blakes 7 · Nostalgia

Old walls, alien landscapes


I settled in this Bank Holiday Monday to a “virtual Blakes 7 convention”: Cynus Alpha Down and Safe. What a fantastic event – seven hours of recorded chats with cast and crew recalling their time on this classic sci-fi series.

I have written before of the significance of the old wall in Blakes 7, where Servalan – Supreme Commander of the Terran Federation, Empress, and very very bad girl – so nearly came a cropper. She spoke of the old wall being an inescapable object waiting in all our lives.

Viewed close-to, old walls are alien landscapes with forests of moss and enormous purple trees looming over deserts of hard stone. Whilst I was getting ready to snap the above photo, a damselfly scooted over the wall, a veritable space-ship skimming the planet’s surface. Servalan escaping to fight and win another day.

It is like this with problems. In the midst of them, close-to, unable to see up and over and around, we ascribe to them the proportions of a planet. Once we have overcome them we turn back and look and they are just a few bricks without the power to hurt us.

In his interview, the actor Brian Croucher touched upon the feeling that as you get older you are done with some things and it’s time to leave them to younger people. Handing over the torch. Until it came up in the conversation I hadn’t really processed this, but I recognise it as a feeling I have sometimes. And yet, in my heart I know that I am not yet done, not yet ready to sit with my back against the wall and rest. The walls may taker longer to climb now and even the low ones seem higher than they were in my youth, but I still feel that when I reach the top I will find a whole alien world to feed my imagination.

So today let’s celebrate walls and all the glory that grows upon them.


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