Original Blake's 7 Cast Reunite For More Audio DramasBookmark and Share

Monday, 8 July 2013 - Reported by John Bowman
The surviving original TV cast of Blake's 7 are being brought back together again in six new audio plays.

The Big Finish dramas will launch in January 2014 with Fractures by Justin Richards, in which an escape from a Federation pursuit ship leaves the crew of the Liberator licking their wounds. As the dust settles, realisation gradually dawns that the trust and camaraderie that has built up between them is dissolving - and one of the crew is working against the rest.

The audios see the return of Gareth Thomas as Roj Blake, Paul Darrow as Kerr Avon, Michael Keating as Vila Restal, Sally Knyvette as Jenna Stannis, Jan Chappell as Cally, and Brian Croucher as Travis, while Alistair Lock voices the computers Zen and Orac.

The writers for the rest of the season are Andrew Smith, Marc Platt, Peter Anghelides, Mark Wright, and Cavan Scott.

The news follows the release earlier this year of Anghelides' audio drama Warship, which first saw the original surviving Liberator team reunited. David Jackson, who played crew member Olag Gan, died in 2005, while Peter Tuddenham - the voice of Zen and Orac on TV - died two years later.

Producer David Richardson said:
I was delighted that our first full-cast Blake's 7 audio, Warship, received such glowing reviews and a rapturous reception. I'm therefore thrilled that we're able to continue with more full-cast stories, which are set during the second season of the TV show, as a worrying revelation forces Blake to interrupt his search for the Federation control centre Star One.
The series is being released in a licence deal with B7 Media, and Andrew Mark Sewell, the executive producer of B7 Media, said:
It's great to be working with Big Finish on more full-cast Blake's 7 stories. Given this year marks the 35th anniversary since the TV series first aired, these epic-sounding audio adventures are a great way for fans to celebrate Blake's 7 enduring legacy.
After Fractures comes out, the other stories - whose titles are yet to be revealed - will be released monthly until June.

The TV series, created by Terry Nation, ran on BBC1 between 1978 and 1981.




Blake's 7 Reboot Pitched To Buyers At CannesBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 9 April 2013 - Reported by John Bowman
The reboot of cult TV sci-fi show Blake's 7 is being pitched by entertainment company FremantleMedia International to buyers at MIPTV - the television and online-content market and creative forum in Cannes.

Currently in development with the US cable network Syfy, the series of 13 one-hour episodes will be made by Georgeville TV, the independent studio co-founded by Leon Clarance of London-based Motion Picture Capital (the financing arm of Reliance Entertainment), and producer Marc Rosen. It has been written by Joe Pokaski and will be directed by the award-winning Martin Campbell.

Pokaski is best known for his work on the TV sci-fi drama series Heroes, while among his credits Campbell has directed the Bond films GoldenEye and the Daniel Craig-starring Casino Royale as well as both TV and film versions of Edge of Darkness, winning a BAFTA for his 1985 BBC television production.

FremantleMedia has released the following teaser information about the new version of the show:

The year is 2136, Blake wakes up on one side of the bed. He reaches for the other side. There's nobody there. As reality sets in, this handsome ex-soldier sits up and looks at a photo of his wife Rachel. Beautiful. Deceased.

A revolutionary reinvention of the long-running BBC series, Blake's 7 tells the story of seven criminals - six guilty and one innocent - on their way to life on a prison colony in space, who together wrestle freedom from imprisonment. They acquire an alien ship which gives them a second chance at life and become the most unlikely heroes of their time.

David Ellender, the chief executive of FremantleMedia International and Kids & Family Entertainment, said:
Blake's 7 was such a forward-thinking concept that the show continues to have resonance with audiences today. Its complex characters and gritty storylines, coupled with the highly talented team and modern production techniques, are sure to appeal to both original fans of the show and new viewers.

Leon Clarance, the co-founder of Georgeville Television and chief executive of Motion Picture Capital, the finance arm of Reliance Entertainment, added:
Joe Pokaski and Martin Campbell have worked tirelessly with the Georgeville TV team to create an amazeballs reboot of this classic space opera which I watched with my father when I was a child. This reimagined classic for a new generation of science-fiction fans will enthral original and new fans alike. I couldn't be happier to have our beloved show handled internationally by the passionate team at FremantleMedia.

(Yes, Clarance really did say "amazeballs" in the press release!)

Blake's 7
was created by Terry Nation and originally ran for 52 episodes over four series on BBC1 between 1978 and 1981.

An April Fool was circulated last week via Twitter, claiming that Idris Elba would be playing Blake, and a copy of a fake "official" Blake's 7 magazine with Elba on the cover has been put on eBay to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support. Anyone interested in bidding for it should be aware that it has no content.





Early Release For Blake's 7 Reunion AdventureBookmark and Share

Friday, 25 January 2013 - Reported by John Bowman
An audio drama that reunites the original surviving Blake's 7 TV cast members has been released by Big Finish - a month ahead of schedule.

Set during the Galactic War, Warship - written by Peter Anghelides and directed by Ken Bentley - is a two-disc special, with the adventure on one disc and a behind-the-scenes documentary on the other.

It brings together Gareth Thomas as Roj Blake, Paul Darrow as Kerr Avon, Michael Keating as Vila Restal, Jan Chappell as Cally, Sally Knyvette as Jenna Stannis, and Jacqueline Pearce as Servalan, with Alistair Lock as Zen and Orac.

Peter Tuddenham, who originally provided the voices of Zen and Orac, died in 2007 and David Jackson, who played crew member Gan in the first two seasons of the TV show, died in 2005.

An alien fleet stands poised to invade Federation space. The only vessel available to hold it back is the Liberator, commanded by Roj Blake and his crew.

As an intergalactic war breaks out, old enemies become allies, friends will become separated, and Blake will be forced to leave behind all that matters to him . . .

It can be bought as a CD and download. The tie-in novelisation, expanding on the story's events and developments, will be published next month as planned as an e-book.






Puppet From Captain Scarlet Fails To Sell At AuctionBookmark and Share

Thursday, 13 December 2012 - Reported by John Bowman
A puppet from the Gerry Anderson series Captain Scarlet that was estimated to fetch between £12,500 and £13,500 failed to find a buyer when it went up for auction yesterday at Bonhams' Entertainment Memorabilia sale in London.

The Captain Brown puppet consisted of an original, restored head with reproduction body and uniform. The character of Captain Brown featured in the first episode of Captain Scarlet as well as in flashback in the second episode. The puppet was then used for other characters in the series, including Major Reeves and Dr Conrad, before being "recycled" for other Gerry Anderson shows.

Approximately 22in (56cm) high, it also appeared as Dr Blakemore in the Joe 90 episode Operation McClaine and as Harry Sloane in Double Agent in the same series. In The Secret Service it portrayed several characters, including the spy George Grey and, with grey hair and moustache, General Brompton in the episode Hole In One.

A prop stardrive device from the Blake's 7 episode Stardrive (series 4, episode 4) went for £1,187, having had an estimate of £500-700. Meanwhile, a mothership model from Series 10 of Red Dwarf was bought for £562 (estimate £500-700), while an Annihilator model spaceship from the same series fetched £750 (estimate £500-700). All sale prices included the premium.

The auction was held at Bonhams' Knightsbridge saleroom.






TV Props And Models Going Under The HammerBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 20 November 2012 - Reported by John Bowman
Models and props from Captain Scarlet, Blake's 7, and the latest series of Red Dwarf are to be auctioned next month in London.

Bonhams' Entertainment Memorabilia sale takes place on Wednesday 12th December at its Knightsbridge showroom, starting at midday, where the following will be available to bid for:

Lot No: 137 - A Captain Brown puppet from Captain Scarlet

Original, restored head with reproduction body and uniform, puppet approx 22in (56cm) high with statement from Terry Curtis regarding the restoration. The character was only in the first episode and in flashback in the second. It was then used for other characters in the series, including Major Reeves and Dr Conrad. The puppet also appeared as Dr Blakemore in the Joe 90 episode Operation McClaine and as Harry Sloane in Double Agent in the same series. In The Secret Service it portrayed several characters, including the spy George Grey and, with grey hair and moustache, General Brompton in the episode Hole In One. Provenance: This head is ex-lot 14, The Sylvia Anderson, Mary Turner and John Read Collection, Phillips, September 1995. Restorer Terry Curtis's statement details the work he undertook on the puppet head, including re-wigging with original mohair, repainting the head to its original colour, replacing missing teeth with a set moulded from the close-up Captain Blue head and using leather from Pittards in the uniform, as was the original leather. The eyes are original.

Estimate: £12,500-13,500, €16,000-17,000; $20,000-22,000
 
Lot No: 138 - Stardrive prop from Blake's 7

A prop stardrive device from the Blake's 7 episode Stardrive (series 4, episode 4), circa 1981, constructed mainly from metal and plastics, with internal wiring and carrying handle, 30 x 7½ x 5½ inches (76x19x14cm).

Estimate: £500-700, €630-880; $800-1,100
 
Lot No: 141 - Mothership from Red Dwarf X

A detailed model Mothership spaceship designed and made by William 'Bill' Pearson, constructed from plastic and metal. Featured in Red Dwarf X in 2012. Length - 24 inches (61cm). This model was originally built for a proposed science-fiction television series in the 1980s that was not commissioned. The model spaceship remained in Bill Pearson's workshop until this year and featured in episode 4, Entangled, as a space station.

Estimate: £500-700, €630-880; $800-1,100
 
Lot No: 142 - Annihilator from Red Dwarf X

A detailed model Annihilator fantasy spaceship designed and made by William 'Bill' Pearson. Constructed from plastic and metal, and featured in Red Dwarf X in 2012. Length - 22 inches (56cm). Originally made for a Red Dwarf Christmas special more than ten years ago but never used. It then remained in Bill Pearson's workshop until this year when it was called upon for Red Dwarf X and featured in episode 6, The Beginning. Only one model was made, which was duplicated in the episode using visual effects.

Estimate: £500-700, €630-880; $800-1,100
 




Blake's 7 Reboot On CardsBookmark and Share

Monday, 23 July 2012 - Reported by John Bowman
A reboot of Blake's 7 could be teleporting its way back on to TV screens.

According to a report by Deadline, the American independent studio Georgeville Television has joined forces with director Martin Campbell to bring back the series that was created by Terry Nation.

The franchise rights have been secured from the rights holder Andrew Sewell and his firm B7 Media, financial backing is coming from MPC, and writer Joe Pokaski is penning the reboot. The project is currently being touted around the American networks.

Blake's 7 originally ran for 52 episodes over four series on BBC1 between 1978 and 1981. In 2008, Sky1 announced that it had commissioned two one-hour scripts for a possible TV series, but two years later it said it had decided not to commission the show.
(With thanks to Steve Layton)









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