Sky is clearly in cahoots with The Federation as it has foiled the return of Blake’s 7, which is a crying shame as we’ve never needed the return of Roj Blake and his gallant ever changing number of crew members more than now.
The production company, B7 Productions, released a statement, almost sounding as if it had been penned by Orac, that said: “Sky deciding to not proceed with the planned TV revival of Blake’s 7 is obviously disappointing, but the development process has resulted in the dynamic reinvention of this ‘branded’ series.”
Picking that element apart they have taken it all on the chin and there seems to be some serious spinning going on, so much so you can almost smell it burning. Hopefully such a release will jolt further interest in the programme, interest that could manifest itself in several different ways.
The original had political intrigue in spades and was essentially Robin Hood in space and in these unjust times of political unrest never and times of terror they would have fitted in perfectly. Stories about anti-government dissidents and corrupt, totalitarian governments never seem to go out of fashion (it’s no coincidence that the series villain was a woman – just as Thatcher came into power), and surely that’s doubly true of this era of terrorism.
So if Sky don’t fancy resurrecting The Liberator and her crew what about their original home on Auntie Beeb? They’d be foolish not to.
They’ve axed Survivors and Spooks has almost run out of steam so time is ripe for something new and Battlestar Galactica showed all TV Execs that just because something is Sci-Fi it doesn’t mean it can’t be well acted, gritty drama that just so happens to be set in space. After all that is how B7 started out and Galactica was often dubbed as being ‘The West Wing in space.’
Another option of course, and one often favoured by the BBC and more recently with ITV and the return of Primeval, is to go in with another broadcaster. The makers of Primeval did a deal with Watch, ITV and a US station for series 4 and 5 so it can be done, even if the show has already been axed. Who knows, perhaps even Syfy might fancy a dabble?
It could also try the route of going for a filmed episode or series and then make the jump to TV, a route that worked so well for Sanctuary. It would be a gamble but it might at least prick interest and a following.
As with Doctor Who before it B7 has already had a reboot of sorts and had a new lease of life in a series of audio adventures which has attracted a whole host of talent from Bond and genre fave, Colin Salmon as Kerr Avon and guest stars from Ashes to Ashes’ Keeley Hawes and new Sherlock Holmes, Benedict Cumberbatch. Like the Who audio adventures it has also lured back cast members from the original series, Michael Keating and Jan Chappell, all of which shows there is still plenty of talent and interest in the project.
The company say that there is 60% funding already in place for the reboot and that Sky is only one of the minor media players involved so as Zen may have stated: “Probability of survival, 80%.”