Blake's 7 given the go ahead by Syfy

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Bob The Skutter, Apr 8, 2013.

  1. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I hope it succeeds, regardless of whether it's any good or I like it. We need more space opera on TV and the main hold-up is the lack of any current successful example the networks or cable can point to and say, "we need something like that."

    Firefly averaged 5M viewers but that's on broadcast. Basic cable's expectations are lower. (Come to think of it, 5M on broadcast sounds pretty good the way things have been going lately.)

    I was expecting the other shoe to drop if Firefly had continued, and Mal's political instincts to be re-awakened. Seems like a waste of his backstory otherwise.

    I have this hunch that an overtly political anti-government show might take off if someone has the guts to put it out there. I don't see SyFy as being the network that will do it, but stranger things have happened.
     
  2. Anachronus

    Anachronus Commodore Commodore

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    Well I always said Firefly was a Blakes7 rip off so I may have beaten some of them to the punch.:lol:

    However given that it is SyFy remaking a British Cult Classic I have low hopes. Especially after AMC's "Prisoner in name only".
     
  3. Anachronus

    Anachronus Commodore Commodore

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    Tough roles to fill will be Avon and Servalan.
    I could see Alex Kingston as Servalan, but who could be Avon.
     
  4. Count Zero

    Count Zero Says who? Moderator

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    Well, I stumbled over that detail, too, but if you think about it it actually was part of the original set-up of the show, as well, in some way. In the first episode, Blake learns that the tapes he's been receiving from his family are fake and that they're all dead (I hope I'm remembering this correctly). Also, Blake should have been pretty traumatised in the original show, too. After all, the government messed with his mind and memories, all his friends and family are dead and he's on the run from a totalitarian regime. It just never played a role in the original show because at the time such things were hardly ever portrayed in any realistic way.


    That's my take on it, as well. I'm a bit more optimistic but the probability that it will suck is pretty high. The original show is also an incredibly hard act to follow.


    In the end, Blakes 7 is a tragic tale of a failed revolution. All those sacrifices, all those ethical compromises and they don't even manage to kill Servalan. To me, that's why this show is so great, because it's so life-like in that aspect and doesn't sugar-coat things.
     
  5. Star Wolf

    Star Wolf Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That SyFy is giving it a shot is as exciting as anything. Unlike BSG B7 did not start as a cleaned up US family time show so a hard turn to the extra darkside is not necessary. The premise has the hope that Andromeda once had
     
  6. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    Oooh - howzabout Marena Baccarin as Servilan! :)
     
  7. Marc

    Marc Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    But Jaquelin Pearce was pissed off at not being in the final episode.

    Which raises a point - in this day an age would we see and ending akin to "Blake' does modern television make it more likely

    Also wonder want it means to for current B7 related projects, Big Finish is doing the Liberator Chronicles audios and well as new novels.

    Not sure what the status of the re-imaged audio drama is.
     
  8. WillsBabe

    WillsBabe Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Me, three. :guffaw::guffaw:
     
  9. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'd prefer that HBO were at helm rather than SyFy, but what will be will be. I expect Blake in the new version is framed for his wife's murder. I hope the actor cast as Kerr Avon will be British at least. Isn't Morena Baccarin still busy on Homeland?
     
  10. Tom

    Tom Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Me 4, I love B7 but it on SyFy does scares me a bit. IT should be re-made by the BBC, IMO, but that ship has sailed. I hope the crew behind this knows how to handle it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2013
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    That assumes at least 20 episodes per season, but many cable shows these days have shorter seasons than that. (For instance, Eureka ran 5 seasons and had only 77 episodes.) I gather the first-season order for the new B7 is only 13 episodes -- identical to the length of the original show's seasons.

    And anyway, if it does run for five years, that will be a major success. Few TV shows, particularly genre shows, last that long. Indeed, until ST:TNG, I don't think any SF/fantasy show in the US ever made it to a sixth season. Not to mention that the original B7 only ran for four years and 52 episodes.


    Actually I feel that Syfy has a very good track record with its original shows. There are some that aren't to my personal tastes, like Haven and Being Human, but in terms of actual quality they're all pretty well-done. I feel Eureka and Warehouse 13 were mediocre in their early seasons but got much better over time. And I never got into Sanctuary, but that was more to do with the off-putting virtual sets than anything else. The only original scripted drama Syfy has done in the past 5 years that I'd actually call bad is Galactica: Blood and Chrome. The last bad original scripted show they did before then was Painkiller Jane back in 2007. Okay, and Flash Gordon in the same year, but only in the first half-season -- it really improved in the back half.

    So given their track record for the past five years or so, I'd say the odds of any given original scripted SF drama being good are considerably higher on Syfy than they'd be on one of the broadcast networks.

    Admittedly, the fact that this is being done by Joe Pokaski of Heroes gives me pause. But he wasn't very high in that show's staff hierarchy, so he probably wasn't personally responsible for its deterioration, and thus I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.
     
  12. Count Zero

    Count Zero Says who? Moderator

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    Well, it isn't any original SyFy show, though, it's a reimagination of what I (and many others) consider one of the best sci fi-shows ever made. It will be compared to the original so expectations will be very high.

    But as I said, I'll try to be optimistic and meet it on its own merits.
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Heck, as others have said, it'll just be nice to have a space show on the air again. I don't think we currently have any except for Doctor Who, and that's only sometimes a space show.
     
  14. Sindatur

    Sindatur The Grey Owl Wizard Premium Member

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    I seemto recall, the initial story I read was that the production Company doing it is a couple Brits who are actually fans of the original selling it to American TV? is that so? If so, then all we need to worry about, should be "Notes from SyFy"
     
  15. Lowdarzz

    Lowdarzz Captain Captain

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    I have no illusions that this show will be any good though I'm willing to give it a chance. My biggest hope is that this show becomes the impetus to get the original Blake's 7 released on DVD in the U.S. It's been years since it aired on PBS and I've only been able to catch the odd episode of youtube since.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2013
  16. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I was going to say that...
     
  17. The Grinch Doctor

    The Grinch Doctor Two Hearts Too Small Premium Member

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    I'm both terrified and excited. I'm terrified because SyFy is producing this (as oppose to a UK channel or even HBO) and because it's a "re-imaging" of a beloved classic series it runs the risks of constant comparisons to the original ("Well, the original did this, this, and that!" "The original series did that part better" and so on). I'm excited because, as others have already said, Blake's 7 is ripe for reinvention (just look at Firefly) and has the potential of being a great series. I'm terrified and excited because I want to see the aspects that Starkers and others have described that made the original series so successful (such as character interactions and the dire situations they have to constantly work in) envisioned properly in this remake.

    I will definitely check this out but I'm cautiously, very cautiously optimistic.
     
  18. Candlelight

    Candlelight Admiral Admiral

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    I'm eager to see it, and I think everyone should just pipe down until you've seen it. You have no idea how it'll turn out so why worry?

    Battlestar Galactica was better than the original. This may be the same.

    Knight Rider 2008 was bloody awful. This may be the same.

    Lets just wait and see.
     
  19. Leroy

    Leroy Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I'd say go ahead and import the R2 DVDs they are excellent in every way aside for the packaging (it's cheap cardboard foldout). All you need is a player that can go region free and convert from PAL to NTSC which shouldn't be too hard this day and age.
    I was going to suggest Rebecca Riggs.
     
  20. diankra

    diankra Commodore Commodore

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    Like everyone else, I'm in two minds about this.
    First. they seem to be talking about Blake plus six criminals: that brings it back towards Terry Nation's original concept, of Blake plus the seven convicts from the London: Jenna, Avon, Vila, Arco, Gan, Selman and Klein. Wonder if they're creating new characters, or going back to Nation''s original ideas? Arco, at least, had a lot going for him as a character (junior defence minister, involved in a fraud set up by the Secretary, took all the blame when it went wrong. In other words, Wolfowitz, set up to take the blame by Rumsfeld, as it were).

    Anyway, on the downside: Blake's 7 is just another space opera unless you get the interplay among the crew, and the Orwellian politics underlying it. Difficult to see SyFi going for the latter.
    On the other hand... Martin Campbell has a major role. Edge of Darkness! Casino Royale! (oh, and the Edge of Darkness film, but everyone makes mistakes). If they'd been making the original series on film, he'd have been directing it, instead he was doing Minder and the Professionals for Euston.
    And casting wise, I find myself thinking about people he's worked with before...
    Assuming the past Sy-Fi pattern of some British actors who want to crack the American market (like Robert Carylyle in SG: Universe), some film stars whose star has fallen (Like Lou Dimaond Phillips), and maybe some pilot episode guests who'll bring in publicity and seem to be leads but get killed off rapidly (like Robert Patrick).
    On that basis, thinking about people Campbell's used in the past and might ring... Ian McNeice, Ray Winstone, Joe Don Baker, Martin Shaw?
    For Servalan, pick from Samantha Bond, Zoe Wanamaker and Joanne Whalley.
    For short-lived publicity grabbing cameos, an outside bet would be Pierce Brosnan, Judi Dench or Mel Gibson... possibly as the Federation President. Though really, that's a part for Paul Darrow.