Blake's 7 - Series 1 DVD

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Blake's 7 was the hit BBC space opera launched in the wake of Star Wars, though with a grittier sensibility and produced on a fraction of the budget. Over 13 episodes the first series introduced freedom-fighter Blake (Gareth Thomas) as he escaped from the Orwellian Federation, gathered a crew of low-life rebels, salvaged an alien starship called the Liberator, and began striking back against the forces of Supreme Commander Servalan (sultry Jacqueline Pearce). The effects were cheap, and alien planets were represented by a disused quarry or an industrial complex, but... the strong characters and cynical storylines created by Doctor Who veteran Terry Nation remain involving. The perfect foil for Blake was Paul Darrow's Avon, a near psychopathic criminal mastermind who only fought to save his skin. The cowardly Vila (Michael Keating) was almost as memorable, while the female leads were Jenna (Sally Knyvette), a smuggler and pilot, and determined Auron telepath Cally (Jan Chappell). Also on board was Gan (David Jackson), inhibited from violence by a brain implant. With even the good guys being criminals, including murderers, this was a galaxy far, far away from previous screen space opera. Though undeniably dated, the show is still vintage TV SF, right from the opening three-parter "The Way Back / Spacefall / Cygnus Alpha" to the cliff-hanging shocker "Orac", which introduces the final member of the un-magnificent seven. On the DVD: Blake's 7, Series 1 presents the 13 episodes across five DVDs so as to maximise picture quality. Following the BBC's Doctor Who DVDs the 4:3 images are as strong as one could expect from a 1970s TV show shot partly on video (interiors) and 16 mm film (exteriors). Film shots have some grain and vary considerably in quality while the video material shows occasional minor tearing and flaws in the tape. Otherwise these are as good as Blake's 7 is ever going to look. The same is true of the mono sound, which is clear and undistorted. Each DVD is introduced with a CGI reincarnation of the series' famous logo and three episodes are offered with a commentary. These are "Spacefall" (Sally Knyvette, Michael Keating and producer David Maloney), "Seek-Locate-Destroy" (Keating, Jacqueline Pearce and Stephen Greif) and "Project Avalon" (Knyvette, Pearce and Greif). The chat ranges from high-school reunion playfulness, including singing the title music, to some more serious insights into making the show, to an amusing running debate as to whether Glynis Barber appears in "Project Avalon". Other extras are "2 out takes, a missing scene, 1 robot, 2 flat feet and a blooper". These are exactly what they say: an extract from Blue Peter in 1978 with Lesley Judd making a Blake's 7 bracelet; nine clip compilations introducing the main characters; a synopsis for each episode; and a trailer for the Series 2 DVDs. --Gary S Dalkin [show more]

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Released
01 March 2004
Directors
Actors
Format
DVD 
Publisher
BBC 
Classification
Runtime
618 minutes 
Features
PAL 
Barcode
5014503117627 
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Please note this is a region 2 DVD and will require a region 2 (Europe) or region Free DVD Player in order to play.  Blake's 7, Series 1 presents the 13 episodes across five DVDs so as to maximise picture quality. Following the BBC's Doctor Who DVDs the 4:3 images are as strong as one could expect from a 1970s TV show shot partly on video (interiors) and 16 mm film (exteriors). Film shots have some grain and vary considerably in quality while the video material shows occasional minor tearing and flaws in the tape. Otherwise these are as good as Blake's 7 is ever going to look. The same is true of the mono sound, which is clear and undistorted.

The entire first season (remastered) of the 1970s BBC sci-fi series. In 'The Way Back' resistance fighter Roj Blake is found guilty of false charges and sentenced to imprisonment on Cygnus Alpha by the corrupt Federation. 'Space Fall' sees Blake and fellow prisoners Avon and Jenna escape from their prison shuttle and take possession of a mysterious spaceship, which they name the 'Liberator'. 'Cygnus Alpha' finds Blake attempting to rescue more prisoners from the planet Cygnus Alpha, which leads to him getting captured by the planet's ruler, Vargas. 'Time Squad' has Blake, Avon and Villa first ambushed, then helped, by the mysterious Cally. In 'The Web' telepathic members of Cally's race force her to lead the Liberator into a trap. 'Seek, Locate, Destroy' sees Cally taken prisoner by Blake's evil nemesis, Travis. 'Mission to Destiny' finds Blake and crew becoming involved in a murder case on board a crippled spaceship. 'Duel' has Blake and Travis forced to fight each other on an uncharted planet. In 'Project Avalon' Travis plans to use a kidnapped revolutionary leader to trap and destroy Blake. 'Breakdown' sees Gan becoming unusually aggressive when the implant in his brain malfunctions. 'Bounty' finds Blake and Cally attempting to inspire a planet's president to help his own people. 'Deliverance' has the Liberator come to the aid of a crashed spaceship, whose single dying survivor begs them to find his father, Ensor. Finally, in 'Orac', Blake and crew find Ensor and obtain his super-computer invention.

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