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Current Poll

Who is your Favourite Guest Rebel?

Avalon - (Project Avalon)
Avalon - (Project Avalon)
24% [32 Votes]

Selma - (Horizon)
Selma - (Horizon)
4% [5 Votes]

Tyce - (Bounty)
Tyce - (Bounty)
16% [21 Votes]

Norm One - (Redemption)
Norm One - (Redemption)
1% [2 Votes]

Bek - (Shadow)
Bek - (Shadow)
6% [8 Votes]

Kasabi - (Pressure Point)
Kasabi - (Pressure Point)
15% [20 Votes]

Hal Mellanby - (Aftermath)
Hal Mellanby - (Aftermath)
16% [22 Votes]

Hunda - (Traitor)
Hunda - (Traitor)
5% [7 Votes]

Deva - (Blake)
Deva - (Blake)
7% [10 Votes]

5% [7 Votes]

Votes: 134
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Started: 09 July 2016

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Horizon Advent Calendar 2017
Ok....rewatch done....I hope this heals the wound a bit.

The newscast had finished but the scene of heaped bodies and a triumphant Sleer flanked by her troopers lingered for a moment on the screen before fading to black. Silence descended amongst the watchers. Then gradually, throats were cleared and, without looking at her husband, the woman stood up, went over to the boy who was still staring fixedly at the blank screen and hustled him from his seat.

“Time you were in bed,”she said brusquely. He obeyed calmly, without speaking, his face pale and his expression set. Behind him his father had sunk a little lower in his chair and placed one hand over his eyes.

Once in his room the boy changed into his night suit and then he crept quietly back out into the corridor. At first he could hear nothing but the sounds of his mother bustling about in the kitchen, but after a while his father left the recreation room and joined her there. The boy shrank back into an alcove listening intently.

“Is that it then?” he heard his mother ask, her voice low and defeated.

“I don’t know, Molly,” his father replied. “I just don’t know.”

“Oh, Cauder... it’s dreadful. Dreadful. What happened to him?” His mother’s voice wavered between tears and horror. “Those poor, poor people. Have you heard anything from Grant?”

“Not yet. The boy, is he asleep? I wish he hadn’t had to see that.”

“He should be. I’ll look in on him, shall I?”

“No, leave it for now. We need to find out if Avalon’s heard anything.”

The voices fell silent and the boy shivered in a darkness that suddenly seemed thick and menacing. He pushed his back up against the corridor wall and shuffled along it until he reached the door to his room and then, eyes nearly shut, threw himself hastily across the open floor onto his bed and huddled down in it fearfully. The shadows closed in around him and he lay there sleepless for hours, water leaking from his eyes, unable to process the scenes that he’d witnessed on the vid screen or to comprehend how they had come about.

A hand on his back made him start but before he could cry out in terror he was held in a strong, reassuring embrace.

“Not asleep then, old fellow?” his father asked. “Are you ok?”

Mutely the boy shook his head in a quick negative. “Why?” he suddenly cried out. “Why dad? He was a hero. He saved this planet. Why would he do that? Why?”

Cauder continued his rhythmic, reassuring petting of the boy whilst staring into space, seemingly lost in thought. After a longish time, the boy wriggled from his embrace and sat bolt upright. “Why?” he demanded fiercely again.

“I don’t know,” his father admitted. “A mistake maybe. Perhaps a misunderstanding. It’s hard being on the run all the time. Always looking over your shoulder. It makes some people trigger happy. Bad things do happen to good people, I’m afraid.”

“What’s the point of being good then?” the boy challenged, angrily scrubbing his tears away. “We might as well be as bad as the Federation. They always win in the end. We should just give in and join them.”

“Not every time, “ his father gently reminded. “Sometimes good wins. And even when it doesn’t just knowing that people were prepared to put themselves on the line to help you ...well that’s what counts, not that they failed in the end. That spark of goodness. Sometimes a spark’s enough to set a whole forest alight.”

The boy shrugged his shoulders, wanting to be convinced but still doubtful. He plucked restlessly at his blanket.

There was a bang as the door to the recreation room flung open and Molly’s voice
echoed excitedly down the corridor.

“Cauder, it’s Grant...he’s been in touch. You’re to come now. He says they’ve found Orac.”

And a sliver of pale dawn sunlight began slowly to push back the shadows in the room.
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
It's December 22 here already. Merry Christmas!

Joe Dredd
Who's that knocking on the twenty-third door? No it's not the Illuminati, it's today's entry in the Advent calendar.

Newspapers, remember them? We used to have them in the old calendar. As well as being filled with all the news that was fit to print, they'd always have comic strips. Some of the more famous strips included "Peanuts", a cartoon about the FX budget allocated to Blake's 7; "B.C.", which was all about the second actor to play Travis, and "The Broons", covering the huge number of ales polished off by Old Tudders in his special den. Then of course there was this one...


As usual, clicking it will make it larger (but unfortunately no less lame!)
Joe Dredd
Oh no! Vere's mixed up the writer's names this time. Can you help him sort them out? Each line represents a single writer. Letters in square brackets can be ignored.

1. This ORNERY TITAN was just TRYIN' TO EARN. He was no ARTY INTONER; nor did he TRY INANE ROT. But would he ANOINT [a] RETRY?

2. I'm neither his PAL NOR LIAR, but I think I'd rather sit in the NAIL PARLO[u]R than watch some of these.

3. No need for a RETOOL, MS HERB. The writing is so tasty it must've been composed on a SHERBERT LOOM. I want to hide in a BROOM SHELTER when the HELOT MOB ERRS (and ditto when they SHOOT MR REBEL).

4. NEAT, LITHE with TITAN HEEL? You veritable HEAT INLET, please share THINE TALE. When asked to comment, the reply was “TEEN LIT? HA!” but also, sadly, "I LATE, THEN?"

5. A CON'S LIVID! These aren't VALID COINS!


7. Every episode he wrote was like a CHERUBS CHOIR. His detractors would say HE CRIB OR SUCH, to which I reply, “OH, BIRCH CURES for you!

8. Here's an ODE of HAM and CRAB. They think it's the MACHO BEARD but it turns out to be - OH! - the CRAB DAME all along.

9. Any notices today? No, ONLY BILLS.

[with especial thanks to TRAIN VISA.]
Joe Dredd
The last door, number 24, is open. What will fall out of the little space behind? Let's hope it proves to be bigger on the inside...!
Joe Dredd
The especially-for-Clareblue's ALL ABOUT STEVEN PACEY Quiz

1. An actor in B7: _______ __ACEY

2. An actor in B7: STE___ _____

3. A character in B7: DEL _______

4. Also played this twin! (5 letters) _E__A


1. Ronald Lacey
2. Steven Greif
3. Del Grant
4. Zelda

Joe Dredd
B7 book club

Joe Dredd
A Visit to G.P.
With apologies to Clement Clarke Moore

'Twas four nights before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
Hot drinks were on hand with mince pies to spare
In the knowledge Blake's 7 would soon be on air;

The theme tune began, the flight gizmo whizzed
"I wonder what cliff hanger?" my wife turned and quizzed.
"This is the last one, for this fourth series at least."
"It's bound to keep going," I smiled as I sampled the feast.

The episode started, we silenced our chatter
and stayed silently still as our illusions it shattered.
The base was destroyed, the crew were all fleeing.
We felt in despair at the things we were seeing.

The next thing I saw made me much more uneasy
for BLAKE had appeared, all grimy and greasy.
His eye — how it stared! His scar, how scary!
All of a sudden our Christmas wasn't feeling as merry.

Orac stopped Slave from making a noise -
And Scorpio was shot down by two wind-up toys!
Tarrant tried valiantly to turn things around
And stayed at his post when the ship hit the ground.

Three struggled on and camped in a hut
with Vila on watch with eyes tightly shut.
Somehow through the forest, then onto the base
When carnage exploded all over the place.

Shoot Klyn! Shoot Blake! - the programmes lost treasure
Shoot him again, and again for good measure.
Shoot Deva! Bash Arlen! Then back tumbled Vila.
Shoot Dayna! Shoot Soolin! Shoot Tarrant 'tween pillars.

Then Avon awoke, as if from a dream
As ten hundred guards filed onto our screens.
He grinned and he grimaced then looked down the sight.
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!
Ohh...love the poem Joe. Smile

Christmas is a traditionally a family time so I started wondering about what families are like in the Federation. This ‘little’ story (sorry it ended up longer than I intended) is set several years before our heroes absconded on the Liberator and concerns an attempted rebellion by one family in particular…

Loyalty is Relative

Family is valued in the Federation. Not as much as loyalty to the Federation itself of course, but the concept of ‘family’ is seen as a vital component in maintaining conformity. Even among the morally dubious lower grades, family connects people, teaches them social values and gives them a sense of duty to something greater than themselves from an early age. Once learnt, it is easy to convince them to extend such ideas outwards towards a larger ‘family unit’; The Federation. It ensures that all children within the Federation learn early on that they are just one small part of something bigger and more valuable than themselves. Great importance is placed on making positive contributions to society as a whole, and many of the smaller ‘disruptive elements’ can be contained by peer pressure alone.

Even for the more…’vocal’ dissenters, this devotion to their families is still an effective motivation for swaying people from thoughts of ‘revolution’ and ‘rebellion’. It has been observed on many occasions that people are far more likely to be cowed by fear for a parent or sibling’s life (or even a close friend’s), than they often are by threats to their own. The Federation had realised early on that, by promoting such feelings of loyalty among the population, they could control them far more easily. Any treasonous act by a single individual was met with punishment for their entire immediate family, and the occasional well-timed reminder of this fact was usually enough to keep all but the most fervent of opposition in line, so it was, perhaps, somewhat ironic that for Tylar and his wife Lania it was the newest edition to their family that had caused them to rethink their position within the Federation.

Tylar and Lania had always been law-abiding members of the Federation. They’d been together for a long time and during their lives they had often seen the cruelty and coldness of the Federation but, like so many others around them, they’d turned away and pretended that they hadn’t. They were not among the fortunate few who enjoyed the extravagances afforded the Alpha grades, but they were also far from the lowest dredges of society. Their position was ‘comfortable’, so long as they remembered that that comfort came only with the blessing of the Federation. It would be theirs only so long as they followed the rules and did as they were told…and so…that’s what they did. Ever the loyal citizens of the Federation, keeping their heads down and towing the line for their entire lives. All of that had changed, however, when their daughter was born. Looking at her during those first few moments, knowing that her life would be forever limited by the restrictions of her class and ‘position’ within the Federation, they’d both realised that they could no longer ignore the inequalities in the system they lived under. They had to act, to change the order of things and make a better life for her. And so, with the future of their daughter in mind, they had begun to plot their rebellion.

They started slowly, watching their friends and co-workers closely to learn who they could trust. They knew that they needed to be careful. They had to be sure that anyone they approached with their plan was truly sympathetic to their cause, but they also couldn’t risk reaching out to anyone who was too enthusiastic either; it would draw attention. They needed cool heads. One impulsive or careless action by someone too eager to act would quickly put an end to any chance they had. The plan they had in mind didn’t require numbers, or brute force, just patience. When they attacked the Federation, it would be from within; from very specific points, targeting weaknesses that they had identified long in advance. With that in mind, the group that they eventually forged was small and tightknit and their trust of each other was absolute.

Over the years they took their time, working their way up into positions that allowed them access to areas and materials that they needed without arousing suspicion.

As their plans took root and started to grow Tylar and Lania watched their daughter grow alongside them. They saw her frustrated by the unfairness of the system they lived in. Denied the benefits and opportunities awarded to the children of higher status families. Every day reaffirmed to them that their choice had been the correct one. Their daughter deserved those opportunities as much as any child from the more privileged families, and they never once questioned their decision to risk everything to give her the chance to have them. It hurt them to keep her in the dark about their plans, but that too was for her benefit. She was too young to truly understand what was involved and they couldn’t risk a slip, even from their own daughter, so they remained silent and supported her as best they could. They taught her to be strong and ambitious and they cultivated the ruthless determination that they saw emerge in her as they pushed her to succeed at all costs.

When the day finally came to put their plan into motion Tylar and Lania woke their daughter. They took her quietly out into the corridors and ushered her towards the outer domes. It was early in the morning and the first work crews of the day were still asleep.

They found an old store room out of the way and told her to stay put, she’d be safe as long as she stayed here and they’d be back for her when then were finished. “Finished with what?” she asked. She was 9 years old (almost 10 as she loved to boast). Old enough to question the need to hide in a dusty old room and intelligent enough not to be fooled by a lie about this all being a silly game to play. They were proud of that intelligence. They’d encouraged her to think for herself. She’d need that independence when they were free from the corrupt chains of the Federation. They decided to explain to her as best they could, without going into details, that “the Federation was broken and they were going to meet with some friends to get rid of the bad people who ran it so that they could change things for the better.” They told her that, after today, they’d be free and she would finally have all of the luxuries and opportunities that she deserved. At first, she didn’t answer. She seemed lost in thought. They made her promise to stay where she was until they returned. “I promise” she said quietly. They kissed her goodbye knowing that, if something went wrong, this would be the last time they ever saw her. “We love you.”
“I love you too.” She replied distantly. “Come back soon.”
“We will” they promised.
And, with that, they left. Their daughter watched them go in silence.

It was strange being in a room together again. The group had rarely met since they had started to put their plan into motion. It was a choice that they’d made as part of their security measures, deciding that it was too dangerous to be seen together they’d all gone their separate ways and focused on their tasks. Occasionally they’d passed one another in a corridor or caught a glimpse of each other from across a room, but they’d carried on with their routines, seemingly oblivious. Close friends behaving like strangers. Even now that they were back together again there was little in the way of small talk. They’d shaken hands and smiled when they entered; a brief hug had been exchanged between the closest of them, but then it was down to business. There would be plenty of time to catch up after they’d completed their mission.

They began their final preparations. One person keeping watch outside while the others talked in hushed voices. They were so close to success, but they were careful even now to maintain the secrecy of the last decade.

When all of the arrangements had been made and the meeting was finished they wished each other luck and prepared to leave but, suddenly, they were startled by a noise from outside in the corridor. It sounded like a rifle blast, followed by the heavy thud of something falling against the door…but it couldn’t be. No-one knew they were here. Slowly, unbelievingly, they turned towards the door just in time to see it open. The body of the man they’d left on guard was slumped on the floor and the group watched in shock as a squadron of armed Federation troopers swarmed into the room.

A lieutenant moved in behind them and pointed his rifle squarely at Tylar’s chest. The silence seemed to stretch for hours before Tylar finally managed to force out a quiet and incredulous “How?”

The lieutenant looked back towards the door where his captain was now standing with an unusually short trooper next to him. It took a moment for Tylar to register what he was seeing and realise that it wasn’t a trooper at all. He heard a gasp from Lania behind him. It was their daughter!

His heart sank like a stone into the pit of his stomach. She must have gone after them when they’d left the outer domes. A guard had seen her, gotten suspicious and followed her to them. Why did they tell her? All that careful planning. A decade of secrecy and they’d failed at the last moment. He felt his world collapse around him. They’d failed and, worse than that, he’d condemned their daughter to share their fate as well. He’d be killed, he knew that. Him, his wife, their friends standing there with them, they were all dead, nothing could change that but, maybe, just maybe, if he pleaded with them, they’d let his daughter live. He prepared himself to beg with every ounce of strength he had. He’d plead guilty to any charge, stand before the people and denounce the very idea of rebellion before his execution, if only they’d just spare her. He opened his mouth to speak, and his daughter took a step forwards…

“See, I told you you’d find them here.”
He froze in shock and stared at her. “What?”
She looked at him sternly “You said you were going to attack the Federation. I couldn’t let you do that, so I followed you and then I brought the guards.”

Lania started forward towards her daughter, stopping abruptly as a trooper aimed his rifle towards her. “You…you told them we were here?”

“It would seem that your daughter understands the importance of order in the Federation, even if you do not.” said the Captain. “Don’t worry” he continued with mock sympathy “Your daughter is a highly intelligent and loyal young lady. I’m sure she’ll have a bright future in the Federation. It’s a shame you won’t be around to see it.”

As they stood surrounded by the troopers, the look of betrayal etched deeply onto their faces, Tylar and Lania could feel the accusing eyes of their friends burning into their backs. They stared in sheer disbelieve at the girl they once thought they knew, the daughter they loved, who they’d been willing to sacrifice everything for. The captain glanced at his lieutenant “Finish things up here and make sure to file your report when you’re done.”
“Yes sir”

The captain motioned for the young girl to follow him and, without even the slightest hesitation, she turned her back on her parents and walked out of the room. The significance of the act was not lost on her. “Goodbye mum, goodbye dad” she called back coldly. They cried after her in earnest, hoping to reach her but, impassively, she kept walking. Her parents had taught her to be strong. They had wanted a better life for her and now, thanks to them, she had it. The luxuries and comforts of the higher grades would be hers for the taking. She would forge her own path forwards. Forwards and upwards. Her parents’ names wouldn’t even be a footnote in history but, one day, hers would be much more.

The last thing that she heard from her parents as she left them behind was her mothers’ anguished voice crying out her name. It pierced the air as it echoed down the corridor before fading into the shadows behind her… “Servalan!”

Edited by Information on 23 December 2017 23:23:13
I have never understood why it should be necessary to become irrational in order to prove that you care, or, indeed, why it should be necessary to prove it at all.
For Christmas, here is the final episode of Blake's 7 Continues: https://drive.goo...sQ_2M6Ggl6
Zil: Oneness must resist the Host.

Happy Holidays from Terry Nation's other creation.
Zil: Oneness must resist the Host.

Our cockatoo, Groucho. would like to say Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all our Forum members. (Don't worry- the Santa hat is just an illusion because if I had tried to put a little paper hat on him like I tried once before, I'd have been bitten for the effort. And now you know the reason he's called Groucho!
Edited by JustBrad on 24 December 2017 03:55:03
Joe Dredd
In his "A new recruit, and a new blog" thread, Zonda wrote:

Zonda wrote:
As we near the Christmas holidays I though I'd clutch at straws at what might be considered Blake's 7's most festive offering. I could only think of Gambit, or Sarcophagus, through Ken Ledsham's liberal use of tinsel, or Rescue - as it has a bit of snow in it.

So Rescue it is. https://watchingb...rformance/

Now, while Zonda's articles are intelligently argued and fun to read (and I encourage you all to check them out), I have to say that "Blake" is the shows most festive offering.

In addition to the episode being broadcast in late December 1981, it is the conclusion of a trail of hints dropped throughout the series. For example, as early as the fourth episode we have references to Caspar (reputedly the name of one of the three wise men), and later on there's an entire episode devoted to one of the gifts of the Magi - gold.

Turning our attention to the episode itself, it's easy to see how it reflects a perfectly normal Christmas. Allow me to elucidate....
Joe Dredd
Firstly, it's very common at Christmas to catch up with old friends... and see how they've changed.

Joe Dredd
Some people might have a lie-in.

Joe Dredd
Some people won't bother to shave.

Joe Dredd
If you let him, the barber will jump at the chance to give you a Christmas trim.

Joe Dredd
It's a time to put on the roast.


(Recipe by Nigella.)
Joe Dredd
You may entertain others, and hope for a hare-y Christmas.

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