Quick DVD Box Set Review – ‘Blake’s 7’ (Series 4)

SPOILERS ALERT!!!

Hello everyone! 🙂

Welcome to ‘Bradley’s Basement’ blog and I’m Tim Bradley!

At last! I’ve finished seeing all of ‘Blake’s 7’ on DVD! It’s taken me a while to see all of ‘Blake’s 7’, but I’m happy to say I saw the final episode before the last day of October 2019. ‘Blake’s 7’ has been an enjoyable Sci-Fi series indeed. It has had its ups and downs, but overall it’s been pretty entertaining.

If I’m honest, Series 1 is the best season of the ‘Blake’s 7’ TV series. The writing was all done by Terry Nation and it had a consistent, action-packed tone for me to enjoy. The rest of the series in Series 2, 3 and especially 4 has been a very mixed bag with changes of the cast; the writers and the directors.

Series 4, in my opinion, is the weakest of the four seasons of ‘Blake’s 7’. Whilst I enjoyed it, I did feel it drag and there wasn’t a proper overall story arc for me to enjoy. Despite the addition of a new cast member; a new ship and a new on board computer; there wasn’t anything so exciting about Series 4.

In this season, the ‘Blake’s 7’ team now consists of Paul Darrow as Avon, Michael Keating as Villa, Steven Pacey as Del Tarrant and Josette Simon as Dayna. Cally sadly got killed off-screen in the first episode of Series 4. I was bitterly disappointed. Surely, Jan Chappell deserved a better exit than that!

The ‘Blake’s 7’ team get rescued by a man called Dorian, who is a salvage operator that has his own spaceship called the Scorpio. Eventually, the ‘Blake’s 7’ team with Orac their super-computer get to have the Scorpio ship for themselves and they also use the planet Xenon as their base of operations.

The team are also joined by a new cast member, Glynis Barber as Soolin, who was Dorian’s partner. Soolin is a very pretty blonde-haired girl and a brilliant fighter. I like Glynis’ acting as Soolin, but I did feel Soolin lacked a character. Her back-story gets revealed in the final episode, but that’s about it. 😦

There’s also a ship computer aboard the Scorpio called Slave, voiced by Peter Tuddenham, who also voices Orac in the series. I would’ve given Slave a better name than that as it’s unflattering. Slave is overly polite when talking to the ‘Blake’s 7’ team. It’s sometimes amusing and sometimes annoying.

Comparing the Scorpio and the Slave computer to the Liberator and the Zen computer…I actually prefer the Liberator and Zen. Don’t get me wrong. The Scorpio ship is serviceable as the new ship for the ‘Blake’s 7’ team, but it lacks the charm that the Liberator had and I miss it since it was destroyed.

Series 4 of ‘Blake’s 7’ is produced by Vere Lorrimer instead of David Maloney this time. Vere Lorrimer directed some episodes of ‘Blake’s 7’ in previous seasons. I think the change of producer caused Series 4 of ‘Blake’s 7’ to be underwhelming just like Season 3 of the original ‘Star Trek’ series.

The writers for Series 4 of ‘Blake’s 7’ are as follows. There’s Ben Steed; Robert Holmes; James Follett; Allan Prior; Rod Beacham; Bill Lyons; Tanith Lee; Colin Davies and script editor Chris Boucher. The directors for Series 4 of ‘Blake’s 7’ are Mary Ridge; David Sullivan Proudfoot ( 😀 ) and Vivienne Cozens.

Jacqueline Pearce returns again to play the villainous Servalan in Series 4 of ‘Blake’s 7’. I did find Servalan’s appearances in ‘Blake’s 7’ to be predictable in Series 4. Every time she was revealed as the villain, I wasn’t surprised. She could’ve easily appeared as the villain in every episode of Series 4. 😀

Like previous seasons, there have been some really good guest stars in certain episodes. This includes people like Christopher Neame; Barbara Shelley; Kevin Stoney; Lynda Bellingham; Richard Hurndall (who played the First Doctor in the ‘Doctor Who’ story ‘The Five Doctors’); Stratford Johns; Stephen Yardley; Daniel Hill; Roy Kinnear John Savident; David Collings and many more guest stars. 🙂

For me, the big disappointment of Series 4 of ‘Blake’s 7’ was the final episode called ‘Blake’. And yes! It featured the return of Gareth Thomas as Blake, who I assumed was dead at the end of Series 3 and has changed quite significantly. It was sad to hear how Jenna died and I hoped she’d make a return.

The disappointment came when…just as you think our main heroes were going to reunite with Blake…Avon, through a misunderstanding, shoots Blake dead. And without warning! I was shocked at that! I was like, “What?!” What and why did Avon shoot Blake for? He didn’t even give him a chance there!

Very soon, Federation troops come in and Dayna; Vila; Soolin and Tarrant get shot down one by one. The episode ends with Avon standing over Blake’s body, about to be shot by Federation troops surrounding him. But does he get shot? I don’t know! It’s left open-ended! And very unsatisfactorily!

I was shocked and disappointed by how ‘Blake’s 7’ ended in that final episode as it was utterly depressing! I wouldn’t have ended the series like that! I would’ve had Blake join the team or something like that to ensure the series’ continuation. I know Terry Nation wasn’t happy with the ending.

Overall, I’m glad I’ve seen ‘Blake’s 7’ in its entirety via the TV series. Series 1 is the best season for me. I found the rest of the series a mix bag and having a very disappointing conclusion in the final episode. I don’t know if I’ll hear the Big Finish audios of ‘Blake’s 7’, but I’m happy I saw the TV series. The music by Dudley Simpson is still pretty good too. 🙂

By the way! A Sea Devil and someone wearing the Seal of Rassilon appears in Series 4 of ‘Blake’s 7’!

Thanks for reading!

Bye for now!

Tim. 🙂

2 thoughts on “Quick DVD Box Set Review – ‘Blake’s 7’ (Series 4)

  1. Timelord 007

    It was 50/50 the series was coming back for a fourth season & sometimes you gotta know when to end a show.

    Maybe they should’ve done a 90 minute special reintroduced Blake & had him team up with Avon to bring down the federation, Gareth Thomas was reluctant to return so a 90 minute special would’ve given his character a backstory to what he’d been doing since leaving the Liberator & had him lead the attack upon the federation.

    I agree with you about the ending, i remember seeing it back in 1981 & was horrified by that ending, losing Tom as the Fourth Doctor & now Blake dying was overwhelming for the 6 yr old me, my mom said oh he’ll be back in the next serires……..erm no he won’t mom.

    I actually hoped BF would’ve done stories post Blake & explained what happened next sadly with Gareth & Paul no longer with us that’s now impossible.

    I’d prefered your version of the episode to what was transmitted, depressing anti-climatic & unsatisfactory, my take is Avon was a Federation spy repoorting events to the federation but we’ll never know now the truth.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Tim Bradley Post author

      Hi Simon.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Series 4 of ‘Blake’s 7’ and the series finale.

      Yeah a 90 minute special with Gareth Thomas would’ve been better compared to what we actually got in the season finale.

      Glad you agree with my thoughts about the ending and that you would’ve gone with how I would end the series.

      I’ve not heard any of the BF audios of ‘Blake’s 7’ yet. I hope I will someday, but from what you’ve said, I’m shocked they haven’t continued from where they left off in Series 4. Yeah a shame Gareth Thomas and Paul Darrow are no longer with us as well as Jacqueline Pearce.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts Simon and glad you enjoyed my review on Series 4 of ‘Blake’s 7’.

      Tim. 🙂

      Like

      Reply

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