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  • blakes 7 a substitute for crusade

    lately i am watching blakes 7 and i very much like it

  • #2
    I've heard good things about Blake's 7. Is it available on DVD at all?

    Jan
    "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

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    • #3
      it is available from amazon, i bought mine from a dvd shop in Greece where i live.

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      • #4
        It wasn't released here. But you can get it from amazon UK

        http://www.amazon.co.uk/Blakes-7-1-C...4156586&sr=8-1

        Another one to check out is Jerry Anderson's UFO, which is available in the US.
        Killed after 1 season, revival morphed into Space: 1999

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UFO_%28TV_series%29

        Best intro of any 70s SF show!

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDzNkern1Fc

        ________

        Really off the wall suggestion: Quark

        http://www.sfsite.com/10b/qu282.htm
        Last edited by NotKosh; 01-04-2011, 08:18 AM.
        "I am not a number! I am a free man!"

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        • #5
          OK, for fans of B5 that are planning to step into the fantastic world of Blake's 7, from a confirmed uber fan of both...

          Blake's 7 was the show that JMS always seemed to reference a fair amount at our UK conventions (maybe not so much in the USA?) as there are a fair number of parallels between the shows.

          Mainly, when he talks about a show with a definite beginning, middle and end, he'd mention B7 and how that influenced further his 'book for TV with each episode as a new chapter' approach. Common place now, but back then? Well, we all know just how difficult he found it to sell B5 to a bunch of 'suits'.

          It had a realistically changing cast which reflected the realities of life. I will not give anything away but
          practically the whole of seasons three and four happen, and the hero "Blake" is nowhere in sight.


          There is despite a few silly writing-continuity errors, a thread of a story running through the seasons, linking pieces together.

          The drama is driven by the character inter dynamics, the dynamic between Blake and Avon, Avon and Vila, between Vila and Gan, Jenna and Blake, Blake and Travis, Travis and Servalan, Avon and Servalan.

          Yes there are space battles and action, fighting and rebellion but basically it is about people and how the situations around them changes them and pushes them into directions they would otherwise not take.

          They are even linked by special FX, in both a direct and an oblique sort of way. There are several visual tributes to B7 in Babylon 5. There are at least 4 ships in the B5 universe that are tributes to the brilliant design of the sip from B7, The Liberator. They are the Drazi Sunhawks, Earthforce 1 from the end of season one, Marcus' Ranger escape ship from the opening of season 3 and of course the Excalibur from Crusade. They all share the symmetry of the Liberator, But personally I'd say that the Sunhawks are the closest.

          Sadly, the BBC didn't deem B7 important enough to give it too much of a budget, so the FX themselves are pretty unimpressive...excpet for the fact that Ron Thornton did some of them.

          Yep, B5's own Ron Thornton was one of the FX team on B7, how cool is that for a B5 to hear?

          http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0861591/

          I love B7. It was a pivitol show to me, as important to my development into a person as STAR TREK and films like Forbidden Planet, This Island Earth, The Thing and War Of The Worlds on TV, and obviously Star Wars and Superman - The Movie were, at the cinema.

          Look past the shoe-string FX work and embrace it. You'll not be disappointed.
          Last edited by DGTWoodward; 01-04-2011, 02:11 PM. Reason: It was terrible!!!
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          • #6
            B4 there was B5 there was B7.

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            • #7
              @DGTWoodward

              I'v read a few folks mention the link between the Liberator and Excalibur but there's only one B5 nod - The sunhawk (and jms didn't know about it).

              http://www.themadgoner.com/B5/B5Scro...m#Screen2_07_1
              I’d always liked the Liberator (hated by all at the BBC) and the Drazi Sunhawk was my attempt to update it. I was fascinated by the idea of doing a "Blake’s 7, the motion picture" version, though I did only have two days to design and build it! Doing this I’ve noticed some things about my designs that I forgot. Like the fact that the Sunhawk is really the lovechild of the Liberator, AND Thunderbirds 1 & 3! Look more closely at the nose and fuselage. It also had a great uncle in the USS Enterprise (movie version) !

              Luc Mayrand who designed the Excalibur hadn't even seen it until a couple of years ago.

              http://www.themadgoner.com/B5/B5Scro...m#Screen2_08_1
              I still have not seen the Blake’s 7 show (I know that's a terrible thing to say for a SF fan - I just never came across it). Now that I’ve seen the Liberator on your page for the Drazi Sunhawk, I think it looks pretty cool. But Excalibur’s design wasn't based on it (or influenced by it). ”


              Ron only worked on the last year of B7, and worked on stuff like the Liberators replacement (Scorpio). IF your interested in a bit of trivia and links between B5 & B7 designs, take a look at the crew shuttle used on B5

              http://www.themadgoner.com/B5/B5Scro...m#Screen2_02_9
              All those variants were based on a ship I built on spec as a miniature in the UK before I worked at the BBC. I then sold it to them to use in Blakes 7 in an episode called "Orbit". I refined the design a bit for B5, but it was always going to be a simple model, and we needed as many of those as we could get!!!

              B5 having a story arc, or a fear of going against Trek for that matter , though possibly a factor, arn't the main reasons why it took 5 years or so to find B5 a home - that's just a well trodden PR story popular amongst (non trek) fans, introduced after the whole B5 v DS9 thing exploded onto the scene. It was the cost of doing the special effects. Here's some bits of the real story from official press releases. (It was a fear of producers promising to stay under budget - enter stage left, Ron Thornton & Paul Bryant with the idea of going CG

              http://www.midwinter.com/b5/Releases/96pr_pioneering
              The problem was, Netter recalls, that "the networks had had science
              fiction pitched to them before, along with the caveat, 'We can do this for a
              reasonable price.' Of course, that was one of the great lies in Hollywood.
              And even though John and I had an excellent reputation for bringing shows in
              under budget and on time, as soon as they heard about big effects, red flags
              would go up in their minds. They were afraid that any attempt to do a
              science fiction show on a tight budget might result in inferior production
              values."

              And like everyone else, Warner Bros. didn't see how a high-quality show
              could be done on a cut-rate budget. "They said, 'Well, if you are going to
              do it for that, this stuff will look terrible.' And we said, 'No, it
              won't," Netter remembers. To prove their point, Straczynski, Netter, and
              Copeland had Ron Thornton -- who had worked with them on "Captain Power" and
              subsequently pioneered the use of CGI effects on an Amiga computer --
              produce a startling 50-second sequence featuring a computer-generated space
              ship being tracked from far in the distance to its arrival at the space
              station's docking bay, all in one shot.

              When they showed it to a group of Warner Bros. Executives and TV
              station heads who were part of PTEN, the reaction was everything they had
              hoped for: "When it was over, they said, 'We've got to see that again!'"
              Netter recalls. "And then when we said, 'We did it on a desktop computer,'
              they were just like flabbergasted."

              As a result, they finally got their production deal, and Babylon 5
              debuted as a two-hour pilot movie during the week of February 22, 1993, to
              an impressive 10.3 GAA national rating.


              http://www.midwinter.com/b5/Releases/96pr_production
              It was mid-1991 when Thornton was approached by the
              producers of "Captain Power" to bid on miniatures for a sci-fi project
              they were developing, Babylon 5. At that time, Thornton had been
              working with innovative rock music and multimedia artist Todd Rundgren
              on a short computer-animated film. The work with Rundgren led Thornton
              to suggest using computers for the effects on Babylon 5.

              Thornton and Beigle-Bryant created a one minute video of proposed visual
              effects for Babylon 5, which would become instrumental in selling the
              show to Warner Bros. television in July 1992.

              And confirming that - http://www.themadgoner.com/B5/B5Scro...m#Screen1_02_5



              But going back to B7, dodgy fx and sets aside, it is very entertaining. The interplay between Villa and Avon is side splittingly funny at times.
              Last edited by Triple F; 01-04-2011, 09:16 PM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Triple F View Post
                @DGTWoodward.....I'v read a few folks mention the link between the Liberator and Excalibur but there's only one B5 nod - The sunhawk (and jms didn't know about it).
                Now you may be right regarding Crusade but as to the others, I can only tell you what I have personally heard JMS say to 2 seperate convention audiences. That the Sunhawk, the Ranger's ship and Earthforce One were all visual references to the Liberator.

                Did he know about the designs? You, again may be correct in saying that he did not...all I can tell you is that if he did not (in fact) know, he certainly spoke about it as if he had been a part of the design pocedure.

                As for Ron and B7 FX work. I never said when he worked on it, or which ships he made/filmed/built. I was just stating that it was something of a decent lineage for B5 fans to know thta Ron had already worked on a major influence to the show.

                Still, all unimportant now. As you say, look past the wobbley walls and garage special FX and B7 is a great show.
                http://www.lddb.com/collection.php?a...er=dgtwoodward
                Yes, I still collect Laserdiscs!!
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                • #9
                  It's not me saying it. It's the various ships designers, I just pointed. Though to be honest, if I'd heard of the supposed connection between Earthforce 1 and the liberator (a strange idea to be sure, maybe it's because it has sticky out bits ; ) then I'd have asked him.

                  There is an influence in that design but it sure ain't got anything to do with B7 (you can see see it in the background of the image used on this screen.)
                  http://www.themadgoner.com/B5/B5Scro...#Screen2_01_17
                  Obviously the colour scheme was based on the US Air Force One. The logic I was using for the design was that, apart from early on, Air Force One is usually a luxury commercial jet transport. (Boeing 747, 707... etc). So I took the Asimov design, and just snazzed it up a bit. Also there was a vague recollection that I had from a comic book back in my youth that had a series called "The rise and fall of the Trigan Empire". I only ever got one copy, but the art was so beautifully rendered, and there was a crashing spaceship that was like a flying saucer, but travelled flat end front. I had wanted to do a ship like that for years!

                  Again, that's not me saying that, but the person who created the design and built the CG model.

                  I don't doubt you've personally heard jms say a lot of things. But he's a writer, he tells stories to entertain. He's a tv producer who promotes - he also talks to folks who tell him things after the fact. He's not a designer, conceptual artist or builder of CG models - that's among the things all those other names on the credits do. ; )

                  But as you say it is unimportant. You pays your money and all that.
                  Last edited by Triple F; 01-05-2011, 12:45 AM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Triple F View Post
                    I don't doubt you've personally heard jms say a lot of things. But he's a writer, he tells stories to entertain. He's a tv producer who promotes - he also talks to folks who tell him things after the fact. He's not a designer, conceptual artist or builder of CG models - that's among the things all those other names on the credits do. ; )
                    Implying that JMS is lying or making himself sound more important, when in fact there's nothing particularly weird about a producer speaking on behalf of the entire production team. That doesn't mean he's taking credit for coming up with the reference. If someone tells JMS "hey, the reason I designed this ship like that is because I love Blake's 7" and JMS tells an audience "the reason the ship was designed like that was in reference to Blake's 7"... well, that doesn't seem like much of a lie to me. Or telling stories to entertain. More like stating the facts.

                    Now, I'm not arguing that JMS is a saint, that he doesn't try to make things appear smoother or simpler than they perhaps were (we all do), but does every one of your posts have to be like this? It's rather tiresome. I appreciate you trying to make people aware of everyone's contributions to the creation of the show, but it doesn't have to be done with veiled insults and smug superiority.

                    Before this degenerated into another "oh no JMS" discussion, it was about Blake's 7. I haven't seen all of the show, but I thought it was quite nice, if harmed by the minimal budget. A show really deserving to be remade, but not in a toothless modern sort of way where it's all about daddy issues.
                    Jonas Kyratzes | Lands of Dream

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Jonas View Post
                      Implying that JMS is lying or making himself sound more important, when in fact there's nothing particularly weird about a producer speaking on behalf of the entire production team. That doesn't mean he's taking credit for coming up with the reference.
                      Coudn't agree more, but as I wasn't at the con and was only responding to what the poster said he personally heard (and presumably personally believes). Is it so wrong to clarify things?

                      I know it's cross threading here, but you don't agree with folks who see many references to Lord of the Rings in Babylon 5 (and there is a LOT - third age, the eye, three casts, burying armies, Lorien, Elves in decline, etc.). Personally I agree with you on that. But when you see it you feel the urge to correct things, to comment.

                      Guess what I don't agree with and feel the urge to correct.

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                      • #12
                        Whether a designer deliberately designed a ship to reflect influences from something else is one thing. Why it was chosen *might* be because some aspects of the design did reflect aspects of that thing to the mind of the decision maker. So then, yes, that ship becomes a visual reference.

                        And no, that's not some kind of fanwank. Just as one example, there are 12 examples of concept art ideas for the Excalibur published in Volume 1 of "Crusade: What the Hell Happened". Two facts: 1) we had many more that could have been included but it was felt that too many would feel like padding. 2) Quite a number of them looked *nothing* like the finished product. The artist's job is to come up with ideas for the Exec Producer to choose from. The Exec Producer's job is to choose the design that evokes the look and feel wanted for the show. So if X design reminds him of an aspect of something else that he wants the audience to react to a certain way, that's the design that gets chosen.

                        Is that exactly what happened? I don't know. But if it's anywhere close, it's far too complex to try to put across in a Q&A session, that's for sure.

                        And now, as Jonas has said, the conversation should return to reasons why B7 is a good show for B5 fans to watch.

                        Jan
                        "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Jan View Post
                          And now, as Jonas has said, the conversation should return to reasons why B7 is a good show for B5 fans to watch.
                          B7 is a good show for any SF fan to watch. It is a pity that it looks so dated (it did even when it was first shown), but then this is the BBC we are talking about. Classic Doctor Who, early Red Dwarf and B7 epitomise the whole "cardboard sets" ethos of FX production.

                          )
                          The Optimist: The glass is half full
                          The Pessimist: The glass is half empty
                          The Engineer: The glass is twice as big as it needs to be

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                          • #14
                            Quite right all, Sorry if I helped (Helped? Not quite the right word but you get my drift) in muddling the issue. So, back on topic...

                            Yes B7 was a really enjoyable yarn indeed.

                            I have very mixed feelings about how the much hoped for revival didn't get done. About three years ago, our SKY TV commissioned a script with the idea of re-launching the show, but it came to nothing.

                            I feel about new B7 a bit like how I feel about new B5. I would really love to see it done, and done well. But I almost feel the nagging suspicion that it's time has realistically already passed by. If the level of support it is going to actually get is likened to the support B5 has had, ie a rather weak (and failed) spin-off pilot, or a no-budget TV episode...then I'd much rather it did not happen at all.

                            If I feel this way about B5 then the feeling intensifies regarding B7, which is a much older show.

                            Edit: Just for people to gauge my personal taste in this issue, I rate Classic Star Trek, B7, B5, Farscape and Dr.Who (yes from the very....very start!) as my equal top 5 SF TV shows ever.
                            Last edited by DGTWoodward; 01-10-2011, 01:07 AM. Reason: Added a final line.
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                            Yes, I still collect Laserdiscs!!
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                            • #15
                              HereÆs a quote from an interview I did with Ron Thornton back in 1995 regarding the then-upcoming third season of B5:

                              ôWeÆve got a new ship that is given to Sheridan. He gets the White Star, which is this mish-mash of Minbari, Vorlon and Earth technology, basically to help him fight against the Shadows. ItÆs got a very interesting, quite sexy shape. We also managed to get our BlakeÆs 7/Liberator homage in episode in episode one as well. We also did it in episode one where there was this Drazi cruiser that comes alongside Babylon 5, along with a bunch of other alien ships, so weÆve updated the Drazi cruiser, which looks a little bit like the Liberator.ö

                              I think the B7/B5 connection is well-known, as JMS has noted on a number of occasions, most notably at the first SFX Awards when Joe was given his award by Gareth (Blake) Thomas in full Blake costume and makeup. That was something my wife Sheelagh and I cooked up and it was worth it just to see Joe speechless for the first time ever.

                              For anyone whoÆs really interested in B7, I would recommend BlakeÆs 7: The Inside Story, which was written by Sheelagh and myself some years ago and is still available on some used book sites. I believe itÆs still the definitive account of the series, especially since so many of the key players we interviewed have now passed away. Just in the last year along, original visual FX designer Ian Scoones and first-season director Pennant Roberts have both died, so it will be increasingly difficult for anyone to put together a definitive first-person account of the production.

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