Sarcophagus was the ninth episode of Series C it was first broadcast 3 March 1980.


From the VHS release:

With the chance of ever returning to Auron gone, Cally is feeling alone and vulnerable. Then an alien life force reaches out to her mind, from its tomb in space...


In a mysterious space capsule, a group of robed figures perform a ceremony around the body of an alien, conjuring up images of a lonely woman, a jester, a harpist, a warrior and a dark stranger. As they leave, the capsule takes off.

Some time later, the Liberator stumbles across the capsule. Cally appears to sense something from it but denies it. Avon, Vila and Cally teleport over and find the alien corpse but no sign of a crew or controls. Cally realises the capsule is a tomb. Back on the Liberator, Tarrant and Dayna detect a power build up that could be a self-destruct. They try to teleport the three back but only Cally reappears, along with an alien artifact she picked up. She teleports back and grabs Avon and Vila's hands: This time all three of them come through just before the capsule explodes.

The incident creates a lot of tension and mistrust between the two, provoking a fierce argument between Avon and Tarrant. While the others are distracted, Cally activates the artifact and retires to her quarters: She is also hiding a ring that she took from the corpse. She has a vision of herself as the lonely woman.

During the night, a power surge from the artifact knocks out most of the Liberator's systems, including Zen and Orac. Tarrant leaves Vila on the flight deck while he and Dayna go to search for the others. Dayna fails to wake Cally and is knocked unconscious by someone. On the flight deck, Vila is menaced by Dayna's harp before being confronted by a gold-skinned alien who resembles Cally.

Both Avon and Tarrant join Dayna and they work out that the alien corpse they find has been using a telepathic link with Cally to recreate itself. Tarrant hurries to the flight deck to confront the alien. She intends to use the Liberator to return home and invites the crew to serve her on the journey, which will last longer than their life spans: In a vision, Tarrant, Vila and Dayna appear as the warrior, the jester and the harpist. Tarrant and Dayna are both overcome by her powers.

Avon, the dark stranger, enters and refuses to submit, goading the alien into trying to kill him. He has realised that Cally's loneliness and isolation means she isn't resisting the alien. The Liberator consoles explode but Cally refuses to let the alien kill Avon and wakes up. Avon kisses the alien and slips the ring from her finger. He tosses it onto a damaged console, destroying it, and the alien disintegrates.

Later, as the crew get underway again, Avon and Cally share significant looks.



Story notesEdit

  • This is the first of two episodes written by Tanith Lee, the other being "Sand".
  • This is the first episode to have no mention of the Federation.
  • This is the only episode to have no credited guest actors.



Filming locationsEdit

To be added.

Production errorsEdit

To be added.


  • Cally mentions that she cannot return to Auron, presumably following the events of Children of Auron.
  • Both Avon and Cally state only another Auron could communicate with Cally, even though Cally has sensed non-Aurons in Shadow, Killer and Dawn of the Gods.
  • Tarrant references the failure of Avon's fraud scheme and his needing Blake to escape, as established in Space Fall, and the fact he expected to have undisputed control of the Liberator until he found Tarrant aboard, as established in Powerplay.


Avon: (Calling from outside Cally's quarters) Cally!
Cally: What is it?
Avon: Well, it looks like a door. And it's closed.

Tarrant: Do you want to forget I said all that?
Avon: It wasn't particularly memorable.

Tarrant: Tomorrow everything will look different?
Avon: If it does, you can safely assume you're on the wrong ship.

(After Avon steals the ring during a kiss)
Alien: Give it to me!
Avon: That would be a little foolish, with what I just went through to get it.

Home video releasesEdit

Series 3 DVD

DVD cover

  • In edited form as part of compilation video Aftermath in 1986.
  • Original BBC video release (Volume 18) in 1992.
  • Fabulous Films video reissue (Volume 18) on 3 May 1999.
  • DVD release as part of the Series 3 box set on 20 June 2005.

External linksEdit


Blake's 7 Stories
TV Stories:

Series A: 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 B: Redemption • Shadow • Weapon • Horizon • Pressure Point • Trial • Killer • Hostage • Countdown • Voice from the Past • Gambit • The Keeper • Star One

Series C: 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 D: Rescue • Power • Traitor • Sardrive • Animals • Headhunter • Assassin • Games • Sand • Gold • Orbit • Warlord • Blake


BBC Radio Stories: The SevenFold Crown • The Syndeton Experiment

Big Finish: The Classic Audio Adventures:
Warship • Fractures • Battleground • Drones • Mirror • Cold Fury • Caged • Scimitar • Fortuitas • Mindset • Ghost Ship • Devil's Advocate • Truth and Lies • The Spoils of War • Crossfire • The Way Ahead

Big Finish: The Liberator Chronicles:
Vol 1: The Turing Test • Solitary • Counterfeit
Vol 2: The Magnificent Four • False Positives • Wolf
Vol 3: The Armageddon Storm
Vol 4: Promises • Epitaph • Kerr
Vol 5: Logic • Risk Management • Three
Vol 6: Incentive • Jenna's Story • Blake's Story
Vol 7: Spy • Disorder • The Hard Road
Vol 8: President • The Sea of Iron • Spoils
Vol. 9: Defector • Planetfall • Secrets
Vol 10: Velandra • Retribution • Ministry of Peace
Vol 11: Brother • Poison • Escape from Destiny • Remnants
Vol 12: Corners of the Mind • Capital • Punishment


Big Finish: Original Novels: The Forgotten • Archangel • Warship • Lucifer • Anthology • Lucifer: Revelation • Criminal Intent • Lucifer: Genesis • Mediasphere • Heroes

Big Finish: Audiobooks: Lucifer • Lucifer: Revelation • Heroes

B7 Media audio reboot universe

A Rebellion Reborn: Rebel • Traitor • Liberator

The Early Years: When Vila Met Gan • Point of No Return • Eye of the Machine • Blood & Earth • Flag & Flame • The Dust Run • The Trial • Escape Velocity