In the TV series Blake's 7, there were varying numbers of crew members of the Liberator and Scorpio, but never 8.

With Blake, there was Avon, Vila, Jenna, Gan and Cally. By the time Dayna, Tarrent and Soolin arrive, Blake is gone, so they are hardly 'his' 7. If you include Orac and Zen there are 7, but Orac only arrives briefly before Blake vanishes.

Is the seven referring to something other than the number of crew? Does it include Blake himself (and Zen)? Is it just a name that shouldn't be looked at too closely?

6 Answers 6


The original seven are:

  • Vila
  • Jenna
  • Avon
  • Gan
  • Arco Trent
  • Tone Selman
  • Brell Klein

Blake is not included.

These characters were present in the pilot script that Terry Nation presented to the BBC in 1976 - it had the title "Blake's 7", and the above proposed characters, although Selman and Klein were not to appear in the pilot but join in later episodes.

During the process of developing the show, various changes were made to the characters, including dropping Trent and Selman as crew (they appear in the pilot but are killed), and dropping Klein completely. Two new characters were introduced: Zen and Cally - rather than rename the series to "Blake's 6", Blake was retrofitted into the seven.

Details about these changes appear in Liberation. The Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to Blake's 7 and Blake's 7 Summer Special.

  • It's not normal to include early draft scripts as references in questions like this. Commented Aug 13, 2012 at 18:33
  • 7
    @DJClayworth Given that it's my question, I'll allow it :) Seriously, it's totally appropriate: the question is why the number 7 - there is no expectation that the answer will be in-universe, and the correct answer involves decisions made pre-production. It's normal to use whatever material best answers the question.
    – Tony Meyer
    Commented Aug 23, 2012 at 9:50
  • 2
    Please, asking a question and then giving your own answer involving a highly non-standard interpretation of the question, is not helpful to general readers of the site and not what we are looking for here. If you really wanted to show off your knowledge you could rephrase the question as "What were the names of Blake's Seven in the original draft of the pilot script". Commented Dec 3, 2012 at 17:41

The original seven, referred to in the title, are Blake, Avon, Vila, Jenna, Gan, Cally and Zen.

  • 1
    I don't suppose you have any sort of reference that shows that's correct?
    – Tony Meyer
    Commented Jan 21, 2011 at 1:33
  • Wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blake's_7
    – Mike Scott
    Commented Jan 21, 2011 at 6:56
  • 1
    I don't see any explanation on that page? Obviously those were the original crew, but I already knew that. If that is the origin of "7", why is Blake included? It seems very strange to include the possessor in the possessed number.
    – Tony Meyer
    Commented Feb 5, 2011 at 21:03
  • 9
    There are 11 members in Oceans 11, including Danny Ocean.
    – user296
    Commented Feb 10, 2011 at 8:03
  • 5
    The episode in which Cally joins (think it is the fourth?) at the end there is some conversation where Blake states there are now seven of them. Somebody else questions this saying that there are only 6, to which Blake replies 'You are forgetting Zen'. So I have always believed this to be the correct answer. Commented Oct 7, 2015 at 19:30

The seven comes from Blake's comment at the end of episode 4 of series 1 (Time Squad) when Cally comes aboard.

He says: "seven of us can run this ship very nicely".

Avon complains about him including Zen as one of the Seven.

So the seven were:

  • Blake,
  • Avon,
  • Jenna,
  • Cally,
  • Gan,
  • Vila,
  • Zen.

Clearly there are personnel movements after that - but the seven were the original seven referred to here. I don't remember a reference to another seven later on, and I would because I am a very sad man.

  • 1
    Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, James Coburn, Robert Vaughn, Brad Dexter, Horst Buckholz (I'm not sure of the last name spelling, I did it all from memory!) ...aw come on, it's gotta be worth an upvote
    – Danny Mc G
    Commented Dec 4, 2019 at 23:14

I've always seen the SEVEN as being

Series 1 - Blake, Jenna, Avon, Vila, Gan, Zen, Cally

... Orac joins late in S1 and Gan leaves early in S2 so the former could be considered the latter's replacement...

Series 2 - Blake, Jenna, Avon, Vila, Zen, Cally, Orac

Series 3 - Avon, Vila, Zen, Cally, Orac, Dayna, Tarrant

Series 4 - Avon, Vila, Orac, Dayna, Tarrant, Soolin, Slave


I can't find a link to the quote, but I remember Terry Nation stating that, from the outset, the title 'Blakes Seven' was simply a good sounding title, and he was never too concerned whether there were exactly 7 crew members or not.


Now I may be way off, but in the first episode, Blake was already in a corrections facility for having led a rebellion before the story begins. I always assumed it was this original original crew (either all dead or memory-erased like Blake, himself) who were "the seven".

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