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Blake’s 7: Cygnus Alpha (BBC-1 16 Jan 1978, with Brian Blessed)

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In Cygnus Alpha Blake, Jenna and Avon are aboard the captured alien ship having made good their escape. The rest of the prisoners are still en-route to prison planet Cygnus Alpha. Whilst trying to work out just how the ship actually works Jenna activates the ship’s computer Zen. Zen tells the crew that the ship uses voice activation to go where they want. Blake immediately sets a course for Cygnus Alpha, a journey the Liberator makes in super quick time. The trio also discover that the ship has a teleportation system which, although they are not 100% sure whether it works or not, Blake decides to use to transport himself down to the planet.

Meanwhile on the planet itself the prisoners find that some kind of sinister cult is in charge. It also soon becomes obvious that the prisoners have been infected and are falling sick, however the infection is a deliberate ploy by cult leader Vargas. Before Blake can do anything he is captured and the teleporation bracelets he has brought with him are taken too. He does manage to persuade some of the prisoners to make a break for it and in the ensuing fighting many of them are killed. Besides Blake only Gan and Vila manage to make it back to the ship. Unfortunately so does Vargas who makes it plain he intends to kill them all. Only a smart bit of thinking by Blake gets rid of him.

A few more classic Blake’s 7 motifs are introduced in another excellent episode, the teleportation system allowing a handy way to to get down to various planets without having to land the ship. The fabulous Zen, the Liberator’s super computer also joins the team. He’ is a vital part of what will become the seven. By the end of the episode 6 of the 7 are together.

Their is a strong guest cast too chiefly the brilliant Brian Blessed and Pamela Salem as the cult leaders, both of whom reach rather sticky ends. There are also appearances from Peter Childs and David Ryall as two of the prisoners.

classic quote
“Don’t philosophise with me you electronic moron”

“When we can handle this ship properly we will stop running, then we’ll fight.”

production details
UK / BBC One / 1×50 minute episode / Broadcast 16 January 1978

Writer: Terry Nation / Director: Vere Lorrimer

Series: Blake’s 7 Season 1 Episode 3

cast
Gareth Thomas as Roj Blake
Sally Knyvette as Jenna Stannis
Paul Darrow as Kerr Avon
Michael Keating as Vila Restal
David Jackson as Olag Gan
Peter Tuddenham as Voice of Zen
Brian Blessed as Vargas
Pamela Salem as Kara
Glyn Owen as Commander Leylan
Norman Tipton as Navigator Artix
Robert Russell as Laran
Peter Childs as Arco
David Ryall as Selman

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