Some more photos I took of original props used in the Blake’s 7 series on display at the recent Smallspace event.
Some exhibits might not have been original, but still looked the part. The following photo's though, I'm assured are all the 'real' thing'
Investigator Reeve’s bullet firing gun used on Virn, in the episode, Sand. Virn is a soulless planet covered in green sand where it never rains. Electro- magnetic activity affects circuitry on the planet which means old-fashioned bullets are more reliable than ray-guns. Not that that helps Investigator Reeve much!
The titular ‘sand’ isn’t quite what it seems of course, which leads to a ‘romantic’ liaison between arch –enemies, Del Tarrant and Servalan. Some of the dialogue between them is quite telling –
“I’m just the girl next door, Tarrant” says an innocent looking Servalan.
“If you were the girl next door I’d move”, Tarrant replies curtly.
“Where too, Tarrant?” , asks Servalan.
“Next door!” Replies Tarrant.
An original ‘Liberator’ Teleport Bracelet. As they are a relatively simple to make for the average modeller, and some of the parts are apparently still available if you can get hold of a copy of the BBC design drawing, consequently there’s no shortage of replica teleport bracelets in circulation so it’s nice to see an original. Quite important equipment if you want to get back on board ship, but remarkably fragile. Consequently, crew members lose them fairly frequently and space villains like to crush them.
‘Liberator’ hand gun. I think I prefer the unique design of the ‘Liberator’ Hand Gun over the more standard looking ‘Scorpio’ guns.
Plenty of super replicas about of course, getting the Perspex parts right sort the men from the boys I imagine as you’d need to get them machined. Note the ‘System’ Pain Gun in the background of the photo. Obviously a similar design as both weapons share the same technology.
I believe the handle is from an old Black & Decker electric drill.
Blake’s Gun from the final episode, Blake. I don’t recall Blake actually using his own gun in the episode. It tends to stay shoved into his belt. The episode has Blake in his guise as a Bounty Hunter on the planet of Gauda Prime, Blake uses a Federation gun for his capture of apparent fugitive, Arlen , and later uses Tarrant’s own gun when he appears to double cross him. But then everything is double crossed in the final episode.
An original Federation Guard Rifle (or should that be’Paragun’), with its removable magazine. There was some wonderful pyrotechnics when they fired, although watching the series’ most Federation Troopers couldn’t hit a fish in a barrel with one of these things. Unsurprisingly, this is another prop popular with modellers.
The Original Orac. Orac is the highly sophisticated artificial intelligence wrapped up in a hotchpotch of flashing lights, bits of electrical circuit and Perpex.
It apparently contains all the known knowledge there is, and can remotely access other computers. Like an oracle, from which it apparently takes its name, it can predict future events based on the information it has. Quite a handy gadget, but rather underwhelming in looks.
To be fair a typical BBC Sci-Fi prop of the time, but nevertheless a popular character. Needless to say, a few brave souls have made replicas which always include the start- up key. Oh, yes Orac can also shrink itself.
Baby Orac from the episode, ‘Gambit’. Avon and Villa trick Orac into shrinking itself, so they can use its abilities to cheat the gambling computers in Freedom City, described by Servanlan as a ‘pestilential rathole’.
There was no shortage of original helmets used in the series, but this one worn by Space Major Provine in the season 2 episode, Countdown caught my eye as it looks slightly different to the normal troopers helmets. Provine doesn’t wear it too often, removing it at any opportunity, as he desperately tries to leave the planet of Albion before a Federation radioactive time bomb explodes and wipes out all life there.