Blake's 8: The cult is back

25 years ago, TV series 'Blake's 7' - and most of its characters - were killed off. But now the cult programme is coming back from the dead

Almost exactly 25 years since its final episode ended in the slaughter of nearly the entire cast, the cult science fiction series Blake's 7 is to come back from the dead.

The show, one of the most successful science fiction dramas of all time, was must-watch television during its four-year run on the BBC between 1978 and 1981, attracting audiences of about 10 million. Now, following the success of the newDoctor Who, the series is to be given not one but two new leases of life in 2007.

First, in the spring, will be a series of newly penned hour-long audio episodes, with a new cast playing the original characters. Among them are This Life's Daniela Nardini, Craig Kelly from Queer as Folk, James Bond actor Colin Salmon and former Robin of Sherwood star Michael Praed.

The audio adventures, which will initially be podcast in five-minute segments over the internet, have already been recorded in a London studio. It is hoped that they will be followed by a mini-series, Blake's 7: Legacy, to be set 30 years after the bloodbath on the planet of Gauda Prime, which ended the original 52-episode run. The series, which has been scripted but is yet to be cast, will feature a new set of heroes, but with "strong links" to the original series, and a possible return for anti-hero Avon - the only main cast member not slain in the final hail of gunfire.

The projects are the work of B7 Productions, set up by the former BBC executive Andrew Mark Sewell and the film producer Simon Moorhead. The pair bought the rights to the show from the estate of the late Terry Nation, creator of Doctor Who's daleks, who devised the series.

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