Blake's 7

This is a simple project page for Blake's 7 which I'm watching at the moment. My napkin drawings here are random paraphrases. Mirror universe designs, perhaps? Maybe a new setting altogether. I like old sci-fi shows, despite their shortcomings in the effects department. Blake's 7 suffers more than others there. Someone wrote that their effects budget was almost nonexistant. I think it's the different writing style and era roots which appeal to me.


#1.) The heroic leader.

#2A.) Second in command who dies mid-late first season (Sacrificial Lion?).

#2B.) Leatherly villain with secret crush on hero. Cast out / "converts", filling the #2 slot. Allegiance uncertain. Used sparingly.

#3.) The brute. A converted killer robot that's still a killer robot. The brute is honest and succinctly too the point. Its radially symmetrical head has 4 weapons* and in a way this represents its whole mentality. No matter which way it turns to look at things, its logic always ends in murder.
* Flamer, Poison gas, Blaster, Grenade. Arms.

#4.) The brainy robot. A mysterious acrylic computer, sophisticated but not necessarily moral, is eventually given a body (the skeleton of a killer robot). There's some kinship with the #3 (both use cold robot logic), but they are also opposites who keep bickering about the best way to approach a problem. #4 tends to be in favour of more complex solutions, not directly violent, though still possibly ruthless. #4 feels superior to #3 and blabs a lot more.

#5.) The doctor. The one with the most heart?

#6.) The mechanic. The few-wordy stoic with a weird hobby.

#7.) The thief / rogue / criminal / acrobat.

#X.) Good redshirts? Drones? Bikehelmeted clones? People?

The protagonist costumes in Blake's 7 were quite medieval in style, early on at least. I made the Federation Trooper more beaky. Also drew some bunny troopers which seem to be from a different setting, and four more nonsense doodles. Thought about robotic redshirts. Hmm, Andromeda did that.


While the liberator is a fun design, it doesn't say much about its scale or purpose/parts. I like it when ships tell us about themselves - size, weapons, faction, civilian/cargo/military.

There are hardly any specs available for any of the ships. Perhaps there's a limit to how big ships can be. Blake's 7 ships only have a few crew, so they could be well automated, or be quite small. I'm thinking 30-200 meters or so. The protagonist's ship is more advanced, so I don't think it'll have to be bigger, necessarily.

Andromedan faction race ideas: Generic demon dude (Not-Scarrans). Shapeshifter or genetic expert (makes handymen/slaves as they themselves are quite feeble). Minotaur/bull.

I think Blake's 7 didn't take care of the characters all that well. For example, it introduces this sort of amazon-engineer woman and never quite give her primary agency in that department. I would have liked to see an episode where ORAC gets a robotic body and goes off on a solo adventure, dealing with problems in his/its own eccentric way. Or a Grendel/Seven Samurai episode with Dana who has to MacGyver up some weapons for a bunch of primitives.

In most Blake's 7 episodes the six crew split up then sneak around, toting a gun. This makes the episodes and characters feel very samey. There's also not a lot to do in the universe. The crew mostly do good-guy-terrorist things, robberies, or "unwitting" destruction of (too) amazing minds and technology. "Dana: What about Dr. Plaxton? Avon: Who?". Technology creep worked better in Stargate where the Earthlings were initially catching up.

Farscape had a quite similar setup as Blake's 7, with escaped criminals being hunted, but it gave the bad guys (and protagonists) another bad guy to fight. I think Blake's 7 could've benefitted a lot from introducing the conflict-war with the Andromedans in mid-late-season 1. It would give the motivations of the Federation (and its primary agents) more dimension. They believe or know that the Andromedan threat requires tight control and military power.

New setting

The Humans in the Federation are not aware that they were taken from Earth many thousands of years ago. Perhaps there was a chaotic galactic war and the aliens who abducted the stock disappeared. Humans were used as soldiers, but after the war they were abandoned on various worlds and some regressed (classic setup, used in e.g. the Foundation Trilogy).

Eventually the contact between the colonies was reestablished and the Federation was formed. But, the cultural momentun of the war somehow lingers and this colours the Federation (with a certain paranoia). Possibly, there was a genetically altered "tactician" class of humans, and the more psychopathic of these naturally seize and cling to power. The antagonists could have some sort of super human advantage.


Precuror: The story begins on Earth. A team of South Korean and international experts are discussing some matter of strange activity under the Demilitarized Zone. It is believed that North Korea have begun to move a nuke through a secret tunnel. A counter-tunnel have been hastily cut. In it, some people are arguing about readings not matching up. Camera moves through 100 meters of rock to the other side where North Korean scientists move into a perfectly square, white room. They silently examine it. An alien panel is humming. Soldiers stand guard.

Intro and title, then a cut to dystopian domed city on an alien world. Up in the "nipple" of the dome, there is a monitoring station with people in bad-guy suits. On a big screen, green dots move about. A dot blinks red momentarily and a profile of citizen #460-20 pops up. Probably a false alarm - the sensors need maintenance - but with the recent rebellions its better not to chance it. A squad is dispatched to deal with it. Another dot goes of. Same response as before, but with added swearing.

The personnel complain that they are understaffed (50 staff for a colony of 90 000) and meeting ore quota is becoming difficult with the recent upsets. We're left with the impression that the colony isn't all that important to the Federation anymore and will be abandoned. The world has been strip mined of the "valuable mineral", it is believed. The drillers are going dangerously deep and have nothing to show for it.

An alarm goes off as several tracking points split up. This can only happen if someone has surgically removed a tracker. Because happens outside of the dome where there are few cameras, a squad will have to be sent to check up on each sensor point. However, there are few available squads. There's also some anomalous readings coming from the hyperwave caster installation outside of the dime. Because the rebels don't know about the secondary tracker, it is decided to prioritize those readings.

When the squads arrive they find rats walking about, with a vial of human blood on their back, and a sensor inside. Surprised, they immediately pursue the other set of readings, only to find rats in this case too. Boom! A giant satellite dish (the hyperwave caster) blows up.

Some rebels scurry off, bleeding/bandaged from where they removed the trackers. They are silently celebrating the fact that communication with the Federation has been severed. They are discussing phase II of their meticulous escape plan - a way off the planet.

However, these characters are red herrings. The landing pads are all empty, aside from an old wreck, and the squads they had so carefully scattered about catch up with them. They are decimated in a shoot-out. Apparently, ore pickup schedules have been changed and ships rarely arrive here now.

After torture for information, a few of the survivors are sent to man the deep drill - a suicide mission as there are pockets/caves of dangerous gas which can trap the drill and kill its crew. While attempting to manoeuvre around these pockets, they fall into a larger cave, wrecking the drill. The battered crew stumbles around, discovering a peculiar doorway... leading into a perfectly square white room. They step in, and upon touching the controls the whole thing lights up. Suddenly they find themselves looking at surprised North Korean faces. From one dystopia into the other. They are escorted away. On the alienr world, some NK soldiers and scientists cautiously examine the alien cavern.

North Korean forces liberate the alien colony with sheer brute force, but are eventually displaced by the South Korean and international efforts (after some incident with a NK UFO attack?). Does this unite humanity, or is there trouble brewing under the surface?

Because the federation does not expect much ore from the colony, and such ore can be mined on Earth, it is simple to fill the diminishing demands. There could be some trickery with setting up fake spokespersons, reasons why the hyperwave caster is offline or the population dying off/being exterminated even though it was really moved to Earth.

The story is now about a group of heroes (one could be NK, but with what allegiance? What happened to the NK government?) acquiring technology for Earth, travelling on the first ship ever built (similar to Starflight). This ship was rushed together by top men (some from the colony), using technology from the abandoned wreck on the colony and other available artefacts.

Liberator-Enterprise-Starflight-F4U with twist for planet landing. This is the Mark I. Later on they may replace engines, guns, etc., and eventually they build a more powerful Mark II and III so they can confront the powerful Federation ships. The front "wing" has walking space inside, but maybe a low roof in the wing section.

Shuttle sketch. The fliers in the last Blake episode are pretty snazzy though. Crew teleportation is sort of OP (constantly in need of excuses why it can't be used), but understandable from a budget perspective.

During this early period, some of the crew dies, but new members are picked up along the way. The Federation and its agents/henchmen/leaders is developed as the main antagonist. However, as the season draws to a close, there's some ambiguity developing with the real antagonists appearing - the Andromedans.

There's some ruckus and denial when the Federation finds out humans might have originated on Earth. Earth becomes one of the big stakes. In one episode, the Federation are the protagonists as they discover the location of the white room. However, by the time they get there, the room has been moved onto a ship by the Earthlings, and is now mobile.

It also appears Earth is located in one of the "dead zones" where FTL flight isn't possible due to altered physics, so getting there would take decades at conventional speeds. These dead zones were perhaps created deliberately long ago to protect the stock. The white room is the only way out, at the moment.

Art by Arne Niklas Jansson