In its 25th anniversary year since the original series first aired on the BBC the TV revival of "Blake's 7" took a step closer to being realised today as a series of announcements (including the unveiling of a new logo and official website) gives the green light to a project that has been hugely anticipated.
Producers Andrew Mark Sewell, formally Creative Director at BBC Worldwide, film producer, Simon Moorhead; along with actor Paul Darrow, have inked a rights deal with the estate of the late Terry Nation who created the series, which gives the go-ahead for a revived format designed to breathe new life into this popular cult science fiction series.
The deal was brokered by agent Roger Hancock of Roger Hancock Limited who represents the Nation Estate and comes as a result of lengthy negotiations, which now make Sewell, Moorhead and Darrow the creative and commercial custodians of the property.
Commenting on the latest developments, Sewell said: "We've had select rights for some time now, but to move things forward and establish what we hope will become a credible franchise we needed the full suite. Fortunately Terry's widow, Kate Nation bought into our vision for reviving the show one hundred per cent. She trusts us as producers to guide this property from a creative and commercial standpoint. British science fiction has remained in the doldrums far too long and we believe that our plans will deliver a compelling SF drama that appeals to the sensibilities of today's audience both domestically and internationally."
The deal covers two major areas:
Paul Darrow who for many played the most memorable and popular character in the series, Avon, says, "This is clearly tremendous news especially for those who have been loyal to the series over more than two decades! The programme had such a gritty and dramatic style that was every bit as great an influence on the SF genre as the original ‘Star Trek'. Terry and I were close friends and we will produce a worthy tribute to his creative legacy taking his original concept into an entirely new and exciting realm that will win a whole new audience."
The new logo for the series is also being unveiled today. Designed by Vincent Lewis of Ignite New Media, Lewis knew that the logo had to have a discernible parity with the designs in the collective consciousness, whilst being original. "We didn't want it to look derivative. There's potentially too much cryptology," explains Lewis. "Andrew and I agreed that we needed to move the design on, ensuring that it had immediate impact when first viewed. It was certainly one of the hardest designs I've ever done."
Sewell believes that a revival of "Blake's 7" is extremely timely and one that today's audience will relish, especially with so many of the classic cult shows from the 60s and 70s soon to enjoy a reappearance on our screens there's no questioning the interest in revitalising hits from our television past. "Curiously this is the SF project that everyone had overlooked and yet is the one that everyone should have produced in the first place," says Sewell.
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