Re-Imaging "Blake's 7"

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Re-Imaging "Blake's 7"

Post by The Browncoat Cat on Fri Feb 25, 2011 5:30 am

The discussion on the "Outcasts" thread is starting to move off topic. My fault, so I thought I would start this thread discussing how the Wrinklies would re-image Blake's 7 if we had the chance.

My first change would be recreating Servalan. I always hated the fact that the Supreme Commander of the Federation Military always swanned around in flouncy evening dresses. Even with the butch ultra short hair cut, it just did not work. So for me, a re-imaged Servalan would always wear the ultra formal Dress Uniform of the Federation, never let her hair down, always braided and worn up, with an ocean of lacquer to stop even one hair falling out of place.
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Re: Re-Imaging "Blake's 7"

Post by Sid Seadevil on Fri Feb 25, 2011 5:42 am

Actually I thought Servalan's original look works perfectly if you think of her as roughly the equivalent of one of the more flamboyantly homicidally insane Roman Emperor's - Caligula for example.

Avon is the character who poses the most problems. Mishandle him and you have a very boringly one-noted character on your hands.

Oh, and I'd never actually introduce 'Blake' as an active character. Rather 'Blake' would function as a kind of 'Anti Big Brother' figure. An embodiment of an ethos, rather than a flat-out flesh and blood man.
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Re: Re-Imaging "Blake's 7"

Post by Nick Barlow on Fri Feb 25, 2011 6:49 am

Grr. Arrg. Forum keeps eating my big long post about how to reimagine B7. Will try it again later.

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Re: Re-Imaging "Blake's 7"

Post by Rich Flair on Fri Feb 25, 2011 9:06 am

James Purefoy will play Avon.
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Re: Re-Imaging "Blake's 7"

Post by The Browncoat Cat on Fri Feb 25, 2011 9:24 am

Next big thing I would change is the costumes. They say nothing dates like the future. I mean, look at UFO, apart from the odd Eocene on this forum, did they really expect people to be wearing string vests, and lets not talk about the purple wigs. So the futuristic space pyjamas would be binned. Normal clothes, even in the 25th Century. After all, Togas were around for ages during antiquity.
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Re: Re-Imaging "Blake's 7"

Post by Rich Flair on Fri Feb 25, 2011 9:27 am

Black leather for everyone.
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Re: Re-Imaging "Blake's 7"

Post by Rich Flair on Fri Feb 25, 2011 9:35 am

Straight hair for all, except Blake, who should be allowed a white man's afro.
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Re: Re-Imaging "Blake's 7"

Post by The Browncoat Cat on Fri Feb 25, 2011 9:40 am

Sid Seadevil wrote:Avon is the character who poses the most problems. Mishandle him and you have a very boringly one-noted character on your hands.
Avon is an interesting character. It should made perfectly clear that he really does not want to be aboard the Liberator, but he knows as an escaped convict and fugitive from justice he has nowhere else to go. Leave the Liberator he would quickly be arrested and returned so Signus Alpha. I would have him as an unwilling member of the crew, with Blake having to make a particular caper an interesting enough challenge for Avon's intellect for the man in black to get involved.

My biggest change would be to have Avon and Villa as best mates. The snide bitchiness is a cover to hide the deep respect that Avon has for someone as clever as he is. He realizes that the drunken coward persona that Villa projects is merely his attempt to get out of Blake's latest hair-brained scheme and by appearing to be down on Villa, he is helping reinforce the pretence. If the chips were down and Avon could save one other person aboard the Liberator, it would be Villa.
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Re: Re-Imaging "Blake's 7"

Post by Sid Seadevil on Fri Feb 25, 2011 2:52 pm

Interesting, Cat. Very interesting...
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Re: Re-Imaging "Blake's 7"

Post by Nick Barlow on Fri Feb 25, 2011 2:59 pm

I've always had two ideas of how I'd re-imagine B7...and yes, I have thought about this way too much.

First, for a continuation, I'd combine some of the proposed Avon as Napoleon on Elba idea with a bit of what Sid suggests above. It's X years after the events on Gauda Prime and because of some unspecified reason, the Federation was forced to abandon the Pylene pacification program and instead resort to more traditional methods of pacification through propaganda. And then someone hits on a brainwave - why not make Roj Blake, now a conveniently martyred dead body who can't argue with you, the hero of the Federation.

When we pick up the story, the Federation is still at war with the Andromedans (the Federation has always been at war with the Andromedans, of course) and the new flagship is about to be launched, bearing the name of the man who realised that the unity of humanity was more important than squabbling about freedom, who ordered his men to side with the Federation at Star One and would surely have led humanity to victory if he hadn't been shot down in cold blood by the Traitor Avon. Yes, we have a ship called the Blake, made using all the latest technologies - including some scavenged from the wreck of the Liberator - and it's first mission is to the super-secret research facility on Terminal. This was where the top scientists and engineers of the Federation reverse-engineered the almost living technology that makes up the Blake, and where they also keep the Traitor Avon prisoner (though propaganda says he was executed) in the hope he'll tell them how teleportation works, and just what he did with Orac.

Meanwhile, on Gauda Prime, a brother and sister have discovered what remains of Orac, and worked out a way to use this bizarre piece of technology to hide their little ship from Federation patrols.

To cut a long story short, various things happen, the captain of the Blake discovers everything is a lie - even the supposed Andromedan ships and attacks are fakes to give the people an enemy to hate - and, together with some of their crew and a couple of scientists from Terminal, spring an elderly Avon from his prison and head to Gauda Prime. There, they end up teaming up with the brother and sister (one's an ace pilot, the other a computer genius, obviously) and what remains of Orac is absorbed into the Blake giving it a personality to control and develop the ship.

Avon sacrifices himself to help his new comrades get away (his final words, in response to being told that they're safe are 'no, never safe. Winning is the only safety.' of course) and our seven new heroes, on a ship called Blake go off for new adventures on their quest for freedom, justice and whatever else is in fashion that week.

I'll deal with a reimagining from the start in another post...

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Re: Re-Imaging "Blake's 7"

Post by The Browncoat Cat on Fri Feb 25, 2011 3:21 pm

Interesting. But unfortunately, I think the time for a continuation is long past. Your idea might have worked in the late 1990's Nick, but not now. It will be 30 years this December since the last new episode of Blake's 7 was broadcast on the BBC television. Few in the modern television audience will even have heard of the series. At least Doctor Who managed to remain low profile during the wilderness years. We remember Blake's 7, but it isn't even a blip on most peoples radar.


Last edited by The Browncoat Cat on Sat Dec 17, 2011 6:16 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Re-Imaging "Blake's 7"

Post by Nick Barlow on Fri Feb 25, 2011 3:46 pm

I doubt it would have worked in the late 90s either, but it's a fun idea. Smile

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Re: Re-Imaging "Blake's 7"

Post by Nick Barlow on Fri Feb 25, 2011 4:14 pm

Anyway, with the continuation out of the way, here's how I'd do the reboot.

First off, I think there are some great ideas in the original series, but most of them are introduced for an episode and then completely forgotten about. So, why not put some of it together and make a coherent back story, which gets revealed as the series goes on and creates plots and dilemmas as it does?

As we know, the series takes place at some indeterminate point in the future. Long before the time we're concerned with, humanity spread out from Earth, colonised planets, found interesting things and started doing all sorts of weird and wonderful things with technology.

Then we met aliens.

Sure, there'd been some aliens before, but they weren't intelligent or technological. These were, and what's more, they were pretty angry with us for arrogantly treating the galaxy like it was ours, as their arrogance told them it was clearly theirs. War was inevitable, and we almost lost until the surviving scattered human worlds, under the leadership of Earth banded together into the Terran Federation and pushed back the aliens, who by then had come to be known as Andromedans for some reason.

The leaders of the Terran Federation decided that this showed how humanity had to be kept united under one leadership - division and weakness would let the aliens back in to destroy us. Democracy and freedom were luxuries we could ill afford, and those who campaigned for it were effectively traitors, and needed to be re-educated about how society should work. Those who still wouldn't learn, and those who repeatedly broke the law, would be sent to far-off desolate worlds in the hope that their children might welcome the Federation when it came for them in future years.

So, we have our core characters on a prison ship to Cygnus Alpha and they discover the Liberator etc etc...except there's a small difference this time, as there's somebody else on board the ship when they find it. This is how they meet Cally, locked in a small cell, refusing to communicate with anyone and seemingly ready to kill anyone who threatens her.

After rescuing some friends from the hellhole that is Cygnus Alpha, and the discovery that Cally's telepathic, they're ready to take on the Federation...but there's another agenda going on that they're not aware of.

The Federation only thinks it's the reason the Andromedans were pushed back. Instead, it was the efforts of the System, humans who've blurred the distinction between the organic and technological, who built the ships - like the Liberator - that turned the tide in the war. Now, ships like it patrol deep space looking for Andromedan probes (this was the battle that crippled Liberator originally) but also picking up 'samples' from human worlds to see what's become of the old race, and how ready they might be to defend themselves. Cally's people are one that experimented heavily with genetics and cloning to discover telepathy and other mental powers, and that's why she was being taken back for further research.

The System would normally have summoned the ship back immediately on discovering the original crew had died, but the efforts of Blake and his crew intrigued the ship's system (the presence they name Zen) and it ignored orders to see what they would do with it. With enough evidence gathered, and the technological breakthrough of the Orac system on board, it then heads back for home. This is a very big mistake, as it leads to the destruction of the System, which allows the Andromedans back in...

That's just a rough background, and the sort of thing that would play out over the first series or two, as it did in the original, depending how long they are. The story after could concentrate on the Andromedan invasion slowly gathering force, and the Liberator crew realising that they may have to side with the Federation as the lesser of two evils, while a bitter and twisted Travis attempts to betray humanity to the aliens.

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Re: Re-Imaging "Blake's 7"

Post by Sid Seadevil on Sat Feb 26, 2011 2:10 am

I think both version are full of potential, Nick. Especially the reboot - which is a nicely effective indeed reworking of those core ideas.
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Re: Re-Imaging "Blake's 7"

Post by The Browncoat Cat on Wed Mar 02, 2011 9:43 am

I liked your idea for a reboot more than the continuation. However, I don't like the idea of the crew of the Liberator siding with the Federation under any circumstances. I would suggest that if the Liberator does take the crew back to the System, then it should be just as they get their first major kicking from the Andromedans. This allows Blake and the Liberator to continue to fight a guerilla war against the Federation. That it is the System who team up with the Federation, making it twice as nasty and authoritarian as it was before. I would also suggest that the Liberator and the crew could still occasionally become involved in the with the Andromedans, because as much as they despise the Federation, they are still human, and what is the point of destroying the Federation if something worse takes its place.
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