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Blake's 7 - The Way Back

episode 1.1

UK 1978
produced by
David Maloney for BBC
directed by Michael E. Briant
starring Gareth Thomas, Michael Keating, Sally Knyvette, Michael Halsey, Pippa Steel, Jeremy Wilkin, Robert Beatty, Robert James
written & created by Terry Nation, music by Dudley Simpson

Blake's 7

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Roj Blake (Gareth Thomas), law abiding citizen of the totalitarian 30th century earth, is one day rather involuntarily dragged into a meeting of the forbidden opposition forces. Rather shocked by that alone, he is even more shocked when he is told he himself was once their leader who was caught by the government though & brainwashed in order not to be killed as a martyr. But that is still nothing compared to the shock he gets when he sees the whole opposition group being gunned down by government forces (he alone had the good sense of hiding), led there by the spy Tarrant (Jeremy Wilkin).

To his distress though he has to realize that not only this large scale massacre has no consequences for either government or security forces, but also that he is soon wrongly accused of child abuse & convicted on forged but waterproof evidence - but he also finds the memories of his days in the resistance again, that were blocked away by some serious brainwashing.

& while he, in transfer prison, soon to be sent off to penal planet Cygnus Alpha,  meets thief Vila (Michael Keating) & smuggler Jenna (Sally Knyvette) - both of no consequence to this episode, but soon to become part of the regular cast of the series - for the first time, his lawyer Varon (Michael Halsey) grows increasingly doubtful of the guilt of his client.

Together with his wife (Pippa Steel) he soon starts to uncover a government plot do discredit Blake & hush up their massacring of the opposition at the same time. But once he has pieced the puzzle together, with proof of both the massacre & the forged evidence at Blake's trial, he & his wife are shot dead.

The prison ship takes off, with no hope for Blake to be saved any more ...


The tv-series Blake's 7 was often dismissed as a British poor man's version of Star Trek. However this first episode of the series shows none of that at all, instead takes cues from George Orwell's 1984 & mixes them with pulp science fiction elements - which would in later episodes take the upper hand - to an entertaining brew.

Effects & scenery look rather shabby - especially since the series was made in the immediate post-Star Wars-era, when the focus of science fiction-cinema & -tv shifted totally from original ideas (or ideas of any kind) to effects & production values - & the costumes have that campy instant-retro look often associated with vintage sci-fi, but all that cannot hide a pleastently anti-establishment, anti-militaristic message - which would be quite the opposite from Star Trek now wouldn't it ?


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
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