The news that Blakes 7 is in production does not come as a surprise for many who see the recent success of other rebooted franchises getting a great reception. Sci Fi Channel commision of this programme is sure to take it in a much different direction from the original BBC programme that aired in the late 70's. Of course technology and effects have moved on since then but there is also a desire for dark sci fi shows with many favourites having a much darker feel than the original.
Battlestar successfully pulled this off with a much more adult version of the show than the original dealing with many themes from sex, drugs use and religion and its overall dark bleak outlook was recieved well by the majority of fans. Of course the 70's and 80's sci fi shows lacked the big budget effects of today's shows and relied heavily on comedy and fun, sci fi was aimed at a much younger audience than today's shows. With the original Blake 7 having a PG rating and shown before the watershed it is unlikely they will keep the show at this demographic. The BBC have a strong link with sci fi and still to this day are having global success with their Dr Who franchise, but being a nationally owned operator does unfortunately have some drawbacks in terms of darkness and budget. The Sci Fi Channel is likely to allow the show the type of creative freedom that will see it move forward and whilst sharing a name with the original it will no doubt be completely separate from the storyline and characterisation of the classic. Perhaps Vila Restal (The only character to appear in every original episode) will be rebooted as a woman, of course a twist like this will alight the forums of sci fi fans across the globe and create a buzz, one of the clever marketing tricks that Battlestar pulled off.
Batman is a great case study of a franchise that shot to fame after a dark makeover. Perhaps its because those sci fi kids that the shows were aimed at are now all more realistic 30 and 40 years olds who would rather some realism in their tv shows, or perhaps its because the world seems a far bleaker place in 2013 than it did in the 80's. Whatever the reason be sure to watch out for developments, castings and trailers to be drip fed to us over the next 12 months