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77 of 78 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much more than an exercise in nostalgia, 22 Dec. 2003
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This review is from: Blake's 7 - Series 1 [DVD] [1978] (DVD)
The Blake's 7 production budget may have been modest by today's standards and its special effects memorable rather than impressive, but Terry Nation's second most famous brainchild had it where it counted. Almost 30 years on, the series' characters, dialogue, storyline and sheer inventiveness still impress.
Very much an ensemble piece rather than a vehicle for one or two actors, Blake's 7 gripped its contemporary audiences and continues to enthrall today. Rather more than a simple struggle between the forces of good and evil, the series -- for example --sees a refreshingly self-aware Roj Blake question whether his actions are that of the terrorist or the revolutionary, and is on occasion harrassed as much as he is assisted by his crew; characters die or disappear with daring regularity, and it is a testament to the verve of the show and the vigour of its underlying themes that it outlasted the departure of its eponymous protagonist for a further two seasons whilst its fandom continues to thrive, with hundreds of fanzines having been consigned to print, and regular conventions still drawing healthy numbers of delegates. Fans of Babylon 5 will also find much to enjoy in the series (as, apparently, did its creator, J. Michael Straczynski)
Blake's 7 explodes on to the screen with a brace of gripping opening episodes which stand up as a wonderful piece of self-contained drama in their own right, and continued to develop with a pleasing consistency, due in no small part to the fact that Nation penned all thirteen episodes of the first season himself.
There are, of course, a few gripes: the series' female characters are not as strong as they could have been, with Cally diminishing from diamond-hard freedom fighter in Series 1 ('may you die alone and silent') to administering first-aid and matronly advice to the crew.
That said, there are so many things to take pleasure from in Blake's 7, that no brief account of its many facets could possibly do it justice. Instead, why not just sit back and enjoy the strong storyline, fascinating characters (the archly camp Servalan, sardonic Avon, single-minded Travis, and wonderfully irascible Orac), sparkling dialogue and thoughtful design: the beautiful design of the Liberator (inside and out), the chunky teleport bracelet and 'curling tong' handgun, the memorable design of the Federation Troopers' uniforms, all complemented by the rousing opening credits and rich incidental music of Dudley Simpson. Wonderful entertainment, and a set of DVDs you will return to more often than you might expect.
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Initial post: 30 Jul 2013 16:07:43 BDT
Nick CC says:
Great review, thanks!
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