C6: CITY AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD

RADIO TIMES:  In an ancient and deserted city on the planet Keezarn, Vila struggles to open a mysterious vault. The penalty for failure is death. The reward for success is not much better.

BROADCAST

 

Monday, 11 February 1980: 7.15pm-8.10pm

 

GUEST CAST

 

Bayban - Colin Baker

Kerril - Carol Hawkins

Norl - Valentine Dyall

Sherm- John J. Carney

CREW
 

Writer - Chris Boucher

Director - Vere Lorrimer

Designer - Don Taylor, Gerry Scott

Producer - David Maloney

Script Editor - Chris Boucher

Stunt Co-ordinator - Stuart Fell

Production Assistant - John Harris

Production Unit Manager - Sheelagh Rees

Director's Assistant - Christine Fawcett

Assistant Floor Manager - Riita Lynn

Film Cameraman - Peter Chapman

Film Recordist - Ian Sansam 

Senior Cameraman - Dave White

Film Editor - Sheila S Tomlinson 

Vision Mixer - Paul Del Bravo

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

Visual Effects Designer - Steve Drewitt, Jim Francis 

Video Effects - A.J. Mitchell 

Graphic Designer - Doug Burd 

Studio Lighting - Brian Clemett 

Studio Sound - Malcolm Johnson 

Special Sound - Elizabeth Parker 

Costume Designer - Nicholas Rocker

Make Up Artist - Sheelagh J. Wells 

Music By - Dudley Simpson 

Series Created By - Terry Nation 

FACT FILE 

 

  • Chris Boucher enjoyed writing for Michael Keating and was keen to write a script that built up the character of Vila. Boucher was also spurred on by comments from Michael Keating’s daughter who felt that Vila was too silly.

  • The script was originally developed as Episode 4 of the season but was pushed back to sixth place.

  • The scenes in the teleport bay were recorded in TC3 on the evening of 3 October 1979.

  • City at the Edge of the World was recorded alongside Aftermath, both directed by Vere Lorrimer. Many publicity shots were taken of the cast in their City outfits on the set of the underwater base from Aftermath.

  • The first scene of the story had served as one of the audition pieces for the actors testing for Tarrant.

  • Vila’s original line was “I don’t have to take any crap about it from you” but this was toned down. 

  • The script makes several mentions of Blake and we find out he is still at the top of the Federation’s most wanted list. The production were keen to show that Blake was still out there somewhere in the universe.

  • The key location for the episode was moorland near Pately Bridge, North Yorkshire. Filming took place from Mon 13 to Weds 15 August 1979. Also filmed at this time were brief sequences from Aftermath featuring Cy Grant who had been unavailable for the previous week’s filming.

  • The production crew were hampered by extremely bad weather on location. A glass matte shot of Vila looking at the city in the distance had to be abandoned due to high winds. The wigs worn by the extras playing the natives of Keezarn also had a tendency to be blown off. Lorrimer realized they wouldn’t be able to complete the planned filming schedule so he edited parts of the script. Jan Chappell was very upset as a number of her key lines were cut.

  • Vere Lorrimer had directed Colin Baker in The Brothers where he played the villainous Paul Merroney. Four years later Baker went on to play the sixth Doctor Who where he worked with many Blake’s 7 luminaries. 

 

  • The script specified that Dayna produced the heat-seeking device from a pouch in her costume. Josette Simon’s costume didn’t have a pouch so it’s left to the viewer’s imagination where the bomb came from! The script described a beetle-like explosive that would creep around a corner and kill Bayban’s men.

  • A small model landscape was built to represent the alien planet visited by Vila and Kerril. A basic set was constructed using a small pond and pot plants for the scene on ‘Vila World’. This sequence was originally to have been filmed on location but the extreme weather ruled this out. A CSO backdrop was used to project the small model landscape behind the actors. 

  • This was Michael Keating’s favourite episode. 

 

IN THEIR OWN WORDS

“Blake’s 7 was fun. We had a director who was one of the nicest men that I’ve ever met in TV. I dressed in black leather with skull and cross bones, and I ate the scenery!”

Colin Baker (Bayban)

 “That story was written for me. I told the script editor that my daughter, who was about five or six at the time, thought Vila was stupid, and Chris Boucher said, 'I'll write you a story where you get the girl'. The girl turned out to be Carol Hawkins, and I worked with Colin Baker too - he's a lovely man.”

Michael Keating, Visual Effects Assistant, interviewed by Graeme Wood in TV Zone Issue 27 (1992).

 

EPISODE GALLERY

Please click on the image for larger view and details.

 

 

Avon and Tarrant

Avon and Tarrant

Avon (Paul Darrow) and Tarrant (Steven Pacey) on the teleport bay set.

Dayna and Tarrant

Dayna and Tarrant

Dayna (Josette Simon) and Tarrant (Steven Pacey) on teleport duty.

Vila and Bayban

Vila and Bayban

A rehearsal shot of Michael Keating (Vila) and Colin Baker (Bayban).

Colin Baker and John J. Carney

Colin Baker and John J. Carney

A rehearsal shot of Colin Baker (Bayban) with John J. Carney (Sherm).

Paul Darrow on location

Paul Darrow on location

Paul Darrow having a cheeky cigarette break on location (despite high winds!).

Stuart Fell

Stuart Fell

Stuntman Stuart Fell on location.

FullSizeRender

FullSizeRender

Corridor Set 1

Corridor Set 1

Gerry Scott and Don Taylor handled production design for City at the Edge of the World.

Corridor Set 2

Corridor Set 2

The set for the city corridors included a forced-perspective backdrop to give the illusion of a long corridor.

Keezarn Vault 1

Keezarn Vault 1

This picture shows the set for the inside of the Keezarn vault.

Keezarn Vault 2

Keezarn Vault 2

This picture shows the set for the inside of the Keezarn vault.

Keezarn Vault 3

Keezarn Vault 3

Another great shot of the fantastic set.

Vila World

Vila World

A basic set was constructed using a small pond and pot plants for the scene on ‘Vila World’.

City model

City model

Special effects were handled by Jim Francis and Steve Drewett.

Costume Design

Costume Design

Dee Robson’s costume design sketch for Avon’s outfit in this episode.