Okay, enough messing around – all the theme tunes spotlighted in this weekly feature are good… but only one can be the best.
And the best is Blake’s 7. I may have mentioned in other posts that Blake’s 7 is my all-time favourite TV show. In fact, as far as I’m concerned, it’s the best TV show ever made, cardboard sets, dodgy special effects and all.
It’s easy to be snide about the show, and plenty of people are, but considering it debuted 31 years ago and was clearly made on a shoestring BBC budget, the producers did a great job in making something so entertaining, compelling and memorable that it’s still fondly recalled and there is frequent talk of a revival/remake.
Despite all the budgetary and technical limitations, what elevated Blake’s 7, particularly in the first two seasons, was the overall quality of the writing and the characterisation. Even when an actor was chewing the (flimsy) scenery, the interaction and verbal sparring between these very complex, flawed characters was riveting.
For once, TV sci-fi heroes were not whiter-than-white and did not exist in some cosy, idyllic Utopian future (I’m looking at you, Star Trek) – the heroes were rebels and criminals, living in a future in which a subservient human race, controlled by drugs, is ruled over by a corrupt dictatorship.
And, as I said, the show had the best TV theme tune ever, written by Doctor Who veteran Dudley Simpson. It remained constant in the opening titles throughout the show’s four seasons, although the visuals did change a couple of times – and were mostly pretty ropey, even I must admit.
Here is the original version of the opening titles, which was used in seasons one and two. It’s preceded by a rather cool little CGI sequence of the Blake’s 7 spaceship, Liberator (the best-looking spaceship ever designed) which, I believe, was created for the DVD release:
Here is the season three title sequence, in which the visuals are much improved:
And finally here are the completely revamped season four opening titles, redesigned to take account of the fact that the crew had a new spaceship, Scorpio: