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The Way Back

Underground car parks, child abuse and torture. It must be Blake’s 7.

It’s 6pm on Monday 2nd January 1978 and Wings are Number One with ‘Mull of Kintyre’. Sorry, wrong blog. It’s 6pm on Thursday 2nd January 2014 and I haven’t got a clue who’s Number One. What I do know is this: we will watch an episode of Blake’s 7, Sue will comment on it, I will note her comments down using my own unique version of shorthand, and then I’ll write them up for this blog. If we get into a heated discussion about anything, I will pause the DVD so we don’t miss anything vitally important. Or really silly.

But first things first…

Me: What can you tell us about Blake’s 7, Sue?

Sue: Well, let’s see. I can name all the characters for a start. There’s Blake, Avon, Jenna, Cally –

Me: I covered the cats in the introduction. What else can you tell us about Blake’s 7?

Sue: I know that it’s set in space with a bunch of people in a space ship, or maybe it’s a space station? I’m expecting it to be like Red Dwarf, only not as funny.

I don’t dare tell her that it’s just like Red Dwarf only much, much funnier.

Me: Why didn’t you watch it when it was on television?

Sue: I would have been 17 in 1978 and I played badminton on Mondays. Not that I would have watched it anyway; all that spacey stuff wasn’t really my cup of tea.

Me: What do you expect Blake’s 7 to be like?

Sue: I want it to be like Firefly, with really fit blokes and a decent plot. Actually, just the fit blokes will do.

Me: Are you ready to make a start?

Sue: I do have one question before we begin: have any of the cast been questioned by Operation Yewtree?

Me: No.

Sue: OK, let’s do this.

I press Play.

The Way BackSue: Der-der-DERRR-DE-DERRR!

Me: That sounds nothing like the theme to Blake’s 7, but nice try.

Sue: It sounds like the sort of music that Michael Bublé would walk out on stage to. It also reminds me of the theme to Dynasty.

Me: Do you notice anything odd about the logo?

Sue: Yes, that triangle is a blatant Star Trek rip-off. Even I know that.

I pause the DVD.

Me: Anything else?

She stares at the screen for ages.

Sue: The apostrophe is missing!

She can scarcely believe her eyes.

Sue: The apostrophe is missing! How shit is that?

I press Play again. And then this inevitably happens:

The Way BackSue: Oh no. Terry ****ing Nation! Not a good start!

Me: Actually, the programme’s official title is Terry Nation’s Blake’s 7.

Sue reaches for a cushion. I gently remind her that she’s promised not to belt me around the face for the duration of this blog and she backs down. Eventually.

Sue: You’ll pay for this later. And it won’t involve a cushion.

Blake’s 7 begins in a futuristic city.

Sue: This man walking down this corridor reminds me of Martin Shaw from The Professionals. I used to have a crush on Martin Shaw.

So far, so good.

Sue: I didn’t know that Blake’s first name was Roger! You kept that quiet.

It takes a while for Sue to work out where she is.

Sue: Is this a space station?

Me: No.

Sue: An alien planet?

Me: No.

The Way BackSue: A really big space ship?

Me: It’s Earth.

Sue: How was I supposed to know that! They should have put a caption on the screen. What year is this?

Me: I don’t know.

Sue: What do you mean, you don’t know? Why are you here again? For God’s sake, Neil.

A couple named Ravella and Dal Richie take Blake to a hatchway that leads to the outside world.

Sue: I’m guessing that these two are rebelling against something or other, I just don’t know what yet. Maybe they don’t like living like the Amish.

Me: The what?

Sue: The Amish. They look Amish. Spacey Amish.

The rebels lead Blake through an underground complex.

Sue: It looks like the campus basement at the university where I work. You know, the place where they keep all the bins. It’s not very glamorous.

Blake leaves the domed city behind.

The Way BackMe: This is the only scene I remember watching in 1978 when this episode was first broadcast; this bit with the big dome in the background. The rest is just a blur.

Sue: It’s pretty good, actually. No wonder you remember it. I’ve got to say, though, this isn’t what I expected at all. This is more like Edge of Darkness than Doctor Who. Were you excited about Blake’s 7 when it came out?

Me: Big time. I probably didn’t sleep the night before.

Sue: You didn’t sleep last night, either.

Me: That’s completely different.

Sue: So what brought Blake’s 7 on, then? Were they trying to capitalise on the success of Doctor Who, or was it Star Wars? People were sci-fi crazy in the seventies.

Me: Star Wars wasn’t released in the UK when they began making Blake’s 7. We’ll cover the exact moment they saw it later in the series. It’s difficult to miss.

Ravella forces Blake to question the status quo on Earth.

Ravella: Doesn’t it bother you that you spend your life in a state of drug-induced tranquility?

Sue: Not really. Oh sorry, she was talking to Roger.

Blake is taken to Bran Foster, the rebels’ leader. Blake is told that he isn’t the person he thought he was, and, in a previous life, he was a rebel too.

Sue: Flappy hands!

Me: What?

Sue: Rewind that bit where Blake runs down that tunnel. Look at his hands!

She’s right. They do flap a bit.

Sue: I like this. It reminds me of The Prisoner. I thought this programme would be lots of people shooting laser beams at each other in corridors, but this is very psychological. The direction is interesting, too. Extreme close-ups!

The Way BackFoster gathers the rebels together for a quick pep talk.

Sue: Just look at these losers. I’d have second thoughts about joining this shower. Their leader is rubbish. He isn’t very passionate. If I were Blake, I wouldn’t follow him to the shops.

Blake wanders off and bumps into some Federation guards coming the other way.

Sue: They’re looking for the James Bond film that’s shooting on the set next door.

The Federation guards murder the rebels in cold blood.

Sue: Their guns are pathetic. Yes, they’re doing the job, but they look like dud fireworks. You know, the ones that don’t go off properly when you light them and you can’t believe that you’ve paid a fiver to watch that. Rubbish!

Rubbish guns or not, it’s a massacre.

Sue: It would have been so much better if you’d heard them being killed off-screen. You didn’t need to see it. What time did Blake’s 7 go out? Was it after The Nine O’Clock News?

Me: The first episode went out at 6pm. The rest went out at 7:15pm.

Sue: You are having a laugh! That was horrific. No wonder you lot grew up so damaged and depraved.

A stunned Blake returns to the city, but Federation guards are already waiting for him.

The Way BackSue: At least the guy who’s playing Blake is pretty good. That’s a relief. It’s nothing like Doctor Who, though. I thought this would be more like Doctor Who. It’s a lot grittier than I expected. It’s like Torchwood but quite good. Hey, was that a hand-held camera I just saw? I’m impressed.

Blake’s case is discussed by the powers that be.

Sue: I recognise these sofas. These sofas were in Doctor Who. I remember liking them.

Me: Really? I can’t remember. I can’t remember. I can’t remember.

Sue: First you don’t know when this is set, and now you don’t know if they are the same sofas from Doctor Who or not. Can I watch this with someone who knows stuff about Blake’s 7 instead? What’s John Williams doing for the next six months?

It may be cheap and functional, but Sue likes the minimalistic look of future Earth.

Sue: I’m really glad they didn’t go overboard making it look all weird and spacey. If anything, they’ve toned everything down a bit. Even the make-up looks normal. It’s aged quite well, this.

Federation Arbiter General Ven Glynd wants Blake dealt with.

The Way BackSue: Barry Manilow isn’t happy about this at all.

Just in case we’ve forgotten that we’re in the future, the doors in this city make funny whooshing noises when somebody opens and closes them. And they have to open and close them. The Federation haven’t invented automatic doors yet, they’ve just invented the noise they make.

Sue: Those doors are farcical. They’re not fooling anyone. And it was going so well.

Having said that, Sue is a fan of the overall soundscape.

Sue: It’s very peaceful in the future. I wouldn’t mind living there. You know, this doesn’t even sound like Doctor Who.

Me: That’s strange because Dudley Simpson did the music.

Sue: Yes, but you can barely hear it. It’s as if he couldn’t be arsed. It’s deathly quiet.

Blake’s lawyer, Varon, arrives at Blake’s cell to discuss the state’s case against him.

Sue: That table could do with a beer mat under its leg. Look at the wobble on that!

Blake wants to plead guilty, but he hasn’t heard the charges yet.

Varon: Assault on a minor, attempting to corrupt minors –

Sue: Not miners again! It’s always the ****ing miners.

Me: Not miners – minors. Kids!

I rewind this, frankly, pivotal scene.

Varon: I’ve had the opportunity of talking to the children – that is, the prosecution witnesses – and they do seem very certain of their facts.

The Way BackSue: ****ING HELL. This is unbelievable. You wouldn’t even hint at something like that at 6pm nowadays. This is Operation Yewtree! In space!

Blake can’t believe it either.

Blake: I’ve got to hand it to you. You’ve done a BRILLIANT JOB!

Sue: He’s giving Tom Baker a run for his money, here. He isn’t afraid to go for it when he has to. That’s good.

A court convenes to hear Blake’s case.

Sue: You can tell that this is just a TV studio. The cyc curtain is casting some serious shadows across the back of that set.

Blake’s shady past (the one he can’t remember) is dredged up again.

Sue: It’s very convoluted, this. They should have just started with Blake in charge of the rebels. All this ‘he can’t remember he was a rebel’ nonsense is a bit long-winded. Is he a good guy or not? Stop pissing about.

Blake is flanked by Federation guards.

Sue: They must be sweating buckets in those helmets. And what does the green perspex do? Does it do something important or is it just for show?

A woman presides over the courtroom.

The Way BackSue: Is that Servalan?

There was a cat who belonged to the farmer next door, which we named Servalan. She was a right bitch (the cat, not the farmer). But she died. At least we think she died…

Me: No, she isn’t Servalan. In fact, she’s about as far removed from Servalan as it’s possible to get.

Blake offers no defence.

Sue: No defence is a terrible defence, mate. You know, Roger’s lawyer should be doing better. You’d think he’d do a lot better that this, what with him looking like Spock.

Justice is served in some perspex boxes.

Sue: It’s Deal or No Deal meets Judge Judy. Any minute now, the banker will offer Blake 15 years in prison, with time off for good behaviour. Deal, you fool! Deal!

Two flickering balls determine Blake’s fate.

Sue: A Tom Baker episode did exactly the same thing. Don’t ask me what it was called, but it’s exactly the same.

Blake is found guilty.

Sue: The computer says No.

Blake’s crimes are displayed on the courtroom’s cyc curtain.

Sue: I can’t see what’s Number One. I bet it’s something horrible like rape. I can’t believe that they got away with this.

Blake is taken to some holding cells, where an old woman is screaming her head off.

Sue: Well, this is cheerful. Where’s K9 when you need him? Or a razor?

The Way BackBlake is placed in a cell with Jenna Stannis.

Sue: Is that Samantha Fox?

A convict named Vila Restal steals Blake’s watch.

Sue: It’s the vicar on EastEnders!

Blimey, that was quick.

Vila: I steal things. Compulsive, I’m afraid. I’ve had my head adjusted by some of the best in the business. But it just won’t stay adjusted.

Sue: So, one of our heroes is a raving klepto, and another is a convicted child molester. That’s lovely.

Vila introduces Blake to Jenna, a smuggler with form.

Sue: The cats are coming thick and fast now. She’s very pretty. Just like our cat. Did you fancy Jenna when you were a boy?

Me: I don’t think so. I was only nine.

Sue: Do you fancy her now? I bet you wouldn’t turn her down if she offered to smuggle –

Me: OK, let’s leave it there.

Sue decides to keep score.

The Way BackSue: This is basically Blake’s 2 right now. He’ll have to get his skates on if he wants to get his numbers up before the end of the episode.

Blake’s lawyer celebrates losing his latest case with a shag.

Sue: I can’t believe that Terry Nation wrote this. It’s proper, adult drama, this. No one ever shagged in Doctor Who. Well, not on-screen anyway.

Varon decides to investigate Blake’s case a little further.

Sue: In your own time, chick. Does he wait for all his clients to be sent down before he starts doing his bloody job?

The Federation’s computer records are controlled by man waving an enormous Sony Walkman in the air. Sue calls him “the moody Eric Bristow”.

Sue: That Walkman was years ahead of its time in 1978. They actually got that bit right.

Me: And yet so horribly wrong.

Varon suspects that the children have had the abuse implanted in their heads.

Sue: Why didn’t they just put the memory in Blake’s head? He’d think he was guilty and then he wouldn’t put up a fight. That would have saved a lot of time, and that way they could have spared the kids. This is just wrong.

Varon uncovers enough evidence to bring the administration down.

The Way BackSue: I like the way that Varon wasn’t in on the conspiracy and he just did his job. Badly, I might add, but at least he’s making up for it now. Why haven’t we got a cat called Varon? I like Varon.

Varon overhears Ven Glynd scheming behind closed doors.

Sue: So these doors make futuristic whooshing noises when they open and close, but they offer no privacy at all. What’s that all about?

Blake, Vila and Jenna are escorted from their holding cell.

Sue: The other members of the seven aren’t saying very much. In fact, they aren’t saying anything at all.

Varon and his girlfriend discover the bodies of the rebels in the underground car park outside.

Sue: They didn’t even bury them. They should have cremated them at the very least. That’s lazy and horrible.

Blake boards a ship bound for Cygnus Alpha. According to Sue (and only Sue), the prison ship is under the thrall of a young Dennis Waterman.

Sue: I could be so good for you. Treat you like you want me to.

Guard: (to Blake) You can start with a couple of hours confinement. Seat eleven, confinement!

Sue: But what if Blake needs to go for a wee during the flight?

The Way BackIt turns out that a creepy blonde man named Dev Tarrant set the whole thing up, and he has Varon and his girlfriend murdered in cold blood.

Sue: We’ll never call one of our cats Tarrant. What a massive ****! I hope he gets his comeuppance soon. There was no need for that.

The episode ends with Blake watching the Earth recede from view; a bit like my hair. Blake vows to return; I wish my hair would do that. Cue credits.

Sue: DER-DER-DER-DERRRRR-DER-DERRR.

Me: That’s better.

Sue: That’s the best thing Terry Nation has ever done. Which isn’t saying very much, but still.

And then my wife stuns me.

Sue: What I find interesting is that Blake is banished from his home planet, just like the Doctor was banished from his home planet. And he said he would get back one day, too. Yes, one day. One day…

Good Lord, what have I done?

The Score:

Me: So what are you going to give that out of ten?

Sue: Oh, no! Do I have to mark the episodes as well? I hate marking them; I get enough of that at work. Why don’t we do it differently this time? Why don’t you score the episodes instead? What would you give it?

Me: No one cares what I think. Come on, Sue. Think of the graphs.

Sue: Can I mark the episodes out of seven?

Me: No.

Sue: Oh, I don’t know… What am I supposed to compare it to? Breaking Bad or 1970s Doctor Who? Because it’s not as good as Breaking Bad.

Me: Let’s go with the latter.

Sue: It was all right, I suppose. I enjoyed it. It was very bleak, and definitely not for kids, and it was a bit slow to get going, but I liked the premise and the acting was more than OK. The direction wasn’t bad, either. As long as Blake returns to Earth and clears his name, I’ll be happy.

7/10

Me: You did that on purpose, didn’t you?

Sue: Yes.

Next Time:

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98 comments

  • January 3, 2014 9:42 amPosted 3 years ago
    Neil Perryman (Author)

    Comments are moderated and any abuse, spam or off-topic gubbins will be removed. Thanks. Enjoy the blog!

  • Visit site
    January 3, 2014 7:08 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Tattva

    “Terry ****ing Nation! ”

    aaaaand we’re off! 🙂

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    January 3, 2014 7:09 pmPosted 3 years ago
    John Miller

    Welcome back to Neil and Sue. Really glad Sue enjoyed the first episode, and hopefully she will really like KA.

    And it is easy to work out when Blake’s 7 is set, but it’s far too early to go down that road… 🙂

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    January 3, 2014 7:12 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Jason

    Yay, glad you guys are back! Great first blog.

    I’ve never actually seen Blake’s 7 before, so I’m watching it at the same time as you. I was surprised how good the first episode was. Very bleak.

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      January 5, 2014 2:05 pmPosted 3 years ago
      James Coleman

      I’m doing the same, so I’m hoping not too much is given away in advance (regrettably I know a couple of major turns later on). A very bleak opening, even knowing that it could be a pretty dark series I was genuinely expecting the rebels to be major characters. Brutal.

      And astonishing to think that this aired earlier than Doctor Who airs today.

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    January 3, 2014 7:13 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Jim

    I watched the whole first series again just before Christmas and I was surprised how dark it all is. I’m sure I didn’t pick up on the child abuse aspects when I watched it on UK Gold twenty years ago. Still great though!

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    January 3, 2014 7:17 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Peter Lack

    Great start guys! Neil – you appear to have created a monster… Fantastic!

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    January 3, 2014 7:21 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Rad

    Great start with a quick furniture reference. I loved seeing you-know-who again in episode 2 so I’m looking forward to Sue’s response to him as the series goes on.

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    January 3, 2014 7:22 pmPosted 3 years ago
    James

    I’m glad Sue is enjoying watching The Sun Makers…..errr.. Blakes 7. I’ve watched up to half way through Series 3 but most of the old crew left and it didn’t feel the same.

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    January 3, 2014 7:22 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Harriet

    Extreme close-ups!

    That was because they hadn’t got the budget for proper sets so they were trying to avoid showing them!

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    January 3, 2014 7:27 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Dave Sanders

    It’s not AT ALL like Red Dwarf but funnier; Deep Roy isn’t in every episode of Red Dwarf.

  • January 3, 2014 7:27 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Glen Allen (@GlenAllenTV)

    Oh how I’ve missed this.

    Remind Sue never to call a cat Tarrant in the future. She can’t change her mind now can she? 🙂

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    January 3, 2014 7:37 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Dave Sanders

    “I thought this programme would be lots of people shooting laser beams at each other in corridors.”

    Oh dear. Nobody better tell her how many episodes Pennant ‘Rubbish Gun Battles In The Second Half’ Roberts was in charge of then.

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    January 3, 2014 7:40 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Mark Taylor

    Welcome back Neil & Sue!
    Glad you’ve got off to a good start, and Sue enjoyed the first episode.
    It’s amazing how bleak and desolate it is – the allegations against Blake are truly shocking, especially in the current climate.
    There are still camp and ludicrous moments, which give us a good indication of what’s to come, of course…

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    January 3, 2014 7:43 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Dave Sanders

    Didn’t really occur to me that I just jumped right in without a ‘welcome back’ for Sue. That’s because as far as I’m concerned, Sue never left. 🙂

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    January 3, 2014 7:58 pmPosted 3 years ago
    James Armstrong

    Great to have you both back – happy new year, happy new blog.

    I want Sue to love the Liberator!

    (can I have Gary’s phone number?)

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    January 3, 2014 8:03 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Dominic Francis

    Excellent, but I think you’re going to need an ‘Is it Servalan?’ counter on the front page…welcome back! ;o)

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    January 3, 2014 8:11 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Jonathan Baldwin

    She liked it more than I thought – but she’s got Brian Blessed next week…

    I happened upon Blake’s 7 by accident. My brother was watching it and I asked what it was and he told me, and I hated the fact he hadn’t let me know beforehand – the bastard.
    My abiding memory of the episode is the massacre which seemed quite violent at the time.
    I seem to remember it being on later than 6pm though – some episodes were perilously close to my bedtime, and it also clashed with Corrie which my sister suddenly decided she had to watch…

    My family hated me.

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      January 3, 2014 8:26 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Derek Handley

      Missing our shows because of Corrie… that could be a book title. I’d contribute a few chapters!

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    January 3, 2014 8:15 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Steve Trimingham

    Back once again with the renegade’s master!

    Love that Sue’s into the bleakness of ep 1 and. It’s standard by dystopian at the beginning, and T to the F to the Nation starts well (he’s a Yewtree precog) with the ill behaviour…

    …but oh dear… episode 5 (grits teeth in anticipation of the invective).

    Looking forward to it!!

    Have fun!!!

  • Visit site
    January 3, 2014 8:24 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Derek Handley

    What a lovely blog post to have waiting for me after a day at work! That was the perfect way to wind down. You both seem to have been in fine form – funny stuff as always.

    The first episode is strikingly grim, isn’t it? I was really surprised to read it went out at 6 p.m. I just watched it last week and really liked it – I’ve never seen Season 1, so I’m looking forward to discovering it along with Sue.

    Welcome back Neil and Sue!

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    January 3, 2014 8:29 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Gareth

    It’s hard to believe that the BBC didn’t have very serious reservations about putting The Way Back on at 6pm, given how resolutely non-child-friendly it is. I remember watching it (aged 7) and my parents expressing concern to each other about whether I wasn’t too young for it during the montagey bit where Blake’s being beaten up and brainwashed.

    I was just waiting for the first appearance of the Liberator, which I fell in love with at first sight when Mat Irvine took the model in to Swap Shop the week before. I was pissed off that it didn’t appear at all until the second episode.

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    January 3, 2014 8:44 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Steph Adams

    So glad you’re doing this! Blake’s 7 was my total obsession in the Dr Who was yours Neil. Even the wobbly sets were great and I love the fact that all the characters are flawed! As for episode one; other than being blown away by the gale force winds all those flares must have created, I always thought Bran Foster looked like an extra out of “Planet of the Apes” – – probably just me though. Gripped already and am gagging to find out Sue’s opinion on KA!

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    January 3, 2014 8:45 pmPosted 3 years ago
    jsd

    Welcome back Neil & Sue! I loved Blake’s 7 way back (see what I did there) when although I haven’t seen it in quite a while. Looking forward to the blog. You’re off to a good start.

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    January 3, 2014 8:48 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Unmutual

    *ahem* I believe those yellow sofas were actually seen twice in Doctor Who – once in Timelash, and the other I forget (possibly Tom Baker), but I am embarassed to confess I knew at one point.

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      January 4, 2014 10:05 amPosted 3 years ago
      Thing_4

      … *cough* I believe that the other episode is Robots of Death by Chris Boucher (who is, of course, the script editor for this episode and one of the main writers for Blake’s 7).

      • January 11, 2014 1:26 pmPosted 3 years ago
        Adam Whitehead

        I think we can piece this together:

        Chris Boucher wrote ‘Robots of Death’, which was made in 1977. The BBC, cash-strapped due to the extra shielding needed in the studio to contain Tom Baker’s ego, paid him in sofas. He sold them back to the BBC to be used in BLAKE’s 7. Then the BBC gave the sofas to Paul Darrow, who had fallen in love with them. Eight years later, when making ‘Timelash’, the BBC regrettably informed Darrow that the episode would have no seating, so Darrow lent them back to the BBC.

        🙂

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          February 19, 2014 1:30 pmPosted 3 years ago
          Paul B. =:o}

          Yes! YES! That *MUST* be it!!! =:o>

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    January 3, 2014 9:21 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Grant M

    “Is it bad that I’ve really missed this?” Happy New Year, Neil and Sue, and welcome back!

    Wow, how posh are we all going to be in the future? The rebels came across like a Lower Sixth debate society: “Gather round, chaps; I say quiet down, won’t you?”, and even Michael Keating seemed to be trying hard to deliver his lines in his best RP.

    I thought the dome SFX looked pretty good for its time. I was also mightily impressed by the crank-handle technology needed to bypass security and open the door to the surface.

    I just knew that bloke with the limp would turn out to be a wrong ‘un, but I did like how the script kept us guessing about Blake’s (or Roger as he will now be known) loyalties early on.

    Hmm, a “Breaking Bad” blog doesn’t sound half bad. “Adventures with the Wife and Meth”. You’d need a shed-load of funding via Kickstarter, of course, and I’m not sure the updates would make a lot of sense, but I’m game if you two are.

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    January 3, 2014 9:49 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Mad Mullah

    Strap yourself in everybody..this could be a bumpy ride.
    Blakes 7 was a good as TV got in 1978 – in the opinion of this, then 12 year old, viewer.Better even than Doctor Who.
    Watching them again now..well, thank God for nostalgia.

    Welcome back Neil & Sue!

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      March 2, 2014 6:19 pmPosted 3 years ago
      David Gregory

      I was 11 going on 12 when this episode was shown and do actually remember watching it at the time. Now it’s ***ahem*** years later, I’m 47 going on 48, so time to have a second look at it me thinks 🙂

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    January 3, 2014 9:59 pmPosted 3 years ago
    CD

    Welcome back! ! Delighted to see the wife and blake up and running:-)

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    January 3, 2014 10:02 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Rassilon

    WB You two……

    & Sues off to cracking start, missing the obvious, noting the less obvious, commenting on the furniture well except the obvious & various office swivel chairs for the prisoners to sit in during take off flight (Honestly who thought that would be one safe (well you think about it & try it) & convincing) & “TFN”ing to her blessed hearts content.

    Sally Knyvette used to run a pub in Teignmouth (Shaldon) IIRC, where the band MUSE were formed.

    Three questions…..well two

    Is that Liberator the Titan Find Model or another (I never saw if there was a reply on FB to that question)?

    There was a cat who belonged to the farmer next door, which we named Servalan. She was a right bitch. But she died. At least we think she died…

    The farmer or the cat was nicknamed Servalan & died, normally bitches are female dogs not cats which are called mollys or queens (Googled that!).

    & onto Spacefall (with the even cheaper & less convincing Space:1999 Comlock & it’s laughable wall clip, which my Dad had in abundance in the shed – Fortunately I don’t recall him offering to install it to my wall) & the real star of the show herself DSV2 & it’s associated AI.

    PS For some reason the school firewall thinks thewifeandblake.com is Adult\Pornography…Anything you can do about that?

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    January 3, 2014 10:11 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Mike

    Anyone want to lay bets on whether Sue will recognise B—n B—–d when he booms into view real soon now?

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    January 3, 2014 11:01 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Jazza1971

    Great to have you back. 2014 is shaping up to be a good year.

  • January 3, 2014 11:35 pmPosted 3 years ago
    encyclops

    Just as I thought I was starting to outgrow Doctor Who in my teenage years, I was getting into Blake’s 7, which at the time seemed a bit harder-edged and more intense and all that nonsense. That’s a teenager for you. Still, it somehow seems appropriate that you finish up with classic Who and then start into this, and I can’t even express how much I’m looking forward to revisiting this lovable and yes, often hilarious show with you two. I never thought this would be real and here it is!

    Luckily I’ve just rewatched the series recently and it’ll be fresh in my mind. Most of it was actually better than I’d remembered, including this first episode, which is one of the reasons I’ll never be able to wholeheartedly slag off Terry Nation.

    “I like this. It reminds me of The Prisoner.”

    If I were the airpunching type I would have punched some air right then. Not because of the compliment to “The Way Back” but because of the use of The Prisoner as the standard of quality.

    “Not really. Oh sorry, she was talking to Roger.”

    Best line of the entry, followed up by the Samantha Fox crack.

    I was going to exult over how many more of these we have to look forward to, but I don’t know if Neil’s keeping that number a secret from Sue. BUT THERE ARE A LOT!

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    January 4, 2014 1:19 amPosted 3 years ago
    Harl Bafarley

    Hurrah! I’m marginally more excited about this than I was with the Who one. Go Neil & Sue!

  • January 4, 2014 3:53 amPosted 3 years ago
    Iain Coleman

    The thing about Terry Nation is, he does generally write some great first episodes. How things go after that depends very much on the script editor. Thankfully Blake’s 7 has Chris Boucher, but even so this is an atypical first episode even by Nation’s standards. At some point during season 1 I’m always tempted to jump straight ahead to “Shadow”, but that would be quite against the spirit of this blog.

    I’m glad Sue appreciates Gareth Thomas’s lead performance. It’s a bloody hard role to pull off, and it’s hard to think of any other actor of the time who could have done it and who the production might have managed to afford.

    • January 4, 2014 7:22 pmPosted 3 years ago
      encyclops

      At some point during season 1 I’m always tempted to jump straight ahead to “Shadow”

      One of the interesting things about this blog is that unlike with Doctor Who, I have no idea what the “fan consensus” is about Blake’s 7. So when I see comments like this, I get excited — that’s one of my first favorites too. But I do quite like the end of this season and there are a few more gems along the way, I think.

      I’ve been trying to guess which episodes, if any, might get perfect scores. There are a lot of B7 episodes I like but very few that stand out as uncommonly great. I’d put money down that if any 10/10s (or 7/7s) are given out, S3E6 will get one. I also really like S2E11 but I can think of at least one moment that’ll cost it a point. It’s hard to think of which others might find special favor with Sue; S4E9 might be in with a chance?

      And I’m REALLY looking forward to her reactions to the Ben Steed episodes. I’ll say no more.

      • January 6, 2014 10:39 amPosted 3 years ago
        Iain Coleman

        I don’t think there is much of a fan consensus about Blake’s 7. Una McCormack did a survey project some years ago to try to identify how fandom rated the episodes and why. She found that there were five or so entirely different ways of viewing Blake’s 7: one group of fans views it as political SF, another views it as a worldbuilding exercise, yet another mainly watches for slashable moments, and so on. Each group has radically different opinions on which episodes are the best or worst.

        It seems quite appropriate that Blake’s 7 fans should be a motley bunch with irreconcilable worldviews that can never agree on a common position.

      • January 11, 2014 1:30 pmPosted 3 years ago
        Adam Whitehead

        DWB in the 1990s (actually when I think they were still a DOCTOR WHO fanzine, before going mainstream) ran a big poll which suggested that the best episode was, er, ‘The Way Back’, which took them by surprise. The cliffhangers all rated highly (‘Star One’, ‘Terminal’ and ‘Blake’ were all quite high up) as well.

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    January 4, 2014 6:52 amPosted 3 years ago
    Heath Belden

    What a treat to get this a couple days early! And I get to let out the breath I’ve been holding since halfway through December when I realized there was a decent chance Sue would despise B7. I’m so happy that Sue is recognizing what I love about this show as much as she did with Doctor Who!

    Really looking forward to the next episode!

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    January 4, 2014 7:11 amPosted 3 years ago
    Tom Brevoort

    I haven’t seen the series in years, but that first episode of BLAKES 7 is ridiculously good, particularly if you’ve got little idea as to what the series is going to turn into. For much of the show, it seems as though Veron and his girlfriend are being set up to be prominent characters, possibly two of the aforementioned seven, so when they fail to get Blake off by episode’s end, and are instead shown killed themselves, there’s a genuine sense of shock and upheaval–a feeling that absolutely anything can happen on this show. That’s a feeling that the series, through all of its ups and downs, never quite shook, right up till the final episode, and it’s one of the things that makes it so compelling.

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    January 4, 2014 10:30 amPosted 3 years ago
    Kevin Jordan

    I was 11 when Blakes 7 was first transmitted. I was already a huge SF fan and yes I was into Doctor Who of course – but from this first episode I was hooked. For four years I became a Blakes 7 fan first and foremost.

    My friends and I made relicas of the guns and teleport bracelets. We made our own episodes on paper, in models and out in the street. I had a schoolboy crush on Jenna Stannis. Even now I just have to hear that fantastic theme music and I’m that kid again. It was MY show.

    Watching it again this morning, “The Way Back” has held up amazingly well. Scarily well in fact. It’s compelling and unflinching and dark. Blake is a great central character, the set design is minimalist but functional and the acting is great. Best of all there was no neat ending – the close of the episode makes you want to see the next one right away. What a start to a new show.

    I’d forgotten the odd door noises and the smoke guns (thanks Sue!). But that image of the city dome towering over the countryside has been burned into my brain for 30+ years.

    I’m looking forward to the next 26 weeks… I can’t wait to it experience it all again.

    By the way, surely I am not the only one who is strangely pleased that the end credits change in time with the beats of the theme music?

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    January 4, 2014 11:00 amPosted 3 years ago
    Simon Harries

    It’s an old series, Sue. It waits. Take care you don’t sigh before you reach the end! Welcome back both of you – a superb first entry and I can’t wait to see how it all works out!

  • January 4, 2014 11:19 amPosted 3 years ago
    Frank Collins

    Welcome back Neil and Sue.

    Good to note that this first episode defied Sue’s expectations of it. It only turns into ‘Red Dwarf’ later!

    ‘The Way Back’ is a deliciously grim piece of telly and wonderful how it’s 1970s concerns are still with us – the aforementioned Yewtree, the NSA listening in to all our phone calls and reading our emails etc. Dystopian stuff that’s always been the hallmark of great British SF. Good to see Sue using The Prisoner as a benchmark.

    Flares and tabard combos, silly door noises and the Walkman freak out of the data controller aside, it’s also an exercise in economy. Faced with a bog standard drama budget (the same money once allotted to ‘Softly, Softly’ I believe) producer Maloney concentrates on performances and characters and simply gets his designer to recycle the same sets throughout the episode. It’s simple and effective and adds to the sense of claustrophobia and paranoia.

    Like others here, I’d forgotten how brutal it was. The massacre of Foster’s rebels might look like a firework party getting out of hand but it certainly doesn’t flinch away from showing multiple deaths on screen. Nation clearly wanted a through line from the Daleks to the Federation and he wanted to be sure the viewer understood the ideology Blake was setting himself against.

    Quick nod to Dudley Simpson. Not just for the magnificent theme but also for the cue used during the trial scene where sound effects become the rhythm for the cue itself. Considering the budget only allowed for nine minutes of incidental music per episode, he spots his opportunities and uses them well.

    What’s also wonderful is the central performance from Gareth Thomas. Maloney always casted well and he lucked out with Thomas. Blake’s liberal principles are teased effectively into life by the episode’s conclusion. And the two members of what will become his crew, Vila and Jenna, are already sketched in rather deftly in the few scenes they all have together.

    I wonder when the Star Wars influence really began? The shot of the London taking off from the domed city as Tarrant and his troops look on is more or less the Falcon leaving Mos Eisley in the ‘untampered’ version of the film. Perhaps it’s total coincidence.

    Look forward to more! Standard by seven.

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      January 4, 2014 12:03 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Dave Sanders

      It’ll be Seek-Locate-Destroy, I’m positive of it.

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      January 4, 2014 12:19 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Harriet

      the same money once allotted to ‘Softly, Softly’ I believe

      My memory says Z-Cars, but it’s sometimes wrong. And they are related, of course.

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        January 4, 2014 1:29 pmPosted 3 years ago
        Frank Collins

        According to ‘Blake’s 7 The Inside Story’ Ronnie Marsh apparently offered Maloney the job to produce a cheap space series with the budget of ‘Softly, Softly’ just as Maloney finished work on ‘Talons of Weng Chiang’. Whatever the budget was, Ian Scoones recalled using a huge chunk of the money for the series’ effects just for the London sequences. ‘Z Cars’ was still running when ‘Blake’s 7’ went into production on series two so I reckon it was originally bequeathed the money allocated to ‘Softly’.

        Pennant Roberts recalled seeing Star Wars but it didn’t open until December 1977 in the UK and by then they were well into production on ‘Blake’s 7’ so our Star Wars spotting would likely be around ‘Seek-Locate-Destroy’ as Dave suggests.

        Pedant mode off. 🙂

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    January 4, 2014 11:59 amPosted 3 years ago
    Dave Sanders

    That’s Nigel Lambert as the data controller, everyone. Can you tell what we’re looking for on today’s Look Around You? Yes that’s right, the subject today is ‘conspiracy’.

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    January 4, 2014 12:12 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Gareth M

    Fantastic to see the blog up so soon, nice to see a Kickstarter-backed project that doesn’t get stalled.

    The thing that always strikes me with The Way Back is the crime they decide to frame Blake with.

    It’s something that they’d never do on TV today, I’m still surprised that they did it back then. It’s a brave choice of crime to use to frame Blake with. But it does demonstrate the corruptness of the Federation very quickly.

    Is the title really ‘Terry Nation’s Blake’s 7’?

    It’s interesting, I thought that it was established somehow that it is Earth in the opening shots. Maybe I’ve just been assuming it’s Earth because that’s where things get set first. Sue coming to it fresh and not expecting that and expecting something to establish an Earth-setting is something I’d never considered.

    When Blake’s confined he’s in a really awkward position to watch Earth disappear into the distance. That’ll give him a sore neck after a while.
    Although, what I don’t get is the guard has a go at him for being difficult, but Blake’s never been on one of these ships before, so how would he know how to get ready for take off?

    Awww, why can’t Sue mark all the episodes out of 7?

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      January 4, 2014 1:01 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Harriet

      Awww, why can’t Sue mark all the episodes out of 7?

      Hear, hear. Would that mean this one being re-marked as 7/7?

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      January 4, 2014 4:11 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Frankymole

      It’s hard to think of another crime disgusting enough for Blake to be totally discredited and unable to be seen as a hero or martyr. Terrorism wouldn’t cut it.

      • January 11, 2014 1:35 pmPosted 3 years ago
        Adam Whitehead

        The recently attempted remake would have had Blake framed for murdering his wife, apparently. That works as well, but it’s rather more cliched and it’s rather surprising that a modern show would shy away from the original premise, especially as the studio considering it was the same one that made the hard-as-nails new BSG.

        Thankfully, that project seems to have died a death.

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          January 11, 2014 2:47 pmPosted 3 years ago
          John Miller

          “The recently attempted remake would have had Blake framed for murdering his wife, apparently. ”

          …but she was really killed by a one-armed man?

          • January 11, 2014 3:35 pmPosted 3 years ago
            Adam Whitehead

            With a gun for the other arm?

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      January 4, 2014 6:03 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Gareth

      The title isn’t actually “Terry Nation’s Blake’s 7”, insofar as it was never called that on-screen. Nation’s signature, complete with odd way of writing the initial “T” so it looks like an “N”, was added above the logo on things like the B7 novels and annuals, though.

      The prison guard unfairly penalising a new inmate for an infraction of a rule that they won’t necessarily know about yet is a pretty common trope in prison fiction. It rears its head again in Space Fall, when Raiker says “There are other rules… but you’ll learn about those when you break them”. It’s all about underlining that the prisoners have no rights and the system makes no bones about being unfair.

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        January 4, 2014 6:53 pmPosted 3 years ago
        Frankymole

        Wasn’t the “Nerry Nation” signature over the Blakes 7 logo also visible on the closing caption of the end titles, just as the music hits the “vwaaawwww, vwaaaaw” end notes?

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          January 4, 2014 8:43 pmPosted 3 years ago
          Gareth

          Nope, never on TV. Nation always got a “Series created by” caption during the closing credits instead.

          The “Nerry Nation” device only seemed to get used on certain items of merchandise. It was on the books and annuals, but not the official BBC Records single of the theme music. It wasn’t on any of the VHS or DVD releases either.

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            February 21, 2014 9:21 amPosted 3 years ago
            Robert Dick

            When Chris Boucher did an afternoon with the Edinburgh Doctor Who group many many moons ago, I got him to write “Chris Boucher’s” in front of Blakes 7 on something I got signed. He said if he crashed the car on the way home, he wanted me to know I’d set Terry’s spirit on him…

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      January 4, 2014 6:30 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Ashlea

      They did ‘child abuse framing’ in Utopia recently – now that’s a bleak show! But it’s the only other example I can think of and that is really not for kids.

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    January 4, 2014 1:04 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Alex A

    Welcome back both! Big fan of your previous blog & book.
    Loved the Torchwood comment.
    I was a big B7 fan. The final episode went out on my birthday!
    I’ve heard all the interesting dialogue is down to Chris Boucher (the script editor), I recommend his “Star Cops” as your “third album”. Short but good IMHO.

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    January 4, 2014 6:08 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Gareth

    I do like the bit near the very end of the closing credits where the cameraman who’s got the exciting job of panning slowly over the big painting of a starfield gets bored, and speeds up noticeably.

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    January 4, 2014 6:32 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Ashlea

    Thanks Neil and Sue, great start! I haven’t seen it since 1978 when I had been looking forward to it for ages, so I’m really relieved that it comes across so well – not just in my head!

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    January 4, 2014 7:53 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Richard Lyth

    Welcome back to Neil and Sue! I haven’t seen Blakes 7 since it was on UK Gold in the 90s, and my DVD boxset just arrived yesterday in time for me to follow along with this blog.

    The first episode is incredibly grim, especially for teatime on BBC1, but still holds up quite well. Bold of them to spread the origin story over the first few episodes – if it was made nowadays they would have introduced the whole team and the Liberator by the end of episode 1, so people knew what kind of a show it was. After this episode, people would have been expecting nothing but bleakness and violent death for the rest of the series. Thankfully it lightened up later on!

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    January 5, 2014 1:53 amPosted 3 years ago
    Professor Thascales

    I can’t wait to find out what (possibly sarcastic?) things she has to say about Servalan.

    BTW is that the real Paul Darrow’s voice on the Space Fall trailer, or an impression?

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      January 5, 2014 3:09 amPosted 3 years ago
      Gareth

      That’s the real PD.

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    January 5, 2014 2:16 amPosted 3 years ago
    Bounding Bounders!

    This was a great debut for Sue into the world of Blake’s 7. Not sure, but ‘The Way Back’ might possibly be in the top three Blake 7 episodes, (that I’ve seen), so a 7/10 shouldn’t be too bad, considering…

    SPEED STANDARD BY SUE!

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    January 5, 2014 2:45 amPosted 3 years ago
    BWT

    I love “Blake’s 7”, even if it doesn’t have an apostrophe. This was gritty stuff, not only back in 1978 but even now. It has a bleak vibe running through the whole thing and this starts in “The Way Back”. Perhaps they should have called the show “Bleak 7″…?

    Mind you, with Sue’s “space Amish” comment, maybe “Blake’s Sabbath” would have been better? With episode titles like “Into the Void”, “Paranoid” and “War Pigs”…? Anyone?

    Okay, I’ll get me coat.

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    January 5, 2014 3:09 pmPosted 3 years ago
    wyngatecarpenter

    Terry ****ing Nation! My thoughts exactly having just watched Death To The Daleks. Has anyody else wondered why the sonic screwdriver still works on Exxilon? Perhaps it also uses psychokinesis.
    Anyway I’m glad you’re doing this as I’m a bit late for the Dr Who blog. I watched The Way Back the day it was first shown which happened to be my 8th birthday. Could I have been more excited? By the end of it I was utterly bored and couldn’t remember anything other than it had a dome in it.
    I’ve seen it several times since and think it’s massively overated. Very dark, etc but with wooden characters and clunky dialogue aplenty. Always a major shortcoming of Terry ****ing Nation. If he was good at anything it was writing action adventure (in a BBC sort of way) so I always fing Way Back a bit dreary. I like the non-speaking ancient Greek philospher that’s in the rebel group in the underground car park though.

  • January 6, 2014 2:38 amPosted 3 years ago
    Doc Whom

    I predict that every day between now and Summer, Neil will have to strive to be simultaneously cooler and harder and (most importantly) camper than Avon in order to stop Sue shifting her affections. Perhaps he could start accessorising with some studded leather tunics.

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    January 6, 2014 8:08 amPosted 3 years ago
    Sarah Hadley

    That first episode really is *impossibly* bleak, isn’t it? I remember not liking it very much as an adolescent, in fact it took me quite some time to move on to the next episode (this was the ’90s, and I’d been sent the videos by a friend). Looking forward to revisiting the series with Sue, though! Next time we meet Avon…things start to get a little spikier…

  • January 6, 2014 11:04 amPosted 3 years ago
    Paul Mudie

    Welcome back! I can tell it’s going to be great fun to see how Sue reacts to the heady mix of grimness and high camp that is Blake’s 7. 😀

    • January 6, 2014 11:04 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Doc Whom

      Grimness and high camp? Isn’t that the translation of Hartlepool’s town motto.

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    January 6, 2014 11:26 amPosted 3 years ago
    Mycroft Badger

    Welcome back to the land of cheap BBC sci-fi!!
    I always remembered B7 going out later in the evening, but then I was 4 or 5 when it started and easily confused! Even now, I find the show a lot bleaker with what is essentially a tale of criminals (Blake – anarchist, Jenna – Smuggler etc) kicking against the establishment. Or something. Anyway, could you imagine an episode of Doctor Who where he lands and is immediately accused of messing with kids? **shudder**. In just those charges alone, and the massacre in the tunnels, this show is starting out to appeal to those who are slightly older. Good strong first episode, a score of 7 or 8 is probably about right. BTW, I wanted to call our dog after a DW character, but the wife vetoed. I had to make do with calling the car Romana…

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    January 6, 2014 10:24 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Shan

    Looks like I picked a bad week to give up commenting on the Internet …

    Missed out on when comments were open for Doctor Who and have been much looking forward to this!

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    January 7, 2014 10:28 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Neil and Lucy

    Great to see the new blog up and running! We are going to do our best to watch along with you in our parallel girlfriend and Blake experiment although Lucy doesn’t have Sue’s proven track record of putting up with dodgy 70s effects over an extended period. She rated the first episode 7.5/10, concluding her viewing with a cry of “Death to the Administration!” (She may be taking it a bit more seriously than I expected but she did take the death of the lawyer very hard.)

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    January 8, 2014 7:13 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Sean Alexander

    I have a confession to make: I never saw a first-run episode of Blake’s 7 in its four year run. Between 1978 and 1981 we were a strictly one television household. So I caught series one during the graveyard slot opposite Grandstand in the early noughties. And series four – bizarrely – during the summer repeat in 1981. Which is a little like watching the final episode of Breaking Bad and then splurging fifty quid on the box set.

    Aah, box sets. In the summer of 2006 (or was it 2007…in all this excitement I kinda forget) WH Smith ensnared me with the complete series one and two for £20 each. And within a fortnight I had the other two, already in the midst of a marathon watch that saw me consume 52 episodes in about 36 days. At my peak I was Blakeing three episodes a day. I blame the lack of a portable in 1978 personally.

    So, the obligatory Doctor Who mention – obligatory in the sense that this is from a certain Terry (F**king) Nation and made by the BBC just as Tom and Leela were under new orders to ditch the Gothic and the drownings and make th kids laugh instead of wetting the bed. In fact, one of the earliest shots of The Way Back sees snivelling Kellner from Revenge of the Cybermen (playing someone called Tarrant…there may be the start of a pattern here) and come the end credits we’ve added Michael Keating, Ian Scoones, Dudley, Boucher, Maloney and Michael E. Briant to the rosta of once and future connections.

    And to think this went out just SIX days after Star Wars – long before the days of Disney and Ja-Ja – hit the UK cinemas. I was 5 and dystopic sci-fi was something even Terrance Dicks’ novelisations hadn’t yet discovered.

    And much of the Terry (f**king) Nation tropes are present and correct. First of all The Way Back is grim (I would say gritty, but that particular euphemism ha died a death of late) and there’s more than a whiff of Orwell about the future Earth of mind-controlling drugs, oligarchic federations and the kind of dress sense that drove Peter Cushing to rebellion a couple of decades earlier.

    So anyway, Blake. He’s got Gambit’s hair and runs down corridors like a man carrying a few spare pounds (there may be another pattern developing here…) His brother and sister were murdered four years ago but – thanks to the kind of brain-washing machine that both Total Recall & Eternal Sunshine of the Mind would take a leaf from – he’s forgotten his rebellious ways until he’s poached by a couple of similarly drab-garbed and set up for the fall when a mass execution of political renegades end up sprayed all over the underground car park of this most wrist-slitting of futures. This isn’t the original Battlestar Gallactica by any strech.

    With our man now subject to the kind of kangaroo court that saw the Birmingham Six go down for a stretch (you’ve got to have doubts about any judicial system that uses the basis of Deal or No Deal) and Blake is on a one-way ticket to Cygnus Alpha before you can say Operation Yewtree (this was the the BBC in the 70s after all).

    On the way he meets Jenna – caught for the crimes of smuggling and excessive hairspray use – and Villa, who’s so sticky-fingered that he’s got Blake’s watch before he’s even acclimatised to his new surroundings. Leaving Earth behind – and with his defense team left dead under suspicious circumstances – this is about as atypical of modern sci-fi as you can get. Right now it’s six parts Survivors and a dollop of Moonbase 3. And as Blake looks mournfully at the vanishing Earth you’re tempted to expect the legend ROJ BLAKE WILL RETURN in the style of the end credits of a Bond film.

    And yes, they should have called it ‘Avon’

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      January 9, 2014 12:54 amPosted 3 years ago
      Frankymole

      Jenna could’ve smuggled quite a bit of contraband in her hairpiece extension. I like to think it’s the equivalent of Han Solo’s hollow decks (as opposed to holodecks which are a daft idea).

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    January 8, 2014 9:28 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Sean Alexander

    I’ll be reading Miwk’s ‘Maximum Power’ alongside watching each episode. Except for the ones that they made up. Obviously.

  • January 10, 2014 10:22 amPosted 3 years ago
    isenhand

    “Do you notice anything odd about the logo?”

    – it was in “Death to the Daleks”. Fancy spotting the sofas but not that!

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    January 10, 2014 11:40 amPosted 3 years ago
    Mark P

    We’ll never call one of our cats Tarrant.

    Del Tarrant from later in the series, Dev Tarrant from this episode and Deeta Tarrant (Brother of Del) from a later episode. All related?

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    January 14, 2014 8:07 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Andrew Ford

    Is it wrong that I quite like the Geoff Love disco version of the theme?

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      January 15, 2014 5:00 amPosted 3 years ago
      Frankymole

      No, it’s brilliant.

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    January 15, 2014 10:27 amPosted 3 years ago
    Magnifico

    I always thought it was Raj Blake, certainly never thought it was “Roger” Blake. I went and looked and, lo and behold its Roj Blake. Funny how names can be heard differently.

    And, most of all… welcome back!

    • January 15, 2014 11:44 amPosted 3 years ago
      isenhand

      If memory serves, the name “Roger” comes form combining the (Old English?) names “Roj” and “Kerr”.

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        January 27, 2014 5:11 pmPosted 3 years ago
        Frankymole

        Well now, there are plenty of fan fictions that try to combine Roj and Kerr… but we won’t go there!

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    January 27, 2014 3:46 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Bryan Millar

    I’m currently reading your book Adventures With The Wife In Space and thoroughly enjoying it, some of Sue’s comments have me laughing out loud. Didn’t know the two of you have stared on B7, been trying to get my wife watching both shows too, only success being the New Who so far.

  • February 12, 2014 11:18 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Joe Fairbairn

    Great start, sorry this comment is a bit late, real life 😉 it’s fantastic to have you guys back, I’m a huge Blake fan, can’t wait to hear how Sue copes with the mighty series 2 – but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Standard by ten!

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    February 19, 2014 7:37 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Paul B. =:o}

    Having missed the boat with “…Wife in Space”, I’m delighted to catch this series in it’s early stages.

    [SETTLES IN WITH POPCORN AND A HAPPY GRIN]

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      February 19, 2014 8:26 pmPosted 3 years ago
      wyngatecarpenter

      Hurry up! We’ve just finished Series One!!

  • February 24, 2014 11:28 pmPosted 3 years ago
    2paw

    Oh, thank you, I LOVE Blake’s 7. Way back (oh, unintended episode title joke) in 1982 I was on Country Teaching Prac and I bought my first VHS tape, it cost $21-95, and my mum and dad recorded Blake’s 7 for me while I was away. For years my friends and I watched the old video tapes and then, finally, we were able to buy DVDs and lo! all the rebels outside the dome were not wearing pale grey clothes, they were patterned and coloured.
    I never watch the very last episode. I like to think that it didn’t happen.

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    April 14, 2014 3:14 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Karl Jones

    Hello.
    Bit late to the party. Hopefully be caught up soon.
    Vivid memory of Blake’s 7 and having to go in early from playing football in the street to watch it. Not sure which series. I’d only have been six when it began.

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    June 3, 2014 9:06 amPosted 2 years ago
    Fiona

    The swish-swish-swish of the Federation-issue nylon uniforms is deafening. And, if you just listen to the sound of the massacre without the picture, its bizarre. It sounds like someone is killing a crowd of seagulls. Plus, when Bran Foster is giving his speech to the meeting, if you cover his head, you’d definitely think that was a woman there.

    But it’s wonderful. It really is. Its frightening and cold, and the fave word, bleak.

    Again if you just listen with no picture…like read the blog and let it play, its miles more scary.

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    June 6, 2014 9:53 pmPosted 2 years ago
    dora

    Hi guys, reading about the swishing made me think of Provine in Countdown. Everytime he swished I wanted to oil his pants. It s like the annkying creaking the tin man made in the Wizard of Oz! Didn t care too much for Bran Foster.Liked the lawyer though and his girlfriend. Felt bad for Ravella in that outfit.

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    June 7, 2014 10:23 amPosted 2 years ago
    Fiona

    Hey Dora! I’m glad you are joining in! The blog is up to Rumours of Death now. Did you read the intro?
    That’s true about Provine but he is so sinister I ignored it.

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    June 7, 2014 10:24 pmPosted 2 years ago
    dora

    Rumours has the makings of a greek tragedy. Needing a haircut desperately nothwithstanding Avon s expressions in this make him almost androidic but with the anger and vengeance thrown in. Like in the teleport where he imagines Anna being tortured then he draws is gun with that look on his face. She didn t deserve that look the bitch. Love his 2 handed smash to that guard though. Everyone thinks it s a karate chop but I don t think so. I liked the way Vila supported him through the whole thing, that was cool.

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