UFO and Space:1999 were just two of the more prominent productions to grace the British science fiction television landscape in the 1970s. Over on the ‘other side’ the BBC’s Doctor Who was still going strong after many years, but the perennial runner-up for the title of their most popular sci-fi show will perhaps forever remain Blakes 7, which ran for four season from January 1978. Created by Terry Nation, who also wrote four episodes of The Protectors among his long and varied television career, the series followed the adventures of the crew of the Liberator as they battled to bring down the tyrannical Terran Federation! Along the way they often crossed paths with familiar elements from previous Anderson productions, including various computer console props – and quite a lot of guest actors!
Blakes 7 is now airing in the UK on Forces TV, in a weeknight sci-fi double bill with UFO! To celebrate, here is our attempt to catalogue as many of the performers who appeared in both Blakes 7 and any of the Anderson shows and films as possible, beginning with two Blakes 7 regulars who had previously worked on Anderson shows.
David Jackson, who played Alien Strong and voiced the Judges in Space:1999’s The Rules of Luton, and also voiced the Aliens in The Bringers of Wonder later played Olag Gan in the first two seasons of Blakes 7.
Stephen Greif played a policeman in The Protectors episode Implicado and later convict Volker in Space Precinct’s Two Against the Rock, but is probably best known to cult TV fans as the first actor to play Blake’s nemesis Space Commander Travis in the first season of Blakes 7.
Isla Blair, who played guest roles in the Space:1999 episodes War Games and Journey to Where later played Sinofar in Duel.
Brian Blessed, who had guest roles in the Space:1999 episodes Death’s Other Dominion and The Metamorph and starred as Doctor Tom Bowen in Into Infinity later bellowed his way onto Blakes 7 as Vargas in Cygnus Alpha.
Nick Brimble, who played the unfortunate Ray Torens in Space:1999‘s The Metamorph, later appeared as the General in Traitor.
Terence Brook, who played Harry in Crossroads to Crime, later had an uncredited role as a Hommik warrior in the Blakes 7 episode Power.
Roy Boyd, whose character Joe Lustig was driven mad in the Space:1999 episode The Immunity Syndrome, later played Zukan in Warlord.
Adrienne Burgess had an uncredited role as one of the Revered Ones in the Space:1999 episode Death’s Other Dominion, before playing Hanna in the Blakes 7 episode Shadow.
John C. Carney appeared as a studio security guard in the UFO episode Timelash and later played Sherm in City at the Edge of the World.
Tom Chadbon, who played Vent in The Protectors episode Chase and later Maxx Zeller in the Space Precinct episode The Power, also played Del Grant in Countdown. He has since revisited the character in several Blakes 7 audios from Big Finish.
David Collings, who played Daniel Clark in the UFO episode The Psychobombs also played Deva in the final episode of Blakes 7.
Sam Dastor, Doctor Ed Spencer in three episodes of Space:1999, later played the Caliph in Dawn of the Gods.
Vernon Dobtcheff was unlucky enough to appear as Joe Flynn in The Protectors episode It Could Be Practically Anywhere on the Island, and later played the Chairman in the Blakes 7 episode Shadow.
Roy Evans played Lomax in The Protectors episode Disappearing Trick and later a slave in the Blakes 7 episode Redemption.
Suzan Farmer played Paul Foster’s girlfriend Tina Duval in the UFO episode Survival and later fell for Avon as Marat in Deliverance.
Max Faulkner, a stuntman and actor who played Jarman in The Protectors episode The Tiger and the Goat and Ted Clifford in Space:1999’s Ring Around the Moon, also played a Federation trooper in Powerplay.
Harry Fielder, a background artist who played a transit driver in The Protectors episode Dragon Chase plus an unnamed Alphan in several season two Space:1999 episodes, appeared in more than ten episodes of Blakes 7, most notably as a guard aboard the London in Space Fall.
Carl Forgione played a waiter in The Protectors episode Implicado and later Grovane in Blakes 7 Mission to Destiny.
Julian Glover, who played Jarak in Space:1999’s Alpha Child, later played Professor Kayn in Breakdown.
Michael Gough appeared as Shkoder in The Protectors episode One and One Makes One and Hower in the Blakes 7 episode Volcano.
Cy Grant, the voice of Lieutenant Green in Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons and Doctor Gordon in Doppelgänger, later played Dayna Mellanby’s father Hal in the Blakes 7 season three premiere Aftermath.
Nigel Gregory, whose Anderson roles include two appearances on UFO (as Culley in The Sound of Silence and a SHADO guard in The Psychobombs) plus Tamsin in the Space Precinct episode Time to Kill, also appeared on Blakes 7 as Arrian in Countdown.
Michael Halsey, who played a Dorcon soldier in the final episode of Space:1999, also made two appearances in Blakes 7; as Tel Varon in The Way Back and Zee in Gambit.
David Healy, whose voiced Shane Weston in Joe 90 and Tom in the Space Police pilot plus dozens of guest characters in Captain Scarlet, The Secret Service, UFO, and Space Precinct also voiced the Sphere in the third season finale Terminal.
Ben Howard played Vincenzo in The Protectors episode Fighting Fund and later Mori in Volcano.
Richard Hurndall played Judge Cronin in The Protectors episode Trial and was later Nebrox in Assassin.
Margaret John played a nurse in The Protectors episode Trial and was later the Arbiter at Blake’s trial in The Way Back.
Ronald Lacey, who played Cribbs in The Protectors episode King Con, later played Tynus in Killer.
Nigel Lambert played a Moonbase computer technician in the UFO episode Computer Affair and later appeared as another computer technician in the very episode of Blakes 7.
Jack McKenzie, who had played a Moonbase Alpha technician in three episodes of Space:1999‘s first season, later played Patar in Children of Auron.
Christopher Neame played Glenn Bailey in The Protectors episode Blockbuster and later Colonel Quute in Traitor.
David Quilter, who wore the masks of Sergeant Fredo and several guest aliens in Space Precinct, had played the Tracer in the episode Traitor.
Christian Roberts played Catherine Frazer’s boyfriend Tim in the UFO episode The Long Sleep and later appeared as Doctor Renor in Breakdown.
Sheila Ruskin, who played Numar in the Space Precinct episode The Power, had previously appeared on Blakes 7 as Alta One in Redemption.
Robert Russell played a gang member in The Protectors episode Baubles Bangles and Beads and Hadin in Space:1999‘s Mission of the Darians, before playing Laran in Cygnus Alpha.
Michael Sheard, who appeared as Inspector Lurs in The Protectors episode WAM part 2, was a deleted character in Space:1999‘s Breakaway and then gobbled up by the Dragon in Dragon’s Domain later played Klegg in Powerplay.
Derek Smith attempted to destroy The Protectors as Jason Howard in The Big Hit, and later played Largo in the Blakes 7 episode Shadow.
Pippa Steel played actress Diana in UFO’s Court Martial, and later appeared in as Maja in the first episode of Blakes 7, The Way Back.
Kevin Stoney, who played Talos in Space:1999‘s The Last Enemy appeared twice in Blakes 7; as Joban in Hostage and Ardus in Animals.
Later best known as Big Ron in Eastenders, Ron Tarr played uncredited roles in Space:1999‘s Mission of the Darians and the Blakes 7 episodes Deliverance and Power, but was credited for his role as patrol leader in The Keeper.
Damien Thomas played the late-night visitor to Harry Rule’s apartment in The Protectors episode For the Rest of Your Natural, and later Atlan in Stardrive.
Jeremy Wilkin, who voiced dozens of Century 21 characters including Virgil Tracy in season two of Thunderbirds and both Thunderbirds feature films, Captain Ochre in Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons and the Bishop in The Secret Service, and who also appeared in UFO, Doppelganger and The Protectors, played the role of Dev Tarrant in the very first episode of Blakes 7, The Way Back.
Marc Zuber, seen as a henchman in The Protectors episode With a Little Help From My Friends and a nameless Alphan in the Space:1999 episodes Black Sun and Brian the Brain, also played Tarvin in Bounty.
Stunt performers and background artists from the live action Anderson productions who also worked on Blakes 7 included Del Baker, Andrew Bradford, Peter Brayham, Cyd Child, Maurice Connor, Andy Dempsey, Cliff Diggins, Pat Gorman, Fred Hagerty, Walter Henry, Frank Henson, Nick Hobbs, Eric Kent, Frank Maher, Terry Richards, Guy Standeven, Paul Weston, Les White, and Terry Yorke.
John S. Smith, who served as editor on six episodes of The Protectors, was also the editor on the Blakes 7 episode Duel.
Tommy Reilly, who played harmonica on the Four Feather Falls soundtrack, later did the same on the Blakes 7 episode The Harvest of Kairos.
Ron Thornton, CGI line producer on New Captain Scarlet, had previously worked on the effects for the Blakes 7 episodes Gambit and Children of Auron.
Special effects legend Ian Scoones, visual effects designer and supervisor on the first season of Blakes 7, had previously worked in the Thunderbirds model department.
Phew! That’s an awful lot of names connecting the Anderson universe with Blakes 7, and we’re sure there must be more – leave any more appearances or connections you’ve found in the comments below!