When I was young, British television was not always easy to see in America, and as a result, there are many things I know by reputation and not because I’ve actually seen them. I’ve attempted to fill in the gaps in my knowledge over the years whenever possible, but one show that I’ve never managed to catch up with is “Blake’s 7,” the Terry Nation space-opera that ran from 1978 to 1981 on BBC 1.
I’ve heard the show cited as a precursor to all sorts of things, most notably Joss Whedon’s “Firefly,” but I’m not sure how accurate that is. My one friend who is a big fan of the show always called it “Bastards In Space,” which made me laugh every time.
The series told the story of Roj Blake, a political prisoner who escapes from a prison planet with a crew of criminals and and aliens, and using a special spaceship called The Vindicator, they begin to wage a guerilla war against the Terran Foundation.
The show was praised for the writing and the way they handled adult subject matter, and it was also frequently mocked for its incredibly low budget. I’ve always heard it described as a show in which morals were up for grabs, which I find interesting considering how often science-fiction shows are designed with morally simplistic heroes at the center of them.
The news today is that Martin Campbell, who’s managed to reboot the James Bond franchise twice for producers, is onboard to direct the pilot of a new version of the series. Right now, there is no network attached. Instead, Joe Pokaski will be scripting the pilot for Georgeville Television. This is not the first shot anyone’s taken at bringing “Blake’s 7” back to life, but it appears they’re putting together a strong talent package that could mean we actually see this one make it to the small screen in the near future.