Thursday, April 14, 2016

RIP Blake

Everyone knows about Doctor Who. Not so many Americans know about the other classic British TV show.

Blake's 7 ran for four 13 episode seasons between 1978 and 1981, created by Terry Nation (inventor of the Daleks). It was very similar to Firefly - a rag tag group of rebels dealing with a totalitarian government.

They were led by Roj Blake...for the first season and part of the second, then the actor left the show and Blake's 7 carried on...without Blake. The show is good in the cult classic way - the special effects are awful by today's standards, the writing has its ups and downs. And the show has never been released in US format - if you want to watch it, you'll have to import region 2 DVDs and use a region-free DVD player.

Blake was played by Welshman Gareth Thomas who had one of those TV careers where he was in various things, not always for long, and guest starred in a long list of things - including showing up in Torchwood. He also worked for Big Finish, who did a Blake's 7 series in 2012. (He was also in one of the Big Finish Doctor Who audio dramas).

Thomas died this week at the age of 71. (I always thought he was older, somehow. Must have been the hair).

He was one of those actors who showed up everywhere, sometimes doing small roles, sometimes larger ones. He was in everything from Coronation Street to The Avengers (the TV show), Shakespearean plays, cop shows, firefighter shows...the man did everything. As well as his television work, he worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company. Even if you don't know who he was, you probably saw him at some point.

Now if I could just get hold of some Blake's 7...