Greetings, Blake’s 7 fan!
We humbly implore you to help us make the upcoming 1979 season finale of Blake’s 7, TV’s best-loved science fiction show, the most spectacular ever.
Our writer, Blyllnwl Davies, has come up with a corker of a climactic scene, but such is the mind-blowing scope of Blyllnwl’s imagination, that this is one piece of TV that ‘aint going to come cheap.
The crew of the Liberator discovers an alien planet, in the orbit of which, a huge space station – which Blake dubs the Death Moon™ – is under construction. Realising that its completion could spell the end of the universe if the alien race is evil, which it almost certainly is, Blake resolves to destroy both the space station and the planet that built it.
You can already imagine just how sarcastic this makes Avon.
The space station is too big to destroy with regular Photon Torpedos © Gene Roddenberry 1966 so Blake’s plan is to crash the Liberator into the space station in such a way that the space station is deflected towards, and ultimately crashes into, the planet which, in turn, sends the planet into a nearby black hole. “Like snooker?” say Avon. “Exactly like snooker,” says Blake.
Blake’s 7, meanwhile, evacuate the Liberator in an escape pod. But the pod only takes 6.
And there we have it. Our season ending spectacular. And I think you’ll agree we’ve outdone ourselves in the white-knuckle excitement stakes.
As you can imagine, when our visual effect department saw the script, they were physically sick. Or, at least we think they were! Those boys can do anything. Blake’s 7 sets the gold standard for high-tech, state-of-the-art visual effects – the envy of the civilised world – but this apocalyptic sequence is more ambitious than anything our visual effects department, Martin Trunt and Barry Kluster, have ever attempted.
The boys priced it up and there’s no way they can do it for less than £100.00. This is twice the entire visual effects budget for a typical episode of B7 but once we read Blrlyllnwlyll Davis’s terrific script, we couldn’t shake those images out of our heads and we have to have this sequence.
Because of the unique way the BBC is funded, there’s no leeway in the budget. The organisation is contesting more and more lawsuits as John Craven’s Newsround continues to lift the lid on corruption and sex scandals at the highest levels of Government. This means we’re coming cap in hand to you, the Blake’s 7 fan.
Martin and Barry are already developing cutting-edge ways to create this extraordinary alternative reality. This season’s Liberator, for example, is made of a groundbreaking lightweight paper/paste/water hybrid that is more or less indestructible, barring a catastrophe along the lines of something being put down on top of it.
The swarm of enemy fighters that engages the Liberator will be knitted as usual and the action sequence is expected to result in a host of them being shot down spectacularly in flames; all of this made possible by an especially deep black pullover and glove that renders Martin’s arm more-or-less invisible as the match he holds – also painted black! – sends those alien pilots to their fiery graves.
But what about this hitherto uncharted planet? To create a brand new world takes a leap of imagination and the boys hit upon the idea of visiting the science department at Television Centre and appropriating, of all things, a high quality photograph of an actual uncharted planet – one called Jupiter. They’ll have to keep this photograph completely still and flat while they cut between shots of it, the Liberator, then back again. And voila; the Liberator stumbles across a strange new planet in the far reaches of space.
We know £100 is a massive sum to spend on just fifteen minutes of screen time but the BBC is at the vanguard of special effects technology. Just one thirty-second conversation between Tony Hart and Morph will involve Tony having to remain completely still, clamped into a chair, while we move Morph, for up to a week, fed through a tube in his nose and doing his business into a bag. All of this at a cost of up to £35.
Our Paper Mache budget alone is over £66.00 – over twice as much as 1973’s Dr. Who: Daleknado! Please help.