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Blake’s 7: The Web (BBC-1 30 Jan 1978, with Richard Beale)

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In The Web the liberator seems to being deliberately drawn towards a planet, Cally is also acting very strangely. Someone also seems to be sabotaging the ship. We quickly learn that it is Cally who is up to no good, however she has been mentally taken over by “the lost” people who were cast out by Cally’s people. They are drawing the ship into the orbit of a nearby planet.

The Liberator is unable to resist itself being drawn into the sinister web that surrounds the planet. Trapped and unable to get out, Blake teleports down to the planet. The indigenous population (who look a bit creature from the black lagoon) are very angry at the “the lost” who are pretty much barricaded inside their laboratory. Although Blake quickly learns that the “locals” aka the Decimas were in fact created by “the lost” as were the two “humans” who greet Blake at the laboratory. The lost’s life support units are desperately in need of a recharge and need a pair of “flutonic” power cells to put things back to normal.

Blake is perturbed to learn that the lost intend to destroy all of the Decimas once their power is fully restored. However when Avon arrives with the cells it enables the Decimas to get into the lab and in the process destroy it and the lost.

The big head, little body in the specimen jar is genuinely creepy. It’s quite the freaky episode all round actually from the mental takeovers to the web itself and the lost (or what remains of them).

However the rubber suited aliens and the blow up tent like structure that seems to be the main laboratory for the lost. It was a continual problem that British scifi faced at the time of course. The budget never quite matched up to the concept. The Decimas end up being totally risible but the central issue that Blake faces is very strong – even though they have been genetically engineered they still have a right to survival.

classic quote
“About spiders webs, they are used for trapping food.”

production details
UK / BBC One / 1×50 minute episode / Broadcast 30 January 1978

Writer: Terry Nation / Production Design: Martin Collins / Director: Michael E. Briant

Series: Blake’s 7 Season 1 Episode 5

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

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