"Blake's 7" was the hit BBC space opera launched in the wake of Star Wars, though with a grittier sensibility and produced on a fraction of the budget. Over 13 episodes the first series introduced freedom-fighter Blake (Gareth Thomas) as he escaped from the Orwellian Federation, gathered a crew of low-life rebels, salvaged an alien starship called the Liberator, and began striking back against the forces of Supreme Commander Servalan (sultry Jacqueline Pearce). The effects were cheap, and alien planets were represented by a disused quarry or an industrial complex, but the strong characters and cynical storylines created by Doctor Who veteran Terry Nation remain involving. The perfect foil for Blake was Paul Darrow's Avon, a near psychopathic criminal mastermind who only fought to save his skin. The cowardly Vila (Michael Keating) was almost as memorable, while the female leads were Jenna (Sally Knyvette), a smuggler and pilot, and determined Auron telepath Cally (Jan Chappell). Also on board was Gan (David Jackson), inhibited from violence by a brain implant. With even the good guys being criminals, including murderers, this was a galaxy far, far away from previous screen space opera. Though undeniably dated, the show is still vintage TV SF, right from the opening three-parter "The Way Back / Spacefall / Cygnus Alpha" to the cliff-hanging shocker "Orac", which introduces the final member of the un-magnificent seven.