Servalan

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Character
Name: Servalan
Occupation:
Title/Rank: Supreme Commander (later President)
Location:
Status: alive
Relationships:
Fandom: Blake's 7
Other:
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Servalan is one of the twelve major characters in Blake's 7. She is portrayed by Jacqueline Pearce.

In 1992, a fan poll put her popularity among non-crew members at 41.3% [1]

Fan Reactions

Servalan - we have camp again! Camp is _not_ a male prerogative. Wimmin - particularly but not exclusively lesbians - can camp it up in two major ways. One, obviously, is butch. The other is to exaggerate femininity and trad female glamour out of all proportion. Madonna is one of the most famous proponents of both methods. This is definitely what Servalan, with those gorgeous clothes and stiletto sandals, does. The point is, she breaks female stereotypes right left and centre. BUT her clothes are stereotypical enough to climb into the realm of satire. It's a self-referring double play on the constructed nature of femininity, if you like (witness the crew-cut).

Servalan being camp doesn't necessarily mean she's gay. It _does_ mean she's readily and delightfully available for lesbian appropriation. I do tend to assume she's bi because of "Pressure Point.". She seemed to feel a little too intensely about Kasabi for someone who merely disapproved of traitors. After all, Servalan wasn't overwhelmingly devoted to duty herself. Her reaction seemed - well, personal. Not just student-mentor personal either - more like rejected lover personal. Kasabi's spoiled-brat cracks seemed to _hurt_. And what was she intending to do with that pretty little girl, anyway? What exactly did Jenna walk in on? [2]
Probably her best vid wasn't a pairing: it was called Wild Women Don't Get the Blues, and showed the 'good women' characters all looking depressed, and then Servalan looking thrilled just as she was threatening to kill someone. [3]
The most fascinating aspect of her character for me was the personal issues she had. I could never work out when she was genuinely feeling or if it was but a show for an otherwise cold ruthless dictator that would stop at nothing in her eternal quest for power.[4]
IMO the wonder and bravery of the Servalan character, other than her largely gender neutral construction, was the banality of her evil. Servalan as created was a military politician to her painted nails. Corrupt as the world she inhabited, distanced from the people she had power over and one who no doubted justified the means by the ends. She would have be less scary if she had been less real, more sadistic and like the more exagerated fan fic views of her. I dont think she had any 'personal issues' at all, and I think she probably believed in the Federation as much as she was capable of beleiving in anything. One of her great strengths was the no excuses were ever made for her (other than the terrible Sand).Wonderful creation. [5]

Pairings and Ships

Servalan in Cosplay

David Walsh was a fan who attended many cons "as Servalan" -- see Redemption (convention)/1999 Con Reports, Redemption (convention)/2001 Con Reports, Who's 7 1994, and others. Some photos are here.

Fanworks

Fanart Gallery

List of Servalan-centric Zines

Fanfiction

Meta

Fanvids

Other Resources

References

  1. Let Me Count The Ways The World Ends
  2. from the 1996 essay by Lindley called B7 & camping it up
  3. From Pairings in B7 songvids
  4. Comment by Spaceresearcher in the discussion of Servalan on the Horizon forum, 18 February 2014
  5. Comment by peladon in the discussion of Servalan on the Horizon forum, 21 February 2014
  6. from a review by Ika at Judith Proctor's Blake's 7 site/WebCite