Friday, April 12, 2013

Blake's 7 Dream Cast

There is going to be an American remake of Blake's 7.  I'm ambivalent on this, but if it is going to happen I can dream up my casting choices.

Roj Blake originally played by Gareth Thomas.  Blake is an idealist, but one who has not been blinded to practicalities.  He can be blunt and forceful, but he prefers charm and eloquence.  While he would prefer that his companions join him out of their own free will he is not afraid to convince them by less than honorable means.  Gareth Thomas played him as soft spoken and intelligent, which worked especially well for an engineer who only late in life became involved in a revolution.

Joshua Jackson is believable as both an engineer and an idealist, and has shown that he is capable of showing darker aspects as well.  While Roj Blake is no Peter Bishop, I think the part would do well for him.

I'm not sure Joshua Jackson would want to do another genre show so quickly after Fringe but I think if the show is going to succeed it will need a strong lead and someone with a little built in fan base can't hurt.

Kerr Avon is my favorite character from the show.  He is hyper intelligent, cold, arrogant, dismissive, and utterly without compunctions.  Despite these less than virtuous qualities he is also charming, disarming, and something of a ladies man.  Avon is the foremost expert on "computer psychology" and  artificial intelligence, as well as a hacker.  He is actually a criminal, the question is whether he was driven to it by a corrupt government and society?

Paul Darrow was amazing in the role, particularly because of his voice and the utter confidence he brought to part.  The actor should be attractive, but not necessarily in a traditional way.  He should be able to pull of both rage filled rants and cold calculating treatises on politics and technology, but most importantly he has to be able to play foil to Blake.  The man that initially comes to mind is Robert Knepper, but I think he is too old to play opposite Jackson, and has to pull of being manly with a feminine name.

Omar Epps would not be a normal casting choice for this part, but hear me out.  He has some genre credit with some horror movies and he held his own against Hugh Laurie in House.  He's intelligent, forceful, and can pull of some pimp looks.  Avon was a pimp.  Seriously.

Jenna Stannis is the ship's pilot and former smuggler, and in the previous show was described as a "superior grade citizen of the Federation."  She's basically Han Solo as a blonde woman.  She's no one's "girl", and is tough, smart, and capable.  She has morals, but is willing to kill to survive.  As a smuggler she was technically fighting against the unfair trade practices of the Federation, and of the criminals Blake meets might be one of the more idealistic.  Sally Knyvette portrayed her with grace and sensuality, but she was never reduced to just a pretty face.  Actually, many characters in the show made the mistake of underestimating her because of her looks.

My dream casting would be Anna Torv, and not just because she has good chemistry with Joshua Jackson.  In fact, one of the problems with this casting is an expectation that their characters should have a romantic relationship and this would not be productive in this case.  Blake's 7 was not about romance in space.  Anna Torv has everything the part needs and would make for an excellent female lead in a show.  I don't feel Jenna and Olivia have much in common, or Fauxlivia for that matter, and this would not be playing to that type.

Vila Restal is great.  He's a genius who uses his intellect purely for the sake of thievery.  He knows every security system invented and has beaten them all.  Despite his intelligence he is from a rather base background, and has never sought to be anything more than rich, while doing as little work as possible.  He is occasionally sniveling, but he's usually witty and cocky. Michael Keating gave him a soft voiced sarcasm that just rattled along while the "adults" talked.  He's opposed to being a hero, and his particular heroic journey might be the longest.  He is the comedic relief to some extent and should be played by someone who can play at being the fool and the surprisingly wise commentator, the chorus of this particular tragedy.

Arthur Darvill of Doctor Who fame would be ideal.  He can do funny and dead serious and has a look that can be goofy and effete, but can actually pull of being something of a badass.  He's a dynamic actor that can play up geek and sex symbol, has a mellow voice, is good at side commentary and is slight in proportion.  He's about perfect.

Servalan is the series primary villain.  She's complicated and I am not sure what will be done with her in this show.  Servalan is sexy, self centered, brilliant, ruthless, cruel, dogged, and a megalomaniac.  She pretty much has to be played by Morena Baccarin.

Olag Gan is a rough and tumble sort, at least he used to be.  He's a working class bloke with a penchant for violence. The Federation implanted a chip in him to keep him from killing anyone though.  He needs to be physically large and intimidating but he needs to have a softer side too.  Gan could be protective in the show and he is fairly loyal.  Mike Dopud has been in a ton of scifi shows playing this very sort of guy.  He's a big dude and has a background in sports, but he's played the tough sensitive type repeatedly.  He's a little better looking than David Jackson, but I don't think that is a problem.  My alternative pick for him is Pruitt Taylor Vince, which is a pretty big shift I know.

Cally is a rebel, violent and capable and a telepath.  She's also the only alien on the crew, though her species, Aurons, are quite similar to human.  The original designs had her with black contacts but this was dropped.  I think having her be a little less human looking would be great.  One of the only romantic relationships on the original show was between Cally and Avon, so it needs to be someone who can have good chemistry (or very unusual chemistry) with Omar Epps.  Alaina Huffman has an unusual look, especially her leonine mouth and super wide eyes.  She's also a long veteran of scifi shows and would look great in some prosthetic makeup.

Just for fun, I would like Zen to be voiced by John Nobel.  Because, that's why.

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