The Terran Federation, sometimes simply called The Federation, is the primary stellar government featured in the Blake's 7 science-fiction television series. It is portrayed as a ruthless, fascist, totalitarian state. Despite its name, it bears little similarity to the United Federation of Planets of the Star Trek universe; it is more reminiscent of the oppressive Galactic Empire of the Star Wars universe.
How the Federation came to power was never clearly stated in the series, through in the episode "Countdown" it was mentioned that it was formed some 200 years before the main rebel attack on "Control" (see below). The Federation primarily expanded its territory though conquest, enslaving weaker worlds and exploiting their resources to fuel the military. In other cases, the Federation would infiltrate more distant worlds where they would help a local tyrant achieve power or install a malleable ruler (episodes "Bounty" and "Horizon"). These puppet leaders would rule over their own planets, but under the constant shadow of the main Federation and their planets would eventually become part of the Federation. How far the Federation's power spread was never clearly indicated either, as mentioned in the series there were many "neutral worlds" in existence.
The Federation maintained control of its citizens through fear and through dosing the air and water with pacification drugs (episode "The Way Back"). In extreme cases such as Roj Blake's, brainwashing and re-programming were used. In at least one case, a planet was equipped with a radiation bomb that would wipe out the inhabitants in the case of rebellion (episode "Countdown"). In the episode "Horizon", the Kommissar indicated that the incident of rebellion was less than one in 100,000 and that many of these were snuffed out in youth. Despite all these efforts, or perhaps because of them, the Federation was never able to quite stamp out resistance.
The Federation's main seat of power is located on Earth, the capital world where most inhabitants serve with drug-induced loyalty. The Federation was commanded by the President of the High Council, below which was the Supreme Commander, who was in control of the military and Space Command. At the beginning of the series, Servalan held the position of Supreme Commander. Later, when Star One began to break down, she staged a coup and took over as President (in the episode "Star One"). She initially ruled alone, without a High Council or a Supreme Commander. The High Council was later restored (in the episode "Rumours of Death"); the office of Supreme Commander was offered to a Space Commander if he captured the Liberator, in the episode "Volcano", but this attempt failed.
Servalan's absence after the destruction of the Liberator led to her downfall. She was referred to after her downfall as the Supreme Empress.
Federation law was strict and punishment severe. Crimes were rated by category. For instance, the unauthorized leaving of the main city complex on Earth was a Category-4 infraction. Category-9 crimes, such as child molestation, (as the series' main protagonist Roj Blake was accused of), was stated by the arbiter at Blake's trial as the most severe. In any case, criminals were commonly tried unfairly in Federation courts, where a list of mock charges were sometimes added to a defendant's original charge. Sentences were typically life imprisonment, torture and/or execution. Probably the worst fate would be "re-education" under the pacification programme. If the Federation saw use for keeping the criminal alive, they would undergo brainwashing in an attempt to reform them into content citizens and put them back into society as mindless slaves.
First mentioned in "Seek-Locate-Destroy" and first seen in "Duel", Mutoids were one of the most extreme forms of brainwashing. The subject's mind was rebuilt completely so that their only desire was service to the Federation. As a form of control Mutoids had to consume a special "blood serum" as sustenance, which led many to deem them as vampires.
Religion of any form is also known to have been eradicated under Federation law ("Pressure Point"). Possibly because of this, the Federation had changed the Earth's Gregorian calendar (the so-called "Old Calendar") to the "New Calendar" for date keeping. In the first episode "The Way Back" a date was given as "52.6.8" suggesting by the New Calendar the year was either 152 or 252. It is uncertain when the "New Calendar" was set in place, but it was possibly established at the founding of the Federation.
The Federation is the main adversary of Roj Blake, captain of the Liberator and the ad-hoc leader of a small group of rebels who oppose Federation rule. Blake - an outspoken rebel - was captured and tortured for spreading sedition. His family was also executed for his crimes, but instead of executing Blake, (and making a martyr of him) the Federation tried to brainwash him into a content citizen. Blake later overcame the brainwashing, remembered who he really was and what the Federation had done to him, and vowed to bring them down and free the galaxy.
The Federation maintains its power from an automated computer control centre known as Star One, which is not only the nerve center of the military network, but also monitors political situations and intelligence. Star One also controls all aspects of Federation life, including deep space computer flight coordination, global climate control on Federation worlds, and communications relays. Although Star One is well defended, it is the Federation's "weak spot", for if it were ever destroyed, the Federation would break down and could be easily overthrown, thus finding and destroying Star One was Blake's primary goal throughout the second series. This Federation facility, also known as "Control," was originally located on Earth. Blake originally targeted this terrestrial facility, but found that it was a decoy upon penetrating it. Blake then learned it had been moved to a secret location thirty years beforehand. ("Pressure Point")
In the episode Star One the crew of the Liberator find the control centre but also find that it controls a vast space minefield that protects the Federation against the Andromedans. Its systems are destroyed by infiltrating Andromedans and the Liberator makes a stand to protect humanity while Federation ships race to the battlefront.
After the destruction of Star One and the loss of 80% of their fleet in the Intergalactic War, the Federation fell apart. However, by the fourth series, the Federation was regaining power due to new mind-control drugs ("Traitor"). Servalan, under the alias Commissioner Sleer was slowly regaining her power.