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parrot_knight [userpic]

I'll still believe this when I see it...

April 24th, 2008 (11:50 am)

Media Guardian report that Sky have commissioned a two-part 'event television' remake of Blake's 7.

ETA: The wording of the report suggests that production is still a long way away.

ETA 2 18:55: The Guardian have now added a gallery, with some captioning of dubious accuracy.

Comments

Posted by: Susan (lil_shepherd)
Posted at: April 24th, 2008 11:01 am (UTC)

It is highly unlikely that I will bother with it. (I have dark memories of the idiotic remake of The Professionals and I have stopped watching NuWho unless written by Moffatt.)

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: April 24th, 2008 04:41 pm (UTC)

As calliope85 remarks below, it won't be the Blake's 7 to which so many people have such loyalty. I'll be interested to see how it's done and, if it continues beyond the first few episodes, in what direction it travels. Presumably B7M only have rights in Nation's concept and any episodes he wrote; realisation and concepts added by other authors will remain with the BBC and the original creators, unless parts of this is covered by a separate deal with BBC Worldwide.

Posted by: viala_qilarre (viala_qilarre)
Posted at: April 24th, 2008 11:28 am (UTC)

It's not a very accurate report, is it? Doctor Who is not a re-imagining like Battlestar Galactica at all.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: April 24th, 2008 04:55 pm (UTC)
Zen

It's not a well-phrased piece of writing, is it? The blog entry accompanying the story follows a similar line, though with the sound statement that much will depend on the writing. I can't see B7M being left alone to make it; Sky would probably want another production company in there with a more wide-ranging track record and better contacts in the business actually running the show, I expect.

As for the reimagining question... there is an argument that the current series of Doctor Who is a reimagining, but where an interpretation of events in the original series forms a backstory. As the events of previous series were reassessed or re-remembered differently every other year in 1963-1989 Doctor Who, I too think the argument falls apart with a little reflection.

Edited at 2008-04-24 04:57 pm (UTC)

Posted by: calliope85 (calliope85)
Posted at: April 24th, 2008 12:21 pm (UTC)
8th doctor - wanderer in the fourth dime

Colour me deeply skeptical. Even if it happens (which seems a trifle unlikely - a new TV/film version of B7 has been a strongly rumoured possibility for the last ten years, to my certain knowledge), B7 productions haven't exactly endeared themselves to much of the fanbase with their stranglehold over the franchise. Saying that 'In recent years [B7 productions] has developed the brand with a series of Blake's 7 audio dramas' is rather an over-statement - they were broadcast in a rather unspectacular way on BBC4 over Christmas, and although I usually love audio-dramas based on classic sci-fi (Big Finish, I'm looking at you), these were a big let-down. The script was far less tight than the original, the characterisation less vivid, the depiction of the Federation less dark. Even the acting was deeply underwhelming - I'm a big fan of Colin Salmon, and he *should* have been able to turn in a fine performance as Avon, but a combination of lack-lustre delivery and a fairly dire script left the character oddly generic. It ended up a simple remake of the first couple of episodes of the series, only worse, which doesn't fill me with confidence in B7 Productions. I'm sure you can discuss them with more knowledge than I, however...

If - big if - a new series ever does materialise, I'll give it a try, and I'll try to approach it with an open mind (*gasp*). But I can't help but feel that the things which I love about the show - the snappy, rather stylised dialogue and delivery (side-effect of a cast full of RADA-trained actors), the bleakness, the complexity of the relationships (particularly between Avon and Blake) - might well be the first casualties of a remake.

If there was to be a new series, I'd still rather they went with the plan from a few years back - setting a new group of rebels against the Federation of a few years in the future, with the events of the original series hovering in the background, and the original crew being figures of a heroic past (who might occasionally appear in the series in less than heroic ways - Paul Darrow was definitely advocating this approach at one point, so Avon at least would have been putting in appearances.) In many ways it'd be the B7 equivalent of new-Who - a fresh start with fresh characters and perhaps a different approach, but without treading on the toes of the original series, and with all that weight of past history to draw on as the writers wanted.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: April 24th, 2008 05:42 pm (UTC)
Zen

Big Finish long tried to get involved with Blake's 7, but B7 Productions/Media won't let them near, allegedly.

I salute you for managing to listen to the recent audios; I tried and failed, because they just didn't hold my attention. The script of the episode I started to listen to was somewhat leaden.

As I mentioned above a key part of this new series, if it is going to be 'quality television', will be the writing. I can't see Sky commissioning the screenplay from someone like Ben Aaronovitch or James Swallow; they will want a script from someone with a recent track record in providing ratings-grabbing television or film, who can stand comparison to Vadim Jean or Bill Gallagher, helming the Pratchett and Prisoner adaptations, or more widely with Matthew Graham or Cranford's Heidi Thomas.

The theatricality which you praise in the original Blake's 7 is part of what supposely puts off modern viewers, and Chris Tryhorn, the Guardian blogger, cites it as an obstacle to be overcome. Perhaps he's right; but the production values of Blake's 7 certainly weren't appalling for the time, given the aesthetic conventions of television then, and I dislike the way in which they are sneered at today.

While we might not lose the complexity of the relationships, where they were underplayed between 1978 and 1981, the temptation now might be to heavily signpost them. Additionally, so much depends on how actors relate to one another on screen.

Given that Blake's 7 can be viewed as an epic, and one which a substantial chunk of its fandom think needs at least a final act to give it a conclusion which would satisfy them more than what was seen on screen, picking up the folklore a generation later could be the more rewarding strategy. There could easily be a new Blake to justify the continuing use of the name... however, I suspect the circumstances, as well as commercial judgement, preclude this.

Posted by: daniel_saunders (daniel_saunders)
Posted at: April 24th, 2008 09:01 pm (UTC)
Doctor Who

some captioning of dubious accuracy.

Surely you can't be referring to the line "Written by one of the best TV writers of the day, Terry Nation"?

(To be fair to the man, I'd be glad if half the new Who writers paid Nation's level of attention to the basic elements of plotting a story. Yes, really.)

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: April 24th, 2008 11:09 pm (UTC)
Zen

I wasn't thinking of that one; rather, the mention of Orac as a 'new' member of the team in a fourth series picture.

Posted by: viala_qilarre (viala_qilarre)
Posted at: April 25th, 2008 08:24 am (UTC)

On the subject of remaking Blake's 7, I'd be thrilled if someone produced a big, shiny, dark, complex re-imagined version along the lines of BSG (which I love). When I saw the new BSG - and I wasn't familiar with the original version - this was exactly the thought that came into my mind. Someone ought to do the same for Blake's 7.

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On the subject of remaking Blake's 7, I'd be thrilled if someone produced a big, shiny, dark, complex re-imagined version along the lines of BSG (which I love). When I saw the new BSG - and I wasn't familiar with the original version - this was exactly the thought that came into my mind. Someone ought to do the same for Blake's 7. <lj-user="wryelle"> and I even discussed whether you could boldly gender re-assign any of the key characters.

However, from what people here are saying about the franchise owners, it seems that we would be unlikely to get the same kind of quality production.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: April 25th, 2008 10:11 am (UTC)
Zen

I can't see B7 Productions being allowed to produce this by themselves; Sky will surely bring in another company alongside them.

BSG is probably going to be an influence, given that's what Blake's 7 is replacing from Sky's point of view.

Posted by: philmophlegm (philmophlegm)
Posted at: April 25th, 2008 02:46 pm (UTC)
B7

Rumoured casting:
Sean Bean or Philip Glenister as Blake.
Rupert Penry-Jones (yes, apparently that is his real name) as Avon.
Tamzin Outhwaite as Servalan.


Tamzin Outhwaite???

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: April 25th, 2008 07:06 pm (UTC)
Zen

Where does this rumoured casting come from? Penry-Jones will be looking for work as he's leaving Spooks early this season, to be replaced by Robin Hood's Richard Armitage. I'd see him more as a Blake than an Avon, actually.