Blake’s 7–the Doctor Who Connections (Part 2–the Actors)

In thinking about the TV show Blake’s 7 recently (for reasons that will be coming up soon), I’ve been noting how many connections there are between that British science fiction series and another one that we all know and love, Doctor Who. Indeed, when Blake’s 7 hit the United States in the 1980’s, it was really the Doctor Who crowd who formed the fanbase.

(Daily Doctor Who #119)

In addition to both being British and both being science fiction, there are a lot of other things the two shows have in common. There are lots of common people behind the camera for both shows, which I noted last time.

But there are a lot of common people in front of the camera as well.

For example, several of the Blake’s 7 regulars made appearances in Doctor Who.

Paul Darrow (Avon) appeared in Doctor Who twice–once as Captain Hawkins in Doctor Who and the Silurians (1970) and then much later as Tekker in Timelash (1985).

Michael Keating (Vila) appeared in Doctor Who once, in The Sunmakers (1977).

Brian Croucher (the second version of Travis) showed up one Doctor Who story, The Robots of Death (1977), written by Chris Boucher.

Jacqueline Pearce (Servalan) was the last of the Blake’s 7 regulars to appear in Doctor Who, in The Two Doctors (1985).

Also, Peter Tuddenham (Voice of Zen, Orac & Slave) appeared in Doctor Who in three different serials, all in voice roles: The Ark in Space (1975), The Masque of Mandragora (1976) and Time and the Rani (1987).

But then there were also major players on Doctor Who who showed up on Blake’s 7…

Colin Baker (the Sixth Doctor) was a villain in the Season 3 story, City at the Edge of the World.

Valentine Dyall (the Black Guardian) also appeared in the same story.

John Leeson (the voice of K9) appeared in two Blake’s 7 stories–Mission to Destiny from Season 1 and Gambit from Season 2.

Richard Franklin (Captain Mike Yates) played a Federation officer in the Season Three opener, Aftermath.

Richard Hurndall (the First Doctor in The Five Doctors) showed up in Assassin, in Season Four.

And none of that counts all the other actors who made more minor guest appearances in both. I’m wondering here how many episodes of Blake’s 7 there were that didn’t have anyone like this. Let’s find out! We’ll list the Blake’s 7 episode, then the actor’s name, followed by their Doctor Who appearances:

The Way Back (1.1)

• Robert Beatty – The Tenth Planet (1966)

• Robert James – Power of the Daleks (1966), The Masque of Mandragora (1976)

• Jeremy Wilkin – Revenge of the Cybermen (1975)

• Alan Butler – The Talons of Weng-Chiang (1977)

• Margaret John – The Idiot’s Lantern (2006)

• Nigel Lambert – The Leisure Hive (1980)

Space Fall (1.2)

• Glyn Owen – The Power of Kroll (1978-1979)

• Leslie Schofield – The War Games (1969), The Face of Evil (1977)

• Norman Tipton – Underworld (1978)

• Brett Forest – The Face of Evil (1977)

• Tom Kelly – The Face of Evil (1977), The Sun Makers (1977), The Invasion of Time (1978)

Cygnus Alpha (1.3)

• Glyn Owen & Norman Tipton–see above

• Pamela Salem – The Face of Evil (1977), The Robots of Death (1977), Remembrance of the Daleks (1988)

• Robert Russell – Terror of the Zygons (1975)

• Peter Childs – Mark of the Rani (1985)

Time Squad (1.4)

For the first time, there are no credited guest actors who also appeared on Doctor Who. However, there were only three credited guest actors, all of whom were primarily stuntmen. There were a couple of uncredited actors who also made a bunch of (mostly uncredited) appearances in Doctor Who–Barney Lawrence (credited for Full Circle in 1980) and Roy Pearce (credited for The Mutants in 1972)

The Web (1.5)

• Richard Beale – The Ark (1966), The Gunfighters (1966), The Macra Terror (1967), The Green Death (1973)

• Miles Fothergill – The Robots of Death (1977)

• Deep Roy – The Talons of Weng-Chiang (1977)

Seek-Locate-Destroy (1.6)

• Peter Craze – The Space Museum (1965), The War Games (1969), Nightmare of Eden (1979)

• Peter Miles – Doctor Who and the Silurians (1970), Invasion of the Dinosaurs (1974), Genesis of the Daleks (1975)

• John Bryans – The Creature from the Pit (1979)

• Ian Cullen – The Azteks (1964)

Mission to Destiny (1.7)

• Barry Jackson – The Romans (1965), Galaxy Four (1965), Mission to the Unknown (1965), The Armageddon Factor (1979)

Duel (1.8)

• Isla Blair – The King’s Demons (1983)

• Patsy Smart – The Talons of Weng-Chiang (1977)

Project Avalon (1.9)

• David Baillie – The Robots of Death (1977)

• John Baker – Colony in Space (1971), The Visitation (1982)

• John Rolfe – The War Machines (1966), The Moonbase (1967), The Green Death (1973)

Breakdown (1.10)

• Julian Glover – The Crusade (1965), City of Death (1979)

• Ian Thompson – The Web Planet (1965)

Bounty (1.11)

• T.P. McKenna – The Greatest Show in the Galaxy (1988)

Deliverance (1.12)

• Tony Caunter – The Crusade (1965), Colony in Space (1971), Enlightenment (1983)

Orac (1.13)

Nobody, for the second time. Again, there are only three credited guest stars, and one of them is James Muir, who appeared in 14 different Doctor Who serials, but all uncredited.

Redemption (2.1)

• Sheila Ruskin – The Keeper of Traken (1981)

• Harriet Philpin – Genesis of the Daleks (1975)

• Roy Evans – The Daleks’ Masterplan (1965-1966), The Green Death (1973), The Monster of Peladon (1974)

Shadow (2.2)

• Derek Smith – Human Nature (2007)

• Adrienne Burgess – The Sunmakers (1977)

• Vernon Dobtcheff – The War Games (1969)

Weapon (2.3)

• John Bennett – Invasion of the Dinosaurs (1974), The Talons of Weng-Chiang (1977)

• Scott Fredericks – Day of the Daleks (1972), Image of the Fendahl (1977)

• Graham Simpson – Image of the Fendahl (1977)

Horizon (2.4)

• William Squire – The Armageddon Factor (1979)

• Brian Miller – Deep Breath (2014)

Pressure Point (2.5)

• Jane Sherwin – The War Games (1969)

• Yolande Palfrey – The Trial of a Time Lord (1986)

• Sue Bishop – The Brain of Morbius (1976)

Trial (2.6)

• John Savident – The Visitation (1982)

• John Bryans (again) – The Creature from the Pit (1979)

• Peter Miles (again) – Doctor Who and the Silurians (1970), Invasion of the Dinosaurs (1974), Genesis of the Daleks (1975)

Killer (2.7)

• Colin Farrell – Orphan 55 (2020)

• Morris Barry – The Creature from the Pit (1979). Morris Barry also directed three Doctor Who stories for the Second Doctor–The Moonbase, The Tomb of the Cybermen, and The Dominators

This episode also guest starred Ronald Lacey, who was Toht in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Hostage (2.8)

• John Abineri – Fury from the Deep (1968), The Ambassadors of Death (1970), Death to the Daleks (1974), The Power of Kroll (1978-1979). Abineri was also a semi regular on Robin Hood.

• Kevin Stoney – The Daleks’ Masterplan (1965-1966), The Invasion (1968), Revenge of the Cybermen (1975)

• Andrew Robertson – The Pirate Planet (1978)

Countdown (2.9)

• Tom Chadbon – City of Death (1979), The Trial of a Time Lord (1986)

• Paul Shelley – Four to Doomsday (1982)

Voice from the Past (2.10)

• Martin Read – Silver Nemesis (1988)

Gambit (2.11)

• Aubrey Woods – Day of the Daleks (1972)

• Denis Carey – The Keeper of Traken (1981), Timelash (1985). Denis Carey also featured in Shada, an incomplete story which was intended for 1980, but not released with animation to fill in the missing bits until 2017.

• Sylvia Coledridge – The Seeds of Doom (1976)

• Paul Grist – The Claws of Axos (1971)

The Keeper (2.12)

• Bruce Purchase – The Pirate Planet (1978)

• Arthur Hewlett – State of Decay (1980), The Trial of a Time Lord (1986)

• Ron Tarr never appeared in Doctor Who properly, but he was an uncredited prisoner in Destiny of the Daleks (1979), and filmed a cameo for the 30th anniversary special short story, Dimensions in Time as Big Ron, his character from Eastenders, but the scenes were deleted when another character, Mandy, won an audience poll for which character they wanted to see helping the Doctor.

Star One (2.13)

• David Webb – Colony in Space (1971)

• Gareth Armstrong – Masque of Mandragora (1976)

Aftermath (3.1)

• Alan Lake – Underworld (1978)

• Michael Melia – The Visitation (1982)

Powerplay (3.2)

• Michael Sheard – The Ark (1966), The Mind of Evil (1971), Pyramids of Mars (1975), The Invisible Enemy (1977), Castrovalva (1982), Remembrance of the Daleks (1988)

• John Hollis – The Mutants (1972). He was also Lobot in The Empire Strikes Back.

• Michael Crane – The Monster of Peladon (1974)

• Primi Townsend – The Pirate Planet (1978)

• Helen Blatch – The Deadly Assassin (1976), The Twin Dilemma (1984)

Volcano (3.3)

• Michael Gough – The Celestial Toymaker (1966), Arc of Infinity (1983). Also Alfred in four Batman films in the 80’s and 90’s

• Ben Howard – The Green Death (1973)

Dawn of the Gods (3.4)

• Terry Scully – The Seeds of Death (1969)

The Harvest of Kairos (3.5)

• Andrew Burt – Terminus (1983)

• Frank Gatliff – The Monster of Peladon (1974)

• Anthony Gardner – The Macra Terror (1967)

City at the Edge of the World (3.6)

• John J. Carney – The Time Warrior (1973-1974)

Children of Auron (3.7)

• Rio Fanning – Horror of Fang Rock (1977)

• Ronald Leigh-Hunt – The Seeds of Death (1969), Revenge of the Cybermen (1975)

• Michael Troughton – Last Christmas (2014)

Rumours of Death (3.8)

• John Bryans (for the third time) – The Creature from the Pit (1979)

• Donald Douglas – The Sontaran Experiment (1975)

• David Haig – The Leisure Hive (1980)

• Philip Bloomfield – The Keeper of Traken (1981)

Sarcophagus (3.9)

For the third time, nobody. But in this case, there actually aren’t any credited guest characters in this episode of Blake’s 7 at all. There are a few uncredited actors involved. One of them is Val Clover, who also made an uncredited appearance in the doctor Who serial Full Circle (1980).

Ultraworld (3.10)

• Stephen Jenn – Nightmare of Eden (1979)

• Ian Barritt – The Unicorn and the Wasp (2008)

Moloch (3.11)

• Davyd Harries – The Armageddon Factor (1979)

• Deep Roy (again) – The Talons of Weng-Chiang (1976)

Death-Watch (3.12)

• Stewart Bevan – The Green Death (1973)

• David Sibley – The Pirate Planet (1978)

Terminal (3.13)

Nobody–for the fourth time. But once again, turning to the uncredited actors, we’ve got Deep Roy (again–The Talons of Weng-Chiang), Stuart Fell (a stunt coordinator for the show, who appeared in a whole bunch of Doctor Who‘s–specifically he was credited for The Curse of Peladon, The Monster of Peladon, Planet of the Spiders, The Ark in Space, The Android Invasion, The Brain of Morbius, The Masque of Mandragora, The Invasion of Time, State of Decay) and Gareth Milne (Black Orchid).

Rescue (4.1)

Again, nobody, now for the fifth time. Uncredited actors include Stuart Fell again (see above), James Muir again (see Orac, episode 1.13 above), Harry van Engel (uncredited in Genesis of the Daleks), and Albert Welch (uncredited in Resurrection of the Daleks)

Power (4.2)

• Dicken Ashworth – Timelash (1985)

Traitor (4.3)

• Christopher Neame – Never appeared in televised Doctor Who, but he featured in Shada, an incomplete story which was intended for 1980, but was finally released with animation to fill in the missing bits until 2017.

• David Quilter – The Unicorn and the Wasp (2008)

Stardrive (4.4)

• Barbara Shelley – Planet of Fire (1984)

Animals (4.5)

• William Lindsay – State of Decay (1980)

• Max Harvey – Arc of Infinity (1983)

• Kevin Stoney (again) – The Daleks’ Masterplan (1965-1966), The Invasion (1968), Revenge of the Cybermen (1975)

Headhunter (4.6)

• Lynda Bellingham – The Trial of a Time-Lord (1986). Bellingham was essentially a regular for the season, I guess, since she was in every episode of that story and the story’s fourteen episodes covered the entire season.

Assassin (4.7)

• Adam Blackwood – The Trial of a Time Lord (1986)

Games (4.8)

• Stratord Johns – Four to Doomsday (1982)

• David Neal – The Caves of Androzani (1984)

Sand (4.9)

• Stephen Yardley – Genesis of the Daleks (1975), Vengeance on Varos (1985)

• Chris Parsons – Never appeared in televised Doctor Who, but he featured in Shada, an incomplete story which was intended for 1980, but was finally released with animation to fill in the missing bits until 2017.

• Peter Craze (again) – The Space Museum (1965), The War Games (1969), Nightmare of Eden (1979)

• Jonathan David – Attack of the Cybermen (1985)

Gold (4.10)

• Normal Hartley – The Time Meddler (1965), The Invasion (1968)

Orbit (4.11)

• John Savident – The Visitation (1982)

Warlord (4.12)

• Roy Boyd – The Hand of Fear (1976)

• Rick James – The Mutants (1972)

Blake (4.13)

• David Collings – Revenge of the Cybermen (1975), The Robots of Death (1977), Mawdryn Undead (1983)

And that is it! Phew–what a list!

That means that there are credited Blake’s 7 guest stars who also were credited for Doctor Who appearances in 90% of the episodes, and there were uncredited people in all of the rest of the 10%. This of course doesn’t count people like Michael Keating and Paul Darrow, who also appeared in Doctor Whoi.

Looking through the Doctor Who serials to see which ones were represented–if we don’t count Doctor Who regulars like Colin Baker or John Leeson or Richard Franklin, but we do count Richard Hurndall and Valentine Dyall, and we also count the serials that Blake’s 7 stars made guest appearances in, then we have represented here 83 serials out of 156 from classic Doctor Who. That’s 53% of classic Doctor Who represented, plus six episodes of the revived Doctor Who, which is impressive considering it didn’t debut until over 20 years after Blake’s 7 went off the air.

And if you count the other stories that the Blake’s 7 guests who were Doctor Who regulars were in, it’s even more.

2 thoughts on “Blake’s 7–the Doctor Who Connections (Part 2–the Actors)

  1. The first time I saw any actors from Doctor Who in another British TV series was in Thriller, which included Patrick Troughton. Blake’s 7 made me appreciate even more how so many British shows, certainly SF, could share several distinguished acting talents.

  2. It’s definitely fun to see how many actors cross over these in these series. I’m looking forward to doing one for The Avengers soon, based on all the notes I’ve been keeping as I’ve been blogging through that series.

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