Blake's 7

Blake's 7 was a human television show of which the First Doctor was not fond. (PROSE: A Big Hand for the Doctor) Tegan Jovanka mentioned the series once, saying that she understood the concept of transmats — or in Blake's 7 terms, teleportation — having seen it on the show. (PROSE: Cold Fusion)

In a parallel universe, actors from Blake's 7 were hypnotised by Beep the Meep. (COMIC: TV Action!)

Blake's 7 was the favourite television series of Gavin Oliver Scott. In 2600, Bernice Summerfield obtained two episodes of the series for him on VHS. She noted that Roj Blake seemed to exist both as a fictional character and as a real person, "which can't be right." (PROSE: The Least Important Man) She also had mentioned knowing someone who was in Blake's 7, which she quickly qualified with "the terrorist group, not the TV show." (PROSE: Death and Diplomacy)

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

Blake's 7 was a dystopian science fiction series produced by the British Broadcasting Corporation at BBC Television Centre from 1978 to 1981. Since they were produced essentially "next door" to each other, it and Doctor Who shared many cast and crew members. Perhaps the most notable connection is that it was created and often written by Terry Nation. Paul Darrow, Michael Keating, Jacqueline Pearce, Peter Tuddenham and Brian Croucher, who all had starring roles in Blake's 7, have appeared as guest stars on Doctor Who, while Sally Knyvette, David Jackson, Jan Chappell, Stephen Greif, Steven Pacey and Josette Simon have appeared in Doctor Who Big Finish audio stories. Notable guest stars on Blake's 7 included Robert Beatty, Leslie Schofield, Brian Blessed, Pamela Salem, Deep Roy, Peter Miles, Peter Craze, John Leeson, David Bailie, Julian Glover, John Bennett, Brian Miller, Jane Sherwin, Morris Barry, John Abineri, Kevin Stoney, Tom Chadbon, Aubrey Woods, Denis Carey, Bruce Purchase, Richard Franklin, Michael Sheard, Michael Gough, Colin Baker, Valentine Dyall, Ronald Leigh-Hunt, Stewart Bevan, Lynda Bellingham, Richard Hurndall and David Collings.

Michael E. Briant, Pennant Roberts, Douglas Camfield, George Spenton-Foster, Derek Martinus, Gerald Blake, Andrew Morgan, Fiona Cumming, Mary Ridge and Viktors Ritelis were among the directors and the script editor was Chris Boucher. Robert Holmes also contributed four scripts to the series.

David Maloney produced the first three series and Dudley Simpson exclusively scored it. Most of the other departments also had significant connections to Doctor Who, as well. Ken Ledsham and Roger Murray-Leach were amongst its production designers. Costume designers included Barbara Kidd and June Hudson. Sheelagh Wells was a make-up designer, while Peter Chapman was a major force in the camera department, and Brian Clemett was the main person providing studio lighting.

In other words, Blake's 7 looks and feels very much like Doctor Who of the late 1970s, almost to the extent that one could believe the two series are set in different parts of the same universe.

Consequently, British fans of the original version of Doctor Who tend to also like Blake's 7. However, North American fans of a similar age may not share this affinity to quite the same relative degree, because Blake's 7 was not widely broadcast there. Blake's 7 has not, as of November 2013, received a Region 1 DVD release.

On both sides of the Atlantic, most fans brought into Doctor Who by the BBC Wales version have no special affinity for Blake's 7, if they even know what it is.

In-universe crossovers[edit | edit source]

Occasional nods to Blake's 7 have appeared in DWU fiction, though none of it has been televised. This is mostly down to Chris Boucher, since he had significant runs on both shows.

His novel Corpse Marker, a sequel to TV: The Robots of Death, features the psychostrategist Carnell, a character who had first appeared in the Blake's 7 episode Weapon. The novel indicates that he settled on Kaldor two years after he first went on the run from the Federation, which would have followed his failure in Weapon. The character appeared again in the Kaldor City series of audio stories. Many fans of the series have postulated that Iago, as played by Paul Darrow, the main protagonist in the series, is in fact Kerr Avon going for his own reasons under an assumed name. Magic Bullet Productions have neither confirmed nor denied this. Most significantly, in AUDIO: Metafiction, Iago describes his life before he arrived on Kaldor, in doing so he makes many references to plot elements that mirror those experienced by Avon as featured in Blake's 7. If taken a face value, these references could be taken as positive confirmation that Iago is in fact Avon. However the nature of the play, as suggested by its title, implies that all may not be what it seems.

Proposed crossovers[edit | edit source]

A crossover between the two series was proposed at least twice.

The last episode of Season B of Blake's 7 featured an invasion of the galaxy by aliens, called Andromedans, from outside the Galaxy. The aliens were so powerful that the crew of the Liberator pitched in with the Federation to fight them off. Terry Nation had wanted to feature the Daleks as the invading force. However, as Chris Boucher recalls, the idea was strongly rejected by the producer and Boucher himself.

Tom Baker and Gareth Thomas, who played Blake, thought it would be amusing for the Doctor and Blake to meet for a few seconds in a corridor on either Doctor Who or Blake's 7, but this idea was, again, overruled.

External links[edit | edit source]

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