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Sci-Fi Television

Classic BBC Sci-fi Series Blake's 7 To Return On Syfy Channel 213

Posted by Soulskill
from the what's-old-is-new dept.
Zaiff Urgulbunger writes "According to the BBC, 'Cult classic sci-fi series Blake's 7 is to be remade for the Syfy network, it has been announced. FremantleMedia International said 13 hour-long episodes will be written by Heroes writer Joe Pokaski.' Here's hoping the special effects budget will be higher than for the original series! Also, I'm hoping that the Liberator is of similar design and includes Zen — the ships computer."
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Classic BBC Sci-fi Series Blake's 7 To Return On Syfy Channel

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  • by VAXcat (674775) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @01:29PM (#43404219)
    It always looked like they could make it to the next starbase, if they didn't run out of steam and iron filings.
    • by MickyTheIdiot (1032226) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @01:42PM (#43404371) Homepage Journal

      I recently re-watched Blakes' 7 while down recovering from surgery, and it has good stories. It has good stories probably because they didn't have to rely on the effects.

      The new Doctor Who now has a good budget, but they have gotten over reliant on the imagery at times. All newer sci-fi has.

      I'm looking forward to a new series (even if it is on SeeFee) and I hope they keep with the gritty, amoral feel they had in the old series. Better effects... sure, but it won't be any good without good writing.

      • by snookerdoodle (123851) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @02:06PM (#43404701)

        Around our house, we call SyFy "The Wrestling Channel". :)

      • " It has good stories probably because they didn't have to rely on the effects."
        no ,it has a good story becasue it was written well. I could list many, many bad show that also didn't have effects.

        "The new Doctor Who now has a good budget, but they have gotten over reliant on the imagery at times. All newer sci-fi has."
        yes, it was the over reliant of imagery that had my daughter crying, and me come down with a sudden case of 'hay fever' at the end of the pond story line.

      • by Darinbob (1142669)

        I wish I had seen more of the original. I would watch it one summer from the first episode, then go back to school and not see any of it until the next summer, and then the storyline was confusing since I had missed too much. Since then I haven't seen it rebroadcast anywhere.

      • by troff (529250)

        Not likely.

        The old Doctor Who had the occasional grim-and-gritty (the kind that made Question Time in Parliament complain about it). The new Who is full of "if you hope and feel hard enough, you can overcome alien technology, incomprehensible gods and the laws of physics". Even the last episode was proof enough of that.

        I've met Gareth Thomas. I weep for Blake. The new Avon will probably look like Sheldon Cooper, Vila will be cool and Cally will probably be slutting up to everybody. Remember what Galactica's

      • by a_hanso (1891616)

        I'd love it if they keep:

        1. The gritty, amoral feel and the 1984 style theme
        2. The liberator, zen, orac and the liberator interior
        3. Avon's witticisms (http://www.imdb.com/character/ch0026780/quotes) and Servalan
        4. The theme music

        Actually you know what? Just keep the original. Recently, I watched everything up to the point where the liberator was destroyed (I can't stand the Scorpio), and I see no reason to remake it.

        • by ericdano (113424)

          Its actually a 70s show.
          Avon is really the star of the show. The show got WAY better when they dumped Gaan (the big giant guy) and picked up ORAC.

          Of course Villa was essential in the show as well.

    • A "special effect" from the first series that I was particularly amused by was the doors; they had doors that swung on hinges and had handles used to "operate" them.... but get this.... they make a kind of whooshing noise! [youtube.com] - Skip to about 40 seconds in, and marvel at the future tech!
      • by jd (1658)

        Well, there was a buzzing noise for all electric doors. Don't recall a whooshing sound, but in a spaceship it's reasonable to assume sections will acquire an air pressure differential.

        • Well, there was a buzzing noise for all electric doors. Don't recall a whooshing sound, but in a spaceship it's reasonable to assume sections will acquire an air pressure differential.

          Watch the video... it's just a door! Also, that bit is on Earth before the prisoners have been transferred.

          • Pedant: That part is in Earth Dome, an artificial city where access to the surface is forbidden. It isn't unbelievable to assume that they have pressure differentials in there as well.

            Of course, this is clutching at straws to explain a special effects failure but isn't that half the fun of watching sci-fi?

            I wonder if they'll bring back the tight leather pants that were so close-fitting actors couldn't even sit down without assistance. And not just the female leads, either. Let's just say some costumes left

    • by fermion (181285) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @02:03PM (#43404681) Homepage Journal
      If they blow the entire budget on fx then all will be lost. Blake's 7 was arguable about Avon and Servilan, the force in which Paul and Jacqueline played those characters. It is kind of like bones and spock. Sure Blake and Kirk were important, but the melodrama kind of made the show, and the fx were of little consequence.

      It is going to be interesting to see what SyFy does with it. A lot of their stuff lately is industrial fashion or magics, which does not really lend itself to Blake. Battlestar Galactica is more in line, but they even that included unnecessary magics. The social commentary in Blake is subtle and morality ambiguous, something that is hard to do on and American TV show.

      • by mrbester (200927)

        It'll probably be written so that Blake is always around as well, instead of the first and last series.

        As to special effects, nothing beats a small Perspex box with a light rope in it to represent a supercomputer that was superior in every way to the "state of the art" Zen. The Liberator was the pride of the fleet until Blake nicked it.

  • by fewnorms (630720) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @01:34PM (#43404277)

    Cause if so, here's an article [zap2it.com] from August 2012, pretty much detailing the exact same thing ...

    Either way, cool beans!

    • The reason that I think it has come back up is that it the production company has just started marketing it to foreign channels. There was a press release I saw on it to that effect yesterday, and someone at the entertainment desks must have picked up on it.

      There has been talk about this particular revival for a year and talks about revival going back a decade. Paul Darrow even owned the rights himself for a while but he fell out with his partner in the deal.

  • Bring back ORAC! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @01:36PM (#43404299)

    The stuck-up, annoyingly smug computer. It's a billion times smarter than the rest of the crew put together, and doesn't try to hide it. A computer so obnoxious, most conversations ended with someone cutting the power to shut it up. I want to see ORAC again.

    How many other computers, when asked if they can perform a video analysis task, announce they just did it - but won't share the result, considering such menial number-crunching beneath them?

  • But... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Stormy Dragon (800799) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @01:36PM (#43404301) Homepage

    Will the remake have BRIAN BLESSED? Because if not, what's the point??

  • Sci-fi on Syfy? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dracos (107777) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @01:41PM (#43404353)

    Say it ain't so. I wonder when they'll squeeze this into the schedule between all the wrestling and other ratings-chasing dreck.

    But we won't know if it's a true SciFi series until it gets unceremoniously cancelled for no good reason.

    • I wonder when they'll squeeze this into the schedule between all the wrestling and other ratings-chasing dreck.

      Every time I start to wonder if I should have the cable re-connected, somebody says something like this, and it reminds me of why I dropped that overpriced crapfest in the first place.

    • by OzPeter (195038)

      Say it ain't so. I wonder when they'll squeeze this into the schedule between all the wrestling and other ratings-chasing dreck.

      But we won't know if it's a true SciFi series until it gets unceremoniously cancelled for no good reason.

      My latest guilty pleasure is on SyFy channel .. Robot Combat League [syfy.com]. Yes it is cheesy. Yes it has the typical reality show emphasis on personalities. Yes they overdo the pyrotechnics. Yes there is probably about 15 minutes tops of real footage in the hour long show (Ya Tivo!) . Yes the robots are all the same basic platform (Nascar of robotics?), but it is fun to watch 8 foot tall, 800 lb tele-operated robots walking around and arena and wailing into each other and spewing hydraulic fluid when valves a

  • Wow, 13 hour long episodes!? I'm gonna need at least 2 bathroom breaks!

    • by azadrozny (576352)
      I bet SyFy divides it into 3 seasons, with a 6 month mid-season hiatus.
      • by emag (4640)

        And special guest stars that happen to be wrestlers... who'll have more acting talent than some of the main cast...

  • by emag (4640) <slashdot@NOsPAm.gurski.org> on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @01:45PM (#43404407) Homepage

    Classic BBC Sci-fi Series Blake's 7 To Return

    *gasp!* *overwhelming joy*

    On Syfy Channel

    *neutral* "Oh...."

    is to be remade

    *anger* "... fuck!"

    by Heroes writer

    *rage* "NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!"

    Maybe I should just import a Region 2 DVD player and the discs from the UK, since it looks like it never got released here in the US.

    • Order the R2 discs, then just hit the Pirate Bay for copies you can watch.
    • by mattack2 (1165421)

      Actually, maybe this new show will cause whoever has the rights to the original to try to cash in and release the original on DVD/BluRay in the U.S.

      "Blake's 7" is the only other science fiction show I like almost as much as I like "Star Trek". Both have dud episodes, and with there being 52 eps of Blake's 7 airing weekly, I stopped watching at one point after I'd seen them all, then the next times I randomly caught an episode, I think I saw the same dud episode (they're stuck on a planet and 'monsters' tha

  • I kind of like "Face Off" since the end-results they make are creative.

    But beyond that, I'm not a fan of reality TV or wresting... which is what the channel is slowly filling up with.

    So while part of me wants to say "Try making creative shows again" at least I'm content that it's not another reality series.

  • by wonkey_monkey (2592601) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @02:13PM (#43404789) Homepage

    Here's hoping the special effects budget will be higher than for the original series!

    No, no, no. What we should really be hoping for is that the effects budgets doesn't matter because the writing and characterisation will be so strong.

    Still, an American remake of a popular British series - what [wikipedia.org] could [wikipedia.org] possibly [wikipedia.org] go [wikipedia.org] wrong [wikipedia.org]?

    • by swb (14022) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @03:26PM (#43405731)

      You're generally right, but the American version of Life on Mars wasn't bad on it's own merits, even if it was somehow not as good as the British version.

      At least the cast was decent -- it seemed unusual to have Keitel, Mol, Imperioli all on a network TV series.

      • by mrbester (200927)

        UK Life on Mars tapped into the collective memory of at least two generations of Brits remembering how dismal life was for the average family in the 70s. The country was nearly bankrupt (UK was described as the "poor man of Europe"), inflation was in double figures, there were three day weeks (meaning less pay) because of electricity blackouts, rising unemployment, the Government in thrall of the trade unions calling strikes every other week, Brent crude prices (when oil was a major export revenue stream) w

    • by Bieeanda (961632)
      That was my reaction. I suspect they're going to wildly misread the 'subversive Star Trek' theme and make it so Roj Blake has more space-sex than James Kirk.
    • by mattack2 (1165421)

      Life On Mars was great, had a good ending..

      I'm one of the few defenders of the U.S. Coupling, since all but one of the 4 (?) episodes that aired were the exact same script as the original, and had at least decent acting. (The originals weren't the greatest actors in the world either.)

    • by dbIII (701233)
      I think Farscape owes a lot to Blakes 7 in concept. They don't always win and eventually they become legends just by suriving long enough at long odds.
  • Anyone else getting the "Remaking it just so they can cancel another scifi show and replace it with even more wrestling?" vibe here?

  • by ArhcAngel (247594) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @02:28PM (#43404989)
    When Eureka ended so did my need to ever watch SyFy. I lamented FarScape for over a year and watched as SG and its myriad of spinoffs deteriorated but at least I got to see Ben Browder do his one liners again. Then just as I am actually starting to see some potential in the Universe franchise they pull another Fox. [toplessrobot.com] It's not like I didn't see it coming but I am a masochistic optimist. Thank you...NO.
  • by xirtam_work (560625) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @03:21PM (#43405677)

    Personally, I'd rather they leave Blakes 7 alone, it was great for it's time. If anyone were to bring it back it should be the BBC, like they've done with Doctor Who.

    As for other shows that should be back on TV there's Stargate Universe which was cruelly cancelled before its time. Why not help out to get it back on the air again via Netflix and sign the Change.org petition linked below. There's little point asking SyFy as they don't seem to know anything about science fiction anyway.

    http://www.change.org/petitions/netflix-save-stargate-universe [change.org]

    The other day there were 3000 signatures, today it's over 4000. With the help of Slashdot I reckon we could hit over 10K in no time. The target is 100K I think.

    • by NormHome (99305)

      It was great that the BBC brought back Dr Who but you have to admit that they've really taken a wrong turn with Matt Smith as the new Doctor and the episodes that I've seen lately have been silly. He just looks odd, sort of like Herman Munster without makeup and the writing is much more comedic than dramatic.

      I always felt that the Tom Baker years was among the best of Dr Who and the stories and characterization of the Doctor were both inventive and dramatic, great science fiction.

      • by dbIII (701233)
        Funny you should mention Tom Baker since that was when Dr Who was more comedic than dramatic. "City of Death" is a very well made example.
  • One of the greatest SciFi villains of all time deserves a great actress (assuming no reboot sex change :) don't'cha think?

    • mm taking a leaf from bab5 with Walter Konig as a baddie how about Amanda Tapping going darkside as Serverlan - Conquering the galaxy in fabulous cocktail frocks and impossibly high heels. And David Hewlet for Villa. Thinking about it Connor Trinneer woudl make a good Travis though its a bit close to his SGA role.
      • by mjwalshe (1680392)
        Oh Just thought Teryl Rothery would make an interesting Serverlan she was rather chilling as evil Janet and Jacqueline Samuda woudl also be good but I suppose that Nirrti is close to Serverlan.
  • I just watched the pilot episode of the original series on Youtube when it occurred to me that I'd never seen the beginning, only a few episodes here and there during it's original run in the 1980's.

    It's here for anyone wanting to watch it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMjYChwuqMI [youtube.com]

  • Still got the fanzines from the original run.. Hopefully this time, they won't get a camera malfunction for the last scene in the whole series!

    • by dbIII (701233)
      They turned that into gold though - like the Neon Genesis Evangeleon utter weirdness at the end where running out of budget meant they had nothing left that they could afford other than stills and voiceovers to confuse the shit out of the audience and leave them wanting more.
  • I loved this series and it's still a constant frustration that it's not available on DVD here in the US, a friend of mine who took a trip to the UK did and managed to get me season 1.

    There were many things to like about this series and a number of things I didn't like. Despite the special effects not being great this was made up for by the acting and the writing. The whole mystery of the Liberator and it's superior design and abilities were one of the major components of the first season and I felt that the

  • Sounds like a great idea, and I have high confidence that the people responsible for such gems as "Crocosaurus VS. Robo Pirhana" will be able to do the original Blake's 7 justice.

  • Blake's 7 was good 70s british sci-fi. it had crap special effects, but that really didn't matter (same as Dr Who before the recent BBC Wales reboot had the same crap special effects by pretty much the same team, but had much better stories - and far less dr-who-is-an-angsty-supernatural-action-hero crap)

    I expect the remake will be trashy american magical fantasy with rayguns, just like almost all all american allegedly-"science fiction" TV & movies....anti-tech, anti-science, anti-intellectual garbage

  • Director: Abrams, assisted by Uwe Boll
    Cervlan: Fran Drescher
    Avon: Rick Astley
    Stop me when you've had enough

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