Connect with us
Blake's 7 Blake's 7


The Blake’s 7 Character Guide



Blake’s 7 was the hugely popular Terry Nation created BBC scifi drama of the late 1970s that starred Gareth Thomas as Roj Blake, leader of a group of rebel outlaws in the far future who were out to bring down the despicable Federation.

It’s still one of our most popular classic shows here at Memorable TV so here then is our handy cut out and keep guide to the main characters from the serie.

The Original Crew:
Blake: (Gareth Thomas) Earth native. Crime: trying to overthrow the Federation. Punishment: At first, mindwiped and put on trial, made to confess error of his ways, rebellion fizzled. Later, after being recruited by new rebellion, framed for a serious crime and sentenced to life imprisonment on Cygnus Alpha. Highly trusting and idealistic.

Avon: (Paul Darrow) Earth native. Crime: embezzlement. Tried to break the Federation. banking cartel. Galaxy’s second best computer programmer (the first was the person who caught him). Had psychopathic tendencies, which worsened as show continued, especially in fourth season. Enlisted in attempt for freedom from prison ship London by Blake.

Vila: (Michael Keating) Earth native. Crime: theft. Vila is a chronic thief and alcoholic. Met Blake while waiting in holding cell for trip to Cygnus Alpha (Vila was in the process of liberating Blake’s watch). Terrible coward, but very intelligent at times.

Jenna: (Sally Knyvette) Crime: smuggling. Also met Blake while waiting to go to Cygnus Alpha. Had great fondness for Blake.

Gan: (David Jackson) Crime: murder. Killed the Federation guard who had attacked his girlfriend. Has limiter implant that prevents him from violence. Friend of Vila’s from prison ship London.

Cally: (Jan Chappell) Auron native. Guerrilla fighter. Telepathic (can only send to other life forms, two way with other Aurons). Was only survivor of an anti-Federation guerrilla mission, and could not return to her world due to her failure to complete the mission. Liked Blake & believed in his cause, so joined crew.

Zen: (Voiced by Peter Tuddenham) Alien computer that runs the Liberator’s functions. Zen’s primary duty is to preserve the ship, and will do so to the point of rejecting orders which are certain to result in the ship’s destruction.

Blake's 7 Glynis Barber

Glynis Barber as Soolin.

Tarrant: (Steven Pacey) Ex-Federation starship pilot. Stole a Federation ship and found the Liberator in the wake of the Galactic War. Having nowhere else to go, joined crew. Very impulsive and headstrong.

Dayna: (Josette Simon) Earth native. Father offended Federation somehow, was in exile. Weapons specialist extraordinare. Has blood feud with/Servalan, who murdered her father.

Soolin: (Glynis Barber) Joins crew after death of Dorian, orginal owner of Scorpio. Excellent gunmaster, also has blood feud with Federation. Semi-assassin.

Orac: (Voice of Peter Tuddenham) Galaxy’s most powerful (if ornery) computer. Has a carrier wave capability that can link with and control other computer systems across light years of space. Would much rather spend time contemplating the mysteries of the Universe than helping mere mortals.

Slave: (also voiced by Peter Tuddenham) Master computer of the Scorpio. Very meek, and has severe inferiority complex. Can be very humorous at times.

Blake's 7 Jacqueline Pearce

Jacqueline Pearce as Servalan

The Bad Guys:
The Federation: Very Big-Brotherish. Earth and all the other planets ruled by the Federation are controlled by drugged air, food, water, and nothing is done without approval from the Federation. See George Orwell’s “1984” for a good idea of what life is like in this time period.

Servalan: (Jacqueline Pearce) The most evil person in the Galaxy. Has ceaselessly worked her way up the Federation hierarchy through double-crossing, backstabbing, and murder. Will stop at nothing until she achieves total rule of the galaxy.

Travis: (Stephen Grief and then Brian Croucher) Servalan’s right hand man. Has blood-feud with Blake, who nearly killed him. Arm was destroyed when Blake fired upon him; it has been replaced by a robotic arm with an embedded blaster gun.



Kick-Ass TV Heroines: Xena – Warrior Princess




Xena Warrior Princess

What was not to love about Xena? As Lucy Lawless says: “Xena is a bad-ass, kick-ass, pre-Mycenaean girl.” Evildoers, clearly, must stand down, but not only bad guys (and girls) have Xena-phobia. Even heroes quake when she swings her broadsword.

Originally created as a syndicated complement to Kevin Sorbo’s Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Xena pretty much kicked Herc to the curb. It was like when the Bionic Woman made us lose interest in the Six Million Dollar Man–only more so.

Unlike Lindsay Wagner’s early half-woman, half-machine, Xena wasn’t prone to frailty. Nor did she need robot parts. In fact, the Warrior Princess never lost. If she’s down, it’s not for long.

Plus, she was in touch with the dark side: This big-boned bruiser had definite moments of blood lust, as well as lust of some other varieties. Garbed in a leather miniskirt and armed with her trademark razor-edged, boomerang-action chakram, we watched Xena single-leggedly kick down entire platoons of Roman soldiers.

Sure, there were murmurings about Xena and her softer female sidekick, Gabrielle (actress Renée O’Connor). So what if they liked to conserve bathwater by doubling up? And what’s wrong with close friends frenching once in a while?

Then again, maybe it was true–and there’s anything wrong with that.

Actress: Lucy Lawless
Show: Xena: Warrior Princess
Character: Xena

Continue Reading


Classic TV Revisited: McMillan And Wife




McMillan And Wife

Starring Rock Hudson and Susan Saint James, McMillan and Wife was a super cute crime-solving saga from the 1970s made for the NBC’s Mystery Movie series.

Who were they?
Hubby was the debonair San Francisco police commissioner Stewart McMillan.

And wifey?
Sally was a foxy, rather scatterbrained dame with a knack for finding corpses.

Worked down the morgue did she?
Hardly. Sally’s finds were usually in some glitzy mansion which the couple were frequenting for a weekend cocktail party. She also had a habit of getting her life threatened or being kidnapped.

Who was in it?
Tragic Hollywood star Rock Hudson no less. He took on Stewart McMillan in his first TV role, after years as a matinee idol with movies such as Giant.

Fans of the lantern-jawed star were dismayed when he went public about having Aids. He had long kept his homosexuality secret. He carried on working in ’80s glam drama Dynasty, but make-up could not disguise the deterioration of this once-statuesque man. He died in 1985, aged 59.

What about Sally?
That role fell to raven-locked Susan Saint James. The Ali MacGraw lookalike was previously in shows such as Alias Smith And Jones and The Name of the Game.

Other characters
A vital ingredient to McMillan And Wife was sharp-tongued housekeeper Mildred, played by Nancy Walker. Somebody needed to keep the place tidy while they gallivanted about solving crime.

Famous guest stars?
Kim Basinger

The couple’s conception?
Like Hart To Hart, the idea was borrowed from Dashiell Hammett’s Thin Man books of the ’30s.

Gritty crime drama?
Hardly. These were cosy whodunnit cases, where the brutality of murder was never portrayed. The show was more about the interplay between McMillan and Sally.

Had viewers arrested?
Certainly in the US. It was the fifth highest-rated show in 1972 and 1973.

Fate of the golden couple?
Susan Saint James quit in 1976 over a contractual dispute. Nancy Walker also packed away her duster as housekeeper Mildred.

The dame’s exit was a fatal blow?
Certainly for the character of Sally – she was killed off in a plane crash. But Rock soldiered on with new assistant Sgt Steve DiMaggio (Richard Gilliland). The show became McMillan.

A winner?
Audiences dwindled and the plug was pulled.

Distinguishing features?
Cosy pillow talk, cocktail parties, Rock Hudson, pyjamas and numerous corpses.

Do say
Let’s go to bed. Turn the light out, darling.

Don’t say
Must you eat toast in bed, darling. Apologies, but I’ve got terrible flatulence. Separate bedrooms.

Not to be confused with
My Wife Next Door, Harold Macmillan, The Merry Wives Of Windsor and Mr And Mrs.

Continue Reading


Classic TV Revisited: The Royal




The Royal

The Royal was an ITV drama commission and was inspired by its sister programme Heartbeat.

The lowdown: This nostalgic family drama is set in the swinging 1960s and centres on the staff of a cottage hospital in Yorkshire. Newly qualified doctor David Cheriton (Julian Ovenden) is determined to make a difference to the world and arrives at St Aidan’s Royal Free Hospital in Elinsby full of big ideas. But he clashes with the hospital’s secretary TJ Middleditch (Ian Carmichael) who is determined to run things his way. Then there is the Matron (Wendy Craig) who rules her nurses with a rod of iron and tries in vain to stop them being distracted by the handsome arrival.

Memorable moments: Watch out for former Heartbeat favourite Bill Maynard who crosses dramas and continents as Claude Jeremiah Greengrass. Greengrass has returned from a Caribbean holiday with a mystery illness but that doesn’t stop him trying to earn a fast buck. It doesn’t take long before Claude attracts Matron’s ire.

Trivia: The Royal is a family affair for real life husband and wife Robert Daws (Ormerod) and Amy Robbins (Weatherill). No fewer than seven members of their clan have appeared in the series including their daughters and stepson.

Michelle Hardwick, who played receptionist Lizzie, says her favourite moment in the whole series didn’t come on screen but in the actors’ green room. She says: “I was sitting in there with Wendy Craig and Honor Blackman and we were having a lovely conversation. I sat back and thought ‘Wow, this is great, I can’t wait to tell my gran’.”

A modern day set version called The Royal Today aired 7 January – 14 March 2008.

First broadcast: 2003

Starred: Wendy Craig, Ian Carmichael, Michael Starke, Robert Daws and Julian Ovenden

Continue Reading

More to View