Pitched to the BBC in 1977 by Daleks creator Terry Nation as “the Dirty Dozen in space”, Blake’s 7 ran for four hugely successful seasons on BBC One.
Following our recent piece on why it’s time to reboot the show, here are 5 of our all-time favourite episodes…
‘Project Avlalon’ (Season 1)
While the episode is not without its shaky moments, much like the majority of the first season – be patient. All the elements here will provide newbies with a clear understanding of the main antagonists and their goals.
Blighted by Blake in every attempt to capture him thus far, Travis (Supreme Commander Servelan’s main henchman) devises his most elaborate scheme yet to sneer the Liberator and eliminate its crew.
Orchestrating the capture of a resistance leader named Avalon, why does Travis then allow Blake to rescue the female rebel so easily? And what consequences await Blake and the crew for seemingly walking straight into this trap?
‘Pressure Point’ (Season 2)
Improved story arcs, direction, and even costume design make Season 2 an all-round improvement over the first year. Not content with simply proving an irritation to the Federation, Blake decides now is the perfect time to sink a dagger into the heart of the corrupt state, by returning to Earth and launching an assault on the Federation’s computerised nerve centre.
While the crew of the Liberator are sceptical it can be done, they agree to Blake’s plan but only on the understanding this is no suicide mission. The sparring between Gareth Thomas and Paul Darrow is delicious, as Blake’s fanaticism boils to surface and Avon’s reasoning for following his crusade is revealed.
Learning his contact on Earth has been captured by Travis and Servalan, Blake fails to reveal this information and forges ahead with his increasingly risky operation. Will he or one of his crew pay the ultimate price?
‘Star One’ (Season 2)
Several major story arcs come to a crescendo in the second season’s finale, as something or someone has successfully sabotaged the Federation’s real control centre – Star One.
With the very existence of the Federation at stake, Servalan will stop at nothing to preserve the crumbling Empire and Blake will risk everything to destroy it. Having discovered the location of Star One, Blake takes the Liberator to the edge of galaxy in the culmination of his crusade. Many truths are spoken, scores are settled and an even greater enemy raises its head in a cracker of a season finale.
‘Terminal’ (Season 3)
Following the aftermath of the climatic battle from the closing moments of ‘Star One’, and with the departure of Gareth Thomas (Blake) and Sally Knyette (Jenna) from the series, Blake’s 7 continued with Avon in command of the Liberator.
Despite his attempts, Avon could never truly escape the spectre of Blake and, as the season drew to a close, viewers expected a resolution to the questions concerning his fate. Envisioned as the final ever episode of the show, until BBC One controller Bill Cotton was so impressed with it upon broadcast, ‘Terminal’ proved not for the final time just how Blake could prove to be Avon’s greatest weakness.
Drawn to a planet which can’t possibly exist, and while risking the structural integrity of the Liberator, Avon threatens the crew with death if they attempt to follow him to the surface below. Has he finally located their former leader Blake? What is the mysterious fungal attacking the Liberator? And has Avon sacrificed everything to chase nothing more than a ghost?
‘Blake’ (Season 4)
After an unexpected reprieve, Blake’s 7 returned for a fourth season on BBC One and broadcast its final episode on 21 December 1981.
The series’ earth shattering conclusion sees Avon and the Scorpio crew finally locate an alive, if not necessarily well, Roj Blake. Returning for real after two seasons, the character appears hardened and damaged since his absence, but what are Blake’s true intentions?
Concluding with the most gut wrenching misunderstanding of all time, the episode delivers one of TV’s greatest ever endings, and left its unspoiled pre-internet viewership absolutely stunned…
“Have you betrayed me…?”
What’s your favourite Blake’s 7 episode? Let us know below…