Trivia / Blake's 7

The TV series

  • Acting for Two: Jan Chappell plays both Cally and her twin sister Zelda, which makes sense because they're both clones of a single, unnamed parent. She also plays an alien being that bases her appearance on Cally's in "Sarcophagus". Tarrant also had a lookalike brother (with a curly wig) in "Death-Watch".
  • Bad Export for You: It's currently not available on DVD in the US, though you might be able to scrounge up some VHS tapes.
  • Creator Backlash: Josette Simon did not look back on the show with fondness, believing that the showrunners took advantage of her naivety and lack of confidence to get her to play a "hot exotic warrior woman" part that she saw retrospectively as both sexually and racially demeaning.
    • Jacqueline Pearce was unhappy with the final season, claiming that it ran out of steam and ideas. That said, she named "Sand" from that season as her favourite episode.
  • Creator's Favorite Episode: Terry Nation's favourite episode from the first series was "Mission to Destiny".
    • Paul Darrow's favourite was either "Star One" or "Rumours of Death".
    • Michael Keating's favourite was "The City on the Edge of the World".
    • Jacqueline Pearce's favourite was "Sand".
    • Stephen Greif's favourite was "Duel".
    • Jan Chappell's favourites were "Children of Auron" and "Sarcophagus".
    • Stephen Pacey's favourite was "Death-Watch".
  • Creator's Favorite: It's pretty clear that Terry Nation and Chris Boucher's favourite character was Avon.
  • Dawson Casting: Possibly the case with Dayna: though Josette Simon is actually quite a lot younger than other members of the principal cast, she was still in her early twenties when the show was made, but at several points it seems like the character was meant to be in her mid-teens (such as when she refers to herself as a "girl" at one point, explicitly contrasting this with Cally's allusion to herself as a woman moments before). A lot of her other traits (her obvious sexual curiosity around Avon and Tarrant, her quite childlike desire to be comforted when frightened despite her usual Badass demeanor) could be meant to indicate that the character was intended to be younger than she looked, but might just as easily be put down to her isolated upbringing alone with her father and foster-sister.
  • Depending on the Writer: After Terry Nation left the show this got so bad for the character of Avon that Paul Darrow gave up and started playing him as slowly losing his mind to compensate for it.
  • Gender Flip: Servalan was originally a man.
  • The Klutz: Paul Darrow, to a level that has probably not been matched until Matt Smith and a reputation that is legendary (and still growing). He broke every single gun he was handed, and the props department got so frustrated they made him one with an aluminum core so he couldn't break it... not to mention the sets and various buttons and levers.
    • One bts blooper runs like this:
    Josette Simon in character as Dayna: "Avon, what are you doing?"
    Darrow, the knob he was fiddling with breaking off in his hand, sending him into an adorkably abashed smile and fit of giggles: "Pulling the set apart."
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor:
    • Jacqueline Pearce. Servalan is an utterly cold, calculating (and scene-stealing) bitch. Pearce herself is a rather charming and good-humored sort.
    • Paul Darrow, as well, who (while having wit the speed of Avon's) is charming, self-deprecating, and disarming; a delightful and considerate man to his fans (who consider meeting him or hearing him speak an honor).
  • The Other Darrin: Two major characters and one minor:
    • Travis was played by Stephen Greif in the first season and Brian Croucher in the second.
    • Less visibly, Orac's voice was provided in "Orac" by Derek Farr, who had played his creator Ensor, but in later episodes by Peter Tuddenham as Farr wasn't interested in playing a regular role.
    • The minor Federation official Ven Glynd was played in "The Way Back" by Robert James and in "Voice From the Past" by Richard Bebb.
  • Post-Script Season: The fourth season.
  • Real-Life Relative: Paul Darrow's wife was asked to guest star in "Blake". She agreed on the condition that her character be killed by Avon because she found the idea amusing.
  • Romance on the Set: Stephen Pearce and Glynis Barber dated for a while.
  • Rule 34 Creator Reactions: Paul Darrow (who played the show's initial Lancer and later protagonist Avon) was very very seriously unhappy about fics depicting his character engaging in m/m sexual activity (a particular problem as Avon was the show's Launcher of a Thousand Ships, most of which were slash). This interacted with other fandom conflicts to create a humungous fandom civil war.
  • Talking to Himself: Peter Tuddenham, in scenes where Orac was talking with Zen or Slave. Tuddenham could reportedly do this with no need for ADR.
  • Unresolved Cliffhanger: Contrary to what the final episode showed, there were plans for a fifth season, but the BBC decided not to renew the series. As a result, the show was Left Hanging.
  • What Could Have Been: Terry Nation wanted the invading aliens in the series 2 finale to be the Daleks, and both Gareth Thomas and Tom Baker pushed for a 'Blake's 7/Doctor Who'' crossover where the Doctor and the crew meet up, but the BBC vetoed both ideas.
    • During a writer's strike Paul Darrow wrote an episode script for series D in which the crew desert Avon, marooning him, concentrated on Vila being more heroic than he had been for that series and also be the one who saves Avon by convincing the others to go back for him. Chris Boucher said no.
    • Tarrant was originally written for a man of 35-55. This changed when Stephen Pacey was cast.
    • Ingrid Pitt was considered for Servalan.
    • Pip and Jane Baker submitted an unused episode called "Death Squad", in which Blake, Gan and Jenna would infiltrate a Federation facility attempting to create 'super-soldiers' by administering drugs to humans, leading to Blake and Gan becoming exposed to the drugs and Jenna being held by Servalan as an inducement for the scientist behind the plan was abandoned. This was ostensibly on cost grounds, although Boucher had concerns about the quality of the script.
    • The first proposal for the series' conclusion, titled Attack, involved Blake returning to lead an assault on the Federation on Earth, finally defeating them. This idea was rejected by producer Vere Lorrimer, who thought it "...would be like five men trying to defeat the German army".
    • Servalan almost didn't appear in the final season, as she was seen to be killed off in the third season finale. Furthermore, Jacqueline Pearce was hospitalised with an illness. The creators devised a new villain, Commissioner Sleer, as the new Big Bad. Pearce recovered and returned to the series and Sleer became an alias of Servalan.
    • Cally was originally going to have red skin and hair and her eyes would turn black when she entered an alien trance (Jan Chappell would wear contact lenses to create the effect). These ideas were abandoned for being too costly.
    • Robert Holmes was asked to be the script-editor for the series. He declined, having just left the script-editor's post on Doctor Who, though he did recommend Chris Boucher for the job. Holmes also wrote four episodes of the series.
    • When Gareth Thomas left the series, there were talks of recasting Blake.
      • On that note, Thomas left the series when the BBC wouldn't let him direct any episodes. One could only imagine what he would have done.
    • An unused episode from Season Three would have seen the crew searching for Blake and finding his grave.
    • And one can only wonder what the fifth season would have been...
  • You Look Familiar: Glynis Barber also had a tiny role as a Mutoid in the first-season episode "Project Avalon", before getting the regular role of Soolin in the fourth season.

The audio dramas

  • Role Reprisal: In A Rebellion Reborn, Michael Keating as Vila and Jan Chappell as Cally or at least a Cally.
  • The Other Darrin: The voice of Zen and Orac in the Big Finish audios is Alistair Lock, replacing Peter Tuddenham who passed away in 2007.
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