The Way Back

Blake's 7Roj Blake is summoned by an old friend to an illegal meeting outside of a city dome on Earth. The meeting is held by a ragtag band of citizens plotting the downfall of the Administration, the arm of the Terran Federation that governs Earth. At that meeting, Blake is told that he has been brainwashed and has been unwittingly drugged ever since five years ago, when he had been the leader of the anti-Administration group and was captured, put up to trial, and forced to confess. Federation guards arrive at the meeting and massacre everyone there except for Blake and a man called Dev Tarrant. Blake slips out and returns to the city under cover of darkness, and, upon entry, is arrested by more guards. Corrupt members of the Administration’s “justice” department decide to use mental-implantation techniques to brainwash three children and put false memories in their mind. The next day, Blake meets his attorney for the first time and discovers that his charges deal not with leaving the city or attending the meeting, but with child molestation. At his trial, Blake is hopelessly defeated with no chance for appeal and is sentenced to spend the rest of his life on the Federation penal colony, Cygnus Alpha. In a holding cell, Blake meets Jenna Stannis and Vila Restal and awaits further word from his attorney. When Blake tells his attorney of the meeting and the Federation slaughter, Varon and his wife leave the city themselves to check on it. They are about to return to the city with enough evidence to topple the Administration, but as Blake’s ship to Cygnus Alpha departs with him on board, defense attorney Varon, along with his wife and his evidence of the massacre Blake witnesses, are destroyed by Federation troops under special agent Dev Tarrant.

written by Terry Nation
directed by Michael E. Briant
music by Dudley Simpson

Cast: Gareth Thomas (Blake), Sally Knyvette (Jenna), Michael Keating (Vila), Robert Beatty (Bran Foster), Jeremy Wilkin (Tarrant), Michael Halsey (Varon), Pippa Steel (Maja), Gillian Bailey (Ravella), Alan Butler (Richie), Margaret John (Arbiter), Peter Williams (Dr. Havant), Susan Field (Alta Morag), Rodney Figaro (Court), Nigel Lambert (Computer Operator), Garry McDermott (Guard)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Space Fall

Blake's 7On the “civil administration ship” London en route to Cygnus Alpha, the prisoners are shown their small accomodations. Subcommander Raiker, the first officer, chastises Blake, propositions Jenna, and basically gives the other prisoners hell. Blake is introduced to some of the other prisoners, including the colossal giant Gan, young Nova – not very experienced, but willing to fight – and Avon, a computer hacker sentenced to Cygnus Alpha after an attempt to bleed the Federation banking cartel dry. Blake, using the others for cover, gets deep into the ship and locates the main computer. During his reconnaissance, the London is buffeted by energy waves from a nearby space battle. Blake sends Avon to sabotage the computer and to open every door on the ship so the prisoners can hijack her. After the ship is in the hands of the prisoners, things start to go wrong. Through a careless mistake on Vila’s part, many of the prisoners are recaptured, and Raiker starts executing them. Blake, Jenna and Avon, in the main computer area, surrender to the crew of the London and are put in restraints. The London’s sensors return to normal function after being knocked out by the energy waves and indicate a gigantic starship nearby. The London crew send three officers across to the ship to investigate, but they are all killed. Not ready to give up the prize money that would come from salvaging an alien ship, Raiker suggests sending Blake, Avon and Jenna across. They discover that the ship’s self-defense mechanism is responsible for the officers’ deaths and deactivate it before it kills them as well. Raiker tries to board the ship and manages to graze Blake with a laser gun, but the alien ship disengages from the London, and Raiker is swept out of the airlock into open space and dies. Blake returns to the flight deck and orders a heading for Cygnus Alpha to rescue the rest of the prisoners.

written by Terry Nation
directed by Pennant Roberts
music by Dudley Simpson

Cast: Gareth Thomas (Blake), Sally Knyvette (Jenna), Paul Darrow (Avon), Michael Keating (Vila), David Jackson (Gan), Glyn Owen (Leylan), Leslie Schofield (Raiker), Norman Tipton (Artix), David Hayward (Teague), Brett Forrest (Krell), Tom Kelly (Nova), Michael MacKenzie (Dainer), Bill Weston (Garton)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Cygnus Alpha

Blake's 7On Cygnus Alpha, a religious cult under Vargas and Kara is preparing for a new batch of recruits: the incoming prisoners on the London. In the meantime, Blake, Jenna and Avon are investigating their new ship, and inadvertently activate the ship’s computer, Zen. With Zen online and responding to voice commands, they make their way to Cygnus Alpha. On arrival, they decide to try the teleport system, which puts Blake down in the middle of a group of cult members. Avon figures out how to pull Blake back to the newly-christened Liberator just before Blake becomes a sacrifice. Blake later goes down, armed, and discovers that Vargas has recruited Gan and the others and that the atmosphere of the planet supposedly is toxic and works its way into the bloodstream, and that a dose of a special drug is required once a day for the rest of the victim’s life to survive. Blake is captured by Vargas, and, before being tortured, is told that the drug is a placebo, and the disease is a myth – and Vargas wants to comandeer the Liberator. Blake refuses and gets a handful of supporters among the prisoners, including Gan, Vila and Arco, to revolt. Most of the cult is destroyed, along with a good deal of the prisoners. Gan and Vila manage to escape to the ship with Blake – and Vargas follows, armed with Blake’s gun. Blake teleports Vargas into open space, killing him, and the Liberator, now almost fully manned, leaves Cygnus Alpha.

written by Terry Nation
directed by Vere Lorrimer
music by Dudley Simpson

Cast: Gareth Thomas (Blake), Sally Knyvette (Jenna), Paul Darrow (Avon), Michael Keating (Vila), David Jackson (Gan), Brian Blessed (Vargas), Glyn Owen (Leylan), Norman Tipton (Artix), Pamela Salem (Kara), Robert Russell (Laran), Peter Childs (Arco), David Ryall (Selman), Peter Tuddenham (Zen)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Time Squad

Blake's 7Blake and the crew are en route to Saurian Major, where they plan to destroy a major Federation communications station. On the way, they find a derelict space capsule, which Blake and Jenna teleport into to investigate. Avon, in the meantime, pilots the Liberator to bring the capsule into a docking bay. The capsule appears to be unmanned but actually contains a couple of alien life forms in suspended animation. Blake, Avon and Vila teleport to Saurian Major and encounter Cally, a telepathic Auron and the sole survivor of the Federation’s attack on the last freedom fighters there. While Blake and company reach the communications station, Jenna and Gan are attacked by the aliens, who are thawing out. It is discovered that Gan is incapable of killing due to a limiter implant in his brain that prevents murderously violent impulses – leaving Jenna on her own to defend the ship and her huge colleague. Blake, Avon, Vila and Cally manage to set charges in the communications station and Gan, weakened by the contradictory impulses from his wish to help Jenna and his limiter implant, teleports them out just before the charges explode. Blake kills the last alien before it gets to Jenna and then invites Cally to join the crew.

written by Terry Nation
directed by Pennant Roberts
music by Dudley Simpson

Cast: Gareth Thomas (Blake), Sally Knyvette (Jenna), Paul Darrow (Avon), Jan Chappell (Cally), Michael Keating (Vila), David Jackson (Gan), Peter Tuddenham (Zen), Tony Smart (Alien), Mark McBride (Alien), Frank Henson (Alien)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Web

Blake's 7Cally begins sabotaging the Liberator and attacks Vila. Blake and Avon rush to stop her as the sensors go inoperative and it rapidly becomes apparent that Cally is not in control of her actions. The Liberator enters a huge, spaceborne web that slows the ship down and brings it to a planet inside the web. Blake teleports down and is injured by a tiny creature’s spear. A couple of humanoid beings appear, kill the animal, and miraculously heal Blake’s wound. It transpires that the animals – ten-function, artificial slaves callled the Decimas – were created by Geela and Novara, who are under the control of Saymon – whose telepathic impulses had been controlling Cally – and the Decimas have now become independent and their creators are attempting to destroy them. They leave Blake no choice: they demand power cells in exchange for the release of the Liberator. But as Avon arrives with the cells, the Decimas attack the control building, killing their creators. Blake and Avon return to the Liberator as the web dissolves.

written by Terry Nation
directed by Michael E. Briant
music by Dudley Simpson

Cast: Gareth Thomas (Blake), Sally Knyvette (Jenna), Paul Darrow (Avon), Jan Chappell (Cally), Michael Keating (Vila), David Jackson (Gan), Peter Tuddenham (Zen), Richard Beale (Saymon), Ania Marson (Geela), Miles Fothergill (Novara), Deep Roy, Gilda Cohen, Ismet Hassam, Marcus Powell, Molly Tweedly, Willie Sheara (Decimas)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Seek-Locate-Destroy

Blake's 7The Liberator crew mounts an attack on a Federation base on Centero, their main objective: to procure a decoder for the Federation’s top priority military communications channel. They manage to get the unit and set explosive charges, but Cally is attacked and loses her teleport bracelet. The others return to the ship and discover there that she must still be on Centero. They learn through the decoder that Supreme Commander Servalan of the Federation has assigned the notorious Space Commander Travis to the “Blake affair,” and that Travis is already on Centero in charge of the investigations. Blake returns to Centero to save Cally, realizing that Travis – his arch enemy from the earlier revolt against the Federation – will stop at nothing to see the Liberator crew dead. Blake uses one of Travis’s old strategies to slip into the base, free Cally, and escape.

written by Terry Nation
directed by Vere Lorrimer
music by Dudley Simpson

Cast: Gareth Thomas (Blake), Sally Knyvette (Jenna), Paul Darrow (Avon), Jan Chappell (Cally), Michael Keating (Vila), David Jackson (Gan), Peter Tuddenham (Zen), Stephen Grief (Travis), Jacqueline Pearce (Servalan), Peter Craze (Prell), Peter Miles (Rontane), John Bryans (Bercol), Ian Cullen (Escon), Ian Oliver (Rai), Astley Jones (Eldon)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Mission To Destiny

Blake's 7The Liberator stops to aid a damaged spacecraft whose crew is entirely asleep when Blake, Cally and Avon arrive. The ship’s guidance systems and life support system have been sabotaged. When Blake and Avon get the life support system back online, the crew has no idea what has happened. Kendall, the captain of the ship, reveals that he and his people are from the agricultural world Destiny, whose ecosphere has become unviable. The ship was dispatched to get the neutrotope, which would render Destiny fertile again, and with its damage, the ship has no hope of reaching Destiny in any time under five months, and that delay could set the planet’s harvest back by another year. Blake makes Kendall an offer: Avon and Cally will stay aboard to help repair the ship’s systems, and the neutrotope will reach Destiny in four days via the Liberator. Avon and Cally slowly unravel the mystery of numerous occurring murders on the ship and finally find that a message written by the dying pilot – 54124 – is actually the name of the murderer…

written by Terry Nation
directed by Pennant Roberts
music by Dudley Simpson

Cast: Gareth Thomas (Blake), Sally Knyvette (Jenna), Paul Darrow (Avon), Jan Chappell (Cally), Michael Keating (Vila), David Jackson (Gan), Peter Tuddenham (Zen), Barry Jackson (Kendall), Beth Morris (Sara), Stephen Tate (Mandrian), Nigel Humphreys (Sonheim), Kate Coleridge (Levett), Carl Forgione (Grovane), John Leeson (Pasco), Brian Caprion (Rafford), Stuart Fell (Dortmunn)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Duel

Blake's 7The Liberator is nearing an uncharted planet and is under attack by three well-armed Federation pursuit ships. As the attack depletes Liberator’s energy supply, Blake decides to wait for the two ships he predicts aren’t Travis’s to run out of energy and then tries to ram Travis’s ship. But as the Liberator prepares to rip through the pursuit ship’s hull, time is frozen by the two guardians on the planet below, who pit Blake and Jenna in hand-to-hand combat to the death against Travis and a vampire-like mutoid from his crew. But as Jenna defeats the mutoid and Blake traps Travis, before the eyes of both ships’ crews, Blake relents and the Liberator is released, while Travis returns to his ship in shame.

written by Terry Nation
directed by Douglas Camfield
music not credited

Cast: Gareth Thomas (Blake), Sally Knyvette (Jenna), Paul Darrow (Avon), Jan Chappell (Cally), Michael Keating (Vila), David Jackson (Gan), Peter Tuddenham (Zen), Stephen Grief (Travis), Isla Blair (Sinofar), Patsy Smart (Giroc), Carol Royle (Mutoid)

Notes: This is the only Blake’s 7 episode which was not scored by Australian composer Dudley Simpson; Simpson created the theme for the series and did the music for every episode except this one, which was tracked with stock electronic-sounding music. Director Douglas Camfield did not like the style of music that Simpson employed on Doctor Who, several episodes of which Camfield also directed (and of which Simpson provided incidental music for more episodes than any other comporser), a decided to use library music rather than have Simpson score this episode. The pieces heard in this episode are “Countdown” and “Space Panorama” (both composed by Alan Hawkshaw and licensed from the Bruton music library and appearing on the Bruton library album Terrestrial Journey), and “Genesis” by John Cameron.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Project Avalon

Blake's 7The Liberator arrives at an icy Federation outpost so Blake can make contact with Avalon, the rebel leader on that planet. But Avalon has been captured by Travis and duplicated with an android who returns to the Liberator after a narrow escape by Blake and his crew, who rescue “Avalon” from a high-security cell block. The android is carrying a tiny sphere with just enough of a lethal virus to kill the entire crew of the Liberator and leave the ship unaffected and, after 24 hours, habitable again. Blake returns with the android and the sphere to get the real Avalon out of danger, leaving Travis with an android that drops the sphere inside the Federation base – and Travis catches the sphere. Servalan is infuriated with Travis’s performance and takes charge of the hunt for Blake personally.

written by Terry Nation
directed by Michael E. Briant
music by Dudley Simpson

Cast: Gareth Thomas (Blake), Sally Knyvette (Jenna), Paul Darrow (Avon), Jan Chappell (Cally), Michael Keating (Vila), David Jackson (Gan), Peter Tuddenham (Zen), Stephen Grief (Travis), Jacqueline Pearce (Servalan), Julia Vidler (Avalon), David Bailie (Chevner), Glynis Barber (Mutoid), John Baker (Scientist), John Rolfe (Terloc), David Sterne (Guard), Mark Holmes (Guard)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Breakdown

Blake's 7On the flight deck of the Liberator, Gan suddenly attacks Jenna, and, after nearly killing the entire rest of the crew, it is discovered in a medical scan that Gan’s limiter is malfunctioning and sending vicious, murderous impulses to his mind. If Gan doesn’t receive treatment in 72 hours, he could die, so Blake has Zen list all the locations where he could receive proper medical attention. Avon points out space station XK-72, a neutral scientific research station that Liberator would have to cross what Zen calls a “forbidden area of space” to reach. Avon overrides Zen and Jenna pilots the ship through that area, finding a black hole-like gravity vortex that the Liberator almost doesn’t survive. Once at XK-72, Gan is treated by Dr. Kayn – but not before Kayn alerts the Federation to Blake’s presence.

written by Terry Nation
directed by Vere Lorrimer
music by Dudley Simpson

Cast: Gareth Thomas (Blake), Sally Knyvette (Jenna), Paul Darrow (Avon), Jan Chappell (Cally), Michael Keating (Vila), David Jackson (Gan), Peter Tuddenham (Zen), Julian Glover (Kayn), Ian Thompson (Farren), Christian Roberts (Renor)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Bounty

Blake's 7Blake and Cally contact Sarkoff, former president of planet Lindor, who has been relegated to a Federation world where, after losing a fixed election on Lindor, he has been kept prisoner under light security. His daughter Tyce is also there with him, disgusted with her father’s broken spirit. Blake talks them in returning to Lindor, but on returning on the Liberator, which had broken orbit to investigate a derelict space vessel, Blake and the others find a band of space pirates in control – and Jenna has apparently switched sides to aid Tarvin, the pirates’ leader.

written by Terry Nation
directed by Pennant Roberts
music by Dudley Simpson

Cast: Gareth Thomas (Blake), Sally Knyvette (Jenna), Paul Darrow (Avon), Jan Chappell (Cally), Michael Keating (Vila), David Jackson (Gan), Peter Tuddenham (Zen), T.P. McKenna (Sarkoff), Carinthia West (Tyce), Marc Zuber (Tarvin), Mark York (Cheney), Derrick Branche (Amagon Guard)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Deliverance

Blake's 7The Liberator spots a spaceship as it crashes on Cephlon. Avon, Jenna, Gan and Vila teleport down to the planet to search for survivors from two life capsules that eject from the ship at the last moment. They find one dead and the other badly injured. The crew teleports back up with the survivor but do not realize that Jenna has been attacked by natives of the planet. While Blake and Cally try to help Ensor, the shipwreck survivor who says to tell his father that the Federation will pay a hundred million credits for something called Orac, the others return to Cephlon to rescue Jenna. An underground chamber conveniently opens for them as they barely escape from the natives, and there they meet Meegat, a lone civilized woman guarding a rocket loaded with the gene banks of the last civilization on Cephlon who regards Avon as a god. On the Liberator, Ensor takes Cally hostage and demands that the ship be set on a course for Aristo, his father’s home world. Jenna is rescued by Avon, Gan and Vila, and they manage to reactivate the launch system and send the future progeny of Cephlon on its way. Ensor dies from sheer exhaustion and Blake and Cally set the ship back to Cephlon to pick up the others. Blake is very much intrigued by Ensor’s information: a fortune for something called Orac and a box of power cells for his father’s artifical heart. The Liberator is soon back on course for Aristo…

written by Terry Nation
directed by Michael E. Briant
music by Dudley Simpson

Cast: Gareth Thomas (Blake), Sally Knyvette (Jenna), Paul Darrow (Avon), Jan Chappell (Cally), Michael Keating (Vila), David Jackson (Gan), Peter Tuddenham (Zen), Stephen Grief (Travis), Jacqueline Pearce (Servalan), Tony Caunter (Ensor), James Lister (Maryatt), Suzan Farmer (Meegat)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Orac

Blake's 7Gan, Avon, Vila and Jenna have fallen ill with potentially lethal radiation sickness after spending too much time on the irradiated surface of Cephlon. Their only hope is that the mysterious Ensor that Blake plans to contact on Aristo has a supply of drugs to cure the illness. On the surface, however, Travis and Servalan have arrived early and make their way slowly and clumsily to Ensor’s underground installation. Blake and Cally teleport to the surface as well and are accosted by a flying object that gives them precise instructions to reach a hidden lift leading directly to Ensor’s laboratory. They find old Ensor dying slowly – he needs the power cells his son was trying to deliver implanted soon. Blake and Cally take Ensor and his invention, Orac, through the tunnels to reach the surface, but a skirmish with Travis slows progress and Ensor dies of shock en route to the surface. Avon and Vila arrive to save Blake and Cally from Travis, and teleport back to the Liberator while Servalan vows to Travis that his career as Space Commander is finished. On the Liberator, Orac is activated and the crew discovers that Orac is actually an incredibly advanced computer capable of making short-term predictions. When asked to do so, Orac projects an image of the Liberator being destroyed in a huge fireball onto the screen…

written by Terry Nation
directed by Vere Lorrimer
music by Dudley Simpson

Cast: Gareth Thomas (Blake), Sally Knyvette (Jenna), Paul Darrow (Avon), Jan Chappell (Cally), Michael Keating (Vila), David Jackson (Gan), Peter Tuddenham (Zen), Derek Farr (Ensor / Orac), Stephen Grief (Travis), Jacqueline Pearce (Servalan), James Muir (Phibian), Paul Kidd (Phibian)

LogBook entry by Earl Green