Blake’s 7: The Classic Television Series
Blake’s 7 was British science fiction at its very best and arguably every bit as great an influence on the genre as the original Star Trek series.
In the 1970s Terry Nation (creator of Survivors and other successful genre shows, as well as the Doctor’s arch nemesis the Daleks), presented to the world a vision of the future, a future where the galaxy is ruled by the iron fist of a galactic federation, in which freedom and justice are things of the past.
Into this vision he cast a small band of outlaws, who find themselves in control of the most powerful space vessel in the known galaxy, the Liberator.
Led by the enigmatic Roj Blake, this group of rebels would strike at the very heart of the Federation, and change the face of science fiction television forever.
During it’s four seasons Blake’s 7 was more successful than it’s only significant competitors of the time, Doctor Who and Star Trek, with up to 10 million people tuning in every Monday night.
The fourth and final series finished in a dramatic and shocking finale with all but one of our heroes apparently dead and many questions unresolved to this day. This was a fitting end for a series that favoured complex characters over special effects, gritty reality over sleek fantasy, and mature truth over dreamy fiction.
The show certainly heralded the beginning of a new creed of science fiction on our screens. Unfortunately for television it also represented the last British drama of its kind and we all but surrendered the genre to American producers and studios.
Thirty years on, television is still mapping the paths first explored by Terry Nation’s creation.
At a time when science fiction shows often discard good storytelling for overblown visual effects – and following the lead of Doctor Who, Battlestar Galactica and Defiance – the time is ripe for a revival of a show that represents the best traditions of the genre and one of the UK’s most successful dramas of all time.
Welcome to a Rebellion Reborn!
Logic has never defined what dead is.
I am not expendable, I’m not stupid, and I’m not going.
Well, what are you going to fire at?
Is that all? I thought maybe we’d chosen the wrong people to get
There isn’t a lock I can’t open – if I’m scared enough.
My people have a saying: A man who trusts can never be betrayed,
Without danger, there’s no pleasure.
I don’t give my allegiance at all. I sell my skill.
A ‘strategic withdrawal’ is running away. But with dignity.
Modesty would be dishonesty.
Wisdom must be gathered, not given.
Supreme Commander Servalan
Power usually makes its own rules!
Blake’s 7: The Audio Adventures
Re-imagining the classic TV series, BLAKE’S 7: THE AUDIO ADVENTURES (written by Ben Aaronovitch, Marc Platt and James Swallow) were first made available on the new SCI FI Play broadband player section of the SCI FI channel website and then broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra over Christmas 2007 and have enjoyed regularly repeat airings since.
The AUDIO ADVENTUES featured DEREK RIDDELL (The Book Group, Ugly Betty) as the eponymous rebel leader, Roj Blake, COLIN SALMON (James Bond, Arrow) as computer genius Kerr Avon and DANIELA NARDINI (This Life) as Supreme Commander Servalan. Other cast members included CRAIG KELLY (Queer as Folk) as Travis, CARRIE DOBRO (Babylon 5) as Jenna, MICHAEL PRAED (Robin of Sherwood) and DOUG BRADLEY (Hellraiser).
Following the AUDIO ADVENTURES a prequel series of stories BLAKE’S 7: THE EARLY YEARS were produced…
BEFORE THE SEVEN
BEFORE THE REBELLION BEGAN.
BLAKE’S 7: THE EARLY YEARS was a thrilling new prequel series of stories, also broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra, exploring the origins of key Blake’s 7 characters prior to them meeting rebel leader, Roj Blake.
“This superior prequel series mines the back-stories of the titular characters. Blake’s 7: The Early Years is intelligent social Science Fiction.” - SFFAudio.com
A rebellion is born in many places, in the riot-torn London of the 23rd century, in the laboratories and dreaming spires of Oxford University, in the dangerously untamed forests of Auron and the asteroid fields of neutral space. BLAKE’S 7: THE EARLY YEARS takes you to when the seeds of rebellion against the Federation really began.
Derek Riddell is Roj Blake
THE LEADER: An engineer by training, fate made him a politician and now it has led him to become a revolutionary. Blake is that most dangerous of creatures: a pragmatic idealist. He will bring down the Federation and restore peace and liberty to humanity… and god help anyone who stands in his way!
Colin Salmon is Kerr Avon
THE BRAINS: The second best hacker in the Federation. He likes logic, facts and leaving nothing to chance. His mistake, as he sees it, was relying on other people – it’s not a mistake he plans to make twice.
Carrie Dobro is Jenna Stannis
THE PILOT: Born and raised in space Jenna has been a smuggler, a pirate and, when all else failed, a legitimate trader. For her the fight is not against the Federation, but against Earth’s domination of the colony worlds.
Owen Aaronovitch is Oleg Gan
THE STRONG MAN: Freakishly large and strong, many people think he’s stupid. This is a mistake – often their last. On the surface he appears loyal and good humoured, but he blames the Federation for the death of his wife and plans to take his revenge.
Dean Harris is Vila Restal
THE THIEF: The money isn’t important it’s just a way of keeping score. Vila is the best thief in the Federation, there is no lock he cannot open, no situation he cannot lie, cheat or fast talk his way out of. He isn’t in this for the revolutionary politics, he’s in it for his friends.
Alistair Lock is Zen
A machine consciousness forged by Avon out the Liberator’s damaged control systems. Without Zen the Liberator is so many million tons of inert matter. Zen seems happy enough to do the crews bidding and yet sometimes, just occasionally, it seems as if he has an agenda of his own.
Once it was a force for democracy and freedom now it is corrupt and despotic. A seething cauldron of conflicting factions; big business, organised crime, the military, the colonies and the still powerful ethnic blocks of Earth, fight for influence and control. Its military is led by the gifted, charismatic and power hungry Supreme Commander Servalan – who plans to end the conflict by whatever means necessary, whatever the human cost.
India Fisher is Lora Mezin
A Federation officer, born and bred, out of favour with her superiors, Mezin is still dedicated to the service, but her encounter with Blake reawakens a buried conflict within her. She struggles with the inhumanity she has seen inflicted by the Federation, but realises that there is little she can do about it – until Blake offers her an option that she never dreamt possible.
Daniella Nardini is Servalan
Servalan is the worst kind of villain, an idealist turned cynic. Once she sought power to make the Federation better now she seeks it for her own gratification. A woman of strong appetites her passion and sexuality are as much a weapon as her command of the Federation Empire.
Craig Kelly is Commander Travis
Horribly injured in his first attempt to capture Blake, Commander Travis is motivated by one thing – revenge. Like some deranged monk he has dedicated his life to this task and will betray anyone, even the Federation, to finish the job.
Get the limited edition remastered 10-disc box set now from Big Finish
Get the original releases from iTunes
Blake’s 7: The New Series
After a decade of working behind the scenes, we are currently in active development with Georgeville Television on a new multi-million dollar Blake’s 7 live-action television series.
More information will be released here and via our news pages shortly.
For now, check out these news stories:
- Martin Campbell And Georgeville TV Shop Reboot Of Cult U.K. Sci-Fi Series ‘Blake’s 7′ [Deadline Hollywood]
- GEORGEVILLE TELEVISION [Official Website]
- Georgeville Television writeup [Variety.com]