Monday, October 16, 2006

Bring back Blakes 7

Me and my fella are making our way through the last season of Blakes 7, a late 1970s British sci-fi epic, involving a motely group of freedom fighters who are chased by the evil Federation. With its focus on a totalitarian political system, it was very popular in Eastern Bloc countries apparently.

The main character, Blake, disappeared early in the series, which resulted in the title being somewhat redundant. And the "7" sometimes included 1 or 2 computers, but let's not dwell on the actual logistics. The main villain is Servalan, who still manages to look futuristic with her severe haircut and increasingly camp costumes - she's kind of a mixture of male/female and gay/straight all rolled into one - a drag king wearing Liberace's cast-offs.

After Blake left, the group were led by the ultra-hammy Avon (Paul Darrow), with scaredy-cat Vila being the only other member who lasted for the whole 4 series. Others came and went, the women were largely under-used unfortunately. I never used to like Tarrant, the cocky mop-haired pilot, when I was younger, but lately he's grown on me.

The heroes of Blakes 7 were actually not very nice - they bickered and bitched at each other, seemingly only bound together by their hatred of the Federation, not through any real affection towards one another. In a later episode, Avon considers ejecting Vila off the space shuttle they're in, when he realises that they're carrying too heavy a load. There was a very minimalist, almost S/M quality to the whole show - indeed, a lot of the costumes were actually bought from S/M shops. Even the computers have an attitude problem. And the series ended on a typically bleak note, with the entire cast going down in a hail of laser fire.

I don't often go for remakes, but with the current revival of interest in sci-fi, I think Blakes 7, or a concept like it, could definitely be brought back - with more sex. Perhaps the Dr Who spin-off Torchwood will be close to it. I just hope they remember to include the S/M clothing.


Old Cheeser said...

Aaaah Blake's 7...such memories. Good to see you doing a mini-tribute to the show, Lubin - nice one.

Great description of Servalan too - one amazing lady and one big gay icon. For me her crowning moment had to be when she finally got her hands on the Liberator (the "7"'s ship until the end of the third series). She struts onto the control deck and and with suitably OTT gestures announces "Set the controls - MAXIMUM power!!" (or words to that effect).

I haven't purchased the last series yet but probably will at some point - if I can stand the trauma of seeing all my heroes shot dead - sob!!

jetpack said...

That gay bloke from Big Brother the other year was sometimes referred to as Servilan Dan - and not just by me!

Tom SF said...

Servalan looks like Liza: