A3: CYGNUS ALPHA

 

RADIO TIMES: In the alien spaceship, which they have named Liberator, Blake, Jenna and Avon plan to free the prisoners held on Cygnus Alpha.

Broadcast: Monday 16th January, 1978: 7.15pm-8.10pm, BBC 1

Writer: Terry Nation

Director: Vere Lorrimer

"Wisdom must be gathered, not given." Zen

"Don't philosophise at me, you electronic moron!" Avon

GUEST CAST: Glyn Owen (Leylan), Norman Tipton (Artix), Pamela Salem (Kara), Brian Blessed (Vargas), Robert Russell (Laran), Peter Childs (Arco), David Ryall (Selman).

 FACT FILE

 

  • Cygnus Alpha was watched by 8.5m viewers.

 

  • The episode was commissioned from Terry Nation in November 1976. The early draft script still retained the character of Klein as another prisoner and potential crew member but he was dropped.

 

  • Night-filming took place at Springwell Lock Quarry, Rickmansworth from Tuesday 11th - Wednesday 12th October, 1977.

 

  • A back-projection unit was used for the scenes of Blake looking at the docking bay and for the scenes of Kara against the alien moon. 

 

  • Ian Scoones produced ten of the Liberator handguns which were powered by 6V batteries.

 

  • The climactic fight scene was filmed at Ealing on Monday 17th October, 1977.

 

  • Some of the shots of the London were taken from the first two episodes.

 

  • Studio recording took place in TC3 from Monday 21st November 1977.

 

  • The incidental music for Cygnus Alpha was recorded on Monday 5th December with Dudley Simpson's orchestra.

 

  • The episode was novelised as part of Trevor Hoyles Blake's 7: Their First Adventure.

 

 

 

EPISODE GALLERY

Please click on the image for larger view and details.

 

 

Teleport Bracelet original design

Teleport Bracelet original design

Ian Scoones’ original design for the teleport bracelets was dropped as it would have involved making intricate moulds.

Liberator handgun design sketch

Liberator handgun design sketch

Ian Scoones' original design sketch for the Liberator ‘sonic sound guns’.

Visual Effects

Visual Effects

Ian Scoones positions the London model during filming on Cygnus Alpha.

The London on Cygnus Alpha

The London on Cygnus Alpha

The London lands on the detailed miniature landscape of Cygnus Alpha.

Cathedral in the mist

Cathedral in the mist

Ian Scoones fantastic conceptual painting for the 'cathedral in the mist' on Cygnus Alpha.

Alien landscape

Alien landscape

The model landscape of Cygnus Alpha.

Vere Lorrimer

Vere Lorrimer

Director Vere Lorrimer instructs Gareth Thomas on location. BBC copyright image.

Kara and Gan

Kara and Gan

Kara (Pamela Salem) welcomes Gan (David Jackson) to Cygnus Alpha. BBC copyright image.

Vila, Arco and Gan

Vila, Arco and Gan

Vila (Michael Keating), Arco (Peter Childs) and Gan (David Jackson) explore their new 'home'. BBC copyright image.

Blake on Cygnus Alpha

Blake on Cygnus Alpha

A back-projection unit was used on location to show the actors interacting with the model-work. BBC copyright image.

Kara

Kara

Publicity shot of Kara (Pamela Salem) on the surface of Cygnus Alpha. BBC copyright image.

Blake

Blake

Publicity shot of Blake (Gareth Thomas). BBC copyright image.

Avon onboard the Liberator.

Avon onboard the Liberator.

Publicity shot of Avon (Paul Darrow). BBC copyright image.

Teleport bracelets

Teleport bracelets

The teleport bracelets were made from hinged sections of drainpipe. Image copyright Martin Bower.

Visual Effects

Ian Scoones positions the London model during filming on Cygnus Alpha.