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


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23 replies to this topic

#1 of 24 Dane Marvin

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Posted September 04 2004 - 04:37 PM

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 of 24 Scott Kriefall

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Posted September 05 2004 - 03:30 AM

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 of 24 alan halvorson

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Posted September 05 2004 - 04:50 AM

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.
They're coming to take me away, ha-haaa!!
They're coming to take me away, ho-ho, hee-hee, ha-haaa To the funny farm. Where life is beautiful all the time and I'll be happy to see those nice young men in their clean white coats and they're coming to take me away, ha-haaa!!!!!
- Napoleon XIV

#4 of 24 Tory

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Posted September 05 2004 - 05:46 AM

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.
Hungry enough to eat a turnip and call it a turkey.

 


#5 of 24 Dane Marvin

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Posted September 05 2004 - 08:12 AM

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 of 24 Jonathan Kaye

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Posted September 06 2004 - 09:30 PM

Quote:
Season 1 is out in the U.K. now, Season 2 comes out in October and 3 in January.

There is a 4th season, of course, though some fans felt that (the finale aside) it wasn't worth the effort.

Quote:
I believe they are trying to make a new season of it to finish the story

News to me. The season 4 finale, 'Blake', pretty much finshed the story
by supposedly killing everyone off.


Quote:
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.

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.
"There's no point in being grown-up if you can't be childish sometimes" - The Doctor.

#7 of 24 Bleddyn Williams

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Posted September 07 2004 - 01:50 AM

Quote:
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.


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! Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

#8 of 24 alan halvorson

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Posted September 07 2004 - 02:26 AM

Great, Bleddyn - I got mine from Amazon UK when the set was first released. I'll have to contact them for replacements.
They're coming to take me away, ha-haaa!!
They're coming to take me away, ho-ho, hee-hee, ha-haaa To the funny farm. Where life is beautiful all the time and I'll be happy to see those nice young men in their clean white coats and they're coming to take me away, ha-haaa!!!!!
- Napoleon XIV

#9 of 24 Bleddyn Williams

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Posted September 07 2004 - 04:59 AM

Good luck, Alan!Posted Image

#10 of 24 AndyMcKinney

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Posted September 07 2004 - 06:22 AM

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

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 of 24 alan halvorson

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Posted September 07 2004 - 05:42 PM

Quote:
Mausoleum Club's forum


Got an URL for that?
They're coming to take me away, ha-haaa!!
They're coming to take me away, ho-ho, hee-hee, ha-haaa To the funny farm. Where life is beautiful all the time and I'll be happy to see those nice young men in their clean white coats and they're coming to take me away, ha-haaa!!!!!
- Napoleon XIV

#12 of 24 AndyMcKinney

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Posted September 08 2004 - 12:45 AM

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 of 24 Michael Sliger

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Posted September 08 2004 - 10:04 AM

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 of 24 Scott Kriefall

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Posted September 08 2004 - 12:50 PM

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 of 24 Tory

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Posted September 08 2004 - 04:42 PM

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.
Hungry enough to eat a turnip and call it a turkey.

 


#16 of 24 alan halvorson

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Posted September 17 2004 - 05:45 AM

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?
They're coming to take me away, ha-haaa!!
They're coming to take me away, ho-ho, hee-hee, ha-haaa To the funny farm. Where life is beautiful all the time and I'll be happy to see those nice young men in their clean white coats and they're coming to take me away, ha-haaa!!!!!
- Napoleon XIV

#17 of 24 Tory

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Posted September 17 2004 - 06:38 AM

It looks like they removed Season 3 from the schedule too, but they added Blake's 7 Season 2 with Blister Pack

What's a blister pack?
Hungry enough to eat a turnip and call it a turkey.

 


#18 of 24 Dan Rudolph

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Posted September 17 2004 - 09:16 AM

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.
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#19 of 24 Tory

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Posted September 18 2004 - 05:54 AM

Quote:
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.


OK, it comes without a blister pack, I thought it was a bonus...
Hungry enough to eat a turnip and call it a turkey.

 


#20 of 24 Michael Sliger

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Posted September 18 2004 - 09:40 AM

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

http://www.bbc.co.uk....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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