Exclusive: Concept Art for Long-Simmering BLAKE’S 7 Series
By Kyle Anderson on August 7, 2014
Between 1978 and 1981, BBC-watchers were treated to a dour and gritty look at science fiction with the Terry Nation-created Blake’s 7, about a ragtag group of outlaws and ruffians who are made to team up and work together to take down a totalitarian government under the “leadership” of Roj Blake and in the ship known as The Liberator. Running 52 episodes, the series was one of the first in sci-fi to prove that no character, no matter how beloved (or named in the title of the show) was safe from the machinations of the storytelling gods. Here’s a gander at a bit of classic Blake’s 7.
For years, fans have been curious/worried about the proposed relaunch of the “Dirty Dozen in Space” series. It’s been in the pipeline for many years and unfortunately, continually hit snags. However, we do have three exclusive pieces of concept art for the show which, the official word is, is still in development. First, the pictures, then the backstory.
As you can see, the concept art is a little H.R. Giger-y, and certainly the Liberator looks quite different to the way the original show’s looks. Gives an idea for the visual tone the makers of the series are attempting to strike. Certainly looks like the right place for fugitives and outlaws to hang out, and it’s definitely not a glossy, pristine starship.
The rebirth of the project dates all the way back to 2000 when a TV movie was planned to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the show, which never came to fruition. Since then, several different ideas had been bandied about including a miniseries, an animated series, and a series of TV movies. In 2012, it was announced that Syfy had picked up the rights to a new series and announced that GoldenEye and Casino Royale director Martin Campbell would direct.
This ended up not materializing, although the idea of the remake continued, with the BBC eventually announcing in 2013 that there would indeed still be a new series appearing on Syfy. There was even talk that a full series order of 13 episodes had been placed. This, as you know, also didn’t result in a show, and then there was talk the series to end up on the Xbox Live Network, however that also no longer seems to be happening. The official word is that they are working on back-stories and production design and that they are discussing things with “several U.S. broadcasters.”
Whether this comes about or not, the idea of a redone Blake’s 7 is an intriguing one, given the success of Battlestar Galactica as a gritty space opera. Potentially, Blake’s 7 could be even bleaker than that series. But, presumably, in a cool and spectacle-filled way.
What do you make of all of the talk of a remake? Do these thee pieces of concept art make you more or less excited for a new show?