Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Ridiculous Development Projects #1: Blake's 7 2000

I figure I can now tell the story. Since the department I worked for, the department after that, and then the whole building are all long since shut down.

A long time ago, a department I worked in was doing a lot of development work. By which I mean "not making anything". (They actually managed to make one television pilot - it was a CGI game show with punters bombing cities in planes. Sadly, they handed in the first show the week of September 11th and little more was heard from it...).

Anyway, at the time, this department was full of telly people (who didn't get to make any television) and online people (who made an awful lot of websites). You can guess the pecking order. Every now and then online people were summoned by the telly people to discuss "future projects". As I was running a science fiction website at the time, I got the summons fairly regularly.

I sat down at a meeting.

BOSS #1: "So. We're going to do Blake's 7!"

ME: "Uh, but..." (I was never any good at brainstorming. Never say "but-"). "You don't own the rights."

BOSS #1: "We'll get them. Where's Jason?" (Jason was Boss#2 - whose name has been changed.)

JASON arrived late (Company tactic - always arrive late to a meeting. You prove you're most important if you then ask for a summary of what you've missed.)

JASON: "So kids, what've I missed?"

BOSS #1: "We're going to remake Blake's 7."

JASON: "Amazing. I'm just off to the loo."

JASON is gone a while. There is a reason for this. JASON had a massive drugs habit. Everyone knew about it. I later found out who his dealer was - he was one of those people in the department of who you thought "well yes, but what do you do?".

JASON comes back five minutes later, glassy eyed and sniffing and sits down.

BOSS #1 launches into a passionate pitch for why he wants to do Blake's 7.

JASON nods for a bit, then...

JASON: "Yeah yeah yeah. But I'm thinking.... what it's missing is Gambling! and Lesbians!"

BOSS #1 fears JASON. We all do. I often vomit before meetings with him. We both nod nervously.

JASON: "Come on, yeah! Let's mix it up! Blake's 7! Gambling! Lesbians! But let's make it Century 21 and 360!"

BOSS #1 falls silent. His dreams aren't yet shattered, but they've tipped off the tabletop of ambition and are heading towards the hard wooden flooring of despair.

JASON then glares at me. His nostils flare - revealing bushels of flecked white nasal hair. He is clearly giving me ten more seconds to come up with something before the shouting begins.

So I come up with my big idea. My big "oh fuck it, he's so off his tits, he won't remember this meeting."

As a matter of fact, I'm wrong. S-Club Blake's 7 is in development for several months. Then they realise they don't own the rights.

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