Blake's 7

Season 1 Episode 3

Cygnus Alpha

Aired Monday 7:15 PM Jan 16, 1978 on BBC
out of 10
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Episode Summary

Cygnus Alpha
Blake tries to rescue the remaining prisoners from the prison planet Cygnus Alpha. There, they are faced with an aggressive religious group, and they find the prisoners of Cygnus Alpha have a disease which can be cured by Vargas, the power mad high priest.

For more, see Recap.moreless

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  • You couldn't do this now.

    It has been a staple of sci-fi to tell stories about religious sects abusing people's fears. What's remarkable about this one, is the fact that the sect seems to come straight from the Christian Middle Ages. The sets and costumes may well have been borrowed from a show about the Inquisition. Perhaps it was a money-saving strategy; if not, the show would be perceived now as a clear attack on the Christian religion.

    The best scenes were - as usual- those that depicted the tension between Avon and the other two passengers of the Liberator. Avon's complex character makes Blake's look rather bland. The mystery of Zen (now there's a well-chosen name) offers the viewer enough questions to keep on watching.moreless
Brian Blessed

Brian Blessed


Guest Star

Glyn Owen

Glyn Owen


Guest Star

Norman Tipton

Norman Tipton


Guest Star

Harry Fielder

Harry Fielder

Guard - uncredited

Recurring Role

Christopher Holmes

Christopher Holmes

Prisoner - uncredited

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (5)

    • Continuity: The figure that appears in space when Vargas dies looks nothing like him.

    • Revealing Mistake: Vargas is clearly wearing modern tennis shoes. There is an even a close-up right before he is teleported off the Liberator.

    • Continuity: In the previous episode, it was clear that the London was four months into an eight-month journey. Yet it seems that both the London and the Liberator arrive at Cygnus Alpha within a matter of days at most.

    • Plot Problem:In another teleport oddity, Vargas materializes on the opposite side of the teleport room from Blake, which is the side where Jenna is sitting at the controls. However, there is only one teleport chamber, which is the one Blake uses himself.

    • Plot Problem:The whole end fight and teleport sequence defies timing and physical reality as Vargas teleports first but arrives simultaneously with Blake, Gan and Vila.

  • QUOTES (9)

    • Artix: We have confirmation. Will they go after Blake?
      Leylan: They have no choice.
      Artix: They'll never find him out there... I said, sir, they'll never find him out there.
      Leylan: They won't have too. He'll find them.

    • Avon: Careful!
      Blake: (taking one of the guns) Handgun?
      Avon: It's a bit elaborate for a toothpick.
      Blake: Depends how elaborate their teeth were.

    • Jenna: There are a lot of controls I haven't dared touch yet. Blake: Well, I doubt whether we'd understand the manual, so go ahead and try one. Go on. Jenna: Well, don't blame me if it self-destructs. Blake: I doubt if I'll ever speak to you again.

    • Blake: Let's look around the rest of the ship, and find out exactly what it is we've stolen.
      Jenna: Salvaged.

    • Zen: Wisdom must be gathered, it cannot be given.
      Avon: Don't philosophize with me, you electronic moron. Answer the question!
      Zen: Zen.
      Avon: Zen!
      Jenna: I don't think he likes you, somehow.
      Avon: I think I may have to reprogram this machine.
      Jenna: That still won't make you likeable.

    • Jenna: (about teleporting) What was it like?
      Blake: Well, nothing at all really. It's a bit like your property when Vila's around. Suddenly it's somewhere else.

    • Vila: (about the temple) The architectural style is early maniac.

    • Jenna: (about the teleport) Is there a maximum range on this?
      Avon: Of course. I don't know what it is, though.
      Jenna: What would happen if you teleported somebody beyond the maximum range?
      Avon: I would imagine that they would appear momentarily in space, and then that their atoms would be scattered to the solar winds. Why don't you go and do a little exploring. I'll keep an eye on things here.
      Jenna: You wouldn't be trying to get rid of me, would you.
      Avon: I have to get rid of Blake first. You're next on my list.
      Jenna: That would have been very disarming, if I didn't know that you meant it.

    • Blake: Very soon, now, they are going to come and take one of you away, and there is nothing you can do to stop that happening - because there is no way I'm going to order that ship to land. Now, the choice is very simple. You can either fight or you can die.

  • NOTES (2)

    • Peter Tuddenham (Zen) joins the regular cast.

    • When the series was originally designed, the characters of Arco, Selman and Klein were intended to be part of the crew -- making the original seven (not including Blake himself). For budget reasons, this was cut back so that the initial seven included both Blake and Zen.