B9: COUNTDOWN

 

RADIO TIMES: An entire world is under sentence of death unless Blake and his crew can save it... 

Broadcast: Tuesday 6th March, 1979: 7.15pm-8.10pm, BBC 1

Writer: Terry Nation

Director: Vere Lorrimer

"The Del Grant that I knew said that if we ever met again, he would kill me." Avon

GUEST CAST

 

Grant - Tom Chadbon

Provine - Paul Shelley

Cauder - James Kerry

Ralli - Lindy Alexander

Selson - Robert Arnold

Tronos - Geoffrey Snell

Vetnor - Sidney Kean

Arrian - Nigel Gregory

 

 

CREW

 

Stunt Co-ordinator - Leslie Crawford, Peter Brayham

Production Assistant - Geoffrey Manton

Production Unit Manager - Sheelagh Rees

Film Cameraman - Max Samett

Film Recordist - John Gatland

Film Editor - Sheila S. Tomlinson

Series Videotape Editors - Sam Upton (Uncredited), Malcolm Banthorpe (Uncredited)

Visual Effects Designer - Mat Irvine, Peter Pegrum, Andy Lazell

Electronic Effects - A.J. Mitchell

Studio Lighting - Brian Clemett

Studio Sound - Malcolm Johnson

Special Sound - Elizabeth Parker

Costume Designer - Barbara Kidd

Make Up Artist - Ann Ailes

Music By - Dudley Simpson

Series Created By - Terry Nation

FACT FILE

 

 

  • Countdown was watched by 6.9m viewers.

 

  • The script was commissioned from Terry Nation early in 1978. It was intended as a ‘one-off space adventure’.

 

  • By this stage it was clear that Gareth Thomas would not be returning for a third season. Countdown originally introduced a ‘substitute Blake’ figure. This character later became Del Gran

 

  • The Sun newspaper printed as story on Tuesday 20 Feb 1979 suggesting that Gareth Thomas was leaving the series. Blake’s Seven will survive the attack of the Federation and go on to a third series – even if it means doing it without Blake. Already the BBC are making plans for another series of 13 weeks’ star struck adventures. But Gareth Thomas who plays Blake may have other ideas. So far he hasn’t signed up for the third series. Producer David Maloney says “We are in a very flexible stage at the moment. Terry Nation, the creator of the series, is working on the outline of the next 13 episodes. We are certainly hoping that Gareth will be with us.” 

 

  • The main guest star for Countdown was Tom Chadbon as Del Grant. He recently reprised the role in the Big Finish range of audio adventures.

 

  • Paul Shelley (Provine) had recently appeared in an episode of Secret Army in a very similar role.

 

  • The scenes of the rebels storming the base and Avon & Grant at the polar base were filmed at Ealing Studios.

 

  • Filming at Ealing Studios took place from Monday to Wednesday 29 November 1978.

 

  • The scenes of Cally and Jenna in the teleport bay were pre-recorded on Thursday 11 Jan 1979.

 

  • Peter Tuddenham was not required for this episode. Orac is mentioned but not seen or heard.

 

  • Studio recording took place in TC1 from Tues 23 to Wed 24 January 1979.

 

  • The escape rocket prop was a modified version of the capsule from Time Squad.

 

  • The stock shot of the polar wastes was from Operation John Biscoe and had previously been used in Project Avalon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

EPISODE GALLERY

Please click on the image for larger view and details.

 

 

Countdown Publicity still

Countdown Publicity still

Gareth Thomas, James Kerry and Lindy Alexander. BBC Copyright image.

Countdown Publicity still 2

Countdown Publicity still 2

Michael Keating, Gareth Thomas, James Kerry and Lindy Alexander. BBC Copyright image.