The Freedom City Gazette

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Title: The Freedom City Gazette
Publisher: Space Rat Press
Editor(s): Joe Nazzaro
Type: newsletter
Date(s): 1987-1990
Medium: print
Fandom: Blake's 7
Language: English
External Links:
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The Freedom City Gazette is a gen Blake's 7 newsletter of articles, reviews, and filks published in the US. It has eight regular issues and at least two special editions.

The interviews: Terry Nation (#3), Sheelagh Wells (#4), David Maloney (#5) and Chris Boucher (#6).

"Nazzaro is probably better known in B7 fandom for the Freedom City Gazette, 10 or so issues mostly of interviews by him of B7 actors and tech people. Pretty competently done, but not glossy or anything like Horizon. I don't think it is being produced anymore.[1]

Issue 1

The Freedom City Gazette 1 was published in January 1987, contains 20 pages. It was a Michael Keating issue.

cover of issue #1
back cover of issue #1, Ted Slampyak
From the editor:

Welcome to the first issue of what we hope will become an institution in Blake's 7 fandom, Freedom City Gazette. The Gazette is our response to the growing number of Blake fans in the New York/New Jersey area; a response we hope you will all want to be part of in the coming months. We have $ome interesting plans for the future, and the more people that come along for the ride, the better.

So how did we get started with the Gazette? Well, most of us started as Doctor Who fans; we still are, as a matter of fact. [WARNING: blatant plug approaching. -ed.] As members of The Jersey Jagaroth, one of the best Doctor Who clubs in New Jersey (And if you're not a member yet, make a mental note to send $6 for a year's membership to: The Jersey Jagaroth, PO Box 223, Morristown, NJ 07960. You won't regret it!), we were faced with something of a dilemma: should we divide the club by including material on the burgeoning world of Blake's 7 fandom, or would this alienate the members who were strictly fans of Doctor Who? Our answer was the Space Rat Press — our way of promoting Blake in this area and giving fans a place to share their views and creativity. Our first effort. The Freedom Gity Gazette is, as the title indicates, something of a gamble. Are there enough fans interested in Blake to support such an effort? We think so— the fact that you're reading this editorial right now is evidence of that.

Our first issue might be something of an experiment, but we've come up with some interesting features to mark our debut. This issue is devoted to Michael Keating, whose portrayal of the cowardly Vila was such an important part of Blake's 7 for four seasons. We lead off with a fascinating interview with Mr. Keating that provides some insights into the character of Vila and of the man who put so much of himself into it (despite his protestations to the contrary!) Michael proved to be most generous with his time, his thoughts, and his lunch, half of which was eaten by yours truly during the course of the interview! It is to him that our first issue is dedicated, along with our sincere thanks.

We follow up our interview with a question and answer panel from Michael's first convention appearance in Philadelphia, in November of '86. If you weren't at this convention, you missed a , wonderful event; reading some of these pages should give you an idea of some of the fun that was had.

By the way,.some of you might be buying this issue at Michael's return appearance in Philly, courtesy of Creation. Tell us what you think of the convention, or, for that matter, any of the others coming up in the near future.

Our final feature is the Central Record File, in which we provide a detailed episode guide for the first season of Blake's 7. We hope to cover all four seasons over the next year, providing an extensive reference to Blake fans. After issue #4? You'll just have to wait and see.
  • News from Freedom City (1)
  • An Interview with Michael Keating, conducted by Joe Nazzaro (date and venue not mentioned) (2)
  • The Michael Keating Panel, transcribed by Joe Nazzaro (November 9, 1986, Hilton Hotel, Philadelphia, PA, from A Day with Jon Pertwee (British American Television Society) (8)
  • Aftermath (20)
  • Episode Guide, Part 1 (separate supplement)
  • poems and filks by Margaret Ryan and Michael Macomber ("When I Was a Thief" to the tune of "When I Was a Lad," -- filk by Ryan, "I Saw Three Ships" -- filk by Ryan, "Trust" -- poem by Macomber, "Friends," poem by Ryan)
  • illos by Ted Slampyak
  • photos Michael Macomber

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1

Hi there. Just thought I'd let you know how much I enjoyed your first issue. It showed real class, making the first issue the Michael Keating issue. He really is the best, after all.

Really, though, I enjoyed it very much, though I really didn't need the Episode Guide (a lot of fans didn't have the Programme Guide, so it is a good idea). I really enjoyed the interview, and especially the panel. I had been kicking myself that 1 forgot my tape recorder at the time. Also, the pictures were great (l also forgot my camera). I intend to include the whole Gazette in my "Paul and Mike Show" scrapbook. I also enjoyed the art; Ted Slampyak is very good. The filks and poems were nice, also; I do filks myself, and thoroughly enjoyed these. Margaret Ryan's Friends made me whimper, especially since I'm well aware of what a truly remarkable friendship Paul and Mike really have. As much as they put each other down, they truly do love each other.

About the only things I have to say for issue # 1 is that it was too short, .uid that whoever transcribed the panel spelled Martin Shaw's name wrong (Martin Short is the American comedian; Martin Shaw is the British actor better as Bodie/Doyle -- I never remember which -- in The Professionals. You don't know how many times I've tried to explain that one!

Well, not only did I enjoy the Gazette, but SO did the two friends I bought copies for. I'm enclosing a SASE for issue #2, and I hope that, besides Paul stuff, you do more on Michael from the Philly Con this past weekend (January, 1987).

Well, that's about it. Keep up the good work![2]

Issue 2

The Freedom City Gazette 2 : Paul Darrow Issue was published in April 1987, contains 24 pages. It was a Paul Darrow issue.

front cover of issue #2
back cover of issue #2
From the editorial:

This issue, we're focusing on Paul Darrow and his "charming" alter ego, Kerr Avon. Paul is an absolute delight to talk to; a witty, urbane man, with a wicked sense of humor sometimes lurking just below the surface. We think you'll enjoy our interview with him, and, in case that isn't enough, we're running a convention panel from the Darrow/Keating BATSCon convention in Philadelphia last November. Many of our readers have asked us to present it, and after finishing it, you'll know why.

We've received many kind words on our detailed episode guide, which covers the second season this issue. For those who have stoutly refused to remove the pullout section from each issue, we will be presenting an expanded version of the entire episode guide after issue #4. More on that in a few months.

Many of you-have also written in requesting information on some of the other Blake's 7 groups and fanzines in existence. Starting this issue, we'll try to provide some of that information, and we'll continue to supply it as long as we keep receiving it. If you're a member of a B7 club, or a reader of a particular fanzine, we hope you'll pass the word on to us, and we'll do the same for all of you.

Just a few more miscellaneous notes, and we'll get started with our Paul Darrow issue. Starting this issue, we're offering a four issue subscription to the Gazette at a cost of $12, $20 for overseas. I know it doesn't seem like much of a savings, but as we continue to add. pages our postage costs will certainly go up. Those who order in advance will not have to worry about that. If you'd like to order one issue at a time, just send us a SASE, and we'll let you know when Gazette #3 is available. Also in this issue you'll find a survey form, which we'd like all of you to fill out and return to us. We'll be printing the results in our next issue, so please take the time to respond.

One final note: we've received several submissions of fiction from some of our readers, After careful consideration, we've decided that instead of changing the direction of the Gazette, we'd rather do a collection of fiction sometime this summer, and publish them all at the same time. Keep sending them in, gang; we're going to have a lot of pages to fill!

Well, that's enough gabble for one page. Let us know what you think of our second issue, and we'll see you on July 1st for # 3. Stay with us, folks, we're just starting to pick up steam!
  • News from Freedom City (1)
  • An Interview with Paul Darrow, conducted by Joe Nazzaro (2)
  • Freedom City Fan Roundup (7)
  • The Bad Boys of Blake's 7: A Visit with Michael Keating and Paul Darrow, transcribed by Joe Nazarro (8)
  • Letters (there are six of them, all from male fans) (20)
  • Aftermath (an editorial paying tribute to the late Patrick Troughton) (24)
  • Episode Guide Part II (centre pull-out)
  • Readers' Survey, questions about the show
  • some flyers regarding Blake's 7 fan clubs
  • Photos by Michael Macomber
  • Illustrations by Ted Slampyak
  • Poems and Filks by Margaret Ryan, Michael Macomber, and Michael Cohen

Issue 3

The Freedom City Gazette 3 was published in July 1987, is 20 pages, and also had a 16-page episode guide.

cover of issue #3
From the editorial:

Welcome to the third issue of the Gazette; I hope all of you are having an enjoyable summer. The dust has finally settled, following the release of our second issue, and we’re happy to announce that it was a smash. As I write this, the Gazette is now being read in 27 states and 4 countries, and the list continues to grow. We’ve received a lot of help and support from other groups, and we’d like to thank the folks from Horizon, Vilaworld, B7 Complex, Liberator Atlanta, The Prydonians of Princeton, and The Jersey Jagaroth for their generous plugs.


As you can see, this issue is a little slimmer than #2, but we think you’ll still enjoy it. We wanted to do a Terry Nation issue right from the start, but it’s taken until now to get the proper material together. As far as I’m concerned, Terry the soul of Blake’s 7, and as the series continues to catch fire here in America, he continues to be its biggest booster.

Our main feature this issue is not one, but two interviews with Terry Nation; sort of a "before" and "after”, if you will. The first one was taken during a Creation Convention in New York last year; only a few months before Blake’s 7 was released in the area. Some of the information may seem old hat to some of you, but we think it gives a nice introduction to the series, and we urge those of you who are trying to get a friend interested, to let them read it. Our thanks go to Dave Smith for providing the interview, which he conducted with members of the Prydonians, and the New York based Doctor Who club, UNYT. Our second interview is very special, and one I’m very proud of. When we were told that Terry Nation was coming to New Jersey to tape a segment of Doctor Who: Then and Now, we cajoled New Jersey Network producer Eric Luskin into helping us get an interview. We finally met Terry in the bar of the Hyatt Hotel in Princeton, and to my surprise (and delight!), I found out that he was already familiar with my work, having been a distant member of The Jersey Jagaroth for some time. Terry put me instantly at ease, and as the interview went on, I felt as though we had known each other for years. I think that feeling shows through in the pages that follow, and I hope you agree. Our thanks to Eric Luskin, for arranging the interview under difficult circumstances, my co-editor Mark Modig for providing moral support, and for taking the pictures that accompany the interview, and of course to Terry Nation, for giving us so much of his time and support. Terry, I know you’re reading this, and I just wanted to remind you that the drinks are on me the next time (vodka sour, wasn’t it?)

By the way, if you enjoy our chat with Terry in this issue, you may be interested in hearing that The Jersey Jagaroth will be running another big chunk of our interview in their newsletter, A Mouth on Legs. Terry talks about his work in Doctor Who, The Saint, his newest series, McGyver, and the ups and downs of being a Hollywood writer.
  • News from Freedom City (1)
  • A Conversation with Terry Nation, contributed by Dave Smith (conducted in 1986 ("a few months before Blake’s 7 was released in the area") at a New York Creation Con) (2)
  • Travis- A Prayer, poem by Michael J. Macomber (3)
  • Freedom City Fan Roundup (fan club news and descriptions) and Potpourri (news of the actors) (4)
  • Of Rebels and Renegades, an Interview with Terry Nation conducted by Joe Nazzaro (conducted at the Hyatt Hotel in Princeton, New Jersey in May 1987) (5)
  • An Irate Fan Speaks (filk to the tune of "Can't Stand Losing You" by The Police) by Alicia Ann Fox (reprinted in Hip Deep in Heroes (zine)) (8)
  • Dorian's Dozen, quiz by Jim Kaye (9)
  • Eulogy on Gauda Prime, poem by Jim Kaye (13)
  • The Freedom City Gazette 1987 Readers Survey Results (15)
  • Aftermath (20)
  • Episode Guide part 3
  • other filks, poems and puzzles by Michael Macomber, Vickie McManus and Jim Kaye

Fall Special 1987

The Freedom City Gazette Fall Special 1987 was published in 1988, contains 40 pages. This issue contains no filks or cartoons, only interviews.

front cover of Fall 1987 Special, while not credited, the author is ""Hancock"
back cover of the Fall 1987 Special
The editorial:

Welcome to the 1987 Freedom City Gazette Fall Special, a project which started out as a somewhat small project, but wound up growing into the monster you're holding now. As I look at the massive pile of typewritten pages on my desk, I am reminded of the small snowball that was rolled down the hill, which, by the time that it reached bottom, had attained gargantuan proportions. Had I known the Fall Special would turn into such a large snowball, I might have thought twice about doing it!

We started thinking about this project shortly after the second issue of The Freedom City Gazette, our Paul Darrow special. Although there was a lot of ground I wanted to cover in upcoming issues, many readers were already clamoring for another interview with Darrow, as well as Michael Keating, who we interviewed in our first issue. The answer: a special issue of sorts, which would feature new interviews with Michael and Paul, plus a few new ones thrown in for good measure. I decided to include part of a John Leeson interview which I thought our readers would enjoy. John had guested in two episodes of Blake's 7, so our starting number was three. Fast forward to August: I make it to Scorpio V, and we added a few more names to our list: Peter Tuddenham, Jan Chappell, and Sally Knyvette (the latter two were interviewed in what was a bit of a three ring circus with over a dozen other people present, but you takes 'em as you gets 'em.) The number of interviews swelled to six.

Fast forward to September: During my trip to England, I have the opportunity to speak to several Blake's 7 people, including many who I was meeting for the first time. Although I now had plenty of material for upcoming issues, I decided to add a few more interviews to the Fall Special. I threw in a conversation with Richard Franklin (who had a brief but memorable scene in Aftermath), plus an interview with Brian Croucher, the second actor to take on the role of Travis. At the last minute, we made an eleventh hour change and included David Jackson's first American interview, and with that, our number (gulp!) stood at eight. With the exception of Gareth Thomas (who is interviewed in the fourth issue of the Gazette), we have assembled the entire original cast of B7 between these pages, and we think it's one hell of a package for five bucks. We hope you'll agree.

Anyway, sit back and enjoy our Fall Special. As I write this introduction, winter is only two weeks away, but it seems rather appropriate for a project that snowballed so much over the last four months.
  • News from Freedom City (1)
  • Introduction; A Few Words About the Cast 2
  • Two for the Price of One: An Interview with Sally Knyvette and Jan Chappell (4)
  • An Interview with John Lesson 11
  • The Gentle Giant of Blake's 7: An Interview with David Jackson (12)
  • An Interview with Michael Keating 22
  • Zen and the Art of Computer Maintenance: An Interview with Peter Tuddenham (26)
  • An Interview with Richard Franklin 31
  • Captured in a Quiet Moment: An Interview with Paul Darrow (32)
  • Sometimes the Villains Get the Best Lines: An Interview with Brian Croucher (36)

Issue 4

The Freedom City Gazette 4 was published in March or April 1988, contains 40 pages.

cover of issue #4
From the editor:

With every issue, the Gazette continues to grow in readership, and, we'd like to think, in quality. As of March 1st, we now have readers in 36 states and 8 countries; not bad for a fanzine that's only been around for a year. We also have well over one hundred subscribers, and it's to those readers that I am the most grateful. It is their vote of confidence that has kept us going over the last several months.

Speaking of subscribers, this seems to be the best place to make the following announcement: this is your last chance to get a four issue subscription to the Gazette (#5-8). The reason for this is we've decided to make #8 our last issue, at least for the time being. Putting out a fanzine is tough enough; trying to do it on a "regular" basis is even harder. For that reason, we've decided to quit while we're ahead. This does not mean the end of the Gazette, I hasten to add. We still have a lot of projects in mind, but we'd like more time to work on them in order to make them something special. You'll be hearing from us again, I promise you that.

So what do we have planned for the next four issues, anyway? Well, our next issue features an exclusive interview with David Maloney, the producer of for three seasons. In our sixth issue, we talk to Chris Boucher, the script editor of the series, and, aside from Terry Nation, its most prolific writer. Gazette #7 is our response to those readers who have complained that we haven't interviewed the women of the series as much as the men. In our seventh issue, we talk to Jan Chappell and Sally Knyvette, making that issue twice as exciting. Oh, and before you ask, this is not the same interview we ran in The Freedom City Fall Special, but rather two separate interviews, conducted months apart.

As for our eighth and final issue, I think we'll wait a little while before we let the cat out of the bag. Suffice to say, we'll be going out in style, and you'll want to be there for the party.

Let's talk about our fourth issue for a bit, the one you're reading now. You may have seen some of the articles and interviews appearing elsewhere during the last several months; chalk it up to the length of time between issues, as well as the fact that some of these features were originally done for other publications. It was our intention with this issue to present a collection of the best memories for Scorpio V, and I hope we've done so. We're happy to have, not one, but three, interviews in this issue: Gareth Thomas, Sheelagh Wells, and Terry Nation. I'm especially proud of our conversation with Gareth Thomas, which reveals our favorite rebel leader in a new light: intense, personable, and quite outspoken with his opinions. I was rather annoyed at the comments made in Starlog several months ago that Gareth was known for being unapproachable, and did not like doing interviews. [3] I'm happy to say that those remarks turned out to be a crock of the well known article, and we submit this interview as proof. Maybe it's just who you talk to.

I think you'll also find Dave Smith's interview with Terry Nation to be quite interesting. It has a relaxed, informal atmosphere, and it also gives us some interesting insights into the writing process in general. That reminds me- I have an announcement to make along those lines, but I'll get back to it later. One last item on this issue: in case you've been tearing these pages apart looking for the fourth and final part of our Blake's 7 episode guide, we decided to move it back an issue, so it will be appearing in issue #5. We apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Elsewhere in this issue are two articles by Deb Walsh and Diane Gies, concerning the bootlegging of Blake's 7 fanzines, a problem which continues to grow here in America. There are several individuals that are reprinting some of the harder to find publications and foisting them off as the real thing; in some case, re-packaging them without the original copyright credits. To make matters worse, some reputable dealers are buying these bogus fanzines thinking them to be the real thing, and the result is lost revenue for the editors, and a substandard product for the readers. The problem is even worse for our friends at Horizon, whose work is also being pirated, because they have no means of retribution. All they can do is watch helplessly, and appeal to their fellow fans for support. As a fanzine editor myself, I find the situation rather frustrating to watch. I hope our readers will take note of Deb's and Diane's articles, and think twice before spending their money on bootleg fanzines. If you don't buy their products these parasites will hopefully lose interest and move on. Let's point them in the right direction, shall we?

On a happier note, here's the announcement I alluded to earlier. Terry Nation has asked me to pass along the following release:

Terry Nation, award winning creator of Blake's Seven, the Daleks, and author of hundreds of classic television shows, will personally conduct a "Writer's Workshop" at a location near you. These exclusive seminars will be limited to only fifteen people at each full day session. For more information, send a self- addressed, stamped envelope to: Celebrity Forum Productions, P.O. Box 1786 Pacific Palisades, CA 90272. This sounds like a wonderful opportunity, and I know that Terry is very enthusiastic about the program. Let's help make the seminars a success, and when you send in for information about it, please mention that you read about it in the Gazette.

With the summer only a few months away, there are a couple of conventions coming up, and you'll probably see the gang from Space Rat Press at some of them. Quite a few of us will be going to Scorpio in August, and I hope to see a lot of you there. We're debating on a little party the Thursday night before the convention; more on that soon. I hope we'll get the chance to meet more of our readers for the first time, and that those of you who have introduced yourself over the last few months will stop by again.

On a related subject, much as I love meeting our readers at some of the conventions I go to, quite a few of you have taken to calling on the phone recently, and to be quite honest, I just don't have the time to talk to all of you. There are only so many hours in the day, and even less to devote to the Gazette. Much as I enjoy talking to everybody, I'd appreciate it if we could limit it to conventions, club meetings, etc. Maybe I'll be able to get the fifth issue out that much faster, and wouldn't that be nice?

  • News from Freedom City (1)
  • Freedom City Fan Roundup (3)
  • SCORPIO: A Convention Diary, see that page (4)
  • Portrait of a Freedom Fighter: An Interview with Gareth Thomas by Joe Nazzaro and Michael Macomber (6)
  • Behind the Scenes with a BBC Makeup Artist: An Interview with Sheelagh Wells (12)
  • Special Simulated Interview with Terry Nation by Dave Smith (17)
  • Scorpio V Writer's Panel (Terry Nation (Blake's 7 and others), Richard Carpenter (Robin of Sherwood) (see some remarks on the subject of slash) (22)
  • Two Rebels Reunite: Gareth Thomas and Jan Chappell Meet the Fans (32)
  • Letters to the Big Wheel (38)
  • Aftermath (30)
From the interview with Terry Nation, which was a "literary feedback" brainstorming session:

Epilogue: What you have read was a possible example of how two writers would merge ideas into a TV or literary framework. Two words instantly come into my mind when I think of that talk session: "literary feedback," which was originally coined, at least to my knowledge, by another great television writer named Harlan Ellison. "Literary feedback" means when a writer has written a story, he instantly sparks the imagination of another writer, causing him to write a story with a similar plot, but a different structure, and possibly a different ending. Of course, the permutations are endless!

The major reason that I decided to create this scenario was to help people who have already written Blake's 7 stories to write more stories, this time with the aid of Terry Nation himself, and to help people like myself, who have never written a Blake's 7 story before, but would like to know how to write a story with the genuine Blake's 7 feel to it. How successful I was depends on the number of stories that have been written based on this article! Fanzine editors may consider submitting the challenge to the regular contributors and to encourage fresh new contributions, as Terry did, to the other writers of the show, and...
A quote from the interview with Gareth Thomas, a guest at the 1987 convention Scorpio:
As I say, everyone out there is paying my wages, and my reason for coming to an amateur con, not a professional one, its my way of saying thank you. Professional cons I've been asked to do, and I've turned them down. I said, no way, I will not do a professional con. Why? people say, because I know that some of the others do; Michael does, Jan does, I won't because those people out there have already paid to see me once already. Now they're paying to see me again. Why the hell should some bastard at the top cream that off? I don't want money for doing this. I want to say thank you. I don't want money, not for this. Why should some bastard up there be creaming it off? That's unfair of them.[4]
From the Writers' Panel, comments by Terry Nation:
I think some of [the writing in fanzines] stunning! It's a very high standard and a lot of hard work! Just the sheer bulk of writing a story is enormous. The advice I always give to people when they ask, "How do I become a writer?" is to say, "You write something!" I mean, it's not one page, because any fool can write one page. Do it! Do the whole bulk! It doesn't matter if it's rubbish at the end; get through thirty pages... you've got a body of work there. You're a writer. Once you come to the end, you're a writer already! Not necessarily a good writer, but you're a writer. (Laughter) And I really believe that! That's important. So I do believe the standards are very good and I thank many of you for the pieces you've given us.
From the Writers' Panel, comments by Kip Carpenter:
I think [fan fiction] is a very sincere form of flattery, because it's imitation, which is a sincere form of flattery. [Mild laughter] I'm not too happy with what they call slash fiction (Oohs, aahs, and knowing moans mixed in with laughter and applause.) [for more of Carpenters comments on slash fan fic from this panel, see Kip Carpenter's Remarks in 1988.

Issue 5

The Freedom City Gazette 5 was published in 1989. It was 13 pages long plus a 16 page episode guide.

cover of issue #5
  • News from Freedom city (1)
  • The Man Behind the Rebellion, an Interview with David Maloney (2)
  • Aftermath (13)
  • Blake's 7 Season Four Episode Guide

Issue 6

The Freedom City Gazette 6 was published in 1989 and contains 11 pages.

cover of issue #6

This issue contains an interview with Chris Boucher which starts on page 4, and despite the pagination below, is the majority of the zine.

The editor stated a correction:
In the previous issue, a photograph of David Maloney was erroneously credited to John Brew. The photograph was in fact taken by Joe Nazzaro. We apologize for the error, we know this disclosure may cause some of our readers severe discomfort, and to them all we can say is - Lighten up! Wow, so we made an eentsy-weentsy mistake! We tried to cover it up, but no... all the phone calls and letters, alright, we admit it! Are you happy now? Well, you ought to be, after all be hassle, and... uh, anyway. Sorry. It, uh, won’t happen again. Sorry.
From the interview with Chris Boucher:
The last episode of Blake's 7 was not intended to be the last episode. I wouldn't have written it like that if I'd known. It was just supposed to be another cliffhanger, and they put it out during Christmas week, and they said, "And now for the last episode of Blake's 7."...The only person who was dead in that episode was Blake...Avon kills Blake, everyone else was stunned (unless, of course, they didn't want to do it anymore, in which case the stuff the Federation troops were using killed them)...I didn't have the chance, and nobody had the chance to explain what happened...What was intended to do was to have people sitting there and going, 'How the hell are they going to get out of that?
  • News from Freedom City (1)
  • Preview: Bloke's 7 (2)
  • Writing for the Renegades: An Interview with Chris Boucher (4)
  • Almost Like Real Life, poem by M.J. Dolan (7)
  • Avon's Soliloquy, poem by Dr. F.R. Dixon (9)
  • Both Ways, poem by Alynys Lawchilde (10)
  • Aftermath, an essay by Joe Nazzaro which addresses fandom and The Blake's 7 War (12)
  • Portfolio by Jay Stewart (center insert)

Issue 7

The Freedom City Gazette 7 was published in 1989 and contains 27 pages.

cover of issue #7
  • News from Freedom City (1)
  • Ten Years After Blake's 7: Gareth Thomas Looks Back (there is very little about Blake's 7 in this extensive and very interesting interview (2)
  • Aftermath, about the end of The Jersey Jagaroth, a fan club (28)
[the editorial]:

Welcome to the seventh and penultimate issue of The Freedom City Gazette. The end of the road is drawing nearer, but, as you can see from this issue, we're still working hard to bring you the best fanzine we possibly can.

This issue is a very special one because it marks the return of Gareth Thomas to these pages, with a thought-provoking interview that's bound to raise an eyebrow or two. I'm sure there are a few cynics out there who will say, "I just read another Gareth Thomas interview in Starlog; what more is there to say?"

Well, there's a lot more to say, as you'll soon find out. I know this is going to sound like a case of severely sour grapes, but I have a great deal of trouble reading those sanitized interviews, where each one starts to sound the same after a while; just plug in the different names and rearrange a few words here and there. I'm sorry, but that doesn't work for me. I think a good interview should provide a glimpse of what a person is really like, warts and all. Apparently Gareth Thomas agrees; that's one of the reasons we're able to bring you this second interview. Please let us know what you think of it.

Now for some news. As you probably know, our next issue is also our last for the foreseeable future. Although it's been a lot of fun, we've been at it since 1986, and it's time to move on to other things. Next issue, we'll be looking back on the last few years and sharing some of our happier experiences. It should be a lot of fun.

As for good news, we have a few items to share with you. The first is that there's a good chance that we may be doing a Winter Special sometime over the next several months. We simply haven't had the ' space to print all the interviews we have right now, so I think a special issue is definitely in order. The f tentative lineup is Jan Chappell, Sally Knyvette, Steven Pacey and Stephen Greif, so how does that grab you? If you want to see a Freedom City Winter Special, please drop us a line.

I was saving the best for last. Our eighth and final issue features an exclusive interview with none other than Vere Lorrimer, director and producer of Blake's 7. In our climactic interview, Vere remembers some of the funnier moments in fdming Blake's 7, and shares his opinions on what made the series so memorable. Vere has told me several times that he doesn't do conventions anymore, so this interview may be the best chance you'll get to meet him. As I said, we saved the best for last.

That's It for this issue, folks. We've got a wonderful interview for you, so fix yourself a cold drink, find yourself a comfortable chair, relax and enjoy it.

Winter Special 1989

The Freedom City Gazette Winter Special 1989 contains 33 pages.

front cover of Winter 1989 Special
front cover of Winter 1989 Special
  • News from Freedom City (1)
  • Steven Pacey: The Reluctant Sex Symbol of Blake's 7, interview conducted by Joe Nazarro (Sheelagh Wells has a few comments) (2)
  • A Telepath in New York: An Interview with Jan Chappell, interview conducted by Joe Nazarro (conducted in June 1987 in New York) (7)
  • Sally Knyvette: Actress for the 80's, a 1988 interview conducted by Joe Nazarro (12)
  • Good Guys Do Wear Black: An Interview with Stephen Greif, a 1988 interview conducted by Joe Nazarro (17)
  • Jacqueline Pearce: Portrait of a Survivor, interview conducted by Joe Nazarro (conducted at Gambit in February 1989) (22)
  • For My Father, poem by Jacqueline Pearce (inside back cover)

Issue 8

The Freedom City Gazette 8 was published in 1990. It is the final issue. It contains 23 pages. It was the final issue.

cover of issue #8
The editorial:

Well, this one's been a long time in coming, but you are now holding the eighth and final issue of The Freedom City Gazette in your hands. It's amazing how quickly three years can go by, isn't it?

I suppose I should start by apologizing to the many patient-beyond-belief readers who have waited for this issue to show up in their respective mailboxes. These last several months have been unbelievably busy, and while I tried to juggle as many plates as I could, sometimes you just have to put a couple of them down for a while. In additional to finally getting a few more interviews published in the pages of Doctor Who Magazine, I was delighted to finally publish Reflections in a Shattered Glass, my Blake's 7 alternate universe story which had been kicking around for some time. As I write this, I'm happy to say that Reflections has completely sold out its first printing, and is well into its second. If you haven't picked up a copy yet, you're missing some stunning artwork by Suzan Lovett, an introduction by some writer fella by the name of Terry Nation, and several thousand words of fiction by yours truly. Oh, and for all the people who are still asking for a sequel, give it up, guys! It ain't gonna happen, so stop with the threats, please and propositions. (Although, come to think of it, the propositions were kind of neat.)

Our other major release, for those who haven't picked up a copy yet, is Masquerade, Sheelagh Wells' video of fantasy, science fiction and horror makeup. A lot of our readers have been very supportive of the project, but some of you seem reluctant to make the leap from fanzine to video. All I can say is that you're missing out on a lot of fun. The video features several fascinating makeup demonstrations, including a recreation of Krantor's makeup from Gambit, some convention footage from last year's Scorpio, several interview segments in which Sheelagh and I discuss her career in makeup, and a lot of other things I'm sure I forgot. By the way, as an extra incentive for Blake's 7 fans, we have an inuoduction by Gareth Thomas, and everyone buying a copy of the video receives a page of greetings from the original cast of Blake's 7, courtesy of Sheelagh and the folks at Space Rat Press.

Well, that's what we've been doing. Now let's take a look at this issue. We're absolutely delighted to bring you an exclusive interview with Vere Lorrimer, director of no less than twelve episodes of Blake's 7 and producer of the show's fourth series. I enjoyed doing this interview a great deal, and I hope some of that enthusiasm comes through. These days, Vere is semi-retired (he claims to be retired, but I don't think the man has slowed down for a moment), and, in a recent letter, he told me this may well have been his last interview regarding Blake's 7. Bearing that in mind, I think that makes this issue a rather special one, and a nice way to go out in style. Once again, I'd like to thank Vere for his time, his boundless energy, and his kind words and support over the last few years. I hope I've done him justice.

Also, as far as this issue is concerned, I'd like to apologize to those readers who were expecting a photo report on a few of last year's conventions. For some reason, everything that could go wrong went wrong on this feature, no matter how we tried to get it organized. I'm sorry, folks.

On the plus side, however, I'm happy to bring you an article on Blake's 7 role-playing by Robert Colhns. I know a lot of our readers are interested in the subject, and I'm grateful to Robert for sending it to us.

We'll get to this issue in another moment, but first, a few words about the future. Although this is the last issue of the Gazette, the next several months are going to be far from quiet here at Space Rat Press. Our next project, which will probably be finished by the time you read this, is BIythe Spirits, by Gareth Thomas. Yes, you heard right: Gareth Thomas. Those of you who picked up our last issue may remember Gareth discussing a series of stories he wrote about an eleventh-century monk. We're very happy to be publishing one of those stories, beautifully designed and typeset as though one was reading the monk's own diary. It's a very special project for us, and I think you'll enjoy it.

We've also got two other projects coming out this summer which I'd like to tell you about. The first is Terminal, a collection of behind-the-scenes interviews with some of the people who worked on the other side of the Blake's 7 cameras. Terminal will contain some funny, as well as fascinating, stories on the making of Blake's 7, and I guarantee you haven't heard most of them before. If you're a true fan of the series, you owe it to yourself to pick up a copy of Terminal.

The other project is Shaman, a collection of Blake's 7 stories written by yours truly. I don't want to tell you too much about it, except that the stories will focus on the lives of some of the B7 characters before the events of Blake's 7, as well as one character frying to pick up the pieces of his life well after Gauda Prime. That's all I'll tell you for now, except that there's a good chance it will be illustrated by a very special artist I've always wanted to work with. Keep your fingers crossed. If you want to be kept apprised of Shaman, or any of our our projects, by the way, drop us a SASE and we'll let you know.

That's it for now, folks. Thanks for being with us these last few years, and for joining us again for our last issue. Keep in touch.
  • News from Freedom City (1)
  • An Interview with Vere Lorrimer by Joe Nazzaro (2)
  • A Blake's 7 R-P-G Campaign by Robert Collins (14)
  • Aftermath (20)


  1. ^ Anglicon?/zine reviews (Reflections in a Shattered Glass) Feb 16, 1993 post to the Lysator mailing list by Sandy Hereld.
  2. ^ from a letter issue "Freedom City Gazette" #2
  3. ^ In the seventh issue of this zine, there is another interview with Thomas, on that is prefaced by "Gareth had indeed read our previous interview, making several references to it and pointing out a few mistakes we had made as well! He also told me that he was unapproachable despite what I had said in my previous introduction, so I am hereby setting the record straight; Gareth Thomas is unapproachable, and the two-hour interview that follows is a figment of our readers' collective imagination. (Are you satiated, Gareth?)"
  4. ^ Gareth Thomas Convention Appearances quoted at, referencing a quote in Freedom City Gazette #4