For those of you like me who have been eagerly waiting for years for a remake of the classic British SF series Blake’s 7, but where Georgiaville’s attempt would wither away after Syfy passed on it last year, and then with it rumored to be looked at by Microsoft for its fledgling XBox Live Network but Microsoft deciding last month to close Xbox Entertainment Studios, there is still hope that our band of rebels will return to take down the Federation.
The Nerdist released today some exclusive concept art for the production, and I confirmed with Leon Clarance, the executive producer for Blake’s 7 (and the upcoming Sense8) that they are from his production.
I agree with the Giger-esque look. Especially with the interior of the Liberator, I immediately through of the Nostromo from Alien, with the dark industrial look leading to the ultra-white corridor to Mother. The ship itself retains the “tristar” design, but looks far more industrial and as if it was build up over time and for many different purposes.
I might miss the beauty of the original though. In the original story, a derelict spaceship is encountered by a prison transport ship after an apparent battle in space. Blake, a political prisoner sentenced to life on a prison planet, along with a group of other prisoners, is sent over to secure the ship after several crewmembers were killed. Instead, Blake and the rest steal the ship and wage a guerrilla war against the oppressive Federation. The Liberator itself was highly advanced…faster than any Federation ship, with an intelligent computer system named Zen that was annoyingly stingy on information, saying, “Knowledge must be earned.” It had automatic repair systems so that an experienced crew was not needed. And it had a matter transport system the Federation didn’t have, with some interesting limitations. The beauty of the ship fit in with the mystery of its origin (which I thought was given too early in the show), and I was quite sad when it eventually met its fate.
I mentioned this on Twitter yesterday, but just wanted to confirm…there were rumors a couple months ago that Syfy had passed on the Blake’s 7 remake, and that it was possibly being looked at for Microsoft for XBox Live, but I could find no credible sources.
Well, I spoke directly with Mark Stern, President of Original Programming at Syfy and Co-Head of Original Content for Universal Cable Productions, and asked him about Blake’s 7. He said that they did indeed pass on it, and had heard the same about Microsoft, but didn’t know anything more than I did.
Tweets from Georgiaville’s Leon Clarance as recent as last month did seem to indicate that it is indeed still in development, but I have been unable to get any further info yet. Hopefully we will learn something soon, but sometimes it can take a couple years of development before production can begin.
Sense8, the sci-fi drama which marks the first foray into the television format from Andy and Lana Wachowski, has been picked up for 10 episodes by Netflix. Georgiaville TV and Reliance Entertainment are producing in association with Studio JMS (the studio set up by J. Michael Straczynski last year.)
Details of the show are scarce, other than it being describes as “A gripping global tale of minds linked and souls hunted.” The Wachowskis said, “We’re excited to work with Netflix and Georgeville Television on this project, and we’ve wanted to work with Joe Straczynski for years, chiefly due to the fact his name is harder to pronounce than ours, but also because we share a love of genre and all things nerdy.”
Sense8 is expected to be released in late 2014, with all 10 episodes released simultaneously.
Georgiaville Television appears to be the hot ticket in town…now Chris Carter, creator of The X-Files, is teaming with the studio for The After, a thriller which involved a mysterious, unexplained event (haven’t we seen this several times already?) and will include science fiction and suspense elements.
Georgiaville is also producing the Blake’s 7 remake for Syfy, a pandemic drama now titled Hunters with J. Michael Straczynski for ABC, and the recently announced Wachowskis/JMS supernatural series Sense8.