Blake's 7 - Is it ever going to happen?

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Dane Marvin, Sep 4, 2004.

  1. Dane Marvin

    Dane Marvin Screenwriter

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    Excellent BBC sci-fi show from (I believe) the late 70s and early 80s. Created by Terry Nation (of The Daleks fame) and driven by fantastic acting and dialogue (especially from Paul Darrow as Avon). Of course there was plenty of cheese in the special effects department, but the show was always great and survived lineup changes that even saw the title character leave quite early on in the series.

    I believe there is a UK release of the first season packed with extras, but will we ever get anything here? I saw this on my local PBS station's Sci-Fi Friday Night one evening in high school and became addicted. Haven't seen it for a long time and have always wanted to see the complete series from the beginning. Any other fans out there hoping to see this one?
     
  2. Scott Kriefall

    Scott Kriefall Second Unit

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    Yes. I'd gladly buy all four series of Blake's 7, assuming it is ever released in the US or Canada.

    I've considered importing a copy of the UK PAL release of series 1, but have resisted. All examples of PAL->NTSC playback that I've seen have been jumpy and difficult to watch.
     
  3. alan halvorson

    alan halvorson Cinematographer

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    The R2 Blake's 7 first series has a glitch on the layer change - many machines hang (mine does), but you can fast forward thru it. Annoying, but otherwise all is ok. The second series is scheduled for release in October, but don't hold your breath; the first series was subject to multiple delays and the second has been delayed twice.

    Someone on another forum inquired whether Blake's 7 will ever be available in R1. The answer wasn't encouraging - I strongly suggest getting that multi-region, PAL/NTSC player and going with the R2 releases.

    Scott: my JVC 500 player converts PAL to NTSC very well; I see no jumps or other artifacts. Actually, you can't tell that it's a PAL disc at all.
     
  4. Tory

    Tory -The Snappy Sneezer- -Red Huck-

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    I importerd Blake's 7 and while I have not seen them all yet, they look great on my Phillips DVP642. Season 1 is out in the U.K. now, Season 2 comes out in October and 3 in January. I believe they are trying to make a new season of it to finish the story and I think DVD sales may affect the possibility of it. BBCAmerica told me there were no plans to bring the series to the U.S. so this is a good time to import, pick up Tripods too.
     
  5. Dane Marvin

    Dane Marvin Screenwriter

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    Too bad they're not going to do a R1 (soon anyway, at least). I heard Paul Darrow is highly involved in trying to get a new made-for-TV B7 movie going for the BBC that would hopefully launch a new series set years later with Avon as the head of a group of young rebels.
     
  6. Jonathan Kaye

    Jonathan Kaye Second Unit

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    There was indeed talk of a movie, which Paul Darrow was associated with, but he has since parted company with the production company, B7 Enterprises, so who knows if such a movie will ever happen?

    Incidentally, the reason for the delay to the season 1 release was that B7E (which has now obtained some sort of rights from the estate of Terry Nation) objected to the content of a documentary made by Kevin Davies (of "Thirty Years in the TARDIS" and "The Making of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" fame). The documentary (the first of four intended parts, one for each season) was eventually shelved from the DVD release.
     
  7. Bleddyn Williams

    Bleddyn Williams Supporting Actor

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    Repressed discs are now available. If you read other forums, you can find many tales of woe where people received replacement sets that featured a small yellow sticker on the back, indicating the new pressing. Depending on where you ordered the set, you might still have got the old discs!

    My set came from amazon.co.uk - seemingly the only vendor with guaranteed new pressings. I can confirm that I have the new discs with regular layer changes. I have no PAL/NTSC problems with my Malata 996.

    I haven't seen this show since its original transmissions. I'm amazed how much I'm enjoying 'em! Don't wait forever for R1 discs - grab a set from amazon and start enjoying 'em! [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  8. alan halvorson

    alan halvorson Cinematographer

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    Great, Bleddyn - I got mine from Amazon UK when the set was first released. I'll have to contact them for replacements.
     
  9. Bleddyn Williams

    Bleddyn Williams Supporting Actor

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    Good luck, Alan![​IMG]
     
  10. AndyMcKinney

    AndyMcKinney Cinematographer

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    If I'm not mistaken, you'll have to send them back to the BBC to get the faulty ones replaced. You should probably do some research online before contacting Amazon. I think all the returns/replacements were through BBC Video in the UK.

    UPDATE: Upon reading a thread on the Mausoleum Club's forum, one US reader asked about the faulty versus "fixed" discs.

    Here's what was said (in brief):

    1. The numbers around the edge of each disc will tell you if you have the original faulty version or the corrected one.

    Old Set (Faulty) - First seven characters:A010050
    New Set (Corrected) - First seven characters:A010052

    2. Unfortunately, the BBC's statement as reprinted on Roobarb's forum says they'll only accept returns from buyers inside areas covered by regions 2 and 4, so the Beeb will not send replacement sets to America!

    So, anyone in the US is taking a bit of a gamble in buying this!
     
  11. alan halvorson

    alan halvorson Cinematographer

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    Got an URL for that?
     
  12. AndyMcKinney

    AndyMcKinney Cinematographer

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    www.the-mausoleum-club.org.uk

    Click on "The Forum" link to go to the forum. It's divided into British Archive TV (stuff that's not available to buy), Available Archive stuff (things out there or announced) and Off-Topic Waffle (for discussing non-British shows).

    You'll have to register (free) to post, but you can read anonymously.
     
  13. Michael Sliger

    Michael Sliger Second Unit

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    Thankfully, I purchased my Blake's 7 Series 1 set through the Horizon fan club. Since they were selling boxes autographed by Gareth Thomas, they made arrangements with BBC Video to directly exchange disks with their customers so that the original boxes could be kept. I was able to get my bad copies replaced here in the USA for only the shipping cost of my defective DVDs to Ohio. Both Horizon and Amazon UK should be reasonable choices for us in Region 1.

    http://www.horizon.org.uk/

    I can also confirm the serial codes that Andy provided for the
    fixed disks. My Malata 520 no longer jumps forward 10 seconds at the layer changes with these disk versions.
     
  14. Scott Kriefall

    Scott Kriefall Second Unit

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    I assume that these are R2-encoded, and that I'd therefore need a region-hacked player in addition to one with good PAL->NTSC conversion circuitry?

    The PAL->NTSC conversion that I've seen in the past may not have been a good indicator of what I'd experience with the B7 discs. Most of that was with (ahem) VideoCDs and/or SuperVCDs on a Pioneer DV-333 or GE 1101P player.

    Still have the GE, and I believe it can be made region-free. Unfortunately it's an Apex/Shinco under the covers, so it's playback quality is poor.
     
  15. Tory

    Tory -The Snappy Sneezer- -Red Huck-

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    Scott, I have a Phillips DVP642 which, last I checked, could be found for abut 75 dolars at Target and Wal-Mart. All you have to do is 1. Open DVD Player tray, type 7, 8, 9, OK, 0 and the device is RegionFree for good. The PAL to NTSC conversion is no trouble on this machine, mind you I have a Sony Wega 32 inch flat screen television and better televisions may be able to pick up the flaws more, but to me that are not noticable. In many ways, my R2 DVDs look better than US. I have Blake's 7, robin of Sherwood, Tripods, Carry On Collection and a 21 disc Laurel and Hardy set and they all look great.
     
  16. alan halvorson

    alan halvorson Cinematographer

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    Is Blake's 7, Series 2 delayed yet again? Amazon now lists it for release on January 17, 2005, although my order detail states that the dispatch date is still October 6, 2004. Anyone know why it's been delayed once more?
     
  17. Tory

    Tory -The Snappy Sneezer- -Red Huck-

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  18. Dan Rudolph

    Dan Rudolph Producer

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    The most god awful packaging ever invented by man or best. I hope you've got a saw or industrial shears and don't mind damaging what's inside the package.
     
  19. Tory

    Tory -The Snappy Sneezer- -Red Huck-

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    OK, it comes without a blister pack, I thought it was a bonus...
     
  20. Michael Sliger

    Michael Sliger Second Unit

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    Yes, the Region 2 release of Series 2 is now delayed until January.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/cult/news/cult/...15/14252.shtml

    Their explanation doesn't hold water though. It only took 2-3 months to find the problems with the Series 1 set and repress them. Why would it take more 4 months to continue bug testing now, especially since the remastered episodes and extras have been ready for over a year (per BBFC classification notice). Best guesses for the real cause are that Dysfunction (the team hired to master and make menus) has been fired or that BBC Worldwide has once again tried to convince Blake's 7 Enterprises to allow them include the Kevin Davies documentaries on the disks.

    And to keep on topic, still no word about a Region 1 release.
     

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