Red Dwarf

Red Dwarf

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Three million years ago, a radiation leak killed the crew of the mining ship, Red Dwarf. The only survivor was Dave Lister, the chicken soup machine repairman. He spends his time on the ship with a holographic projection of Arnold Rimmer (his dead bunkmate), Cat (a life-form that evolved from Dave’s cat), Holly (the ship’s senile computer), and Kryten (a service mechanoid).  Written by Garrett Hobbs

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Red Dwarf
Red Dwarf logo.png
Red Dwarf logo (1992–99)
GenreSitcom, Science fiction
Created byGrant Naylor
(Rob Grant and Doug Naylor)
Based onDave Hollins: Space Cadet
by Rob Grant
Doug Naylor
Directed byEd Bye (1988–91, 1997–99)
Juliet May (1992)
Grant Naylor (1992)
Andy de Emmony (1993)
Doug Naylor (2009, 2012–present)
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series12
No. of episodes73 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)Paul Jackson (1988–90)
Doug Naylor
Rob Grant
Henry Normal (2016–present)
Producer(s)Ed Bye (1988–91, 1997–99)
Hilary Bevan-Jones (1992)
Justin Judd (1993)
Jo Howard and Helen Norman (2009)
Richard Naylor (2012–)
Kerry Waddell (2016–present)
Camera setupTape (1988–93, 1997–99); Digital (2009, 2012–present)
Multi-camera (Series 1–6, 8, 10–present),
Single-camera (Series 7, Back to Earth)
Running time28–30 minutes (Series 1–8, 10-present)
25 minutes (per part) (Back to Earth)
Production company(s)Paul Jackson Productions (1988–90)
Grant Naylor (1989–)
Baby Cow Productions (2016–)
Budget£250,000 per episode
Original networkBBC Two (1988–93, 1997–99)
Dave (2009, 2012–present)
Picture format576i (1988–93, 1997–99)
576i (2009, 2012–present)
1080i (2009, 2012–present)
Original releaseOriginal run:
15 February 1988 – 5 April 1999

Revival serial:
10 – 12 April 2009

Current run:
4 October 2012 – present
External links
Official website

Red Dwarf is a British science fiction comedy franchise which primarily consists of a television sitcom that aired on BBC Two between 1988 and 1999, and on Dave since 2009, gaining a cult following.[1] To date, eleven full series of the show have aired, plus one "special" miniseries. The most recent, Red Dwarf XII, started airing in October 2017.[2]

The series was created by Rob Grant and Doug Naylor. In addition to the television episodes, there are four novels, a radio version adapted from the audiobooks, two unaired pilot episodes for an American version of the show, tie-in books, magazines and other merchandise.

Set on the eponymous mining spaceship, the main characters are Dave Lister, initially the last known human alive, and Arnold Rimmer, a hologram of Lister's deceased bunkmate. The others members of the crew are Cat, a life form which evolved from the descendants of Lister's pregnant pet cat Frankenstein; Holly, Red Dwarf's computer (Series I-V, VIII and briefly in the final episodes of VII, XII); Kryten, a service mechanoid (Series II-present); and Kristine Kochanski, an alternative-reality version of Lister's love interest (Series VII-VIII).

One of the series' highest accolades came in 1994, when an episode from the sixth series, "Gunmen of the Apocalypse", won an International Emmy Award in the Popular Arts category, and in the same year the series was also awarded "Best BBC Comedy Series" at the British Comedy Awards.[3] The series attracted its highest ratings, of more than eight million viewers, during the eighth series in 1999.[4]

The revived series on digital channel Dave has consistently delivered some of the highest ratings for non-Public Service Broadcasting commissions in the UK.[5][6][7] The show has been critically acclaimed, and has a Metacritic score of 84/100.[8]Series XI was voted "Best Returning TV Sitcom" and "Comedy of the Year" for 2016 by readers for the British Comedy Guide.[9]

Setting and plot

Red Dwarf's current design from Series X on.

The main setting of the series is the eponymous mining spaceship Red Dwarf.[10] In the first episode, set sometime in the late 22nd century, an on-board radiation leak kills everyone except lowest-ranking technician Dave Lister, who is in suspended animation at the time, and his pregnant cat, Frankenstein, who is safe in the cargo hold.[11] Following the accident, the ship's computer Holly keeps Lister in stasis until the radiation levels return to normal – a process that takes three million years.[11] Lister therefore emerges as the last human being in the universe – but not alone on-board the ship.[12] His former bunkmate and immediate superior Arnold Judas Rimmer (a character plagued by failure) is resurrected by Holly as a hologram to keep Lister sane. They are joined by a creature known only as Cat, the last member of a race of humanoid felines that evolved in the ship's hold from Lister's pregnant cat during the 3 million years that Lister was in stasis.[12]

The series revolves around Lister being the last human alive, 3 million years from Earth, with his companions (initially Rimmer, Cat and Holly). The crew encounters phenomena such as time distortions, faster-than-light travel, mutant diseases and strange lifeforms (all evolved from Earth, because the series has no aliens) that had developed in the intervening millions of years.[13] Though it has a science fiction setting, much of the humour comes from the interactions of the characters, particularly the laid-back Lister and the stuck-up Rimmer.

Despite the pastiche of science fiction used as a backdrop, Red Dwarf is primarily a character-driven comedy, with science fiction elements used as complementary plot devices.[citation needed] Especially in the early episodes, a recurring source of comedy was the Odd Couple-style relationship between the two central characters of the show, who have an intense dislike for each other yet are trapped together deep in space.

In Series III, the computer Holly changes from male (Norman Lovett) to female (Hattie Hayridge), and the mechanoid Kryten (who had appeared in one episode in Series II [14]) joins the crew and becomes a regular character.[15]

In Series VI, a story arc is introduced where Red Dwarf has been stolen, and the crew pursues it in the smaller Starbug craft, with the side-effect that the character Holly disappears.[16]

Series VII is also set in Starbug. Early in series VII, Rimmer departs (due to actor Chris Barrie's commitments) and is replaced by Kristine Kochanski, Lister's long-term love interest, from an alternate universe.[17] Kochanski becomes a regular character for Series VII and VIII.

At the end of Series VII, we learn that Kryten's service nanobots, which had abandoned him years earlier, were behind the theft of the Red Dwarf at the end of series five. At the beginning of the eighth series, Kryten's nanobots reconstruct the Red Dwarf, which they had broken down into its constituent atoms.[18]

As a consequence, Series VIII features the entire original crew of Red Dwarf resurrected (except for the already-alive Lister and Kochanski), including a pre-accident Rimmer; and the original male Holly. The series ends with a metal-eating virus loose on Red Dwarf. The entire crew evacuates save the main cast (Lister, Rimmer, Cat, Kryten and Kochanski), whose fate is unresolved in a cliffhanger ending.[19]

Series IX onwards revert to the same four main characters of Series 3–6 (Lister, Rimmer, Cat and Kryten), on Red Dwarf and without Kochanski or Holly; and Rimmer is again a hologram. It has not been confirmed whether the Rimmer onboard ship is the one who originally left, the revived version, or a third incarnation entirely; however, episodes have alluded to him remembering events from both previous incarnations' lives.

Characters and actors

  • Dave Lister, played by Craig Charles, is a genial Scouser and self-described bum. He was the lowest-ranking of the 169 crew members on the ship before the accident. Lister survived the accident, as he was in stasis for smuggling an unquarantined cat on board. He has a long-standing desire to return to Earth and start a farm and/or diner on Fiji (which is under three feet of water following a volcanic eruption), but is left impossibly far away by the accident, which renders him the last (known) surviving member of the human race.[20] He likes Indian food, especially chicken vindaloo, which is a recurring theme in the series.
  • Arnold Judas Rimmer Bsc Ssc ("Bronze swimming certificate" and "Silver swimming certificate"), played by Chris Barrie, was the second-lowest ranking member of the crew while they were all alive. He is a fussy, bureaucratic, neurotic coward who, by failing to replace a drive plate properly, is responsible for the Red Dwarf cadmium II accident that kills the entire crew (including himself) except Lister. Nevertheless, Holly chose him to be the ship's one available hologram[21] because he considered him the person most likely to keep Lister sane. During Series VII, Rimmer leaves the dimension shared by his crewmates to become the new Ace Rimmer. Along with the Red Dwarf ship and its crew, Rimmer is resurrected at the start of Series VIII by nanobots. He comes face to face with Death at the end of the series, whom he kicks in the groin. From the Back to Earth specials onwards, he is once again a hologram; with no explanation as to whether he is the same hologram who left in Series VII, or what happened to the human Rimmer from series VIII.
From left to right: Kryten, Lister, Cat, and Rimmer as they appeared in 2009's Back to Earth.
  • The Cat, played by Danny John-Jules, is a humanoid creature who evolved from the offspring of Lister's smuggled pet cat Frankenstein. Cat is concerned with little other than sleeping, eating, and fawning over his appearance, and tends not to socialise with other members of the crew in early episodes. He becomes more influenced by his human companions over time, and begins to resemble a stylish, self-centred human. It is later revealed that, unlike his human companions, he has a "cool" sounding pulse, six nipples, and colour-coordinated internal organs.[22]
  • Kryten, full name Kryten 2X4B-523P (played by Robert Llewellyn from series III onwards, and as a one-off appearance in series II by David Ross), was rescued by the crew from the crashed spaceship Nova 5 in series II, upon which he had continued to serve the ship's crew despite their having been dead for thousands or even millions of years. Kryten is a Service Mechanoid and when first encountered by the crew, he was bound by his "behavioural protocols", but Lister gradually encouraged him to break his programming and think for himself. His change in appearance between the two actors is explained away by an accident involving Lister's spacebike and Lister having to repair him.[23]
  • Holly (played by Norman Lovett in series I, II, VIII, and a guest appearance in each of series VII and XII; and Hattie Hayridge in series III to V), is the ship's computer. Holly has a functional IQ of 6000, although this is severely depleted by the three million years of runtime and lack of repairs. Holly is left alone after the radiation accident that kills Rimmer and the rest of the crew except for Lister and the Cat. The computer had developed "computer senility" before the radiation accident, rendering it functionally inert. The change in appearance for series III is explained by Holly having changed his face to resemble that of a computer from a parallel universe "with whom he'd once fallen madly in love".[24]
  • Kristine Kochanski (originally portrayed by Clare Grogan before Chloë Annett took on the role from series VII) was initially a Red Dwarf navigation officer whom Lister had a crush on (later retroactively altered to be his ex-girlfriend) and whose memory he had cherished ever since.[20] In one episode, the crew happens upon an alternative dimension where Kochanski survived the Red Dwarf cadmium II accident. She joins Lister and the crew after the link to her own dimension collapses.[17] By the first episode of the Red Dwarf: Back to Earth specials, Lister believes her dead, but it is later revealed that Kryten (the sole witness to her "death") had lied to Lister. Kochanski had instead fled the ship in a Blue Midget when it became clear Lister's complete lack of self-respect and indulgence on excesses was slowly killing him, which greatly depressed her. Lister is advised by fans of the television series to find her in "the next series" and to make amends. However, the character does not appear in any of the later series.


The first series aired on BBC2 in 1988. 12 series have so far been produced,[15] with a 13th rumoured to be planned for 2019.

Concept and commission

The concept for the show was originally developed from the sketch-series Dave Hollins: Space Cadet on the BBC Radio 4 show Son of Cliché in the mid-1980s, written by Rob Grant and Doug Naylor.[25] Their influences came from films and television programmes such as Star Trek (1966), Silent Running (1972), Alien (1979), Dark Star (1974) and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1981),[15] but also had a large element of British-style comedy and satire thrown into the mix, ultimately moulded into the form of a sitcom. Many visual and character elements bear similarities to the Trident nuclear submarine BBC documentary Defence of the Realm. Having written the pilot script in 1983, the former Spitting Image writers pitched their unique concept to the BBC, but it was rejected on fears that a science fiction sitcom would not be popular.[25]

It was finally accepted by BBC North in 1986, a result of a spare budget being assigned for a second series of Happy Families that would never arise, and producer Paul Jackson's insistence that Red Dwarf should be filmed instead.[26] The show was lucky to be remounted after an electricians' strike partway through rehearsals in early 1987 shut the entire production down (the title sequence was filmed in January 1987).[27] The filming was rescheduled for September, and the pilot episode finally made it onto television screens on 15 February 1988.[15]


Alan Rickman and Alfred Molina auditioned for roles in the series, with Molina being cast as Rimmer.[28][29] However, after Molina had difficulties with the concept of the series, and of his role in particular, the role was recast and filled by Chris Barrie, a professional voice-actor and impressionist who had previously worked with both the writers on Spitting Image, and with the producers on Happy Families and Jasper Carrott productions.[29]Craig Charles, a Liverpudlian "punk poet", was given the role of Dave Lister. He was approached by the production team for his opinion about the "Cat" character, as they were concerned it may be considered by people as racist.[30] Charles described "Cat" as 'pretty cool' and after reading the script he decided he wanted to audition for the part of Dave Lister.[27] Laconic stand-up comedian Norman Lovett, who had originally tried out for the role of Rimmer, was kept in the show as Holly, the senile computer of the titular ship.[30] A professional dancer and singer, Danny John-Jules, arriving half an hour late for his appointment, stood out as the Cat immediately. This was partly due to his "cool" exterior, dedicated research (reading Desmond Morris' book Catwatching), and his showing up in character, wearing his father's 1950s-style zoot suit.[30]

Writing, producing and directing

Grant and Naylor wrote the first six series together (using the pseudonym Grant Naylor on the first two novels and later as the name of their production company, although never on the episodes themselves).[31] Grant left in 1995,[15] to pursue other projects,[32] leaving Naylor to write series VII and VIII with a group of new writers, including Paul Alexander and actor Robert Llewellyn (who portrayed the character Kryten).[33]

For the most part, Ed Bye produced and directed the series. He left before series V due to a scheduling clash (he ended up directing a show starring his wife, Ruby Wax) so Juliet May took over as director.[34] May parted ways with the show halfway through the series for personal and professional reasons and Grant and Naylor took over direction of the series, in addition to writing and producing.[35] Series VI was directed by Andy de Emmony, and Ed Bye returned to direct series VII and VIII. Series I, II and III were made by Paul Jackson Productions, with subsequent series produced by the writers' own company Grant Naylor Productions for BBC North. All eight series were broadcast on BBC Two. At the beginning of series IV, production moved from BBC North's New Broadcasting House in Manchester to Shepperton.[36]

Theme song and music

The theme tune and incidental music were written and performed by Howard Goodall, with the vocals on the closing theme tune by Jenna Russell. The first two series used a relatively sombre instrumental version of the closing theme for the opening titles; from series III onwards this switched to a more upbeat version. Goodall also wrote music for the show's various songs, including "Tongue Tied", with lyrics written by Grant and Naylor.[37] Danny John-Jules (credited as 'The Cat') re-orchestrated and released "Tongue Tied" in October 1993; it reached number 17 on the UK charts.[38] Goodall himself sang "The Rimmer Song" heard during the series VII episode "Blue", to which Chris Barrie mimed.[39]


In 1998, on the tenth anniversary of the show's first airing (and between the broadcast of series VII and VIII), the first three series of Red Dwarf were remastered and released on VHS. The remastering included replacing model shots with computer graphics, cutting certain dialogue and scenes,[40] re-filming Norman Lovett's Holly footage, creating a consistent set of opening titles, replacing music and creating ambient sound effects with a digital master.[41] The remastered series were released in a 4-disc DVD boxset "The Bodysnatcher Collection" in 2007.[42]


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Release timeline
1988Series I and II
1989Series III
1991Series IV
1992Series V
1993Series VI
1997Series VII
1999Series VIII
2009Back To Earth
2012Series X
2016Series XI
2017Series XII

Three years elapsed between series VI and VII, partly due to the dissolving of the Grant and Naylor partnership, but also due to cast and crew working on other projects.[32] When the series eventually returned, it was filmised and no longer shot in front of a live audience, allowing for greater use of four-walled sets, location shooting, and single-camera techniques.[43] When the show returned for its eighth series two years later, it had dropped use of the filmising process and returned to using a live audience.[44]

The show received a setback when the BBC rejected proposals for a series IX. Doug Naylor confirmed in 2007 that the BBC decided not to renew the series as they preferred to work on other projects.[45] A short animated Christmas special was, however, made available to mobile phone subscribers the same year.[46] Ultimately, however, fans had to wait a decade before the series returned to television.


Red Dwarf: Back to Earth

In 2008, a three-episode production was commissioned by the digital channel Dave. Red Dwarf: Back to Earth was broadcast over the Easter weekend of 2009, along with a "making of" documentary.[47][48] The episode was set nine years after the events of "Only the Good..." (with the cliffhanger ending of that episode left unresolved, a situation that would continue with Series X). The storyline involves the characters arriving back on Earth, circa 2009, only to find that they are characters in a TV show called "Red Dwarf". Kochanski is supposedly dead and Holly is offline due to water damage caused by Lister leaving a tap running.[49] Actress Sophie Winkleman played a character called Katerina, a resurrected hologram of a Red Dwarf science officer intent on replacing Rimmer.[50]

To achieve a more cinematic atmosphere, Back to Earth was not filmed in front of a studio audience. Some previous Red Dwarf episodes had been shot in that way ("Bodyswap" and all of the seventh series), but Back to Earth represented the first time that a laughter track was not added before broadcast.[51] It was also the first episode of Red Dwarf to be filmed in high definition.[49]

The specials were televised over three nights starting on Friday 10 April 2009. The broadcasts received record ratings for Dave;[52] the first of the three episodes represented the UK's highest–ever viewing figures for a commissioned programme on a digital network.[53]Back to Earth was released on DVD on 15 June 2009,[54] and on Blu-ray on 31 August 2009.[55]Back to Earth was subsequently described on the series' official website as "for all intents and purposes, the 'ninth series' of Red Dwarf".[56] This placement was confirmed when Series X was commissioned and branded as the tenth series, although Back to Earth continues not to be referred to as "Series IX" on home media or digital releases.

Red Dwarf X

On 10 April 2011 Dave announced it had commissioned a six-episode Red Dwarf "Series X" to be broadcast on Dave in late 2012.[57][58] Filming dates for the new series Red Dwarf X were announced on 11 November 2011, along with confirmation that the series would be shot at Shepperton Studios in front of an audience.[59] Principal filming began on 16 December 2011 and ended on 27 January 2012, and the cast and crew subsequently returned for six days filming pick ups.[60] Discounting guest stars, only the core cast of Charles, Barrie, Llewellyn and John-Jules returned for Series X, with Annett and Lovett absent, though the scripts include references to Kochanski and Holly.

On 20 July 2012, a 55-second trailer for series X was released on Facebook, followed by a new teaser every Friday.[61] The new series debuted on Thursday 4 October 2012.[62]

Red Dwarf XI and XII

Following series X, which attracted high viewing figures, Dave, Doug Naylor and the cast showed strong interest in making another series. During the Dimension Jump fan convention in May 2013, Doug Naylor stated that discussions were ongoing with all involved parties and while arrangements had not been finalised, he hoped shooting could begin in February 2014.[63] In October 2013, Robert Llewellyn posted on his blog, stating that "an eleventh series would happen" and that it would be "sometime in 2014". Llewellyn later removed the post from his blog and Doug Naylor issued a statement on Twitter, saying: "Getting tweets claiming Red Dwarf XI is commissioned. Not true. Not yet."[64][65] However, in January 2014 Danny John-Jules stated that the eleventh series of Red Dwarf was in the process of being written.[66]

At the April 2014 Sci-Fi Scarborough Festival, during the Red Dwarf cast panel, Danny John-Jules stated that filming of the eleventh series would commence in October 2014, with an expected release of Autumn 2015 on Dave.[67]

On 2 May 2015, at the Dimension Jump XVIII convention, Naylor announced that an eleventh and a twelfth series had been commissioned. The two series would be shot back-to-back towards the end of 2015 for broadcast on Dave in 2016 and 2017 respectively,[68] and would be co-produced by Baby Cow Productions, with company CEO, Henry Normal, executive producing the new episodes.[69]

Series XI and XII were filmed back-to-back at Pinewood Studios between November 2015 and March 2016.[70][71] The eleventh series premiered on UKTV's video on demand service UKTV Play on 15 September 2016, a week ahead of its broadcast transmission on 22 September.

On 8 September 2017, it was announced that Red Dwarf XII would begin broadcasting on Dave on 12 October 2017,[72] and on 15 September 2017 it was further announced that each episode would preview a week earlier via the UKTV Play video on demand service, effectively meaning that Series 12 would be starting on 5 October 2017.[73]

Red Dwarf XIII

In late May 2019, in a radio interview, Robert Llewellyn confirmed Series 13 was happening [74] and in June of that year, Danny John-Jules stated that Series 13 is expected to be wrapped up by the end of 2019 [75] It is once again expected to be produced for and shown on the channel Dave, although this is yet to be confirmed.

The core cast of Red Dwarf recently appeared in a commercial for the AA, titled "Stellar Rescue" and in which the AA rescue a broken down Starbug.[76] Filming took place in June, and airing began a month later.


The episode "Polymorph" paid homage to the 1979 Alien film

Red Dwarf was founded on the standard sitcom focus of a disparate and frequently dysfunctional group of individuals living together in a restricted setting. With the main characters routinely displaying their cowardice, incompetence and laziness, while exchanging insulting and sarcastic dialogue, the series provided a humorous antidote to the fearless and morally upright space explorers typically found in science-fiction series,[15] with its main characters acting bravely only when there was no other possible alternative. The increasing science-fiction elements of the series were treated seriously by creators Rob Grant and Doug Naylor. Satire, parody and drama were alternately woven into the episodes, referencing other television series, films and books. These have included references to the likes of 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968),[77]Top Gun (1986),[78]RoboCop (1987), Star Wars (1977), Citizen Kane (1942), The Wild One (1953), High Noon (1952), Rebel Without a Cause (1955), Casablanca (1942), Easy Rider (1969), The Terminator (1984),[79]Pride and Prejudice (1813), Isaac Asimov's Robot Series (1939–1985) and Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

The writers based the whole theme of some episodes on the plots of feature films. The series III episode "Polymorph" references and parodies key moments from Alien (1979); from series IV, "Camille" echoes key scenes from Casablanca (1942),[79] while "Meltdown" borrows the main plot from Westworld (1973). For series IX, "Back to Earth" was partially inspired by Blade Runner (1982).[80] The series' themes are not limited to films or television, having also incorporated historical events and figures.[81] Religion also plays a part in the series, as a significant factor in the ultimate fate of the Cat race, and the perception of Lister as their 'God', both within the episode "Waiting for God" [82] (whose title makes a literary reference to the Samuel Beckett play Waiting for Godot), as well as the crew meeting a man they believe to be Jesus Christ in series X episode "Lemons". The series VII episode titled "Ouroboros" derives its name and theme from the ancient mythological snake by the same name. The 3rd episode of series VI Gunmen of the Apocalypse was based on the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

The series explores many science-fiction staples such as time-travel paradoxes (including the grandfather paradox), the question of determinism and free will (on several episodes), the pursuit of happiness in virtual reality and, crucially to the show's premise of Lister being the last human, the near-certainty of the human species' extinction some time in the far future.

Aliens do not feature in the series, as Grant and Naylor decided very early in the process that they did not want aliens involved. This is usually addressed with Rimmer's belief in extraterrestrial life being shot down, such as a vessel he believes to be an alien ship turning out to be a garbage pod. However, there are non-human life forms such as evolutions of Earth species (e.g. the Cat race), robotic or holo-life forms created by humans, and a kind of 'Genetically Engineered Life Form' (GELF), an artificially-created creature. Simulants and GELFs frequently serve as antagonists among the later series of the show.[83]


The series developed its own distinct vocabulary. Words and phrases such as hologramatic [sic], Dollarpound, Felis sapiens, Simulants, GELF, space weevil, and Zero Gee Football appear throughout the series, highlighting a development in language, political climate, technology, evolution, and culture in the future.[84] The creators also employed a vocabulary of fictional expletives in order to avoid using potentially offensive words in the show, and to give nuance to futuristic colloquial language; in particular "smeg" (and variants such as "smegging", "smegger", and "smeg-head") features prominently, alongside the terms "gimboid" and "goit".[85]


SeriesTitleEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
1I615 February 1988 (1988-02-15)21 March 1988 (1988-03-21)
2II66 September 1988 (1988-09-06)11 October 1988 (1988-10-11)
3III614 November 1989 (1989-11-14)19 December 1989 (1989-12-19)
4IV614 February 1991 (1991-02-14)21 March 1991 (1991-03-21)
5V620 February 1992 (1992-02-20)26 March 1992 (1992-03-26)
6VI67 October 1993 (1993-10-07)11 November 1993 (1993-11-11)
7VII817 January 1997 (1997-01-17)7 March 1997 (1997-03-07)
8VIII818 February 1999 (1999-02-18)5 April 1999 (1999-04-05)
9Back to Earth310 April 2009 (2009-04-10)12 April 2009 (2009-04-12)
10X64 October 2012 (2012-10-04)8 November 2012 (2012-11-08)
11XI622 September 2016 (2016-09-22)27 October 2016 (2016-10-27)
12XII612 October 2017 (2017-10-12)16 November 2017


Red Dwarf VIII

Episode no. Airdate Viewers BBC Two weekly ranking
1 18 February 1999 8,050,000 1
2 25 February 1999 7,580,000 1
3 4 March 1999 6,920,000 2
4 11 March 1999 5,950,000 1
5 18 March 1999 6,760,000 1
6 25 March 1999 6,320,000 1
7 1 April 1999 4,520,000 3
8 5 April 1999 4,240,000 3

Back to Earth

Episode No. Air date Dave Viewers Dave Rank Rank
Dave ja vu
Total Viewers
1 10 April 2009 2,357,000 1 1 385,000 2,742,000
2 11 April 2009 1,238,000 2 6 366,000 1,604,000
3 12 April 2009 1,197,000 3 7 245,000 1,442,000

Red Dwarf X

Episode no. Airdate Dave Viewers Dave Rank Rank
Dave ja vu
Total viewers
1 4 October 2012 1,978,000 1 3 113,000 2,091,000
2 11 October 2012 1,567,000 1 2 78,000 1,645,000
3 18 October 2012 1,519,000 1 3 106,000 1,625,000
4 25 October 2012 1,345,000 1 7 119,000 1,464,000
5 1 November 2012 1,561,000 1 4 73,000 1,634,000
6 8 November 2012 1,400,000 1 5 107,000 1,507,000

Red Dwarf XI

Episode no. Airdate 7-day viewers 28-day viewers Dave Rank
1 22 September 2016 1,456,000 1,724,000 1
2 29 September 2016 1,443,000 1,710,000 1
3 6 October 2016 1,144,000 1,310,000 1
4 13 October 2016 1,096,000 1,292,000 1
5 20 October 2016 1,180,000 1,272,000 1
6 27 October 2016 1,024,000 1,158,000 1

Red Dwarf XII

Episode no. Airdate 7-day viewers 28-day viewers Dave Rank
1 12 October 2017 1,200,000 1,352,000 1
2 19 October 2017 1,179,000 1,278,000 1
3 26 October 2017 1,189,000 1,286,000 1
4 2 November 2017 973,000 1,077,000 1
5 9 November 2017 901,000 950,000 1
6 16 November 2017 846,000 968,000 1

Reception and achievements

Critical reactions

The changes that were made to the series' cast, setting, creative teams and even production values from series to series have meant that opinions differ greatly between fans and critics as to the quality of certain series.[15][86] In the "Great Red Dwarf Debate", published in volume 2 issue 3 of the Red Dwarf Smegazine, science-fiction writers Steve Lyons and Joe Nazzaro both argued on the pros and cons of the early series against the later series. Lyons stated that what the show "once had was a unique balance of sci-fi comedy, which worked magnificently."[87] Nazarro agreed that "the first two series are very original and very funny", but went on to say that "it wasn't until series III that the show hit its stride."[88] Series VI is regarded as a continuation of the "Monster of the week" philosophy of series V, which was nevertheless considered to be visually impressive.[16] Discussions revolve around the quality of series VI, seen by one reviewer as just as good as the earlier series',[16] but has been criticised by another reviewer as a descent into formulaic comedy with an unwelcome change of setting.[89]

The changes seen in series VII were seen by some as a disappointment; while much slicker and higher-budget in appearance, the shift away from outright sitcom and into something approaching comedy drama was seen by one reviewer as a move in the wrong direction.[90] Furthermore, the attempt to shift back into traditional sitcom format for series VIII was greeted with a response that was similarly lukewarm.[15] There was criticism aimed at the decision to resurrect the entire crew of Red Dwarf, as it was felt this detracted from the series' central premise of Lister being the last human being alive.[91] There are other critics who feel that series VII and VIII are no weaker than the earlier series, however,[92][93] and the topic is the subject of constant fervent debate among the show's fanbase.[15]


Although the pilot episode of the show gathered over four million viewers, viewing figures dipped in successive episodes and the first series had generally poor ratings.[94] Through to series VI the ratings steadily increased and peaked at over six million viewers,[32] achieved with the episode "Gunmen of the Apocalypse".[95] When the series returned in 1999 it gained the highest audience figures yet – over eight million viewers tuned in for series VIII's opening episode "Back in the Red: Part I".[96] The series has won numerous awards including the Royal Television Society Award for special effects, the British Science Fiction award for Best Dramatic Presentation, as well as an International Emmy Award [97] for series VI episode "Gunmen of the Apocalypse", which tied with an Absolutely Fabulous episode, "Hospital", in the Popular Arts category. The show had also been nominated for the International Emmy Award in 1987, 1989, and 1992. Series VI won a British Comedy Award for 'Best BBC Comedy Series'. The video sales have won eight Gold Awards from the British Video Association,[98] and the series still holds the record for being BBC Two's longest-running, highest-rated sitcom.[99] In 2007 the series was voted 'Best Sci-Fi Show Of All Time' by the readers of Radio Times magazine. Editor Gill Hudson stated that this result had surprised them as 'the series had not given any new episodes this century'.[100] In January 2017, Series XI was voted "Best Returning TV Sitcom" and "Comedy of the Year" for 2016 by readers for the British Comedy Guide.[9] A year later Red Dwarf once again was voted "Best Returning TV Sitcom" for Series XII retaining the title from British Comedy Guide.[101]

Spin-offs and merchandise

The show's logo and characters have appeared on a wide range of merchandise.[31][102]Red Dwarf has also been spun off in a variety of different media formats. For instance, the song "Tongue Tied", featured in the "Parallel Universe" episode of the show, was released in 1993 as a single and became a top 20 UK hit for Danny John Jules (under the name 'The Cat').[38] Stage plays of the show have been produced through Blak Yak, a theatre group in Perth, Western Australia, who were given permission by Grant Naylor Productions to mount stage versions of certain episodes in 2002, 2004, and 2006.[103][104][105][106] In October 2006 an Interactive Quiz DVD entitled Red Dwarf: Beat The Geek was released, hosted by Norman Lovett and Hattie Hayridge, both reprising their roles as Holly.[107] In 2005, Grant Naylor Productions and Across the Pond Comics collaborated to produce the spin-off webcomic Red Dwarf: Prelude to Nanarchy.[108]


The German edition of Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers, entitled Roter Zwerg.

Working together under the name "Grant Naylor", the creators of the series collaboratively wrote two novels. The first, Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers, was published in November 1989, and incorporates plot lines from several episodes of the show's first two series. The second novel, Better Than Life, followed in October 1990, and is largely based on the second-series episode of the same name. Together, the two novels provide expanded backstory and development of the series' principal characters and themes.

The authors began work on a sequel to Better than Life, called The Last Human, but Rob Grant was drawn away from Red Dwarf by an interest in other projects.[citation needed] Still owing Penguin Publishing two more Red Dwarf novels, Grant and Naylor decided to each write an alternative sequel to Better than Life. Two completely different sequels were made as a result, each presenting a possible version of the story's continuation. Last Human, by Doug Naylor, adds Kochanski to the crew and places more emphasis on the science-fiction and plot elements, while Rob Grant's novel Backwards, is more in keeping with the previous two novels, and borrows more extensively from established television stories.[32]

An omnibus edition of the first two novels was released in 1992, including edits to the original text and extra material such as the original pilot script of the TV series.[109] All four novels have been released in audiobook format, the first two read by Chris Barrie,[110][111]Last Human read by Craig Charles,[112] and Backwards read by author Rob Grant.[113]

In December 2009, Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers was released in Germany with the title Roter Zwerg (Red Dwarf in German).[114]

List of Red Dwarf Novels

Title Author(s)
Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers Grant Naylor Productions
Co-authored by Rob Grant and Doug Naylor
Better Than Life Grant Naylor Productions
Co-authored by Rob Grant and Doug Naylor
Last Human Doug Naylor
Backwards Rob Grant

Home video releases

For the initial release of the VHS editions, episodes of Red Dwarf were separated and two volumes released for each series (except series VII and VIII, which were released on three separate tapes), labelled 'Byte One' and 'Byte Two' (plus 'Byte Three' for series VII and VIII). These videos were named after the first episode of the three presented on the tape, as was typical with other BBC video releases at the time. However, on occasions the BBC decided to ignore the original running order and use the most popular episodes from the series to maximise sales of the videos: for series III (the first ever release), "Bodyswap" and "Timeslides" were swapped round, so that the latter could receive top billing on the second VHS volume; for the second VHS volume of series I, "Confidence and Paranoia" was given top billing, even though the original broadcast order was retained; this was due to the leading episode being "Waiting for God" which shared its name with the title of another comedy series (set in a retirement home); and for series V, "Back to Reality" and "Quarantine" were given top billing on their respective video release, which completely re-organised the order of episodes from that in which they were originally broadcast.[115] Future releases would increasingly observe authenticity with the 'original broadcast' context. All eight series were made available on VHS, and three episodes of series VII were also released as special "Xtended" [sic] versions with extra scenes (including an original, unbroadcast ending for the episode "Tikka To Ride") and no laugh track;[116] the remastered versions of series I–III were also released individually and in a complete box-set.[117][118][119] Finally, two outtake videos were released, both hosted by Robert Llewellyn in character as Kryten: Smeg Ups in 1994, and its sequel, Smeg Outs, in 1995.[120][121]

Release Episodes Year Dist. and Cat. #
Red Dwarf I – Byte One – The End The EndFuture EchoesBalance of Power ? ? ? BBCV 4914
Red Dwarf I – Byte Two – Confidence & Paranoia Waiting for GodConfidence and ParanoiaMe² ? ? ? BBCV 4915
Red Dwarf II – Byte One – Kryten KrytenBetter Than LifeThanks for the Memory U.S. 1988 CBS/Fox 5969 BBCV 4749
Red Dwarf II – Byte Two – Stasis Leak Stasis LeakQueegParallel Universe ? ? ? CBS/Fox 5970 BBCV 4750
Red Dwarf III – Byte One – Backwards BackwardsMaroonedPolymorph ? ? ? CBS/Fox 5876 BBCV 4695
Red Dwarf III – Byte Two – Timeslides TimeslidesBody SwapThe Last Day ? ? ? CBS/Fox 5877 BBCV 4707
Red Dwarf IV – Byte One – Camille CamilleDNAJustice U.S. 1991 CBS/Fox 5874 BBCV 4847
Red Dwarf IV – Byte Two – Dimension Jump White HoleDimension JumpMeltdown ? ? ? CBS/Fox 5875 BBCV 4848
Red Dwarf V – Byte One – Back To Reality Back To RealityDemons & AngelsHoloship ? ? ? CBS/Fox 8262 BBCV 5197
Red Dwarf V – Byte Two – Quarantine QuarantineThe InquisitorTerrorform U.S. 1996 CBS/Fox 8263 BBCV 5212
Red Dwarf VI – Byte One – Gunmen of the Apocalypse PsirensLegionGunmen of the Apocalypse ? ? ? CBS/Fox 3196 BBCV 5580
Red Dwarf VI – Byte Two – Polymorph II – Emohawk Polymorph II – EmohawkRimmerworldOut of Time U.S. 1995 CBS/Fox 3376 BBCV 5594
Red Dwarf VII – Byte One Tikka to RideStoke Me A KipperOuroboros U.S. 1997 CBS/Fox 6452 BBCV 6789
Red Dwarf VII – Byte Two Duct SoupBlueBeyond a Joke ? ? ? BBCV 6790
Red Dwarf VII – Byte Three EpidemeNanarchy ? ? ? BBCV 6791
Red Dwarf VII – Xtended Tikka to RideOuroborosDuct Soup • Smeg Ups UK 1997 BBCV 6285
Red Dwarf VIII – Byte One – Back in the Red Back in the Red parts 1, 2 & 3 ? ? ? CBS/Fox 14608 BBCV 6842
Red Dwarf VIII – Byte Two – Cassandra CassandraKrytie TVPete: Part I ? ? ? CBS/Fox 14609 BBCV 6843
Red Dwarf VIII – Byte Three – Pete, Part 2 Pete, Part 2Only the Good... U.S. 1999 CBS/Fox 14626
Red Dwarf – Smeg Ups The outtakes from series IV, V & VI U.S. 1996 CBS/Fox 8375 BBCV 5406
Red Dwarf – Smeg Outs The outtakes from series I, II & III U.K. 1995 CBS/Fox 8475 BBCV 5693

DVD releases

The first eight series have since been released on DVD in Region 1, 2, and 4, each with a bonus disc of extra material and each release from series III onwards being accompanied by an original documentary about the making of each respective series.[122] Regions 2 and 4 have also seen the release of two Just The Shows, digipack boxsets containing the episodes from series I–IV (Volume 1) and V-VIII (Volume 2) with static menus and no extras.[123][124]Red Dwarf: The Bodysnatcher Collection, containing the 1998 remastered episodes, as well as new documentaries for series I and II, was released in 2007. This release showcased a storyboard construction of "Bodysnatcher", an unfinished script from 1987, which was finally completed in 2007 by Rob Grant and Doug Naylor who were working together for the first time since 1993.[42] In December 2008 an anniversary DVD set entitled Red Dwarf: All The Shows was released, reworking the vanilla disc content of the two Just The Shows sets within A4 packaging resembling a 'photo album', which carefully omitted information that no extras were included. This box-set was re-released in a smaller slip-case sized box, reverting to the Just the Shows title, in November 2009. The series is also available for download on iTunes.

Release # of discs DVD release date
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
Series I 2 25 February 2003 4 November 2002 3 December 2002
Series II 2 25 February 2003 10 February 2003 1 April 2003
Series III 2 3 February 2004 3 November 2003 18 November 2003
Series IV 2 3 February 2004 16 February 2004 9 March 2004
Just the Shows Vol. 1
Series 1–4 with no extras
4 N/A 18 October 2004 12 November 2004
Series V 2 15 March 2005 8 November 2004 1 December 2004
Series VI 2 15 March 2005 21 February 2005 6 April 2005
Series VII 3 10 January 2006 7 November 2005 1 December 2005
Series VIII 3 2 May 2006 27 March 2006 20 April 2006
The Complete Collection
Series 1–8 with extras
18 5 September 2006 N/A N/A
Just the Shows Vol. 2
Series 5–8 with no extras
6 N/A 2 October 2006 3 November 2006
Beat the Geek
(Interactive DVD quiz game)
1 N/A 23 October 2006 3 March 2011
The Bodysnatcher Collection
The remastered versions of Series 1–3
4 N/A 12 November 2007 7 May 2008
Just the Smegs
DVD reissue of the VHS release Smeg Ups and Smeg Outs
1 N/A 19 November 2007 3 March 2011
All the Shows
Series 1–8 with no extras
10 N/A 10 November 2008 N/A
Back to Earth 2 6 October 2009 15 June 2009 17 December 2009
Just the Shows
Series 1–8 with no extras
10 N/A 9 November 2009 N/A
The Complete Collection
Series 1–3 (Remastered), Series 4–8, Just the Smegs and Back to Earth – The Director’s Cut
19 N/A N/A 4 August 2010
Series X 2 8 January 2013[125] 19 November 2012[126] 12 December 2012[127]
Series XI 2 8 November 2016 14 November 2016 8 March 2017
Series XII 2 21 November 2017 20 November 2017 18 February 2018

Blu-ray releases

Release # of discs Blu-ray release date
Region A Region B Region C
Series I-VIII 19 TBA 14 January 2019[128] TBA
Back to Earth 2 6 October 2009 31 August 2009 15 December 2009
Series X 2 8 January 2013[129][130] 19 November 2012[131] TBA
Series XI 2 8 November 2016 14 November 2016 8 November 2016
Series XII 2 21 November 2017 20 November 2017 TBA

In 2016, BBC Worldwide began creating an 'up-resed' version of the first five series for release on Blu-ray, due to demand from Japan.[132] When asked about the project in 2017, Doug Naylor confirmed he had stopped it due to lacklustre picture quality.[133] By 2018, the project, now encompassing the entire original run, had been restarted,[134] and a Series 1–8 Blu-ray set release was confirmed in August.[135]


Rimmer with a grayscale appearance

The Red Dwarf Magazine – the magazine part of the title changed to "Smegazine" from issue 3 – was launched in 1992 by Fleetway Editions. It comprised a mix of news, reviews, interviews, comic strips, and competitions. The comic strips featured episode adaptations and original material, including further stories of popular characters like Mr. Flibble, the Polymorph, and Ace Rimmer.

Notably, the comic strip stories' holographic characters, predominately Rimmer, were drawn in grayscale. This was at the request of Grant and Naylor, who had wanted to use the technique for the television series, but the process was deemed too expensive to produce.[136] Despite achieving circulation figures of over 40,000 per month,[136] the magazine's publisher decided to close the title down to concentrate on their other publications.[32] A farewell issue was published, cover dated January 1994, and featured the remaining interviews, features, and comic strips that were to feature in the following issues.[137]

The Official Red Dwarf Fan Club produces a periodical magazine for members titled Back to Reality. The previous volume of this magazine, dating back to the 1990s, was known as Better Than Life.[138]

U.S. version

Cast of second Red Dwarf USA pilot

Despite the original version having been broadcast on PBS, a pilot episode for an American version (known as Red Dwarf USA) was produced through Universal Studios with the intention of broadcasting on NBC in 1992.[139] The show essentially followed the same story as the first episode of the original series, using American actors for most of the main roles:[140]Craig Bierko as Lister, Chris Eigeman as Rimmer, and Hinton Battle as Cat. Exceptions to this were Llewellyn, who reprised his role as Kryten, and the British actress Jane Leeves, who played Holly. It was written by Linwood Boomer and directed by Jeffrey Melman, with Grant and Naylor onboard as creators and executive producers.[141] Llewellyn, Grant and Naylor travelled to America for the filming of the American pilot after production of the fifth series of the UK series. According to Llewellyn and Naylor, the cast were not satisfied with Linwood Boomer's script. Grant and Naylor rewrote the script, but although the cast preferred the re-write, the script as filmed was closer to Boomer's version. The pilot episode includes footage from the UK series in its title sequence, although it did not retain the logo or the theme music of the UK series. During filming of the pilot, the audience reaction was good and it was felt that the story had been well received.[141]

The studio executives were not entirely happy with the pilot, especially the casting, but decided to give the project another chance with Grant and Naylor in charge.[142] The intention was to shoot a "promo video" for the show in a small studio described by the writers as "a garage".[141] New cast members were hired for the roles of Cat (now depicted as female) and Rimmer,[141]Terry Farrell and Anthony Fusco respectively.[143] This meant that, unlike the original British series, the cast was all Caucasian, which Charles referred to as "White Dwarf".[144] Chris Barrie was asked to play Rimmer in the second pilot, but he declined. With a small budget and deadline, new scenes were quickly shot and mixed in with existing footage of the pilot and UK series V episodes, to give an idea of the basic plot and character dynamics, alongside proposed future episodes, remakes of episodes from the original show.[141] Llewellyn did not participate in the re-shoot, though clips from the British version were used to show the character. Despite the re-shoots and re-casting, the option on the pilot was not picked up.[141] Farrell found work almost immediately afterwards with Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, in which she was cast as Jadzia Dax. Similarly, one year later Jane Leeves was cast in Frasier as Daphne Moon.

The cast of both the British and American versions criticised the casting of Red Dwarf USA, particularly the part of Lister, who is portrayed in the British version as a likable slob, but in the U.S. version as somewhat clean-cut. In the 2004 documentary Dwarfing USA, Danny John-Jules said the only actor who could have successfully portrayed an American Lister was John Belushi. In a 2009 interview on Kevin Pollak's Chat Show, Bierko said that casting him as Lister was a "huge mistake," and also said a "John Belushi-type" would have been better suited to the role.[145]

The American pilot has been heavily bootlegged, but it has never been broadcast on TV in any country. Excerpts from the first pilot are included in Dwarfing USA, a featurette on the making of the pilots included on the DVD release of Red Dwarf's fifth series. Because of rights clearance-issues, no footage from the second pilot is included in the featurette.

Character UK series 1st US pilot 2nd US pilot
Dave Lister Craig Charles Craig Bierko
Arnold Rimmer Chris Barrie Chris Eigeman Anthony Fusco
Cat Danny John-Jules Hinton Battle Terry Farrell
Kryten David Ross (series 2)
Robert Llewellyn (series 3-)
Robert Llewellyn
Holly Norman Lovett (series 1–2, 7–8, 12)
Hattie Hayridge (series 3–5)
Jane Leeves

Red Dwarf: The Movie

Since the end of the eighth series in 1999, Doug Naylor has been attempting to make a feature-length version of the show. A final draft of the script was written, by Naylor, and flyers began circulating around certain websites. The flyer was genuine and had been distributed by Winchester Films to market the film overseas.[146] Plot details were included as part of the teaser. It was set in the distant future where Homo sapienoids – a race of cyborgs — had taken over the solar system and were wiping out the human race. Spaceships that tried to escape Earth were hunted down until only one remained... Red Dwarf.[147]

Naylor had scouted Australia to get an idea of locations and finance costs, with pre-production beginning in 2004 and filming planned for 2005.[147] Costumes were made, including Kryten’s, and A-list celebrity cameos, including Madonna, were announced. However, finding sufficient funding has been difficult. Naylor explained at a Red Dwarf Dimension Jump convention that the film had been rejected by the BBC and the British Film Council. Reasons given for the rejections were that while the script was considered to be funny, it was not ready.[148]

In 2012, material from early drafts of the film was incorporated into the Series X finale "The Beginning".[149][150]

In 2018, Naylor suggested production of the movie was still under consideration, "The order will probably be another TV series, a stage show and possibly a movie, and I think the guys agree on that. The film is a long shot at this point just because it can take so long to get funding."[151]

Roleplaying game

Deep7 Press (formerly Deep7 LLC) released Red Dwarf – The Roleplaying Game in February 2003 (although the printed copyright is 2002).[152] Based on the series, the game allows its players to portray original characters within the Red Dwarf universe. Player characters can be human survivors, holograms, "evolved" house pets (cats, dogs, iguanas, rabbits, rats, and mice), various types of mechanoid (Series 4000, Hudzen 10 and Waxdroids in the corebook, Series 3000 in the Extra Bits Book) or GELFs (Kinatawowi and Pleasure GELF in the corebook, "Vindaloovians" in the Extra Bits Book).

A total of three products were released for the game: the core 176-page rulebook, the AI Screen (analogous to the Game Master's Screen used in other role-playing games, also featuring the "Extra Bits Book" booklet), and the Series Sourcebook.[153] The Series Sourcebook contains plot summaries of each episode from series I-VIII as well as game rules for all major and minor characters from each series.

The game has been praised for staying true to the comedic nature of the series, for its entertaining writing, and for the detail to which the background material is explained.[153][154] However, some reviewers found the game mechanics to be simplistic and uninspiring compared to other science fiction roleplaying games on the market.[155]

Red Dwarf Night

On 14 February 1998, the night before the tenth anniversary of the show's first episode broadcast, BBC Two devoted an evening of programmes to the series, under the banner of Red Dwarf Night. The evening consisted of a mixture of new and existing material, and was introduced and linked by actor and fan Patrick Stewart. In addition, a series of special take-offs on BBC Two's idents, featuring the "2" logo falling in love with a skutter, were used.[156] The night began with Can't Smeg, Won't Smeg, a spoof of the cookery programme Can't Cook, Won't Cook, presented by that show's host Ainsley Harriott who had himself appeared as a GELF in the series VI episode "Emohawk: Polymorph II". Taking place outside the continuity of the series, two teams (Kryten and Lister versus Rimmer and Cat, although Cat quickly departs to be replaced by alter ego Duane Dibbley) were challenged to make the best chicken vindaloo.[156]

After a compilation bloopers show, featuring out-takes, the next programme was Universe Challenge, a spoof of University Challenge. Hosted by original University Challenge presenter Bamber Gascoigne, the show had a team of knowledgeable Dwarf fans compete against a team consisting of Chris Barrie, Craig Charles, Robert Llewellyn, Chloë Annett, and Danny John Jules.[156] This was followed by The Red Dwarf A–Z, a half-hour documentary that chose a different aspect of the show to focus on for each letter of the alphabet. Talking heads on the episode included Stephen Hawking, Terry Pratchett, original producer Paul Jackson, Mr. Blobby, Patrick Stewart, and a Dalek.[157] Finally, the night ended with a showing of the episode "Gunmen of the Apocalypse".[156]

Stellar Rescue

On 1 July 2019, an advert for AA called Stellar Rescue featuring the Red Dwarf crew and Starbug premiered on ITV. The advert has Starbug breakdown on a strange planet with Lister using the AA app to request an AA member to fix it.[158]

Dave Hollins: Space Cadet

Red Dwarf was originally based on Dave Hollins: Space Cadet, a series of five sketches that aired in the BBC Radio 4 series Son of Cliché, produced by Rob Grant and Doug Naylor in 1984.[159][160]

The sketches recounted the adventures of Dave Hollins (voiced by Nick Wilton), a hapless space traveller who is marooned in space far from earth.[161] His only steady companion is the computer Hab (voiced by Chris Barrie).[162]

Grant and Naylor chose to use the Dave Hollins: Space Cadet sketches as a base for a television show after watching the 1974 film Dark Star.[163] They changed some elements from the sketches:[164]

The 7 trillion year figure was first changed to 7 billion years and then to 3 million and the characters of Arnold Rimmer and the Cat were created. The name Dave Hollins was changed to Dave Lister when a football player called Dave Hollins became well-known, and Hab was replaced by Holly. One of the voice actors from Son of Cliché, Chris Barrie went on to portray Arnold Rimmer in the Red Dwarf TV series.

Episodes of Dave Hollins can be found on the 2-disc Red Dwarf DVD sets starting with series 5 and ending with series 8.


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  • Dessau, Bruce (1992). The Official Red Dwarf Companion. Titan. ISBN 978-1-85286-456-9.
  • Howarth, Chris; Steve Lyons (1993). Red Dwarf Programme Guide. Virgin. ISBN 978-0-86369-682-4.
  • Red Dwarf Smegazine, (March 1992 - January 1994), Fleetway Editions Ltd, ISSN 0965-5603

Further reading

External links





imdb_logo* Summary text borrowed from IMDB (volunteer to craft a summary!)

A sci-fi British comedy about the adventures of Her Majesty’s Ship Camden Lock in the year 2151. It’s mission: to convince alien governments to relocate their businesses to Britain. The odd crew is a bunch of good-to-nothing led by the equally useless but means well Commander Henderson.

The crew of the HMS Camden Lock have and important mission: to protect the interests of Great Britain in and ever-changing galaxy. In this sci-fi comedy, some exciting new alien species are introduced as the crew of the Camden Lock find themselves in various (and sometimes life-threatening) predicaments, which are mostly brought on by themselves. Commander Henderson tries his best, but with officers like York and Teal this is not easy. Also, do not pretend not to marvel at the Queppu. They can see you marvel.



Reviews & Trailers


Hyperdrive may refer to

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Blake’s 7

Blake’s 7

imdb_logo* Summary text borrowed  (volunteer to craft a summary!)

Blake’s 7 was British science fiction at its very best and arguably every bit as great an influence on the genre as the original Star Trek series.

In the 1970s Terry Nation (creator of Survivors and other successful genre shows, as well as the Doctor’s arch nemesis the Daleks), presented to the world a vision of the future, a future where the galaxy is ruled by the iron fist of a galactic federation, in which freedom and justice are things of the past.

Into this vision he cast a small band of outlaws, who find themselves in control of the most powerful space vessel in the known galaxy, the Liberator.
Led by the enigmatic Roj Blake, this group of rebels would strike at the very heart of the Federation, and change the face of science fiction television forever.

During it’s four seasons Blake’s 7 was more successful than it’s only significant competitors of the time, Doctor Who and Star Trek, with up to 10 million people tuning in every Monday night.

The fourth and final series finished in a dramatic and shocking finale with all but one of our heroes apparently dead and many questions unresolved to this day. This was a fitting end for a series that favoured complex characters over special effects, gritty reality over sleek fantasy, and mature truth over dreamy fiction.

The show certainly heralded the beginning of a new creed of science fiction on our screens. Unfortunately for television it also represented the last British drama of its kind and we all but surrendered the genre to American producers and studios.

Thirty years on, television is still mapping the paths first explored by Terry Nation’s creation.

At a time when science fiction shows often discard good storytelling for overblown visual effects – and following the lead of Doctor WhoBattlestar Galactica and Defiance – the time is ripe for a revival of a show that represents the best traditions of the genre and one of the UK’s most successful dramas of all time.

Welcome to a Rebellion Reborn!


Reviews & Trailers


British science fiction television series
Blakes 7
The logo used for the first three series of Blake's 7
Created byTerry Nation
StarringGareth Thomas
Michael Keating
Sally Knyvette
Paul Darrow
David Jackson
Peter Tuddenham
Jan Chappell
Jacqueline Pearce
Stephen Greif
Brian Croucher
Josette Simon
Steven Pacey
Glynis Barber
Theme music composerDudley Simpson
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series4
No. of episodes52 (list of episodes)
Producer(s)David Maloney (series 1-3)
Vere Lorrimer (series 4)
Camera setupMulti-camera
Running time50 minutes
Original networkBBC1
Picture format625 line (576i) PAL 4:3
Audio formatmonaural
Original release2 January 1978 –
21 December 1981
External links

Blake's 7 (sometimes styled Blakes7) is a British science fiction television series produced by the BBC. Four 13-episode series were broadcast on BBC1 between 1978 and 1981. It was created by Terry Nation, who also created the Daleks for the television series Doctor Who. The script editor was Chris Boucher. The main character, at least initially, was Roj Blake, played by Gareth Thomas. The series was inspired by various fictional media, including Robin Hood, Star Trek, Passage to Marseille, The Dirty Dozen, Brave New World and classic Western stories, as well as real-world political conflicts in South America and Israel.

Blake's 7 was popular from its first broadcast, watched by approximately 10 million in the UK and shown in 25 other countries. Although many tropes of space opera are present, such as spaceships, robots, galactic empires and aliens, its budget was inadequate for its interstellar theme. Critical responses have been varied; some reviewers praised the series for its dystopian themes, strong characterisation, ambiguous morality and pessimistic tone, as well as displaying an "enormous sense of fun", but others have criticised its production values, dialogue and perceived lack of originality, with broadcaster and critic Clive James describing it as "classically awful".

A limited range of Blake's 7 merchandise was issued, and books, magazines and annuals published. The BBC released music and sound effects from the series, and several companies made Blake's 7 toys and models. Four video compilations were released between 1985 and 1990, and the entire series was released in videocassette format starting 1991 and re-released during 1997, and as four DVD boxed sets between 2003 and 2006. The BBC produced two audio dramas during 1998 and 1999 that feature original cast members and broadcast by Radio 4. Although proposals for live-action and animated remakes have not been realised, Blake's 7 has been revived with two series of audio dramas, a comedic short film, and a series of fan-made audio plays.


Four series of thirteen 50-minute episodes were made, and first broadcast in the United Kingdom between January 1978 and December 1981 by BBC1.[1] They are set in the third century of the second calendar (this is mentioned in associated publicity material, not in the series)[2] and at least 700 years in the future.[3]Blake's 7's narrative concerns the exploits of political dissident Roj Blake, who commands a small group of rebels against the forces of the totalitarian Terran Federation that rules the Earth and many colonised planets. The Federation uses mass surveillance, brainwashing and drug pacification to control its citizens. Blake was arrested, tried on false charges, and deported to a remote penal colony. En route, he and fellow prisoners Jenna Stannis and Kerr Avon gain control of a technologically advanced alien spacecraft, which its central computer Zen informs is named Liberator. Liberator's speed and weaponry are superior to Federation craft, and it also has a teleportation system that enables transport to the surface of planets. Blake and his crew begin a campaign to damage the Federation, but are pursued by Space Commander Travis—a Federation soldier—and Servalan, the Supreme Commander and later Federation President.[4]

The composition of the titular "seven" changes throughout the series. The initial group—Blake, Vila, Gan, Jenna, Avon and Cally—included Zen as the seventh member. At the end of the first series, they capture a supercomputer named Orac. Gan is killed during the second series, after which Blake and Jenna disappear and are replaced by new characters Dayna and Tarrant. At the start of the fourth series, Cally dies and is replaced by Soolin. After the destruction of Liberator, the computer Zen is replaced by a new computer, Slave, onboard their new commandeered ship Scorpio.

While Blake is an idealistic freedom fighter, his associates are petty crooks, smugglers and killers. Avon is a technological genius who, while apparently motivated by self-preservation and wealth, consistently acts to help others. When Blake is separated from his crew, Avon becomes commander. At first, Avon believes the Federation has been destroyed; he becomes tired of killing, and seeks rest. However, by the middle of the third series, Avon realises that the Federation is expanding again, faster than originally realised, and he resumes the fight. The BBC had planned to conclude Blake's 7 at the end of its third series, but a further series was commissioned unexpectedly.[5] Some changes to the programme's format were necessary, such as the introduction of a new spacecraft, Scorpio, and new characters, Soolin and Slave.[6]Blake's 7 was watched by approximately 10 million people in the UK and was broadcast in 25 other countries.[7]


.mw-parser-output .tmulti .thumbinner{display:flex;flex-direction:column}.mw-parser-output .tmulti .trow{display:flex;flex-direction:row;clear:left;flex-wrap:wrap;width:100%;box-sizing:border-box}.mw-parser-output .tmulti .tsingle{margin:1px;float:left}.mw-parser-output .tmulti .theader{clear:both;font-weight:bold;text-align:center;align-self:center;background-color:transparent;width:100%}.mw-parser-output .tmulti .thumbcaption{text-align:left;background-color:transparent}.mw-parser-output .tmulti .text-align-left{text-align:left}.mw-parser-output .tmulti .text-align-right{text-align:right}.mw-parser-output .tmulti .text-align-center{text-align:center}@media all and (max-width:720px){.mw-parser-output .tmulti .thumbinner{width:100%!important;box-sizing:border-box;max-width:none!important;align-items:center}.mw-parser-output .tmulti .trow{justify-content:center}.mw-parser-output .tmulti .tsingle{float:none!important;max-width:100%!important;box-sizing:border-box;text-align:center}.mw-parser-output .tmulti .thumbcaption{text-align:center}}
Blake's 7 cast at the presentation of the first series DVD, 2004.

Regular characters

  • Roj Blake, played by Gareth Thomas (leader of the Liberator crew for series 1–2). Blake is a long-term political dissident who uses the Liberator to wage war on the Federation. He is passionately opposed to the Federation's injustice and corruption, and prepared to accept loss of life in pursuit of its destruction. He thinks nothing of placing himself in danger to protect his crew or advance his cause. Although respected by many of his crew members, Avon accuses him of fanaticism and recklessness.[8]
  • Kerr Avon, played by Paul Darrow (series 1–4). Avon is an electronics and computer expert who once attempted to steal 5 million credits from the Federation banking system. He distrusts emotion, and he attempts to pursue a code based on logic and reason. This frequently causes him conflict with Blake. He becomes a reluctant rebel, agreeing to participate only on the basis that he will control Liberator once the Federation is destroyed. At times, he seems motivated by financial gain and shows his readiness to put companions in danger in order to protect himself. He has an ambiguous and sometimes playful relationship with Servalan.[8] Avon appears in 51 of the series' 52 episodes, being absent only in the first episode, "The Way Back".
  • Vila Restal, played by Michael Keating (series 1–4). Vila is a skilled thief, lock-picker and conjurer and is usually reluctant to risk his life. His behaviour is often cowardly, and although other crew members regard him as tiresome, he has a high IQ. He has weaknesses for alcohol and women, and apparently talks to himself at times.[8] Vila is the only character to appear in every episode of the series.
  • Jenna Stannis, played by Sally Knyvette (series 1–2). Jenna is a glamorous space smuggler and skilled pilot who becomes adept at piloting Liberator. She has a great deal of affection for Blake, and is loyal to him once he gains her trust.[9] In earlier episodes, Jenna often maintains her opinions stubbornly.
  • Cally, played by Jan Chappell (series 1–3). Cally is an alien guerrilla fighter from the planet Auron. She is a telepath, like all of her people, who can transmit thoughts silently to others. She later develops mind-reading, telekinesis and precognition abilities, but is also uniquely vulnerable to telepathic control by alien forces.[9] Cally develops as the moral conscience of the group, especially for later episodes of series 2 and throughout series 3.
  • Dayna Mellanby, played by Josette Simon (series 3–4). The daughter of former dissident Hal Mellanby, Dayna is an expert in weapons technology. She is adept at designing mechanized weapons, but also appreciates the nobility of what she describes as more 'primitive' combat. Brave and loyal, but at times reckless and naïve, she often successfully challenges men who are supposedly accomplished fighters.[9] Her vendetta against Servalan (who murdered her father) motivates her to endorse Avon's fighting of the Federation.
  • Del Tarrant, played by Steven Pacey (series 3–4). Tarrant is an expert pilot who trained with the Federation before beginning illegal activities. He is ruthless and charming, and often challenges Avon's leadership. He also takes advantage of the cowardice of Vila, whom he bullies into performing his instructions.[9]
  • Olag Gan, played by David Jackson (series 1–2). Having killed the Federation guard who murdered his girlfriend, Gan has been implanted with an electronic "limiter" device which prevents him from ever killing again. However, he is courageous, strong and dedicated to Blake's cause.
  • Soolin, played by Glynis Barber (series 4). Soolin is an expert gunfighter, distinctive for her apparent lack of fear or self-doubt, perhaps developed in response to the fact that her parents were murdered when she was a child. She joins the group after she is betrayed by Dorian, her partner. No-one can match her speed at drawing a gun. Soolin's logical and cynical attitude proves an asset to her colleagues. On several occasions, her quick thinking and poignant actions save the crew from perishing, overpowering the Cancer Assassin and surviving the Betafarl Conspiracy. Barber had also previously played the role of a Mutoid in Series 1 (Episode 9: Project Avalon).
  • Orac, voiced by Derek Farr (first appearance) and Peter Tuddenham (series 2–4). Orac is a portable super-computer capable of reading any other computer's data and built by an inventor named Ensor. It uses a component called a Tariel cell — a universal computer component — and can access information stored on any computer that uses one. It can also control other computers. Orac dislikes work that it considers unnecessary, enjoys gathering information and has delusions of grandeur.[9]
  • Zen, voiced by Peter Tuddenham (series 1–3). The main computer aboard Liberator, Zen controls the craft's secondary systems, including the battle and guidance computers. It is susceptible to interference from outside influences, such as Orac. It is considered a character in its own right. It is rendered nonfunctional after Liberator is damaged by fluid particles, and is destroyed with the ship.[9]
  • Slave, voiced by Peter Tuddenham (series 4). Introduced during the fourth series, Slave was built and programmed by Dorian and is the master computer of Dorian's ship, Scorpio. It has a cringing personality, frequently apologetic and obsequious, and addresses Avon as "master" and others as "sir" or "madam".[9]

Other recurring characters

  • Supreme Commander Servalan/Commissioner Sleer, played by Jacqueline Pearce. Servalan began her service career as a cadet, and eventually became Supreme Commander of the Terran Federation. Her desire for power began at the age of eighteen when her lover abandoned her. Shortly before the Intergalactic War, Servalan conducted a military coup and installed herself as President. During her isolation on Terminal she is replaced but adopts a pseudonym, Commissioner Sleer, by which she conducts a campaign of drug-induced pacification in order to regain territory for the Federation. Servalan is determined to pursue the crew of the Liberator and win control of the ship for herself.[9]
  • Space Commander Travis, played by Stephen Greif in the first series and Brian Croucher in the second series. Travis is a dedicated and ruthless Federation officer, with the rank of Space Commander. His left eye and arm were destroyed by Blake, and replaced with an eye patch and a prosthetic arm fitted with a concealed weapon. Travis is known for treating his troops well and leading them personally, but also for his ruthlessness and contempt for human life. After his trial and conviction for killing civilians, Travis becomes increasingly obsessed with killing Blake.[9]

Sources and themes

Series creator Terry Nation pitched Blake's 7 to the BBC as "The Dirty Dozen in space", a reference to the 1967 Robert Aldrich movie in which a disparate group of convicts are sent on a suicide mission during World War II.[10] This influence shows in that some of Blake's devotees are escaped convicts (Avon, Vila, Gan and Jenna). Blake's 7 also draws much of its inspiration from the legend of Robin Hood.[11] Blake's devotees are not a band of "Merry Men". His diverse crew includes a corrupt computer genius (Avon), a smuggler (Jenna), a thief (Vila), a murderer (Gan), a telepathic guerrilla soldier (Cally), a computer with a mind of its own (Zen) and another wayward computer (Orac). Later additions were: a naive weapons expert (Dayna), a mercenary (Tarrant), a gunslinger (Soolin) and an obsequious computer (Slave). While Blake intends to use Liberator to strike against the Federation, the others are often reluctant soldiers—especially Avon. Blake and Avon's clashes over the command represent a conflict between idealism and cynicism, emotion and rationality, and dreams and practicality.[12] Similar conflicts occur between other characters; the courage of Blake and Avon compared with Vila's cowardice, or Avon and Jenna's scepticism of Blake's ideals compared with Gan's unswerving loyalty, Blake's mass murdering methods compared with Avon's targeted and less destructive methods.[12]

Script editor Chris Boucher, whose influence on the series increased as it progressed,[13] was inspired by Latin American revolutionaries, especially Emiliano Zapata, in exploring Blake and his devotees' motives and the consequences of their actions.[14] This is most evident in the episode Star One, in which Blake must confront the reality that in achieving his goal of overthrowing the Federation, he will cause chaos and death for many innocent citizens.[13] When Avon gains control of Liberator, after Blake's disappearance after the events of Star One, he uses it initially to pursue his own agenda, such as avenging his lost love Anna Grant. Later, Avon realises that he cannot escape the Federation's reach and that he must, like Blake, resist them. In this respect, by the end of the fourth series Avon has replaced Blake.[15]

Classic films, such as the Western The Magnificent Seven, were an important influence upon Blake's 7. Chris Boucher incorporated lines from Westerns into the scripts, much to the delight of Paul Darrow, an enthusiast of the genre.[16] The final episode, Blake, was heavily inspired by The Wild Bunch and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.[17]Blake's 7 also drew inspiration from the classic British dystopian novels Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley and When the Sleeper Wakes by H. G. Wells.[13] This is most evident in the nature of the Federation, whose methods of dealing with Blake in the first episode, The Way Back, including brainwashing and show trials. These are reminiscent of the way in which the USSR dealt with its dissidents.[18] Explorations of totalitarianism in the series are not confined to the Federation — totalitarian control through religion (Cygnus Alpha), genetics (The Web) and technology (Redemption) are also portrayed.[18][19] Such authoritarian dystopias are common in Terry Nation's work, such his Doctor Who story, Genesis of the Daleks.[12]

Loyalty and trust are important themes of the series.[13] Avon is presented with several opportunities to abandon Blake. Many of Blake's schemes require co-operation and expertise from others. Characters are often betrayed by family and friends, especially Avon, whose former lover Anna Grant is eventually revealed to be a Federation agent. The theme of loyalty and trust reaches its maximum during Blake and Avon's final encounter in the last episode (Blake); Blake, by now very paranoid, has been masquerading as a bounty hunter collaborating with the Federation as a front for his activities in recruiting and testing potential allies in the struggle, and this causes Avon and the others to mistrust him when Tarrant accuses Blake of betraying them; an ironic miscommunication between Avon and Blake precipitates the disastrous events that conclude the episode.[15] If Blake and his crew represent Robin Hood and his Merry Men, then the Federation forces, personified by the obsessive, psychopathic Space Commander Travis and his superior, the beautiful but ruthless Supreme Commander Servalan, represent Guy of Gisbourne and the Sheriff of Nottingham.[11]

A common theme of Nation's science fiction is the depiction of post-apocalyptic societies, as in several of his Doctor Who serials, for example The Daleks, Death to the Daleks and The Android Invasion and in his series Survivors, which Nation created before Blake's 7.[12] Post-apocalyptic societies feature in several Blake's 7 episodes including Duel, Deliverance, City at the Edge of the World and Terminal. Although not explicitly stated, some publicity material for the series refers to the Federation as having developed after a nuclear holocaust on Earth.[18]

Plot summary

The series is set in a future age of interstellar travel and concerns the exploits of a group of renegades and convicted criminals. Gareth Thomas played the eponymous character Roj Blake, a political dissident who is arrested, tried and convicted on false charges, and then deported from Earth to a prison planet. He and two fellow prisoners, treated as expendable, are sent to board and investigate an abandoned alien spacecraft. They get the ship working, commandeer it, rescue two more prisoners, and are joined by an alien guerrilla with telepathic abilities. In their attempts to stay ahead of their enemies and inspire others to rebel, they encounter a great variety of cultures on different planets, and are forced to confront human and alien threats. The group performs a campaign against the totalitarian Terran Federation until an intergalactic war occurs. Blake disappears and Kerr Avon then leads the group. When their spacecraft is destroyed and one group member dies, they commandeer an inferior craft and a base on a distant planet, from which they continue their campaign. In the final episode Avon finds Blake and, suspecting him of betraying the group, kills him. The group is then shot by Federation guards, who surround Avon in the final scene.

Series One

List of Episodes

Roj Blake, a worker of high social status classified as "alpha-grade", lives in a domed city. Similar domes house most of the Earth's population. Blake is approached by a group of political dissidents who take him outside the city to meet their leader, Bran Foster. According to Foster, Blake was once the leader of an influential group of political activists opposed to the Federation's Earth Administration. Blake was arrested, brainwashed and coerced into making a confession denouncing the rebellion. His memory of those years was then blocked. Foster wants Blake to rejoin the dissidents. Suddenly, the meeting is interrupted by the arrival of Federation security forces, who shoot and kill the crowd of rebels. Blake, the only survivor, returns to the city, where he begins to remember his past. He is arrested, tried on false charges of child molestation and sentenced to deportation to the prison planet Cygnus Alpha.[20]

Whilst awaiting deportation from Planet Earth, Blake meets thief Vila Restal and smuggler Jenna Stannis. On board the prison ship London, Blake meets convicted murderer Olag Gan and computer engineer and embezzler Kerr Avon. The London encounters a battle between two alien space fleets and the London's crew plot a course to avoid the combat zone and continue their voyage. They encounter a strange alien craft, board it and attempt to salvage it but are thwarted by the alien ship's defence mechanism. The commander of the London sends the expendable Blake, Avon, and Jenna across to the ship. Blake defeats the defence system when it tries to use memories he recently discovered were false. With Jenna as pilot, the three convicts escape in the alien craft.[21]

Blake and his crew follow the London to Cygnus Alpha in their captured ship, which they have named Liberator. They retrieve Vila and Gan, while Blake leaves the other prisoners. Blake wants to use Liberator and its new crew to attack the Federation with the others, especially Avon, as reluctant followers.[22] Blake's first target is a communications station on the planet Saurian Major. Blake infiltrates the station and is assisted by Cally, a telepathic guerrilla soldier from the planet Auron. Blake invites Cally to join the crew. With this new arrival, and including Liberator's computer, Zen, Liberator has a crew of seven.[23]

Jacqueline Pearce as Servalan.

As Blake's attacks against the Federation become bolder, he has less success. Political pressure grows on the Administration with planetary commanders threatening to leave the Federation because of its inability to protect them from Blake's attacks. Rumours abound about Blake's heroism and other rebel groups use his name for their actions. Supreme Commander Servalan appoints Space Commander Travis, who has a vendetta against Blake, to eliminate Blake and capture Liberator. Servalan often co-opts Travis for her personal projects and uses Blake as a cover for her own activities. When Travis repeatedly fails to eliminate Blake, Servalan does not assign the task to another officer and does not use more resources to eliminate him.[24]

Blake meets a man named Ensor and discovers a plot by Servalan and Travis to seize a powerful computer named Orac, which is capable of communicating with any computer that uses a component called a Tariel Cell. Blake's crew suffers from radiation sickness but capture the device before Servalan arrives. Blake offers to perform the operation to save Ensor's life aboard the Liberator but Ensor dies when the power cells for his artificial heart are depleted before they are able to reach Liberator. Aboard the ship, Orac predicts the craft's destruction in the near future.[25]

Series Two

List of Episodes

Liberator, the alien starship used by Blake and his crew for series 1 to 3.

The Liberator is recaptured by the people that built it and Orac's prophecy is fulfilled when it destroys an identical space vehicle.[26] Blake wants to attack the heart of the Federation and he targets the main computer control facility on Earth. Avon agrees to help on condition that Blake gives him Liberator when the Federation has been destroyed. Blake, Avon, Vila and Gan reach the control facility and find an empty room. Travis reveals that the computer facility was secretly relocated years before and the old location was left as a decoy. Blake and his crew escape but Travis throws a grenade in the confined area and Gan is killed by falling rubble.[27]

After Gan's death, Blake considers the future of the rebellion, and Travis is convicted of war crimes by a Federation court martial at Space Command Headquarters aboard a space station. Blake decides to restore his group's reputation and attacks the space station but Travis escapes and continues his vendetta against Blake.[28] Blake seeks the new location of the computer control facility. He learns that it is named Star One.[29] When Star One begins to malfunction, Servalan also becomes desperate to find its location. The facility's failure causes many problems in the Federation. Star One controls a large defensive barrier that has prevented extra-galactic incursions. Blake discovers Star One's location and finds that, with help from Travis, aliens from the Andromeda Galaxy have infiltrated it. Vila discovers a fleet of alien spacecraft beyond the barrier. Travis partially disables the barrier. Blake and his crew overcome the aliens at Star One and kill Travis but the gap in the barrier allows the aliens to invade. Jenna calls for help from the Federation, where Servalan has conducted a military coup, imposed martial law and declared herself President. Servalan dispatches the Federation's battle fleets to repel the invaders, who begin to breach the barrier. With Blake badly wounded, Liberator by Avon's direction, alone until Servalan's battle fleets arrive, fights against the aliens.[30]

Series Three

List of Episodes

Liberator is severely damaged during the battle with the Andromedans, forcing the crew to abandon ship whilst Zen carries out repairs. The Federation defeats the alien invaders but the cost considerably reduces its influence in the galaxy.[31] Blake and Jenna go missing and Avon becomes the new leader. Two new additions, weapons expert Dayna Mellanby and mercenary Del Tarrant, join the crew.[32] Avon is less inclined than Blake to attack the Federation but Servalan realises that if she captures Liberator, the Federation will quickly restore its former power.[33]

Servalan attempts to create clones of herself, but is thwarted when the embryos are destroyed.[34] Avon decides to find the Federation agent who killed Anna Grant, his former lover. The group interrupts an attempt to eliminate Servalan and Avon discovers that Anna is alive and was previously a Federation agent named Bartolemew. Anna tries to shoot Avon in the back but Avon kills her and frees Servalan.[35] Servalan lures Avon into a trap using a faked message from Blake. Servalan finally captures Liberator and maroons the crew on an artificial planet named Terminal but does not know that Liberator has been irreparably damaged after flying through a cloud of corrosive fluid particles. As Servalan leaves Terminal, the ship explodes and Servalan is apparently killed as she attempts to escape by teleporting away.[36]

Series Four

List of Episodes

Scorpio, the Wanderer class cargo ship used for series 4.

Booby traps, set by Servalan in her underground complex on Terminal, explode and Cally is killed. Avon, Tarrant, Vila and Dayna escape with Orac and are rescued by Dorian, a salvage operator. Dorian takes the crew in his spacecraft, Scorpio to his base on the planet Xenon, where they meet his partner, Soolin. Dorian plans to drain the crew's life-force and take Orac but is foiled by Vila.[37] Avon completes a new teleport system for Scorpio using the technology left behind by Dorian. Soolin joins the crew and they commandeer Scorpio and occupy the Xenon base. Avon gains control of Slave, Scorpio's main computer.[38]

The crew acquires an experimental new stardrive that vastly increases Scorpio's speed, making it even faster than Liberator.[39] The Scorpio crew become concerned about the speed at which the Federation is reclaiming its former territory and discover that Servalan survived the destruction of Liberator. Deposed as President of the Federation, she is using the pseudonym Commissioner Sleer and is enacting a pacification programme using a drug named Pylene-50. The Scorpio crew gain the formula for an antidote to Pylene-50 but this cannot reverse the drug's effects. Avon finds a way to synthesise the antidote and the crew attempt to create an alliance between independent worlds to resist the Federation and get the resources and manpower to mass produce the Pylene 50 antidote. One of the alliance members, Zukan, betrays the alliance to Servalan and detonates explosives on Xenon base, which is damaged and the Scorpio crew are forced to abandon it.[40]

Avon tells the rest of the group that Orac has traced Blake to Gauda Prime, an agricultural planet. Blake is masquerading as a bounty hunter; his latest quarry is Arlen, whom he hopes to recruit for his rebellion. Scorpio approaches Gauda Prime and is attacked. The crew, except Tarrant, use the teleport to abandon the damaged craft. Slave is damaged, Tarrant remains aboard to pilot Scorpio and is injured during a crash landing. Blake arrives, rescues and takes Tarrant to his base and purportedly captures Tarrant as bounty. Tarrant thinks that Blake has betrayed the group and Blake lets Tarrant escape. Tarrant is nearly killed by Blake's colleagues when Avon and his crew save him, giving credence to Tarrant's accusation that Blake has betrayed them to the Federation. Becoming very suspicious of Blake, Avon kills him. Arlen reveals that she is a Federation officer and Federation guards arrive. Tarrant, Soolin, Vila, and Dayna are shot by Federation troops, who slowly surround Avon. Avon steps over Blake's body, raises his gun and smiles. Shots are heard.[41]

Production history

Terry Nation had the idea for Blake's 7 in a moment of inspiration during a pitch meeting with Ronnie Marsh, a BBC drama executive. Marsh was intrigued and immediately commissioned a pilot script. When he had seen the draft, Marsh approved Blake's 7 for full development.[42]David Maloney, an experienced BBC director, was assigned to produce the series and Chris Boucher was engaged as script editor. Nation was commissioned to write the thirteen episodes. Boucher's task was to expand and develop Nation's first drafts into workable scripts, but this became increasingly difficult as Nation started running out of ideas. Meanwhile, Maloney was struggling with the limited budget available given the need for action and special effects. Despite these challenges Blake's 7 was very popular, with some episodes exceeding ten million viewers. A second series was quickly commissioned.[42]

The BBC engaged new writers for the subsequent series. It was decided that one of the regular characters should die, to demonstrate that Blake and his crew were not invincible. Gan, played by David Jackson, was chosen because Gan had been under-used and was the least popular character. Although ratings declined compared to the first series, the BBC commissioned a third.[42] When Gareth Thomas and Sally Knyvette decided not to return, new characters were required so that the story could continue without its titular character. Suggestions for a replacement actor for Blake were rejected and Avon became more prominent in the story. New characters Del Tarrant, portrayed by Steven Pacey and Dayna Mellanby, portrayed by Josette Simon, were introduced.[42]

Blake's 7 was not expected to be recommissioned after the third series and there was surprise when during 1980 a further series was announced as the third series ended. Bill Cotton, BBC Head of Television, had watched Terminal and enjoyed it greatly. He telephoned the presentation department and ordered them to make the announcement.[5] As David Maloney was unavailable, Vere Lorrimer became the producer. He introduced new characters, a new spacecraft Scorpio and its computer Slave. Jan Chappell (who played Cally) decided that she did not want to return, and was replaced by Glynis Barber as Soolin.

Gareth Thomas made a final appearance as Blake and insisted that his character be killed in a definitive manner. Although the fourth series performed satisfactorily in the ratings, Blake's 7 was not renewed again and the final episode had an ambiguous finale. Except for Blake, whose death was contractual, the characters were shown being attacked in such a way that their survival would have been possible had a fifth series been commissioned. The final episode, titled "Blake", was broadcast on 21 December 1981.[42]

Although Blake's 7 never crossed over with Doctor Who during its initial run, Gareth Thomas was open to the idea as he was close friends with Doctor Who alumnus Tom Baker, and the two wanted to be 'briefly crossing paths' with one another before going their ways. Ultimately, the idea was scrapped.[43]

Filming locations

Interior spaceship sets and other indoor scenes were filmed at the BBC Television Centre, Shepherd's Bush in London. For indoor complexes, such as bases or command center bunkers, filming often took place in local power plants and water turbine stations. Location shooting was also extensive with shooting occurring mostly in southern England. Notable location shots include episode eleven, of the first season, "Bounty", where the production was filmed at Quex Park in Kent. The Waterloo Tower in Quex Park was ex-president Sarkoff's residence in exile.[44]

The series also used Betchworth Quarry as the surface of an alien planet and Wookey Hole Caves as the site of an alien mine. Additional location shooting took place at Black Park, New Forest, South Bank, Camden Town and the now demolished Wembley Conference Centre.

Music and sound effects

Blake's 7's theme music was written by Australian composer Dudley Simpson, who had composed music for Doctor Who for more than ten years. The same recording of Simpson's theme was used for the beginning titles of all four series of the programme.[45] For the fourth series, a new recording was made for the closing credits that used an easy listening-style arrangement.[46] Simpson also provided the incidental music for all of the episodes except for the Series One episode "Duel" and the Series Two episode "Gambit". "Duel" was directed by Douglas Camfield, who had a grudge against Simpson and refused to work with him, and so Camfield used library music.[47]Elizabeth Parker provided the music and sound effects for "Gambit". Blake's 7 made considerable use of audio effects that are described in the credits as "special sound". Many electronically generated sound effects were used, ranging from foley-style effects for props including handguns, teleport sounds, spacecraft engines, flight console buttons and background atmospheres. The special sounds for Blake's 7 were provided by the BBC Radiophonic Workshop composers Richard Yeoman-Clark and Elizabeth Parker.

Critical reception

Blake's 7 received both positive and negative reviews. The fourth episode Time Squad review by Stanley Reynolds of The Times stated, " ... nice to hear the youngsters holding their breath in anticipation of a little terror." Reynolds elaborated, "Television science fiction has got too self-consciously jokey lately. It is also nice to have each episode complete within itself, while still carrying on the saga of Blake's struggle against the 1984-ish Federation. But is that dark-haired telepathic alien girl, the latest addition to Blake's outer-space merry men, going to spell love trouble for blonde Jenna? Maid Marian never had that trouble in Sherwood Forest."[48]

During January 1998 Robert Hanks of The Independent compared the series' ethos to that of Star Trek. He wrote "If you wanted to sum up the relative position of Britain and America in this century — the ebbing away of the pink areas of the map, the fading of national self-confidence as Uncle Sam proceeded to colonise the globe with fizzy drinks and Hollywood — you could do it like this: they had Star Trek, we had Blake's 7 ... No 'boldly going' here: instead, we got the boot stamping on a human face which George Orwell offered as a vision of humanity's future in Nineteen Eighty-Four." Hanks concluded that "Blake's 7 has acquired a credibility and popularity Terry Nation can never have expected ... I think it's to do with the sheer crappiness of the series and the crappiness it attributes to the universe: it is science-fiction for the disillusioned and ironic — and that is what makes it so very British."[49]

Gavin Collinson of the British Film Institute's Web site Screenonline wrote "The premise of Blake's 7 held nothing remotely original. The outlaw group resisting a powerful and corrupt regime is an idea familiar from Robin Hood and beyond. He added "Blake's 7's triumph lay in its vivid characters, its tight, pacey plots and its satisfying realism...For arguably the first time since the 1950s Quatermass serials, the BBC had created a popular sci-fi/fantasy show along adult lines." His review concludes "Ultimately, the one force the rebels could not overcome proved to be the BBC's long-standing apathy towards science fiction. However, the bloody finale, in which Avon murders Blake, exemplified the programme's strengths — fearless narratives, credible but surprising character development and an enormous sense of fun."[50]

The Australian broadcaster and critic Clive James gave a negative appraisal of the series. He called it " ... classically awful British television SF ... no apostrophe in the title, no sense in the plot." James continued "The depraved space queen Servalan ... could never quite bring herself to volatilize the dimly heroic Blake even when she had him square in the sights of her plasmatic spasm guns. The secret of Blake's appeal, or Blakes appeal, for the otherwise infallibly fatale Servalan remained a mystery, like the actual wattage of light bulb on which the design of Blake's spaceship, or Blakes spaceship, was plainly based."[51] Screenwriter Nigel Kneale, whose work included The Quatermass Experiment and other science fiction, was also critical. He described "the very few bits I've seen" as "paralytically awful", claiming that "the dialogue/characterisation seemed to consist of a kind of childish squabbling."[52]


Blake's 7 deviates from the good-versus-evil dualism in Star Wars; Star Trek′s 'feel-good' future; and the episodic structure of Doctor Who.[13]Blake's 7 also influenced Hyperdrive and Aeon Flux.[53] Television playwright Dennis Potter's final work Cold Lazarus was inspired by the show.[54]

Blake's 7 remains fairly well regarded. A poll of United States science-fiction writers, fans and critics for John Javna's 1987 book The Best of Science Fiction placed the series 25th in popularity, despite then only having recently begun to be broadcast in the US.[55] A similar poll in Britain conducted for SFX magazine during 1999 put Blake's 7 at 16th place, with the magazine commenting that "twenty years on, TV SF is still mapping the paths first explored by Terry Nation's baby".[56] During 2005 SFX surveyed readers' top 50 British telefantasy shows of all time, and Blake's 7 was placed at number four behind The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Red Dwarf and Doctor Who.[57] A similar poll conducted by TV Zone magazine during 2003 for the top 100 cult television programmes scored Blake's 7 11th.[58]

Dutch musician Arjen Anthony Lucassen was inspired by Blake's 7 in naming his side-project Star One.[59]

In 2004 a 15-minute comedy short entitled "Blake's Junction 7" debuted at several film festivals around the world. It was directed by Ben Gregor, written by Tim Plester, and featured Mackenzie Crook, Martin Freeman, Johnny Vegas, Mark Heap and Peter Tuddenham. This parody depicted the characters taking a break at the Newport Pagnell motorway service area.[60][61] During 2006 the BBC produced a 30-minute documentary The Cult of... Blake's 7 that was first broadcast on 12 December on BBC Four, as part of a Science Fiction Britannia series.[62]


The revival of Blake's 7 has been mooted for some years. Terry Nation raised the possibility on a number of occasions and proposed that a new series would be set some years after the existing one. Avon, living in exile like Napoleon on Elba, would be persuaded by a new group of rebels to resume the fight against the Federation.[63]

Radio and audio

During 1998 Blake's 7 was broadcast again by the BBC by radio. The Sevenfold Crown was broadcast by BBC Radio 4 on 17 January 1998 as part of its Playhouse strand. The play was produced by Brian Lighthill and written by Barry Letts. Paul Darrow, Michael Keating, Steven Pacey, Peter Tuddenham and Jacqueline Pearce reprised their television roles, but Josette Simon and Glynis Barber were replaced by Angela Bruce as Dayna and Paula Wilcox as Soolin. The story was set during the fourth series between the episodes Stardrive and Animals. This was followed by The Syndeton Experiment, which featured the same cast, producer and writer and was broadcast as The Saturday Play on 10 April 1999 by BBC Radio 4.[64]BBC Audiobooks released a CD of readings of Trevor Hoyle's novelisations of episodes The Way Back read by Gareth Thomas and Cygnus Alpha read by Paul Darrow.[65]

On 11 December 2006 B7 Productions announced that it had recorded a series of 36 five-minute Blake's 7 audio adventures, written by Ben Aaronovitch, Marc Platt and James Swallow.[66] This featured Derek Riddell as Blake, Colin Salmon as Avon, Daniela Nardini as Servalan, Craig Kelly as Travis, Carrie Dobro as Jenna, Dean Harris as Vila, Owen Aaronovitch as Gan, Michael Praed, Doug Bradley and India Fisher.[67] The new series was broadcast by BBC Radio 7 and repeated during mid-2010 as three hour-long episodes: Rebel (written by Ben Aaronovitch), Traitor (Marc Platt) and Liberator (James Swallow). B7 Productions also produced series of 30-minute prequel audio episodes named Blake's 7: The Early Years, which explored the earlier histories of the central characters.[68]

During 2011 Big Finish Productions, under licence from B7 Productions, announced that it would be producing a series of audio dramas named Blake's 7: The Liberator Chronicles, which would be " ... a series of exciting, character-driven tales that remain true to the original TV series. We're aiming for authenticity — recreating the wonder of 1978 all over again!" The company also said it would publish a series of Blake's 7 novels at a rate of two per year.[69] During January 2013 Big Finish released an initial full cast audio production, Warship. This was followed during January 2014 with a series of six full cast single disc original stories, with a second series starting in November 2014.

Several individuals and companies have produced unofficial material based upon Blake's 7. Alan Stevens, later of Magic Bullet Productions,[70] produced three unofficial audio cassettes between 1991 and 1998: Travis: The Final Act,[71]The Mark of Kane[72] and The Logic of Empire.[73] Stevens also produced a series of audio dramas named Kaldor City, created by Chris Boucher, which link the Blake's 7 universe into Boucher's Doctor Who serial The Robots of Death through the character Carnell (Scott Fredericks), whom Boucher created for the Blake's 7 episode Weapon.


During April 2000 producer Andrew Mark Sewell announced that he had bought the rights to Blake's 7 from the estate of Terry Nation, and was planning to produce a TV movie set 20 years after the finale of the original series.[74] During July 2003, Sewell announced that he, Paul Darrow and Simon Moorhead had formed a consortium called 'B7 Enterprises' that had acquired the rights and was planning a television miniseries budgeted at between five and six million U.S. dollars. Darrow would play Avon and the series was to be televised during early 2005, depending on " ... many factors, not least financing".[75] Paul Darrow subsequently left the project during December 2003, citing "artistic differences".[76]

B7 Enterprises announced on 31 October 2005 that it had appointed Drew Kaza as non-executive chairman, and that it was working on two Blake's 7 projects. Blake's 7: Legacy was to be a two-part, three-hour mini-series, which would be written by Ben Aaronovitch and D. Dominic Devine. Blake's 7: The Animated Adventures was to be a 26-part children's animated adventure series written by Aaronovitch, Andrew Cartmel, Marc Platt and James Swallow.[77] In an interview with Doctor Who Magazine, writer and producer Matthew Graham said that he had been involved in discussions to revive Blake's 7. Graham's concept was that a group of young rebels would rescue Avon, who had been kept cryogenically frozen by Servalan, and then roam the galaxy in a new ship named Liberator.[78]

On 24 April 2008, television station Sky1 announced that it had commissioned two 60-minute scripts for a potential series, working alongside B7 Productions.[79] On 4 August 2010, the station said it had decided not to commission the series. B7 Productions said the decision was " ... obviously disappointing", but that the development process has resulted in the " ... dynamic reinvention of this branded series". It said it was confident it would find another partner to develop a new version of Blake's 7 for television.[80]

During July 2012, Deadline reported that a remake for US television networks was being developed by the independent studio Georgeville Television.[81] The Syfy network announced on 22 August that Joe Pokaski would develop the script and Martin Campbell would direct the new remake.[82]

On 9 April 2013, the BBC reported that a new series of Blake's 7 would be broadcast by SyFy.[83] Other media reported that a full-series order of thirteen episodes had been placed.[84]

During 2015, the Nation Estate ended relations with Andrew Mark Sewell and the Blake's 7 licence was awarded to Big Finish Productions. On 4 April 2016, it announced The Liberator Chronicles Volume 12, due to be released later the same month, which would be the final entry in Big Finish's long-running collection of audio box-sets based on Blake's 7 With B7 Media's involvement. All future releases on their Blake's 7 ranges would be produced in-house at Big Finish under full licence.


Terry Nation had done well financially from commercial exploitation of the Doctor Who Daleks, and recognised the potential for merchandise related to Blake's 7.[85] Nation and his agent Roger Hancock discussed this with Ray Williams of BBC Merchandising in December 1976. By May 1977, twenty-seven items of merchandise had been proposed for release by companies including Palitoy, Letraset and Airfix. However, only a small quantity of these was ever made available.[10]

A small number of toys and models were produced. During 1978, Corgi Toys produced a two inch long die-cast model of Liberator with a transparent rear globe. This was re-released the following year in silver with a model space shuttle, and in blue on its own. Also during 1979, Blue Box Toys produced three space vehicle toys that featured the series logo; however, these had never appeared in the television programme.[86] Comet Miniatures produced a nine-inch long injection-moulded model kit of Liberator in 1989, which contained many parts. They also produced a white metallic two-inch Liberator model, and a three-inch Federation trooper figure.[86] A Scorpio clip gun, and Liberator and Scorpio teleport bracelets, were also produced.[42]

The children's programme Blue Peter offered a cheaper home-made alternative to fans who wanted merchandise. In its 23 February 1978 show, presenter Lesley Judd demonstrated how to create a replica Liberator teleport bracelet from common household objects. This was followed on 6 June 1983, when presenter Janet Ellis demonstrated a similar method of making a replica Scorpio bracelet.[42]


The sheet music of the Blake's 7 theme was published by Chappell & Co. Ltd during 1978 with a photograph of Liberator on the front cover.[86] A stereo re-recording of Dudley Simpson's theme music, in a markedly different arrangement to the original, was also released as a single, with The Federation March (a piece of incidental music from the episode Redemption) on the B-side.[42] The Blake's 7 theme was also released on an album BBC Space Themes, and Liberator was featured on the album sleeve. Another version of the theme, 'Blake's 7 Disco', was recorded by Federation and released during 1979 on Beeb Records with a B-side unconnected with the series.[86] Many of the sound effects from the series were released during 1981 as an album BBC Sound Effects No. 26 – Sci-Fi Sound Effects, and re-released later on CD as Essential Science Fiction Sound Effects Vol. 1.[86]

Books and magazines

Blake's 7 books were produced by various authors and publishers. The first was entitled Blake's 7, written by Trevor Hoyle and Terry Nation, and published during 1978 (novelising the first-season episodes The Way Back, Space Fall, Cygnus Alpha and Time Squad). Its US title was Blake's 7 — Their First Adventure.[86] Hoyle wrote two more books of the series: Blake's 7: Project Avalon (1979, novelising the episodes Seek–Locate–Destroy, Duel, Project Avalon, Deliverance and Orac from the first season) and Blake's 7: Scorpio Attack (1981, novelising the episodes Rescue, Traitor and Stardrive from the fourth season).[87] Publications continued to be issued after the series had ended. Tony Attwood's Blake's 7: The Programme Guide, published by Target during 1982, is a factual overview of the series with a detailed episode guide, an encyclopedia, and interviews with the cast and writers. It was re-issued by Virgin Books during 1994.[86] Attwood also wrote an original novel named Afterlife, which is set after the final episode and was published by Target during 1984.[86] Another original novel, Avon: A Terrible Aspect by Paul Darrow, told the story of Avon's early years before he met Blake, and was published during 1989.[87]

World Distributors produced Blake's 7 Annuals for 1979, 1980 and 1981. These featured stories, games, artwork and articles about space.[86] During October 1981 Marvel UK began publishing the monthly Blake's 7 magazine, which included a comic strip by Ian Kennedy as well as text stories, features and photographs. Twenty-five issues including two 'specials' were published, until the magazine closed during August 1983.[86][87] Marvel produced two 'special' magazines during 1994 and 1995, with much of the content written by television historian Andrew Pixley and about how the series was made. Seven issues of Blake's 7 Poster Magazine were published between December 1994 and May 1995.[88]

Several books offering insight and background information to Blake's 7 were produced, including Blake's 7: The Complete Guide by Adrian Rigelsford (Boxtree, 1995), Blake's 7: The Inside Story by Joe Nazzaro and Sheelagh Wells (Virgin, 1997), A History and Critical Analysis of Blake's 7 by John Kenneth Muir (McFarland and Company, 1999), and Liberation. The Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to Blake's 7 by Alan Stevens and Fiona Moore (Telos, 2003).[89]

Video and DVD releases

During 1985 BBC Video issued four compilation videocassettes containing highlights from the first three series edited into 2 hour features. The first released was The Beginning, containing excerpts from The Way Back, Spacefall, Cygnus Alpha and Time Squad. Duel was released in 1986 with highlights of Seek–Locate–Destroy, Duel and Project Avalon. During the same year Orac was released, containing excerpts from Deliverance, Orac and Redemption. The first three tapes were available in both VHS and Betamax format. The final tape, The Aftermath, was released in Australia during 1986, with extracts from Aftermath, Powerplay and Sarcophagus. During 1990 all four tapes were re-released in the UK on VHS.[86]

From 1991 BBC Video released Blake's 7 in episodic order on 26 VHS cassettes with two episodes per tape.[42] Canadian company BFS also released these in North America. During 1997 Fabulous Films company re-released these tapes in different packaging. The BBC and Fabulous Films planned to issue the series as four DVD box sets, but this was disrupted by conflicts with rights-holders B7 Enterprises. These issues were resolved and one series per year was released on Region 2 DVD between 2003 and 2006. During 2007 Amazon sold a four-series box set, but a casualty of the difficulties with Blake's 7 Enterprises was The Making of Blake's 7, a four-part documentary directed by Kevin Davies, intended originally as an extra feature with each DVD release. B7 Enterprises said they " ... did not feel [the documentary] provided a proper tribute or fresh retrospective of the show".[90] The discs contained extra features including bloopers, out-takes, alternative scenes, voiceover commentaries, interviews and behind the scenes footage.[91]

Notes and references

  1. ^ Attwood, Tony; Davies, Kevin; Emery, Rob; Ophir, Jackie (1994). "Prologue". Blake's 7: The Programme Guide. London: Virgin Books. p. 9. ISBN cite.citation{font-style:inherit}.mw-parser-output .citation q{quotes:"\"""\"""'""'"}.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-free a{background:url("//")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-registration a{background:url("//")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-subscription a{background:url("//")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration{color:#555}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span{border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help}.mw-parser-output .cs1-ws-icon a{background:url("//")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output code.cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:inherit;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{display:none;color:#33aa33;margin-left:0.3em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration,.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right{padding-right:0.2em}
  2. ^ The Federation introducing a 'new calendar' is mentioned in the episode Pressure Point). (Pixley, Andrew (October 2002). "Blake's 7. 'The Dirty Dozen in Space'". TV Zone (156): 48–56. ISSN 0957-3844.)
  3. ^ In the episode Killer, a 700-year-old space ship is encountered, one of the first deep-space missions from Earth.
  4. ^ Attwood, Tony; Davies, Kevin; Emery, Rob; Ophir, Jackie (1994). "The Stories". Blake's 7: The Programme Guide. London: Virgin Books. pp. 29–117. ISBN 0-426-19449-7.
  5. ^ a b Stevens, Alan; Moore, Fiona (2003). "Season D". Liberation. The Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to Blake's 7. England: Telos. p. 154. ISBN 1-903889-54-5.
  6. ^ Fulton, Roger (1997). The Encyclopedia of TV Science Fiction (3rd ed.). London: Boxtree. pp. 66–74. ISBN 0-7522-1150-1.
  7. ^ Attwood, Tony; Davies, Kevin; Emery, Rob; Ophir, Jackie (1994). Blake's 7: The Programme Guide. London: Virgin Books. p. back cover. ISBN 0-426-19449-7.
  8. ^ a b c Attwood, Tony; Davies, Kevin; Emery, Rob; Ophir, Jackie (1994). "In Their Own Words". Blake's 7: The Programme Guide. England: Virgin Books. pp. 118–125. ISBN 0-426-19449-7.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i Attwood, Tony; Davies, Kevin; Emery, Rob; Ophir, Jackie (1994). "The Index". Blake's 7: The Programme Guide. England: Virgin Books. pp. 128–197. ISBN 0-426-19449-7.
  10. ^ a b Pixley, Andrew (October 2002). "Blake's 7. 'The Dirty Dozen in Space'". TV Zone (156): 48–56. ISSN 0957-3844.
  11. ^ a b Muir, John Kenneth (2000). "A Futuristic Robin Hood Myth". A History and Critical Analysis of Blake's 7, the 1978-1981 British Television Space Adventure. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland. pp. 178–181. ISBN 0-7864-2660-8.
  12. ^ a b c d Bignell, Jonathan; O'Day, Andrew (2004). "Nation, Space and Politics". Terry Nation. Manchester, England: Manchester University Press. pp. 113–178. ISBN 978-0-7190-6547-7.
  13. ^ a b c d e McCormack, Una (2006). "Resist the host: Blake's 7 – a very British future". In Cook, John R.; Wright, Peter (eds.). British Science Fiction Television: A Hitchhiker's Guide. London: IB Tauris. pp. 174–192. ISBN 1-84511-048-X.
  14. ^ Attwood, Tony (1982). "Interviews: Chris Boucher – Script Editor and Writer". Blake's 7. The Programme Guide. London: W.H. Allen. pp. 178–181. ISBN 0-426-19449-7.
  15. ^ a b Muir, John Kenneth (2000). "The Jurassic Arc: Science Fiction Television's First Video Novel". A History and Critical Analysis of Blake's 7, the 1978-1981 British Television Space Adventure. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland. pp. 171–178. ISBN 0-7864-2660-8.
  16. ^ Nazzaro, Joe; Wells, Sheelagh (1997). "Starting Out". Blake's 7: The Inside Story. London: Virgin. pp. 9–20. ISBN 0-7535-0044-2.
  17. ^ Nazzaro, Joe (August 1992). "Terry Nation's Blake's 7. Part One". TV Zone (33): 28–30. ISSN 0957-3844.
  18. ^ a b c Stevens, Alan; Moore, Fiona (2003). "Season A". Liberation. The Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to Blake's 7. England: Telos. pp. 13–58. ISBN 1-903889-54-5.
  19. ^ Stevens, Alan; Moore, Fiona (2003). "Season B". Liberation. The Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to Blake's 7. England: Telos. pp. 59–102. ISBN 1-903889-54-5.
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  21. ^ Nation, Terry (writer) & Roberts, Pennant (director). (1978) Space Fall (Television series episode). In Maloney, David (producer), Blake's 7, London: BBC, 9 January 1978
  22. ^ Nation, Terry (writer) & Lorrimer, Vere (director). (1978) Cygnus Alpha (Television series episode). In Maloney, David (producer), Blake's 7, London: BBC, 16 January 1978
  23. ^ Nation, Terry (writer) & Roberts, Pennant (director). (1978) Time Squad (Television series episode). In Maloney, David (producer), Blake's 7, London: BBC, 23 January 1978
  24. ^ Nation, Terry (writer) & Lorrimer, Vere (director). (1978) Seek-Locate-Destroy (Television series episode). In Maloney, David (producer), Blake's 7, London: BBC, 6 February 1978
  25. ^ Nation, Terry (writer) & Lorrimer, Vere (director). (1978) Orac (Television series episode). In Maloney, David (producer), Blake's 7, London: BBC, 27 March 1978
  26. ^ Nation, Terry (writer) & Lorrimer, Vere (director). (1979) Redemption (Television series episode). In Maloney, David (producer), Blake's 7, London: BBC, 1 September 1979
  27. ^ Nation, Terry (writer) & Spenton-Foster, George (director). (1979) Pressure Point (Television series episode). In Maloney, David (producer), Blake's 7, London: BBC, 9 February 1979
  28. ^ Boucher, Chris (writer) & Martinus, Derek (director). (1979) Trial (Television series episode). In Maloney, David (producer), Blake's 7, London: BBC, 13 February 1979
  29. ^ Nation, Terry (writer) & Lorrimer, Vere (director). (1979) Countdown (Television series episode). In Maloney, David (producer), Blake's 7, London: BBC, 1979-03-06
  30. ^ Boucher, Chris (writer) & Maloney, David (director — uncredited). (1979) Star One (Television series episode). In Maloney, David (producer), Blake's 7, London: BBC, 3 April 1979
  31. ^ Nation, Terry (writer) & Lorrimer, Vere (director). (1980) Aftermath (Television series episode). In Maloney, David (producer), Blake's 7, London: BBC, 7 January 1980
  32. ^ Nation, Terry (writer) & Maloney, David (director — uncredited). (1980) Powerplay (Television series episode). In Maloney, David (producer), Blake's 7, London: BBC, 7 January 1980
  33. ^ Prior, Allan (writer) & McCarthy, Desmond (director). (1980) Volcano (Television series episode). In Maloney, David (producer), Blake's 7, London: BBC, 14 January 1980
  34. ^ Parkes, Roger (writer) & Morgan, Andrew (director). (1980) Children of Auron (Television series episode). In Maloney, David (producer), Blake's 7, London: BBC, 19 February 1980
  35. ^ Boucher, Chris (writer) & Cumming, Fiona (director). (1980) Rumours of Death (Television series episode). In Maloney, David (producer), Blake's 7, London: BBC, 25 February 1980
  36. ^ Nation, Terry (writer) & Ridge, Mary (director). (1980) Terminal (Television series episode). In Maloney, David (producer), Blake's 7, London: BBC, 31 March 1980
  37. ^ Boucher, Chris (writer) & Ridge, Mary (director). (1981) Rescue (Television series episode). In Lorrimer, Vere (producer), Blake's 7, London: BBC, 28 September 1981
  38. ^ Steed, Ben (writer) & Ridge, Mary (director). (1981) Power (Television series episode). In Lorrimer, Vere (producer), Blake's 7, London: BBC, 5 October 1981
  39. ^ Follet, Jim (writer) & Proudfoot, David Sullivan (director). (1981) Stardrive (Television series episode). In Lorrimer, Vere (producer), Blake's 7, London: BBC, 19 October 1981
  40. ^ Masters, Simon (writer) & Ritelis, Viktors (director). (1981) Warlord (Television series episode). In Lorrimer, Vere (producer), Blake's 7, London: BBC, 14 December 1981
  41. ^ Boucher, Chris (writer) & Ridge, Mary (director). (1981) Blake (Television series episode). In Lorrimer, Vere (producer), Blake's 7, London: BBC, 21 December 1981
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