Blake’s 7, Series 1 presents the 13 episodes across five DVDs so as to maximise picture quality. Following the BBC’s Doctor Who DVDs the 4:3 images are as strong as one could expect from a 1970s TV show shot partly on video (interiors) and 16 mm film (exteriors). Film shots have some grain and vary considerably in quality while the video material shows occasional minor tearing and flaws in the tape. Otherwise these are as good as Blake’s 7 is ever going to look. The same is true of the mono sound, which is clear and undistorted.
Each DVD is introduced with a CGI reincarnation of the series’ famous logo and three episodes are offered with a commentary. These are “Spacefall” (Sally Knyvette, Michael Keating and producer David Maloney), “Seek-Locate-Destroy” (Keating, Jacqueline Pearce and Stephen Greif) and “Project Avalon” (Knyvette, Pearce and Greif). The chat ranges from high-school reunion playfulness, including singing the title music, to some more serious insights into making the show, to an amusing running debate as to whether Glynis Barber appears in “Project Avalon”. Other extras are “2 out takes, a missing scene, 1 robot, 2 flat feet and a blooper”. These are exactly what they say: an extract from Blue Peter in 1978 with Lesley Judd making a Blake’s 7 bracelet; nine clip compilations introducing the main characters; a synopsis for each episode; and a trailer for the Series 2 DVDs. –Gary S Dalkin