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Blake's 7 Complete Set Pre-order (1 Viewer)

Ken Stuart

Second Unit
Joined
Jan 31, 2000
Messages
468
Hello,
For those who are unaware, one of the best SF TV series ever was Blake's 7.
Many subsequent programs ripped off the style and substance of Blake's 7 -- the most notable current example being Farscape, which is about as close a copy as you can get without incurring immediate legal proceedings. ;)
Anyway, all 52 episodes of Blake's 7 appear to be set for an October 1st release in a 10-disk set, priced at $179.99 list price.
The information about the release comes from this pre-order link:
Blake's 7 Complete Set pre-order
The only other information on the topic is that a Fan Club was notified that there would be a DVD release in 2002. But the pre-order link looks very specific and I have ordered many items from this retailer, they are relatively dependable and always have the best price.
 

Maurice Verploegen

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
May 29, 1999
Messages
104
Ken,

Awesome news. I pre-ordered mine. Your are right, DDD is a very good source for this. Man, this is a sweet show. This really takes me back, with a lot of good memories. Thanks for the update.

Mo
 

alan halvorson

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Oct 2, 1998
Messages
2,009
Of all the television series that I want on dvd, I would have bet big money that this would never be released in this country. I can find plenty of people who know about Dr. Who, but no one who has ever heard of Blake's 7. These are the only titles I have on (gasp!) tape. Twenty-six tapes.

The only problem is - it is my understanding that this series is to be released in Great Britain at a slower rate, re-mastered, and with some supplements. PAL, of course.

Nevertheless, I've placed my order.
 

Richard Ruffner

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jul 4, 2001
Messages
104
These DVD's (The US versions) will not be remastered and will not have any supplements. They are most likely ports of the VHS tapes as they are from BFS Video. That being said, I'll buy this set and slowly replace the episodes with the UK versions.
 

Duncan Harvey

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Mar 27, 2000
Messages
198
I dont think theres any hard evidence that the tapes are being remastered or restored in any way shape or form for the UK releases, other than running them through a PAL to component decoder.

10 discs doesnt sound much for 52 episodes, unless they are DVD 18s.
 

Andy_B

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jan 20, 2000
Messages
145
I love Farscape.

Babylon 5 was/still is my favorite TV series of all time.

Would I enjoy Blake's 7? Is it a complete arc story?

If anyone has any good sites to point me to learn about this series I would appreciate it!

Thanx

Andy
 

Jeff Wilson

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jun 17, 2001
Messages
153
Not having watched Blake's 7 in about 15 years, I can't answer in absolute authority, but Blake's has a general arc (ie, rebels against a large empire), but most episodes are self-contained. One of the things I liked about the series was its willingness to kill the main characters with impunity, for the most part. The main characters are generally interesting; the general favorite of fans (someone correct me if I'm wrong) was Avon, played by Paul Darrow, who was the brilliant misanthropic type with an acid tongue.

There's also a general feeling that the battle they fight is a hopeless one. The effects and costuming are pretty cheesy, as befits a late 70s-early 80s production. You may be disappointed by the low tech quality of the show after watching recent TV efforts, but it's worth checking out. I still remember being really awed by the final episode; of course, I was only 15 or so the first time I saw it, so maybe I wouldn't like it as much if I saw it now. Don't know of any web sites, but I imagine there's quite a few out there.
 

Michael Sliger

Second Unit
Joined
Jan 10, 2000
Messages
274
As much as I adore Blake's Seven, I have extremely hesitant towards buying these DVDs. For other TV show DVD presentations, it appears that a maximum of 3 hours of material can be put on a disk without too much compression artifacting. I know with the more recent X-Files DVD sets, the presence of a commentary track on a disk often led to an episode on that DVD being visibly overcompressed (i.e. "Hell Money" and "Paper Hearts"). Blake's Seven episodes typically are longer than X-Files episodes by 3-5 minutes, but BFS Entertainment is planning to put 5 to 6 episodes on a disk instead of a more reasonable 4. Since remastering work is very unlikely (which leads to larger file sizes due to the dropouts, noise, and dirt on the film inserts), these DVDs are bound to look horrid unless DVD-14s and DVD-18s are used (which is very unlikely looking at the retail prices). It may turn out to be best to wait for the Region 2 disks as the PAL to NTSC conversion problems may be better to deal with than artifacts galore.
 

Ken Stuart

Second Unit
Joined
Jan 31, 2000
Messages
468
There are definitely arcs, but they are the more loose arcs of - say - DS9, rather than the tightly woven arc of B5.

Things happen during the show that change the situation. In other words, it does help quite a bit to watch the series in order.

If you can imagine a more cerebral Farscape with better writing, but lesser art direction and effects, very few aliens and no "Crichton" (ie no outsiders), that comes as close as your are going to get without seeing some of it.

I would think that web sites might spoil too much of the series for you, in fact there are already spoilers in this thread.
 

Brandon Gantt

Second Unit
Joined
Feb 20, 2002
Messages
344
The main problem with this release is that like Doctor Who Blake was shot on noisy analog video. This makes them harder to compress, especially since the US versions aren't likely to be restored. Shows shot on film (X-Files, Queer as Folk, etc.) are easier to compress and 5 episodes on one DVD-9 is fine. At 50 minutes each three Blake's 7 episodes on one DVD-9 would be pushing it, but 52 episodes on 10 disc! The would have to be DVD-18s to just be barely watchable.
 

Randy_M

Supporting Actor
Joined
Oct 25, 2000
Messages
803
Location
Peoria, AZ
Real Name
Randy
Although I love Blake's 7, I will stay FAR away from any BFS product. They put out The Six Wives of Henry VIII ,which I had to return, as I found the picture nearly UNWATCHABLE...the little square blocks making up the video are so big I could almost count them on a 32" screen.
Buyer beware
 

Michael St. Clair

Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 3, 1999
Messages
6,001
I wish they'd broken it up into chunks, I'd buy the first set and try it out. I've wanted to see the show but I'm not willing to buy it all at once sight unseen.

The amount of compression is a bit disturbing. I'm also put off by the fact that R2 is getting remasters.
 

Duncan Harvey

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Mar 27, 2000
Messages
198
Michael - where have you read that R2 is getting remasters.

As far as some of the guys at the BBC who remaster stuff are aware, there is NO work scheduled to be performed on B7
 

Stephen Ford

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Messages
150
The info i have is that the Region 1 B7 DVDs will be released on the 7th of January, 2003.
BFS in North America will release the complete series as a box set, which will be light on extras, and probably won't be restored.
The Region 2, which will be released by Fabulous Films, will have plenty of extras, and will be released more slowly, the first release being "anticipated" by the end of 2002.
My info about R2 comes from Judith Proctor's site at http://www.hermit.org/blakes7/news/DVD.html
My R1 info comes from a recent posting in alt.fan.blakes-7
R2 releases are being remastered.
 

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