Jacqueline Pearce (1943-2018)

Jacqueline Pearce as Servalan

By Steve Green: Jacqueline Pearce (1943-2018): British actress, died September 3, 2018 aged 74. Most famous for playing the villainous Servalan in 29 episodes of Blake’s 7 (1978-81). She also appeared in The Plague of the Zombies and The Reptile (filmed back-to-back) and one episode of The Avengers (all 1966), one episode each in the anthology series Haunted (1967), Dead of Night (1972), Leap in the Dark (1977) and Shadows (1978), plus three episodes apiece of Doctor Who (1985) and Dark Season (1991), as well as providing a voice for a 2001 episode of the audio webcast Doctor Who: Death Comes to Time.

There was allegedly a plan at one point for her and Paul Darrow to cameo in Doctor Who as two unnamed characters who would clearly be Servalan and Avon from Blake’s 7. For her appearance in the CD mini-series The Actor Speaks, she performed a piece written for her by Tanith Lee.

11 thoughts on “Jacqueline Pearce (1943-2018)

  1. @Steve that is rather unkind to make a cheap rhetorical point highlighting your low opinion of the reboot of Doctor Who, especially in the context of a Memoriam.

  2. Oh no, how sad.

    Servalan was a terrific character played with scene stealing relish by Pearce. A reunion with Darrow in any format would have been welcome.

  3. Jacqueline Pearce stole the show so completely in Blake’s Seven that there were letters in the Radio Times comparing her character to Cleopatra or Elizabeth I. She’ll be sadly missed.

  4. The sets and effects may have been rickety, but Blakes 7 wardrobe designer was a genius.
    And the acting, particularly Pearce and Darrow, was 100% highest-grade camp. She was simply wonderful.

  5. Servalan was a really arresting character. Pearce should certainly go into the In Memoriams for this year.

  6. I was her assigned gofer during a con in the late 80s and she was gracious, charming, and glamorous. I was barely lukewarm about B7 (which is why I got the job; no fangirling), but ended up being quite a fan of hers after that weekend. Classy.

  7. She was also a very Servalan-ish villain in Solarbabies, eclipsed by Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, released on the same day in 1986.

  8. She did a *great* villain … and as an Andrigian in the 3 Doctors (hope I got the details right).

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