Production: UK, 1978-81
Cast: Gareth Thomas, Paul Darrow, Michael Keating, Sally Knyvette, Jan Chappell, David Jackson, Peter Tuddenham, Jacqueline Pearc, Josette Simo, Steven Pace, Glynis Barber, Stephen Greif, Brian Croucher.

Very popular in UK, “Blake’s 7” was a BBC production, which had the same (cheap) production values of the most popular British SF series, “Doctor Who” (but also had the same good share of audience).
Moreover, its creator was the same who had created the Daleks aliens which made the success of Doctor Who, Terry Nation.
Airing begun in a very good time for SF: in fact “Star Wars” had just been released in UK, and interest for the genre had raised again.
Blake (Gareth Thomas) is a Federation citizen who, trying to have news about his family emigrated on another planet, discovers to have a past he didn’t know about.
In fact he was a rebel leader, but he had been imprisoned and his memory wiped. His family was forced to emigrate and then sentenced to death. Blake gets back almost all his memories, but the government can’t kill him because he could become a martyr, so he is charged of sexual crimes by means of false proofs.
So Blake is sent to a penal colony on Cygnus Alpha, but during the journey he escapes together with other prisoners and steals a ship which

is rechristened “Liberator”. At the end of the fourth episode Blake is joined by other 5 crewmembers, and the seventh is the ship’s computer (voiced by Peter Tuddenham).
Blake’s number two is Kerr Avon (Paul Darrow). Kerr is as cynical and pragmatic as Blake is idealist, but this compensates the leader’s character.
Vila Restal (Michael Keating) is a thief, often coward, but sometimes also this makes a compensation with the courage of his companions, who often take too much risks.
Jenna Stanis (Sally Knivette) is another pragmatic character as Avon, and she too prefers to think before acting.
Cally (Jan Cappel) is an alien, she is the most calm and quiet of the
crew, but she doesn’t lack of courage.
Gan (David Jackson) is really bold, and sometimes he can even spur the coward Vila.
The villains too are interesting. Commander Servalan (Jacqueline Pearce) and commander Travis (Stephen Grief, then Brian Croucher in the second season) are the ultimate enemies of Blake and his crew, and also after being banned by the Federation they go on their hunting as outlaws.
The first season was a big success, so a second was planned. Terry Nation had left an open finale, in which Blake and the others faced an uncertain destiny. Even if the second season had to be written by others, it was necessary to call back Nation to write the first episode, in order to explain the many things suspended.

This became a regular feature  of the series: a cliffhanger in the last episode, which led to the following season.
So the series fans where very puzzled when, in the fourth season finale, all the characters were killed, but it was possibly a cliffhanger for a fifth season which was never made.
The series had a success as great as “Doctor Who”.
There was only a lack, due to the very poor visual effects, as poor as in “Doctor Who”… clearly a budget problem, but it seems quite odd that in Gerry Anderson’s country (his products had the best visual effects in the world) it was not possible to make a series with better production values.
As it happens more and more frequently, there are voices about a
remake of the series.

52 episodes, color, 60'

First season

1) The Way Back
2) Space Fall
3) Cygnus Alpha
4) Time Squad
5) The Web

6) Seek-Locate-Destroy
7) Mission to Destiny
8) Duel (Duello)
9) Project Avalon
10) Breakdown
11) Bounty
12) Deliverance

13) Orac

Second season

14) Redemption

15) Shadow
16) Weapon
17) Horizon
18) Pressure Point
19) Trial
20) Killer
21) Hostage
22) Countdown
23) Voice from the Past
24) Gambit
25) The Keeper
26) Star One

Third season

27) Aftermath
28) Powerplay
29) Volcano
30) Dawn of the Gods
31) The Harvest of Kairos
32) City at the Edge of the World
33) Children of Auron
34) Rumours of Death

35) Sarcophagus
36) Ultraworld
37) Moloch
38) Death-Watch
39) Terminal

Fourth season

40) Rescue
41) Power
42) Traitor

43) Stardrive
44) Animals
45) Headhunter
46) Assassin
47) Games
48) Sand
51) Warlord
52) Blake



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