RIP Jacqueline Pearce, the Dazzling Villainess of Blake's 7

Pearce in one of Servalan’s many iconic looks from Blake’s 7.
Photo: BBC

Jacqueline Pearce, best known to sci-fi fans as the glamorous and calculating Servalan on the cult British space drama Blake’s 7, has died at the age of 74.

As Doctor Who News notes, in her long running acting career she made several genre appearances—including guest roles in The Avengers, starring turns in the Hammer Horror classics The Plague of the Zombies and The Reptile, and even a fabulously-named appearance as Chessene of the Franzine Grig in the Doctor Who multi-Doctor teamup “The Two Doctors.” But many fans will remember Pearce’s role in the beloved British sci-fi series Blake’s 7 as Servalan.


Originally intended to only appear in a single episode, the relish with which Pearce played Servalan—a wry, calculating sociopath in the show’s despotic Federation, solely driven by her goal to crush Blake and his crew—saw her evolve into the show’s primary villain. It was an incredible performance, only matched by the radical sci-fi fashion of Servalan’s wardrobe, giving Pearce a litany of iconic looks as she cackled her way across the four seasons of the show. Our thoughts go out to her family and friends.

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James Whitbrook

James is a News Editor at io9. He wants pictures. Pictures of Spider-Man!