You remember BLAKES 7 don't you ? No ? Written in the mid 1970s by Terry Nation it burst on to our TV screens in January 1978 and was set in the far flung future where interplanetary space travel was routine and humanity lived under the fascist jackboot . The first episode saw political dissident Roj Blake framed for child molestation and sentenced to the penal colony of Cygnus Alpha
" Child molestation ! Hey Theo don't tell me this was a BBC show ? "
Yes it was * . A 1970s BBC fictional show featuring a convicted child molester compared to real life 1970s BBC presenters and pop stars still to be convicted and this premise alone indicates that it's not some simple generic BBC answer to STAR TREK or STAR WARS . It was a rather bitter and cynical science fiction action adventure that relied on character interaction , wonderfully sharp dialogue and internal continuity . In some ways it was ahead of its time in that each season had a running story arc that led up to an end of season climax which is common with most television drama nowadays . Occasionally rumours surface that it might be resurrected but considering everyone involved behind the scenes is either dead or retired from television it'd be impossible for a new production team to capture the unique feel that the original show had
This spoof short film is a case in point . It's totally clumsy as an idea featuring the crew of the Liberator now confined to travelling through the Galaxy in a car and stopping at a service station . Continuity is totally ignored with Dayna being part of the crew alongside Jenna and Gan . I don't have to point out that Jenna and Gan left the show after series two and would never have met Dayna since she was introduced at the start of season three but considering all the characters are merely names devoid of their well thought out and crafted memorable personalities this is doubly disappointing
This failing is compounded by having Avon and Vila . Much of the entertainment of the show was watching the performances of Paul Darrow and Michael Keating who both nailed the characters perfectly and gave very idiosyncratic performances that were a joy to watch . Here Mark Heap and Martin Freeman are playing characters respectively called Avon and Vila who dress like and very vaguely look like the characters from the show but aren't really the characters from that show . Some people might enjoy well known comedy actor McKenzie Crook in drag as arch villain Servalan but the whole thing feels pointless as both homage and as a comedy short film . If it's darkly comical wit you're after stick to the original BBC series
* Now I come to think of it BLAKES 7 is probably the only BBC show from the 1970s not to have a convicted paedophile as its star