“One of the stars of cult sci-fi series Blake’s 7 has signed a deal to bring the show back to screens more than 20 years after it ended.
“Paul Darrow, who played the ruthless anti-hero Avon, is in a consortium that has acquired the rights to the show from the widow of its creator, Terry Nation.
“…A new TV mini-series, starring Darrow, will have a budget of $5-6m (£3-3.7m), the show’s website said.”
Which leads to the show’s web site. Looks vaguely promising.
The Register warns not to be too optimistic for a succesful relaunch, though:
‘But don’t hold your breath for A Rebellion Reborn. Planning is at an early stage. In a message on its flashy web site, B7 Productions says it will not be entering pre-production “until April/May 2004”.
‘Which marks a step-up on the last time the show was supposed to return to the screens. Reg Reader Andrew Larcombe has pointed us to an almost identical piece of pre-production puff – from three years ago.’
But the BBC’s article from 2000 says that the producers were “lining up” Paul Darrow to play Avon again. Yesterday’s article refers to Darrow as being part of the consortium that is producing the show. That somehow sounds a bit more definite.
I just hope they’ll remember what made Blake’s 7 great: strong story lines, snappy dialogue, and excellent characters. Blake’s 7 was never about special effects, which is good, because they were rubbish. And even now, in the age of digital effects, the BBC has consistently proved that they are still rubbish at them.
If I want to see cutting-edge space special effects, I’ll go and buy the latest Star Wars film on DVD. (Actually, I did…and it was still pants.) Nothing the BBC (or any other sub $100M production facility) can do will even come close, so don’t even try because it’ll only disappoint. Spend the budget on some decent script writers, some half-decent costumes, a couple of well-built sets, and the hire of a Welsh quarry for a couple of days’ filming. The space ships are just cut-scenes to get from one place to another.
What I really want to see is Avon snarling and plotting and scheming. I want to see his predatory, ice-cold grin as he cuts the heart out of his enemies’ fiendish plans. I want my childhood back….