Criminals are given guns and ordered to capture an alien warship by an evil government regime – no one seems to think they might steal it for themselves until its too late.
TV REVIEW BLAKES SEVEN SERIES ONE EPISODE TWO SPACE FALL 1978
The second episode of Blake’s seven sets the pace and brings in more key components of the series than the previous darker edged episode carried. The show was clearly now settling down into a freedom fighters versus their oppressors space opera.
My father was never a fan of science fiction, but he had been impressed by episode one. Minutes into episode two, he decided they had ruined the show, and never tuned in to it again. His judgement was flawed in some respects. The show still had a great deal to offer, but Space Fall was the first to highlight both what is great and what is silly about Blake’s Seven.
The prisoners bound for the colonial World, Cygnus Alpha, are now seen in more detail. We meet two more of the Seven, Gan, a giant of a man, with a Tommy Cooper smile, and enormous strength is one. The other is Avon, Paul Darrow, who would come to dominate the series to the point that many think it should have been relabelled Avon’s seven. Avon is a calculating, ruthless and utterly self-motivated computer hacker, who seems intent to betray and abandon his allies at any time in order to save himself. That he maintained this tone to the end of the fourth season is impressive. Even a glimpse of him in the previous episode would have given him a place alongside Villa for a complete series attendance.
The crew and prison guards are harsh and mean, but mostly seem intent on completing their eight-month voyage to Cygnus Alpha. Blake fears rumours that the crew dump their human cargo in deep space and then simply go home claiming the loss of the prisoners was due to an accident or punishment for a rebellion. The crew do execute prisoners for insubordination and rebellion.
Jenna, (Sally Knyvete), is particularly vulnerable as the only female convict on the transport ship, and one member of the crew seems intent on making her life hell. .
Blake persuades the prisoners to join him in a take over bid, which dominates the first, half of the episode, but his attack fails, resulting in the execution of many of the prisoners, and a tense hostage situation ensues. Blake is forced to surrender and seems doomed to die, but the prison ship is caught in crossfire from a space battle that takes place round them. This is the first indication in the series that there are other species in the universe, and other galactic powers as well as the earth based Federation’s own empire.