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Sunday, 9 July, 2000, 18:00 GMT 19:00 UK
Blade Runner riddle solved
Ridley Scott and Harrison Ford
Ridley Scott [right] breaks his silence
Director Ridley Scott has finally revealed the answer to a plot twist in his film Blade Runner which has been the topic of fierce debate for nearly two decades.

Movie fans have been divided over whether Harrison Ford's hard-boiled cop character Deckard was not human but a genetically-engineered "replicant" - the very creatures he is tasked with destroying.

Little suspicion was raised by the 1982 original version of the film, based on Philip K Dick's novel: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

But a decade later the Director's Cut edition - although deliberately ambiguous - convinced many that the hero was indeed a replicant and in a Channel 4 documentary Scott at last reveals they are correct.

'He's a replicant'

The acclaimed British director, who also directed Alien, Thelma and Louise and current box-office hit Gladiator, settles the issue when questioned on key aspects of the film's imagery.

In the Director's Cut version, the biggest clue for analysts was the appearance of a unicorn on screen while Deckard is lost in thought.

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The image of the mythical creature appears again towards the end of the film when he picks up an origami model discarded by another character, Gaff.

As the replicants had no memories of their own, they had to be implanted, and fans interpreted the appearance of the model as a sign that Gaff knew what Deckard was thinking because it was an image shared by other non-humans.

In Channel 4's documentary On The Edge Of Blade Runner, Scott discusses the scenes and asked what they mean, he confirms with a grin: "He's a replicant".

Harrison Ford
Harrison Ford starred as Deckard
Another hint in the film comes from the number of replicants which Deckard is hunting.

We find out that six had made their way to earth, one of whom was killed. Deckard is looking for four, begging the question: "Who is the fifth replicant?".

Blade Runner's futuristic urban imagery was hugely influential on later movies but at the time of its release it was a relative box office flop.

However the film noir-style movie proved to be a success when released on video with repeated viewings revealing hidden depths.

I still think it's one of the best films I ever made

Ridley Scott
When it was first made, poor reception at preview screenings prompted the film's backers to call for a happy ending being added, as well as a voice-over from Ford.

Scott removed these for his revised version. "What we'd done was kind of a dark novel, it was rather novelistic," he said.

"I didn't really realise that that eventually became the true longevity of the whole film - you revisit it constantly like re-reading one of your favourite books. You always find you get sucked in again.

"I still think it's one of the best films I ever made," he added.

The documentary - which includes previously unseen footage - is being broadcast on 15 July, immediately after a screening of Blade Runner: Director's Cut.

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08 May 00 | Entertainment
Gladiator's box office triumph
08 Dec 99 | Entertainment
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