Microsoft is to fund a remake of the cult science fiction series Blakes 7.
Media Guardian reports that Microsoft will provide the funding for the remake for its XBox Live Service. The deal is part of Microsoft’s high profile move into investing in original television programmes ahead of its new XBox One Console. The move by the computer company comes hot on the heels of Amazon’s attempts to move into producing original content.
Blakes 7 originally ran on BBC One for four seasons between 1978 and 1981. It was created by Terry Nation who also created the critically acclaimed post-apocalyptic series Survivors as well as the Daleks in Doctor Who. Blakes 7 told the story of a bunch of criminals turned freedom fighters, led by Roj Blake (Gareth Thomas), who were fighting against the tyrannical Terran Federation.
The series is still highly regarded for its dark storylines, use of story-arcs over seasons, and complex and mutli-layered characterisation. Lazy journalists often refer to the series somewhat kitsch nature and “Abba style” costumes ignoring the ground breaking nature of the series.
Blakes 7 starred,over the course of its four seasons, Gareth Thomas, Paul Darrow, Michael Keating, Jan Chappell, Josette Simon, Steven Pacey, Sally Knyvette, Jacqueline Pearce, David Jackson and Glynis Barber.
There have been several attempts to revive the sci-fi over the years; in the late 1990s and early 2000’s a television movie was in the works. Sky One briefly flirted with reviving the series and more recently America’s Syfy was involved in a remake. That attempt seemed to go further than most with 13 episodes being commissioned but seemingly with Microsoft’s involvement it has grounded to a halt.