On a sadder note: Blake’s 7 actor Gareth Thomas passes away…as does pop star Prince, comedienne Victoria Wood and James Bond director Guy Hamilton

by | Apr 19, 2016 | On a Sadder Note, Seradata News | 0 comments

Television science fiction aficionado’s will be mourning the death of actor Gareth Thomas who played rebel ringleader Roj Blake in the Terry Nation science fiction television series Blake’s 7. The RADA (Royal Academy of Dramatic Art)-trained Thomas, who died at the age of 71, played the part of Roj Blake in the early series before he moved on to pastures new as a character actor in a number of television series and films.

While the BBC Science Fiction series Blakes 7 never had the budget or special effects of its contemporary 1970s space movies such as Star Wars, or even of its competitor science fiction television series such ITV’s UFO or Space 1999, in some ways it was a forerunner to the plots of others. It was the story of a motley band of rebels trying to fight an evil totalitarian empire, albeit with some moral ambiguities included in this good versus evil story.

Despite its wobbly sets, clever writing and some alluring characters, most noticeably the scarily ruthless dominatrix-like villain, Servalan, as sexily played by Jacqueline Pierce, kept Blake’s 7 watchable throughout, and the series remains highly rated even today. As a sign of its new cult status, a model of the Liberator starship used in the filming of the series sold for GBP£33,000 last year on eBay.

Post script:  We also say goodbye to the very talented US pop and rock star, Prince, who has passed away at the early age of 57. Prince dominated the music of the 1980s and 1990s with both his own performances and with the music he wrote for others.

Likewise, the much loved British comedienne, comedy writer and actress, Victoria Wood, has succumbed to cancer at the relatively early age of 62. While reportedly naturally shy and slightly dour in private, she dazzled with her witty wordplay and naughty-but-nice fun in her own sketch/cabaret television shows and in her BBC television sitcom Dinner Ladies. Her casts usually included her long time comedy partners Julie Walters and Celia Imrie.

Later in her career Victoria Wood used her own dour qualities in the straight acting role of Housewife 49, a wartime set TV film which she also wroteShe rightly won two BAFTA awards for doing so. On her death, Victoria Wood’s family posted this famous amusing moan from her: “Life’s not fair, is it? Some of us drink champagne in the fast lane, and some of us eat our sandwiches by the loose chippings on the A597.”

Finally, we say goodbye to film director, Guy Hamilton, 93, who, in his long career directed four James Bond adventure films including the excellent, Goldfinger (1964) and the enjoyable The Man with the Golden Gun (1974). He also directed the retelling of the key wartime aerial battle, The Battle of Britain (1969).

We give our condolences to the family and friends of all of those above who have departed this mortal coil.

Post script:  We also give our condolences to the family of actor Douglas Wilmer who has passed away at the age of 96.  Wilmer made his name starring as Sherlock Holmes in a BBC television series during the 1960s and as Fu Manchu’s nemesis, Inspector Nayland-Smith, in the excellent Fu Manchu movie series of that decade.  Wilmer also had memorable parts in the excellent Jason and the Argonauts (1963) and The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1973).

About Seradata

Seradata produce the renowned SpaceTrak Launch & Satellite Database. Trusted by 100 of the world’s leading Space organisations, SpaceTrak is a fully queryable database used for market analysis, failure/risk assessment, spectrum analysis and space situational awareness (SSA).

For more information go to www.seradata.com/spacetrak

Related Articles

ULA Atlas V launch vehicle in “Lopsided” 511 configuration flies straight to put a pair of satellite GSSAP satellite snoopers into orbit

The Boeing/Lockheed Martin owned launch provider, the United Launch Alliance (ULA) which mainly specialises in US military launches, successfully launched Read more

SpaceX launches second Starlink mission of the year, 13 days after the first

SpaceX successfully launched a Falcon 9 rocket carrying 49 Starlink satellites from Kennedy Space Centre, Florida, USA. The flight lifted-off Read more

SpaceX launches first planned Transporter rideshare mission of 2022 carrying over 100 satellites

The SpaceX Transporter-3 rideshare mission launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 1525 GMT, 13 January carrying over 100 satellites. The Read more

Russian cosmonauts make spacewalk to work on Prichal module…as all the usual ISS activity goes on

Russian cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov, current commander of Expedition 66, and Peytr Dubrov, made a spacewalk from the International Space Station Read more

ESA confirms that Sentinel 1B’s radar is still knocked out by power issue

Sentinel-1B, a key Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellite of the ESA/EU Copernicus Earth observation and monitoring programme, has failed in Read more

Intelsat orders two further software-defined GEO sats, but this time from Thales

Intelsat has ordered two geostationary (GEO) satellites with new "software-defined payloads" from Thales Alenia Space (TAS). The contract announced on Read more

Tianzhou-2 freighter is remotely undocked and redocked with Chinese Space Station

Taikonauts (Chinese astronauts) aboard the Chinese Space Station (CSS) conducted a manual remote undocking involving the unberthing from the forward Read more

SpaceX kicks off 2022 with a Starlink launch from Florida

SpaceX successfully launched a Falcon 9 rocket at 2149 GMT on 6 January 2022 from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, Read more