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Blake's 7 - Cygnus Alpha

episode 1.3

UK 1978
produced by
David Maloney for BBC
directed by Vere Lorrimer
starring Gareth Thomas, Michael Keating, Sally Knyvette, Paul Darrow, David Jackson, Brian Blessed, Pamela Salem, Robert Russell, Glyn Owen, Norman Tipton
written & created by Terry Nation, music by Dudley Simpson

Blake's 7

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Having obtained an abandoned alien spaceship (now called Liberator) all of their own (see episode 2), Roj Blake (Gareth Thomas), Jenna (Sally Knyvette) & Avon (Paul Darrow) go to penal planet Cygnus Alpha to free enough of their fellow prisoners to make up a spaceship-crew, but first they have to find out a fe things about their new ship, including ways to work the teleportation-bracelets & guns they found and the eccentric computer Zen.

Once that is settled though, Blake goes down to the planet, where he encounters his felloow prisoners were imprisoned by some evil cult headed by megalomaniac Vargas (Brian Blessed), who holds them in line by promising them remedy against a disease they don't even have. In Blake however, Vargas encounters a thougher nut to crack, but also a worthier opponent, since Blake is in possession of weapons & a ship that could take him away from Cygnus Alpha. But Blake will not give up any of it, so Vargas sees himself forced to blackmail him by having one of the prisoners put up for sacrifice. Blake proves to be one step ahead of Vargas though, as he organizes for a revolt to break out & finally overthrow Vargas' men. Only when he wants for him & his men to be beanmed up, he runs into difficulties though, as Avon at first refuses to, being blinded by the riches the ship holds (after all, he is a convicted thief), & once Jenna has gotten the upper hand aboard the Liberator, they have to realize they have taken Vargas aboard as well, & Vargas is not one to forget about his megalomaniac dreams that easily, immediately starting to threaten the ship's crew. Fortunately though, he still wears his teleportation bracelet & is soon beamed to outer space - ouch ...

Among the saved prisoners are Vila (Michael Keating) & the giant Gan (David Jackson), who would become part of the Liberator's regular crew ...


This third episode of the series would strike a chord rather on a camp level (compared to the anti-establishment messages of the first 2 stories), since it tells a rather straight forward adventure story that carelessly but endearingly blends space-opera with sets directly from the Dark Ages, complete with sinister monks & catacombs, with neither the futuristic nor the period sets being terribly convincing. I like it though.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
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shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD