January 22, 2016 at 7:18 am #1863
11 best British sci-fi shows you’ve never watched
It’s fair to say that the success of Doctor Who has raised the profile for British sci-fi in the United States. The long-running series went through a bit of a down period in the 1990s, but since it returned in 2005 it’s become a global phenomenon, attracting top-flight actors to tell the tale of the quasi-immortal Time Lord.
There are quirks to British science fiction that are very particular. Their shows are often made with small budgets, which constrain what they can show on the screen. As a result, more attention is given to character and tone than sweeping plot developments. This can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on the talent involved.
Good list. I’ve actually seen an episode of Blakes 7. And, sorry Earl, no Goodbye Mrs. Noah.
“We’ve never lost an American in space, we’re sure as hell not gonna lose one on my watch! Failure is not an option.” – Gene KranzJanuary 23, 2016 at 10:14 am #8597
I’ve actually seen an episode of Blakes 7.
I’ve seen every episode of Blake’s 7.
I’ve only seen three of the shows on that list. It doesn’t help that some of them were either kid’s shows or limited series that PBS couldn’t be bothered bringing over.
I think, to this current TV generation, that Blake’s 7 is unwatchable. Nobody reading that list will go seek out and watch every episode. They looked cheap when they aired in the late ’70s, and they look appalling now. At that time at the BBC, when a show went off the air the next show inherited their budget. The previous show in that timeslot, called Softly, Softly, was a cop show with such a low budget they could only afford two police cars. Then Terry Nation was expected to scrape together a science-fiction program with the same pocket change. Even worse, a short time before the first episode aired Star Wars hit British theaters, and so they got pestered to make the special effects look like that. But with no extra money. Sheesh.January 23, 2016 at 6:38 pm #8598
Earl’s previous regenerationSpectator
That the Liberator sets looked as nice is they did…well, that set designer went on to Hollywood. ‘Nuff said.
Criminal omission from that list: the very short-lived Star Cops series, created by Blake’s 7 writer/script editor Chris Boucher.January 23, 2016 at 6:56 pm #8599
Sorry. I haven’t seen a single episode of any of the TV shows listed in the article, Including Blake’s Seven.
In fact, I’ve only known about Blake’s Seven through this forum. I’m sad puppy. 🙁January 25, 2016 at 3:20 am #8600
You would be more likely to enjoy Blake’s 7 than somebody in their 20s. It’s like playing an old video game – it may not look that great but if it’s fun, it doesn’t matter what it looks like. The same applies with Blake’s 7. There’s a lot of solid stories being told in front of cardboard sets and hand-me-down Doctor Who props and weirdly anachronistic outfits which look like some or parts of them might have been repurposed from the Beeb’s many period pieces. And the special effects make the Thunderbirds look impressive. But the reason the show’s so well remembered is because of its solid storytelling. You should give the show a try.January 25, 2016 at 4:42 am #8601
Blake’s 7 was never aired on the local PBS station, and I don’t think there was a Region 1 DVD release.
“We’ve never lost an American in space, we’re sure as hell not gonna lose one on my watch! Failure is not an option.” – Gene KranzJanuary 26, 2016 at 12:03 am #8602
Earl’s previous regenerationSpectator
Nope, it was only a region 2 DVD release (during the years I had to flip most of my DVD collection, I never ran into an instance of a single series whose season sets held their original dollar value like Blake’s 7 – in certain circles, those short-lived DVDs are very much in demand).
Someone has put the entire series – apparently ripped from those DVDs – on Youtube if one is so inclined.
Sadly, Star Cops – similarly unrepresented on region 1 DVD – is not to be found, but someone did find an original 1987 BBC2 promo for it.
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