40 years of “Blake’s 7”

Blake’s 7 first broadcast 40 years ago today. Created by Terry Nation, this SF classic told the story of Roj Blake, who fought with a motley crew of criminals and idealists against the sinister Federation. Special effects could be a bit ropey but the design work on the series was nevertheless impressive. Where it really shone was in the strength of the characterisation. On the side of the good guys there was in particular the interplay between Blake’s own lofty ideals and the cowardly venality of Vila and the cynicism of Avon. The bad guys meanwhile had Servalan (for whom men of my generation still have confused feelings) and the genuinely threatening Travis (at least as played by Stephen Greif in the first series). The storylines were also strong, with particularly impressive episodes including Sand (written by Tanith Lee) and Orbit (by Robert Holmes).

The show’s downbeat ending in season four saw all the remaining good guys gunned down by the Federation (/spoiler). Since then there keeps being talk of its revival but it would be better for everyone if it was left to be remembered as a completed classic.

image source:

Servalan (Jacqueline Pearce) and Avon (Paul Darrow) (Den of Geek: Blake’s 7 series 3 episode 13 – Terminal)

See also this thread from Twitter’s Pulp Librarian.