Blake's 7: The Background

The science fiction series Blake's 7 was created by Terry Nation, for the BBC. It was set in the "third century of the second calendar", and showed a near omnipotent totalitarian government, the Federation. By stifling freedom and creative endeavor, and filling the air and water with tranquilizing drugs, they ruthlessly suppressed or eliminated their opponents.

Such is to be the fate of Roj Blake, former resistance leader, who is convicted on false charges and put aboard a prison ship. They escape with some fellow prisoners in an abandoned alien spaceship, which they rename the Liberator. Blake becomes an intergalactic Robin Hood, leading his dogged band of raffish outlaws against a tyrannical empire with the same persistence that made his Sherwood counterpart a thorn in the Sheriff's side.

The original seven were Blake, cold computer genius Kerr Avon, cowardly thief Vila Restal, gentle giant Olag Gan, smuggler Jenna Stanis, Auron telepath Cally, and Zen, the Liberator's on-board computer. Later in the series other characters joined the band as others left. They were the mercenary Del Tarrant, weapons expert Dayna Mellanby, blonde gunslinger Soolin, and two new computers, Orac and Scorpio's (the ship that replaced the Liberator on-board computer Slave. On the Federation side, the pursuit of Blake was controlled and run by chief villainess Servalan, and her henchman Travis.

The strength of Blake's 7 lies in the characters. They are not stereotypical heroes who win every time. They often lose and occasionally even get killed. The last episode "Blake" climaxed with the entire band of outlaws being shot down. The series itself had no time for moralising or for promoting the message that good always triumphs, as we see in more modern science-fiction coming out today. The line between right and wrong is often shown as a thin one, and even the good guys are flawed. Blake becomes fanatical, Avon becomes paranoid, arrogant, perhaps even psychopathic, whose personal warmth made Spock look like Oprah.

In its low-key, low-budget way however, Blake's 7 has had a pretty good afterlife. There are fan clubs, conventions, web sites abound and a large number of hugely dedicated, fun-loving fans out there that make Blake's 7 continue to live on. We're proud to be counted amongst them, and if you are only just discovering Blake's 7, we hope you come to enjoy it as much as we do.

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Last updated on 18th of June 2000.