On this day 40 years ago, a television was born.
As the second Doctor Who Patrick Troughton once exclaimed: “The future is in the past!” It’s hard to believe that Blake’s 7 is 40 years old. The primetime BBC1 sci-fi drama series was launched in the New Year schedules of 1978, with episode one The Way Back debuting on Monday 2nd January.
The adventures of a band of freedom-fighters battling a corrupt Earth Federation and stumbling upon an ultramodern alien starship, the Liberator, Blake’s 7 was the brainchild of Terry Nation. He was already fêted for creating Doctor Who’s Daleks in the 1960s and another BBC1 sci-fi-ish hit of the 1970s, Survivors.
Despite a restrictive budget and starting within a week of the original UK cinema release of Star Wars, Blake’s 7 was rarely short of ambition and quickly became a hit, averaging 9.22m viewers for its first series. In 1978, producer David Maloney told Radio Times: “We’ve got something Star Wars doesn’t have – time to develop our plot, characters and action. They’ve got two hours we’ve got 12.”
Blake’s 7 drew on a lot of BBC talent who’d cut their teeth on Doctor Who. Maloney had directed several Who classics such as Genesis of the Daleks and Talons of Weng Chiang. He hired writers Robert Holmes and Chris Boucher, directors Michael E Briant and Douglas Camfield and designer Roger Murray-Leach. Dudley Simpson composed the stirring theme tune and incidental music.
Happy anniversary to one of the best British science fiction television greats.
http://www.radiotimes.com/news/tv/2018- ... -blakes-7/
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