To celebrate this great anniversary, tune into The Way Ahead, out now.
First broadcast on BBC1 in 1978, Blake’s 7 is the story of galactic renegades, led by Roj Blake (Gareth Thomas) and joined by compatriots Jenna (Sally Knyvette), Avon (Paul Darrow), Vila (Michael Keating) and Cally (Jan Chappell). The crew of Blake's 7 and Blake's ship The Liberator changed over the years, with Avon leading the charge, joined by Dayna (played at Big Finish by Yasmin Bannerman) and Tarrant (Steven Pacey) but they continued the rebellion against the Federation, led by the ruthless Servalan (Jacqueline Pearce). Their adventures have continued on audio at Big Finish since 2012, with The Liberator Chronicles, Classic Adventures and now with The Way Ahead.
Roj Blake. Kerr Avon. Names that sent shockwaves through the galaxy, shattering the foundations of the Terran Federation and giving hope to the oppressed. But what is their legacy? Crusading heroes or dangerous enemies of the state?
In the early days of Blake’s rebellion, the Liberator comes to Malanar Delta to aid resistance leader Avalon, but the crew find Space Commander Travis and his Federation forces waiting. An abandoned Federation research project could give Travis the key to finally bringing Blake to justice.
Years later, in the aftermath of the Galactic War, Avon and the Liberator crew fight to survive as new battle lines are drawn and alliances forged by President Servalan. Will survival be enough when a symbol of hope is turned into a devastating engine of war?
Writer Mark Wright told us about honouring the iconic show on its 40th birthday. “It’s always special spending time in the Blake’s 7 universe as a viewer, listener or writer, but to be asked to write a special audio adventure to mark the 40th anniversary of Terry Nation’s wonderful creation was a true privilege. The Way Ahead – a title that was just too good to resist – brought with it a certain amount of challenge and pressure to come up with something that does justice to every facet of the series; the characters, the actors, the symbols, the themes. Two discs, three time periods, as many of the original cast as we could assemble in one epic adventure.
“I took inspiration from wherever I could find it; single lines of dialogue, the unforgettable performances of these wonderful actors, a character who appeared just once in the original television series. It had to work as something that examined all the themes that made Blake’s 7 a compelling television drama, but also as the kind of epic, action-packed Blake’s 7 adventure that I loved as a 6-year old who started watching on 2 January 1978.
“Blake’s 7 is a television institution that grew organically out of Terry Nation’s original concepts, how they were taken forward by producers, directors, writers and designers, and how the cast made the characters their own to form an ensemble that’s always a joy to watch or listen to. I hope we’ve done justice to the legacy of Terry Nation, and to the memory of Gareth Thomas and all those Blake’s 7 greats who are no longer with us. Happy Birthday, Blake’s 7!”
This anniversary release is available at £14.99 on CD or £12.99 on download. We will be sending out CD copies shortly but you can access this tale today on the Big Finish app. Simply download the app and login to access the adventure after purchase.
You can also listen to Jacqueline Pearce in conversation about her career.
Jacqueline Pearce is well-known to fans of British Sci-Fi television as the iconic Supreme Commander Servalan in Blake's 7, or perhaps as Chessene o' the Franzine Grig in Doctor Who's The Two Doctors. But these appearances are merely two in a long, distinguished career, which in itself is a mere part of a fascinating life.
Over a bottle of champagne, she gives an uncompromising interview to Big Finish's Nicholas Briggs, discussing her past triumphs and times.