Friday, May 2, 2008

An Authentic Sequel To The Great TV Series?

The latest from BBC NEWS!

A new remake of sci-fi series Blake's 7 could soon return to television screens, Sky One has revealed. The satellite channel has given the green light for the development of two 60-minute scripts for a "potential event series". It is not yet known if and when production on the series will begin.
"The time is ripe for a revival of a show that represents the best traditions of the genre, not to mention one of the best-loved and most successful dramas of all time," Elaine Pyke, commissioning editor for drama at Sky One, Two and Three, said. Sky is working alongside Blake's 7 Productions, a subsidiary of Blake's 7 Media who owns the licence to the show. The planned new episodes would follow recent re-workings of other sci-fi shows Doctor Who, Battlestar Galactica and Bionic Woman.


...

Why doesn't this fill me with joy? Or enthusiasm? Or... anything?

It's not being done by the same idiots who perpetrated the B7 Audios - you know, the Babylon 5 rip off with lashings of Crusade? There's nothing to suggest it won't be a worthy successor to the original Blake's 7, like Rose or Invasion of the Bane or Will You Stand For This? Except... well, there is a huge problem here. And it's fundamental to Blake's 7.

Why bother to bring it back?

Seriously. Think about it. Why? All the episodes exist. They're on DVD. If you wanted, you could do a Red Dwarf re-mastering and replace all the dodgy, unconvincing model shots with COMPLETELY unconvincing CGI shots. Have the guns fire laser beams. Get Murray Gold to do a theme tune for Cally when she gets possessed. Alter the face of Travis so it doesn't shot that much when he changes appearance. Make alien war at the start of Aftermath isn't a lethal use of stock footage. Have Terminal explode.

Why stop there? Why not get Cosgrove Hall to do their 'talking heads' animation of Assassin and then get someone else to play Cancer? In fact, go the whole hog and rewrite Hostage, Animals, Bounty... and suddenly all seems getting a bit silly. Blake's 7 worked, people. More often than it failed, anyway. So, why remake it? Do you think Kill Bill-style bullet time effects can improve on the horror when Vila gets shot? That a huge Las Vegas set can make Gambit any funnier? That Adam Rickitt can convincingly create a Mutoid?

And if you're not going to remake the stories (more or less) as they were, why the hell reboot it? What was wrong - conceptually - with the original? Cause if it's a choice between The Way Back and Rebellion, I'll throw out Ben Aaronovitch's finest any day.

What good did rebooting the series as audio plays do? The Liberator becomes an out of control ship consisting of a skutter-filled corridor you have to go into a trance to talk to Zen. The episodes where you sit in a control room and start a sentence with "Zen" still work, you know. And if you ARE in love with skuller-filled corridor spaceship, why snatch names from Blake's 7 to make it work? Why set it in the 23rd century where people need hyperspace and cryo-stasis for decent space travel, when the series it is based on rightly thought such material boring and tedious? Why drop Cally? Why drop damn near everything and then replace it with the backstory of Babylon Five as ancient aliens turn up to face humanity with their mistakes, and a completely unambiguous moral hero leads a fight against an unambigously corrupt regime?

Assuming Ben Aaronovitch simply wrote this series and by accident made it seem like Blake's 7 when really it was supposed to be Gateway or something like that, it's still a waste of time.

Why bring it back if it's going to be changed? It's not like Doctor Who or Robin Hood, where as long as you get the basics right you can reinterpret and recast who you damn well choose. And it's not like Sarah Jane Adventures, because you've got none of the original cast.

There's no point rebooting the series, and you can't pick up where Blake ended. Not unless, say, you refilm Season Four - or bits of it, any road - and start from there. And no one is going to do it. Certainly not in a couple of movie specials. Which is why I'm not enthusiastic about this. It CAN'T succeed because it's based on a false premise - even if they somehow made it work, somehow redid Blake's 7 with James Nesbit as Blake and Simon Pegg as Vila and Sarah Lancashire as Servalan - what are they going to do? Really?

The Beginning, that's what. Like last time. They're going to have the gang meet together, steal a spaceship... and what? Destroy the Federation in part two? Why BOTHER?! Why bring it back and make sure it can't be used again? Is it just some broken logic that assumes "Doctor Who is a crap sci fi show now successful" "Blake's 7 is a crap sci fi show" ergo "Blake's 7 can be successful"?

And what happens if they do the opposite? If they, as Paul Darrow wants, continues the original B7 universe, except with a completely new crew fighting the Federation? BTR tried it, the SWARM tried it... and it hasn't worked. Seriously, does anyone watch Blake and go, "Wow, I wonder what's happening back on Earth right about now?"

No, they don't.

The cliffhanger ending works because all the people we care about are cut down mercilessly in a huge misunderstanding. Who cares if the Federation is defeated? The program makers certainly didn't, since they spent the penultimate episode setting up the Rebel Alliance to help fight them off. Blake's 7 is about Blake and the people who were with him. Take that away, and what's the point? Even if I could honestly say recasting them wouldn't matter, they'd have to start right on Gauda Prime for me not to instinctively react like the Doctor in Utopia and flee.

And that is why Blake's 7 is impossible to pick up from. You can't cut X years down the line like Doctor Who did, because effectively little changed in the day to day adventures. The Seventh Doctor and Ace walk into the sunset, and the Ninth Doctor walks out of the sunrise. No wonder Barry Letts scrapped the idea of his BBC audios being a sequel and instead missing adventures (given the quality, it's for the best).

It's worth noting at this point, since I'm mainly rambling in an excuse to get that disturbing Chris Hale cover lower down the page so I don't freak out every time I log on, that the Blake we see today is not the original cut. Having read the magazines at the time, I now know the final shootout scene was reshot, or at least a different take used (fair enough, as the photos show Vila and Tarrant's death agonies as them realizing they've shat their pants). Originally, they all died. I mean, ALL of them DIED. They screamed as they were shot, and much thought went into picking through previous episodes for a scene to be superimposed, a dying memory, if you like. Avon's freeze frame was originally discovering his gun was empty. Blake's flyer had furry dice. And a scene was planned that Orac would get blown up when a security guard shot at it, and Avon would kill him and get that gun in the first place. The cast were all convinced it was finale - Gareth Thomas, Josette and Steven Pacey weren't coming back, Michael Keating was strongly tempted, and Terry Nation assumed that they were all gone for good.

It was Mary Ridge, the director, who gave a more hopeful outcome, specially working in that final sound of gunfire so you hear that Avon's still firing at the very end. It was her who used the slo-mo death scenes to in her words, 'give the impression everything after Blake dies might not be real'. She was the one who suggested Season Five open with Avon in a cell, a prisoner of the Federation - an idea Chris Boucher and Terry Nation agreed had legs and worked out a rough plot for, to coin a phrase, "the restoration of order".

And Tony Attwood, that loveable schizoid B7 fan, novelized that idea/script, and turned it into a full-blown novel. At least the first half was Boucher approved and thus a hell of a lot closer to its tagline of "authentic sequel" than Kaldor City's "I Told You So" nihilistic claptrap of The Logic of Empire.

And, inspired by those first few chapters, with that spooky, dreamlike tale of Avon and Vila exploring a mysteriously deserted and ran-soaked Gauda Prime, I sat at my computer, opened a script-writing bit of software and let rip.

Vaguely justifying this post is an excerpt from my unfinished magnum opus, In The Company of Madmen!

INT. SERVALAN’S SHIP -- FLIGHT DECK

Three MUTOIDS sit at the flight controls in the middle of
the deck. SERVALAN sits at her control console to left of
the flight deck. Before her stands ARLEN, now dressed in the
uniform of a trooper. She stands to attention, helmet under
her arm. A fourth MUTOID stands nearby.


SERVALAN
You were on the planet, Commander?

ARLEN
Yes, Commissioner.

SERVALAN
What were your orders there?

ARLEN
To remove the prisoners held in the
compound and return them to Earth.

SERVALAN is slightly surprised at this.

SERVALAN
Why Earth? Were these prisoners
particularly important?

ARLEN looks slightly awkward.

ARLEN
Commissioner...

SERVALAN
Yes, Captain?

ARLEN
For some time, the planet had been
used by enemies of the Federation.
We had them under close
surveillance and had infiltrated
the command structure.

SERVALAN
And what form did this command
structure take?

ARLEN
When Open Planet policy was
introduced, normal Federation laws
were abandoned, leading to a number
of criminals arriving to take
advantage. When the policy was
terminated, law enforcement
operations were set up to round up
and execute those criminals.

SERVALAN
So any criminal elements using the
planet as a gathering place would
already be being dealt with?

ARLEN
That is what seemed to be
happening. However, the rebels were
using the cover of one of the
bounty hunter operations to attract
other dissident elements to their
base. They would capture criminals
at large on the planet and, if
suitable, recruit them. They
falsified records so the criminals
would be listed as dead, while
keeping them at large to plan a
rebellion.

SERVALAN
And who was it that infiltrated
this underground organization?

ARLEN
Myself, Commissioner.

SERVALAN
You, Commander?

ARLEN
I ensured that the dissidents were
unaware the rest of my force was on
the planet. At my command, we
stormed the silo they were using as
a base. All the rebels were to be
rounded up, and those that resisted
were executed on the spot.

SERVALAN does not look impressed.

SERVALAN
"Rebels"?

ARLEN
Yes, Commissioner.

SERVALAN
And who were these... great
outlaws? That senior officers of
the Terran Federation had to rush
half way across the galaxy in order
to have them arrested?

ARLEN looks slightly smug.

ARLEN
The leader of the rebels,
Commissioner.

SERVALAN
Who was...?

ARLEN
Blake, Commissioner.

SERVALAN stares at ARLEN for a long moment.

SERVALAN
Roj Blake?

ARLEN
Yes, Commissioner. He was the major
political criminal on the
Federation’s wanted list for...

SERVALAN
Don’t tell me about Blake,
Commander. I know more about him
than you were ever told.

A pause. SERVALAN is much calmer now.

SERVALAN
Did you actually see him?

ARLEN
Yes, Commissioner. I spent much
time with him undercover. He was
one of the false bounty hunters
that captured me, believing me to
be a suitable ally.

SERVALAN
And was Blake taken captive?

ARLEN
Not exactly, Commissioner.

SERVALAN’s voice is like cut glass.

SERVALAN
Then what, "exactly", Commander?

ARLEN
Blake was shot repeatedly from very
close range as the troopers
arrived. I supervised
identification of the body. Roj
Blake is a dead man.

SERVALAN
He resisted arrest, then?

ARLEN
We didn’t shoot him, Commissioner.
He died before my men even entered
the silo. He was shot by one of his
rebel allies.

SERVALAN
Which ally?

ARLEN
His name is Kerr Avon,
Commissioner.

SERVALAN cannot hide her surprise.

SERVALAN
Avon?


INT. GP CELL

AVON lies on the bunk, seemingly asleep. There is a
scuffling noise from the closed door. Instantly, AVON opens
his eyes, wide awake. He sits up. He mutters to himself.

AVON
It seems I misjudged you, Korell.

He gets to his feet and crosses to the door, and presses
himself against the wall to the left of it, drawing his arm
up for a karate chop. The door slides open.

A TROOPER stands in the doorway. AVON’s expression shows his
surprise, but he still makes his move. Before the TROOPER
has stepped into the cell, AVON strikes him in the stomach.
Letting out a muffled groan of pain, the TROOPER falls
forward to the floor. AVON crouches down and slips his arm
around the neck of the TROOPER, getting him into a headlock.

AVON glances at the open door and the corridor beyond. No
one else. He tightens his grip on the TROOPER’s neck, as the
TROOPER instinctively tries to pull the arm away. AVON
tightens his grip further, but speaks quietly.

AVON
The wrong type of movement on your
part could have serious
consequences.

The TROOPER stops resisting, intimidated.

AVON
It would be helpful if we could
talk. Take off your helmet.

AVON slackens his grip, while still holding onto the
TROOPER, who gently pulls off his helmet to reveal a
familiar face underneath - albeit with a stubbly beard and a
look of terror in the eyes.

AVON
Vila.

VILA grimaces.

SOOLIN
(V/O)
Since you know who he is, you might
want to let him go.

AVON smiles and does so. We see a SECOND TROOPER standing in
the doorway, holding a sidearm aimed at AVON. VILA scrambles
away from AVON as far as he can.

AVON
Hello, Soolin.

Keeping AVON covered, SOOLIN takes off the helmet.

SOOLIN
It’s bad manners to threaten the
lives of those who’ve just freed
you from a Federation cell.

AVON
It was rather hard to tell who you
were through those uniforms.
Although I should have recognized
Vila.

VILA glares at AVON, annoyed.

VILA
Yes! You should have!

SOOLIN
You thought he was the usual
Federation thug?

AVON
He doesn’t quite have that
aggressive authority which is their
hallmark. As for you...

AVON starts to rise.

SOOLIN
Slowly, Avon.

AVON
I’m not the one with a gun.

SOOLIN
You’ve just demonstrated that
doesn’t count for much.

VILA
You also demonstrated how you’ve
turned into a homicidal maniac with
a tendency to kill people on your
own side!

AVON
I have nothing to gain from harming
either of you.

VILA
Very comforting. We rather got the
impression you wanted us all dead.

AVON
There are a number of locks between
here and the outside world. Vila
can open them quicker than the
average guard. And getting past the
guards is easier with a gunfighter
- especially the best there is.

SOOLIN
I’m flattered.

AVON
Don’t be.

VILA
Well, you don’t need to worry about
the locks between here and the
outside world, they’re all done.

AVON
What about the guards?

SOOLIN
We won’t be bumping into any.

AVON
You killed them all I suppose?

SOOLIN
No.

AVON
I doubt it was Vila who did it.

VILA
I didn’t have to kill anyone. This
place is deserted.

AVON
Deserted?

SOOLIN
There’s no one in this silo, except
you.

AVON is troubled. He doesn’t know how to react.

VILA
How did you scare them off, Avon?
Threaten to give a lecture to the
assembled masses on the subject of
your ego?

AVON
If I’d wanted them to leave, I
would have discussed yours for
maximum effect. Where are Dayna and
Tarrant?

SOOLIN
Not here. We’ve checked all the
cells.

AVON
Do you know if they’re still alive?

VILA
You mean you actually care? It
looked to me like you wanted us all
dead!

SOOLIN
Dead or alive, they’re nowhere in
this silo. At least not any more.

AVON
Unsurprising. It’s been a week.

VILA
A week since you unleashed
universal mayhem. And in all that
time there hasn’t been a single
ship landing or taking off.

AVON gets to his feet.

AVON
What were you doing out there in
the meantime? Counting trees? Or
drinking every drop of adrenaline
and soma within a radius of twenty
miles?

VILA stands as well.

VILA
And what the hell have you been
doing for the last seven days,
Avon? Playing patience?

AVON
I’ve been held prisoner.

SOOLIN
By whom? There’s no people here,
Avon. No guards, no Federation, no
ships...

VILA
No food.

AVON
What about Korell?

SOOLIN
And who might Korell be?

AVON
A civilian woman with long hair.
She was here, in this cell, one
hour ago!

SOOLIN and VILA exchange a glance.

VILA
Well. We haven’t seen her. Maybe
you’ve gone mad, Avon? Again, I
mean.

SOOLIN
Or maybe she was a ghost?

AVON turns to look sharply at SOOLIN.

AVON
Or maybe you are.

SOOLIN smiles knowingly at him.

20 comments:

Jared "No Nickname" Hansen said...

If you wanted, you could do a Red Dwarf re-mastering and replace all the dodgy, unconvincing model shots with COMPLETELY unconvincing CGI shots.

Okay... I have to say that having bought the RD 'boxset' thing for the first four seasons... I'm very glad that they did the re-mastering and that I got to see it on ABC. I know fans hate it because they ALL hate remastering - but come on, it's way better.

The 'are you sure you're alright to drive' joke works, Holly gets to do some gags in the first episode to make it funnier, the Cat doesn't have the absolute worst piece of theme music ever made, there is more than ONE model shot of the ship over the course of TWO SERIES.

As for your rant about B7... you're very right. I was thinking about it recently, and a reboot really is the most pointless thing ever. I have thought a sequel - set a hundred years later when Blake is a legend and the Federation are on their toes - would be good... but then of course it's a whole different show.

So then you get to the stage where you think - "Hang on... why not do a completely different show in a dystopic universe, but have a couple of small nods to B7. So if people want it to be a sequel they can. And if they don't - that's also fine."

That was the mentality I was using when I thought up Calypso 5, my shittily-entitled hypothetical TV series that I've written scripts for in secret and never intend to show to anyone for fear of shame.

Not in much a fic-reading mood at the moment, so I haven't read your script. I'll get onto it sometime soon, though.

Oh, and for a moment I thought your misgiving might have been the fact that it's being produced by Sky, who did Hogfather, so it could have been concern that production values mightn't even be that higher. (I should've known that wouldn't be an issue for you) But watching their follow-up The Colour Of Magic at the moment, I have to say they clearly can make something look really good when they want to..

Youth of Australia said...

Okay... I have to say that having bought the RD 'boxset' thing for the first four seasons... I'm very glad that they did the re-mastering and that I got to see it on ABC. I know fans hate it because they ALL hate remastering - but come on, it's way better.
OK. I'll just clarify my position.

CGI doesn't convince me. At all. The fact is, a model, a physical object, appeals to me more than CGI. Mind you, I can barely tell the difference. I assumed the Dalek Emperor was a special effect, but it was a full working prop and everything.

As for Red Dwarf Remastered, I don't complain about the CGI or music changes - well, bar the times they remove that apocalyptic tune from The End and Better Than Life - but the re-editing.

For example, in Waiting for God, Lister restores the Cat Priest's faith, then he drops dead. A solemn moment. Then the Cat puts a consoling arm around Lister and says, bright and cheerful, "Did I ever tell you about my feet? My investigating feet?" and leads the shellshocked Lister out.

Which is a brilliant scene.

In the remastered version, the priest dies and we cut to their new "coffin flying out into space" shot. They cut a lot of lines from The End as well, making it a lot less funny.

But the redone stuff for series three works brilliantly, except for the new end of Polymorph. It may be easier on the eye, but the original was a much better joke.

As for your rant about B7... you're very right. I was thinking about it recently, and a reboot really is the most pointless thing ever. I have thought a sequel - set a hundred years later when Blake is a legend and the Federation are on their toes - would be good... but then of course it's a whole different show.
I know. BTR's Blake's Legacy didn't really grab me, as it worked on that premise and the only real connection to B7 bar the sound effects was some kind of X-Files conspiracy shit about Aurons and Humans being related.

That was the mentality I was using when I thought up Calypso 5, my shittily-entitled hypothetical TV series that I've written scripts for in secret and never intend to show to anyone for fear of shame.
Come on, dude, I fessed up my secretly written script.

Not in much a fic-reading mood at the moment, so I haven't read your script. I'll get onto it sometime soon, though.
Hey, whatever, it's cool.

Oh, and for a moment I thought your misgiving might have been the fact that it's being produced by Sky, who did Hogfather, so it could have been concern that production values mightn't even be that higher.
Uh, no. My concern was ANYONE doing a remake/reboot.

(I should've known that wouldn't be an issue for you) But watching their follow-up The Colour Of Magic at the moment, I have to say they clearly can make something look really good when they want to..
Well, the chances are they won't accept the script and it won't be made.

Jared "No Nickname" Hansen said...

The fact is, a model, a physical object, appeals to me more than CGI.

I'm much the same, I have to say. The sad truth is that CGI is easy to use and so has become instantly popular, but the cheapest possible CGI (generally what you see on telly) will always look less convincing than the cheapest possible modelwork, because the latter is a real physical object. And the best modelwork, generally looks better too. I mean, Bladerunner looks better than a heap of films made in the last ten years. There's not a computer shot in the whole film.

bar the times they remove that apocalyptic tune from The End and Better Than Life

Oh, yeah, that was a cool bit..

"Did I ever tell you about my feet? My investigating feet?" and leads the shellshocked Lister out.

OHHH! Damnit, I forgot it worked both ways... you're right, they cut some hilarious scenes out. For some reason... I remember after watching it now I thought editing the both together would be the best option...

I know. BTR's Blake's Legacy didn't really grab me,

Well, I haven't even heard of it..

Come on, dude, I fessed up my secretly written script.

Yeah, well, yours is probably pretty good. And I don't have a 'script' as such, but episode plans and snippets of dialogue that I've written. Maybe after I've knocked over Attack I could actually work a bit of a script out for Warriors, the script I think I've got the most stuff worked out for (to illustrate just how sporadically I've written it, Warriors is theoretically the first episode of the second season... yeah, I know) and a vague episode guide...

Uh, no. My concern was ANYONE doing a remake/reboot.

Yeah, I got that now. We had the SAME concern. Who'd have thought it?

Well, the chances are they won't accept the script and it won't be made.

There you go! Look on the brightside!

Youth of Australia said...

I'm much the same, I have to say. The sad truth is that CGI is easy to use and so has become instantly popular, but the cheapest possible CGI (generally what you see on telly) will always look less convincing than the cheapest possible modelwork, because the latter is a real physical object. And the best modelwork, generally looks better too. I mean, Bladerunner looks better than a heap of films made in the last ten years. There's not a computer shot in the whole film.
Yes, it looked lovely, no doubts about that.

Oh, yeah, that was a cool bit..
The remastered version seems a bit silly, as the dramatic walking out Red Dwarf onto the beach gets some lift muzak instead...

OHHH! Damnit, I forgot it worked both ways... you're right, they cut some hilarious scenes out. For some reason... I remember after watching it now I thought editing the both together would be the best option...
Yep. That would work and show that Lister was the one that sent the priest on his way, not the Cat, which is a whole character arc resolved.

Well, I haven't even heard of it..
I'll be blunt, you're not missing much. In the future PGP, a rebel, a coward and tech girl escape a prison in a rubbish space ship. After getting it fixed, the girl disappears and the others vow to search for her. Whoop de do.

Yeah, well, yours is probably pretty good. And I don't have a 'script' as such, but episode plans and snippets of dialogue that I've written. Maybe after I've knocked over Attack I could actually work a bit of a script out for Warriors, the script I think I've got the most stuff worked out for (to illustrate just how sporadically I've written it, Warriors is theoretically the first episode of the second season... yeah, I know) and a vague episode guide...
Sounds great.

Yeah, I got that now. We had the SAME concern. Who'd have thought it?
Normally couldn't agree on the colour of an orange...

There you go! Look on the brightside!
OTOH, if it WAS made, it could kick Kaldor City into non-canon.

Which would be VERY satisfying.

Jared "No Nickname" Hansen said...

Read the script bit just recently... it's a nice, creepy opening to an episoe, but at the moment I have to say there isn't quite enough to judge. Interesting that Avon attacks Vila upon being rescued a second time. He never seems to spot him..

Also, I forgot to thank you for those snippets about Mary Ridge and the whole sequel idea. I had been wondering about the massive anomalies between the "it's only a cliffhanger!" stories and the actual content of the script and episode.

And just about unrelated: have you noticed that closing shot with all the Federation troopers coming out of the shadows and surrounding Avon seems to have more extras than any other in the whole series? Did they have extra crew dressed up in Fed suits or something? It feels slightly overkill to me..

Youth of Australia said...

Read the script bit just recently... it's a nice, creepy opening to an episoe, but at the moment I have to say there isn't quite enough to judge.
Very true. There's a fair bit, including a resolution to the shoot out. It's pretty much the same "How do I know this isn't a trap?" vibe, but the bit I have yet to do when Servalan arrives should turn it to action.

Interesting that Avon attacks Vila upon being rescued a second time. He never seems to spot him..
Well, if it had been Soolin, he would have been dead two seconds later... and unlike in Redemption, he doesn't rupture Vila's kidney before realizing his mistake. And Vila was dressed as a trooper.

Also, I forgot to thank you for those snippets about Mary Ridge and the whole sequel idea. I had been wondering about the massive anomalies between the "it's only a cliffhanger!" stories and the actual content of the script and episode.
Yep. Boucher said he might have been able to pick up from the original, but by no means as easily without Ridge's input.

And just about unrelated: have you noticed that closing shot with all the Federation troopers coming out of the shadows and surrounding Avon seems to have more extras than any other in the whole series? Did they have extra crew dressed up in Fed suits or something? It feels slightly overkill to me..
Amazing thing that, they actually had only four extras there. I can tell from the photos. They actually do a kind of floor plan showing where the dead troopers Soolin and Tarrant kill, so they can't be seen on camera, allowing them to join the ones who surround Avon.

If you watch it, you can tell that as Avon turns in a circle, the ones on his left run around the back of the camera so they can enter from the right. They shift positions for the final shot so it's seen from different angles and actually looks like there are hundreds there.

That sequence was apparently the toughest part of the episode. Bar a whole "McBeth bad luck" bit when Gareth Thomas mentioned the name of the Scottish play after he was covered in blood.

Miles Reid said...

Well, no more Blake's 7 remaking for me.

I found a copy of the original novelisation a little while back.

Sentence fragments, just phrases!

Youth of Australia said...

Come on, Miles. We all know your rewrite was as to Ben Aaronovitch's effort, cream to excrement. In your favor.

But is Sky going to go to that much trouble for the equivalent of two eps of Murphy's Law? Even for the topless newsreader sequence?

As for the novelizations... Ah yes. Not quite up to Uncle Tezza's standards...

Jenna has dark hair. Vila looks like Gollum and acts like Lytton. Avon is fat, bald, and like Dr Smith from Lost in Space. Zen has less personality than satnav. The Federation fire laser beams. Blake can stand in the open vacuum of space with no ill effects whatsoever. Vargas is played by Colin Baker. Liberator weapons give sex thrills to those who use them. Gan has a brain implant as part of a failed get rich quick scheme. There is a clock in the teleport bay which looks just like the one in Star Trek.

Miles Reid said...

It's Sky One, the topless newsreader sequence would be the only part they kept.

Youth of Australia said...

You mean they don't have that already?

Jared "No Nickname" Hansen said...

Well, if it had been Soolin, he would have been dead two seconds later... and unlike in Redemption, he doesn't rupture Vila's kidney before realizing his mistake. And Vila was dressed as a trooper.

Yeah, it's more understandable than before, certainly. I just found it an interesting parallel and was wondering if it was deliberate at all.

Amazing thing that, they actually had only four extras there. I can tell from the photos.

... you have no idea how much this has blown my mind.

That sequence was apparently the toughest part of the episode.

I'm not bloody surprised!

Now what's all this about a topless newsreader?

Also: your Absolution pisstake rocks.

Youth of Australia said...

Yeah, it's more understandable than before, certainly. I just found it an interesting parallel and was wondering if it was deliberate at all.
Not intentionally, no.

... you have no idea how much this has blown my mind.
I was shocked myself. I always assumed there were at least thirty of the guys...

Now what's all this about a topless newsreader?
Miles' superlative rewrite of Blake's 7 (one which, I have to say, is probably the best take on the mythos I've read) starts a bit like 1984 with Roj Blake wandering through a city trying to remember his past. He passes this huge TV showing a topless newsreader, and realizes she's showing her tits so everyone will be distracted from the news she's reading - not subtle media manipulation, but effective.

Also: your Absolution pisstake rocks.
Aw shucks. Working on Charley's farewell as we speak.

BTW, posted your disc of DW and ATA eps.

Jared "No Nickname" Hansen said...

Miles' superlative rewrite of Blake's 7 (one which, I have to say, is probably the best take on the mythos I've read) starts a bit like 1984 with Roj Blake wandering through a city trying to remember his past. He passes this huge TV showing a topless newsreader, and realizes she's showing her tits so everyone will be distracted from the news she's reading - not subtle media manipulation, but effective.

...how did I miss that bit? That's an awesome idea, too. Don't Sky News already work on that principle?

Aw shucks.

I had a feeling you'd have some material on that reeeeally bizarre bit of interview where Paul McGann is stuffing his face with chicken and pretending to be Mark. Ah, that crazy guy..

Just listened to Dead London. Why do all the BBC7 ones suck?

Youth of Australia said...

...how did I miss that bit?
No idea. Stuck in my memory for some reason.

That's an awesome idea, too. Don't Sky News already work on that principle?
Dunno. Never seen Sky News. Wil Anderson has long been a passionate supporter of it, though.

I had a feeling you'd have some material on that reeeeally bizarre bit of interview where Paul McGann is stuffing his face with chicken and pretending to be Mark. Ah, that crazy guy..
I didn't actually think of using it til I read the OG thread where some guy was bitching, "How dare Big Finish recast the Eighth Doctor with another McGann! Do they think we wouldn't notice?!" and was deeply embarrassed to learn it. was. a. joke.

Just listened to Dead London. Why do all the BBC7 ones suck?
In fairness to them... it's done by Big Finish. The second Lucie series is 'in-house'.

And I really couldn't get into Dead London. Brave New Town worked rather well, I thought. I haven't been brave enough to listen to Max Warp, because if it sucks with all the brilliance on offer (ala Next Life) my heart will break...

Jared "No Nickname" Hansen said...

I didn't actually think of using it til I read the OG thread where some guy was bitching, "How dare Big Finish recast the Eighth Doctor with another McGann! Do they think we wouldn't notice?!" and was deeply embarrassed to learn it. was. a. joke.

BWAHAHAHAAHA! Ah, retards are what makes the internet brilliant.

I do have to admit that for a second I thought "Erm, what are they interviewing Mark McGann for?" because of his unbelievably dry deadpan delivery... but to be suckered in to that extent.. man.

In fairness to them... it's done by Big Finish. The second Lucie series is 'in-house'.

Well, I thought that the first season was 'in-house' as well, what with Barnaby Edwards, Nick Briggs and Jason Haig-Ellery all being involved..

I just distinctly feel that all of the 8th and Lucie ones feel a real cut beneath the rest somehow. And I'm certain it isn't purely the fact that I HATE Lucie...

I haven't been brave enough to listen to Max Warp, because if it sucks with all the brilliance on offer (ala Next Life) my heart will break...

I must admit that I have a niggling fear it will be another Horror of Glam Rock affair. But it's next on my list so I'm going to give it a listen.

Will I be able to write the spoof of that one? You mentioned you weren't sure of what you could do with it, and I was thinking of making it a mocking tribue to Pimp My Ride UK instead of the far more beloved Top Gear.

Youth of Australia said...

BWAHAHAHAAHA! Ah, retards are what makes the internet brilliant.
Oh, that is a quote for the 21st century. Maybe even the Torchwood 3 tagline...

I do have to admit that for a second I thought "Erm, what are they interviewing Mark McGann for?" because of his unbelievably dry deadpan delivery... but to be suckered in to that extent.. man.
He actually sounded a bit like Mark in that scene, but then... well, I mean, if he can't impersonate his brother, who CAN he impersonate? But Mark couldn't have been pitch perfect as the Eighth Doctor, even if he could have been convincingly Paul McGann.

Well, I thought that the first season was 'in-house' as well, what with Barnaby Edwards, Nick Briggs and Jason Haig-Ellery all being involved..
Well, it was commissioned by the BBC and broadcast on internet radio and that. This version isn't. Basically it just goes straight to CD now.

I just distinctly feel that all of the 8th and Lucie ones feel a real cut beneath the rest somehow. And I'm certain it isn't purely the fact that I HATE Lucie...
Yeah. Still, at least she's sparing the Doctor all the grief she gives everyone else. Well, she was in BNT.

I must admit that I have a niggling fear it will be another Horror of Glam Rock affair. But it's next on my list so I'm going to give it a listen.
Feel free to spoof it.

Will I be able to write the spoof of that one?
Um, see above.

You mentioned you weren't sure of what you could do with it, and I was thinking of making it a mocking tribue to Pimp My Ride UK instead of the far more beloved Top Gear.
Well, like I said, I haven't LISTENED to it yet. I have no idea what the plot is about or anything beyond Graeme Garden's brilliant Jeremy Clarkson impersonation.

Maybe it could be Top Gear versus Pimp My Ride, since I assume there's some kind of alien battle fleet or something.

Meantime, an excerpt from TGWNWAV...

"Hang on," the Doctor notes, "if you’re from 1930 how come we met on the Titanic which sailed in 1912?!"

"It wasn’t the REAL Titanic, Doctor, it was a theme night cruise that got ever so slightly out of control. Remember?"

"Oh yes. So it was. Forget I said anything."

"I often wondered if there could possibly be a worse companion than Charley and C’Rizz. A chronically depressed tree frog, maybe? Now I know such a thing exists. Sheridan Smith." – Not me. Hell no. No siree. Coz that would be libel. And we don’t want that, do we? (3000)

Miles Reid said...

Well, I didn't mean to imply that Sky has a topless newsreader, but that Sky One, the home of series such as 'Hex'- Buffy with more shagging would be a channel who would endorse this kind of thing in their TV dramas.

Youth of Australia said...

I could be wrong, but I think there are only two shagging scenes in Buffy - well, by which I mean more than full-on snogging anyway. Which is all that was used for that ep where Buff and Riley are locked in a haunted house screwing for all eternity...

Miles said...

There was quite a bit of sex in Buffy. Buffy having sex with Angel turned him evil, Oz having hot werewolf sex, Spike's little thing with the Buffy-bot. Buffy's thing with Spike... shagging, shagging, shagging...

Youth of Australia said...

Yes, but not ON screen. Hell, Oz and Veruca was just seeing them holding paws in close up. It's discussed at length, but rarely actually SEEN.

Kind of like Coupling in that respect.