Cygnus Alpha was the third episode of Series A of Blake's 7 first broadcast in 1978.

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

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?

Plot[edit | edit source]

London landing at Cygnus Alpha.

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.

Avon and Jenna try to bring Blake back up with the teleport.

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 is brought back onto the Liberator.

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.

Vargas threatens Blake on the Liberator.

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, making Vargas explode. As they evade a Federation patrol, Blake tells his new crew that soon they'll stop running.

Cast[edit | edit source]

Crew[edit | edit source]

Story notes[edit | edit source]

  • 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.[source needed]

Ratings[edit | edit source]

8.5M

Filming locations[edit | edit source]

Springwell Lock Quarry, Rickmansworth.

Production errors[edit | edit source]

To be added.

Continuity[edit | edit source]

  • 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.

Quotes[edit | edit source]

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 releases[edit | edit source]

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 links[edit | edit source]

Footnotes[edit | edit source]

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