Broadcast: Tuesday 20th February, 1979: 7.20pm-8.10pm, BBC 1
Writer: Robert Holmes
Director: Vere Lorrimer
"Listen, Blake, Servalan is on her way here. She lands on Fosforon, she gets the plague, she's off our backs for good." Avon
Killer was written by Robert Holmes who was best known for his work on many Doctor Who stories. Holmes had been David Maloney’s first choice for script-editing duties on Blake’s 7. Holmes declined as he’d just finished a similar role on Doctor Who where he'd commissioned Boucher to write two stories. Holmes recommended Boucher for the job who in turn commissioned Holmes to write for Blake’s 7.
Head of Department Ronnie Marsh resisted the idea of using Holmes as he thought he was burnt out!
Holmes was keen to explore the relationship between Vila & Avon - something he would return to in subsequent scripts.
Paul Darrow was concerned to hear the script featured an old friend of Avon’s (Ronald Lacey as Tynus). Darrow was relieved when David Maloney told him ‘Don’t worry - you kill him on the last page!'
Paul Daneman was cast as Dr Bellfriar. Darrow had worked with him in a tour of Rebecca in Canada. The guest cast also included former Doctor Who director Morris Barry as Wiler.
Killer was commissioned on Friday 7 April & the first draft was delivered on 9 May 1978. The original draft script included Gan who appeared briefly to operate the teleport. The planet Fosforon was originally called Fosforus and the draft script also had a line about ‘frying your gonads’ but this was removed!
Killer featured some interesting costumes by designer June Hudson. The boarding team’s protective outfits were actually Michelin Men suits borrowed from the tyre company!
The main filming location was Oldbury-on-Severn Nuclear Power Station from Wed 2 to Thurs 3 August.
A glass matte shot was used to depict Q Base on the horizon as Vila and Avon approach.
Model filming took place from Mon 21 to Fri 25 August. The K47 spaceship was built by Mat Irvine. The landing of the K47 was (bizarrely) stock film of the London from Cygnus Alpha.
RADIO TIMES: On the planet Fosforon Avon tries to persuade an old friend to hand over a vital component in the latest Federation cypher machine. On the Liberator, Blake and the others watch as an Earth ship, listed as missing centuries earlier, approaches the planet...
Bellfriar - Paul Daneman
Tynus - Ronald Lacey
Gambrill - Colin Farrell
Tak - Colin Higgins
Bax - Michael Gaunt
Wiler - Morris Barry
Production Assistant - Geoffrey Manton
Production Unit Manager - Sheelagh Rees
Film Cameraman - Peter Chapman
Film Recordist - Ian Sansam
Film Editor - Sheila S. Tomlinson
Series Videotape Editors - Sam Upton (Uncredited), Malcolm Banthorpe (Uncredited)
Visual Effects Designer - Mat Irvine, Peter Pegrum
Electronic Effects - A.J. Mitchell
Studio Lighting - Brian Clemett
Studio Sound - Clive Gifford
Special Sound - Richard Yeoman-Clark
Costume Designer - June Hudson
Make Up Artist - Marianne Ford
Music By - Dudley Simpson
Series Created By - Terry Nation