Today I learnt that one of my earliest sci-fi heroes Gareth Thomas has passed away from heart failure. While many people will remember him for portrayal of idealist & freedom fighter Roj Blake in Blakes 7, this was not his first foray into playing a sci-fi role.
Back in 1976 there was an ambitious Anglo-German collaboration which resulted in the sci-fi series Star Maidens. The shows premise was that of another planet inhabited by humanoids like ourselves hurtling towards our solar system with one clever twist, a complete role reversal of the sexes where women were the dominant gender. While it may look a little dated today the production standards were very high, the stories also allowed the writers to comment on the current state of sexual equality & feminism. Gareth starred alongside Judy Geeson, Christiane Krüger (daughter of Hardy Krüger), Pierre Brice, Christian Quadflieg & Lisa Harrow.
While “Star Maidens” didn’t get a second season it paved the way for Gareth Thomas to take on the title role of Roj Blake in BBC’s series Blakes 7 about a leader of a band of criminals who take on the totalitarian Federation.
While there are some interviews with Gareth Thomas about his time on Blakes 7 there isn’t much about Star Maidens… at least until now. For your pleasure here is an interview from 2005 with Gareth about his time on the show as well as his career afterwards.
RIP Gareth and I’ll raise a glass in your memory.
If you would like to help research into the causes of heart disease please consider making a donation (in the UK) to the British Heart Foundation by clicking on the link or logo below.