Microsoft is taking its original TV programming seriously.
If you have tears of nostalgia prepped and ready to go, prepare to shed them now: Microsoft, in an effort to snag original TV programming for its Xbox One, will remake British science fiction classic Blake's Seven. Also known fondly as Dirty Dozen in space, the show was to be remade by NBC for its SyFy channel, but it seems the folks in Redmond had other ideas. What's that, you say? You have no idea what Blake's Seven's all about? Take a look at good old Avon, the people's friend, possibly the originator of the phrase "I'm not expendable, I'm not stupid, and I'm not going." Incidentally, if you didn't already know about the ending, don't try to find out. It's the kind of thing childhood nightmares are made of.
Blake's Seven, created back in 1978 by Terry Nation of Doctor Who fame - Exterminate! - tells the story of interstellar renegade Blake, first seen brainwashed and left to rot in a penal colony. He escapes with some of his fellow prisoners, hijacking an alien spacecraft which he soon turns into his personal war machine, the Liberator. The Federation wants his hide nailed to a wall, but he and his crew of misfits manage to evade the clutches of Supreme Commander Servalan time and again. SyFy wanted to turn it into a 13 episode series, but there's no telling what Microsoft intends to do with it. However Microsoft has nicked the fella who was going to do it for SyFy, Goldeneye director Martin Campbell, so it clearly intends to go all-out with its new toy.
Blake's Seven is one of those properties that fans adore, in spite of its shaky sets and dodgy special effects. Maybe Microsoft's hoping for a bit of that Doctor Who magic, but a lot's going to depend on how seriously it intends to take the show. It was always a little more hard-edged than the average space opera; whether or not it'll keep that edge now it's a Xbox One exclusive remains to be seen.