Monday, September 1, 2008

Servalan "There are no women like me."

The BBC science fiction series Blake's 7, which ran from 1978 to 1981, remains a cult classic. Pitched by Doctor Who writer and Dalek inventor Terry Nation as "The Dirty Dozen" in space, the series follows the adventures of a crew of criminals on the run from a totalitarian "Terran Federation" on a stolen alien ship, the Liberator. Renowned for its unconventional nature, the show occasionaly kills off characters. The political dissident title character, Roj Blake, (Gareth Thomas) an often foolhardy do-gooder, faces resistance from his crew, primarily from Kerr Avon, (Paul Darrow) a computer expert who counsels discretion and self-preservation above sacrificial gestures. Blake leaves the series half way through, leaving Avon in charge of the crew. Avon and the Liberator crew battle one of the most notable villians in science fiction, the ever fashionable Servalan, (Jacqueline Pearce) Supreme Commander of the Terran Federation. Pearce, with her sultry over-the-top delivery and her trademark crewcut has a cult following of her own.

Like Doctor Who, Blake's 7 is not known for its lavish production. The series is often referred to as "Blakes 7" (no apostrophe) since this was omitted from the opening title, if not from the script. There are no Daleks. The set designers never seem to have had that much ambition. The show relies on complex story arcs, campy costumes, tensions between the crew, and sexual tension between Servalan and her henchmen (as well as with the series true "hero" Kerr Avon) and on witty dialog to maintain interest. Given the show's continuing popularity after three decades, it seems they succeeded.

Here are two fan compilations of Servalan's best moments available on YouTube:

Servalan Compilation 1 of 2

Servalan Compilation 2 of 2

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