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the future of B7 at BF ?
Anniew wrote:

Just been reading that Paul Darrow has stood down from being the voice of Radio Jack because he was ' very unwell' towards the end of 2014. Anyone else got news of this? Might explain the big finish hiatus. Do hope he's okay!

Annie, would you be able to provide a link so I can read it too or state the source? Grin
GARETH THOMAS: Paul is a very generous man, as a human being and as an actor. The programme couldn’t have been made if we hadn’t got on. Our working relationship was magic.

Type in news,Paul Darrow Radio Sam, 2015. Link should come up. This is in the comments section:

From Joe
April 2015:

Sadly Paul was very unwell during the last few months of 2014 and remains fail… (sic). Consequently, there was (and still is) genuine concern as to whether he has the energy and (or) time to continue with the VO’s… Jack requires regular and topical VO clips from Paul, it is a full time job… to a certain extent. It’s hard work and tiring for a man in his 70’s. This change has been on the cards for a while within Celador and is a logical step. Not is the station now independent of it’s franchise, but this also allows Paul to rest, recover, and enjoy his retirement. I’m sure the bods at Celador love Paul as much as we do. It wouldn’t have been an easy I’m sure.

Ps. Before anyone speculates as to how I know this… As a massive Blake 7 fan, I’d learned of Paul’s health concerns through friends and forums… So when he vanished off Jack I rang Celador to ask if he was ok. The above is what they told me… Roughly.

My presumption is, Paul asked to step down as he’d not the time or energy to continue. Without Paul there is no Jack. Simple as that… What choice did Celador have.

However I did read a comment from Radio Jack that he was now recovered but couldn't open the link to find out more. Perhaps he's just cutting down which may have relevance for BF productions and perhaps even suggest a Del Grant spin off is likely.
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
Even if his health is a concern, that wouldn't explain why Big Finish has decided to have a fire sale on so many of their B7 releases -- including some that were released less than a year ago. That suggests something else entirely is going on.
Here's a direct quote from Maureen, Paul's PA, about Celador etc.

"The actuality of it is that Celador chose not to renew the contract with JACK FM when it was due for renewal in April because of cost issues and lack of control over content, nothing to do with Paul at all.
Paul was ill towards the end of last year, has made a remarkable recovery and has been back recording for JACK since February.
Also, JACK will be available digitally soon so the South Coast will have "the Voice" back."

Hope that clears that side of things up!
Spaceship Dispatcher
PC, many thanks for sharing that; it does clear up a couple of questions that have been asked lately. And not just about the audios, because we all like to hear that the cast are in good health.
Reversing the polarity of the neutron flow. I bet that means something. It sounds great.

Blake's 7: Trojan Horse (s4 fanfic) - Blake's 7: Through the Needle's Eye (s2 fanfic)

Spaceship Dispatcher's fanfic site
Thanks PC. I posted because I thought someone would be able to set the record straight. I'm so glad Mr D is okay!
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
My thanks too, PC! I echo SD's and Annie's words. This has been playing on my mind all day - am very relieved to read Maureen's message regarding Mr Darrow's health!
Yes thanks Annie for the info and PC for the quote from Maureen. All knowledge is valuable! I'm so relieved that it wasn't Paul leaving due to his health and so pleased to hear he is on the road to recovery. I truly hope to hear Big Finish announcing some more audios soon starring our favourite voice!
GARETH THOMAS: Paul is a very generous man, as a human being and as an actor. The programme couldn’t have been made if we hadn’t got on. Our working relationship was magic.
Hello all,
I'm hoping this isn't too far off topic but something I've been thinking about while reading all the speculation etc is: What could Big Finish drop, in order to keep the Blakes 7 range period.

For me the following should be killed off or left as one offs:
1. Terrahawks (By all means do a one off but don't make a continued series of it. The show for me like all of the Gerry Anderson marionation shows was for the fantastic models. The stories where at best very tongue in cheek for the most part).
2. Dr Who titles that do not feature an actual Dr. (That's just me, personally I watch Dr Who for Dr Who, I'm not really interested in all the background and companion tales. The only exception may be the Sarah Jane Chronicles but even then, the Dr needs to make a few more appearances to keep it exciting).
3. Iris Wildthyme(there's only one role I would like to see Katy Manning in and that's as John Pertwee's companion. I'm amazed this series is even popular, I guess there's a strong fan base who fondly remember the Dalek nudes).
4. Big Finnish Classics (While I'm still to grab Treasure Island purely because I'm a Tom Baker fan and want to hear him as Long John Silver, do classic literature stories still have full blown sales potential or are they simply great for a hurrah flash in the coffers and that's it? Kudos to Big Finnish for undertaking classic literature productions but let's be honest, there's been so many of them(Treasure Island has about 8 audios to it's name without even adding the new Big Finnish release).
5. Survivors. I know, I know, I hear you and I'm still debating if I should grab this series being a fan and all. My main issue is that I feel it's more a visual story than just an audio one and I'm not convinced audio only is the best medium for the Terry Nation classic. I'd argue in terms of profits that Survivors is not only less known than Blakes 7, it would surely have a much smaller fan base. I feel one off's would have been the better idea and see how sales go before jumping on a series band wagon. But hey if it does well, then great.(However I would prefer Blakes 7 to Survivors and I'm sure no one on here is going to argue with that).
6. Jago and Litefoot(As long as they just do one off's, no problem, but a series is over the top for what were 2 not that amazing characters in this Tom Baker fans opinion).
7. Dark Shadows (Do we honestly need ANOTHER lot of Vampire stories, it's so done to death).
8. Pathfinder Legends(Mainly because I'm not a fantasy fan and would have preffered to see some 'Traveller Scifi RPG' audios as that has a continual fan base and would equal sales for years to come. Pathfinder will without doubt go the route of all other Dungeons and Dragons wanna be RPG games over the years and then the sales will practically vanish.
9. The Prisoner (While I enjoyed the TV series except for it's totally bonkers ending, an audio series to me with this series will be an anti-climax. With Blakes 7 there are so many back story arcs and counter plots that there's an incredible amount of scope and side stories which fans will want to hear and keep coming back to because there's a lot to take in, with The Prisoner, the stories are all going to be the same theme. 'How does he try to escape in this episoe'? With the series it was like a continual movie, with an audio series I fail to see where the excitement is going to be? The final nail in the coffin for this series for me before it even begins is that there's only one man who can be 'The Prisoner' and that's Patrick McGoohan who sadly passed away in 2009.)
10. Paul McGann Dr Who releases besides a regular series of which he's already done. (Not only is Paul McGann the only Dr to feature the least amount of screen time, he had the audacity to undertake a production of Shada which is a Tom Baker story period. While he deserves a small audio series. All these extra releases are over the top for possibly the 2nd worst Dr of all time).

So getting right back on topic, with all those productions put aside, there's plenty of room to produce many more Blakes 7 productions if budgets are an issue.

Finally I would like to remind everyone of the first Blakes 7 release to see how it would go. We all remember that don't we? Big Finnish tread the waters carefully and when it was a triumphant success, went on to produce the excellent series and Chronicle range we now have to enjoy for the rest of our lives. Personally I don't think it's poor practice to keep a lid on news with audio productions until there actually in the bag. In other words there's no point getting excited until there's something to be excited about. It's far worse to promise what you can't deliver than to make announcements and have to bail later. That would be even worse than a declaration of a series ending. In short I'm sure if were patient, there will be more in the not too distant future. Fair go, they deserve a well earned break don't they? Cast and crew alike. Just have a good look at all the releases in what's been a very short space of time Blakes 7 audio wise and I'm sure you will agree that a bit of R&R is well deserved.

The range of Big Finish audio's and novel publications has simply been the greatest event to happen to Blakes 7 since the fan production 'The Logic Of Empire' for this fan and I'm ever so glad for what Big Finish have given us and am confident there will be more coming shortly.
Edited by Spaceresearcher on 17 August 2015 01:09:59
I'm wondering, reading the above post, whether this thread isn't going to end up in the Duel section, but here goes...

There is no doubt in my mind that Big Finish is spreading itself very thin at the moment. Every time I look at their catalogue, there seems to be some new series popping up. A lot of their product lines are of no interest to me whatsoever, but that doesn't mean they don't make commercial sense. For example, I don't like Torchwood, but I can see that there would be an audience for Torchwood plays. Others seem to be so obscure that I can't imagine there being an audience for them at all: viz, Terrahawks. In thirty years as a fan, I have met plenty of Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet fans, but can't ever recall a single person telling me that they were a Terrahawks fan.

Blake's 7 to me falls somewhere between the two. There is a lot of affection for the show, but our fandom is a small one, especially when compared to the juggernaut Doctor Who has become. I agree that there are an awful lot of Big Finish Doctor Who ranges, but the fact that they comprise such a large proportion of the catalogue implies to me that they must sell and, as a result, pay people's wages.

Commercial reality would dictate that, with limited financial and human resources, there are only so many programmes that Big Finish can produce, and that the ones they will continue with are the ones which sell and are creatively fulfilling for their staff. The fact that Blake's 7 has been put aside for 2015 in favour of other projects implies to me that one or both of these factors may no longer be working in its favour. It may need something exciting, like the rights to the fourth season, or Josette Simon agreeing to come back on board (dream on), for the audio series to spark back into life.

We don't know what the sales figures are. With so much expansion, there is inevitably going to be rationalisation at some point. I certainly hope that Blake's 7 isn't one of the things that gets dropped, but I don't believe that it holds a privileged position in the catalogue either.
Spaceship Dispatcher
Well, my Mum's a keen Terrahawks fan and pre-ordered the the first release within days of it going on their website! I gather there's quite a bit of excitement about the revival of the show within Anderson fandom.

As for the Blake's 7 range, I have good idea how they work and it's reasonable to assume that the range would not have got as far as it already has if sales were not strong; for instance, the second full cast series would not have been commissioned until sales of the first series met a certain criteria. I don't have any inside information on the Big Finish situation at all, not even as a Horizon staff member, but my guess would be that it's to do with rights rather than money; but don't assume that it's to do with losing existing rights, because they may - note may - be trying to secure rights to extra elements not owned by B7m. All we can do is wait and find out I'm afraid...
Edited by Spaceship Dispatcher on 17 August 2015 19:15:44
Reversing the polarity of the neutron flow. I bet that means something. It sounds great.

Blake's 7: Trojan Horse (s4 fanfic) - Blake's 7: Through the Needle's Eye (s2 fanfic)

Spaceship Dispatcher's fanfic site
I think Big Finish has their fingers in so many fandoms, to coin a phrase, they only have a set amount of time to do any of them. Just this year we've seen new ranges come out, especially the Torchwood range, and something has to be pushed aside temporarily. I have heard the Blake's 7 range is the most popular range after the Doctor Who range, and that says something. We have LC#12 out in November and let us all pray Big Finish picks up where they left off and start cranking out new LC's and full cast audios in 2016. But do I think BF is going to end the run? In a word no.
Zil: Oneness must resist the Host.
I don't think they are ending the run either.

I had a very brief conversation with Cavan Scott on twitter a month or so ago. I asked him about Blake's 7 and basically his reply was that "they would have him shot by Federation troopers" if he said anything.

So from that I was under the impression that there is something planned but they aren't allowed to talk about it just yet. Perhaps they have some delicate negotiations going on?
Joe Dredd
I'm sure BF don't want to end the run.
Well, I certainly hope you're right. I love listening to their plays. Another possibility is that with all the other stuff that's happening the number of releases per year is reduced.
Joe Dredd
As a back up plan, I've got a Billy Cotton impersonator on standby. He can ring Nick Briggs at a moment's notice and say "Announce the next series!"
Dan Dare audios from B7 media


Wonder what implications this has (if any) for the currently "on hiatus" B7 series from Big Finish ?

Maybe if B7 media are expanding their audio work they will take over the classic B7 line ?
Spaceship Dispatcher
Multiple duplicate threads merged.
Reversing the polarity of the neutron flow. I bet that means something. It sounds great.

Blake's 7: Trojan Horse (s4 fanfic) - Blake's 7: Through the Needle's Eye (s2 fanfic)

Spaceship Dispatcher's fanfic site
Joe Dredd
Now there's no doubt about the range continuing, we've opened a new thread to mark the next chapter in our discussions on what BF have in store for B7: Click!
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