Season 3 Background Information

Transcribed from "Teleport No. 1," which was edited by Sonny C. and Anna K. and includes information provided by the BBC on the show and its main characters up to series three.

The Federation. After the Atomic Wars there emerged from the ensuing chaos a dictatorship so powerful that it enmeshed the majority of Earth populated worlds. As the Federation grew in power so the hard-won freedom of the people it ruled disappeared.

The President is the absolute ruler of the Federation. Surrounded by his personal guard and his political appointees to the High Council he is probably the most powerful man in the galaxy. The centre of his empire is Earth.

Supporting the Federation and the President with military might is Space Command; an empire within an empire, ruled by Supreme Commander Servalan.

Each planet in the Federation is under the jurisdiction of a governor appointed by the Presidential High Council and therefore directly responsible to the President. Although some planets retain a semblance of liberty they soon discover that trying to exercise this liberty is considered to be a crime against the Federation and therefore punishable. Not all the governors are dictatorial - some do try to maintain a certain amount of autonomy - but usually without a great deal of success.

The vast majority of the population of the Federation lives in a drug induced world of docility. The suppressants are in the food, water and air supplies. Society is strictly structured from the elite Alpha grades to the menial Delta service grades. The higher the grade the more the privileges allowed. Pleasure planets and satellite cities exist for those privileged or wealthy enough to be able to enjoy them.

There are rebels in the most heavily suppressed society. Those who are not content with their drug soaked lives turn either to crime or to resistance. The big criminal organisations are allowed to continue their operations with the Federation officials taking their cut. The resistance movements are of necessity quite small but are of sufficient nuisance value that it was considered advisable to totally discredit Blake instead of executing him.

The Federation symbol is linked globes with double arrows crossing and it is through this symbol of Federation corruption that Blake and his crew cut their way to liberty.

Blake - a Native of Earth. Trained as an engineer Roj Blake was one of the privileged classes on Earth. He became a leader of one of the earliest dissident groups and suffered the agony of seeing most of his friends massacred in a trap set by Travis. He was subjected to the most advanced mind-washing techniques and was then put on trial. Remembering nothing of his past life except what the Federation told him, he became a model citizen until he was once again contacted by the resistance and told the truth about his past and that his family had been murdered. He had been told that they had voluntarily emigrated and he had been receiving regular letters from them.

Once again betrayed and captured Blake is tried by the Justice Computer and found guilty - not of plotting against the Federation but on trumped up charges. The Federation felt it was necessary to totally discredit him before sentencing him to life on a penal planet Cygnus Alpha.

After his escape and once in command of the super battleship, Liberator, Blake starts his quest to bring about the destruction of the Federation. Totally dedicated to this end he sometimes forgets that his crew are not quite so fanatical. He is, however, loyal and honest with a tendency to sacrifice personal safety for his cause.

Cally - Native of Auron. Although basically human and presumably originating from Terra, the people of Auron have evolved telepathy as a racial characteristic. It is a limited capability in that they can project thoughts into the minds of any other person but cannot receive thoughts from non-telepaths. Only among their own kind can they totally share thoughts and feelings. On Auron no individual needs to experience loneliness. This, of course, means that when they are separated from their own kind they are intensely lonely and isolated.

Cally was sent by her people to help the freedom fighters on a Federation planet. She was the sole survivor of a biological attack and shamed by her failure (basically guilt over her survival) feels unable to return to Auron.

She was rescued by Blake and joined him to fight the Federation rather than out of any sense of personal loyalty. She is a communications expert but is now capable of operating all Liberator systems. Over the period she has developed bonds of loyalty and friendship with the rest of the crew. Her isolation from other telepaths and the pressure of her life has started to develop her psi powers so that she now shows indications of precognition, mind-reading and on occasion telekinesis.

Jenna - Native of Earth. A member of the privileged Alpha grades on Earth, Jenna Stannis turned to crime at an early age and became one of the best space pilots in the smuggler fleets. Eventually caught, she too was sentenced to life imprisonment on Cygnus Alpha. She is an invaluable member of Blake's crew but hers is a personal loyalty to the man who rescued her - she has a debt to pay. She does not believe that Blake can defeat the Federation but she will continue to help him. She cares about people - not an idea like justice and freedom. She believes that life is too short to worry over the evils of the Federation.

Orac. This is the super-computer developed by Ensor, who had previously invented a component which is now a part of every Federation computer. It is this component which enables Orac to tap information from any source. But it is more than a gatherer of information. Invested with the rather tetchy personality of his creator, Orac is much more than just another machine.

Zen. This is the master computer of the starship Liberator. Answers to Zen though no-one is actually sure whether this is a name or a command instruction. Controls all secondary computers such as the battle and guidance systems. Has been invested with a personality by the crew

Vila - Native of Earth. He grew up in the labor grades with a high and unrecognized IQ. A non-aggressive delinquent, he developed a natural talent for breaking locking and security systems to a point where it borders on genius. Unable to stop the urge to express this genius by stealing anything and everything the Federation condemned him to a life on the penal planet of Cygnus Alpha. He was rescued by Blake and remained with him partly out of loyalty and partly because there was no where else to go.

He is easily led, weak-willed and a quite rational coward.

Gan - Native of Zephon. A gentle giant of a man who watched the Federation murder his family and when he went berserk was certified as violently insane. His treatment included the insertion of a limiter in his brain. This acts on the aggression centre and means that he is incapable of killing ever again. Gan is totally loyal to Blake and his cause. He believes that they are right in their quest but not necessarily in all their methods. Generally acting as a calming influence on the more volatile members of the crew his common sense often helps them to understand the situation more clearly.

Avon - Native of Earth. He almost pulled off the greatest computer swindle of all time - 500 million credits from the Federation Banking System. An electronics and computer genius, again unrecognised, he is unsentimental and trusts no-one but himself.

He escaped from the convict ship with Blake and remained in an uneasy alliance with him while waiting his opportunity to take over the Liberator. He is pragmatic with no time for idealism. Even so, he has developed a grudging, and never to be admitted, feeling for the rest of the crew.

He would unhesitantly shoot an enemy in the back but if the time came when it were necessary to kill a friend (for want of a better word) he would look them in the face while he did it. He is probably now more dependent on the others than he or they realise. He does not particularly hate the Federation except on purely practical grounds that they are trying to kill him.

Little is known of his early background and he is unwilling to talk. He did love a girl called Anna Grant and they were both involved in something illegal as he was wanted by the Federation. Her death at the hands of interrogators has done nothing to endear the Federation to him.

Servalan - Native of Earth. Supreme Commander Servalan is probably the most powerful person in the Federation after the President and is certainly one of the most ruthless. She started her career as a cadet and through her own deviousness and making full use of anyone she met, she worked her way up.

A political animal, she is ambitious and prepared to take whatever steps are necessary to ensure she gets her own way. To her, Blake and his crew are a group of terrorists and as such should be hunted down and killed. The fact that the hunt has failed so often and she is still in command is a compliment to her skill and power.

Travis - Native of Earth. A dedicated Federation officer, Travis lost his left arm and eye in a fight with Blake when he had set a trap for the dissidents. Blake thought he had killed Travis but the brilliance of a surgeon, Maryatt, saved the Space Commander's life. It was this which caused his hatred of Blake and his determination to kill him.

His loyalty to the Federation eventually takes a second place to his mission to destroy Blake. Used by Servalan and humiliated by Blake, Travis is more than a little unstable but still a dangerous opponent.

The Liberator. The Liberator was found abandoned and floating in space. It was assumed that it had been in a gigantic space battle, but there was nothing on board to indicate the origin of the ship and the master computer, Zen, refuses to answer questions about its makers.

The magnificent spaceship is bigger and faster than anything the Federation is ever likely to develop. All the living quarters, teleport section, flight deck, storage rooms and shuttle hangers are situated in the front section of the centre cone. The rest of the ship is engines. The weapons are located on each of the cones.

All the ship's systems are re-generating and given time can self-repair under the direction of Zen.

There are two rooms on board which were of particular interest to the crew when they first explored the ship. The first is an incredible wardrobe and the other is full of every currency and valuable stone that they could think of and quite a few they couldn't!

The ship has one of the most advanced medical units in the galaxy and an almost unlimited supply of food pills.

Distances. As you know one light year is 5,880,000,000,000 miles. The nearest star to our own Sol is Alpha Centauri which is 4.29 light years away (approximately 25,000,000,000,000 miles). Astronomically speaking that's just outside the back door of course. It is estimated that our galaxy, the Milky Way and the Magellanic Clouds, is contained in a theoretical sphere with the radius of about 200,000 light years and that within it are perhaps 150,000,000,000 stars. It is further estimated that in the part of the Universe which we can now observe with our best instruments there are at least 100,000,000,000 galaxies. The nearest large one is the Andromeda galaxy which is probably 750,000 light years away and the most distant probably several billion light years away. Current estimates suggest the Universe is 26,000,000,000 light years in diameter......

The numbers are meaningless. You have to fall back on non-technical terms like ever-so-big, ever-so-far, every such a lot.....

Spacials. A small not very specific unit of distance. Never used for a long journey in space but only for limited distances thus: Liberator usually goes into stationary orbit 1000 spacials above a planet's surface in order for our heroes to teleport down. In space Liberator usually goes within 200-300 spacials of any object or ship it wants to investigate.

Speeds. Traveling at four times the speed of light it would take about 15 months to reach Alpha Centauri....

Standard By. When they first entered Liberator our heroes had no idea what sort of speed she was capable of. They accordingly asked Zen to fly the ship at Standard speed. They have been using multiples of this ever since.

Time Distort. The unit of speed used by all other crafts. Time distort six is the average speed and is probably about equivalent of the Liberator's Standard by two.

Neutron Blasters. The Liberator's heavy guns are operated from the Flight Deck. Zen must be instructed to put up the radiation flare shields, the neutron blasters are then cleared for firing. Power for these blasters is drawn from the general energy banks, of which there are eight. The energy drain is substantial and must be balanced against other requirements like main drive and force wall.

Force Wall. As the name suggests this is an energy barrier put up around the Liberator to protect it from meteorites, plasma bolts, etc. It is a major energy drain and its sustained use always presents problems for the crew.

Plasma Bolts. Fired by Federation Pursuit Ships these are balls of superheated glowing fusion reaction power - like small suns. Liberator's force wall will resist them. Unprotected objects are instantly vaporised.

Liberator Handguns. They fire a radiation beam on a single shot principle. To fire they must be plugged in the gun belts.

Teleport. The bracelets are the key to the teleport system. The system itself is operated from the Liberator Teleport Section. To be teleported out or down the crew member must put on a bracelet and stand in the teleport area. The teleport controls must be activated. To be brought back the crew member must be wearing a bracelet. Note the bracelets themselves do not teleport themselves unless worn by someone - they only function when connected to living organic matter.

Tarrant - Native of Earth. Trained as a Federation Space Captain, Del Tarrant deserted them taking with him a one man cruiser. He became a mercenary and smuggler until the Galactic War with the aliens when he joined in the battle. His ship was destroyed almost immediately but he was fortunate enough to get on board a Federation Cruiser and there he assumed a Federation identity along with a uniform. When this ship was also destroyed, his life capsule homes in on the Liberator.

Eventually accepted as a member of the Liberator crew, Tarrant proves his worth as an experienced pilot. Because of his training and his lifestyle previous to joining the Liberator he has a tendency towards giving orders and expecting them to be obeyed. This naturally leads to tension with Avon. However, Avon does not see Tarrant as a major threat to his own authority on the Liberator since the disappearance of Blake and therefore tends to ignore Tarrant's rashness or find it amusing.

Tarrant is young, headstrong, brave and eager for excitement. He has none of Blake's idealism but he has no love for the Federation. After the death of his brother, Deeta, through one of Servalan's plots, he has more personal reason for staying on the Liberator.

Dayna - Native of Earth. Although born on Earth, Dayna spent most of her life on the planet Sarran with her father, Hal Mellanby and her adopted sister Lauren. Her father, a weapons technologist, had become involved in supplying arms to a rebel group. The Federation arrested him on suspicion and during the interrogation blinded him. However he had limited vision through an image amplifier and was able to continue his work. When the rebel group was ambushed, they surrendered but were massacred by Federation troops. Mellanby saw a chance to save Dayna and took it. He came to Sarran and ground his spaceship on the sea-bed shore, for twenty years it was a perfect hideout. Mellanby was murdered by Servalan and so Dayna has a very good reason for staying with the Liberator. Sooner or later she is going to get her chance at revenge. Besides, with the death of both Mellanby and Lauren, she has no where else to go. Dayna has all the ruthlessness of the very young. To her killing is a sport to be enjoyed. She has inherited her father's talent for weapons designs and is therefore very useful to the Liberator's crew. At times very naive, she is never stupid. She gets on well with all the crew but is particularly close to Cally, perhaps because they are both very lonely people.

Back to Episodes Index

Back to Blakes 7 Index

Last updated on 02nd of June 2001.