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Cygnus Alpha
Cygnus Alpha episode
Series: BBC Television
Season number: 1
Story number: 3
Blake's 7 crew: Blake (Gareth Thomas)

Jenna (Sally Knyvette)
Avon (Paul Darrow)
Vila (Michael Keating)
Gan (David Jackson)
Zen (Peter Tuddenham)

Recurring villains: Nil
Writer: Terry Nation
Script editor: Chris Boucher
Designer: Robert Berk
Director: Vere Lorrimer
Producer: David Maloney
Copyright date: 1978
Broadcast date: 16 January 1978
Format: 1 x 50 minute episode
Previous story: Space Fall
Next story: Time Squad
Made prev: The Way Back[1]
Made next: Time Squad
Publisher: BBC
Script: Cygnus Alpha


SynopsisEdit

From VHS release:

Commandeering an alien spaceship Blake, Jenna and Avon make for Cygnus Alpha on a rescue mission. What they discover is a threatening religious group whose divine ruler has cast the curse of Cygnus upon all the prisoners. Dare Blake challenge 'He who must be obeyed' in a society with a currency of human souls?

PlotEdit

The London drops its remaining prisoners off on Cygnus Alpha. Gan leads the group out onto the surface, where they are met by Kara, a priestess of the religion that rules the planet and accepts the newcomers as novices.

Onboard their new ship, Blake, Jenna and Avon stumble across an armoury of weapons and a working teleport device. They also manage to activate the ship's computer, Zen, who responds to their verbal commands. The ship arrives at Cygnus Alpha and Blake makes a test run of the teleport, managing to transport to the surface and back, just evading an attack by a group of hooded figures led by Laran.

Blake teleports down again, taking a large number of teleport bracelets with which to bring back the other prisoners as a crew for the ship. He manages to reach the cells where the prisoners are being kept and speak to Gan. Gan explains that everyone on the planet has contracted a disease, the Curse of Cygnus, and requires constant medication in order to survive. Blake plans to use the Liberator's medical facilities to replicate the drug and offer the religion's leaders a way off the planet. However, he is knocked unconscious by one of the hooded figures.

Jenna and Avon discover a large number of riches aboard the Liberator and agree to leave orbit if Blake doesn't call back within a certain time frame. Blake is taken to the hooded figures' leader Vargas, who has discovered the teleport bracelets and puts one on. He wants Blake to take him off the planet so he can spread his religion throughout space. He tortures Blake to ensure his compliance, then threatens to sacrifice one of the prisoners and deny them the drug. Blake convinces Gan, Vila and two other prisoners, Arco and Selman, to join him in an escape attempt.

A group of hooded figures bring Gan to be sacrificed but at the last moment they are revealed to be Blake and the others and a fight breaks out. Blake, Vila and Gan manage to grab bracelets but Arco and Selman are killed, as is Kara when she shouts a warning to Gan. Against Avon's wishes, Jenna teleports the group onboard, including Vargas. He admits the Curse of Cygnus is a myth, a simple poison used to ensure compliance, and tries to gain control of the ship. However, when he steps onto the teleport pad, Blake teleports him into space. As they evade a Federation patrol, Blake tells his new crew that soon they'll stop running.

CastEdit

CrewEdit

Story notesEdit

  • The episode marks the second and final appearances of Leylan and Artix.
  • Early plans for the season, before the number of human Liberator crewmembers was reduced from the planned eight, had both Arco and Selman joining the crew.

RatingsEdit

8.5M

Filming locationsEdit

Springwell Lock Quarry, Rickmansworth.

Production errorsEdit

To be added.

ContinuityEdit

  • This episodes marks the first appearance of Zen, along with the Liberator handguns and teleport bracelets. The Liberator is referred to by name for the first time by Zen.
  • Federation Pursuit Ships are mentioned for the first time.
  • An extract from "Space Fall" is seen when Leylan files a report on Blake's escape.

QuotesEdit

Blake: Hand gun?
Avon: It's a bit elaborate for a toothpick.

Jenna: Don't blame me if it self-destructs.
Blake: Doubt whether I'll ever speak to you again.

Blake: (After his first experience of teleporting) It's a bit like your property when Vila's around. Suddenly it's somewhere else.

Vila: The architectural style is early maniac.

Vila: (After meeting Kara) I like God's taste in servants.

Home video releasesEdit

Series 1 DVD

DVD cover

  • Edited version as part of compilation video The Beginning in 1985.
  • Original BBC video release (Volume 2) in 1991.
  • Fabulous Films video reissue (Volume 2) in January 1998.
  • DVD release as part of the Series 1 box set on 1 March 2004.

External linksEdit

To be added.

ReferencesEdit

  1. Nazzaro, Joe & Wells, Sheelagh (1997). Blake's 7: The Inside Story, p. 12. Virgin Publishing, London. ISBN 0753500442.
Blake's 7 Stories
TV Stories:

Series 1: The Way Back • Space Fall • Cygnus Alpha • Time Squad • The Web • Seek-Locate-Destroy • Mission To Destiny • Duel • Project Avalon • Breakdown • Bounty • Deliverance • Orac

Series 2: Redemption • Shadow • Weapon • Horizon • Pressure Point • Trial • Killer • Hostage • Countdown • Voice From The Past • Gambit • The Keeper • Star One

Series 3: Aftermath • Powerplay • Volcano • Dawn of the Gods • The Harvest of Kairos • City at the Edge of the World • Children of Auron • Rumours of Death • Sarcophagus • Ultraworld • Moloch • Death-Watch • Terminal

Series 4: Rescue • Power • Traitor • Stardrive • Animals • Headhunter • Assassin • Games • Sand • Gold • Orbit • Warlord • Blake

BBC Radio Stories: The SevenFold Crown • The Syndeton Experiment

B7 Media Audio Reimagination: Rebel • Traitor • Liberator • When Vila Met Gan • Point Of No Return • Eye Of The Machine • Blood & Earth • Flag & Flame • The Dust Run • The Trial • Escape Velocity

Big Finish Audio Stories: Lucifer • Warship • Fractures • Battleground • Drones • Mirror • Cold Fury • Caged

Big Finish Liberator Chronicles: The Turing Test • Solitary • Counterfeit • The Magnificent Four • False Positive • Wolf • The Armageddon Storm • Promises • Epitaph • Kerr • Logic • Risk Management • Three • Incentive • Jenna's Story • Blake's Story • Spy • Disorder • The Hard Road • President • The Sea of Iron • Spoils

Big Finish Novels: The Forgotten • Archangel

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