[[quoteright:325:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Blakes_7_.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:325:Left to right: [[TheSoCalledCoward Vila]], [[WellIntentionedExtremist Blake]], [[AcePilot Jenna]], [[TheBigGuy Gan]], [[NominalHero Avon]], [[ClonesArePeopleToo Cally]]. In the background, ''[[SapientShip Liberator]]''.]]

->'''Vila''': Where are all the good guys?
->'''Blake''': You could be looking at them.
->'''Avon''': What a very depressing thought.

''Blake's Seven'' is an iconic British SF series created by Creator/TerryNation, who had earlier created [[Series/DoctorWho the Daleks]] and the AfterTheEnd drama series ''{{Series/Survivors}}''. It ran for four thirteen episode series between 1978 and 1981. The series takes place during the "third century of the new calendar" (fans estimate this as approximately 2700 AD). The series is about the quest of a group of rebels to overthrow the evil and fascistic Federation that controls Earth and most of the known Galaxy. Though it is sometimes referred to as a SpaceOpera, it tended to the cynical end of the SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism, particularly after a certain point. The format had elements of WagonTrainToTheStars. It was also lower-budget, and looked it.

It is distinctive in that most of its leading characters are of the AntiHero type rather than your usual clean-cut heroes. In fact, Avon, the lead of the latter two seasons, counted as an AntiVillain. It's often seen as Nation's attempt to subvert ''Franchise/StarTrek'' -- the ''B7'' Federation's logo is the ''Trek'' Federation logo rotated through 90 degrees -- and other subversions of what, at the time, were standard SpaceOpera tropes are common.

'''Roj Blake''' (or just "Blake"--in TheVerse, people typically used only a single name) had led a rebellion against the Federation which had been put down. Brainwashed, Blake had renounced the rebellion he led and was leading the life of a normal citizen until he was brought out of his brainwashing by a new group of rebels. Again, that putative rebellion was quashed and Blake was framed for crimes he didn't commit (child molestation, though this wasn't mentioned again after the second episode) and sent to a [[PenalColony prison planet]].

En route to exile, Blake and a group of prisoners managed to escape from captivity and take control of a mysterious, and very advanced, alien spaceship which they called the ''Liberator'' and resolved to fight back against the Federation. The series then chronicled their attempts, which were usually unsuccessful, to overthrow the Federation.

Blake was perhaps the only "good" character amongst the Seven but, though he sometimes appeared to be TheCaptain, he never had the full authority and respect from the others to truly perform the role. The other main characters in the series were: '''Kerr Avon''' (Avon), an amoral computer expert who refused to trust anyone -- a real AntiHero; '''Jenna Stannis''' (Jenna), a smuggler who was the pilot of the ''Liberator'' during the first two series; '''Vila Restal''' (Vila), a cowardly thief; '''Cally''', a humanoid telepath with kamikaze tendencies exiled from the planet Auron; and '''Olag Gan''' (Gan), a GentleGiant, but only because he had a limiter fitted to his brain after he killed his girlfriend's murderer in a rage. ''Liberator'' was controlled by a sentient computer known as '''Zen'''.

The Federation was represented by an array of troopers, usually outfitted in [[EvilWearsBlack black uniforms]] and [[GasMaskMooks gas masks]]. For the first two series, the Seven were pursued by '''Travis''', a psychotic killer (and TheDragon) dispatched to "seek, locate and destroy Blake" by BigBad '''Servalan''', the impossibly glamorous Supreme Commander (later President) of the Federation.

At the end of the first series, the Seven beat Servalan to the supercomputer '''Orac''' (originally presented as a WeaponOfMassDestruction but downgraded when it was kept on), which was capable of finding information on almost anything but was also programmed with the personality of its creator, an irascible old man.

The second series saw Blake determined to strike at the heart of the Federation by destroying its central computer -- the series had a StoryArc, but often the quest for information about Star One was little more than a {{MacGuffin}}. The end of this arc shooed out some of the crew and introduced '''Del Tarrant''' (Tarrant), a former Federation officer who'd deserted, and weapons expert '''Dayna Mellanby''' (Dayna). Despite the departure of Gareth Thomas, who played Blake, the series retained its title, with Avon now becoming leader of the Seven.

The rather grim Season C finale was supposed to be the end of the series (and, indeed, was the last episode written by Nation), but a year later, the BBC brought it back, though without the active involvement of Nation. Another post-season reshuffle introduced the computer '''Slave''' and the female assassin '''Soolin'''. If anything, this final season was even darker than before, with one of the most surprising endings to ever grace a TV show.

----

''Blake's Seven'' was clearly a strong influence on ''Series/{{Farscape}}'', ''Series/{{Lexx}}'', and ''Series/{{Firefly}}'', as well as having a minor influence on ''Series/BabylonFive'' -- J. Michael Straczynski noted that, in writing all of Season 3, he was doing something that hadn't been attempted in SF TV since Terry Nation wrote all of Season A of ''Blake's Seven''. It had a much stronger influence on the sequel series ''Series/{{Crusade}}'', which became even more obvious when information began to leak about plot developments that would have occurred had the show not been cancelled.

In 2007, a new AlternateContinuity radio version was produced with some interesting twists to the story, and from 2011 Creator/BigFinish has made, and is continuing to make, audio dramas featuring the original cast. (For more, [[AudioPlay/BlakesSeven see the Audio Play page.]])

Big Finish is also publishing a series of novels, including a trilogy about Avon by Paul Darrow which is largely set twenty years after the events of "Blake".

One of those shows that's perpetually on the cusp of a big-budget revival. A couple of scripts [[http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/7364663.stm were ordered]] for a possible TV revival at one point. [[DevelopmentHell ...Then]] [[http://io9.com/5605619/the-federation-wins-again-blakes-7-remake-stalled-out it was gone again.]] Then there was a possibility [[http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/aug/22/blakes-7-us-remake?newsfeed=true SyFy would reboot it.]] They even did [[http://nerdist.com/exclusive-concept-art-for-long-simmering-blakes-7-series/ concept art]], but it appeared to lapse quietly back into DevelopmentHell.

Some familiar plots used in the series:

* EnemyMine and LockedInARoom in "[[Recap/BlakesSevenS4E9Sand Sand]]"
* TheCaper in several episodes, originally seen in stealing the decoder in "[[Recap/BlakesSevenS1E6SeekLocateDestroy Seek-Locate-Destroy]]"
* TheCon in "[[Recap/BlakesSevenS2E11Gambit Gambit]]", "[[Recap/BlakesSevenS4E8Games Games]]" and "[[Recap/BlakesSevenS4E10Gold Gold]]"
* DeadlyGame: "Games", "Gambit", and "Death-Watch".
* DieHardOnAnX in "[[Recap/BlakesSevenS3E2Powerplay Powerplay]]"
* DoomsdayDevice: "Countdown", "Volcano", "Orbit".
* DuelToTheDeath between Blake and Travis in "[[Recap/BlakesSevenS1E8Duel Duel]]", and the CombatByChampion in "[[Recap/BlakesSevenS3E12DeathWatch Death-Watch]]". Also the ThrowingDownTheGauntlet version in "Power".
* GhostShip: "Time Squad", "Killer", Sarcophagus".

There's quite a strong element of sexual tension within the show, though much of it is beneath the surface, mainly because it was originally shown in an early evening timeslot. Fans note much subtextual HoYay in many of the male relationships. Amongst British SF fandom, Blake/Avon (or Avon/Blake -- the order can be very important to fans) [[{{Shipping}} slash]] [[FanFic fiction]] is very popular, as is Avon/Tarrant.
----
!!''[[Series/BlakesSeven Blake's Seven]]'' provides examples of:

* SeventiesHair: Tame, perhaps, but certainly present. In particular, Vila has significant sideburns, and Blake's hair is curly and 'fro-shaped.
* EightiesHair:
** Not every woman, but Jenna definitely (especially in series 1), actually being the 80s notwithstanding.
** Tarrant has the male equivalent. In fact, most of Servalan's high ranking male subordinates at Space Command seem to have this as well. Since Tarrant is a former Federation officer turned deserter and smuggler, this ''kind of'' makes sense.
* AccidentalAimingSkills: "I was aiming for his head!"
* AcePilot: Jenna and Tarrant. Everyone else learns basic piloting techniques, but anything complicated is left to them.
* ActionGirl: Most of the women in the series can handle themselves in a fight, but Dayna, by virtue of youth and sheer variety/depth of combat skill, stands out.
* AIIsACrapshoot:
** While Orac does not have homicidal tendencies, he is frequently reluctant to follow orders given to him, dismissing them as irrelevant waste of time. Zen, on the other hand, deliberately withholds information from the crew on more than one occasion until the crew takes "full" control of the Liberator at the end of "Redemption". It's also the backstory of that episode -- the System was a MasterComputer created by one of three constantly warring planets. It ended the conflict by taking over the other planet's computers and enslaving their inhabitants.
** Played straight to a cliched degree in "Headhunter". Mueller's android is an evil, homicidal machine that can control any other machine, and wished to use this ability to conquer the universe.
* [[DemonicPossession Alien Possession]]: Happens to Cally in "The Web", "Shadow", "Ultraworld", and "Sarcophagus".
* AllPlanetsAreEarthlike: Though in fairness most of them are or were human colonies, which would have been chosen for their ability to support life. Spacesuits are only used for vacuum however, with the occasional mention of breathing masks. Thermal suits are worn for the more colder planets.
* AliensMadeThemDoIt: Tarrant and Servalan in "[[Recap/BlakesSevenS4E9Sand Sand]]", and attempted unsuccessfully on Tarrant and Dayna in "[[Recap/BlakesSevenS3E10Ultraworld Ultraworld]]".
* AmazonBrigade: The mutoids used as soldiers by Servalan and Travis, though [[EarlyInstallmentWeirdness we do see some male mutoids in early episodes]].
* AmbiguouslyHuman: Cally the Auron, whose nature unfortunately changes from season to season; she was initially portrayed and repeatedly described as a very humanoid alien, but later became an artificially enhanced clone from an isolationist human society. Might also be an example of HumanAliens, depending on what you believe.
** Also, various planetary populations encountered by the crew who appear human but have ancient civilizations predating the Earth colonies. Some are explicitly stated to be HumanAliens, others are left ambiguous.
* AntiHero:
** Avon is a particularly good example: He begins as a mix of TheRival and TheLancer, supporting Blake only when it's in his personal interest and because he wants the ''Liberator''. Later, [[spoiler:once he becomes the leader of the group]], he becomes increasingly paranoid and sociopathic, at one point [[spoiler:nearly murdering Vila in cold blood]].
** Blake himself was edging into this trope towards the end of the Star One story-arc; he was pressing ahead with a plan that he knew would cause massive collateral damage and potentially kill ''millions'' of innocent bystanders, despite being presented with a perfectly workable alternative plan -- by ''Avon'' no less -- that could have achieved the same goals almost bloodlessly. [[spoiler:And the Federation were bouncing back from Star One getting blown up by the final season, so he might as well have not bothered]].
* AnyoneCanDie: And ''how''.
* ArmCannon: Travis has a large yellow PowerCrystal (a lazeron destroyer) set on his artificial hand. He lost the hand after being shot by Blake, [[ItsPersonalWithTheDragon so is eager to use it on him]]. Instead Travis tends to lose the hand whenever someone is [[BlastingItOutOfTheirHands Blasting It Out Of His Hand]].
* AerithAndBob: As this is TheFuture and language has evolved; some names are the same, while [[MyNaymeIs others are spelt differently]].
* ArtifactTitle: A pre-and-post variant thereof; There aren't seven of them until the end of the third episode, when Cally joins. After that, the number usually stays ''close'' to seven, but varies... and after the end of series two, it's not Blake's any more.
* AsteroidThicket: Season A had two "meteor storms", with lots of rocks hitting the ship as if it were a heavy hailstorm or an avalanche.
* AuthorAppeal: Creator/ChrisBoucher would often insert references to classic westerns into the scripts. This appealed to Paul Darrow greatly, as he was a big fan of the genre.
* AwesomeButImpractical:
** Those metal gun-holsters in Season D look very fancy, but more than once the characters have trouble putting their guns away. Blooper reels also show that, thanks to the trigger being built into the handle, they had a tendency to accidentally discharge when an actor picked one up. On the other hand they were designed to be much tougher than the Liberator guns, which had a tendency to break whenever Paul Darrow picked one up.
** The Liberator hadn't been designed by the special effects team as was the usual procedure, so it wasn't designed to conceal the mounting rods and suspension wires, was too front-heavy, and had a tendency to jab the set crew with its prongs.
* BatmanGambit: Servalan in the appropriately titled "[[Recap/BlakesSevenS2E11Gambit Gambit]]". Also in "[[Recap/BlakesSevenS2E3Weapon Weapon]]" it's shown that a profession called a psychostrategist exists whose entire job is to plan these.
* BBCQuarry: The TropeMaker along with ''Series/DoctorWho'' -- according to Gareth Thomas there was one occasion when they heard noises at the other side of the quarry, and discovered ''Doctor Who'' was filming there at the same time (though evidence of filming dates shows this may be apocryphal). Sometimes there are InUniverse justifications such as the atmosphere is too thin to support much vegetation, the planet has been mined out by the Federation, or devastated by nuclear or biological warfare. However there were plenty of planets portrayed by English forests or windswept grassy hills. Scowles (ancient iron ore quarries) also provided a more visibly interesting version of the trope.
* BeepingComputers: Both Zen and Orac: with Zen making a variety of humming noises, and Orac making a particularly irritating set of high-pitched beeps.
* BigBad: Servalan, Supreme Commander of the Federation's military forces, and during Season C the President of the Terran Federation. She is deposed in the final season and takes on another identity, but still causes trouble as the main antagonist and evil face of the Federation.
* BitchInSheepsClothing: Servalan is this to Space Command staff, most of whom seem to find her a charming lady (until she [[MagnificentBastard outmanoeuvres]] them.)
* BlackAndGreyMorality: Especially in the final season, where there is nobody left in the regular cast who isn't a NominalHero.
* BoardingParty: The original team is formed when, having lost several of his own men exploring a deserted alien ship, the commander of the prison ship sends a boarding party comprised of prisoners. [[SarcasmMode Not like that's going to go wrong.]]
* BolivianArmyEnding:
** The final episode ended with [[spoiler:all the heroes apparently getting shot.]] Had there been a fifth season it would have been revealed [[spoiler: [[BolivianArmyCliffhanger that basically, any actor who wanted to do Season E]] would "survive"]], but at that point the show got cancelled. Fanon has it that [[spoiler: Vila, at least, survived, as when he is 'shot', he falls the wrong way, early - [[PlayingPossum faking being hit]] ]], or so the story goes. And likewise, [[spoiler: almost everything Paul Darrow was involved in afterwards, from the trilogy of novels he wrote to his involvement in ''Kaldor City'' as the suspiciously familiar "Kaston Iago", says Avon survived too.]]
** The second season ends with our heroes facing down an alien armada while awaiting the cavalry. Avon yells "Fire" just as the credits roll.
* BorrowedBiometricBypass: {{Discussed}} in "[[Recap/BlakesSevenS1E2SpaceFall Space Fall]]" when Gan threatens to take off the guard's hand if he doesn't use it to open the door with a palm scan. The guard wisely agrees.
* BountyHunter: Given that the crew had a PriceOnTheirHead, plus Creator/ChrisBoucher's fondness for Western themes, these made an obligatory appearance.
** In "Bounty", the Liberator is seized by the Amagons, SpacePirates who engage in a variety of criminal activities including bounty hunting.
** In "Blake", the planet Gauda Prime is a CrapsackWorld where all laws have been suspended by the Federation High Council, in order to kill or drive off the colonists who legally owned the land. This naturally attracted a large number of criminals and psychopaths [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness who now have to be disposed of]] before law and order can be reintroduced, so they're being used as bounty hunters to [[WantedDeadOrAlive catch or kill]] their fellow lawbreakers. Our rebel anti-heroes are not pleased to hear that Blake, ostensibly their leader but who's been [[PutOnABus missing for the past couple of seasons]], is now [[TookALevelInJerkass working as one of these bounty hunters]]. [[spoiler:It turns out he's secretly recruiting another rebel force from among the criminals he's capturing.]]
* BridgeBunnies:
** Part of the {{Chickification}} of the series; Jenna and Cally would be left operating the teleport while the men went down to the planet. Eventually both actresses left the series because they felt their characters were underutilized. Their replacements were both {{Action Girl}}s.
** Subverted with Servalan who has an AmazonBrigade of mutoids ([[IDoNotDrinkWine creepy]] female cyborgs) to provide this function, as [[EvilIsSexy she's quite glamorous in her own right]], thank you. Though Travis notes sardonically that she has a tendency to surround herself with handsome ''male'' staff.
* BroughtDownToNormal: In "The Harvest Of Kairos", Servalan captures both the Liberator and Orac, abandoning the crew on a DeathWorld where only some hasty improvisation and guile can save them.
* ButtMonkey: If Vila isn't, nobody is.
* {{Camp}}: A fair amount, intentional and not.
* CannedOrdersOverLoudspeaker: As you'd find in any futuristic dystopia, but played for horror in the opening scene of "Warlord".
* CanonWelding - Creator/ChrisBoucher's spin-off works have suggested that the show takes place in the same time period and spatial area as his popular ''Series/DoctorWho'' story "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS14E5TheRobotsOfDeath The Robots Of Death]]". It could have happened earlier and with a much higher profile, as Creator/TomBaker and some of the actors from ''Blake's'' wanted to do a crossover story, and Terry Nation originally wanted [[spoiler: the alien invasion at the end of S2 to be the Daleks from ''Series/DoctorWho'']]. [[WhatCouldHaveBeen Which would have been]] ''awesome''.
* TheCaptain: Downplayed as the crew are [[RagtagBunchOfMisfits criminals, rebels and mercenaries]] who by their very nature tend to reject authority. They generally accept Blake (and later Avon) as their leader, but have been known to outvote them on occasion (this is why Blake and sometimes Avon are {{Manipulative Bastard}}s). Avon was a SourSupporter to Blake, and when he becomes TheCaptain finds himself in a running dispute with cocky newcomer Tarrant over who should be in charge of the ship.
* CargoCult
** In "Deliverance", the descendants of an AfterTheEnd society await a god from the skies with the knowledge to launch the [[TheArk rocket with genetic bank]] to [[FlingALightIntoTheFuture start their race on another world]]. Avon is [[AwesomeEgo entirely willing to take on the role]]. Likely an InvokedTrope as the scientist who built the rocket was killed off, and the survivors would know that only aliens capable of interstellar travel would have the knowledge to repair it.
** In "Power", another AfterTheEnd society decided to [[LuddWasRight destroy all their technology]] and [[YearZero start again from the beginning]]. The HypercompetentSidekick of local chieftain Gunn Sar has found a MasterComputer room they missed, that he uses to secretly keep things running for their barbarian descendants.
-->"It's self-maintained. Powered by our sun, [[RagnarokProofing it will last forever]]. This generation, even Gunn Sar, believes it to be [[ClarkesThirdLaw some kind of magic]] that keeps the chambers light and warm. A computer is like some ancient god to them!"
** Averted with the barbarian chieftain Chel in "Aftermath". ''His'' response to 'outsiders' is to KillEmAll, as the prophecies have foretold that they've come to destroy his people. [[TheWarOfEarthlyAggression Given the way the Federation acts]], it's hard to blame him.
* CassetteFuturism: You have {{data crystal}}s and microtapes, [[ZeeRust solid state computers]] with BillionsOfButtons and esoteric talking AI's, clunky UsedFuture freighters and gleaming {{Cool Starship}}s.
* CasualInterstellarTravel: This series has several forms of FasterThanLightTravel; Time-Distort and Hyperdrives (which may or may not be the same thing) are used by the Federation. The ''Liberator'' uses a different, more exotic method that involves "crossing the antimatter threshold." In Season D, ''Scorpio'' is fitted with an experimental Photonic Drive that is faster than anything else. All these systems differ in maximum speed, with the ''Liberator'' and ''Scorpio'' outclassing just about everything else, but all of them are apparently very fast; the crew darts around the galaxy and is able to return to Earth to strike at the Federation's heart without too much extended space travel.
* CataclysmBackstory: Earth has experienced a nuclear war, though the environment appears to have recovered. People live in domed cities, but that's more for comfort and convenience (and it's implied, for social control) because they're not used to the outside world. The calendar has been changed, there's some FutureImperfect references and no discussion on the causes or outcomes of the conflict. Once the protagonists leave Earth, they encounter several planets that have reverted to barbarism due to war or social collapse.
* ChronicHeroSyndrome: Blake has a bad case; the Liberator crew's general exhaustion and frustration from mid-Season B onward is a testament to it.
* CliffHanger: Used for each SeasonFinale.
** At the end of Season A, Orac shows off his ability to predict the future [[spoiler:with an image of the Liberator exploding.]]
** At the end of Season B, Avon's "Fire!" would [[Recap/StarTrekTheNextGenerationS3E26S4E1TheBestOfBothWorlds predate Commander Riker's by over ten years]].
** In Season C, [[spoiler:our heroes are stranded on a DeathWorld after witnessing the demise of Servalan and the Liberator.]] This was not meant to be a cliffhanger as "Terminal" was [[SeriesFauxnale supposed to be the final episode]] before the series was unexpectedly renewed.
** Season D has the famous BolivianArmyEnding.
** There's also a cliffhanger at the end of "Aftermath", which starts with the crew forced to AbandonShip. After an episode of life-threatening adventures, Avon returns to the Liberator with their latest recruit Dayna [[spoiler:only to find themselves [[OutOfTheFryingPan confronted at gunpoint by a Federation officer]] demanding to know what they are doing on HIS ship.]]
* ColdEquation: "[[Recap/BlakesSevenS4E11Orbit Orbit]]" was inspired by the TropeNamer. The DownerEnding of "[[{{Recap/BlakesSevenS4E4Stardrive}} Stardrive]]" is another example.
* CombatByChampion: "[[{{Recap/BlakesSevenS3E12DeathWatch}} Death-Watch]]".
* CommLinks: The Seven's teleport bracelets also acted as communicators. Other versions used by the Federation were pressed against the throat like an electrolarynx.
* ComputerizedJudicialSystem: Used to weigh the evidence in Travis' trial in "[[{{Recap/BlakesSevenS2E6Trial}} Trial]]" and Blake's show trial in "[[{{Recap/BlakesSevenS1E1TheWayBack}} The Way Back]]", though human arbiters are used to determine the sentence. On both occasions, the trial is stacked against the accused by fabricating the evidence (Blake) or influencing the arbiters (Travis).
* CoolGuns: None of which are named. The Liberator guns (a [[MakeMeWannaShout sonic]] [[LaserBlade lance]] according to sfx designer Ian Scoones), the clip-fed pistols from Season D, and the carbines used by the Federation ([[FanNickname called paraguns by fans]]). A [[IKEAWeaponry rifle that could be disassembled into a shorter version]] was designed, but only shown in the last two episodes [[spoiler:(the carbine version is used by Avon to kill Blake).]]
* CoolStarship / StarshipLuxurious: The ''Liberator'', a mysterious, fantastically powerful alien craft; when they board it, Jenna and Avon find an on-board treasure room and a vast costume closet. It has numerous crew amenities, a teleport system, a BFG and a sentient computer.
* CradlingYourKill: Avon does this after he shoots [[spoiler:Anna Grant]].
* CrapsaccharineWorld: The series opens with a [[BigBrotherIsWatchingYou panning security camera]] and CannedOrdersOverLoudspeaker, while drugged and docile citizens walk zombielike through white-painted corridors to the [[MoodDissonance cheerful sound of muzak]]. Roj Blake lives a sheltered life, living in a DomedCity as an Alpha Grade before he's forcibly dragged back into his past.
* CrapsackWorld: The show is generally extremely cynical, and gets even more so as it progresses. The "good" characters are generally either {{Nominal Hero}}es or {{Well Intentioned Extremist}}s, the victories against the Federation are minor and temporary, and increasingly rare in later seasons. [[spoiler:The Federation is nearly destroyed at the beginning of Season C by the Andromedan invasion, but gradually gets back up to full power despite the resistance's efforts. And of course there's the notorious ending.]]
* {{Crossover}}: Creator/TerryNation wanted the Daleks to show up in the SeasonFinale to Season B (he owned the rights to them after all) but this idea was [[ExecutiveMeddling opposed by the producers]]. However a guest character, Carnell from "Weapon", turned up in a ''Series/DoctorWho'' Literature/PastDoctorAdventures novel, ''Corpse Marker'' by ''Blake's 7'' Script Editor Creator/ChrisBoucher.
* CultColony: Cygnus Alpha, under Creator/{{BRIAN BLESSED}}, shows that you don't need advanced technology for oppression and brainwashing.
* CuriosityKilledTheCast: Just because they're rebels doesn't stop the crew of the Liberator checking things out from sheer boredom or curiosity, usually [[OnlySaneMan against the advice of Avon]]. In "Sacrophagus" they investigate a mysterious alien craft whose inhabitant nearly takes over the ship, [[AesopAmnesia only to have the exact same thing happen in the next episode!]]
* CyberneticsEatYourSoul: Mutoids have their memories (and thus personalities) wiped, having no reason to exist outside their service to the Federation. They also [[OurVampiresAreDifferent ingest blood directly]]. Federation officers therefore regard them as [[WhatMeasureIsANonHuman barely human]] and thus [[CannonFodder entirely expendable]].
* DarkerAndEdgier: Season B carries a noticeably darker undertone than the first season did, exemplified when Blake attempts his first major assault on the Federation in "Pressure Point," [[spoiler:which ends in failure, and Gan paying the price with his life]]. Season C was nearer the first season's adventurous tone, but was followed by Season D, by ''far'' the show's darkest season despite some early goofiness.
* DeadlyGame
** The episode "Games" has the MacGuffin protected by lethal {{Booby Trap}}s which include a flight simulator and QuickDraw game that killed the players if they didn't win. Fortunately AcePilot Tarrant and TheGunslinger Soolin [[PlotTailoredToTheParty just happen to be]] on the BoardingParty sent to get it.
** The episode "Gambit" includes a game of speed chess where the challenger is strapped to an electric chair. He either wins an obscene amount of money, or he loses and the resident chessmaster pushes a button and fries him. After Vila and Avon scam the casino with the help of [[MasterComputer Orac]], Vila is tricked into playing the game.
** The episode "Death-Watch" features a one-on-one duel to the death conducted between representatives of two planets who use the duels as a substitute for all-out interplanetary war. The events are broadcast widely, and of course nobody could possibly want to interfere with them for their own political gain...
* DeadpanSnarker: Avon, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWHLU8fwi80 all-consumingly]]. The rest of the cast [[WorldOfSnark qualifies as well]], just not to the same extent.
* DeathInTheClouds: RecycledInSpace in "[[{{Recap/BlakesSevenS1E7MissionToDestiny}} Mission to Destiny]]". The crew of the Liberator come across a space freighter with its pilot murdered, the controls sabotaged, and the crew all unconscious. The Liberator has to take the freighter's valuable cargo to its destination, while Avon and Cally stay to help with repairs and (of course) solve the mystery.
* DebutQueue: Vila and Jenna get introduced to Blake at the very end of the first episode, Avon and Gan are introduced in the second, Zen in the third, and Cally finally turns up to complete the original team in the fourth. When the first major round of cast changes happened at the beginning of Season C, Dayna and Tarrant were respectively introduced in the first and second episodes.
* DecoyProtagonist: New viewers watching the first episode might assume the thoroughly likable Varon (Blake's lawyer) and Maja (Varon's wife) are going to be major characters, as they have a lot of screen time, and spend much of "[[{{Recap/BlakesSevenS1E1TheWayBack}} The Way Back]]" attempting to help Blake. [[AnyoneCanDie New viewers would be wrong in this assumption.]]
** In the following two episodes it's also left up in the air who the rest of the Seven will be, with characters introduced only to be killed off. The full compliment is only established in "[[{{Recap/BlakesSevenS1E4TimeSquad}} Time Squad]]", and one of them is a computer.
* DeflectorShields: The Liberator is protected by a "force wall" against plasma bolts and meteor storms, but running it is very energy consumptive -- in "Duel" their power banks are so low they can only raise the force wall just before the plasma bolt strikes. There's also a flare shield that must be raised before firing the neutron blasters, apparently to stop the crew being injured by reflected glare and radiation from their own weapons. The force wall was one of several superior technologies that made the Liberator quite a battlewagon -- in "The Harvest of Kairos" Servalan is shocked that the Liberator can fire through its own force wall, and the ship also has the ability to overlap the force walls for greater protection. There were several mentions of defense fields and screens used to protect spaceships or surface installations, so the Federation apparently has similar albeit less advanced technology.
* DependingOnTheWriter: Happened to Servalan, Avon and Vila, Tarrant and Cally in later seasons. After Creator/TerryNation left the show this got so bad for the character of Avon that Paul Darrow gave up and started playing him as [[SanitySlippage slowly losing his mind]] to compensate for it.
* DepravedBisexual: Egrorian in "[[{{Recap/BlakesSevenS4E11Orbit}} Orbit]]" -- although initially he's ''very'' closely attached to his one-time student Pinder, he has no problems blowing him off in favour of a relationship with Servalan. Also Krantor in "Gambit", who similarly is strongly implied to be same-sex lovers with his sidekick Toise but flirts heavily with Servalan as well.
* DiabolusExMachina: In Season D, Servalan turns out to be NotQuiteDead and the Federation starts to reconquer its lost territories thanks to Pylene-50.
* DieHardOnAnX: "[[{{Recap/BlakesSevenS3E2Powerplay}} Powerplay]]"
* DomedCity: Most of the pilot episode is set in a domed city in an AfterTheEnd Earth. The outside world is shown to be quite habitable with birdlife and drinkable water, so the implication is that the dome is now used for convenience and as a further means of controlling the populace.
* DontCreateAMartyr: The Terran Adminstration decide it's too risky to kill Blake as it will lead to ConspiracyTheory, so decide to discredit and exile him by having Blake [[FrameUp framed]] on child molestation charges using children brainwashed with FakeMemories.
* DoomsdayDevice
** In "Countdown", the Federation have hidden a solium bomb that will kill everyone on the planet with radiation poisoning if they rebel. The rebels attempt to seize the control room before it's activated but fail, and the plot involves a RaceAgainstTheClock to locate and disarm the bomb.
** Another such weapon is used to protect a society of pacifists in "Volcano". They threaten to detonate the device if any aggressor attempts to land on their planet. Unfortunately Servalan decides to call their bluff. [[spoiler:It's not a bluff.]]
** In "Orbit", a MadScientist offers his Tachyon Funnel to Avon, a device that can destroy any planet at any range, enabling him to crush the Federation with ease. Of course, it's never that easy...
* DownerEnding: Especially in series 3 and [[spoiler:4. Had there been a series 5, there might have been some redemption from the down-ness of series 4's ending.]]
* TheDragon: Space Commander Travis, a leather-clad psychopathic Federation officer with one eye and an artificial hand with a built-in laser gun. He has an obsession with hunting down Blake, the man who crippled him, that continues even after he becomes a Federation fugitive himself.
* DrinkOrder: In an episode where [[TheDragon Travis]] is supposed to be a [[SpaceWestern tough gunslinger]], he walks into a bar and orders a vitazade. Which [[HilariousInHindsight unfortunately is now an Irish soft drink]].
* EasilyConqueredWorld: In Season D the Terran Federation is suddenly able to [[TheWarOfEarthlyAggression reconquer several planets]] they lost during the upheavals of the past year. Turns out they've developed a drug called Pylene-50 that blocks the production of adrenaline. It's hard to resist a tyranny [[GettingSmiliesPaintedOnYourSoul when you can't get angry or aggressive about it]].
* EconomyCast: Several planets or cultures had a population of only one or two people, especially when they had to share the screen with a number of extras playing an opposing group. In the pilot episode, the people seen walking the corridors in the opening scene are later killed in the massacre, then make an UnexplainedRecovery as prisoners in the transit cell with Blake. According to producer David Maloney he'd go through scripts and whenever he saw something like "Fifty guards rush into the room", [[NoBudget he'd cross out the fifty and write "two".]]
* ElaborateUndergroundBase: Xenon Base, used by the crew of Scorpia.
* EldritchAbomination: The dark entity that tried to take over Cally in "Shadow."
* TheEmpire: Though it's called The Federation (occasionally the Terran Federation), it's ''not'' TheFederation in anything except some of its own propaganda. Puppet states and rigged elections on its frontiers are par for the course.
* EnemyMine: In "Killer" and "Star One" Blake chooses to warn the Federation of a greater threat to humanity. Servalan isn't above joining forces when stranded on a planet with our heroes, but they have to be careful about turning their back on her ("Aftermath", "Moloch" and "Sand").
* EnforcedTechnologyLevels:
** Cloning is restricted to the pseudo-religious Clonemasters. The Federation knows YouCannotKillAnIdea, so this way they BlackBox the technology, yet keep it available as a GodzillaThreshold if needed.
** The Federation has the ability to make RidiculouslyHumanRobots, but they are only used for a couple of {{Evil Plan}}s. We see no sign of a general use [[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration Data-style android]] despite (or more likely because) RobotsAreJustBetter. The episode "Headhunter" implies that such androids would depose humanity, so presumably the Federation has similar concerns.
* EqualOpportunityEvil: Most prominently Servalan, also Morag, Major Thania, and others.
* EstablishingCharacterMoment:
** Avon snarkily explaining how the door panels work in "[[{{Recap/BlakesSevenS1E2SpaceFall}} Space Fall]]", thus showing off his love of computers and his love of [[TheSnarkKnight being rude to people]] he thinks are dumber than him. (Which is, of course, everyone.)
** Cally knocking Blake over with her gun, and speaking to him telepathically combines her fighter nature with her dislike of actual violence, and demonstrates her telepathy.
** Vila trying to take Blake's watch shows he's a thief in "[[{{Recap/BlakesSevenS1E1TheWayBack}} The Way Back]]", though it's [[CharacterizationMarchesOn presented initially]] as being a compulsive behaviour rather than something he does because he's good at it, as in later episodes.
** Gan threatening to tear a guard's hand off in order to make him open a door.
** Dayna's BigDamnHeroes moment by saving Avon from some angry natives with her bow and arrow.
** Tarrant, disguised as a Federation officer, casually introducing himself to Avon and Dayna and asking what they're doing on his ship.
* EvenBadMenLoveTheirMamas: In "[[{{Recap/BlakesSevenS3E6CityAtTheEdgeOfTheWorld}} City at the Edge of the World]]", Beyban the Butcher (played by Creator/ColinBaker) speaks fondly of his mother ("Wonderful woman. Truly evil personality.").
* EvenEvilHasStandards: Travis is court-martialed by Star Command for one of his massacres in "Trial".
* EverybodyLaughsEnding: Happens a few times, usually when someone's cracked a joke at [[ButtMonkey Vila's expense.]] However a more notorious example is in "[[{{Recap/BlakesSevenS3E7ChildrenOfAuron}} Children of Auron]]" when Avon cracks a lame joke and everyone laughs [[spoiler:after almost every member of Cally's race gets killed with biological warfare, including her sister.]]
* EvilIsHammy:
** Averted with the soulless Orwellian bureaucrats of the Terran Administration, but once we leave Earth and those [[GovernmentDrugEnforcement tranquilizers they put in the water]] there are no shortage of {{Mad Scientist}}s, religious maniacs, campy crime bosses, power-hungry schemers, murderous {{Femme Fatale}}s and psychotic Federation thugs to make things interesting, half of them dressed in {{Impractically Fancy Outfit}}s and ChewingTheScenery for all it's worth.
** "Evil" is an [[AntiHero open question]], but it's certainly true that the more embittered and compromised Avon becomes, the more studs he wears, poses he strikes, and lines he delivers in staccato barks.
* EvilWearsBlack: The Federation GasMaskMooks wear black overalls, black gasmasks and carry black weaponry. [[TheDragon Travis]] wears [[HellBentForLeather all black leather]], and even when he's [[RogueAgent forced to leave the military]] is usually seen wearing black clothes. Avon, the most morally ambiguous member of the heroes, is often seen in black leather as well. However it was deliberately averted by actress Jacqueline Pearce who decided to have Servalan be a WomanInWhite (though she [[WidowsWeeds changes to black]] halfway through the series).
* ExplosiveDecompression: A few times people apparently explode after being [[TeleFrag teleported into space]]. However, it's explained the first time it happens that this isn't them exploding under internal pressure -- it's the result of teleporting somebody over too long a distance so that the device can't put them back together again. On one occasion when a person gets ThrownOutTheAirlock, we see a model body drift away without exploding.
* FacelessGoons: The Federation's [[GasMaskMooks always gas-masked]] troopers, though subverted in some episodes where we see them take the masks off [[PunchClockVillain for breaks]], or if you the viewer are going to have to remember which one is who. Even alien civilizations seem to have these as the [[MalevolentMaskedMen standard sci-fi dystopia package]]. Given the EconomyCast, it has the added advantage of enabling extras to be reused for other roles.
* FailureIsTheOnlyOption: The ending of a ''very large'' number of episodes involve this trope, especially in Season D.
* FakeInTheHole: Avon throws an EverythingSensor into a group of mercenaries, shouting "Grenade!" The mercenaries reflexively dive for cover, and when they realize it was fake and look up, the heroes have them at gunpoint.
--> '''Avon''': "It must have been a dud. Sorry about that."
* FamedInStory: Blake. Servalan tries to stamp this out by putting in place a total news blackout in regards to him. Turns out they CantStopTheSignal and so the censorship only increases Blake's reputation, [[ShroudedInMyth as any setback the Federation suffers is credited to him]].
* FanOfThePast:
** In "Bounty", a former planetary ruler has decorated his BigFancyHouse with artifacts from Earth's 20th Century, including a gas mask, cutlery, and clothes irons displayed in glass cabinets like {{Priceless Ming Vase}}s. He thinks this era was a [[NostalgiaFilter more civilized age]] and proudly shows off his authentic twentieth-century residence (actually a [[FutureImperfect 19th century folly]]).
** In "Rumors of Death", President Servalan has a reproduction of a stately home of England built as her palace. This is regarded as ConspicuousConsumption as a modern DomedCity could be built for half the cost.
* FantasticCasteSystem: The Federation has a rigid hierarchical system divided on either [[RankedByIQ intelligence]]/merit or function -- Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta grades are specifically mentioned. Blake is an Alpha, a privileged group who apparently act as the leaders (which is likely why his role as a RebelLeader is treated so seriously in the pilot episode). Vila is a Delta service grade, claiming to have [[ObfuscatingStupidity faked his IQ test]] to avoid a higher grade and the [[DraftDodging requisite military service]]. There's also a Labour grade who are regarded as expendable slaves.
* FantasticDrug: Shadow from the episode of that name. There's also "adrenaline and soma" in [[SignatureStyle episodes written by Allan Prior]], a ShoutOut to ''Literature/BraveNewWorld''. The adrenaline is [[BottledHeroicResolve drunk as a stimulant]] (whether it's [[ArtisticLicenseBiology actual adrenaline]] or just a brand name is unknown) with the soma presumably a downer to take the edge off. Upping the soma dosage leads to InstantSedation.
* FasterThanLightTravel; Time-Distort and Hyperdrives (which may or may not be the same thing) are used by the Federation; the ''Liberator'' uses a different, more exotic propulsion. In Season C, ''Scorpio'' is fitted with super-fast experimental Photonic Drive. All of these propulsion methods are limited to travel within the Milky Way Galaxy. The alien invaders from Andromeda, however, have an unspecified "intergalactic drive."
* FauxAffablyEvil: Servalan, with her creepy smile and slippery charm.
* FinalSeasonCasting: Glynis Barber as Soolin.
* FixFic: The episode "[[{{Recap/BlakesSevenS4E9Sand}} Sand]]" appears to be a Fix Fic for the dubious characterisation of Servalan in the earlier episode "[[{{Recap/BlakesSevenS3E5TheHarvestOfKairos}} The Harvest of Kairos]]".
* FoeRomanceSubtext: Servalan with both Avon (including a BigDamnKiss) and Tarrant (including sex while [[LockedInARoom trapped on a planet]] together).
* ForbiddenZone
** Referred to by that exact name in "Pressure Point". Protected by automated defenses, the Forbidden Zone defends the Federation MasterComputer called Central Control. The crew get through by using their energy weapons as wire cutters and running very fast. [[spoiler:Only to discover that Control was moved years ago and the Zone is only maintained as SchmuckBait for the enemies of the Federation]].
** There's also the BermudaTriangle InSpace version containing either a NegativeSpaceWedgie or [[AbsoluteXenophobe hostile aliens]] who want to discourage humans from entering their territory.
* ForgottenPhlebotinum:
** "Project Avalon" states that the Federation MindProbe is an infallible method of interrogation. That doesn't stop ColdBloodedTorture being used in later seasons, despite being less efficient.
** In the TwoPartEpisode that introduces Orac, the MagicalComputer can extrapolate the future and destroy an enemy vessel by hacking into and detonating the missiles it carries. Neither of these extremely useful abilities are ever mentioned again.
** In "Cygnus Alpha", Avon and Jenna discover the Liberator is carrying a vast fortune in jewelry, more than in the entire Federation banking system according to Avon, who [[LeaveYourQuestTest urges Jenna to take the money and run]], saying that Blake will just use it for his HopelessWar. But we never see Blake using it to finance LaResistance (except for a few crystals in "Shadow"); in fact several future episodes are based on TheCaper in order to steal for the revolution (or [[IfIWereARichMan make our anti-heroes rich]]).
* FreudianTrio: The "Power Trio". Blake, Avon and Jenna, the three strongest personalities aboard Liberator and her first crew.
** Id: Blake -- idealistic, charismatic, and the leading figure of the Rebellion.
** Superego: Avon -- holds self-preservation as the only real value (and wealth the best tool to achieve it).
** Ego: Jenna -- quite possibly as ruthless as Avon, respects Blake for his ideals but won't follow him off the metaphorical cliff.
* FriendlyEnemy: Avon and Vila have this sort of relationship. On a personal level, they despise one another. On a professional level, they have tremendous respect for each others skills (Avon as a computer expert, Vila as a master thief).
* GasMaskMooks: Federation troopers as noted above.
* GhostShip:
** The Liberator is first discovered adrift in space after the crew abandoned ship during a space battle. It is protected by a defense system that lures intruders with hallucinations of absent friends or family.
** In "Time Squad", the Liberator receives a DistressCall from a tiny spacecraft with a crew in [[HumanPopsicle suspended animation]]. They revive and attack the Liberator crew, having been conditioned to protect its cargo against all intruders.
** In "Killer", an obsolete deep space exploration vessel turns up at a Federation base. When they retrieve the corpse of the pilot, it revives and attacks the doctor doing the autopsy, breaching quarantine and spreading a deadly plague throughout the base.
** In "Sarcophagus" the crew encounter an alien vessel containing the corpse of a dead woman. Turns out she's NotQuiteDead, surviving as an EnergyBeing who takes over Cally and then the Liberator.
* GilliganCut
** In "Dawn of the Gods" the rest of the crew try and persuade Vila to put on a spacesuit and take a look outside the ship
-->'''Vila:''' Oh no. Not me. Not a space suit. Well, it wasn't my idea. I never did trust those things. Nothing, absolutely nothing in the whole galaxy can or will persuade me to wear one. Not a chance.
-->(Cut to the air lock where Vila is wearing a spacesuit)
** In "[[{{Recap/BlakesSevenS4E1Rescue}} Rescue]]", the only spacecraft on the planet is on the other side of a sealed door, so our heroes leave Vila to get it open while they look for another entrance. Their search is futile, but their MasterOfUnlocking must have the other door open by now, surely? Cut to Vila next to an open door...[[INeedAFreakingDrink to the wine cabinet]].
-->'''Vila:''' There's something very suspicious about a man who keeps his booze under lock and key.
* GirlyRun
** Blake and Avon run like girls. It's oddly appropriate when you consider Blake is an engineer and Avon is a computer tech.
** [[TheDragon Travis]] gets one too, from the hips down (he was being doubled by another actor); in a documentary on the series, they point out that the director wanted a pell-mell run, but the set was so small that doing that would have resulted in smacking into (or, just as likely, straight through) the far wall. The attempt to find a compromise between artistic vision and safety results in sort of a bouncy, skipping... thing...
* GoodIsNotNice: Even the more moral members of the Seven have their ruthless moments -- Blake threatening to destroy a surgeon's hands in "Breakdown", Cally threatening to open fire on a neutral space station unless her friends aren't returned in "Shadow", Gan threatening to take a guard's hand off for a BorrowedBiometricBypass in "Space Fall".
* AGoodNameForARockBand: Dutch metal band Star One is named for the series, and their song "Intergalactic Space Crusaders" is pretty much a progressive metal FilkSong with the two singers playing the parts of Blake and Avon.
* GovernmentDrugEnforcement: The cult on Cygnus Alpha's fake medicine, plus the various tricks pulled by TheGovernment back on Earth to keep people in line, from fake memories to tranquilizers in the water or food. The Federation also turns out to have a hand in the production of Shadow, a dangerous narcotic. In Season C, the Federation develops a pacifying drug that enables them to quickly reconquer the empire they just lost, and there's a story arc involving the attempt to develop a countermeasure.
* TheGuardsMustBeCrazy:
** On the prison transport in "[[{{Recap/BlakesSevenS1E2SpaceFall}} Space Fall]]" they station a lone guard ''inside'' the prisoners' room, whose palm print can open the door from there. Naturally, once the camera is taken out he's overpowered and coerced to open the door by Gan threatening that they'll simply [[BorrowedBiometricBypass take off his hand]] if he refuses.
** From a review of the episode "Bounty":
-->"...to say nothing of the guards' color codes, which include [[RedAlert Red Standby Alert]] (apparently meaning stand around and do nothing), Red Mobilisation (wander around outside the house), and Blue Mobilisation (allow the President and his daughter to escape in a vintage car accompanied by two terrorists)."
** Zigzagged in "Rumors of Death". LaResistance knock out a camera, and rather than say ItsProbablyNothing a squad of guards is ''immediately'' dispatched to the area. However Security refuses to [[LockDown seal off the area]] as per regulations, pointing out that if it IS nothing then their superiors will come down on them hard if the VIP's are locked out of President Servalan's FancyDinner. Unfortunately the squad is [[MuggedForDisguise ambushed and stripped of their uniforms]] which are [[DressingAsTheEnemy then used to infiltrate the event]].
* GutPunch: A notorious one at the end of the very first episode. The hero has been framed for child abuse by the evil government and is about to be sent to a penal colony, but his heroic CrusadingLawyer and the lawyer's girlfriend have discovered proof of the government's corruption and are about to blow everything sky-high. [[spoiler: Then in the last-but-one scene of the episode the lawyer and his girlfriend are casually blown away by government agents. The prison ship takes off.]] The end.
* HellBentForLeather: Worn by both heroes and villains, notably Avon and Travis. An S&M shop made the outfits as they had the most experience in working with leather (there's a cute anecdote about the shopworkers frantically hiding the porn and the nipple clamps when Michael Keating (Vila) turned up for a fitting with his little daughter in tow).
* HeroOfAnotherStory: (Or possibly villain) The System, the race that created the Liberator.
* HeroesPreferSwords: The Liberator guns were meant to evoke this trope, a wand-like device worn in a scabbard holster by the heroes.
* HitSoHardTheCalendarFeltIt:
** The series takes place in the Third Century of the Second Calendar. It's never explained why they stopped using the first calendar in canon, but it's likely that it has something to do with why everyone on Earth is living in domed and/or subterranean cities with going outside being illegal.
** Also happens on the planet Xenon, where after a devastating war the inhabitants decided to [[EvilLuddite abolish all technological development]] and start over again from the beginning.
* HomoeroticSubtext:
** As noted in the description, Blake and Avon themselves were favourites among early slash writers. "[[{{Recap/BlakesSevenS3E13Terminal}} Terminal]]" especially.
** "[[{{Recap/BlakesSevenS4E1Rescue}} Rescue]]" is basically Literature/ThePictureOfDorianGray [[RecycledINSPACE IN SPACE!]] with much of the subtext intact.
** It usually pops up in one form or another in Creator/RobertHolmes' episodes, most notably between Krantor and Toise in "Gambit," and Egrorian and Pinder in "[[{{Recap/BlakesSevenS4E11Orbit}} Orbit]]". Although the standards of the time meant that they couldn't actually be called lovers on-screen, Holmes made it pretty much as obvious as you can get without outright saying the G-word. (They are also inevitably villains. Well, half of them anyway; Krantor and Egrorian were outright villainous, but Toise didn't really care for Krantor's schemes and just wanted to focus on running the casino, while Pinder was neutral.)
* HumanAliens: Some Planets Of The Week are inhabited by descendants of human colonists, others, whose inhabitants look human, are explicitly stated to be HumanAliens.
-->'''Dayna:''' I didn't know Helots were originally from Earth.
-->'''Vila:''' Everyone came from Earth originally. That's a well-known fact.
-->'''Soolin:''' It's a well-known opinion, actually.
* HumansAreWhite: Plenty of MonochromeCasting at first, but as SocietyMarchesOn the BBC started to cast black and Asian actors. In Season C Josette Simon (an English woman of West Indian descent) joined the cast as Dayna Mellanby in an attempt to present some racial diversity, but there were still some kinks to be worked out. For instance in "Traitor", Dayna is to sent undercover to the planet Heliotrix. Avon assures her that she won't stand out as "When Helotrix was first settled, the old Stock Equalization Act was still in force. Every Earth race had to be represented." Unfortunately whoever cast the extras didn't read the script, as the only black person we see on the planet [[EqualOpportunityEvil is a Federation trooper]].
* HyperspaceArsenal:
** Dayna's favourite weapon is basically an explosive, heat-seeking roomba that she carries around... where?
** Servalan produces a bulky StickyBomb from a tight cocktail dress in "Warlord". Avon produces another bomb from his PaintedOnPants in "Redemption".
** In "Mission to Destiny", the VillainOfTheWeek somehow conceals a RayGun with a large radiator dish on their person.
* HyperspeedAmbush: This sets off the plot of "Stardrive", when the crew of Scorpio witness three Federation warships exploding for no apparent reason. They rewind the tape frame by frame and discover a tiny one-man spacecraft moving at a hitherto inconceivable speed. Given that our heroes are stuck in a clapped out space freighter, they're determined to get their hands on this new stardrive, which would give them the same advantage they had with the Liberator.
* HypocriticalHumour: In "Space Fall" it's suggested Avon may collaborate with their captors to get himself set free. Vila calls him a "cold-hearted, murdering..." and then immediately suggests they kill him now before he can do it.
* IAmVeryBritish: All the main characters speak in Received Pronunciation, even those from the lower Grades like Vila and Gan.
* [[IdiosyncraticEpisodeNaming Idiosyncratic Season Naming]]: The seasons rather than the episodes, but (probably due to the production codes) it's become traditional to refer to the four seasons as A, B, C and D rather than 1, 2, 3 and 4.
* IHaveYouNowMyPretty:
** GenderInverted in "Assassin". Servalan discovers Avon has been MadeASlave, so buys him for a hefty price. Their FoeRomanceSubtext then reaches fetish levels when Servalan says that from now on he can call her Mistress. Unfortunately he's rescued at that point.
** In "Dawn of the Gods", Cally is kidnapped by a powerful but lonely alien being who lays her out on a round bed covered in furs.
* ImportedAlienPhlebotinum: Although not a contemporary example, the Liberator works the same way. Its technology is so far in advance of anything the Federation has that capturing the Liberator (and later Orac) is often regarded as more important that killing Blake and his rebels.
* ImpracticallyFancyOutfit: Everyone wears wonderfully bizarre clothes, which never appear to get in the way of their adventures. Skin tight leather, very long dresses, cleavage (and not just the women) and puffy sleeves abound. Jenna, for example, once saves the day in a gorgeous blue ankle-length evening dress and high-heel boots, even though her coming to the rescue [[MakesSenseInContext would have involved climbing a lot of ladders.]]
* INeverSaidItWasPoison: Blake's lawyer in the pilot realises the man he's talking to is involved in the conspiracy when he mentions tunnels, which the lawyer hadn't brought up.
* InfantImmortality: Tragically averted in "[[{{Recap/BlakesSevenS3E7ChildrenOfAuron}} Children of Auron]]" when Servalan destroys a facility full of cloned foetuses, particularly significant since she emotionally broke down immediately after (in a tearful pained way, not an angry villainous way). [[spoiler:She'd had her genetic material implanted into some foetuses but had been tricked into believing it had been removed, but as soon as she'd fired she said knew they were hers and she "felt them die".]]
* InsultBackfire: "He was calling me a machine. But since he undoubtedly defines himself as a human being, I shall choose to take that as more of a compliment than anything else." You'd have thought Vila would have known better than to try and insult Avon in such a fashion.
* InterrogationByVandalism: Used by Blake in the episode "Bounty", and on Blake in the episode "Cygnus Alpha".
* InvisiblePresident: We are never shown the unnamed President, though we see a number of his underlings. This is [[FridgeBrilliance quite brilliant]], as it suggests the Federation is vast, and the President has better things to do than run around after Blake. This unfortunately get averted when Servalan becomes President, and appears to have all the time in the world to chase after Avon. (Presumably the original President didn't have UnresolvedSexualTension with Blake like Servalan has with Avon.)
* ItsAllAboutMe: Vila and Servalan. [[JerkassFacade Avon pretends to be this.]]
* JadeColoredGlasses: Avon spends most of Series 1 and 2 trying to get everyone to try a pair on, with varying success.
* JiggleShow: famously parodied on radio show ''Radio/TheBurkissWay''.
-->"Attention Earthlings! if you do not surrender immediately we will be forced to put on the ill-fitting clothes and the thinly disguised motorcycle helmets, and ponce up and down in the high-heeled leather boots, in the company of lots of women with no bras on!"
* JustInTime: Whenever they do a TeleportationRescue. Either the Liberator has to RunOrDie from a Federation patrol, and only returns barely in time to hear a desperate plea for immediate teleport, or they teleport out just as someone is about to shoot them or their location is about to explode. Sometimes they teleport back to the Liberator [[OutOfTheFryingPan only to find it's been captured while they were away]].
* KangarooCourt: Blake's trial is decided ahead of time, since he was framed. However, he didn't help his case by refusing to even offer a defense, [[NonSequitur because he was innocent]].
* KillAllHumans
** Averted in "Killer". ThePlague sent to infect humanity was just meant to confine us to our planet of origin, only affecting those who have gone out into deep space.
** The Andromedans are planning a GuiltFreeExterminationWar that will all but wipe out the human race. Due to their being {{Eldritch Abomination}}s however we discover nothing about their motives, and there appears to be no distaste for humanity involved. [[spoiler:They express genuine curiosity as to why Travis would assist them in their goals.]]
** In "Headhunter", the killer android plans to take over the galaxy, and Orac predicts this will lead to the demise of all organic life, perhaps because RobotsAreJustBetter and humanity would not be able to compete.
* KillEmAll: [[spoiler: The series finale.]]
* KillHimAlready
* KnightInSourArmor: Blake turns into this.
* LaResistance: Lots of planets have their own Resistance cells against Federation control, and there are elements of an interplanetary underground of freethinkers opposed to the Federation.
* LargeHam: Many, especially by the end. Well-acted, but not understated.
** "Is it true? Have you betrayed us? Have. You. Betrayed. ME?" (Shatner would be proud)
* LeftHanging: The deliberate version, though the producers were careful to leave themselves an out if the series was renewed again.
* LicencedSexist: Avon [[OutOfCharacter becomes a hardcore sexist in any episode written by Ben Steed]]. The most blatant instance is in the episode "[[{{Recap/BlakesSevenS4E2Power}} Power]]", where he actually lectures a female villain on how women are inherently less strong than men, and how they should learn their proper place in society. Fortunately the other writers treated Avon in a much more even-handed way, giving him much respect for his female colleagues and even Servalan to a certain extent.
* LimitedWardrobe: In Season C, when they're in reduced circumstances, the cast wears the same clothes episode after episode; it's not a perfect example, because they do change once or twice, but it's pretty striking after three seasons of lavishly UnlimitedWardrobe.
* LittlePeople: In "The Web" our heroes encounter the Decima, a genetically-engineered ServantRace four-feet high on a planet [[DidNotThinkThisThrough covered in five-foot high bracken]].
* LoadBearingHero: [[spoiler:In "Pressure Point", [[TheBigGuy Gan]]]] stops to hold up a [[SlowDoors slowly-descending door]], and gets killed when the roof collapses from a grenade blast.
* LuddWasRight:
** Any episode by Ben Steed has characters who either distrust technology or run afoul of it. In "The Harvest of Kairos", Jarvik waxes lyrical over the GoodOldWays in preference to the soulless machines that Servalan has surrounded herself with, and even smashes a computer at the end of his speech.
** In "Powerplay", a society has split into two factions, the Primitives who wanted to live the simple life, and the High-Techs. [[spoiler:The latter turn out to be the villains who are capturing the Primitives for OrganTheft.]]
** Averted with Cygnus Alpha (see CultColony).
* MachineEmpathy: [[AcePilot Jenna]] can tell the hyperdrive of the ''London'' "needs restressing, by the feel of things."
* TheMadHatter: By the final series, Avon is clearly well into a psychotic break. In the final episode, he implicitly describes himself as a psychopath. Paul Darrow considers Avon "under stress" rather than actually mad, at least up until that point.
* MadScientist: Saymon from "The Web" is an amoral HiveMind whose creations TurnedAgainstTheirMasters. Egrorian in "Orbit" is the classic scenery-muncher plotting to take over the galaxy with his WeaponOfMassDestruction. Coser from "Weapon" is only a technician but fits this trope exactly -- he invents a superweapon, feels bitter that his [[TheyCalledMeMad genius is not recognised]], has a [[TheIgor minion that he alternately bullies and confides in]], a tendency to start [[MotiveRant ranting at the slightest provocation]], and gets [[HoistByHisOwnPetard killed by his own creation]]. Justin from "Animals" is a more decent version, though it doesn't turn out any better for him than the others.
* MagicalComputer: Orac is even described as such [[LiteralMinded though it denies being anything magical.]] The computer can tap into and take over any other computer, predict the future, blow up enemy vessels, operate the teleport, shrink itself to half size and help rob a casino, and work as an AutoDoc.
* MagnificentSeven: Even when they [[NonIndicativeName don't alway number seven]].
* MarriedToTheJob: Servalan, who states that "power became [her] lover" when her boyfriend left her. It has to be said that the rebel's work-life balance is also terrible.
* MasterComputer: Apparently [[OurGraphicsWillSuckInTheFuture We Will Use Dumb Terminals In The Future]] as the entire Federation is coordinated from Central Control aka Star One, a computer that monitors all information political, civil or military, and handles everything from space traffic control to planetary weather manipulation. While ZeeRust is undoubtedly a factor, the idea is no doubt more appealing to the VastBureaucracy that runs the Federation than a distributed network would be, what with the constant threat of breakaway colonies. The Federation is however aware of what a great target Central Control is, and takes excessive precautions to protect it.
* MechanisticAlienCulture:
** The series had the System, a civilization controlled by the three powerful defense computers of the three inhabited planets of their solar system, which built the starship DSV-1. The System was administered by Altas (either cyborgs, androids, or augmented humans) and black-armored guards that appeared to be cybernetically augmented humans. There were also thousands of human slaves, descendants of the people who had built the computers that had taken over their civilization.
** Similarly, the Ultra of [[{{Recap/BlakesSevenS3E10Ultraworld}} Ultraworld]] in Series 3 are blue-skinned humanoid creatures either summoned or created by Ultraworld (a living, artificial planet/giant computer centered around an enormous brain) to interact with captured starship crews, [[TheAssimilator whom Ultraworld intends to absorb into its gestalt]]. They walk with a jerky gait and speak in odd, robot-like cadences. The "menials," assimilated humanoid servants, are also examples of this trope: their identity, memories and emotions are recorded on a tube and stored in a library. They behave mechanistically as they toil about, maintaining Ultraworld.
** The Federation could be said to be an example of this; it has rigid autocratic tendencies, [[ComputerizedJudicialSystem computerized trials]], and Star One, a computer complex that controls various functions of their society. They have "grades," hierarchical classes of citizens, and Federation colonies are highly controlled environments with pharmaceuticals pumped into the air and water to pacify the people.
* MineralMacGuffin: TheCaper episodes usually involved stealing a stash of GreenRocks.
* MindRape: Apparently Standard Operating Procedure for TheFederation who will do it for pretty much any reason to their opponents (Blake was brainwashed into forgetting his dissident past), and even to [[WouldHarmAChild innocent children]] (they brainwash several children into believing they'd been molested by Blake so they would have some credible witnesses with which they could smear and exile him).
* MirrorMatch: In "[[{{Recap/BlakesSevenS4E8Games}} Games]]", Soolin participates in a deadly QuickDraw game against a computer, represented by an image of herself. The computer is programmed to match and then exceed her draw time, forcing the player to lift their own game or die.
* MisanthropeSupreme: Avon pretends to be this but is in fact the most philanthropic member of the crew.
* MiscarriageOfJustice: Blake's case, in which he was framed for molesting children with {{fake memories}}, convicted and sent to a penal colony.
* MohsScaleOfScienceFictionHardness: Way down on the soft end in the original series and the Creator/BigFinish revival. Way up at the hard end for the reboot audio dramas though, which have retooled away Time Distort drives in favour of talk about fixed mass points and delta-v, depict the Federation as lacking artificial gravity technology, and even remove Liberator's teleport.
* MookMobile: Any Federation pursuit ship not commanded by Travis or Servalan.
* MoralityChip: In Gan.
* MrFanservice: Tarrant, quite consciously if you believe WordOfGod. Avon also has [[AllGirlsWantBadBoys a lot of fans.]]
* MurderIsTheBestSolution: Servalan does this all the time, but it's not as if her superiors in the Federation High Council are any better.
** Faced with a planet demanding independence, the Federation plants a DoomsdayDevice there and threatens to detonate it if they rebel. They got off lightly compared to Sauron Major -- half the population deported, the other half wiped out with biological weapons.
** Once Agravo had been mined of all useful minerals, the Federation evacuated the skilled personnel and [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness left the others to die a slow death]] when their resources ran out. As it turns out an industrial accident kills them first.
** Gauda Prime was designated an agricultural world, but when it was discovered to have mineral wealth on the land that the Federation settlers legally owned, the High Council declared it an Open Planet where all law & order was suspended. Anyone who refused to leave could then be legally murdered.
** When Servalan herself becomes President [[spoiler:she commits mass genocide just to blackmail the Auronar into cloning children for her. And they say BabiesMakeEverythingBetter...]]
* ANaziByAnyOtherName: Averted despite Creator/TerryNation's fondness for this trope and all the black-clad troopers stomping about. The sterile and [[UsedFuture shoddy]] appearance of the NoBudget sets, [[PunchClockVillain lackluster functionaries]], brainwashing of dissidents, and [[BigBrotherIsWatchingYou ubiquitous camera surveillance]] draw more from the socialist dystopia of ''Literature/NineteenEightyFour'' than ThoseWackyNazis.
* NegativeSpaceWedgie: A black hole in "Dawn of the Gods", a SwirlyEnergyThingy in "Breakdown", a giant fungal web in "The Web", and in "Terminal" a cloud of corrosive matter that eats away at the hull, leaving the interior CoveredInGunge [[spoiler:and causing the Liberator to break apart and explode when Servalan orders "Maximum Power!" after finally capturing it.]]
* NeverRecycleYourSchemes: Notably the marble-sized plague sphere which came within a gnats whisker of killing the crew in ''Project Avalon''. There should have been any number of ways of smuggling that weapon about the ''Liberator'', and it would have been a short show if Servalan had bothered to try.
* NeverTellMeTheOdds: Averted; battle computers are consulted as a routine strategy. In "Horizon", when Avon considers abandoning his colleagues and fleeing with the Liberator, he has Orac calculate the odds of succeeding with a CrewOfOne. Sometimes though he is disappointed.
-->'''Avon:''' Zen, can we withstand an attack of this magnitude?
-->'''[[MasterComputer Zen]]:''' No information.
-->'''Avon:''' [[SarcasmMode Thank you, that's very helpful.]]
* NoEnding: Having already confirmed with the BBC management that the series was to end, Vere Lorrimer and Creator/ChrisBoucher decided to conclude with an UnresolvedCliffhanger so they'd either have an [[HolyShitQuotient ending no-one would forget]], or create the demand for a fifth season with all the characters [[spoiler:except Blake being stunned if the actors stayed on, or KilledOffForReal if they decided not to.]]
* NoHarmRequirement: Attempts to track down and kill Blake and his rebels are hampered by the Federation's desire to capture the Liberator (and later Orac) intact. There are [[YouCannotKillAnIdea always rebels after all]], but anyone holding the Liberator or Orac would have a GameChanger on their hands.
* NoPeripheralVision: While at least the Federation GasMaskMooks have an excuse for their restricted vision, this trope even applies to the Security Robot despite having sensors placed around a rotatable head. In "Seek-Locate-Destroy" Blake is HiddenInPlainSight by lying flat on a sloped piece of ground, and in "Project Avalon" the rebels press themselves against the side of a cave, despite the robot coming back from the opposite direction leaving them clearly exposed.
* NothingIsScarier: Federation pursuit ships were often more effectively conveyed through pealights than model shots. It also added a [[SciFiWritersHaveNoSenseOfScale sense of distance to the space battles]].
* ObfuscatingStupidity: Vila's favourite way of getting out of anything dangerous. Some fans speculate that Avon sees right through it, and his grudging admiration for just how good Vila is at it is the reason [[BondVillainStupidity he never quite resorts to cold-blooded murder.]]
* ObstructiveBureaucrat: The President's offsiders Rontane and Bercol, who are sent to threaten Servalan on the President's behalf.
* OneExtraMember: Inverted. The team never had more than six human members. You had to include one or more of their sentient computers to bring the group up to seven.
* OnlyOneName: All the main characters are known by one name only, and it is inconsistent as to whether it is their first or last name. It's not established in the case of Cally, Soolin, Servalan and Travis if they even have another name. It seems to be that upper class folks use their family names, while lower class characters use their given names.
* OutgrownSuchSillySuperstitions: In "Pressure Point", Blake has to explain to Gan what a church is as "The Federation had them all destroyed at the [[YearZero beginning of the New Calendar]]." While the Clonemasters have pseudo-religous trappings, they are a creation of the Federation used to keep control of their forbidden knowledge. In "Cygnus Alpha", the cult leaders use a phony religion to keep their society united on a penal planet with limited resources. Other than these examples however the trope is played straight, as we don't see anyone turning to religious belief to cope with their existence in a CrapsackWorld. Neither does the Federation use a state religion as a tool of power, which they'd certainly do if religious beliefs had any currency among the population.
* OutOfCharacterAlert: In "Shadow", Blake tries to purchase the help of [[TheSyndicate Terra Nostra]] only to be captured instead. They force him to call Cally on the Liberator, so Blake tells her to send [[MasterComputer Zen]] across with the money. However this backfires because his captor assumes Blake came there by shuttle (he was teleported, but that's not a well-known technology) and therefore that's a CovertDistressCode -- his shuttle should still be on the SpaceStation, not the Liberator. Blake has to bluff him into believing the Liberator has [[StarshipLuxurious more than one shuttle]]. It should be noted that the crew of the Liberator never do establish a CovertDistressCode, despite several occasions where they're coerced (or their voice is faked) to get someone to teleport up a BoardingParty.
* OutrankingYourJob: For the leader of a galactic empire, Servalan does a lot of running around after the Liberator. It's somewhat justified as [[TheDragon Space Commander Travis]] is the one chasing our heroes while Servalan pilots a desk at Star Command, only risking her life when she's got some personal interest in the outcome (e.g. Servalan is either looking for kudos or running a private scheme that she can't afford to delegate). When she becomes President of the Terran Federation it's become a VestigialEmpire that's collapsed into chaos and CivilWar, so Servalan is hoping that capturing the Liberator and Orac will increase her own power base against rival Federation factions. It's no surprise that the forces loyal to her are overthrown after Servalan is stranded on an isolated planet and [[NotQuiteDead apparently killed]] during a final ill-fated attempt to seize the Liberator.
* OverrideCommand: Zen could not be commanded without voice authorisation from a crewmember. Anyone planning on seizing the Liberator has to take this into consideration.
* PaintedOnPants: Apparently Paul Darrow once wore a pair of leather trousers that were so tight, he had to be helped up and down in scenes where Avon was kneeling down to do something technical. [[EvilIsSexy Travis]] and [[BridgeBunnies Jenna]] also wear them.
* PercussiveMaintenance: Vila, the noted lockpicker, when stuck in a hatch (also an example of HypocriticalHumor).
-->'''Avon''': ''(on vox)'' Use your delicate, skillful touch.
-->''(Vila kicks the hatch open instead)''
-->'''Vila''': I used my delicate, skillful boot.
** In "Traitor", when Orac is being its usual stubborn self, Vila states that this is the only way to deal with [[TechnologyMarchesOn solid-state circuitry]].
* PhlebotinumPills: [[SleeperStarship Hibernation pills]] for long space voyages, [[FantasticRadiationShielding decontamination drugs]] and dream suppressants are mentioned.
* PinPullingTeeth: Played with in "[[{{Recap/BlakesSevenS3E10Ultraworld}} Ultraworld]]". Dayna has a microgrenade hidden in a tooth, which she primes by putting it back in her mouth and adjusting it with her teeth.
* PlanetaryParasite: Zil is one of a humanoid species of parasites who live on the surface of a living planet called "Host."
* PlanetTerra: The Terran Federation.
* PlayingDrunk: At one point, Vila pretends to be drunk so he can make a suggestion on how to fix the current problem (atmosphere leaking out of a hole in the hull) in the form of a rambling reminiscence, but not be called on to undertake the repair himself (because you couldn't give such a dangerous task to someone who was obviously drunk).
* PrettyBoy: It is established in canon that Servalan likes to surround herself with these, leading Travis to sneer at her "decorative staff men".
* ProudWarriorRace: Several primitive tribes, including the Goths, Hommicks and Sarrans.
* PsychicRadar: Cally, the Auron telepath pulls this trick to sneak up on Blake when she's introduced.
* PsychoSidekick: Avon while he's second-in-command to Blake, though he only went ''really'' round the twist when Blake vanished and left him in charge for the next two seasons.
* PunchClockVillain: Practically everyone we see in the Federation is either worldly weary and just trying to get on with their day, or cooly indifferent.
* TheQuincyPunk: The Space Rats are violent Outlaw Bikers [[RecycledINSPACE IN SPACE]] who have gigantic mohawks and glam-rock facial make-up. Not so much "stereotype punk" as "three different countercultures shoved in a blender".
* RagtagBunchOfMisfits: The entire crew is basically this.
* RaygunGothic: As much as the budget would allow.
* RearrangeTheSong: The inappropriately jolly end credit theme on the final season. Which often led to MoodDissonance given the number of {{Downer Ending}}s in that season.
* RebelLeader: Blake, though he ventures into morally hazy territory. Avon from Season C onwards, not that he wants to be. A number of others appear over the course of the series, including [[Recap/BlakesSevenS1E9ProjectAvalon Avalon]] and [[Recap/BlakesSevenS2E5PressurePoint Kasabi]].
* TheRevolutionWillNotBeCivilized: The stage is set in the first episode when Blake is warned that forged documents have been left in his room that implicate him, in case he's thinking of denouncing the dissident meeting to the authorities. By the end of Season B, the previously idealistic Blake is willing to create mass destruction by destroying the MasterComputer that controls the Federation, throwing thousands of worlds into famine and chaos.
-->'''Blake''': I meant what I said on Goth, Avon. We are not going to use Star One to rule the Federation. We are going to destroy it.\\
'''Avon''': I never doubted that. I never doubted your fanaticism. As far as I am concerned, you can destroy whatever you like. You can stir up a thousand revolutions. You can wade in blood up to your armpits. Oh, and you can lead the rabble to victory, whatever that might mean. Just so long as there is an end to it.
* RevolvingDoorCasting: Only two characters, Avon and Vila, made it through all four seasons as regulars. (Peter Tuddenham appeared on all four seasons, but playing three different regular characters.) Michael Keating (Vila) was the only actor to appear in every episode of the show, as Avon wasn't introduced until the second episode.
* RoaringRampageOfRevenge: The Federation [[MindRape Mind Raped]] Blake into condemning his own revolution, imprisoned him, drugged him to keep him docile, murdered his family and eventually framed him for child molestation and sent him to a PenalColony. His decisions subsequently are driven at least in part by a desire for some payback.
* RobotsAreJustBetter: In "[[{{Recap/BlakesSevenS3E12DeathWatch}} Death-Watch]]" a war is fought via CombatByChampion, but one side cheats by using an android. When the two champions agree to settle matters with a QuickDraw showdown, the android instantly outdraws his opponent, despite the latter being an experienced gunfighter famous for his QuickDraw. The question then becomes for our heroes, how do you defeat an opponent who's faster than human?
* RousingSpeech: Blake likes to try and give these, much to Avon's eternal annoyance.
* SanitySlippage: Avon and Travis most clearly. Some would also say Blake.
* SeanConneryIsAboutToShootYou: A Federation trooper fires on the audience in the TitleSequence montage. The final episode ends [[spoiler:with Avon raising his gun to the camera and giving a sickly grin, before the cut to black and the sound of gunshots.]]
* SeasonFinale: Each one ended in a {{cliffhanger}}.
* SelfHealingPhlebotinum: The Liberator had self-repair circuits allowing the ship to repair itself without help from the crew. The speed of repair generally depended on the level of damage; the worse the damage, the faster the repairs. Justified by minor damage being harder to locate.
* SendInTheSearchTeam: In the first episode a prison transport encounters an unidentified ship floating dead in space. After the first two parties sent to investigate fail to return, the captain assembles a team of disposable prisoners to investigate. This group contains the founding members of the eponymous seven, who take command of the deserted ship and escape.
* ScienceIsWrong: A subtle but quite clever example in "[[{{Recap/BlakesSevenS1E3CygnusAlpha}} Cygnus Alpha]]". When Blake points out that the speed the ''Liberator'' is apparently travelling would "[[TechnoBabble cross the antimatter interface]]", which is thought to be physically impossible, Avon points out that people used to think the same thing about the light barrier.
* SciFiWritersHaveNoSenseOfScale:
** The number of planets featured on screen and their close proximity to each other in almost any given shot of the ''Liberator'' flying through space is absurd.
** Federation pursuit cruisers always maintain an exceptionally close formation despite the vastness of space around them, [[NoBudget as if they're all hanging off the same mounting rod]] (though justified when they're [[AlphaStrike lining up for an attack run]]).
** In "Duel", Travis exhalts that the other Federation patrols have pushed the Liberator into this galaxy. One assumes he meant solar system.
** In "[[{{Recap/BlakesSevenS2E13StarOne}} Star One]]", a space minefield blocks the invasion route between our galaxy and Andromeda. Minefields are only effective when they guard chokepoints. In this case the invasion fleet [[TwoDSpace could simply maneuver around it]].
* ShroudedInMyth: Blake is this InUniverse.
* SignatureStyle
** Creator/ChrisBoucher liked TheWestern, so would include ShoutOut lines and the occasional SpaceWestern theme.
** Ben Steed episodes feature abuse of women, friendship between men (often to bromantic levels), and [[LuddWasRight distrust of technology]] compared to the GoodOldWays.
** Fantasy writer Creator/TanithLee prefers horror and romance themes.
** Creator/RobertHolmes has a liking for the [[OddCouple Avon/Vila pairing]], ThoseTwoGuys and EverybodysDeadDave.
** Allan Prior likes "[[DrinkOrder adrenaline and soma]]" and StuffBlowingUp on spaceships.
** Creator/TerryNation has plenty of snarking, SpaceX and characters named Tarrant.
* SlaveMooks
** Mutoids are a cybernetically-modified AmazonBrigade. Their memories have been wiped so they have no purpose outside service to the Federation.
** Deconstructed in "Traitor". The Terran Federation has conquered a ProudWarriorRace thanks to a drug that blocks the production of adrenaline. They send a unit of these brainwashed soldiers to attack one of the few remaining resistance groups. However as they lack any form of anxiety or aggression, they placidly walk into an ambush and are massacred.
* SleazyPolitician abound, as this is a CrapsackWorld. Servalan is the most prominent example.
* SpaceClothes: A classic example; pulpy and elaborate, with lots of weird Elizabethan touches.
* SpaceOpera
* SpacePirates:
** Jenna is a 'free trader' i.e. a smuggler. Also, her...ex-colleagues the Amagons, who engage in criminal activities including smuggling, bounty-hunting, slave trading and piracy. They have their own unique culture that's more like {{Qurac}} InSpace rather than the Type 2 version.
** Servalan predicts that the crew of the Liberator will end up this way after Blake's departure and she's not entirely wrong -- episodes like "The Harvest of Kairos", "Games" and "Gold" basically involve our anti-heroes attempting TheCaper under the [[TheRevolutionWillNotBeCivilized guise of stymieing Servalan or raising money for the cause]]. In "Gold" they [[WhatMeasureIsAMook kill a large number of guards]] from a planet that's not even part of the Federation.
* SpaceStation: Star Command, a giant ring-shaped space station that is Servalan's headquarters in the first two seasons. There's also Space City, an ostensibly neutral ViceCity secretly run by the organized crime group Terra Nostra. Space Laboratory XK-72 is a research facility maintained by a consortium of neutral planets. Spaceworld is the control centre of the System, a MasterComputer that has [[AIIsACrapshoot forcibly taken over three planetary systems.]]
* SpaceWestern: Not played straight, but several episodes ("Death Watch", "Gambit" and "Blake") have Western themes.
* SpaceX: Space Commander, Space Surgeon, Space Major, Space Assault Force, [[{{microts}} space hours]], [[SpaceMadness space fatigue]], [[WeWillUseWikiWordsInTheFuture spacecast]], space heater... OK, [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_heater that last one is real]].
* SpiritualPredecessor: To ''Series/{{Farscape}}''. Grayza's resemblance to Servalan is an acknowledgment.
* SpitTake: Avon does a rather big one in "Gambit", on hearing that Vila has been conned into playing a DeadlyGame.
* SpotlightStealingSquad: The show might be called '''Blake's 7''' but Avon is in more episodes, is more popular with fans, and is more interesting.
* TheSoCalledCoward: Vila's unwillingness to put his neck on the line stemmed from the fact that he didn't especially care about Blake's revolution and most of his alleged comrades-in-arms seemed to regard him as expendable. When it came to the lives of anyone who treated him with a modicum of respect, however, Vila could be surprisingly badass.
* TheSquadette: Every armed resistance group or Federation base appears to have a single female member in a speaking role, while everyone else is male. There are never any female mooks in the background, silently working their way up the ranks to the position of Supreme Commander or RebelLeader. Averted with our heroes however as there are [[TwoGirlsToATeam always two female members of the Seven]] -- Jenna/Cally, Cally/Dayna, and then Dayna/Soolin.
* StarTrekShake: Sometimes the crew shakes, sometimes it's the camera, or they just use special effects to distort the image.
* StealthInSpace
** In "Time Squad", the Liberator approaches Sauron Major from Federation space, figuring their attention will be towards neutral space. So they don't have a space traffic control system?
** In "Stardrive", Avon decides to sneak past the detection grid of a planet by hugging close to an asteroid. RealityEnsues and the Scorpio side-swipes the asteroid, severely damaging the ship.
** In "Volcano", the Liberator is in geostationary orbit so it can only scan one half of a planet at the time. Servalan has a battlefleet in the same orbit on the other side of the planet, until it's time to strike. It also helps that the man in charge of the planet's detection grid is in league with her.
** In Season B, Avon invents a [[InvisibilityCloak deflector shield]] that can mask the Liberator from anything except a short-range scan. A couple of episodes later they're caught in a massive ambush [[LensmanArmsRace thanks to the Federation developing a similar device,]] and [[AntiHero Avon expresses disappointment]] that he can't sell his invention to them.
* StoryArc: An early example and sometimes a slightly meandering one, but when the arcs get going...
* StyrofoamRocks
** "Hostage" has a hilarious scene where Travis and his two hired thugs flee in terror from an ambush involving rolling rocks that [[SpecialEffectsFailure bounce across their bodies without squashing them]]. You'd think as they were in a BBCQuarry Blake and his team could find some genuine rocks.
** Inverted in "Time Squad", where to make the BBCQuarry look more alien they had styrofoam plants among real rocks.
* StuffBlowingUp: Usually [[{{Supermarionation}} models]] or ExplosiveInstrumentation with the occasional full-on version; an explosion in a BBCQuarry during location shooting for "Star One" produced a fireball that melted a camera and brought the police racing to the scene.
* {{Supermarionation}}: Despite the ridiculously low budget for special effects, there's high quality model work in the series because the producers got the same people who worked on ''Thunderbirds'' to do them.
* SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute:
** All the incoming leads are of the same gender as departing leads, and will usually fit the general archetype of a departed character. (Except that Tarrant, of course, is nothing like Blake when it comes to his motivations. On the other hand... bouffant hair, steers the Liberator, is a bit of a space pirate... yep, he's actually the new Jenna).
*** ContrastingSequelMainCharacter: The sycophantic Slave replaces the LiteralistSnarking Zen, and IceQueen Soolin replaces empathic Cally (she also contrasts with the other ActionGirl -- hotheaded BloodKnight Dayna).
** And then there's the Scorpio. For the first three seasons, the Liberator is the cast's greatest asset because it has two technologies that the Federation cannot match: its speed and its teleporter. When the Liberator is destroyed at the end of Season three, they find a new ship, the Scorpio. It also has a superintelligent talking computer (something not seen on most human ships) and a teleporter system! What are the odds? But it's not very fast... until about the fourth episode of the season when they find a new super speed technology.
* TheSyndicate: The Terra Nostra ([[TheMafia Cosa Nostra]] InSpace) whose main revenue is the illegal drug Shadow. [[spoiler:TheReveal is that the drug is being harvested on a planet controlled by the President of the Federation, and Terra Nostra is just another means of controlling the populace, this time via its criminal underbelly.]]
* SyntheticPlague: Used by Servalan (apparently not the same one both times) in "[[{{Recap/BlakesSevenS1E9ProjectAvalon}} Project Avalon]]" and "[[{{Recap/BlakesSevenS3E7ChildrenOfAuron}} Children of Auron]]". Used by an unknown alien race in "Killer".
* SwordOverHead: Particularly noticeable the first couple of seasons because Travis (and sometimes Servalan) had PlotArmor, as they had to survive to serve as Blake's ArchEnemy. The reasons given include Blake knowing that the Federation would just send someone else (and he's convinced he can always beat Travis), [[IfYouKillHimYouWillBeJustLikeHim because he's worried he'd enjoy it]], or as a CruelMercy (because Travis will be punished for failing, or because he's lost everything after going RogueAgent). When Avon becomes the leader he's not burdened by such qualms, so Servalan usually arranges a MexicanStandoff or VillainExitStageLeft However Avon (and Tarrant in "Sand", despite Servalan arranging the death of his brother) seem equally [[FoeRomanceSubtext reluctant to kill her]] as [[FoeYay Blake was to kill Travis.]]
* TeethClenchedTeamwork: If there is an occasion that the crew of the Liberator do something together without [[WorldOfSnark snarking at each other]], we are never show it. On the other hand, they do quite genuinely look out for each other, though Avon likes to pretend he doesn't.
* TeleportersAndTransporters:
** ''Liberator'' and ''Scorpio'' both possessed teleports, which required bracelets to be worn by those being teleported. This technology was not available to the Federation despite a massive resource project, and so gives the Seven a very useful advantage -- a TeleportationRescue would happen in almost every episode (usually JustInTime too). It's one of the reasons why the Federation is so eager to capture the Liberator.
** A few aliens could teleport too, either psionically or using technology. The matter-transmission system on Keezarn appeared to function more like a physical gateway than a teleporter.
* ThoseTwoBadGuys: Several episodes would feature a couple of bored Federation flunkeys [[GreekChorus discussing politics]] or the [[MrExposition local situation]] before being drawn into the action.
* ThrownOutTheAirlock
** In "Space Fall" and "Gold" an airlock tunnel between two spacecraft is torn loose as one vessel suddenly blasts off, killing those inside.
** In "Warlord", [[spoiler:Servalan leaves a StickyBomb in the airlock of Warlord Zukan's spacecraft. Zukan sends in his aide to remove it, blowing him out the airlock the moment he detaches the bomb from the metal wall. Unfortunately, the bomb explodes at that point, fatally crippling the spacecraft, so the warlord dies anyway.]]
** In "Orbit", Avon tries to airlock Vila when they're both stuck on a shuttle that [[ColdEquation needs to lose a lot of weight quickly to avoid crashing]]. Things get... pretty dark before an alternative solution is found.
* TitleDrop: Notably averted; "Blakes' 7" or "The Seven" is never uttered once in the course of the series. It isn't even used much among fans, who tends to refer to the cast as "the crew of the Liberator" or "the crew of the Scorpio".
* ToTheBatpole: The ''Scorpio'' launch sequence in Season D. The spacecraft is lifted out of the ElaborateUndergroundBase on a giant elevator, launches from a letterbox-shaped entrance set in a cliff, flies through a narrow canyon and up into outer space. Reverse for landing.
* TookALevelInBadass: Fourth-season Avon, debatably; he spends decreasing amounts of time fixing the computer and increasing amounts of time shooting people and smiling coldly in a studded leather jacket, but he's about as effectual as usual.
* {{Tragedy}}: The whole four-season mega-arc could be read as Avon's, with his great flaw being the inability to trust.
* TragicMistake: [[spoiler:Followed by a record-settingly abrupt downfall.]]
* TrashTheSet: The ''Liberator'' at the end of season 3, the Xenon base in the penultimate episode, and the ''Scorpio'' in the finale.
* TrueCompanions: One example among many: After Avon saves Blake from an explosion:
-->'''Blake''': ''Thank you...why?''
-->'''Avon''': ''Automatic reaction. I'm as surprised as you are.''
-->'''Blake''': ''I'm not surprised.''
-->'''Avon''': (uneasy look)
* TyopOnTheCover: The official ''Blake's 7'' logo has no apostrophe, rendering it simply "Blakes 7" (something for which it has been gently mocked more once).
* UnnecessaryCombatRoll
** Avon had a tendency to do this during a QuickDraw; unfortunately this meant actor Paul Darrow ended up [[AwesomeButImpractical breaking several of the wand-like Liberator guns whenever he rolled on them]]. He was eventually given a stronger prop gun made specifically for him.
** In "Warlord", Federation soldiers do dramatic somersaults into a BBCQuarry for no apparent reason.
** In "Moloch", a ScreenShake causes the stuntman playing Vila to do a [[{{Narm}} delicate cartwheel]] across the flight deck before pretending to crash into a bulkhead.
* {{Unperson}}: Happens to Servalan at the end of Season C when she is overthrown by the Federation High Council while hunting the Liberator to replace the Federation fleet. They install a new government dominated by the secret police instead of the military, and officially erase her from existence and pretend her period as president did not occur. She hides under an assumed name as Commissioner Sleer and manages to become a high ranking secret police commander and oversees a program of retaking Federation colonies that declared independence after the alien invasion using mind control drugs. People recognize her and she murders them as needed to hide her true identity.
* UnresolvedSexualTension: Avon and Cally. One kiss when she's under alien possession doesn't really count.
* UsedFuture: The low budget alternative to RaygunGothic, used creatively to hide the holes in the budget. The look of most Federation ships and facilities (played by industrial locations) contributed to this. For instance the London (the prison ship taking Blake and the others to Cygnus Alpha) is a chunky freighter whose maintenance has been neglected, so [[ShinyLookingSpaceships the Liberator is quite impressive in contrast]].
* VastBureaucracy: The Federation seems to be this, judging by the various detached bureaucrats attending meetings about "the Blake situation".
* ViceCity: Space City in "Shadow", and Freedom City in "Gambit".
* VillainCred: Beyban is disgusted that Blake edged him out of the #1 spot on the Federation's "Most Wanted" list by resorting to quick n' easy politics, unlike Beyban's ''earning'' that honor over the course of a long and brutal career.
* VillainousValour: Just as the {{Anti Hero}}es have negative traits, [[PunchClockVillain ordinary Federation soldiers and workers]] are shown on occasion to have heroic traits such as dedication, bravery and self-sacrifice.
* VinylShatters: In "Bounty" there's a FanOfThePast who spends a lot of time listening to a song on an antique 20th century gramophone. (The writers have admitted that this was a ruse to fill in time because the script was too short.) Near the end of the episode Blake snatches the disc off the turntable and smashes it.
* VoluntaryShapeshifting: The Andromedan invaders at the end of Season B assumed human form through a difficult process and struggled to maintain it; [[ThisWasHisTrueForm they reverted to their]] [[EldritchAbomination amorphous, green form upon death]].
* VulcanHasNoMoon: Many exterior shots of the Liberator flying through space (e.g. in the opening titles of season one and two) feature lots of big spheres in view at the same time.
* WagonTrainToTheStars: Especially in Season C.
* WalkingDisasterArea: The Seven tend to leave the places they visit littered with more dead bodies than when they arrived....
* WasItAllALie: [[spoiler:Avon and Anna Grant in "[[Recap/BlakesSevenS3E8RumorsOfDeath Rumours of Death]]". Anna even says "It wasn't all lies."]]
* WeCanRuleTogether:
** In "Aftermath", Servalan offers this to Avon. He rejects her not for [[AntiHero moral reasons]], but because he suspects that once she had what she wanted from him, he'd "[[ChronicBackstabbingDisorder be dead in a week]]."
** PlayedForLaughs when a MadScientist who's enamored with Servalan offers this trope in exchange for his superweapon. Servalan has had plenty of {{Hot Consort}}s, but as the scientist is a [[AbhorrentAdmirer balding middle-aged loony with facial warts]] even she finds it difficult to play along.
* WellIntentionedExtremist - Blake was descending into this by the climax of the Star One story arc. Destroying the MasterComputer for the whole Federation would severely weaken the Federation's hold over its territory, but at the cost of a ''massive'' humanitarian crisis and a complete breakdown of law and order.
* WhamEpisode - "[[Recap/BlakesSevenS2E13StarOne Star One]]", "[[Recap/BlakesSevenS3E13Terminal Terminal]]", and "[[{{Recap/BlakesSevenS4E13Blake}} Blake]]" are the big three. "Pressure Point" deserves a mention, having [[spoiler:the first [[KilledOffForReal death of a main character]]]].
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse:
** Notably, the fate of [[spoiler: the clone of Blake from "Weapon"]] is never revealed. Some people believe [[spoiler: that's why Servalan seemed so certain Blake was dead - she may have encountered the clone again. Blake in the finale notably can't be the clone, because he was with Jenna.]]
** For that matter, what happened to Orac? [[spoiler:Given that the computer was the only main character who wasn't there in the final massacre.]]
* WhatAPieceOfJunk: ''Scorpio'', after obtaining a "Photonic Drive," goes from "obsolete freighter" to "fastest ship in the galaxy."
* WhatMeasureIsANonHuman: Mutoids are regarded as barely human and therefore expendable even by those Federation officers who care for their men's lives.
* WhatYouAreInTheDark: Being the cynical AntiHero that he is, Avon finds himself in this situation several times. In "Horizon" the others have teleported down to a planet and been captured, leaving Avon in sole charge of both the Liberator and Orac with an incoming Federation flotilla providing the perfect excuse to flee. He does a BigDamnHeroes instead. In "Countdown", Avon risks his life to defuse a DoomsdayDevice [[RaceAgainstTheClock ticking down the last seconds]] instead of teleporting out of there. Then brutally deconstructed in "Orbit" [[spoiler:when Avon tries to have Vila ThrownOutTheAirlock in a ColdEquation situation.]]
* WhiteVoidRoom: Cally is trapped in a mental version by an EldritchAbomination in "Shadow". In "Pressure Point", [[spoiler:Blake rushes into Central Control only to find a bare white room, as the MasterComputer has been moved elsewhere.]]
* WithLyrics: [[RearrangeTheSong Briefly considered for Season D]], to be sung by the actor who played Tarrant, but discarded. [[http://www.farsight.net.nz/essays/lyrics.htm You can see why.]]
* WhyDontYouJustShootHim: At the end of "[[Recap/BlakesSevenS3E8RumorsOfDeath Rumours of Death]]", Servalan has Avon dead to rights, but she tells him to signal for a teleport before she kills him, so she can send his crew a corpse. Naturally she's distracted at the critical moment and Avon survives.
* WomanInWhite: Servalan until late Season B.
* WorldOfSnark: The series is set in a CrapsackWorld where snark is universal, having such uses as: distraction (anyone in need of a getaway; Vila); defence (anyone being held prisoner, tortured, shot at, etc; anyone dealing with Avon), coercion (SnarkToSnarkCombat; Blake); everything (Avon). The more idealistic characters (Gan, Cally, Dayna, Blake) entered the series with a relatively low level of snark. Their snarkiness grew on a par with their cynicism, especially with Blake. Avon was TheSnarkKnight, and every character becomes more snarky proportionally to how often they interact with him. Except Dayna, who can out-snark him from her first episode.
* WouldHitAGirl
** Avon has a tendency to aggressively manhandle women who try to deceive or manipulate him. This leads to a lot of BelligerentSexualTension with the various {{Femme Fatale}}s he encounters. In one episode Avon is having a life-and-death struggle with a female VillainOfTheWeek, including her hitting him in the groin. When he finally subdues her, he says to the other men present, "You better get her out of here, [[InterplayOfSexAndViolence I really rather enjoyed that]]."
** Also Soolin: "There are only two ways to deal with a hysterical woman. You didn't expect me to KISS her, did you?"
* WriterOnBoard: The three episodes written by Ben Steed ("[[{{Recap/BlakesSevenS3E5TheHarvestOfKairos}} The Harvest of Kairos]]", "[[{{Recap/BlakesSevenS3E11Moloch}} Moloch]]" and "[[{{Recap/BlakesSevenS4E2Power}} Power]]") all feature a Men Versus Women conflict and are, especially when contrasted with the [[FairForItsDay rest of the series]], unbelievably misogynistic. All the regular characterisations are sacrificed for the writer's message: ''Supreme'' Commander Servalan allows herself to be pushed around without killing anyone; Avon, an equal-opportunity misanthrope, sneers at women; Dayna loses a fight.
* XanatosSpeedChess: Belkov in "[[{{Recap/BlakesSevenS4E8Games}} Games]]"
* YouAllMeetInACell: Blake, Jenna, and Vila in "[[{{Recap/BlakesSevenS1E1TheWayBack}} The Way Back]]". Avon and Gan then meet them on a prisoner-transportation ship in "[[{{Recap/BlakesSevenS1E2SpaceFall}} Space Fall]]".
* YouHaveFailedMe: Not uncommon in the Federation, but appears to be standard operating procedure for Servalan specifically (Travis is the [[PlotArmor major exception]], and even then he eventually has to go on the run). Carnell in "Weapon" is smart enough to anticipate Servalan's reaction and does a runner beforehand.
* YouFool: A favorite insult of Avon's, often not unfairly. Also Servalan whenever an EvilPlan goes pear-shaped.
* YouSaidYouWouldLetThemGo: Servalan has a fondness for MovingTheGoalposts.
** In "[[Recap/BlakesSevenS3E5TheHarvestOfKairos The Harvest of Kairos]]", Servalan captures the Liberator and threatens to execute our heroes one-by-one until they order [[MasterComputer Zen]] to transfer command authority to her. Tarrant points out Servalan will likely kill them anyway, and refuses. [[AntiHero Avon however concedes]], but quickly adds a provision to Zen that Servalan must first leave them unharmed on a planet with Earth-like conditions. Unfortunately the nearest planet of that description is a DeathWorld, and Servalan later tries to destroy them with OrbitalBombardment just to be sure.
** In "[[Recap/BlakesSevenS3E13Terminal Terminal]]", Servalan uses a HostageForMacGuffin ploy, throwing in her own spaceship in exchange for the Liberator as a way off the planet. [[spoiler:Unfortunately her hostage is actually an illusion created with a LotusEaterMachine, and her spaceship crashlanded on arrival so they might not be able to repair it. And did she mention that the [[DeathWorld planet's fauna is extremely hostile]] and all the technology she left behind is booby-trapped?]]
* YourPrincessIsInAnotherCastle: [[spoiler:In "Pressure Point", Blake finally breaks into Central Control only to find an empty room, left there as SchmuckBait when the MasterComputer was evacuated to Star One decades ago. The search for Star One is the story arc for the rest of the season.]]
* YouShallNotPass: The finale of Season B. [[spoiler:A gigantic alien war-fleet begins to move in single file through a gap in the anti-matter minefield protecting the galaxy -- so the crew of the Liberator move their own starship into the path of the fleet and take them on in a head-on battle, trying to buy time for the Federation's warships to arrive and counter the attack.]]
* YourTerroristsAreOurFreedomFighters: [[TheEmpire The Federation]] claims that [[HeroWithBadPublicity Blake is a terrorist]]. Some people believe it - most notably Professor Kayn from the supposedly neutral Space Station [=XK72=].
* {{Zeerust}}:
** The computers are solid-state, and Avon hacks them by rewiring their circuits instead of reprogramming their software.
** There's no networking either. In "Killer", a doctor can't access a computer to analyze the plague results because it's outside the quarantined area. The entire Federation is run by a single MasterComputer instead of a less-vulnerable distributed network.
** The notion that in the future a human could defeat "the best [[{{TableTopGame/Chess}} chess]] computer available", let alone six times in a row, has now become ludicrous. The last year ''any'' human was able to beat the best chess-playing computer in the world was 2005. In [=S02E03=] "Weapon" Carnell might have saved himself the small fortune he spent. Or maybe he is into antiques? The thing he uses looks exactly like the 1977 [[http://tluif.home.xs4all.nl/chescom/EngCc3.html Chess Challenger 3]].

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