London: Gareth Thomas, star of ‘70s BBC sci-fi series Blake’s 7, has died aged 71. As Roj Blake in the cult series, the Welsh actor led a group of rebels on their Liberator space ship against an evil federation that ruled the galaxy. Thomas was also an accomplished stage actor who appeared in several Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) productions. His later television appearances include playing Nathaniel Clegghorn in ITV’s Heartbeat and David Baddiel’s father in Sky’s Baddiel’s Syndrome. Born in 1945, Thomas attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in the 1960s and later became a Rada associate.–BBC

His roles at the RSC included Orsino in Twelfth Night, Cassio in Othello and Mat Burke in Eugene O’Neill’s Anna Christie.