❉ 100% fan-made passion project celebrating forty years since the final series.
The fan-created, non-profit Blake’s 7 Annual 1982 will be available to buy from 28th September 2021 at 7.20pm – 40 years to the minute that the final series of Blake’s 7 aired on BBC 1 in 1981.
The annual, which will finally fill a gap on fans shelves (the original 1982 annual was cancelled) runs to 252 pages and features interviews, short stories, fan art and comic strips based on the final series of Blake’s 7, which ran from September to December 1981. The annual also contains many behind-the-scenes features and reports, including dozens of previously unseen photographs and insight from the making of the final series.
The project has been produced by just two people – Grahame Robertson, a graphic designer based in Manchester, and lifelong Blake’s 7 fan Carol Ramsay from Dunfermline.
Grahame: “It began when I sent a joke tweet out last December with a mock-up cover of how the missing Blake’s 7 1982 Annual might have looked. A day later I was inundated with messages asking if it was available to buy, so in a fit of lockdown pique I thought ‘Why not do it? I’m stuck at home and I’ve nothing better to do!’ My background is in graphic design and magazine design, and to be honest as a fan of Blake’s 7 it was a dream project!”
Carol: “When Grahame mentioned to me that he had tweeted a mock ‘missing’ Blake’s 7 Annual 1982 back in December I thought ‘great idea!’, but not realising how that could develop very quickly into an amazing celebration, as well as an opportunity to fill that Series D sized gap in every fan’s collection of Annuals.”
The original plan was to produce a 64-page annual in the style and tone of the original World Distribution annuals from the 1970s. When it was discovered that there had been tentative plans to produce a Blake’s 7 annual in 1982, eager fans pointed the organisers towards Mike Wild, a prolific writer for the old World annuals in the 70’s and 80’s.
Grahame: “Mike had written stories for the Doctor Who annuals, and previous Blake annuals. It turned out he had two Blake’s 7 stories that were written for that shelved 1982 annual and he kindly agreed to let us publish them. What a coup, and what an incentive to make the Annual happen!”
After a call for submissions was put out on social media, the response was overwhelming. World class author Dr. Una McCormack (Doctor Who, Star Trek, Firefly) and novelist Trevor Baxendale (Big Finish, Doctor Who, Blake’s 7, Torchwood) both offered to submit new short fiction, along with dozens of other fans of the show.
The annual also features a number of contributions from Jonathan Helm (better known as @MakingBlakes7 on Twitter)…
Grahame: Jonathan has been incredible, and so helpful in making the annual more than I ever hoped. Fans will learn brand new things about Series D, and see pictures that had long been confined to the archives. Longtime fan Andy Spencer has also given us access to incredible amounts of information and archive material about the location filming of Series D. We’ve been so lucky to have all these amazing contributors and fans on board.”
The annual also features brand new interviews with Dicken Ashworth (Gunn Sar in the episode Power), Sasha Mitchell (Arlen from the episode Blake) and Vila himself, Michael Keating. Both Sasha and Michael have nominated charities who will benefit from sale of the Annual.
Grahame: “It’s hugely important that nobody makes any financial gain from this project. From the start, it’s been a passion project to celebrate the cast, crew, and writers of Blake’s 7 and to give fans something – hopefully – that they will genuinely enjoy. With that said, we felt it was important that this project benefit charity. Michael Keating has chosen Save The Children, and Sasha Mitchell has chosen Axminster & Lyme Cancer Support. £1 from each sale will go to each of these nominated charities.”
❉ The Blake’s 7 Annual 1982 (hardback, 252pp) will be available from 28th September, print-to-order from Lulu at a cost of £43.72 (including £2 charity donation). For details of how to order, follow @cult_edge on Twitter, or visit the Facebook page, search: Blake’s 7 Annual 1982.
❉ News source: Grahame Robertson (Editor, Blake’s 7 Annual 1982)
❉ We Are Cult is not responsible for the content of this news release.