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  • Writer's pictureSarah Tidball

Blake's 7 Heaven

I've discussed in previous blogs the influence shows like Star Trek TNG and Firefly had on me, but where did my passion of Sci Fi all begin? Today, I want to take a trip down memory lane and explore the roots of my love for the genre. For me, it all began with two iconic shows from my childhood: Blake 7 and Tom Baker's Doctor Who.

Now, I know these shows may seem a little dated to some of my younger readers, but bear with me. These shows were groundbreaking in their day, and their influence can still be felt in sci-fi today.

So, let's start with Blake 7. This show was a gritty, dystopian take on sci-fi that stood in stark contrast to the optimistic vision of Star Trek. It followed a group of rebels fighting against a totalitarian government, and it didn't shy away from complex moral issues and character development.

But what really set Blake 7 apart was its ship, the Liberator, and its AI, Zen - often referred to as the seventh member of the team. The Liberator was sleek and futuristic, with a distinctive triangular shape that would influence later ships like the USS Defiant from Deep Space Nine. And a supercomputer called Orac, with his snarky attitude and advanced computing abilities, was a clear precursor to later sci-fi AIs like HAL 9000 and Cortana.

Then there's Tom Baker's Doctor Who, which is still going strong today after more than 50 years on the air. Baker's portrayal of the Doctor was quirky, eccentric, and endlessly entertaining, and the show's mix of sci-fi and horror elements kept audiences on the edge of their seats.

But what really stuck with me from Doctor Who were the imaginative creatures and worlds that the Doctor encountered on his travels through time and space. From the Daleks to the Cybermen to the Weeping Angels, Doctor Who introduced us to some of the most iconic villains in sci-fi history. And the show's use of practical effects and model work laid the groundwork for later sci-fi shows and films.

So there you have it - my earliest inspirations in the world of sci-fi. Blake 7 and Doctor Who may look a little cheesy by today's standards, but their influence on the genre cannot be overstated. They paved the way for future generations of sci-fi creators and fans, and for that, we owe them a debt of gratitude.

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