Blake’s 7: The Merchandise GuideBy Mark B Oliver
Published by Telos Publishing
A painstakingly researched love letter to a much mourned series, Mark B Oliver’s book takes the reader through every possible avenue of merchandising around Blake’s 7. From officially sanctioned products to unofficial releases, even abandoned concepts get an airing here.
Every entry is accompanied by a cover or pack shot, which very quickly evokes nostalgic memories if you are of a certain age. I certainly wish I’d hung on to my complete set of Blake’s 7 Magazines all those years ago. It’s a shame the budget can’t stretch to some inner page shots of the magazines and annuals, but if you want to see those, that’s what collectors’ fairs and Ebay are for.
You certainly have to feel sorry for Marvel who signed the deal for the official Magazine just as the final season of B7 was going into production, though as Oliver notes, the question is how they kept it going for 23 issues after that. This book might benefit a little more from Oliver’s personality, but I assume he has set out to deliver a carefully compiled, objective guide.
Appendices with contributors such as Chris Boucher and Trevor Hoyle do add extra colour and interest for the reader, and the tales of unrealised merchandising are truly fascinating, especially Kevin Davies’ planned multi-track video documentary, which was apparently filmed but never released. The campaign to see that starts here.