jump to navigation

A bit more on Blake’s 7 January 17, 2016

Posted by sjroby in Blake's 7.
trackback

I think I first heard about Blake’s 7 when Starlog did a series of articles about it in the 1980s. I found the first novelization and the episode guide and read them and thought, yeah, seems pretty good, I’ll have to see this.

And then I got a chance to see an episode. I didn’t get through much of it. The special effects, sets, costumes, and the other things people often point to… I couldn’t get past them. I tried again a couple of times, to the same effect.

But people kept going on about how good it was. So, one day, I was at a bookstore with a good video selection and I grabbed the VHS tapes with the first two and last two episodes (I already knew how the series ended, more or less). I decided to give the show a proper chance. I was hooked partway through the first episode. It was much darker than I expected. And through the tapes I found I liked a lot of the dialogue and the characters, despite the special effects and sets and whatnot. I ended up buying a lot more videos. And books. And audios.

At its best, Blake’s 7 is Star Trek turned upside down, Star Wars taken seriously. You’ve got a group of rebels against a corrupt, dictatorial Federation. But the rebels aren’t a group of squeaky clean good guys. There’s a political reformer turned revolutionary, a computer hacker, a smuggler, a thief, and other criminals, who manage to escape a penal colony with a powerful alien starship. As they start to fight the Federation they argue over goals, over tactics, over alliances. They aren’t a happy, united family of voyagers. People die. people make bad choices. People walk into traps or see their plans go spectacularly wrong. And then there’s the brutal ending that people still talk and argue about.

If you’re one of the people who can’t watch old TV shows like the original Star Trek or 1963-1989 Doctor Who because of special effects and all that, don’t bother with Blake’s 7. But if you do like those old shows, and you haven’t seen B7, give it a shot. I recommend starting at the beginning. It’s not available on DVD in North America, but it’s not too difficult to find online if you can’t make use of R2 PAL DVDs. Give it a try. And then get ready for the tie-in books and audios. Especially the audios.

Advertisements

Comments»

No comments yet — be the first.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: