(Most of this is accurate, but it does include some common assumptions that are not strictly canonical.)
As the series begins we see him being reintroduced to the Freedom Party cell in his city and being told the truth about his past life. Despite being initially unbelieving Blake starts to suffer flashbacks which grow stronger when he sees the cell being betrayed and murdered, exactly as his own had been. On his return to the city, he is arrested once more, and in short order, the Federation frame him with child-abuse charges to discredit him, and after a second show trial he is sent to Cygnus Alpha.
Initially Blake was an idealistic leader dedicated to opposing the Federation, however his goal of destroying it starts to dominate his life, and leads to his decision to destroy Star One, the central computer which controls all of the planets in the Federation. He comes to believe that the massive loss of life and inevitable civil war that would ensue are acceptable risks to be taken. Despite the salutory lesson of Gan's death, Blake crosses the invisible line from freedom fighter to terrorist, and pays the ultimate price. When last we see him, he has become more pragmatic, posing as a bounty hunter in order to recruit more people for his new anti-Federation group. He has lost the ability to determine who can be trusted and who cannot.
His own end, at the hands of Avon, is the result of a tragic misreading of Avon's personality, which has destablised in the time they spent apart.
Vila is not a coward, he is just very, very careful. Indeed he is occasionally seen to do do extremely brave things -for instance in "Rescue", he tries to save Cally from the damaged base complex on Terminal just as it is about to explode. In "City At The Edge Of The world" he doesn't run away from the clearly insane Bayban, and is rewarded by finding the secret of the city (and by Kerril). Unfortunately bravery is his undoing; after killing the Federation spy Arlen, he is himself killed during the climactic shoot out.
Vila and Avon became a kind of double act, from exchanging insults: Vila:"I've got this shocking pain right behind the eyes!" Avon:"Have you considered amputation?", to sharing a scam in "Gambit" where they use a minimised Orac to break the bank at the casino in Freedom City. This relationship is changed in "Orbit" when Avon realises that his survival depends on throwing Vila out of an airlock, fortunately Vila realises this too and hides. After this there is no trust any more and Vila begins to look more and more miserable.
Vila's survival instinct clearly serves him well, he is the only character to appear in every episode of Blake's 7.
Gan is a simple man who acts against the Federation because of what they have done to him, and to prevent them from doing it to others. Although not exactly clever, he has a good dose of solid common sense and is not afraid to speak out when he thinks that a plan is dangerous or foolhardy.
Gan has the dubious distinction of being the first of the original seven to be killed, he is crushed to death by a roof fall in the fake Federation computer complex on Earth in the episode "Pressure Point", leaving Blake stricken with remorse.
Avon (played by Paul Darrow) is by nature a loner. As the series begins he clearly trusts no-one, however his logical attitude to life means that he sees that the rest of the crew are a necesary irritation. He is continually on the edge of leaving them to their heroics and finding something more profitable to do. He is the logical foil to the impulsive Blake, continually questioning his authority to lead the seven. Despite this Avon does not leave, and frequently saves the others, although there is no benefit for him in the process. Over time Avon's character shifts, and by the third series he has actually taken Blake's place as the nominal figurehead of the resistance, driven by the realisation that the only safety is the destruction of the Federation.
The border between genius and insanity is famously thin By the end of the fourth series following the discovery that his great love Anna was actually a Federation agent who was watching his scam, and the failure of several of his plans he began to act irrationally. Although not actually psychotic he was suffering from strain and started making mistakes, the last of which was the belief that Blake had betrayed him on Gauda Prime, which coupled with the paranoia induced by his betryal at the hands of Zukan in "Warlord", has fatal consequences.
Fittingly Avon's is the last face we see as he steps over the dead body of Blake seemingly to guard it against the enclosing circle of Federation troopers. Avon, Blake's greatest ally has encompassed his destruction. The fight is lost.
Jenna appears to have had a dangerous and highly criminal past, as her encounter with the Amagon space pirates in "Bounty" show. However, she accepts Blake's policy of deliberately harrying the Federation although she doesn't agree with his motives. Jenna left the series in an escape capsule following the battle with the Andromedans and never returned, the last we hear of her is from Blake who calmly informs Tarrant that she was killed resisting arrest while smuggling weapons to Gauda Prime.
Avon and Blake originally encountered Cally on the planet Saurian Major (in "Time Squad"), where she was the leader of a rebel cadre. Unfortunately the rest of the unit had been killed and she was alone, not the ideal situation for a telepath, a theme which is often brought to the fore. She seems to act as a magnet for the psychic scum of the universe, including other Auronar (in "The Web"), intergalactic despots (in "Dawn Of The Gods"), zombies (in "Sarcophagus"), and a giant brain (in "Ultraworld").
Cally's character changes slightly during her 3 seasons. Becoming less and less keen on direct action, she seems to be disatisfied the most with Blake's stated aim of destroying Star One, but goes along with it because she can see no other option. Cally's meets her fate, alone again, on the planet Terminal when she is killed by Servalan's trap.
Orac was a kind of genie, a mysterious plastic box with flashing lights which, when activated by a key could give the owner access to the knowledge of the universe, assuming they asked the right question. Unfortunately Orac had a personality problem: it had Ensor's personality. This was a bad thing because Ensor was old, short tempered and arrogant. This meant that Orac regarded anyone else as inferior and was particularly tetchy to crew members rash enough to ask it questions that it thought had obvious answers. There is some initial implication that Orac was created for a task of some kind (it is frequently 'too busy' to help its human companions) unfortunately this seems to fade away, particularly after Orac has been damaged a couple of times.
Other problems were caused by Orac's thirst for knowledge - this puts the whole crew in danger in "Dawn Of The Gods" when it decides it wants to investigate a black hole, and in "Traitor" when it decides that a task is beneath it and assigns it to a nearby Federation computer. On the whole Orac does more good than harm, and is instrumental in several otherwise improbable escapes, most notably in "Redemption" when it destroys the System, in "Dawn Of The Gods" where it thwarts Lord Thaarn's minions, and in "Ultraworld" where it used Vila's illogical brain and its own fascination with riddles to overload the planets core intelligence. Orac did have limitations in its scope, as shown in "The Harvest Of Kairos" where it is unable to identify sophron, a living rock that Avon is toying with.
Orac's final location is never specified, and it is likely that for some time to come there would be an extremely irritable plastic box sitting in the forest waiting for someone to reawaken its genie.
Tarrant was impetuous, and was given to making rash decisions without any forethought. He often regards the feelings of the others as unimportant and was given to bullying when they did not agree, this is most obvious in "City At The Edge Of The world" where he forced Vila onto a dangerous away mission against his will. Fortunately Tarrant's bravado and ability as a space pilot were useful in the fourth season where he was needed to fly the more primitive Scorpio.
He inadvertantly proves the downfall of the whole crew when, in the final episode he meets Blake and - believing that he is a traitor - tells the already massively paranoid Avon that has been betrayed. Avon has already been betrayed once too often.
Soolin's qualities as a gun slinger are indisputable, she even manages to outdraw a computer simulation of herself in "Games"!
Servalan is almost certainly the strongest female character in science fiction, she is devious, cunning, and strong willed, a formidable adversary.
"Travis is an exponent of total war" - said
Servalan of the Space Commander assigned to
kill Blake and capture the Liberator. It is
a good description. Travis's pursuit of Blake is driven and
persistent. With and without the authority of the Federation, Travis follows
Blake to the edges of the galaxy, finally betraying the entire human race in his
mania to have revenge. Travis is Blake's oldest enemy: he lost an arm and an eye
in a battle with the Freedom party and eventually took part in the climactic
massacre which delivered Blake into the hands of the Federation. Travis is
already discredited when Servalan puts him on Blake's trail; he is accused
(apparently correctly) of indulging in shooting unarmed civilians on the planet
Auros (and/or Zircaster). The Federation puts him on trial, where he is found
guilty, but by a twist of fate he is saved from execution by Blake who chooses
that moment to attack the Space Command headquarters. As the court room
depressurises Travis escapes and forces Servalan to give him a ship and a crew
with which to continue the chase.|
Mutoids really get it in the neck, they are used as cannon fodder ("The Harvest Of Kairos"), insulted and reviled ("Duel"), and largely treated like slaves. The Mutoids do not seem to mind, after all they have been conditioned to obey without question whatever the situation.
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Last updated on 16th of February 2005.