Blake’s 7 a la …American TV!??!?

Hailing frequencies open… Forums Science Fiction British / Australian SF Blake’s 7 a la …American TV!??!?

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  • #591

    The hell?? [LINK]

    Georgeville Television, an independent TV studio co-founded recently by Leon Clarance of Motion Picture Capital, the financing arm of Reliance Entertainment, and producer Marc Rosen, has teamed with feature director Martin Campbell (Casino Royal) to revive the cult 1978 adventure/sci-fi series Blake’s 7. Writer Joe Pokaski (Heroes, CSI) will pen the re-imagining of the original series created by Terry Nation, a prolific UK TV writer who also created the Daleks for the classic BBC series Doctor Who. Campbell is attached to direct the Blake’s 7 reboot, which is being shopped to U.S. networks.

    I can’t tell if this sounds more or less appealing than the UK audio reboot (please, Big Finish, don’t stop doing what you’re doing with the original series cast). The “modern remake” that B7 Media launched a few years back was so far removed from the charm of the original show… and this would be even further away than that, I have a feeling. Why not just do your own stories, guys?

    #4050
    Steve W
    Steve W
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    Well, I’m holding out hope that, because they’ve chosen to revive a British TV show from 30-something years ago, that they’re actually big fans of the original and will hopefully treat the new version with respect. Maybe it’ll turn out okay, like the Battlestar Galactica reboot. As long as they don’t get a bunch of network interference, like the Fox Doctor Who movie.

    #4052
    ubikuberalles
    ubikuberalles
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    #4051

    Oh hell. Andrew Mark Sewell’s still got his fingers in the pie? For the record, he’s the one who convinced Paul Darrow to have nothing more to do with Blake’s 7 until Big Finish started doing classic series audio stories. Sewell’s personal handling of the fans at roughly the same time was… legendarily bad “PR fail” material.

    Like the article in the second link points out, doing the hard edges of the original outline justice will be a challenge in this day and age; there’ll be something to offend everyone. (The part I’m really waiting for is where the series’ premise is selectively interpreted as being a manifesto for one political party or another. Joy.)

    The original series was redeemed by sharp writing and great casting. Those will also be the saving graces of the new show. It’s too easy to have spaceships whizzing by and stuff blowing up with CGI these days. Merely upgrading the spectacle factor won’t save the show. The scripts and performances will be key.

    Don’t f*** this up, Syfy…

    #4053
    Steve W
    Steve W
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    Shit. The thing I really didn’t want to hear being associated with this project… “SyFy”. They’ll turn it into garbage like all their other bullshit programming other than BSG. Well, knowing SyFy is going to be involved has completely pissed all my optimism away.

    #4054
    ubikuberalles
    ubikuberalles
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    BTW, that’s twice I scooped you on a Brit Sci-fi news item, Earl. What’s going on? Losing your touch? I rarely know what’s going on in the world of Doctor Who or Blake’s 7 (a show I never watched) without you posting first. Get with the game, man!

    😛

    #4055

    I’ve got books to write! 😛

    #4056

    Bear with me as I tie the first post of this thread in with an article on Variety this afternoon:

    Georgeville Television, an independent TV studio co-founded recently by Leon Clarance of Motion Picture Capital, the financing arm of Reliance Entertainment, and producer Marc Rosen, has teamed with feature director Martin Campbell (Casino Royal) to revive the cult 1978 adventure/sci-fi series Blake’s 7.

    From Variety, today [LINK]:

    ABC has inked a deal with indie production company Georgeville TV and Overbrook Entertainment for a pandemic thriller project from “Babylon 5” creator J. Michael Straczynski.

    Project is designed to secure a straight-to-series order, meaning that if ABC likes the script it will forgo a pilot in favor of a multiple episode order.

    Details on the project are sketchy but it’s described as a blend of procedural and serialized elements. James Lassiter and Jada Pinkett Smith are exec producing for Overbrook with Straczynski.

    Straczynski is renowned in sci-fi circles as the steward of the enduring “Babylon 5” series/telepic franchise. In recent years he’s fielded numerous features and the 2002-04 Showtime series “Jeremiah.”

    I wonder… now, I know the above item means JMS is gonna be busy with his own show. But I wonder what the chances are of JMS being spirited over to Blake’s 7 to work on it.

    He’s almost the only American producer I’d trust with the show. He is also known, and has admitted, to being a huge fan of Blake’s 7. (Pull out your DVDs and look at the Drazi ships. They’re basically colorful little Liberators.)

    Just an interesting coincidence. But I’d almost rather warp back in time and abduct JMS circa 1995 to work on a Blake’s 7 reboot, rather than the late-model JMS, with whose work (and increasingly Ellison-esque ego) I’m far less enamoured.

    As a certain Narn once said, it is a dream I have.

    #4057
    Steve W
    Steve W
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    Well, it could be that JMS always had that ego, but now in the days of ubiquitous internet access and social media, we know about it now whereas it might be ‘reported’ back in the day.

    I never connected the Liberator to the Drazi ships. It’s cool that he’s a fan of Blake’s 7, and it would be interesting to see his take on it (although the description of his new series sounds to me like an update of Terry Nation’s previous project, Survivors). SyFy would just choke the budget out of the project, so the special effects would probably be on par with the original incarnation.

    #4058

    Fremantle is shopping Blake’s 7 around at the international TV conference MIPTV, trying to woo channels to air the show – and maybe invest in it – outside of the USA and Syfy. [LINK]

    MIPTV, Cannes, 8 April 2013 – FremantleMedia International today launches the eagerly anticipated remake of the cult drama Blake’s 7 to international buyers at MIPTV. In development with US cable network Syfy, the 13 x 1 hour series will be produced by Georgeville TV, the independent studio co-founded by Leon Clarance of Motion Picture Capital, the financing arm of Reliance Entertainment, and producer Marc Rosen. The science fiction classic will be written by Joe Pokaski (Heroes, CSI) and directed by Martin Campbell (Casino Royale, GoldenEye).

    The year is 2136, Blake wakes up on one side of the bed. He reaches for the other side. There’s nobody there. As reality sets in, this handsome ex-soldier sits up, and looks at a photo of his wife Rachel. Beautiful. Deceased.

    A revolutionary reinvention of the long-running BBC series made in the late 1970s, Blake’s 7 tells the story of seven criminals – 6 guilty and 1 innocent – on their way to life on a prison colony in space, who together wrestle freedom from imprisonment. They acquire an alien ship which gives them a second chance at life and become the most unlikely heroes of their time.

    David Ellender, CEO FremantleMedia International and Kids & Family Entertainment said, “Blake’s 7 was such a forward-thinking concept that the show continues to have resonance with audiences today. Its complex characters and gritty storylines, coupled with the highly talented team and modern production techniques are sure to appeal to both original fans of the show and new viewers.”

    Leon Clarance, co-founder of Georgeville Television and CEO of Motion Picture Capital, the finance arm of Reliance Entertainment, said, “Joe Pokaski and Martin Campbell have worked tirelessly with the Georgeville TV team to create an amazeballs reboot of this classic space opera which I watched with my father when I was a child. This reimagined classic for a new generation of science fiction fans will enthrall original and new fans alike. I couldn’t be happier to have our beloved show handled internationally by the passionate team at FremantleMedia”

    Maybe I am getting old, but I think I missed the memo where the word “amazeballs” fell into use as a valid part of a corporate press release.

    2136? Blake as an ex-soldier with a dead spouse? (In the original he was a political dissident.) Eh… man, this had better be good.

    #4059
    Steve W
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    They’re already butchering the origin story. Any why set it in a time period so close to now? The original was something like 4000 years in the future, wasn’t it?

    #4060

    The original was nebulously set in “the first century of the third calendar”, according to all contemporary press and publicity material.

    #4061
    Steve W
    Steve W
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    I’d swear that on the first episode of the original show it was mentioned that they were in the far future. I might be thinking of something else, though. So many science fiction shows, so many distant futures. Maybe I’m thinking of Andromeda, which is supposed to be thousands of years ahead.

    #4062

    Actually, wait – they did peg it on screen at least once. There was an episode involving the ruins of the church, and Blake’s distinctly said something about it dating back thousands of years (and it wasn’t exactly a Druid stone circle, either).

    #4063

    Chase
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    I might be only one of two people ( A friend of mine) who HATES the Battlestar reboot. I found it needlessly grim, dark, boring, soap opera-y, confusing, illogical with none of the flavor and flair of the original. If they do B7, they’ll get it all wrong probably and have none of the humor, charm of the original show/cast. Just like they did with BSG. It was all non heroics and mean spirited people. The heroes were the villains and the villains were the heroes. It was terrible.

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