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General Information

Badlands is a multi-media fanzine, Badlands Blake's 7 special brings together the Blake's 7 issues from several issues.

Badlands Blake's 7 special, this edition brings together the Blake's 7 stories from several issues of Badlands, a multimedia zine.

Authors, D G Valdron, S Rocan, Suzanna Joy, K A Williams

Contact address:

Anna Boudreau,
304-314 Broadway Ave,
r3c 0s5.



Reviewed by Mary O'Connor

Someone asked about stories that use Servalan as the central character, and delve into her career. One story which comes to mind is 'Exposed' by Dennis Valdron published in Badlands #1. The zine flyer blurb reads: 'Servalan couldn't hide out forever as Sleer. Now it's time to run, and the only assets left are old enemies...' This story made me realise that any power hungry person who rises up the ranks, is in competition with other power hungry people, and should have many alternate identities waiting to be assumed at any given moment. This story names her 3rd identity ... which puts her inleague with other Blake's 7 characters. (Did I give it away?)

The same author also did a 3 part article on Servalan for his local club's newsletter called 'The Fall and Rise of Servalan'. It is a very thorough, episode by episode, analysis of the politics of Servalan. I believe the reprints of the Tardis 204 newsletters are available. Volume 3 Issues 7, 8 & 9. I think $2 each.

Badlands #1 zine is multimedia. It has 5 B7 stories (3 by Dennis Valdron, a very good author - my opinion) 1 Red Dwarf and 1 Dr Who story.

Badlands Blake's 7 Special

review by Judith Proctor

Badlands is a multi-media zines, but here the editor has collected the best Blake's 7 stories from several issues into a single volume. I think this is a good idea - I almost never buy multi-media zines myself because there's too much material that I'm not interested in.

The American Series: An Alternate History by D.G. Valdron

This was my favourite item in the zine. It's a fictional history of how Fred Friburger saved Blake's 7 by making extra episodes for US syndication that eventually led to various movies etc. What I like is that it throws in many plausible sounding quotes from Terry Nation, Paul Dorrow etc. There are fannish disputes as to what is really canonical, arguments over pay, guest appearances on Star Trek, Stephen Pacey playing Blake in the prequel, etc. All in all, a gently amusing history that is quite amazing in how believable it sounds.

"Jesus Christ!" Freiberger exclaims, "How could you present a series where one lead does another in? It would be like Mister Spock stabbing Captain Kirk in the back. If Blake was dead Avon was a murderer. We had to establish that Blake was still alive."

Gareth Thomas had been adamant about not returning to the show. In fact his contract to appear on the final episode of the British series specified that his character had to be definitely killed.

"I wanted blood", Gareth explained, "I wanted no doubts in anyone's mind that Blake was dead."

So what happened?

"They offered me an obscene amount of money," Gareth laughs, "so I agreed to contract to a guest starring role for six episodes."

The Devil's Bargain by D.G. Valdron

After Gauda Prime, Avon bargains with a Federation Admiral who has a problem with Space Rats that he needs solving. Avon gets to do a lot of double dealing and generally comes out on top.

Spawn by Susan Rocan

This reads as though it is part of an ongoing AU saga, but there are no clues as to what happened before or where it was published. The plot basically revolves around a woman being in love with Avon and wanting his baby. Not my cup of tea.

Exposed by D.G. Valdron

PGP Servalan has been exposed as Sleer and she knows the only people who can help her are the prisoners taken at Gauda Prime. She needs to manipulate them into working with her and helping her escape. I liked the idea of this one and it was moderately well done.

Soothsayer by Susanna Joy

A psychic girl forsees what is going to happen on Gauda Prime and tries to prevent it. Predictable.

Blake's Revenge by D.G. Valdron

PGP. A slightly insane Avon plans the ultimate revenge against the Federation. (Ironic in that he plans a revenge on Blake's behalf that Blake would never have contemplated) Chilling and hard to believe, but I was almost convinced in spite of myself.

Changes by K.A. Williams

One more way of getting out of Gauda Prime. This one is more impausible than most. Servalan conditioned a clone of Avon to kill Blake. Don't ask me how or why. Don't ask me how Blake came to have a time machine in his basement either.

The Bowels of Discovery by D.G. Valdron

Just how do you identify a toilet on a ship built by a group of aliens... and who gets to test it first to see if you're right?

The zine is quarto with red cover and black comb-binding. There's an attractive picture of Dayna by Mary O'Connor on the cover. The print is easy to read, but the layout instantly hits one of my pet bug-bears in that it is single column with double spacing between paragraphs. The zine could easily have been printed in 2/3 the number of pages if the layout had been changed.

The artwork is all by Mary O'Connor. Some are good, some aren't. The poor ones are generally older. Some of the new ones I liked a lot, especially as Mary is willing to move beyond copying photos and try to create illustrations to match a scene in a story.

Overall I felt that the editing could have been better. 'Calley' and 'Gann' are really inexcusible (but spelling seemed pretty good otherwise) and there were several places where tenses got mixed up.

I'd rate most of the stories in the zine as middling with a few rating poor. I really did like the first story though.

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