The end of Blake’s Seven – great sci-fi moments no.2

Avon stands over Blake's body, in the final moments of Blake's Seven

Avon stands over Blake’s body, in the final moments of Blake’s Seven

I HAVE already blogged on how ahead of its time Blake’s Seven was, and the conclusion of the series was no different.

It is incredibly dark, tragic and also open-ended – when the Sopranos did this, it was hailed as genius. So were they all dead? Just injured? Does the Federation win?

Most importantly, given that they were finally reunited, why didn’t Avon hear Blake out?

When I was a kid, I remember the thing that affected me most was when Vila got shot. The cowardly thief with a heart was always my favourite character, and for him to go out as a hero seemed somehow appropriate. I cried back then, and asked my mum and dad again and again if he would be alright.

Watching it again now, the lack of any production values stand out – how could they not? The incredibly cheap silver guns, the scientist almost crashing through the wall and rudimentary firing effects scream ‘done on the cheap’. In terms of the BBC’s 1980s sci-fi output, it was hardly alone.

And yet, the show still carries weight and impact. Despite Paul Darrow’s Avon chanelling William Shatner, his reunion with Blake was excellently played and shocking as it reached its conclusion – together again, but Avon’s misunderstanding leads to him killing Blake.

The people behind the remake for Sky should be made to watch this to see how it should be done. And then add in about £500,000 worth of modern day effects and props.

2 thoughts on “The end of Blake’s Seven – great sci-fi moments no.2

  • Alison Gow

    on

    I vividly remember the end of Blake 7 – in fact, I can even recall I was lying on my stomach on the front room rug – which probably indicates what a huge impression the shootout made. I desperately wanted to be Cally and I was willing to see the whole cast gunned down if she could escape. It was a great show wasn’t it? Like Rob says, even the duff episodes can’t tarnish it for me – the whole really is greater than the sum of the parts.

  • Robin Brown

    on

    I adore Blake’s 7 and will defend it all day long for its brave storytelling, often fantastic acting and sharp scripts, almost as much as I ignore its terrible production values, occasional scenery chewing and outrageous campery.

    It’s an easy target for lazy critiques as about half of B7 episodes are utterly terrible. But when it’s on form it can’t be touched.

    The conclusion to this episode is one of my early memories too, and Vila was my favourite. The only thing I really remember about this is Vila getting shot and asking my parents if there would be any more episodes.

    Rewatching it even the shit episodes are redeemed by Darrow – fantastic that one of the heroes was a de facto psychopath – and Michael Keating. And Jan Chappell, man did I have a thing for her.

    The slow-mo massacre may have been hard to stomach at the time, but was entirely in keeping with the series on the whole. Hollyoaks writers take note.

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