Sewell explained to SciFiNow that the show is “going to be very modern and very bold.” The brainchild of Dalek creator Terry Nation, Blake’s 7 ran on BBC One between 1978 and 1981. Starring Paul Darrow and Gareth Thomas, the series gained a loyal following.
B7 Productions, which was behind the production of a recent Blake’s 7 radio series, last year announced its plans to work on a remake with broadcaster Sky1. “We still have a development deal with Sky,” continued Sewell. “Unfortunately… things take time. We’re just on the next draft of scripts. Everyone’s still very excited about it… It’s unsure, at the moment, whether it’s going to be a miniseries or a full series. We’re still discussing the best option.”
With new series of Doctor Who, The Prisoner and Survivors, Blake’s 7 faces strong competition. “It’s very much about… introducing a show to an audience that’s not necessarily heard about it,” said Sewell. “It’s got to rub shoulders with the likes of Heroes and Lost and so forth. This will be a big show and that’s why it’s taken much longer to make sure we get it right… Sky want to get it right. There’s a lot of talent investing a great deal of effort to deliver a really strong show. It’s exciting times. We’ve just produced what we call a mood-trailer, to let the execs see – to give them a sense of the kind of attitude of the show. That’s had a strong response.”
Sewell explained that part of the delay in getting new Blake’s 7 into production has been, “that originally, broadcasters were interested in a sequel – a follow-up. We spent a lot of time doing that and it became very clear they didn’t want that at all. They wanted a remake… It actually makes a whole lot of sense, because you’d be talking about doing a sequel to a show that was last broadcast some 30 years ago.”
Despite being a remake, however, Sewell feels that the show will still remain true to what it has always been. “It’s still, at its core, The Dirty Dozen in space.”
This article originally appeared in the print edition of SciFiNow, issue 34 by Charles Norton. To buy a copy of the magazine or subscribe, go to www.imagineshop.com, or call our subscriptions hotline on +44 (0) 844 844 0245.