ORBzine - 2002.05 UK Television Review: "Blake's Seven"

ORBzine TV Review - "Blake's Seven" May 2002

[Season 1 !Season 2 !Season 3 !Season 4 ]

Blake's Seven
  • Gareth Thomas as Roj Blake [ 1-2 ]
  • Paul Darrow as Kerr Avon
  • Michael Keating as Vila Restal
  • Sally Knyvette as Jenna Stannis [ 1-2 ]
  • Jan Chappell as Cally [ 1-3 ]
  • David Jackson as Gan [ 1-2 ]
  • Peter Tuddenham as the voice of Orac / Zen / Slave
  • Jacqueline Pearce as Supreme Cmdr. Servalan
  • Stephen Greif as Space Cmdr. Travis [ 1 ]

    1st Series 1978

    Blake's Seven Blake's Seven [Season 1, Episode 1] The Way Back
    Original premiere 2nd January 1978

  • Blake's Seven [Season 1, Episode 2] Space Fall
    Original premiere 9th January 1978

    Blake's Seven Blake's 7 [Season 1, Episode 3] Cygnus Alpha [written by Terry Nation, creator of the Daleks]
    Shown first week, March 2000

    Last episode [Ep. 2?] Blake, Jenna and Avon escaped from the Federation prison ship on an unknown alien vessel. They now explore the ship, christen it the Liberator, and discover the resident AI, Zen. In another reference to Star Trek [the evil Federation uses the Star Trek symbol, turned sideways].

    Blake beams down to the penal world, Cygnus Alpha, and tries to rescue Villa and the other prisoners. The colony is run by religious fanatics [including the babelicious Pamela Salem ] led by Brian Blessed [ Flash Gordon, SW: TPM ]. Meanwhile, aboard the Liberator, Avon is intent on double-crossing his companions and escaping with his life and the loot.

    The worst thing about this show is that it indicates the malaise in British television. It is over 12 years since Dr Who left us, and about 20 since B7 went. What has become of us?

    Blake's Seven Blake's Seven [Season 1, Episode 4] Time Squad
    Original Premiere 23rd January 1978

    Blake's Seven Blake's 7 [Season 1, Episode 5] The Web
    Shown third week, March 2000

    New girl Callie [apparently an alien] is possessed, and forces the Liberator to fly into a silicate-based life-form reminiscent of a spider's web. In order to escape before the Federation pursuit ships reach them, Blake beams down to a research base [well, a bunch of tents in a forest] so he can trade with a creature that looks like a dalek without its motorized transporter. However, the creature and his assistants are besieged by a gang of ugly spud-faced midgets, genetic experiments gone wrong. Will the Ewoks storm the bunker? Will the Liberator escape? Guess.

    Blake's Seven Blake's 7 [Season 1, Episode 6] Seek - Locate - Destroy
    Shown fourth week, March 2000

    We actually get a plot involving the Federation! Blake takes the fight to the enemy, and leads an attack on a Federation communications station to steal a decoding machine. Unfortunately Callie gets seperated from the others. She beats up a Fed trooper [in an extremely unconvincing scene!] and gets trapped when the demolition charges go off.

    The Federation's Supreme Military Commander, Servalan [Jaqueline Pearce], assigns the overzealous Space Commander Travis to hunt down the rebels. Travis only has half a face, on account of being shot in the head by Blake during a previous encounter.

    Blake's Seven Blake's 7 [Season One, Episode 7] Mission To Destiny
    Shown First Week, April 2000

    This episode is a Whodunnit in space. Blake's team find and board an apparently derelict ship. They discover that the crew were gassed unconscious, the controls sabotaged and the pilot murdered.

    Blake takes the ship's valuable cargo to its destination while Avon and Callie stay aboard to complete repairs. But can Avon solve the murder before the killer strikes again?

    Blake's Seven Blake's 7 [Season One, Episode 8] Duel
    Shown Second Week, April 2000

    Space Commander Travis and his Federation pursuit ships corner the Liberator. Blake decides to ram his opponent, but just before the ships colide they are both frozen in space and their respective commanders are teleported to a nearby planet. Yes, this is a shameless rip-off of the Star Trek: TOS episode where Captain Kirk fights the Gorn. In fact, this episode was itself ripped off by the more recent Farscape , which in all fairness has far more sources than Blake's 7 [the notorious Trek rip-off] ever did.

    The good things about this episode? The babes, of course. The ringmasters include Isla Blair , later famous in the UK as a game-show hostess but most notable here for the fact that she is not wearing a bra. Travis' 2ic is a babelicious mutoid, a modified human who had her memory wiped before she was enlisted into Federation military service. As an effect of the surgery she needs a special serum to survive, or failing that human blood will suffice ...

    This was an opportunity to develop Travis and characterise him with far more depth. Not to include spoilers, but Farscape did it all far better.

      1- 9             
    27 Feb 78   Project Avalon
      1-10             
     6 Mar 78   Breakdown
      1-11             
    13 Mar 78   Bounty
      1-12             
    20 Mar 78   Deliverance
      1-13             
    27 Mar 78   Orac
    

    2nd Series 1979

  • Brian Croucher as Space Cmdr. Travis [ 2 ]
  •   2- 1             
     9 Jan 79   Redemption
      2- 2             
    16 Jan 79   Shadow
      2- 3             
    23 Jan 79   Weapon
      2- 4             
    30 Jan 79   Horizon
      2- 5             
     6 Feb 79   Pressure Point
      2- 6             
    13 Feb 79   Trial
      2- 7             
    20 Feb 79   Killer
      2- 8             
    27 Feb 79   Hostage
      2- 9             
     6 Mar 79   Countdown
      2-10             
    13 Mar 79   Voice from the Past
      2-11             
    20 Mar 79   Gambit
      2-12             
    27 Mar 79   The Keeper
      2-13             
     3 Apr 79   Star One
    

    3rd Series 1980

  • Steven Pacey as Del Tarrant [ 3-4 ]
  • Josette Simon as Dayna Mellanby [ 3-4 ]
  •   3- 1             
     7 Jan 80   Aftermath
      3- 2             
    14 Jan 80   Powerplay
      3- 3             
    21 Jan 80   Volcano
      3- 4             
    28 Jan 80   Dawn of the Gods
      3- 5             
     4 Feb 80   The Harvest of Kairos
      3- 6             
    11 Feb 80   City at the Edge of the World
      3- 7             
    19 Feb 80   Children of Auron
      3- 8             
    25 Feb 80   Rumours of Death
      3- 9             
     3 Mar 80   Sarcophagus
      3-10             
    10 Mar 80   Ultraworld
      3-11             
    17 Mar 80   Moloch
      3-12             
    24 Mar 80   Death-Watch
      3-13             
    31 Mar 80   Terminal
    

    4th Series 1981

  • Glynis Barber as Soolin [ 4 ]
  •   4- 1             
    28 Sep 81   Rescue
      4- 2             
     5 Oct 81   Power
      4- 3             
    12 Oct 81   Traitor
      4- 4             
    19 Oct 81   Stardrive
      4- 5             
    26 Oct 81   Animals
      4- 6             
     2 Nov 81   Headhunter
      4- 7             
     9 Nov 81   Assassin
      4- 8             
    16 Nov 81   Games
      4- 9             
    23 Nov 81   Sand
      4-10             
    30 Nov 81   Gold
      4-11             
     7 Dec 81   Orbit
      4-11             
    14 Dec 81   Warlord
      4-13             
    21 Dec 81   Blake
    
    Blake's Seven Blake's 7 [Season , Episode ]
    Shown th 2007 [ Wednesday]

    This is reviewed in our special supplement here!

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