Shadow episode
Series: BBC Television
Season number: 2
Story number: 15
Blake's 7 crew: Blake (Gareth Thomas)

Jenna (Sally Knyvette)
Avon (Paul Darrow)
Cally (Jan Chappell)
Vila (Michael Keating)
Gan (David Jackson)
Zen (Peter Tuddenham)
Orac (Peter Tuddenham) (uncredited)

Recurring villains: Nil
Writer: Chris Boucher
Script editor: Chris Boucher
Designer: Paul Allen
Director: Jonathan Wright Miller
Producer: David Maloney
Copyright date: 1978
Broadcast date: 16 January 1979
Format: 1 x 50 minute episode
Previous story: Redemption
Next story: Weapon
Made next: Horizon
Publisher: BBC
Script: Shadow


From the VHS release:

The Liberator reaches Space City, where Blake seeks the help of the Terra Nostra, a dangerous criminal organization who control the deadly drug Shadow. What are the horrifying links with the Federation and why is Orac telepathically torturing Cally? Planet Zonda holds the key...


On the space station Space City, Largo, a senior member of Terra Nostra, forces two shadow addict siblings, Bek and Hanna, to beg for the drug he owes them as payment. However, Bek reveals he has not a shadow addict and pulls a gun on Largo, stealing both the shadow and the precious stones they stole for him. They plan to get off the station but are halted by the discovery their brother Petey has died of shadow addiction and taken prisoner by Largo's Enforcer.

The Liberator arrives at the station: Blake plans to use Largo, an old acquaintance of Jenna, as a contact to enlist the help of Terra Nostra against the Federation. He, Jenna, Avon and Gan teleport over. Vila longs to sample the delights of Space City and Orac agrees to teleport him over in exchange for Vila hiding him. Orac then takes over Zen and warns Cally not to try to find him.

Blake, Jenna and Avon offer Largo jewels in exchange for his help, with Gan keeping watch, but Largo refuses to negotiate, instead having the Enforcer take them prisoner. Avon and Gan are imprisoned with Bek and Hanna, while Largo forces Blake to contact Cally and tell her to bring the rest of the jewels over. Blake tells her to send Zen. Realising something is wrong, Cally convinces Orac to let her speak to Zen, then threatens to destroy Space City unless her crewmates are released, destroying a gun ship that tries to attack the Liberator. Meanwhile, Avon, Gan, Bek and Hanna manage to overcome both Largo and the Enforcer. Blake and his crew teleport back to the ship, leaving Bek and Hanna behind, but moments later Blake returns with spare bracelets and takes them with him.

Zen analyses Hanna's shadow capsule and determines the main ingredient is the moon disc, a supposedly sentient and telepathic lifeform from the planet Zonda. Blake sets a course: He now plans to force Terra Nostra to help by holding their supply of shadow to ransom. The crew manage to locate Orac, but not before it has telepathically assaulted Cally, leaving her in a coma.

Largo claims to his Chairman that he allowed Blake's crew to escape in order to capture the Liberator and Hanna is a plant. After killing Largo, the Enforcer reveals the truth: Largo laced his shadow with traceable radiation, so they can use Hanna to track the Liberator.

Blake, Jenna and Avon teleport down to Zonda. They begin surrounding the moon disc plantation with rods that will allow them to destroy it from the Liberator in orbit. Meanwhile, a frantic Cally teleports herself down and collapses. Orac, now under the control of an entity known as the Darkness, gains control of the Liberator and tries to crash it into the planet, killing Hanna when she tries to disconnect it. The moon discs swarm around Cally, boosting her telepathy and allowing her to telepathically defeat the Darkness and remove Orac's key. Gan regains control of the ship, avoiding the crash. Blake's group are attacked by guards but defeat them and everyone returns to the ship.

The crew explain the Darkness exists in a dimension that Orac's carrier waves travel through, which allowed it to control him. Avon fits Orac with an explosive that will destroy him if the Darkness tries again. They have also learned the men that attacked them were members of the President's personal security forces: The Federation are behind Terra Nostra. Blake tells Bek he'll return him to Space City to continue fighting him, first directing him to destroy the moon disc plantation.



Story notesEdit

  • This was the first episode of the series not written by Terry Nation and thus the first written by Chris Boucher.
  • Blake, Jenna and Avon wear matching light material outfits when teleporting down to Zonda. These are not seen again.



Filming locationsEdit

Binnegar Heath Sandpits, Wareham, Dorset

Production errorsEdit

To be added.


  • Jenna mentions being arrested after refusing to smuggle shadow for Largo, possibly referring to her being in Federation custody in "The Way Back".
  • Vila's exploits on Space City are the first indication of his fondness for alcohol, which would become more prominent in Seasons 3 and 4.
  • Orac would later be possessed in "Headhunter" without the explosive being triggered, possibly because Muller's android used a different method to the Darkness.


Vila: Also known as the Satellite of Sin.
Avon: By whom?
Vila: Me.
Avon: It had to be someone of limited imagination.

Vila: It's the service grades where the Terra Nostra usually operate. Without anesthetic usually.

Bek: You were using him as a lookout? I mean, he'd really blend into the background. What did you do - put up a sign?

Blake: She is an alien.
Avon: She's more human that I am.

Bek: (to a severely hungover Vila) With what you drank, you're lucky to remember who you are.
Avon: I would hardly call that lucky.

Orac: The bridge is complete.
Vila: What? What did he say?
Gan: (at the controls) Something's wrong.
Vila: No, that wasn't it.

Home video releasesEdit

Series 2 DVD

DVD cover

  • Original BBC video release (Volume 8) in 1991.
  • Fabulous Films video reissue (Volume 8) on 7 September 1998.
  • DVD release as part of the Series 2 box set on 17 January 2005.

External linksEdit

To be added.


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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