There was no annual to accompany the fourth and final series of the BBC1 prime time sci-fi show Blake’s 7 created by Terry Nation, but forty years later, a group of enthusiasts and creators have come together to make it happen.
Available now, the Blake’s 7 Annual 1982 is a sumptuous 252-page glossy hardback with brand new short stories, art, comic strips and features along with rare or previously unseen photos all dedicated towards the series final year.
The book was masterminded with consummate skill and professionalism by Grahame Robertson and Carol Ramsay, and contributors include several well-known creators, such as Dr Una McCormack, artist Trevor Baxendale, and Michael Crouch has created a seven-page comic strip, which leads in to the final TV episode. Plus, don’t miss a unique peek behind the curtain of that last-ever episode. Dan Squier has worked so hard to recreate stunning 3D renders of those studio sets, giving us an unprecendented look at how Blake’s 7 was made.
There’s a look, too, at at the visual effects for Series D of Blake’s 7 from effects wizard Mike Tucker; interviews with Dicken Ashworth (Gunn Sar), Sasha Mitchell (Arlen), and Michael Keating (Vila), who all share their experiences of filming Series D; a 16-page location filming guide by Andy Spencer; and ten short stories, two written by Mike Wild that were originally intended for the cancelled 1982 Annual, 40 years ago! Both of Mike’s authentic stories are brought to vivid life with new illustrations from Jim Sangster and Raine Szramski.
“It began when I sent a joke tweet out last December, with a mock-up cover of how the missing Blake’s 7 1982 Annual might have looked,” says Graham. “A day later, I was inundated with messages asking if it was available to buy, so in a fit of lockdown pique I thought ‘Why not do it? I’m stuck at home and I’ve nothing better to do!’
“My background is in graphic design and magazine design, and to be honest as a fan of Blake’s 7 it was a dream project!”
“When Grahame mentioned to me that he had tweeted a mock ‘missing’ Blake’s 7 Annual 1982 back in December I thought ‘great idea!’,” Carol adds, “but not realising how that could develop very quickly into an amazing celebration, as well as an opportunity to fill that Series D sized gap in every fan’s collection of Annuals.”
No creator will make any money out of this due to the BBC and Nation Estate copyright. An additional £2 from each sale will be split between Save The Children, chosen by Michael Keating, and Axminster & Lyme Cancer Support, chosen by Sasha Mitchell.
• The Blake’s 7 Annual 1982 (hardback, 252pp) is available now via the print-to-order from Lulu at a cost of £43.72 (including £2 charity donation) | Follow @cult_edge on Twitter, or visit the Facebook page