View Full Version : Blake's 7

28th July 09, 11:07 PM
Why am I writing a review of a thirty year old British scifi drama?
Because I just finished watching it, that's why.
For the past year or so, Blake's 7 (along with Law and Order: SVU) has been my principle watching-but-mostly-just-listening-to shows that entertain me while I'm working on chainmail projects. Blake's 7 is much akin to classic Star Trek, if Star Trek had been better acting, worse sets, and constant moral ambiguity. Of these factors, it's really the third that makes the show interesting.
Blake's 7 tells the tale of a group of escaped convicts (who, while they are led by a man named Blake, rarely number seven in total) who decide to start a revolution against the tyrannical and Orwellian Federation which rules the better part of the Galaxy. The titular character, Blake, is a ruthlessly idealistic rabble-rouser who was brainwashed, then later falsely accused of child molestation so as to ruin his name against future rabble-rousing purposes.
The drama of the show focuses around the ethical conflicts between Blake and the program's other principle character, his subordinate Avon. Avon, who was quite rightly imprisoned for large-scale white collar crimes, possesses a callous sense of self-interest that counterbalances Blake's idealism. While it seems like a pretty straightforward hero/antihero dynamic at first, it evolves into something deeper: As the show progresses, Blake's idealism becomes a willingness to sacrifice others for his own goals, and Avon's cynicism of these ideals becomes of a voice for the sacrificed. By the end of the second season, I began questioning whether Blake would be better classifed as "freedom fighter" or "terrorist".
The moral conflicts do not limit itself to just the main characters; Blake's 7 repeatedly does an excellent job of fully-fleshing out those minor characters who only appear for the scope of an episode, and bringing the "redshirts" out of just being generic good guys/bad guys. In one episode, in which one of the heroes needs to undergo surgery or die, they attempt to check him into a politically neutral deep-space medical facility without revealing their identities as outlaws; when the doctor discovers who his patient is, he decides to call the Federation in while letting his patient die on the table. His assistant, conversely, identifies with Blake's cause, and finds himself morally incapable of not treating a dying man. The rest of the heroes, alerted by the assistant of the surgeon's plans, force the doctor to perform the surgery at gunpoint.
Unfortunately, the show takes a pretty unfortunate turn in the third season, as Gareth Thomas (the actor playing Blake) left the show. That's right, for latter seasons of the series, Blake's 7 has no Blake. Avon assumes a more central role in the show, but loses much of his draw as a character without Blake for contrast. Lacking in the principle dynamic that made the first two seasons so enjoyable, the latter two feel much more like generic scifi space adventures without much draw. The last episode does recapture the Blake/Avon dynamic, and puts it to a very fitting close; it's just unfortunate that half of the show were bereft of it.
I would highly recommend the first two seasons of the show, and if you enjoy them well enough, the latter two are worth watching as well.

29th July 09, 03:07 AM
Best ending to a sci fi series ever.

Truculent Sheep
29th July 09, 06:34 AM


Dark Helmet
29th July 09, 05:45 PM
Sorry guys I never watch it beyond episode 4 when it was available on Youtube. Fucking capitalists!

29th July 09, 08:37 PM
Did you just describe the BBC as capitalists? Dude, lol.