Tuesday, 8 September 2020

Blake's 7 arrives on BritBox



BritBox, the streaming service co-owned by the BBC and commercial broadcaster ITV, is rapidly becoming the home of cult sci-fi and fantasy film and television series in the UK.

Last month saw Sapphire & Steel, Space: 1999, The Prisoner, UFO and more added. Now, Blake's 7, the two sixties Dalek movies starring Peter Cushing as Doctor Who among other cult classics will be available this September. Blake's 7, from Dalek creator Terry Nation, was a dystopian space opera with a series finale that ruined Christmas 1981 for a generation of geeks (myself included).

10th September

Blake’s 7 (1978)

All 52 episodes and four seasons of the cult British sci-fi show from the mind of Terry Nation. In the third century of the second calendar, after the chaos of the intergalactic wars, a powerful dictatorship has risen to dynamic proportions and engulfed most of the populated worlds. Liberty has become a crime punishable by death, and the majority of the population lives in a drug-induced state of docility. This tyrannical authority fulfils George Orwell's prophecy of 1984 to its most terrifying extremes. This government is known as the Federation. Each world has its share of rebels who either turned to crime or the Resistance. This is the story of one such group of rebels, led by a man named Blake. His group is largely composed of escaped convicts, thieves and smugglers, who are thrown together by chance.

The Avengers (1961)

The two complete surviving episodes of the first season, plus the iconic Emma Peel & Tara King seasons of the series starring Patrick MacNee, Diana Rigg & Linda Thorson as the incorrigible secret agents extraordinaire. Together they defeat criminal masterminds and solve unfathomable mysteries in the original cult TV classic.

Doctor Who and the Daleks (1965)

The first big screen spin-off from the television series featuring the infamous Daleks. Eccentric Earth inventor Doctor Who (Peter Cushing) is demonstrating his space/time craft, the TARDIS, to his niece's boyfriend, Ian (Roy Castle), when he manages to whisk them all off to the planet Skaro. There they encounter two races: the blue-skinned, peace-loving Thals, and the biomechanical Daleks.

Daleks’ Invasion Earth 2150AD (1966)

The Earth of 2150 AD is a desolate and hostile ruin of a planet, crumbling at the edge of civilisation, slowly disappearing into the darkness of space. For the future of planet Earth now belongs to The Daleks, a destructive army of alien invaders who have turned the human race into cowering slaves.

Meanwhile deep within the London Underground a group of resistance freedom fighters are planning an attack. But there's only one man who could possibly help them succeed in destroying their extra-terrestrial enemies and take back control of planet Earth. A man of mystery, a man of time and space, a man known only as... The Doctor. Starring Peter Cushing.

One Million Years BC (1966)

This spectacular prehistoric adventure was promoted as Hammer’s 100th production and gave the world the iconic image of star Raquel Welch in a fur-lined bikini. The highlight of the movie was the stop-motion dinosaurs that were subsequently added by legendary special effects animator Ray Harryhausen. The result was Hammer’s biggest commercial success, the most famous dinosaur epic until the release of Jurassic Park 26 years later.

Quatermass and the Pit (1967)

Hobbs End, Knightsbridge, London. Whilst working on a new subway tunnel for the London Underground, a group of construction workers uncover a strangely shaped skull amongst the rubble. Nearby is another discovery: a large, mysterious and impenetrable metal object. Initially mistaken for an unexploded bomb the origins of the object and its strange power are far more horrific and terrifying than anybody could have possibly imagined. Is it of this Earth? Could it be the ancestral link to mankind’s evolution? Or could it be an ancient link to unleashing ultimate evil? There’s only one man capable of unravelling the clues, his name is Professor Bernard Quatermass, a man of science who thrives on the dark mysteries of the world, a man with answers.

The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976)

Nicolas Roeg directs this classic 70s sci-fi drama starring David Bowie as an alien who arrives on Earth in search of water to save his own dying planet. Assuming the name Thomas Jerome Newton, he soon forms a lucrative partnership with patent attorney Oliver Farnsworth (Buck Henry) by creating revolutionary products. As their business develops into a hugely successful financial empire, Thomas plans to use the profits to build a ship that will return him to his home world. However, while he waits for his ship to be ready, he begins to fall prey to earthly pleasures and failings.

17th September

Survivors (1975)

All three seasons of Terry Nation's acclaimed BBC science fiction drama in which 95% of the population have been wiped out by a freak plague, leaving the remaining survivors to rebuild civilisation.

BritBox is already the exclusive home of classic Doctor Who. If you've held-off, will the arrival of Blake's ragtag rebels spur you to subscribe? Let me know in the comments below.

2 comments:

  1. looks like Britbox has now worked out how it can attract - and keep! - subscribers with retro genre content. However, the platform accessibility is still a problem. Get it on to satellite services, connected TVs and games consoles pronto!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The sooner the better. I was only discussing BritBox with family friends this week. They're interested in subscribing for cult film and television series, but had never heard of it until I mentioned it.

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