NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NOOOOOOOOOO NO NO NO
Sky One has provocatively given the go-ahead for the development of two 60-minute scripts which could see the return to the small screen of cult TV classic Blake's 7, the BBC reports. Blake's 7 ran from 1978 to 1981 on the Beeb, and is best remembered among chaps of a certain age for the presence of Jacqueline Pearce as the …
So we're on course for more vacuous plot-free junk like Sky's latest rendition (aka mauling) of Battlestar Galactica?
Admittedly, it started out OK, but after a few episodes you realised that what was left of the plot and characters was just a joke and you could skip dozens of episodes because nothing actually happened in them. It wound up just a shoddy Soap Opera in space with all the quality and charm of Emmerdale.
- NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NOOOOOOOOOO NO NO NO,
theres no theres no, theres no limit?
Lets face it, he revamp of Dr Who is brilliant, Battlestar Galactica is to be quite frank jaw droppingly good - even with a female starbuck, and I was one of the "you can't have a female starbuck" crowd, the new Knightrider with the mustang and Val Kilmer as Kitt is also as good, if not better in many ways to the original.
before you start your screaming about a travesty, how about waiting to see if:
a) it gets off the ground
b) who they cast
c) if it's actually any good?
mines the one with the keys to the liberator and the Avon fanclub membership card
I was like, omg omg omg.
The reality kicked in and I remembered that you can't re-make cult stuff like Blake-7. It was so well written in the first place I hope it gets better treatment than the more recent Dr Who's scripts.
And "But I went"...if I'd know when I was a young man that all it would have taken was a nicely written letter I'd have sent 100 !!! What a missed opportunity - I'm am kicking myself silly right now.
Isn't there an irony in Sky (part of the Murdoch mediocracy) developing a show whose theme revolves around the individual rebelling against challenging the man? Wouldn't the appropriate response be "In the spirit of Rog Blake, I'll stick with Freeview"?
Mine's the one with the leather shoulderpads.
Oh how I loved Blakes 7, and looking back through the rose coloured specs of history it was great - even if the sets wobbled, the acting and characters were 2-dimensional and every planet looked like a welsh open mine.
Watching it these days it shows its age (but then again, so do I). I was young and Servalan made me want to do things, but I did not know what, but whatever it was I wanted to do a lot of it! (paraphrasing the Cat from Red Dwarf).
A well thought out remake would be wonderful, but I give it a 20% chance of being any good. I would still watch it and moan about it not being as good as the original though.
Could a remake really stand-up against Firefly, Battlestar Gallactica or the bionic eastender?
By the way, as I grew and watched more sci-fi I found out what I wanted to do with servalan - but discovered it while watching V - Mmmmm Diana, then watching Diana and Lydia fight, WOW, my young mind was never more imaginative. 2 girls, TWO.
I think I just shared too much information. Straight from brain to fingers, bypassing all controls. Oh well, too late to take it back now... am I still typing or only thinking. Damn it has been a hard day today. St George has a lot to answer for, patron saint of hangovers.
I have fond memories of Blakes 7 from the first time around - indeed my first ever computer program created a large banner (about 5 foot long) saying just that :-)
I do wish I could remember the name of the site that had cation competitions based around the series though - there was a classic one where a spider (a prop) was saying something like "please don't let my friends know i'm doing this, I needed the money..."
"among chaps of a certain age for the presence of Jacqueline Pearce"...
*EDIT : there was a bit here ranting and raving about how Jacks looked a bit too boyish for a young chap, and couldn't possibly be considered a sex symbol. This has been removed due to it being far too indepth, sarcastic, and down right objectionable to those that did indeed fancy Jacks...*
Give me Sally Knyvette ANYDAY.. Now THERE is a woman which a bit of passion with 80's pornstar hair! Woof!
Aside from that, I second Cap'n Wotsit to some extent. Hear Hear
It'll be interesting to see what they do with Aurac.
We've been a bit spoilt since then with Ian Banks and Neal Asher's more than human A.I.'s -- machines that find humans amusing but a bit tedious. Nothing like the almost subservient plastic box with lights we had to put up with in Blakes Seven.
Whatever they come up with it will at least have to use quantum networking - none of your old hanging around for a few milliseconds for a reply.
and they'll have to import the curry monster form Red Dwarf
We've had some good "re-imaginings". The first new Doctor Who season was awesome but since then it's really been heading towards fanwank. I've heard a lot of people talk very positively about the new BSG - having not seen it I can't say but I respect the people I've heard talking positively about it.
Sooner or later there's going to be a huge Bernard Matthews special come along - a turkey of such unbelievable proportions that it shatters the legacy the original series left.
Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should.
There is and will only ever be one Blake, Avon and Servalan.
Smartarses will say there were two Travises and I prefer Brian Croucher's Travis - the mentally unstable psychopath.
Why not try and write something new and challenging instead? The world is crying out for someone to claim Nigel Kneale's place as the prophet of things to come. Year Of The Sex Olympics anyone?
Mine's the t-shirt with a gun toting Avon saying "Touch that switch and I drop you where you stand!"
Has anyone watched the original Blake's 7 recently? As a creation of Terry "Daleks" Nation, IMHO it suffered from his minimal writing abilities: poor characterisation, camp and stiltied dialog, and badly executed, but potentially interesting ideas.
As has already been noted, the premise of the show has been covered many times in far better, high budget, American shows: a Sky production wouldn't stand a chance against them.
Best left alone, methinks.
"almost subservient plastic box"
If you're referring to Orac, then you need to watch it again!
"State your requirements" </voice dripping with impatience at the impertinence of being bothered by a thickie meat-bag>
Orac only did things constructive for the crew when it fitted in with his own agenda for learning (apart from Avon who Orac secretly had a crush on). As opposed to Avon who had a crush on Blake (why? Blake looked like a potato farmer from Alpha Centauri for gawds sake).
OMG! I'm a B7 fanoi .............................</whimper>
Paris, because she could learn a thing or two from Servalan about style.
The New BSG is w--- it's a long dull take on the war on terror in a sci fi setting. Preach preach preach... I have better things to do with my time, although I have found it a great cure for insomnia.
Firefly, Farscape and, Space above and beyond - now they were series that kicked butt and wrote down the names.
Blake 7 should like Battlestar should have been, left to bob queitly in the sea of fondly remembered childhoods. Rather gay, very silly but entertaining.
O well, enjoy your sage.
So is that where Ross Kemp's gone? For taking him off MY screen alone they deserve a pat on the back ;-)
As for a remake, well the ressurected DW is overall a success - I know some would disagree, when it's bad it's pretty silly and a bit too camp, but when it's good it's some of the best telly I've watched in years.
But I feel happier if it was announced that the Beeb were doing this.
I went to the bother of re-watching Blake's 7 again recently. It helped a lot that I loved it as an 8 year old the first time around but I think it's still true that many of the ideas and stories more than made up for lousy effects.
If you look at the number of B7 ideas that were rehashed by Star Trek TNG it shows how much potential there was. And looking at the UK right now, the idea of an evil federation brainwashing everyone seems a damn sight more believable that TNG's lovey-dovey Federation...
<geek>...oh and Miranda Sirtis/Troi even auditioned for the very similar part of Cally I believe) </geek>
Just kidding! I remember seeing a spaceship land, and saying to myself, that looks just like a toy spaceship landing on a miniature prop. But I still loved the show, up until the end, when everyone got snuffed!! What possessed the makers to end the series with such an untimely end? Heroes aren't supposed to die!
"almost subservient plastic box"
"If you're referring to Orac, then you need to watch it again!"
Too right - Orac was anything but subservient. Zen and Slave, on the other hand ...
I'm in two minds about this - if I remember rightly, Paul Darrow now owns the rights to Blake's 7 and associated bits, so there's the potential for it not to suck too badly (although the two 'radio plays' were pretty dire) but Sky's involvement leaves me cold, even if the two Discworld adaptations were rather good.
For some reason, I'm thinking that we're either going to get some kind of 'prequel' (Ghod forbid) or we'll find out what *really* happened to Avon in the last episode of the TV series ...
Mine's the one with the laser gun in the pocket.
But Dayna was beautiful as well. Oh Dayna, my teenage heart ached for you!
Dayna ! Dayna ! Dayna ! Dayna ! Dayna ! Dayna ! Dayna ! Dayna ! Dayna ! Dayna ! Dayna ! Dayna ! Dayna ! Dayna ! Dayna ! Dayna ! Dayna ! Dayna ! Dayna ! Dayna !
I'll shut up now.
Slave, do you think that idea they had where Orac the little computer could connect to all the other computers in the federation and ask questions and retrieve data could ever catch on?
No Master. Happy to be of service.
...and the teleportation bracelets looked like they were made on Blue Peter, which is ironic considering there was an episode of Blue Peter where they showed you how to make one.
Anyone remember Servalan(sp?) struggling over grim looking sand dunes, on the south coast of England in November, whilst wearing a ball gown and high heels?
This thread has bought back many memories of how bad B7 was first time round. Must be me getting old and cynical.....
Though no Blake's 7 article should go past without the obligatory references to a) Glynis Barber b) Sally Knyvette and c) Josette Simon. Those that drool at Jacqueline Pearce (as hilarious as she was) must have been watching with very powerful blinkers fitted. Barber, especially, looked absolutely delicious in the show.
Hang on a minute,
I seem to remember a massive (well massive by the standards of 70's tv anyway) gun fight at the end of Blakes 7 and everyone going down in a blaze of glory.
How exactly is the story going to continue from there? Unless its just time lapse film of the bodies slowly decaying, which whilst interesting to begin might get a bit boring by episode 4 or 5
Watched and loved it at the time, loved watching them again recently, much like old Doctor Whos. Awful sets, (some) awful acting but some of it really was great TV. The second series was by far the best, with even an interstellar war kicked off by a bunch of misshapen washing up liqud bottles (oh how I laughed). Anyhoo, towards the end they seemed to turn the camp knob up a notch until the surprising ending.
So with Avon being the only one left alive(?), he did have plans for a new season, not a remake but a continuation, with himself starring obviously.
Interestingly (or not), a previous Sci-Fi effort by Sky was The Strangerers, which featured Paul Darrow as a dodgy cockney landlord, so he's no strangerer to the channel. I'm REALLY sorry for that.
So yeah, bring it on. For all the naysayers, if you don't like it, don't watch it, it's pretty easy. I personally can't stand Songs of Praise, but I'm not going to go slagging off Christians for liking/watching it. etc etc. That's better, some righteous indignation out t'way.
So, maybe my memory is a bit faulty. Is this the same Blake's 7 where they killed the entire cast, including bringing Blake back just so they could kill him as well? If so, who would the show be about and does it really justify resurrecting the name?
It sounds like it's going be another one of those "loosely based on...." shows.
Don't fall for this crap. It's just a stunt to get fools to sign up to Sky now in a knee-jerk reaction to the desire for Blakes 7 to return, and not notice the launch of FreeSat.
Has everyone forgot how Sky were also going to remake The Prisoner with Christopher Eccleston?
In a couple of years it'll be Space 1999 or The Avengers.
I have all 4 seasons on DVD and regularly watch them. It's a damn sight better than a lot of the [expletive removed] that's offered up for viewing these days. Servalan did nothing for me at all. Preferred Cally and then seriously lusted after Soolin.
One interesting production called The Mark Of Kane suggested there was more to Gan than met the eye. Nicknamed "The Cat Strangler" he was said to have strangled several women. Following that line of thought, just what did the others really do?
AC - I'm not going to slag anyone off for watching it - that's their choice. I won't be watching it if it is made and shown and I personally hope it isn't made. That is an opinion that I'm entitled to express and will do so.
BTW, it's ORAC not Aurac. And the only way they could possibly improve on Orac is to get James Burke to voice it.
Why does Makepeace always wear a bow tie and a dress shirt? And surely high heels are a bit rubbish when you want to chase baddies and do some crap kung fu on them. But, MY GOD, did I fancy the pants off of her when I was 10.
As for B7, I don't remember the wobbly sets just that when I was young it was ace and I loved it.
... has been talking about re-doing B7 for a lot of years now.
Fortunately, for anyone who has read "Avon: A Terrible Book" (oh, sorry, that was supposed to be "Terrible Aspect" he has never got beyond the talking stage!
As for Tony Attwood's "Afterlife", the less said, the better...
If your view of the quality of a series is limited to griping about how much was spent on the sets, and with no understanding of the era in which it was created, you might just as well dismiss the Ferrari 250GTO because it doesn't have sat-nav, and the Mona Lisa because she doesn't have her jugs out.
Blake's 7 was a ground-breaking series, and if anything about it seems old-hat now it's only because countless series that followed copied the same ideas. Yes the production was cheap, but it only had the same budget previously allocated to Softly Softly Task Force - the largely set-bound contemporary series that preceded it. Many inventive visual effects techniques were pioneered on this show.
The scripts were sharp and the dialogue between characters sparkled, and the series wasn't afraid to make characters fail or be killed off. There was a moral ambiguity about the whole crusade against the Federation that made the series pretty unique.
@tim99, oldfartuk: Blake was in more than half the episodes.
@Richard Scratcher (Doctor Who cross-over): Actually, Terry Nation, the creator of Blake's 7, mooted the idea of an appearance by the Daleks, another of his creations. Thankfully, nothing came of this.
@AC (Strangerers): Not only did Paul Darrow appear in this series, so did Gareth Thomas.
It was bloody ORAC, and it was far from subserviant! Hell even Zen wouldnt answer all there questions!!
They could do it like BSG, and they could keep the overal shape of the Liberator.
I have to say though, what is it with TV execs?? thety scarp great SCI FI like:
Farscape (oh teh hours of fun looking out for the SG1 stars in that show!!)
Space Above and Beyond
And then they go anre remake Blakes 7, not that I have anything against Blakes 7 its great, oh and there was a book, set after the end as it were, called aftermath I think.
So what the list of shows left?? U.F.O? The Prisoner? Space 1999 Shapire and Steel?
And whats this about a new Knight Rider???
New words learnt from the Register Fanwank and Fucktard....pricesless for everything else is......
Hope it gets off the ground, love Blake 7 even though I was born in the year it finished.
Couple of points raised, the cross-over with Doctor Who was the alien invasion at the end of season 2 were supposed to be Daleks but DW pulled out at the last minute as B7 had low ratings and they didn't want to be associated.
Interested factoid Gareth Thomas turned up in Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood as a man living with the secret he raped and murdered a young woman until he's confronted by Owen who'd seen the image of the act by the alien "ghost device". He looks quite different now :)
Everyone died at the end of season 4 including Rog as it was his condition for coming back to the show, being a professional stage actor he found he was getting little work as everyone thought he was still in Blakes 7 (obviously not watching it) so he insisted he was killed off so he could get some work.
As long as they don't camp it up as much as Doctor Who is then it should be watchable - they could do well and make it really dark and go deep into some of the great themes and ideas of the original but that would alienate most of the couch potatoes and lower ratings which Sky as a business are only really intrested in so they can sell advertising space and make money - which is a reason why I don't have Sky - paying someone to show you adverts they're getting paid to show? No wonder Murdochs a millionaire....
What with 24 delayed , BSG on its final season , Star Trek canned, Sky has to have a new sci fi series to keep all the basic package peeps paying ther 20 quid a month. If sky doesn't have the new shows then we might all start buying the box sets instead. Heck the only reason I haven't dumped sky in favour of freeview is to get BSG. Once it ends I goes to free sat.
so look on the brightside - there are a bunch of sky prog execs out there crapping themselves thinking of new prog ideas . it will be star cops and tomorrow people next....
Zen frequently in the first series refused direct commands & aborted computer functions when the Liberator was in danger from things he could not rationalise, outright refused to explain the working of the teleport, stating that 'Wisdom must be gathered, it cannot be given'.
Insisting that Servalan call him Zen (a trait he picked up in series 1 when addressed by Avon as computer, almost shouting back ZEN! as his reply) during the 3rd series when the Federation take the Liberator .
Zen's last despairing line at his failure is heartbreaking as he refers to himself in as "I" for the first time ever.
Jenna: "I don't think it likes you somehow"
Avon: "I'll have to reprogram this computer"
Jenna: "That still won't make you likeable".
Alien cos it looks like Moloch.
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I am split on this the new dr who has not been like the old ones but then there are 20+ years between them you would not expect it IMHO the quailty depends on who has wirten the eps some have been so camp it makes me cry(rember love and monsters shudder) and some have been so brilent it makes me cry (bilnk OMG) maby if they manage to recapture the sprite of b7 and get some good wirters it might work maby not but they have to rember what it was all about
small band to teriosts = good
no good ending (3+ series ended on a distenct downer)
computers with personailitys
I've been trying to decipher that comment as I unfortunately only speak English and not "smash face on keyboard and hope for the best". However, I think that I have got the gist of the statement and am actually in agreement.
I too am torn regarding this announcement. I remember Blake's 7 from my younger days (I was 4 - 7 years old while it was on) and even I can remember how comically bad it was in places. That's actually partly why it was so watchable, because it was, like most sci-fi series of it's era, a bit rubbish but at the same time very watchable.
Part of me wants this remake to be really good, as the story behind Blake's 7 was actually pretty good (even if the acting was a bit crap). I'm afraid that I fully expect Sky to ruin it and make it another clone-style series of theirs, with no true individuality from the other clone series they show.
Considering that I have a die-cast model and an original 'plastic build it yourself' model...(which could be worth something if it gets another outing)
SKY - If you fuck with the shape of the Liberator you're going to burn in HELL!
Not much of a threat I know as you've probably already got your seats booked, but just DON'T ok?
What? Discworld has been on telly? How did I not know about that?
I suppose that was on Sky too. I have considered getting Sky but cannot fathom out the way their packages work. I can't seem to say I want this channel and this channel for a reasonable price of £x a month, I seem to have to pick virtually everything and pay fifty quid. They can forget it.
"Does anyone remember those laser guns which this wobbling laser beam would come out at some point slightly removed from the end of the gun, and pointing about five or ten degrees away from its direction? "
You must be thinking of some other series. Blake's 7 had curling tongs with light bulbs in, as any fule no.
It's a pity how dismissive some people are about Blake's 7. No doubt they are the same sort of people who didn't have the attention span to appreciate Babylon 5. Blake's 7 broke the mould by having morally ambiguous characters (Avon only allied himself to Blake because it suited his own purposes) and not being afraid to kill characters off. Come to think of it, the idea of rebelling against an oppressive regime does have one or two echoes with today.
When compared to what's on offer now (BSG - hugely over rated and I much prefer the original & Bionic Woman is in many respects a rehash of Buffy as well as the original. Only the Stargate franchise and Dr Who seem to have legs) at least Blake's 7 broke new ground, something that very little in recent years (with the exception of B5) has tried. Come to think of it JMS (B5’s creator) is known to be a fan of the original. How about offering him the job of remaking Blake's 7?
The new Dr Who has been a triumph as a result of the attention lavished on it. Who is to say that something similar couldn't be done with Blake's 7. The thought of a beautifully CGI rendered Liberator is awsome.
We haven't seen much of Jack Davenport recently, He'd make a good Avon.
This could be Faye Ramptons big break into mainstream acting, After all one of the qualifications for Servalan is to be "A masturbatory fantasy for a generation of male viewers" and she's already got that experience.
Let's face it, guys and gals. This is just another facet of the lack of originality besetting the primarily American media industry. They haven't any good new ideas, so they have to raid the attic for anything that might turn a quick buck.
Talking of quick bucks... anyone for Paris?
It was a pretty good series at the time (I was 12 when it first came out), and I wouldn't object to watching it again, but "one of the best-loved and most successful dramas of all time"? Right up there with Eurypides and Shakespeare and Ibsen? Someone should tell her a million times not to exaggerate.
If anyone tries to remake/reimagine/other idiot phrase for murder any of UFO, Space:1999, The Avengers, Callan or any other classic series then I will not be held responsible for my actions or their personal safety.
To borrow from Hotblack Desiato's bodyguard after he said he was responsible for Mr Desiato's body, "I'm not responsible for yours".
Now, where's my ex girlfriend's curling tongs and my soldering iron...?
It was an original, thoughtful and exciting BBC scifi show. What happened to that? We're not short of superlative writers out there, Iain M Banks and the Culture novels would be great for serialising into a TV show, Alastair Reynolds with the Chasm City (major plot element ripped off by Mass Effect) bunch of interconnected storylines, or (and what I would most love to see, The Nights Dawn (Peter F Hamilton) trilogy filmed).
All of these writers (off the top of my head), offer original, thoughtful and exciting NEW storylines. It's not as though any physical elements of the old shows can be reused, so the cost of rehashing them can't be any more cost effective than utilising a completely new IP..
Dr Who, when it was created in 1961 (ish), was something way ahead of its time and blew the public away, the new Dr Who, apart from making the good doctor partially bi sexual, offers absolutely nothing new (apart from the infuriating family soap opera extensions of his new companions - ok, let's go see your dead dad - oh noes, you've fscked the timeline by saving him: oh no Martha's mum n dad r divorced: o luv the telepathic paper/time independent mobile phone: dashing gay captain Jack who's gonna live forever in Cardiff) - well ok, that last one is pretty funny.
So back to my point, new Sci Fi good, rehashed Sci Fi not so much - but, I guess, better than nothing.
Alien icon for the obvious reason.
..... and if someone's already answered, well I skim read a lot of the ill-spelt witterings.
- There was awlays 7. Just sometimes they had 2 x computers (same actor voiced Zen/Orac/Slave, can't remember his name, Peter Tudenholme or similar.
- Sally Knyvette was far and away much sexier than Servalan
- Blake was in every episode of the first two series and the final episode of Series III and Series IV
- Seasons are something my hound has.
- Gareth Thomas, allegedly never watched any of the episodes.
- How are you going to get The Liberator back when it turned into cream cheese?
- The Liberator was made from tennis balls.
- Glynis was sexy as hell.
- It was made because of the popularity of Star Wars (think about special effects and budgets eh ;)
- Avon was the only one you never saw shot/zapped/die at the end.
- Unless you count Orac/Slayer(Servalan)
- Why has nobody mentioned the appalling RADAR/scanning system on the prison ship in Episode II of the first series.
- I may have a friend with every episode as avi ;)
in this post-Sept11 world: a small bunch of heaviliy-armed malcontents rebelling against the duly recognised government? Sounds like a bunch of Terrorists (capitalised because that's how TPTB see it, these days) to me.
Unless of course they make the Federation obviously Arabic and have all of Blake's 7 played by Americans - with a suitable back-story of how the Evil Terrorists took over and a stalwart crew of red-blooded "Umerkins" carries on the resistance...
I suppose that if there's any funding from the USA at all, Blake and Avon (or their new counterparts) will be played by Americans or at least have American accents as you cannot have anyone but an American in the lead, no matter how "British" the show might be.
Of course, they could go for the "Famous Five remake" model which not only has one of the main characters being (you guessed it) an American, but put in a multi-racial crew from all the acceptable (non-Middle Eastern) countries.
I'll reserve judgement and give it a watch (if it doesn't get canned for being "potentially too sympathetic to Terrorism").
What I'd really like to see is a redoing of the finally episode of series 4.
I hated that episode. Not because they killed off the crew (with the possible exception of Avon, as we have no proof of who was shooting whom), but because they'd spent the series really getting the characters defined and then they all acted out of character in the last few minutes in the midst of a minor ambush that should not have troubled them - Ex-Military Del Tarrant breaking cover to get shot, Vila using his famed cowardice to get close enough to disarm the traitor (great!) and then just standing there like an idiot (DUH!), Avon standing around like a stunned mullet in the midst of a fire fight, Dayna NOT having some fiendish concealed weapon to bring to bear (she has explosive chewing gum and more weapons than the USAF, FFS). Seriously, I was wondering what these nongs had done with the REAL crew of the Scorpio.
I would like to see a properly done remake of Blake's 7 with a decent budget - provided they got the right actors and stuck to the ideas and interpersonal dynamics behind the original. Dunno how much hope we have of that, though.
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