Blakes 7 Wiki

Vila Restal was a career criminal and recidivist who was rescued from Cygnus Alpha by Roj Blake. Although apolitical and cautious to the point of cowardice, Vila's enormous skill at penetrating security systems made him a valuable member of the crew.


Early life[]

Vila was an unreliable witness when it came to his own background, mentioning his time in juvenile detention wards and how he was first sent to a penal colony at the age of 14. He claimed to have been a wanted man all his life.

Vila Volcano

Vila aboard the Liberator (C: Volcano)

However, on other occasions he claimed to have intellectual ability of an Alpha-grade worker, only having bought his Delta-grade status to avoid being sent to Federation Space Academy (he also described his status as "grade-4 ignorant").

He claimed the Federation authorities had tried on a number of occasions to remove his criminal tendencies through psycho-surgery, but it had never taken. He was eventually sentenced to permanent exile on Cygnus Alpha.

A reluctant rebel[]

Blake and Vila Space Fall

Vila joins up with Blake (A: Space Fall)

Vila was a part of Blake's original attempt to take the London, an attempt which failed when he himself panicked and threw down his gun, allowing the crew to take the rebels prisoner again.(A: Space Fall)

He later opted to join Blake's escape bid from Cygnus Alpha itself and joined the Liberator crew. His lockpicking and safecracking skills came in handy on numerous occasions, even if the others occasionally found his timidity, carelessness and occasional drunkeness irritating. He made no effort to leave the ship even after being offered the chance of a new and probably happier life on "Vilaworld".

Blake asked Avon and Vila to find restricted federation files on rebellion cells. He didn't like the plan to get the new files. He encountered a fellow thief, Rosel, who wanted to steal the priceless minerals, which he wanted to do thinking that they had been abandoned. He decided to take on the second job. He had been captured and questioned about the theft. Avon rescued him and took him back to the Liberator. Avon had manipulated Vila to create a better distraction. (AUDIO: Disorder)

Vila and Avon were sent to receive an android from a Federation science facility, to stop them from using it to infiltrate rebel groups or spy on the general population. The Androids fail-safes stop them from leaving the planet with it in tact. (AUDIO: The Turing Test)

He was placed in solitary after loosing his memory after a mission to Dulcimar 4 and met the Auron Gustav Nyrron. (AUDIO: Solitary)

Vila and Cally were left on watch waiting for the Liberator to repair. He didn't like the plan of Blake's plan to find the planet Destiny to warn them of the federation pursuit ships and potential invasion. Cally requested Villa's help after receiving a coded signal from the surface of Destiny. They encountered Pasco from the Ortega and his wife Lorana. He stayed with Lorana to protect her from the savages. They were saved from some savages by some disguised federation officers. Lorana betrayed him to the federation but later helped him upon learning that they were be killed. (AUDIO: Escape from Destiny)

Cally and Villa pretended to be an arguing married couple on a mission on Cortol Four. They were after a potential contact on the planet, but there was a a problem when the systems went down causing a block on the teleport signal back to the liberator. He worked out that the effect decreased the further from the communication centre they were. He turned himself to help Cally, but he saw the pictures of Gan and Cally that Arta presented to him. Arta made him part of interrogation team, this protected her. After trying to get out of the jamming zone, Arta shot him. He thought that The Terra Nostra had hijacked the rebellion. (AUDIO: Spy)

He helped Jenna and her brother Tomek break into one of the most secure federation facilities which tested his skills. (AUDIO: Epitaph)

He posed as an electronic engineer on a federation ship and met Jance to investigate why it was taking a lot of trips to a distant colony. He learnt that the hold was off limits and discovered some strange material in their when he broke through the locks. He got Orac to analyse the material discovering that it was some kind of wonder mineral ore. He didn't like Avon's suggestion of piloting the ship to destroy the mine, especially after learning that the miners had been genetically altered to only survive in the mine. After realising that the federation had sent pursuit ships after them, he reluctantly agreed to let Jance destroy the mine by crashing the ship into it. (AUDIO: Poison)

After lying low after a previous attack, Avon and Vila responded to a morse code signal for SOS. He found out that it came from an old friend of his Ragnus Lang and went to help his cause to rescue the head of state of his planet. However, this was a ruse to capture him as Vila had previously stolen a briefcase that belonged to the Klent family, a criminal organisation, which was to pay off the Terra Nostra. He was taken to their boss. Avon helped him to escape but they had to find a way to hide until the liberator was repaired. They found a way to escape by jumping controlled from the top of the station. (AUDIO: Retribution)

After Del Grant contacted Avon, Cally and Vila went to talk to one of his contacts in the resistance. They discovered that the planet was fighting for independence. He had stepped on a live mine, but wasn't blown up due to the telekinetic powers of Krayal - the resistance leader. Cally and Vila got caught up in the detonation of the weapon. He was injured in the outcome. Avon found him with his legs strapped up, Grant diagnosed him with having a broken back. Cally treated this when they managed to get back to the Liberator. (AUDIO: The Armageddon Storm)

He was reunited with his father Solvin Tavac after Avon and Cally saved him as an informant. (AUDIO: Planetfall) He went with Grant and his father to get the full list of known rebellion spies from Tavac. His presence caused Grant's contact to get restless. He let his father know exactly how he felt, due to the casual way his mother was treated and left to fend to herself as a D-grade citizen. He went to the auction for the spy information. He started auctioning recklessly for the information causing her to loose the auction. He used Orac to locate the list on the auctioneers ship. He was caught trying to steal the data chip but in the ensuing kerfuffle he managed to grab it. He left his father to fend for himself. (AUDIO: Secrets)

Vila heard Tarrant's message about what happened on Earth and his plea to save the planet. (AUDIO: Capital) He left Orac in charge of the teleport and went to find out what had happened to Dayna and Avon, thinking Tarrant was dead. He encountered Tavac when trying to find his them, and they argued about what they should do. Vila was determined to find his friends and get to the Moon. They found the second Mutoid ship and he ordered Vila to undo the lock the shield generator. He managed to activate the autopilot to get them to the Moon. He decided rescue them directly as Orac told him there was an anti-teleport shield around the moonbase. Vila was captured and tied up to explain what happened on Earth and about the location of the Liberator. He realised that his father was the one interrogating him. He tricked his father into thinking that he was useless handing himself in order to help his crewmates to destroy the shields to allow Tarrant to attack the base. He left his father to die in the explosion. (AUDIO: Punishment)

Vila stayed with Avon and the others right to the very end, being present for the final massacre on Gauda Prime.


Most people assumed Vila was simply foolish, a belief he seemed quite happy to encourage, but his technical skill if nothing else showed he had a high intelligence. On occasions, however, he was prone to making very bad judgements - trusting the Hitechs on Chenga, for instance.

Vila Tarrant Dayna Scorpio silo

Vila tries to find a way into the silo containing Scorpio (D: Power)

He himself once said 'there isn't a lock I can't pick - if I'm scared enough' and this seems to have been true, as no Federation security system seemed capable of keeping him out. Alien locks such as those on Spaceworld posed him no difficulties either, though he at one point said he thought voice-print recognition systems were foolproof and that the lock on the Scorpio hangar door was 'very difficult'.

Criminal activity seemed almost instinctive for him, to the extent of stealing Blake's watch while awaiting deportation from Earth.

Vila liked a drink, and was prone to respond to a difficult situation by heading for the nearest bottle. Dorian's wine cellar did not last long once Vila had taken up residence in Xenon Base. He was not above using his boozy reputation to his own ends, once pretending to be drunk in order to propose a dangerous scheme he himself would seem too inebriated to be pressganged into executing.

Vila was nervous about direct personal combat and rarely fired a shot in anger. He was a little more enthusiastic when it came to ship-to-ship combat. He could handle himself in a pinch, for example he knocked out Arlen immediately prior to the massacre on Gauda Prime, but in general preferred to keep out of the action.


With Avon[]

Vila had a complex relationship with Avon, based on a surprisingly deep mutual understanding. Both were well aware of the others' abilities and sensibilities, and the two were surprisingly similar - both deeply pragmatic, ultimately motivated by their own self-interest rather than any great ideology. The two could work together with great efficiency, as in their attempt to defraud the casinos of Freedom City. They had an understanding of each others characters, but this cannot really be described as a "friendship" as some try to claim. Although they had some similarities, there were also many differences not least their social class.

Avon treated Vila with frequently contemptuous indulgence, but the two appeared to trust each other on at least some level. However, their bond was severely damaged following their visit to the planet Malodar. Trapped together aboard a shuttlecraft in a decaying orbit, it was necessary to shed weight to survive - and Avon was informed that Vila weighed enough to save the ship. Genuinely believing Avon meant to kill him in order to save his own life, Vila went into hiding. Even after they were both saved, Vila remained wary and suspicious of Avon.

With others[]

His other crewmates seemed to disregard Vila and his abilities. Tarrant occasionally bullied him, even to the point where Avon interceded on his behalf. Dayna appeared to find him rather obnoxious.

His only real friend appeared to be Gan, whom Vila seemed to admire for simply being different: "He was straightforward, wasn't always expecting to be cheated and double-crossed - not like us". When Gan's failed limiter threatened to kill him, Vila was provoked to the extent of taking up a gun and threatening to kill Kahn unless he operated.

Vila was almost always addressed by others using his first name as opposed to most other male characters.

Vila didn't like talking about his family. (AUDIO: Solitary)

Behind the scenes[]

  • Vila was the only character to appear in all 52 episodes.
  • Michael Keating's least favourite episode was Ultraworld, due to Vila's exaggerated silliness.
  • The storyline of City at the Edge of the World was inspired by a comment made by Michael Keating's daughter, who admonished his father's character of being too cowardly. As such, the episode features Vila in a rare heroic role.
  • In Tony Attwood's non-canonical novel Afterlife, Vila survives the shootout on Gauda Prime and continues travelling with fellow survivor Avon and Federation agent Korell.
  • Vila and Blake are the only characters to appear in both the first and the last episodes of the series.
  • The character was originally described as "thirty five, good looking athletic" and more inspired by Simon Templar.
  • Peter Benson, Forbes Collins and Mike Grady were considered for the role.
  • Michael Keating the character on Feste from Twelfth Night.
  • He was originally supposed to be the first character to be killed off, as Terry Nation wasn't happy with Michael Keating's performance. He was saved thanks to his popularity with viewers.