Blake’s Seven addict checking in … it’s definitely worth watching. Definitely. OK, cheap special effects, daft costumes, wobbly model shots, some bad performances … against that, some very good performances, and some seriously clever script writing.
For me, the key thing about it was the exploration of the moral ambiguities involved. It all seems quite straightforward, the Federation is a corrupt military dictatorship, Blake is a heroic freedom fighter … except, Blake is, quite often, shown as utterly ruthless in the pursuit of his goals (so much so that even Avon is appalled), and, every so often, you run into Federation loyalists who have a valid point.
The series was good at addressing moral themes on this level - even in the fourth and final season, which was, admittedly, pretty dire for the most part, there’s still a sense of the scriptwriters trying to deal with some quite complex issues. (Take a look at, for example, Series D, episode 5, “Animals”, for instance, and look beyond the very dodgy dialogue and the bad makeup, at the dilemma affecting the main character.)
And when it was good, the writing on Blake’s Seven really sparkled … Avon’s sardonic one-liners are only one part of it. And let’s not forget the two episodes guest-written by Tanith Lee, in particular “Sarcophagus” (Series C, episode 9), which is surely one of the best pieces of SF the BBC has ever produced.
In summary: keep watching, cj, there are treats in store. Personally, I am waiting with bated breath for the DVD releases … they’ve finally settled on a release date for Series A in region 2, and my anticipation is building.