Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Blake's 7 on YouTube!

2018 marks the 40th anniversary of the underrated, underappreciated British television show Blake's 7.  It ran for four years from 1978 to 1981 and over the course of its 52 episodes it broke new ground for science fiction TV in many ways. It told a continuing story of a group of rebels working against an oppressive, authoritarian Federation of planets. Each new season saw a rotating cast of central characters with a few core people remaining for the whole run. New cast members were necessary because one way this show separated itself from more conventional SF TV of the period was that no character was safe. People died unexpectedly as part of the dystopian narrative and by the third season even Blake himself was lost and presumed killed!

Sadly, this excellent series is not well known in the United States as it was only broadcast briefly in the early 1980's and only in a few cities. It's deadly serious tone combined with the typical British SF  television low budget look made it a difficult sell here, I suppose. But it is exactly that tone and look that attracted me initially as I was already used to the feel of Doctor Who of the period. It was the smart scripts and sharp dialog that kept me coming back for more. I would eventually spend lots of time over the years digging through magazines and books trying to learn more about the show. It was years before I was able to see all the episodes and by then I could quote some scenes perfectly.

But I know I'm part of a small cult on this one. Just not enough people know of the show and I fear that far too many others would not have the ability to forgive it for the problems that it's low budget necessitated. The leap required for the willing suspension of disbelief might be impossible for those that didn't catch the show in a less CGI-filled time. Oh, well.

If you're interested enough to see what all the fuss was once about the entire series seems to be available on YouTube. Below are the first three episodes that set the story in place and introduces the first central cast. My hope is to find another fan of the series and do a 40th Anniversary podcast about Blake and his band of rebels and miscreants. Fingers crossed!

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