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What is Blake’s 7?

What is Blake’s 7?

23 February 2019

Blake’s 7, a science fiction television series, ran for four seasons on BBC1 from 1978 to 1981. Created by Terry Nation (who also created the Daleks for Doctor Who), Blake’s 7 featured spaceships, robots, galactic empires and aliens. Big Finish Productions has been releasing brand new Blake’s 7 stories since 2012.

In the far future, mankind has reached out into space, beyond the confines of its own solar system, discovering and colonising new worlds. A single ruling body – the Federation – governs Earth’s empire with an iron fist. For the vast majority of citizens life is hard. Personal freedoms are severely restricted and free speech is prohibited. 

However, despite the threat of retribution, there are those that are prepared to resist the oppression of the Federation. Roj Blake was one such man, brave enough to speak out and lead a rebellion. But the rebellion failed and Blake was incarcerated, forced to publicly recant, and his memories of his past life wiped.

The blocks placed on Blake’s memories were only partially successful, however, and Blake was eventually sentenced to incarceration on the penal colony, Cygnus Alpha. En route to Cygnus Alpha, Blake’s prison ship, the London, discovered a highly advanced abandoned starship. Blake, along with fellow prisoners Jenna Stannis, an accomplished pilot, and Kerr Avon, a computer genius, were able to capture the ship for themselves.

The ship, which they named the Liberator, was faster than, and technologically superior to, any Federation vessel. The ship's systems, controlled by the computer known as Zen, included a teleportation facility allowing the crew to travel instantaneously to a planet’s surface without having to land the ship.

Following the London to Cygnus Alpha, Blake, Jenna and Avon attempted to rescue as many of their fellow prisoners as possible. Ultimately though they were only able to save two: Vila Restal, a skilled thief and lock-pick; and Olag Gan, a powerful giant of a man.

With his crew of five, Blake renewed his fight against the Federation. Whilst attempting to sabotage a Federation communications complex on Saurian Major, Blake encountered Cally, an alien telepath waging her own war on the Federation. Cally accepted Blake’s invitation to join the Liberator’s crew. 

Blake’s crusade against the Federation was successful enough to have him and his crew placed at the top of the Federation’s most wanted list, but Blake wanted to be more than just an irritation and was eager to strike at a target that would have a lasting and devastating impact on the Federation’s rule. That target was the Federation’s central control complex which monitored and maintained the environments on many Federation worlds as well as coordinating automated shipping routes and satellites. Discovering that the central control complex was located at a secret location known as Star One, Blake tracked it down to a lone planet, just beyond the rim of the galaxy.

Once there Blake and the Liberator crew discovered an alien war fleet from the Andromeda galaxy, poised to invade. With no other option, Blake alerted the Federation to the imminent attack, and attempted to use the Liberator to hold back the alien ships until the Federation forces arrived. 

Ultimately, the alien invasion was repelled but at a high cost. Star One was destroyed resulting in many worlds becoming uninhabitable. The Federation had won the war, but was much diminished. 
Badly damaged, the Liberator had to be abandoned.

Avon, Vila and Cally made it back, but Jenna and Blake went their separate ways. Avon took control of the Liberator with new crew members Dayna, a weapons expert, and Tarrant, a former Federation officer. Together they continued to explore the galaxy avoiding Federation forces and encountering alien phenomena.

Blake’s 7 stories are available from Big Finish in several formats: a variety of adventures set during and after the show in book, ebook and audiobook format; 12 volumes of The Liberator Chronicles – adventures performed by an original cast member with limited co-stars available on CD or download; and The Classic Audio Adventures – a full-cast audio drama series available on CD and download.

The most recent Blake’s 7 series is Restoration in The Classic Audio Adventures range. Restoration Part 1 continues the adventures of Avon, Cally, Tarrant, Vila and Dayna and is still available at the web special pre-order price of £28 on CD or £25 on download, until the end of this month where it will rise in price. 

Restoration Part 2 will be released in July this year.

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