The tortuous story of the long-running plan to revive and remake Survivors‘ creator Terry Nation’s space drama Blake’s 7 has taken yet another turn this week.
In April 2013 it was announced that FremantleMedia International would produce a 13-episode series remake of Blake’s 7 to be broadcast of the cable channel SyFy. This was to be a ‘re-imagining’ of the original (1978-81) show.
On Thursday 15 August, the Financial Times, BBC News and Digital Spy all reported that these plans had been shelved. Instead it was announced that the revival of Blake’s 7 would now be funded by Microsoft, with the series airing on the Xbox Live service. The London-based Motion Picture Capital company was reported to have taken over responsibility for the show’s development.
Digital Spy suggests the development is “part of Microsoft’s ambition to reposition Xbox as an ‘entertainment hub’, and to directly compete with other online subscription services.”
However, a Freemantle spokesman told BBC News that it was “not aware of any deal” with Microsoft, while both Microsoft and Motion Picture Capital declined to comment. Rights owner Andrew Mark Sewell told BBC News: “When we have news to report, we’ll let everyone know.” It seems clear that position remains far from settled.
Blake’s 7 was the show that Terry Nation created shortly after his departure from the original Survivors at the end of series one in 1975. Later in his career, Nation sought to get an American network to revive Blake’s 7, as he also (unsuccessfully) attempted to do with Survivors.