Audio Drama on Spotify: Blake’s 7

On 21 December 1981, the BBC aired the last episode of cult science-fiction show Blake’s 7. This dark SF drama was originally written by Terry Nation (of Dr. Who and Dalek fame) and featured a band of rebel outlaws on the run from the totalitarian Federation. It had aired for four series before coming to a fateful conclusion that left its millions of fans (including me) with the mother of all unresolved cliffhangers. To this day Blake’s 7 remains my very favourite televisions series, so I was delighted to hear that a company called B7 Productions had been set up to release audio dramas based on the show. Their “radical new re-interpretations of Terry Nation’s original series” are now on Spotify, along with their continuing series “Blake’s 7 – The Early Years.” If you enjoy science-fiction and haven’t heard these before, you’re in for a treat!

Written by Doctor Who writers Ben Aaronovitch and Marc Platt with Star Trek writer James Swallow, Blake’s 7: The Audio Adventures is a three-part audio drama starring Derek Riddell (No Angels, Doctor Who) as rebel leader Roj Blake, Colin Salmon (James Bond, The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency) as computer genius Kerr Avon and Daniela Nardini (This Life) as Supreme Commander Servalan. Other cast members include Craig Kelly (Queer as Folk) as Travis, Carrie Dobro (Babylon 5: Crusade) as Jenna, Michael Praed (Robin of Sherwood) and India Fisher (Doctor Who).

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Blake’s 7: The Audio Adventures

1 – Rebel: The galactic Federation has become a corrupt tyranny.  Roj Blake stood up for the ordinary people. When they tried to crush him he fought back. They tried to brainwash him into obedience, but he broke their conditioning. Finally they framed him for crimes he didn’t commit and sentenced him to exile on the prison planet Cygnus Alpha. The Federation thinks it has seen the last of Roj Blake. The Federation will wish it had.

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2 – Traitor: Roj Blake is on the run. He has a ship, but the ship has plans of its own. He has a crew, but who are his friends and who are his enemies? Blake thought space meant freedom, but space is cold, cruel and steeped in blood. The power of the Federation reaches further and deeper than Blake dared imagine. Freedom is nowhere to be found.

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3 – Liberator: The Federation’s grip is tightening, and Roj Blake and the crew of the Liberator have nowhere left to hide. As time runs out, old friendships are shattered and new alliances are forged. Choices are made and battle lines are drawn across the galaxy. A path of betrayal, lies and deceit leads to only one destination. Toward a deadly confrontation that will change everything..


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Blake’s 7 – The Early Years

After the success of their reboot B7 Productions continued to release audio dramas based on Blake’s 7, this time working with some of the original cast to reprise their roles (Michael Keating as Villa, Jan Chappell as Cally) as well as guests Keeley Hawes (Ashes to Ashes) and Geoffrey Palmer. Most of these dramas are also on Spotify:

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Point of No Return (Travis): The right hand of Supreme Commander Servalan, Travis (Craig Kelly) is the relentless security officer dedicated to hunting down the dissident Roj Blake; but what choices made him the man he became?

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Eye of the Machine (Avon): Thirty years since the dramatic and shocking finale of the original series we follow Kerr Avon back to the events which made him the man he was.

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Blood & Earth (Cally): On Auron, every clone lives in a world buoyed by the constant murmur of telepathic support, gossip and opinions. When Ariane Cally’s plane crashes in the middle of a wilderness park she finds herself cut off not only from rescue, but the voices that have sustained her all her life. Her only hope is the mysterious Aunty, from whom she will learn the true and secret history of her people. But only if the wilderness doesn’t kill her first.

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Flag & Flame (Cally): Twins are special; Auronar clone twins doubly so. They’re grown that way. Skate and Merrin Cally have been in each other’s heads, living each other’s lives, the same feelings and differences, since they were first poured out of a vat. But after High Command sends Skate on a one-way mission investigating Federation incursions in the Dancer Cluster, Merrin faces a bleak new future on her own, uncovering the dark half of the sister she thought she knew.

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B7 Media have also just released two Jenna stories: “The Dust Run” and “The Trial.” You can buy the CDs of these (as well as the first story “When Villa Met Gan“) from their website.

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Data amendment: Retrieval systems have located further information!

Here’s a remix and videomash I made a year or two ago: Rock and Roll is Dead (Afront’s Blake’s 7 Mix) (aka the Gauda Prime mix). This mix was inspired by series 4 of BBC sci-fi series Blake’s 7 (spoiler warning!) and features my remix of the track by Kings Have Long Arms with Phil Oakey.

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Other Audiobooks

Conspicuously absent from Spotify so far are Big Finish Productions, the biggest and best-known creators of sci-fi audio dramas in the UK. I’ve asked them if they have any plans for this, but in the meantime please let me know if you spot any other audiobooks on Spotify!

Also see Science Fiction TV Soundtracks on Spotify

  • Dan

    Thanks for this post Afront, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed listening to this on my commute this week. Very impressive audio production and refreshing to ‘listen’ to Sci-fi rather than watch it.

    If you spot any other audio series on Spotify, do post them!

  • Cheers Dan, I’ve been doing the same: listening to a story on each walk home from work this week. I don’t know of any other audiobooks on Spotify – I did however receive a reply from Big Finish (Dr. Who, Stargate etc.) who said they’d “hopefully release some stuff to Spotify… Keep an eye on the website and we’ll announce it when it happens”

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