Other sci-fi

New Blake’s 7 sent to Cygnus Alpha

So, the rejuvenated Blake’s 7 has gone down the toilet, like everyone with any sense always knew it would.

I’ve followed this story for a good few years and never thought B7 Productions, or B7 Media, or whatever they’re called this week had anywhere near the clout, the experience or the goodwill to get a new TV series off the ground.

After Paul Darrow left, they lost the one vital connection back to the original series that may have convinced fans they were headed in the right direction.

And the fairly bizarre set of announcements and appointments, the stuttering audio episodes, and the extremely niche nature of B7 Media’s other productions, didn’t do much to convince me.

The Sky announcement took me by surprise, and it pleased me, but it was still a case of ‘I’ll believe it when I see it”.

I suspect the new Blake’s 7 has got as far as it was ever going to get, which admittedly is further than I ever thought it would – namely because Blake’s 7 just doesn’t have anywhere near the brand equity – to apply a horrible phrase to something rather wonderful – that Doctor Who does.

And while Who wasn’t historically massive in the States, I doubt there was much more than a flicker on interest in Blake’s 7. That will mean it will be nigh-on impossible to secure overseas funding.

Who can run and run and run. It’s the ultimate flexible TV show. Blake’s 7, or much of its equity, is long gone, and was bound up in the charm and style of those original characters.

As it stands, a remade B7 would increasingly be a run-of-the-mill TV sci-fi runaround. The set-up, especially these days, does not seem especially novel; the nostalgia nowhere near that of Doctor Who; the genre moved on a long way – you only have to look at what Farscape did with a similar set-up.

Blake’s 7 was a wonderful, brilliant show. But it belongs well in the past. Still, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Andrew Sewell, surrounded by Federation guards, start to smile over a black fade.