|Creator:||Hereld, Sandy (-2011)|
|Extent:||5.20 linear feet.|
|Repository:||University of Iowa Special Collections|
|Summary:||A collection of fan publications, including examples of fan fiction, by various authors relating to the British science fiction television series Blake's 7. Also included are some publications for several other genre shows.|
Alternate Extent Statement: Videotapes in Box 7.
Access: This collection is open for research.
Use: Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.
Acquisition: Sandy Hereld donated these materials to Special Collections in May 2008. An additional accession of convention videotapes was received and processed in July 2011.
Preferred Citation: S. Hereld Collection of Blake's 7 Fanzines and Fan Fiction, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa.
|Repository:||University of Iowa Special Collections|
|Address:||Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Sandy Hereld (Sandy Herrold being her chosen fannish alias) was a major figure in the world of genre fandom in the 1990s. She was a noted slash fan and fanfic writer, and was an especially active vidder. Among her fannish achievements were the founding of Virgule, the first Internet slash mailing list, and the hosting of a number of different fanfic sites. She also, in collaboration with several other fans, created the annual Vid Review panel at the annual slash convention Escapade. Hereld was a co-founder of the vidding collective Media Cannibals, which produced a number of vid tape collections and was influential in promoting vidding as a fan activity and fashioning a particular vidding aesthetic.
Beloved by many of her fellow fans for her enthusiasm, her giving nature, and her bubbly personality, Sandy Hereld passed away from cancer on July 19, 2011.
[i]Blake's 7[/i] was created by [i]Doctor Who[/i] writer Terry Nation, and was broadcast from 1978-1981 by the British Broadcasting Corporation. The show was popular and well-received by critics and audiences alike throughout its run. The show was based around the adventures of a ragtag group of rebels that battled the tyrannical Terran Federation. For the first two seasons of the show, the group was led by revolutionary Roj Blake (played by Gareth Thomas) and operated from a derelict alien spacecraft comandeered by the rebels and renamed [i]Liberator[/i].
During the first two years, the show was marked by continuing conflict between Blake, an idealist fighting for freedom and justice, and the rest of his crew, a collection of outlaws and criminals. Of particular note was the ongoing duel of personalities between Blake and ruthless, cynical realist Kerr Avon (Paul Darrow). After Blake disappeared at the end of the second season, Avon replaced him as leader of the crew, revealing an ongoing internal conflict within Avon between his sense of self-preservation and a growing, Blake-inspired concern with freedom fighting. This conflict made Avon perhaps the most complex character on the show, and certainly contributed to his immense popularity among [i]Blakes 7[/i] fans.
[i]Blake's 7 [/i]was a significant break from its much more optimistic fellow cult shows [i]Star Trek[/i] and [i]Doctor Who, [/i]as well as the more simple good-evil dualism of the [i]Star Wars[/i] movies and of early science fiction movies and TV. The show is notable for its dark and pessimistic tone, its collection of morally ambivalent, sometimes unsympathetic characters, and for the development of long story arcs. These features came to influence much subsequent science fiction television shows, including [i]Babylon 5[/i], the re-imagined [i]Battlestar Galactica[/i], [i]Star Trek: Deep Space Nine[/i], [i]Firefly[/i], [i]Farscape[/i], [i]Andromeda[/i], and [i]Lexx[/i].
The show was also noted for its surprising willingness to kill off or otherwise remove major characters. Of the original 7 crew members introduced in the show's first season, convicted murderer Gan (David Jackson) was killed in Season 2, Blake himself and smuggler Jenna (Sally Knyvette) disappeared at the end of that season. Telepathic guerilla warrior Cally (Jan Chappell) died at the end of Season 3, along with the [i]Liberator[/i] itself and its superintelligent computer Zen (Peter Tuddenham).
The final episode of the series, "Blake", epitomized the show's concern with the fatal costs of resistance. The episode saw the return and death of Blake himself (shot by his ertswhile comrade Avon), the destruction of the rebels' replacement ship [i]Scorpio[/i], and the apparent shooting deaths of 4 additional [i]Scorpio[/i] crew members - resistance fighter Dayna (Josette Simon), mercenary Soolin (Glynis Barber), pilot and contraband runner Tarrant (Steven Pacey), and cowardly thief Vila (Michael Keating, one of the original 7) - by Federation forces. In the memorable final shot of the episode (and the show), Avon steps over Blake's body, raises his gun, and smiles at the Federation guards who have surrounded him. The screen goes black as shots ring out.
The show's complex themes of shifting loyalities, freedom for all vs. self-involvement, and the struggle of the few vs. the many have made it a definite cult hit with a dedicated fan base.
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