cynicism.cite book
last = Bignell
first = Jonathan
coauthors = O'Day, Andrew
title = Terry Nation
year = 2004
publisher = Manchester University Press
location = Manchester, England
id = ISBN-13: 978-0719065477
pages = p113-178
chapter = Nation, Space and Politics
] Similar conflicts arise between other characters, e.g., the courage of Blake and Avon compared with Vila's cowardice, or Avon and Jenna's scepticism of Blake's ideals compared with Gan's unswerving loyalty.

Loyalty and trust are important themes of the series.cite book
last = McCormack
first = Una
editor = in Cook, John R. & Wright, Peter (eds.)
title = British Science Fiction Television: A Hitchhiker's Guide
year = 2006
publisher = IB Tauris
location = London
id = ISBN 1-84511-048-X
pages = p174-192
chapter = Resist the host: Blake's 7 – a very British future
] For example: Avon is presented with several opportunities to abandon Blake; many of Blake's schemes require the co-operation and expertise of the others; characters are often betrayed by family and friends – especially Avon, whose former lover, Anna Grant, is eventually revealed to be a Federation agent. This theme of loyalty and trust reaches its climax during Blake and Avon's final encounter in the last episode, "Blake", where Avon's inability to trust others leads to Blake's death, and possibly Avon's.cite book
last = Muir
first = John Kenneth
title = A History and Critical Analysis of Blake's 7, the 1978-1981 British Television Space Adventure
year = 2000
publisher = McFarland
location = Jefferson, North Carolina
id = ISBN 0-7864-2660-8
pages = p171-178
chapter = The Jurassic Arc: Science Fiction Television's First Video Novel

Script editor Chris Boucher, whose influence on the series grew as the series progressed, was inspired by the Central and South American revolutionaries, especially Zapata, in exploring Blake and his followers' motives and the consequences of their actions. [cite book
last = Attwood
first = Tony
title = Blake's 7. The Programme Guide
year = 1982
publisher = W.H. Allen
location = London
id = ISBN 0-426-19449-7
pages = p178-181
chapter = Interviews: Chris Boucher – Script Editor and Writer
] This is most evident in the episode "Star One", in which Blake must confront the reality that in achieving his aim of overthrowing the Federation, he will unleash chaos and death for many of its innocent citizens. When Avon gains control of the "Liberator", following Blake's disappearance after the events of "Star One", he initially uses it to pursue his own agenda. Later, Avon realises that he cannot escape the Federation's reach and must, like Blake, resist them. In this respect, by the end of the series, Avon has replaced Blake.

If Blake and his crew represent Robin Hood and his Merry Men, then the Federation forces, personified in the obsessive, psychopathic Space Commander Travis and his superior, the beautiful but ruthless Supreme Commander Servalan, represent Guy of Gisbourne and the Sheriff of Nottingham.

"Blake's 7" also draws inspiration from the classic British dystopian novels "Nineteen Eighty-Four" by George Orwell, "Brave New World" by Aldous Huxley and "When the Sleeper Wakes" by H. G. Wells. This is most evident in the nature of the Federation, whose methods of dealing with Blake in the first episode, "The Way Back", including brainwashing and show trials. These are reminiscent of the manner in which the former Soviet Union dealt with its dissidents.cite book
last = Stevens
first = Alan
coauthors = Moore, Fiona
title = Liberation. The Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to Blake's 7
year = 2003
publisher = Telos
last = Stevens
first = Alan
coauthors = Moore, Fiona
title = Liberation. The Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to Blake's 7
location = England
id = ISBN 1-903889-54-5
pages = p13-58
chapter = Season A
] Explorations of totalitarianism in the series are not confined to the Federation – totalitarian control through religion ("Cygnus Alpha"), genetics ("The Web") and technology ("Redemption") also appear throughout the series. [cite book
last = Stevens
first = Alan
coauthors = Moore, Fiona
title = Liberation. The Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to Blake's 7
year = 2003
publisher = Telos
location = England
id = ISBN 1-903889-54-5
pages = p59-102
chapter = Season B
] Such authoritarian dystopias are common in Terry Nation's work, appearing in Nation's "Doctor Who" stories, for example, "Genesis of the Daleks".

Another frequent theme in Nation's science fiction is the depiction of post-apocalyptic societies, as seen in several of his "Doctor Who" serials, for example, "The Daleks", "Death to the Daleks" and "The Android Invasion") and also in "Survivors", the series he created before "Blake's 7". Post-apocalyptic societies are featured in several "Blake's 7" episodes including "Duel", "Deliverance", "City at the Edge of the World" and "Terminal". Although not explicitly stated in the series, some publicity material for the series refers to the Federation as having risen from the ashes of a nuclear holocaust on Earth.

Just as important an influence on "Blake's 7" were classic Western films, such as "The Magnificent Seven". Chris Boucher incorporated lines from Westerns into the scripts, much to the delight of Paul Darrow, an enthusiast of the genre.cite book
last = Nazzaro
first = Joe
coauthors = Wells, Sheelagh
title = Blake's 7: The Inside Story
year = 1997
publisher = Virgin
location = London
id = ISBN 0-7535-0044-2
pages = p9-20
chapter = Starting Out
] The final episode, "Blake", was heavily inspired by "The Wild Bunch" and "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid". [cite journal
last = Nazzaro
first = Joe
year = 1992
month = August
title = Terry Nation's Blake's 7. Part One
journal = TV Zone
issue = 33
pages = p28–30
id = ISSN 0957-3844

Plot summary

:"A complete list of episodes with capsule summaries can be found at the list of Blake's 7 episodes."

eries A

Roj Blake, an alpha-grade worker, lives in a domed city. Similar domes house most of the Earth's population. Blake is approached by a group of political dissidents who take him outside the city to meet their leader, Bran Foster. According to Foster, Blake was once the leader of an influential group of political activists opposed to the Federation's Earth Administration. Blake was arrested, brainwashed and coerced into making a confession denouncing the rebellion. His memory of those years was then blocked.

Foster wants Blake to rejoin the dissidents. Suddenly, the meeting is interrupted by the arrival of Federation security forces, who fire on and kill the crowd of rebels. Blake is the only survivor. Returning to the city, his blocked memories start to return. He is arrested, tried on false charges of child molestation and sentenced to deportation to the prison planet Cygnus Alpha. [Nation, Terry (writer) & Briant, Michael E. (director). (1978) "The Way Back" (Television series episode). In Maloney, David (producer), "Blake's 7", London: BBC, 1978-01-02]

On the prison ship, "London", Blake meets thief Vila Restal, smuggler Jenna Stannis, murderer Olag Gan and computer fraudster Kerr Avon. Following a mysterious space battle, the "London" encounters a strange alien craft. Efforts to board and salvage it are thwarted by the alien ship's defence mechanism. As a final attempt, the "London" crew decide to send prisoners Blake, Avon and Jenna across to the ship. Blake destroys the defence system. With Jenna as pilot, the three convicts escape with the alien craft. [Nation, Terry (writer) & Roberts, Pennant (director). (1978) "Space Fall" (Television series episode). In Maloney, David (producer), "Blake's 7", London: BBC, 1978-01-09]

Following the "London" in their captured ship - which they have named "Liberator" - to Cygnus Alpha, they retrieve Vila and Gan. Blake is determined to use "Liberator" and its new crew to attack the Federation; the others – especially Avon – are reluctant followers. [Nation, Terry (writer) & Lorrimer, Vere (director). (1978) "Cygnus Alpha" (Television series episode). In Maloney, David (producer), "Blake's 7", London: BBC, 1978-01-16]

Blake's first target is a communications station on the planet Saurion Major. Infiltrating the station, Blake is assisted by Cally, a telepathic guerilla soldier from the planet Auron. Blake invites Cally to join the crew. With this new arrival, and counting the "Liberator"’s computer, Zen, the "Liberator" has a crew of seven. [Nation, Terry (writer) & Roberts, Pennant (director). (1978) "Time Squad" (Television series episode). In Maloney, David (producer), "Blake's 7", London: BBC, 1978-01-23]

As Blake's attacks against the Federation become bolder and more effective, political pressure grows on the Administration. Supreme Commander Servalan appoints Space Commander Travis, who has a personal vendetta against Blake, to eliminate him and capture the "Liberator". [Nation, Terry (writer) & Lorrimer, Vere (director). (1978) "Seek-Locate-Destroy" (Television series episode). In Maloney, David (producer), "Blake's 7", London: BBC, 1978-02-06]

Blake meets a man called Ensor, and uncovers a plot by Servalan and Travis to seize Orac, a powerful device capable of communicating with any computer equipped with a component called a Tariel Cell. Blake and his crew capture the device ahead of Servalan's arrival. To the crew's surprise and alarm, Orac reveals its power and predicts the future. The crew are horrified by Orac's prediction: the "Liberator" exploding. [Nation, Terry (writer) & Lorrimer, Vere (director). (1978) "Orac" (Television series episode). In Maloney, David (producer), "Blake's 7", London: BBC, 1978-03-27]

eries B

The race who built the "Liberator", recaptures it. Orac's prophecy is fulfilled: it is not the "Liberator", but a sister-ship that is destroyed by Orac. [Nation, Terry (writer) & Lorrimer, Vere (director). (1979) "Redemption" (Television series episode). In Maloney, David (producer), "Blake's 7", London: BBC, 1979-09-01]

Blake, wishing to attack the heart of the Federation, targets the central computer control centre on Earth. Avon agrees to help on the condition that Blake gives him the "Liberator" once the Federation has been destroyed. Blake, Avon, Vila and Gan reach the control centre and find an empty room. Travis reveals that the computer centre was secretly moved years before, and the old location left as a decoy for the Federation's enemies. Blake and his crew escape, but Gan is killed when Travis explodes a grenade. [Nation, Terry (writer) & Spenton-Foster, George (director). (1979) "Pressure Point" (Television series episode). In Maloney, David (producer), "Blake's 7", London: BBC, 1979-02-09]

While Blake ponders the future of the rebellion following Gan's death, Travis is found guilty of war crimes in a Federation court martial at Space Command Headquarters. Blake decides to avenge Gan's death by attacking the Headquarters, but Travis escapes from the court and continues his vendetta against Blake. [Boucher, Chris (writer) & Martinus, Derek (director). (1979) "Trial" (Television series episode). In Maloney, David (producer), "Blake's 7", London: BBC, 1979-02-13] Meanwhile, Blake seeks the new location of the computer control centre. He learns that it is now called "Star One". [Nation, Terry (writer) & Lorrimer, Vere (director). (1979) "Countdown" (Television series episode). In Maloney, David (producer), "Blake's 7", London: BBC, 1979-03-6]

When the "Star One" control centre begins to malfunction, Servalan also becomes desperate to find its location. The centre's failure causes many problems across the Federation. "Star One" controls a large defensive barrier that has prevented extra-galactic incursions. Blake discovers "Star One"'s location, and finds that aliens from the Andromeda galaxy, aided by Travis, have infiltrated it. Vila discovers a fleet of spacecraft beyond the barrier. Travis disables the barrier. Blake and his crew overcome the aliens at "Star One", and kill Travis. "Star One" is destroyed by the Andromedans, allowing them to invade. Blake uses the "Liberator" to delay the alien fleet, and calls for help from the Federation, where Servalan has imposed martial law and declared herself President. Servalan despatches the Federation's battle fleets to repel the invaders. [Boucher, Chris (writer) & Maloney, David (director – uncredited). (1979) "Star One" (Television series episode). In Maloney, David (producer), "Blake's 7", London: BBC, 1979-04-03]

eries C

The "Liberator" is severely damaged during the battle with the Andromedans, forcing the crew to abandon ship. The Federation defeats the alien invaders, but has sustained heavy casualties and its influence in the galaxy is considerably reduced. [Nation, Terry (writer) & Lorrimer, Vere (director). (1980) "Aftermath" (Television series episode). In Maloney, David (producer), "Blake's 7", London: BBC, 1980-01-07]

Blake and Jenna go missing; Avon takes control of the "Liberator". The remaining crew are joined by two new additions: weapons expert Dayna Mellanby and mercenary Del Tarrant. [Nation, Terry (writer) & Maloney, David (director - uncredited). (1980) "Powerplay" (Television series episode). In Maloney, David (producer), "Blake's 7", London: BBC, 1980-01-07] Avon is less inclined than Blake to attack the Federation, but Servalan realises that her capture of the "Liberator" would enable the quick restoration of the Federation's power. [Prior, Allan (writer) & McCarthy, Desmond (director). (1980) "Volcano" (Television series episode). In Maloney, David (producer), "Blake's 7", London: BBC, 1980-01-14]

Servalan's attempt to create clones of herself is thwarted and the clone embryos are destroyed. Servalan, suffering from "psychic miscarriage", swaps her trademark white clothes for the black of mourning. [Parkes, Roger (writer) & Morgan, Andrew (director). (1980) "Children of Auron" (Television series episode). In Maloney, David (producer), "Blake's 7", London: BBC, 1980-02-19]

Avon decides to hunt the Federation agent who killed Anna Grant, his former partner. Interrupting an attempt to overthrow Servalan, Avon discovers that Anna is alive, and had been a Federation agent named Bartolemew. Avon kills Anna and frees Servalan. [Boucher, Chris (writer) & Cumming, Fiona (director). (1980) "Rumours of Death" (Television series episode). In Maloney, David (producer), "Blake's 7", London: BBC, 1980-02-25]

Servalan lures Avon into a trap using a faked message from Blake. The "Liberator", and Zen, have been irreparably damaged by a cloud of fluid particles. Servalan captures the "Liberator" and abandons the crew on the planet "Terminal". As Servalan leaves "Terminal" in "Liberator", it explodes, apparently killing Servalan during an attempt to escape by teleport. The "Liberator" crew are stranded on "Terminal", and begin the search for a means of escape. [Nation, Terry (writer) & Ridge, Mary (director). (1980) "Terminal" (Television series episode). In Maloney, David (producer), "Blake's 7", London: BBC, 1980-03-31]

eries D

Booby traps set by Servalan in her underground complex on Terminal explode, killing Cally. Avon and the surviving crew escape, and are rescued by salvage operator, Dorian. Dorian takes them to his base on the planet Xenon in his spacecraft, "Scorpio". There they meet Soolin, Dorian's partner. His plans to take Orac and drain the crew's life-force, but is foiled by Vila. [Boucher, Chris (writer) & Ridge, Mary (director). (1981) "Rescue" (Television series episode). In Lorrimer, Vere (producer), "Blake's 7", London: BBC, 1981-09-28]

Using the technology left by Dorian, Avon constructs a new teleport system for "Scorpio". Soolin joins the crew, who take over "Scorpio" and occupy the Xenon base. Avon gains control of the "Scorpio's" onboard computer, Slave. [Steed, Ben (writer) & Ridge, Mary (director). (1981) "Power" (Television series episode). In Lorrimer, Vere (producer), "Blake's 7", London: BBC, 1981-10-05]

The crew acquires a stardrive, which vastly increases "Scorpio"'s speed. [Follet, Jim (writer) & Proudfoot, David Sullivan (director). (1981) "Stardrive" (Television series episode). In Lorrimer, Vere (producer), "Blake's 7", London: BBC, 1981-10-19] Becoming concerned with the speed at which the Federation are reclaiming their former territory, the "Scorpio" crew discover that Servalan has survived the destruction of the "Liberator". Having been deposed as President, Servalan is using the pseudonym Commissioner Sleer, and is enacting a pacification programme using a drug called Pylene 50. The crew gain the drug's antidote. [Holmes, Robert (writer) & Proudfoot, David Sullivan (director). (1981) "Traitor" (Television series episode). In Lorrimer, Vere (producer), "Blake's 7", London: BBC, 1981-10-12]

Fearing that the Federation's continued expansion would soon reach their haven on Xenon, the "Scorpio" crew attempt to create an alliance between the independent worlds to resist the Federation. They plan large-scale manufacture of the Pylene 50 antidote. One of the alliance members, Zukan, betrays the alliance to Servalan. Zukan detonates explosives and Xenon base is heavily damaged. [Masters, Simon (writer) & Ritelis, Viktors (director). (1981) "Warlord" (Television series episode). In Lorrimer, Vere (producer), "Blake's 7", London: BBC, 1981-12-14]

Avon reveals Orac has traced Blake to the agricultural world, Gauda Prime, where Blake is masquerading as a bounty hunter. Blake's latest quarry is Arlen, whom he hopes to recruit for his rebellion. Approaching the planet, the "Scorpio" is attacked. With the exception of Tarrant, the crew abandon the heavily damaged craft by teleport. Tarrant is wounded but survives as the craft crash-lands in woodland. Blake rescues Tarrant, and takes him to Blake's base, where he purportedly captures Tarrant as bounty. Tarrant escapes, and tells Avon that Blake has betrayed them to the Federation. Avon shoots and kills Blake. Arlen reveals herself to be a Federation officer, and Federation guards arrive. Tarrant, Soolin, Vila and Dayna fall to the floor, apparently shot. The guards surround Avon, who steps over Blake's body, raises his gun and smiles. Shots ring out. [Boucher, Chris (writer) & Ridge, Mary (director). (1981) "Blake" (Television series episode). In Lorrimer, Vere (producer), "Blake's 7", London: BBC, 1981-12-21]

Production history

"Blake's 7" was created by Terry Nation. Nation was inspired during a pitch meeting with Ronnie Marsh, a Drama executive at the BBC. Intrigued by the idea, Marsh immediately commissioned Nation for a pilot script and, satisfied with the draft scripts, Marsh approved "Blake's 7" for full development.Pixley, Andrew (1995). "Blake's 7 Summer Special". ISSN 1353-761X]

David Maloney, an experienced BBC director, was assigned to produce the series. Chris Boucher was engaged as script editor. With Terry Nation commissioned to write the first thirteen-episode series, Boucher's task was to expand and develop Nation's first drafts into effective scripts. Boucher's task became increasingly difficult as Nation started running out of ideas. Meanwhile, Maloney had difficulty working with a schedule and budget unsuited to an action and special effects-heavy programme like "Blake's 7". Despite these challenges, "Blake's 7" was popular, with some episodes exceeding ten million viewers, and was quickly renewed for a second series.

New writers were engaged for the second and later series onwards. Difficulties with the scripts affected plans for a story arc that would run through the series. The decision was made that one of the regular characters would die, to show to viewers that Blake and his crew were not indestructible. The character of Gan, played by David Jackson, was chosen because the character had been under-used, and was the least popular among viewers. Although ratings were lower than the previous series', a third series was commissioned.

The production team faced a major challenge when Gareth Thomas, who played Blake, did not return for the third series. New characters were required in order to continue without its titular character. Sally Knyvette also failed to return as Jenna. Ideas for a replacement Blake character were rejected and the character of Avon became more prominent from this series forward. To keep the cast numbers at the titular seven, new characters Del Tarrant, played by Steven Pacey, and Dayna Mellanby, played by Josette Simon, were introduced.

"Blake's 7" was expected to finish in 1980, after its third series. To the surprise of all concerned, it was announced over the end credits of the last episode that "Blake's 7" would return the following year. Bill Cotton, the BBC's Head of Television was watching "Terminal" during its broadcast and had greatly enjoyed it. He telephoned the BBC's presentation department and ordered them to make the announcement.

With David Maloney unavailable, Vere Lorrimer became the programme's producer. Lorrimer oversaw the introduction of new characters and a new spacecraft, "Scorpio", with its computer, Slave (voiced by Peter Tuddenham). Jan Chappell, who played Cally, chose not to return. She was replaced by Glynis Barber, playing a new character, Soolin.

Gareth Thomas made a final appearance as Blake, insisting that the character be killed off in a definitive manner, for the last episode. Although the fourth series performed satisfactorily in the ratings, "Blake's 7" was not renewed for a fifth year and viewers were left with an unresolved cliffhanger when the final episode,"Blake", was broadcast on 21 December 1981.


[Details largely taken from documentary included Blake's 7 series 4 DVD] Theme tune"Blake's 7"'s theme tune was written by Australian composer Dudley Simpson, who had composed music for the BBC's "Doctor Who" for over ten years. The same recording of Simpson's theme was used for the opening titles of all four series of the show. [| Dudley Simpson Discography] For series D, a new recording was made for the closing credits, using an easy listening style arrangement.

Simpson also provided the incidental music for 50 of the 52 episodes, the exceptions being the Series 1 episode "Duel" and the Series 2 episode "Gambit". In the case of "Duel" it was directed by the late Douglas Camfield, who bore a personal grudge against Simpson, and refused to use him. ["Doctor Who Magazine", 17 December 1997, cited at [ All Experts] ] For "Gambit" it was decided that Elizabeth Parker should provide the music, as well as providing 'special sound' for the episode.Fact|date=May 2008

pecial sound

As well as traditional acoustic foley effects, "Blake's 7" used considerable amounts of what the BBC credits describe as "special sound". An extensive array of electronically-generated sound effects were used, ranging from spot foley-style effects for various props (e.g. handguns, the "Liberator" and "Scorpio" teleports, engines, and flight-console buttons) to background atmospheres - ambient textures present throughout in certain sets or locations - and occasional incidental music, notably on the episodes "Duel" and "Gambit". The special sounds for "Blake's 7" were provided by the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, with Richard Yeoman-Clark working until the mid-series B episode "Gambit", when Elizabeth Parker took over and continued for the remainder of the series. Many of these effects were released on the compilation album "BBC Sound Effects No. 26 - Sci-Fi Sound Effects".Fact|date=May 2008

Critical reception

The fourth episode of the first series, "Time Squad", was reviewed by Stanley Reynolds, the television critic of "The Times" newspaper, the day following its broadcast. Reynolds commented that it was "...nice to hear the youngsters holding their breath in anticipation of a little terror." He elaborated that: "Television science fiction has got too self-consciously jokey lately. It is also nice to have each episode complete within itself, while still carrying on the saga of Blake's struggle against the 1984-ish Federation. But is that dark-haired telepathic alien girl, the latest addition to Blake's outer-space merry men, going to spell love trouble for blonde Jenna? Maid Marian never had that trouble in Sherwood Forest."cite news|title=Blake's Seven - BBC1|publisher=The Times|first=Stanley|last=Reynolds|date=1978-01-24|accessdate=2007-01-16|pages=7]

In January 1998, "The Independent" newspaper published a feature on the series by journalist Robert Hanks, to coincide with the programme's twentieth anniversary, and the broadcast of the BBC Radio 4 play "The Sevenfold Crown". Hanks compared the series' ethos to that of "Star Trek", saying that: "If you wanted to sum up the relative position of Britain and America in this century - the ebbing away of the pink areas of the map, the fading of national self-confidence as Uncle Sam proceeded to colonise the globe with fizzy drinks and Hollywood - you could do it like this: they had "Star Trek", we had "Blake's 7"... No "boldly going" here: instead, we got the boot stamping on a human face which George Orwell offered as a vision of humanity's future in "Nineteen Eighty-Four"." Hanks concluded that: "Blake's 7" has acquired a credibility and popularity Terry Nation can never have expected... I think it's to do with the sheer crappiness of the series and the crappiness it attributes to the universe: it is science-fiction for the disillusioned and ironic - and that is what makes it so very British."cite news|title=A Very British Space Crew|publisher=The Independent|first=Robert|last=Hanks|date=1998-01-15|accessdate=2007-01-17|pages=3]

The British Film Institute's "Screenonline" website suggests that "The premise of "Blake's 7" held nothing remotely original. The outlaw group resisting a powerful and corrupt regime is an idea familiar from Robin Hood and beyond." However, the entry adds that "Blake's 7"'s triumph lay in its vivid characters, its tight, pacey plots and its satisfying realism... For arguably the first time since the 1950s Quatermass serials, the BBC had created a popular sci-fi/fantasy show along adult lines." The review concludes: "Ultimately, the one force the rebels could not overcome proved to be the BBC's long-standing apathy towards science fiction. However, the bloody finale, in which Avon murders Blake, exemplified the programme's strengths - fearless narratives, credible but surprising character development and an enormous sense of fun." [ BFI Screenonline: Blake's 7 (1978-81) ] ]

On the negative side, broadcaster and critic Clive James calls the series "...classically awful British television SF ... no apostrophe in the title, no sense in the plot. The depraved space queen Servalan, played by the slinky Jacqueline Pearce, could never quite bring herself to volatilize the dimly heroic Blake even when she had him square in the sights of her plasmatic spasm guns. The secret of Blake’s appeal, or Blakes appeal, for the otherwise infallibly fatale Servalan remained a mystery, like the actual wattage of light bulb on which the design of Blake’s spaceship, or Blakes spaceship, was plainly based." [*James, Clive. [,,25338-1930109,00.html "Clive James's literary education in sludge fiction"] , "Times Online", 14 December 2005, Accessed 1 September 2008]


"Blake's 7" is arguably unique in television science-fiction. It had a major influence on written science-fiction, with the revival of written space opera in the 1990s originating in the UK with writers such as Stephen Baxter, Alastair Reynolds, and Iain M. Banks.Fact|date=February 2007 These authors' work features morally ambivalent, often sarcastic and driven characters, whose usually violently-terminated lives are spent in vast and baroque spacecraft. Television playwright Dennis Potter's final work, "Cold Lazarus", was inspired by the show. [cite book
last = Stevens
first = Alan
coauthors = Moore, Fiona
title = Liberation. The Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to Blake's 7
year = 2003
publisher = Telos
location = England
id = ISBN 1-903889-54-5
pages = p199-200
chapter = Afterword

"Blake's 7s legacy to future television and film space opera was the use of moral ambiguity and dysfunctional main characters to create tension, as well as long-term story arcs to aid cohesiveness. These devices can be seen in "Babylon 5", "Lexx", "Andromeda", ', "Farscape", the new "Battlestar Galactica", and "Firefly". These programmes contrast with the simple good-versus-evil dualism of Star Wars, or the 'feel-good' tone and unconnected episode structure of early "" and the series' main contemporary, "Doctor Who". "Blake's 7" also influenced "Hyperdrive" and "Aeon Flux". ["Forever Avon" special feature on the Blakes 7 series 4 UK DVD]

Dutch musician Arjen Anthony Lucassen was inspired by Blake's 7 in naming his side-project Star One. [ [| Arjen Lucassen website] ] Also, Star One's album Space Metal features a song called "Intergalactic Space Crusaders" which is based on the series.

"Blake's 7" remains highly regarded to this day. A poll of United States science-fiction writers, fans and critics for John Javna's 1987 book "The Best of Science Fiction" placed the series twenty-fifth in popularity, although the series had only recently begun being broadcast in the USA. [cite book
last = Muir
first = John Kenneth
title = A History and Critical Analysis of Blake's 7, the 1978-1981 British Television Space Adventure
year = 2000
publisher = McFarland
location = Jefferson, North Carolina
id = ISBN 0-7864-2660-8
pages = p25-26
chapter = Critical Reception
] A similar poll of British writers, fans and critics for SFX magazine in 1999 put "Blake's 7" at sixteenth place, commenting that "20 years on, TV SF is still mapping the paths first explored by Terry Nation's baby". [cite journal
first=Dave (editor)
title=The Top 50 SF TV Shows of All Time
issue=supplement to issue 50
] Later, in 2005, SFX polled its readers for their top fifty British telefantasy shows of all time and "Blake's 7" made it to number four on the list, beaten only by "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy", "Red Dwarf" and "Doctor Who". [cite journal
first=Dave (editor)
title=The Top 50 Greatest UK Telefantasy Shows Ever
journal=SFX Collection
] Similarly, a readers poll conducted by TV Zone magazine in 2003 for their top one hundred cult television programmes placed "Blake's 7" in eleventh position. [cite journal
title=The Top 100 Cult TV Shows Ever
journal=TV Zone

In 2004, a short, fifteen minute, comedy film, titled "Blake's Junction 7", made its debut at several film festivals around the world. Directed by Ben Gregor and written by Tim Plester, it starred Mackenzie Crook, Martin Freeman, Johnny Vegas, Mark Heap and, reprising the voice of Orac, Peter Tuddenham. This spoof homage depicted the adventures of the infamous seven at the Newport Pagnell motorway service area. [imdb title|id=0421750|title=Blake's Junction 7] [cite web
url =
title = Review: Blake's Junction 7
accessdate = 2006-12-09
date = 2004-09-23
work = BBC Cult

The BBC paid tribute to the series with a thirty minute documentary, "The Cult of... Blake's 7", first broadcast on 12 December 2006 on BBC Four as part of that channel's "Science Fiction Britannia" series. [cite video
people = Stevens, Toby; Tyler, Alan (Executive Producers) & Followell, Tony (Director)
title = The Cult of... Blake's 7
medium = Television programme
publisher = BBC Scotland
location = United Kingdom
date = 2006-12-12


The revival of "Blake's 7" has been mooted for some years. Terry Nation raised the possibility on a number of occasions before his death in 1997. Nation proposed that a new series would be set some years after the existing one. The character Avon, living in exile like Napoleon on Elba, would be persuaded by a new group of rebels to take up arms against the Federation again.Nazzaro, Joe (September 1992). "Terry Nation's Blake's 7 Part Two". TV Zone (34): p28-30. ISSN 0957-3844.]


In 1998, "Blake's 7" returned to the BBC on the radio. "The Sevenfold Crown" was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on 17 January 1998 as part of its "Playhouse" strand. The play was produced by Brian Lighthill, and written by Barry Letts. Paul Darrow, Michael Keating, Steven Pacey, Peter Tuddenham and Jacqueline Pearce all reprised their television roles. However Josette Simon and Glynis Barber were replaced by Angela Bruce as Dayna and Paula Wilcox as Soolin. The story was set during series 4 between the episodes "Stardrive" and "Animals". This was followed up by "The Syndeton Experiment", which featured the same cast, producer and writer, and was broadcast, as "The Saturday Play", on 10 April 1999, on BBC Radio 4. [Pixley, Andrew (2004). "Blake's 7. The Radio Adventures" [CD liner notes] . London: BBC Audiobooks]

On 11 December 2006, Blake's 7 Enterprises, who also use the names Blake's 7 Productions and Blake's 7 Media, announced that they had completed the recording of a series of thirty-six five minute "Blake's 7" audio adventures written by Ben Aaronovitch, Marc Platt and James Swallow. Described as a "radical new re-interpretation of Terry Nation's original series", the series stars Derek Riddell as Blake, Colin Salmon as Avon and Daniela Nardini as Servalan with Craig Kelly, Carrie Dobro, Michael Praed, Doug Bradley and India Fisher. It is frequently rerun on BBC 7 and it can be bought as three 60 minute CDs. B7 Productions have also indicated it remains their intention to bring about a live action revival. [cite web
url =
title = Blake's 7 Productions Press Release – Blake's 7 Audio
accessdate = 2006-12-11
date = 2005-12-11
work = Louise and Simon's Blake's 7 Fan Site


In April 2000, it was announced that producer Andrew Mark Sewell had bought the rights to the series from the estate of Terry Nation and was planning a TV movie set 20 years after the original series had concluded. [cite news
title = Blake's 7 relaunch on film
url =
work = BBC News
date = 2000-04-07
accessdate = 2006-11-08
] In July 2003, it was announced that Paul Darrow, along with Sewell and Simon Moorhead, was part of a consortium, called Blake's 7 Enterprises, that had acquired the rights and were planning a TV miniseries budgeted at $5-6 million. Paul Darrow would be the only returning star from the original series, which would be set 25 years on from the events of "Blake", and would appear on TV screens by Spring 2005, depending on "many factors, not least financing". [cite news
title = Blake's 7 set for hi-tech return
url =
work = BBC News
date = 2003-07-28
accessdate = 2006-11-08
] Paul Darrow subsequently left the project in December 2003, citing "artistic differences". [cite web
url =
title = Statement by Paul Darrow with regard to the proposed Movie
accessdate = 2006-11-08
date = 2003-10-09
work = - Judith Proctor's Blake's 7 Pages
] A press release from Blake's 7 Enterprises on 31 October 2005 announcing the appointment of Drew Kaza as Non-Executive Chairman of the company also listed two "Blake's 7" projects under development: "Blake's 7: Legacy", a two part, three hour mini-series to be written by Ben Aaronovitch and [ D. Dominic Devine] and "Blake's 7: The Animated Adventures", a 26-part children's animated adventure series to be written by Ben Aaronovitch, Andrew Cartmel, Marc Platt and James Swallow. [cite web
url =
title = Blake's 7 Productions Press Release – Appointment of Drew Kaza
accessdate = 2006-11-08
date = 2005-10-31
work = Louise and Simon's Blake's 7 Fan Site
] In an interview with "Doctor Who Magazine", writer and producer Matthew Graham, best known as the co-creator of the television series "Life on Mars", revealed that he had been involved in discussions to bring "Blake's 7" back. Graham's notion for the series proposed that a group of young rebels would rescue Avon, who has been kept cryogenically frozen by Servalan, and then roam the galaxy in a new ship christened the "Liberator". It is not clear whether this proposal was related to the B7 Enterprises effort. [cite journal
last = Darlington
first = David
date = 21 June 2006
title = Script Doctors: Matthew Graham
journal = Doctor Who Magazine
issue = 370
pages = p46
id = ISSN 0957-9818

On 24 April 2008, Sky One announced that they had commissioned two 60-minute scripts for a potential series, working alongside Blake's 7 Productions, a subsidiary of Blake's 7 Media who owns the licence to the show. [cite web
url =
title = Blake's 7 poised for Sky comeback
accessdate = 2008-04-12
date = 2008-04-12
publisher = BBC News

Unlicenced and fan-produced media

Several fan groups have produced unofficial media that continue or expand upon the original television series.

Alan Stevens' audio cassettes

Alan Stevens, later of Magic Bullet Productions [Magic Bullet Productions ||Retrieved 22 April 2008] produced three non-profit audio cassettes between 1991 and 1998. The cassettes feature artwork Pete Wallbank and original music by Alistair Lock. The standard of writing, acting, music, recording and duplication belies their status as fan-produced media. [Review of 'The Mark of Kane' | |Retrieved 22 April 2008]

"Travis: The Final Act", is a documentary about the eponymous Space Commander. It was narrated by Peter Miles, and featured interviews with Stephen Greif, Brian Croucher, Chris Boucher and David Moloney. The documentary explored the character's origins, his motivations and the causes of his eventual betrayal of the Terran Federation. [Travis: The Final Act|| Retrieved 22 April 2008]

The success of "Travis: The Final Act" led to the production of two further audio tapes from Stevens. In 1996, he released "The Mark of Kane", featuring two interlinked stories. In "War Crimes" written by Stevens, Brian Croucher reprises his role as Travis. The narrative follows the character's treachery against the Terran Federation, and his encounter with Kane and Royce, a pair of bounty hunters. The second story, "Friendly Fire", co-written with David Tulley, is set on Gauda Prime around eight months before the episode 'Blake'. It features Gareth Thomas as the eponymous rebel turned bounty hunter. Blake teams up with colleague Tando in order to lead Kane into a trap. [The Mark of Kane| Retrieved 22 April 2008]

"The Logic of Empire", written by Alan Stevens and David Tulley, was released in 1998. It features Jacqueline Pearce and Paul Darrow in their original roles, and a cameo appearance from Gareth Thomas. "The Logic of Empire" is set approximately seven years after the final television episode, "Blake". Again the cassette is split into two parts; "Fool's Gold" and "The Way Back". Avon has been recruited by a rebel group led by Lydon for a heist, but all is not as it seems. [The Logic of Empire| Retrieved 22 April 2008]

Peripherally related to "Blake's 7", the Kaldor City audio plays, created by Chris Boucher and produced by Stevens' Magic Bullet Productions, tie the "Blake's 7" universe into Boucher's "Doctor Who" serial "The Robots of Death" through the use of psychostrategist Carnell (Scott Fredericks), who first appeared in the "Blake's 7" episode "Weapon".

Other fan-produced media

BTR Productions, an amateur multimedia company, produced "Blake's Legacy", a six-part audio adventure set twenty years after the episode 'Blake'. [BTR Productions | Retrieved 22 April 2008]


Terry Nation had done well financially from the commercial exploitation of "Doctor Who"’s Daleks and so was aware from the outset of the potential for merchandise related to "Blake's 7". Bignell, Jonathan; O'Day, Andrew (2004). "Biographical sketch", Terry Nation. Manchester, England: Manchester University Press, p9-24. ISBN-13: 978-0719065477.] Nation and his agent, Roger Hancock, had discussed the matter with Ray Williams of BBC Merchandising as early as December 1976. By May 1977, up to twenty-seven items of merchandise had been proposed by companies including Palitoy, Letraset and Airfix. In the end only a few of the items proposed made it to the shops. However, "Blake's 7" related merchandise continues to appear to this day.

Toys and models

A small number of toys – including a model "Liberator" by Corgi and a Federation handgun that fired ping-pong balls – were released as well as jigsaws, badges and patches during the show's run. [cite web
url =
title = Spin Offs: Toys & Gadgets
accessdate = 2006-11-13
author = "Richard the Anorak"
work = The Anorak's Guide to Blake's 7
] Comet Miniatures produced a range of kits in the late 1980s and early 1990s including the "Liberator", a clip gun (from series 4), a Federation trooper and "Liberator" and "Scorpio" teleport bracelets.

The children's magazine programme "Blue Peter" offered a cheaper, home-made, alternative to fans wanting merchandise. In the edition broadcast on 23 February 1978, presenter Lesley Judd demonstrated how to create a replica "Liberator" teleport bracelet from common household objects. This was followed up by an item, on 6 June 1983, when presenter Janet Ellis demonstrated a similar method of making a replica "Scorpio" bracelet.


Dudley's Simpson's theme music was also released as a single, backed with "The Federation March", a piece of incidental music from the episode "Redemption".

Books and magazines

The first publication was a novelisation of the first four episodes, titled "Blake's 7", written by Trevor Hoyle, who later wrote the episode "Ultraworld", and published in late 1977, shortly before the series debuted on television. Hoyle published two further novelisations – "Blake's 7: Project Avalon" (1979, novelising the series one episodes "Seek-Locate-Destroy", "Duel", "Project Avalon", "Deliverance" and "Orac") and "Blake's 7: Scorpio Attack" (1981, novelising the series four episodes "Rescue", "Traitor" and "Stardrive").cite journal
last = Pixley
first = Andrew
year = 1994
month = Winter
title = A Novel Approach
journal = Blake's 7 Winter Special
pages = p51
id = ISSN 1353-761X

World Distributors produced a "Blake's 7 Annual" for the years 1979, 1980 and 1981. During the fourth series, Marvel UK began publishing "Blake's 7 Magazine", a sister publication to its "Doctor Who Magazine", from October 1981. The magazine, which included a comic strip, ran for twenty-three issues (as well as two specials) until August 1983. Marvel returned to the series in 1994 and 1995 with two specials, mostly written by television historian Andrew Pixley, that covered the making of the series as well as the short-lived "Blake's 7 Poster Magazine" that ran for seven issues between December 1994 and May 1995. [cite web
url =
title = Spin Offs: Poster Magazine
accessdate = 2006-11-13
author = "Richard the Anorak"
work = The Anorak's Guide to Blake's 7

Merchandise continued to appear after the series had ended. Tony Attwood's "Blake's 7: The Programme Guide", published by Target in 1982, is a factual overview of the series, including a detailed episode guide, an encyclopedia and interviews with the cast and writers. It was re-issued by Virgin Books in 1994. [cite book
last = Attwood
first = Tony
year = 1994
title = Blake's 7: The Programme Guide
pages = p5
id = ISBN 0 426 19449 7
] "Afterlife", also by Tony Attwood and published by Target in 1984, was an original novel set after the final episode. Another original novel, "Avon: A Terrible Aspect" by Paul Darrow, which told the story of Avon's early years before he met Blake, was published in 1989.

Several books offering critical insight and behind the scenes information on "Blake's 7" have been issued. "Blake's 7: The Complete Guide" by Adrian Rigelsford (Boxtree, 1995); "Blake's 7: The Inside Story" by Joe Nazzaro and Sheelagh Wells (who worked on the series as a make-up designer) (Virgin, 1997); "A History and Critical Analysis of Blake's 7" by John Kenneth Muir (McFarland and Company, 1999) and "Liberation. The Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to Blake's 7" by Alan Stevens and Fiona Moore (Telos, 2003). [cite web
url =
title = Spin Offs
accessdate = 2006-11-13
author = "Richard the Anorak"
work = The Anorak's Guide to Blake's 7

Video and DVD releases

The BBC began issuing "Blake's 7" on videotape from 1985. The initial releases, which were made available on both VHS and Betamax (first three releases only) formats, comprised four compilation tapes containing selected episodes from the first three series edited down into a c. 90 minute "movie" format.

Starting in 1991, the entire series was released, in order, on VHS with two episodes per tape over twenty-six volumes. In 1997, an independent company, Fabulous Films, re-issued the tapes in different packaging. As the DVD format grew in popularity, the BBC, along with Fabulous Films, planned to issue the series in series box sets. These plans were disrupted by conflicts with rights-holders Blake's 7 Enterprises. These issues were eventually resolved and the series was released, in Region 2, at a rate of one series per year, between 2003 and 2006. In 2007, Amazon sold a combined four-series box set with special packaging. A casualty of the difficulties with Blake's 7 Enterprises was "The Making of Blake's 7", a four-part documentary directed by Kevin Davies, intended as an extra feature with each DVD release. Blake's 7 Enterprises stated that they "did not feel [the documentary] provided a proper tribute or fresh retrospective of the show". [cite web
url =
title = What is the way forward for Blake's 7?
accessdate = 2006-11-13
last = Rogerson
first = Steve
year = 2003
month = November
work = Louise and Simon's Blake's 7 Fan Site
] The DVDs did feature some extras, including bloopers, outtakes, alternative scenes, voiceover commentaries, interviews, and some behind the scenes footage.

ee also

*List of Blake's 7 episodes
*List of Blake's 7 planets
*History of Blake's 7

Notes and references

External links

* [ British Film Institute Screenonline]
* [ Horizon: The official Blake's 7 fan club]
* [ – official website of Blake's 7's current rights holders]
* [ Blake's 7 Audio Adventures]
* [ Down and Safe: an irreverent guide to Blakes 7]
* [ The Anorak's Guide to Blake's 7]

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