Blake’s 7, which was dubbed “The Dirty Dozen in space”, is being remade for the Syfy Channel, who is hoping for another success like their revived, Battlestar Galactica, in 2004. Blake’s 7, the story of interstellar renegades, ended on the BC in 1981.
The reworked Battlestar Galactica took the basic plot of the original – ragtag space fleet of humans struggle for survival after sneak attack by cyborg baddies, the Cylons, wipes out their home planets – but took it in a much darker direction than the cheesy 70s source material. It found extra resonance with a new audience with its storylines’ parallels with the post-9/11 terrorist threat and war in Iraq. It is assumed they will take a similar plan with Blake’s 7 with only the basic plot taken into the remake.
Blake’s 7 was about a band of escaped convicts led by Roj Blake (played by Gareth Thomas) and later Kerr Avon (Paul Darrow) who wage war on the evil Federation.
Created by Terry Nation, who was also responsible for creating Doctor Who’s Daleks, Blake’s 7 ran for four years on the BBC from 1978 – 1981. It ended with all of the rebels apart from Avon shot by rebel guards. The final scene, in which Avon stepped over Blake’s body, raised his gun and smiled before shots rang out, suggested Avon was killed as well. Darrow wrote a novel, Lucifer, based on the series and picking up from the end of the show, suggesting Avon wasn’t killed after all.
The new version of the show, which does not yet have a cast or start date, will be produced by US TV producer Georgeville Television. It will be directed by Martin Campbell (director of Goldeneye) and written by Joe Pokaski, whose credits include Heroes. If Syfy likes the script for the pilot, it will go straight to a 13-episode order.