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Fantasy Blake's 7
Spaceship Dispatcher
We haven't done a Fantasy Blake's 7 thread since the site relaunch, and have quite a few members who have joined us for the first time since then! The premise is this: imagining that you are show runner for a new Blake's 7 series next due to go before the cameras next year, how would you answer these questions (and feel free to add others) in creating the new show?

How many episodes would you shoot? Loads of new episodes, or is less actually more?
What style would you choose - ie lots of realism on location or more fantasy studio and cgi based settings?
Which of the main characters would you have at the start, and who would you cast from the current industry?
Which of the main characters would you hope to introduce in later series, and again who would you cast?
Apart from the regulars, who would you love to see cast as one off guest actors? Always a B7 strength!
Who would you invite to write or direct the episodes, or work in other creative departments?


This is a fun exercise and not about whether a new series should actually happen in real life, and definitely not about the politics of different studios previously involved in RL reboot proposals. Derailing posts along the lines of 'why bother' might not survive Wink
Edited by Spaceship Dispatcher on 28 March 2016 17:53:04
Reversing the polarity of the neutron flow. I bet that means something. It sounds great.

Blake's 7: Trojan Horse (s4 fanfic) - Blake's 7: Through the Needle's Eye (s2 fanfic)

Spaceship Dispatcher's fanfic site
 
trevor travis
I want 52 episodes, with Terry Nation writing 19 of them and Chris Boucher writing nine of them. Robert Holmes to write four, and Tanith Lee to write a couple of fantasy-based episodes.

I want Gareth Thomas as Blake, Paul Darrow as Avon, Michael Keating as Vila, Glynis Barber as Soolin, Jacqueline Pearce as Servie, Deep Roy as Ze Klute, etc etc.

David Maloney as producer of Seasons A to C, and Vere Lorrimer in Season D. Chris Boucher as script editor throughout.

Directors to include Michael E Briant, Andrew Morgan, Fiona Cumming, Vivienne Couzens and Mary Ridge. Douglas Camfield to direct "Duel" in Season A.

Dudley Simpson to compose the theme tune and also the incidental music. June Hudson to design the costumes in Season B.

Season cliffhangers: Season A - the Liberator apparently blowing up (it's really only the image on the screen which does so), Season B - the Liberator holding off the alien fleet, Season C - the destruction of the Liberator, Season D - total massacre.

There you go - that's Fantasy Blake's 7. Perfection and impossible to improve on.
Edited by trevor travis on 28 March 2016 18:53:47
 
JustBrad
An HBO not quite original series.

10 - 12 episodes per season.

Mostly Studio, as this is a Space Epic after all.

The opening episode begins with James Frain as Blake, being contacted by the resistance, caught by The Federation, and framed for a crime (thought probably NOT the crime he was framed for in the original). Gareth Thomas would guest star as Vynn Glend, Sally K. as Alta Morag, Michael Keating as the lawyer with the short life expectancy.

James Frain as Roj Blake
Alex Kingston as Jenna Stannis
Burn Gorman as Kerr Avon (We've met him and he wants to do it)
Dan Starkey as Villa
Anthony Simcoe as Olag Gan
Zoe Saldana as Cally.
Rebecca Riggs as Servalan
Wayne Pygram as Travis.

In the second episode Blake and company would be marooned on Cygnus Alpha and at odds with the general, hostile, inmate population, struggling to survive. An alien space ship would crash land, the crew dead. Avon, Blake, Vila, Gan, and Jenna race to salvage the vessel and make it flyable before the hostile inmate population strip it for anything that will help them survive.

From there I would follow the basic plot, but there would be an underlying, unifying arc through Redemption, Killer, and Star One. The System would not be The System, but an alien outpost, a bastion of the mysterious, and very hostile aliens in 61 Cygni. The plague is sent out by the same race of aliens, the same race of aliens who manned Liberator when it crashed, and these same aliens would invade at the end of Star One, though from 61 Cygni, not from another galaxy, rendering the mine field far more plausible.

At the Star One cliffhanger, Liberator would have to plug a hole in the minefield, facing off against an entire fleet of its sister ships.
Edited by JustBrad on 28 March 2016 19:48:43
 
Travisina
JustBrad wrote:

At the Star One cliffhanger, Liberator would have to plug a hole in the minefield, facing off against an entire fleet of its sister ships.

I love that idea!
Twitter: @TravisinaB7
Tumblr: tumblr
There's no point being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes
 
markab2
Could it be an animated version with the original cast doing voice overs? The original was 'good' at the animated Liberator stuff! They did it with Star Trek.
 
trevor travis
markab2 wrote:

Could it be an animated version with the original cast doing voice overs? The original was 'good' at the animated Liberator stuff! They did it with Star Trek.


I would prefer that, to some horrible re-casted monstrosity. In fact, an animated series could be really good. Of course, you'd need a new Gan and probably a new Dayna, but as long as the other original actors were back, that's not a major issue.
 
Spaceship Dispatcher
Spaceship Dispatcher wrote:

This is a fun exercise and not about whether a new series should actually happen in real life...

trevor travis wrote:

I would prefer that, to some horrible re-casted monstrosity...

TT - this thread is just a game, a bit of fun. Not about what we would or wouldn't want to actually happen. There's plenty of other threads for those kind of semi-serious discussions.
Reversing the polarity of the neutron flow. I bet that means something. It sounds great.

Blake's 7: Trojan Horse (s4 fanfic) - Blake's 7: Through the Needle's Eye (s2 fanfic)

Spaceship Dispatcher's fanfic site
 
Spaceship Dispatcher
markab2 wrote:

Could it be an animated version with the original cast doing voice overs?

You could, though the OP did say the show was 'going before the cameras'...

However, in the fun spirit of the thread as a hypothetical bit of fun, I would be interested in who you would pick for a live action show. Remember, you're totally in charge of this show! It can be as different to avoid comparison or as similar to recapture the original as you like...
Reversing the polarity of the neutron flow. I bet that means something. It sounds great.

Blake's 7: Trojan Horse (s4 fanfic) - Blake's 7: Through the Needle's Eye (s2 fanfic)

Spaceship Dispatcher's fanfic site
 
trevor travis
Spaceship Dispatcher wrote:

Spaceship Dispatcher wrote:

This is a fun exercise and not about whether a new series should actually happen in real life...

trevor travis wrote:

I would prefer that, to some horrible re-casted monstrosity...

TT - this thread is just a game, a bit of fun. Not about what we would or wouldn't want to actually happen. There's plenty of other threads for those kind of semi-serious discussions.


I was agreeing to the idea of an animated series, which wasn't my suggestion, it was markab2's. If there was a new series, that's how I'd like it done. Wink
 
trevor travis
Or this would be OK...

It's thirty years later. The wheelchair-bound Avon (Paul Darrow) is still out for survival and looking after No 1. Ironically, the long-deposed Servalan (Jacqueline Pearce) is his ally, these days. However, neither are quite sure if they can trust the other.

In a new series of adventures, they met old acquaintances such as Grant (Tom Chadbon), Max (Stewart Bevan) and Bek (Karl Howman). And Avon is also left pondering just how Vila (Michael Keating) and Soolin (Glynis Barber) managed to cheat death on the planet of Gauda Prime...
 
Spaceship Dispatcher
trevor travis wrote:

Or this would be OK...

It's thirty years later. The wheelchair-bound Avon (Paul Darrow) is still out for survival and looking after No 1. Ironically, the long-deposed Servalan (Jacqueline Pearce) is his ally, these days. However, neither are quite sure if they can trust the other.

In a new series of adventures, they met old acquaintances such as Grant (Tom Chadbon), Max (Stewart Bevan) and Bek (Karl Howman). And Avon is also left pondering just how Vila (Michael Keating) and Soolin (Glynis Barber) managed to cheat death on the planet of Gauda Prime...

Cool! Who else would be in the guest cast, on a one off episode basis?
Reversing the polarity of the neutron flow. I bet that means something. It sounds great.

Blake's 7: Trojan Horse (s4 fanfic) - Blake's 7: Through the Needle's Eye (s2 fanfic)

Spaceship Dispatcher's fanfic site
 
Spaceship Dispatcher
Mine would be a BBC broadcast mini-series of eight episodes of one hour duration

The first and final episodes would take place on a future Earth, realised entirely on location

Three episodes would be alien worlds, with overseas location filming; I have been impressed by the use of Lanzarote (Dr Who twice), South Africa (Outcasts) and Jordan (The Martian, Last Days on Mars) and would make use of how modern camera and editing tech make the wide vistas look like another world without use of CGI backdrops.

Three episodes would be entirely studio bound; one using only the standing sets, one set on another space ship and the other set on a space station.

Episode one would be as close as possible to Terry Nation’s original The Way Back story, with a different crime element of course, but would end with the London coming across the Liberator sans on board failed rebellion. The second episode would see all the crew end up on the Liberator and stealing it from the Federation crew of the London prison ship. I would compress this part of the early series narrative, and lose Cygnus Alpha, to avoid repeating Terry Nation’s ideas too much and fans thinking “we’ve seen all this before” and switching off. I do like Brad’s idea of having as many original cast members in the new TWB as possible and will steal it for my own show! My first series would end with a Pressure Point style story (not the same plot though) on Earth rather than a space battle.

Main characters

I would have less major characters than the original show. Blake, Avon and Jenna would be the principle leads. Vila and Cally would be introduced in the second episode but killed across the next two episodes, with episode 3 very much focusing on Vila and episode 4 on Cally; the other four episodes would have only a crew of three, with Gan only being a one episode character in episode one (a bit like the new Survivors show killing off Jenny in episode one)

I'm going to go and think of the casting now. Brad has already taken one of my ideal actors!
Reversing the polarity of the neutron flow. I bet that means something. It sounds great.

Blake's 7: Trojan Horse (s4 fanfic) - Blake's 7: Through the Needle's Eye (s2 fanfic)

Spaceship Dispatcher's fanfic site
 
sweevo
I'd make it an epic movie, similar to the lines of the Michael Mann classic "Heat" or a Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western (I'm talking about 3 hours here), with a little Miami Vice influence. The only casting choice I can think of at the moment is Edward James Olmos (Lt Castillo) as Avon.

Prologue
Condense "The Way Back" to about 5-10 minutes, with Blake regaining his memories and being deported to Cygnus Alpha, meeting Jenna and Vila in the process. This is followed by a very compressed version of "Space Fall" (we meet Gan and Avon, Blake tries to take over the ship but fails, and he, along with J&A, are sent to investigate the Liberator), with the main difference being that G&V join the boarding party, skipping "Cygnus Alpha" entirely. Blake vows to take the fight back to Earth despite Avon's protests.

Act 1
Blake's first act is to respond to a distress call on Saurian Major (a VERY cut-down "Time Squad" here), where he meets Cally, who joins him after she is revealed to be the sole survivor of a suicide squad. After liberating SM from Federation forces, who have attempted to use the planet's neutrality to their advantage, Blake learns that Travis is still a live (cue flashback sequence) and vows to locate and kill him. Once Cally joins the crew, there is some tension between her and Jenna, while Avon learns from Zen that the Federation have installed and implemented a new Enigma-style code for their communications, in addition to a supercomputer called "Orac" (cue most of "Seek-Locate-Destroy", featuring only the main plot of the Cipher machine and Blake rescuing Cally from Travis). A short gunfight between Blake and Travis ensues, with the former just barely winning against the latter. Blake refuses to kill Travis (who is at his mercy) and instead punches him, knocking him out cold with a single blow before leaving with Cally. Once back on the Liberator, Avon chides Blake for risking their necks without their knowledge or consent and tells him about Orac - Blake retaliates by sending Avon and Vila to intercept and retrieve Orac before the Federation can get to them (cue an alternate version of "Orac", with Avon and Vila in their first real Crockett/Tubbs-style outing together). A&V are promptly apprehended after the latter inadvertently sets off a trap, prompting Blake to send down Gan to help them out. Gan is able to beat the smeg out of most of the guards securing A&V, giving Vila enough time to open the lock to their cell. Gan escorts Vila to safety while Avon goes to get Orac and finds out that Ensor is already dead, having been killed by Travis prior to the Liberator's arrival. Blake warns Avon that the Federation is coming to participate in a "cleanup mission", headed by Supreme Commander Servalan herself. Realising his fate, Avon has no choice but to escape with Orac, just barely making it in time as the Federation cleanup crew arrive to cover up the truth of what really happened on Aristo. Back on the Liberator, Avon openly admonishes Blake for his increasingly obsessive behaviour, going so far as to defend both Gan and Vila. Once in the hands of the crew, Orac makes its first prediction - the "destruction" of the Liberator.

Act 2
Following the failure on Aristo, Servalan gives Travis a second chance to apprehend Blake. The next 20-30 minutes would be essentially a condensed version of "Redemption" with elements from "Shadow" thrown in - Blake begins to act in an increasingly authoritarian and manipulative/narcissistic manner (as seen in "Shadow", "Horizon" and "Pressure Point", to varying degrees), prompting Avon to warn the others - the only people who will take him seriously are Vila and (after some persuasion) Gan, with Jenna being infatuated with Blake's heroics and Cally seeing him as a source of inspiration. The Liberator, for the bulk of this act, is split into two factions - one headed by Avon, who wants a democratic ship (backed by Gan and Vila), the other led by the increasingly autocratic Blake (backed by Jenna and Cally), who plays the "my ship, my rules" card despite Avon's attempts to reason with him - Blake finalises the discussion by stating that they are going back to Earth to finish what HE started. Vila questions Blake privately, the Delta thief not willing to accept that the man he idolises is just a glorified thug, trying to sympathise with his plight but also trying to remind him that everybody needs to be seen, heard and understood on the ship, and even Avon (who has up until this point been a reluctant partner for Vila) would agree with him. Blake responds by hitting (slapping) Vila like an abusive father before verbally insulting him (what I want Blake to say can't be written on this forum). Unfortunately for Blake, this act does not go unseen - Avon is in the shadows, having seen and heard everything. Cue most of "Pressure Point" without Kasabi and her crew. Blake discovers that the "Central Control" chamber is empty, which deflates his ego almost completely. Travis arrives to arrest Blake following a coded message from Avon, who has become increasingly tired of Blake's suicidal antics. Unfortunately, Travis has brought Servalan with him and arrests everybody, prompting Jenna and Cally to launch a two-woman rescue mission, eventually holding Servalan hostage, who is forced to order Travis to let the crew go. Before leaving, Jenna knocks out Servalan. An extended gunfight reminiscent of the street shootout in the movie "Heat" ensues as the Liberator crew attempt to flee to safety, with Travis and a few Mutoids in hot pursuit. Travis injures Blake, who is promptly rescued by Avon (against his own better judgement and despite Vila's protests). Gan dies in a manner very similar to that shown in the televised episode and Servalan washes her hands of Travis, putting him on trial. Back on the Liberator, Avon and Vila agree to act together against Blake, seeing he has gone too far...

Act 3
While Blake recovers from his injuries, Avon assumes leadership duties, with Vila as his slightly reluctant lieutenant. A condensed version of "Trial" takes place (only the main Travis plot), culminating with Travis escaping and going rogue. Servalan is on probation following the failures on both Aristo and "Control". Avon interfaces Orac with Zen, allowing the two computers to maximise the ship's performance, while Cally, having begun to doubt herself and the meaning of Blake's fight against the Federation, keeps an eye on Jenna. Vila shows Avon his slap/hit wound he received from Blake, which only galvanises Avon's increasing anger. Gan's death reminds Avon of Anna Grant (flashback sequence of Avon and Anna attempting to escape with the former being apprehended and the latter killed). Travis contacts the crew and tells him that he is now a fugitive and offers to help them. Despite his reservations, Avon reluctantly agrees without consulting Blake. Travis reveals the location of the real control complex (Star 1) and urges Avon not to destroy it, as it would plunge half the Galaxy into the Dark Ages. Still uncertain of Travis's true motives, Avon promises to defend Star 1, if only to stop Blake from blowing it sky-high. Jenna tries to bring Blake back to reality while nursing him to health - she tells him that Travis is now a fugitive and knows of Star 1's location, which partially remotivates Blake into action. However, this also activates his conditioning (as seen in "Voice from the Past", but focusing only on Blake's mental torture). Having partly recovered, Blake springs into action once again but is stopped by Avon, who insists that he rests and recovers. Servalan discovers that Travis has betrayed her (and the Federation) and is aware of Star 1's location. Realising that its destruction will mean the end of the Federation, she puts out a joint bounty for both Travis AND Blake. Cue "Star 1" as broadcast but with some variations - Avon FINALLY tires of Blake's authoritarian attitude and stands up to him. Blake tries to intimidate him into submission but fails when Avon reminds Blake of his abusive treatment of Vila, and he reveals that he was the one who contacted Travis before the attack on "Control", realising that he was going too far. Enraged and feeling betrayed, Blake attacks Avon and a final, climactic battle between the two leads ensues (and a very bloody one). Avon eventually prevails and threatens to kill Blake unless he backs down as leader, reminding him that it was HE who got Gan killed and it was his lies that put their lives at risk. Avon and Cally go down to Star 1 and discover the alien invasion, with Lurena as the only human scientist left. An argument on the Liberator heats up between Vila and Jenna, who argue as to whether or not Servalan should be contacted in regards to the invasion. Vila concedes and Jenna uses Orac as a communications interface, warning her of the aliens. Meanwhile, Blake has sneaked away from the Liberator and is on Star 1 itself, pursing his own personal agenda and unaware of the risks involved. He is found and knocked out by Travis, who warns him about what will happen if Star 1 goes. As the Federation ships are on their way to the formerly secret complex, Avon and Cally come to a difficult choice: Continue Blake's cause or stop and help the Federation repeal the invaders? After much deliberation, Avon decides the latter, but just as he is about to call the ship, he is apprehended... by BLAKE. The final showdown begins (reminiscent of the final episode), culminating in Travis attacking Blake, who promptly shoots him dead. Avon takes the opportunity to hold Blake at gunpoint, giving him one last, final warning to recant his obsessive vendetta. Despite his rage, Avon cannot bring himself to kill Blake, who takes advantage of the situation by shooting Avon instead, before being apprehended by Cally, who gets them all back onto the Liberator.

Epilogue
Avon is recovering from his gunshot wound, while Blake has been confined to his quarters. Avon reassumes leadership (as in Star 1) and assembles Vila, Jenna and Cally on the flight deck as the aliens prepare to invade. Avon gives the order to fire and the invasion begins...
 
trevor travis
Spaceship Dispatcher wrote:

trevor travis wrote:

Or this would be OK...

It's thirty years later. The wheelchair-bound Avon (Paul Darrow) is still out for survival and looking after No 1. Ironically, the long-deposed Servalan (Jacqueline Pearce) is his ally, these days. However, neither are quite sure if they can trust the other.

In a new series of adventures, they met old acquaintances such as Grant (Tom Chadbon), Max (Stewart Bevan) and Bek (Karl Howman). And Avon is also left pondering just how Vila (Michael Keating) and Soolin (Glynis Barber) managed to cheat death on the planet of Gauda Prime...

Cool! Who would be in the guest cast, on a one off episode basis?


I think it would be only one series of 8-10 episodes - you couldn't expect the actors to do more than that.

Chadbon, Stewart Bevan and Karl Howman would be guest actors, alongside some younger faces - I would quite like Dan Starkey, Chris Eccleston, Michelle Ryan, Carey Mulligan and Anjli Mohindra in guest roles.
 
Spaceship Dispatcher
trevor travis wrote:

...I would quite like Dan Starkey, Chris Eccleston, Michelle Ryan, Carey Mulligan and Anjli Mohindra in guest roles.

You sold me this show already Grin
Reversing the polarity of the neutron flow. I bet that means something. It sounds great.

Blake's 7: Trojan Horse (s4 fanfic) - Blake's 7: Through the Needle's Eye (s2 fanfic)

Spaceship Dispatcher's fanfic site
 
trevor travis
Spaceship Dispatcher wrote:

trevor travis wrote:

...I would quite like Dan Starkey, Chris Eccleston, Michelle Ryan, Carey Mulligan and Anjli Mohindra in guest roles.

You sold me this show already Grin


I thought I might Wink
 
markab2
Mine would be a one off 2 hour pilot if you like, depending whether it was successful enough to lead into a series.
The pilot would be a fast moving version of 'the way back'. Once in flight to Cygnus Alpha the prison transporter nearly collides with the Liberator. Blake and Co are forced onto it and soon escape in it.

Blake wants to use the ship as a way of getting back at the Federation, and the fast moving events of time squad herald a first victory. Everything seems okay and Blake is satisfied with his actions, but Avon (a darker version) has others ideas, he schemes with Vila telling him that it is a waiting game and soon, he'll be at the helm of the Liberator.



Cast issues pending....
 
Spaceship Dispatcher
Okay, here goes with some principle casting...

Blake - Tom Hollander
Avon - Samuel West
Jenna - Rosamund Pike

Cally - Juliet Aubrey
Vila - Rory Kinnear
Gan - Clive Mantle

Cally would be played by Juliet Aubrey because I would make more of Jenna's mistrust of the alien, so I would want someone who can play roles in an ambiguous may/may not be sinister kind of way. My first choice for Vila would be Dan Starkey, but Brad already has him and I'm trying not to repeat other people's choices and so will go with my second option of Rory Kinnear (who has a family Blake's 7 connection too)

Servalan - Julia Sawalha
Travis - Tobias Menzies

If I say imagine an evil but still amusing Lynda Day in Space then at least TT will get where I'm coming from with Servalan; as for Travis, Tobias Menzies is good as ambiguous 'hero in his own mind' roles.
Reversing the polarity of the neutron flow. I bet that means something. It sounds great.

Blake's 7: Trojan Horse (s4 fanfic) - Blake's 7: Through the Needle's Eye (s2 fanfic)

Spaceship Dispatcher's fanfic site
 
trevor travis
Spaceship Dispatcher wrote:
Servalan - Julia Sawalha
Travis - Tobias Menzies

If I say imagine an evil but still amusing Lynda Day in Space then at least TT will get where I'm coming from with Servalan; as for Travis, Tobias Menzies is good as ambiguous 'hero in his own mind' roles.


Hmmmm, I'd see Julia Sawalha more as Jenna. A Jenna who takes no nonsense from anyone.

To be honest, I can't see why Jacqueline Pearce still couldn't be Servalan. It takes her about two seconds to get back in the role, and why shouldn't an older actress be cast?
Edited by trevor travis on 28 March 2016 21:53:52
 
Spaceship Dispatcher
markab2 wrote:

Mine would be a one off 2 hour pilot if you like, depending whether it was successful enough to lead into a series...

Wish I had thought of starting with a two hour pilot movie... Wink
Reversing the polarity of the neutron flow. I bet that means something. It sounds great.

Blake's 7: Trojan Horse (s4 fanfic) - Blake's 7: Through the Needle's Eye (s2 fanfic)

Spaceship Dispatcher's fanfic site
 
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