If you live in the US, Blake’s 7 is the most amazing cult sci-fi program that may have slipped you by. Due to limited transmission on PBS stations and a lack of a distribution deal for the DVDs in this region, there are many potential fans who have missed out on this outstanding series. In the late 1970’s, Dalek creator Terry Nation crafted a new kind of science fiction adventure in which the heroes were a small band a terrorists fighting against the Federation aboard an alien spacecraft called the Liberator.
Starring Gareth Thomas, Michael Keating, Paul Darrow, Jan Chappell, Sally Knyvette, and Jacqueline Pearce, the series won critical acclaim on the BBC and attracted an older audience than Doctor Who. A ‘Dirty Dozen in Space’ concept program, Blake’s 7 heavily influenced Joss Whedon’s Firefly, a comparison that star Paul Darrow noted with some pride. Unlike Star Trek, Blake’s 7 offered a more cynical view of the science fiction opera in which drugs were used to subdue the general public, freedom fighters were tortured and had their entire lives rewritten and the truth always kept at bay. A small group of 7 dared to free all Earth people from the Federations’ control.
Gareth Thomas led his team with the zeal of a religious fanatic through two years’ worth of challenges only to lose it all in the midst of an intergalactic war that he unwittingly allowed to happen. In the wake of that disaster, sociopath/genius Kerr Avon unlikely leader of the remaining crew and continued the fight in Blake’s name. Leading the opposition was the conniving and sultry Servalan. With a legion of mutated creatures and a bloodthursty killer Travis at her fingertips, the odds were stacked in her favor. Yet she savored every victory with the passion of a cat playing with her meal.
All of that excitement has been revived in these new full cast audio adventures from Big Finish, and it just got bigger and better.
When mercenary Del Grant alerts the Liberator crew to the existence of a new Federation super-weapon, Avon leads an epic battle to avert catastrophe…
The Armageddon Storm is a huge story told across three discs, and reveals what happened during the unseen-on-TV Galactic War. It stars Paul Darrow (Avon), Michael Keating (Vila) and Jan Chappell (Cally), returning to the roles they made famous on TV, and they’re joined this time by the also-returning Tom Chadbon as Del Grant, a character who first appeared in the 1979 Blake’s 7 episode Countdown. Listeners may also remember him as Duggan in much-loved TV Doctor Who tale City of Death, alongside Tom Baker’s Fourth Doctor.
Written by Cavan Scott and Mark Wright and directed by Ken Bentley, Blake’s 7 – The Liberator Chronicles: Volume 3 is available to download now, and CD box sets will be mailed out today.
Blake’s 7 was created by Terry Nation (who also created the Daleks for Doctor Who) and ran for four years on BBC TV. It focused on a team of resistance fighters aboard their advanced ship the Liberator, who battle the corrupt forces of the Federation. The Liberator Chronicles: Volume 3 is part of a series of audiobooks that is being released in a licence deal with B7 Media.
Also available, is Warship by Peter Anghelides.
An alien fleet stands poised to invade Federation space. The only vessel available to hold it back is the Liberator, commanded by Roj Blake and his crew.
As an intergalactic war breaks out, old enemies become allies, and friends will become separated.
And Blake will be forced to leave behind all that matters to him…
‘The real strength of Warship – as with the original series – lies in the interactions between the Liberator’s crew. All the moral ambiguities and questionable motives that made the original series so compelling are present in Warship. There are some outstanding scenes between Blake and Cally, and between Avon and Blake, with dialogue lines and performances equal to anything we saw on screen.’ – Horizon, the Official Blake’s 7 Fan Club
‘Writer Anghelides has constructed a classic piece of space opera that really wouldn’t have felt out of place as a televised episode. You can almost see the cast rocking from side to side as they weather the blasts from alien cannons.’ – SciFind
‘A triumph for all concerned. The dialogue falls under the tongues of the actors naturally, so more than ever before, you really feel as if this is an episode the BBC accidentally forgot to broadcast in 1979.’ – Sci-Fi Bulletin
‘Wow, Blake’s 7 Warship from @bigfinish is brilliant! I’ve been watching through the episodes just recently and this fits in perfectly.’ – Rob, Twitter
‘Now that Blake’s 7 Warship was quite a ripping yarn. Thanks to all involved!’ – Michael Z, Twitter
‘Just listened to Blake’s 7: Warship. Fantastically written, performed and mixed. More please!’ – Alex Skerratt, Twitter
‘Paul Darrow still sounds like Avon and Michael Keating doesn’t seem to have aged at all. It gets a standard by 4 star rating from me.’ – Eamonn Clarke