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Friday, 7 April, 2000, 20:57 GMT 21:57 UK
Blake's 7 relaunch on film
liberator
Time travel: Blake's spaceship Liberator
Cult sci-fi TV series Blake's 7 is set to fly again - on film.

The 1970s BBC One series, about a group of freedom fighters battling against a ruthless Federation, won an adoring audience with its cheap, low-budget sets and wacky gadgets.

It is currently enjoying success on BBC Two with a round of repeats following a successful re-run on UK Gold.

avon
Paul Darrow: Set to reprise his role as Avon
Now, producer Andrew Sewell, who bought the Blake's 7 rights from the estate of its creator, the late Terry Nation, wants to turn the series into a multi-million pound TV film.

He is even lining up original cast member Paul Darrow, who played charismatic anti-hero Avon, to reprise his role.

Mr Sewell said: "The plan is to set it 20 years on from when the last series ended. When Paul did the last one he was in his mid-30s. He's now in his mid-50s."


Special effects will be state-of-the-art

Andrew Sewell
Producer
But the days of props that looked like they had been put together by Blue Peter presenters - one spaceship on the original series was made from an old hair-dryer - are over.

Mr Sewell said: "The beauty of Blake was the characters and it's not going to be overloaded with special effects, but when they are there they will be state-of-the-art."

Mr Sewell said the film would retain the name Blake's 7, despite the fact that the title character was killed by Avon in the last episode to date in 1981.

But he declined to give a hint as to how Avon, last seen surrounded by Federation stormtroopers before apparently perishing with his companions in a hail of gunfire, managed to survive.

Mr Sewell, whose recent projects with BBC Worldwide have included working on the global new media marketing of recent BBC hit Walking with Dinosaurs, said he did not yet know who would broadcast the film.

But he added: "It would be nice to think maybe the BBC would go with it, but the new nature of the broadcasting markets gives us a lot of options."

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