One of the TV channels has been showing re-runs of “Blake’s Seven”. This was a memorable series, often for the wrong reasons! In the episode “Seek-Locate-Destroy”, the character Travis has a weapon taken from him. For no apparent reason, Travis is treatening his prisoner with a tiny pistol rather than any of the many other weapons seen in the series. I have seen more threatening-looking weapons given away with comic books!
“That is truly ridiculous,” I thought. “Couldn’t they have borrowed something more convincing from the Dr.Who prop cupboard?” Dr.Who often had interesting designs of sci-fi weapon. Some, such as the Minyan shield guns in Underworld, were quite inventive. Most of these were only ever used for one story. Presumably somewhere in the BBC there were rooms full of such props.
The Invisible Enemy
An example of such are the blasters that were used in the Dr.Who story “The Invisible Enemy”. This adventure is most notable for the first appearance of K9 This was filmed in the year before Blake’s Seven, so the props could have been reused. This brutal-looking design made a big impression on me. Whenever I read the term “blaster”, these are the weapons I usually think of. Artists and film-makers might like to keep these in mind for future projects.
Unlike most companions, Leela was bright enough to hang on to a better weapon when she encountered one! She actually wanders around the hospital with blaster in hand some time before any fighting starts.
Some nice attention to detail in the Dr.Who story: In the Titan Base and Bi-Al Foundation sets, all signage is written phonetically in what the script calls "Finglish" — thus, for example, signs read "IMURJINSEE EGSIT" and "ISOLAYSHUN WARD" instead of "Emergency Exit" and "Isolation Ward". (INFO: The Invisible Enemy)
Later episodes of Blake's Seven had more convincing Federation handguns: