There are several iconic sci-fi TV programs ranging from anthology programs such as One Step Beyond, Way Out, Twilight Zone and the Outer Limits as well as adventure serials such as Star Trek, Doctor Who and of course Blake’s 7.
‘What’s Blake’s 7?’ I hear you ask. It’s only the most amazing and exciting TV sci fi series that you have never heard of.
Set in a not too distant future where interstellar travel, ray guns and questionable fashions are the norm, Blake’s 7 split from the norm by presenting a universe ruled by a fascistic paranoid regime that controlled the population through fear, coercion and drugs. The only person bold enough to stand up to the Federation was Roj Blake, but he was betrayed, tried and publicly humiliated by having his mind wiped and placed on Earth as a drone. When he is approached by some members of the rebellion who want to revive the cause, he becomes witness to a bloodbath after the Federation guns down a peaceful assembly, leaving Blake the only survivor.
Tried and found guilty (again) for crimes that have been invented and corroborated by force, Blake starts to go mad and is sent to a penal colony. En route, the prison ship encounters a living alien craft that is not only sentient but sensitive to Blake’s cause. With a very small band of malcontents, Blake starts his revolution anew, and the galaxy trembles.
Blake’s 7 is so radical not only in the fact that the heroes are terrorists but also because Blake is sort of a loony. His intentions are so intense and important to him, that he often loses sight of all else and can cause more harm than good. When he appears to die in the midst of an intergalactic war that he caused, one of followers reluctantly takes over as leader, but Avon’s story is an altogether different situation.
Big Finish have already released an excellent set of audio adventures set within the first two years of the series’ four year run, when Blake led the crew in a search for Star One, believed to be the heart of the Federation’s power base. This story is also set in that time period, but whereas the previous trilogy starred Gareth Thomas (Blake), Michael Keating (Villa) and Paul Darrow (Avon), this one will bring back far more fan favorites and promises to be a major event for fans of the series.
The cast of Blake’s 7 is reunited in a new full cast adventure. The original cast of Terry Nation’s acclaimed series Blake’s 7 are reuniting for a special audio episode, to be released in February 2013 (in a licence deal with B7 Media).
Written by Peter Anghelides, Warship finds the spaceship Liberator acting as the sole line of defence against a massive alien invasion fleet, while Blake and his crew desperately await the arrival of help from the most unlikely of sources – President Servalan and her Federation forces…
“This is the Blake’s 7 episode that we’ve always wanted to hear,” says producer David Richardson. “It fills in the missing gap in the mythology, following the Galactic War, and ultimately to Blake and Jenna’s departure as members of the Liberator crew. And it tells a whole lot more too – that alien attack force is actually far more destructive than expected, but the Federation may just have a surprise line of defence…”
“I’m delighted to see Big Finish tackle their first full cast Blake’s 7 story,” says Andrew Mark Sewell, Executive Producer of B7 Media, “and it’s great that Peter’s script so perfectly captures the spirit of the original to tell (and complete) such a significant – but previously unseen – part of the whole mythos.”
Warship stars Gareth Thomas as Roj Blake, Paul Darrow as Kerr Avon, Michael Keating as Vila Restal, Sally Knyvette as Jenna Stannis, Jan Chappell as Cally, Jacqueline Pearce as Servalan and Alistair Lock as Zen and Orac.
The hour-long story will be released in February 2013 as a double disc set, with the second disc comprising interviews and behind the scenes material from the historic cast reunion at the recording session. It will retail for £12.99 on CD and £9.99 on download from bigfinish.com.
A novelization of the episode will also be released in February 2013, in ebook form only. The book will retail at £4.99, and expand upon the cataclysmic events and key developments in the story.
If you are unfamiliar with Blake’s 7, there are VHS sets available in the US market, but sadly the rights to the DVDs are not available and that situation may not change for some time. However, you can watch it streaming on youtube (somehow) and I cannot recommend it enough. The program was produced in the late 1970’s by the BBC and has production values far below Doctor Who at that time… so be kind.