Vila Returns!

Michael Keating to reprise cult television role for audio revival…

LONDON, April 22, 2008: UK-based independent media production company, B7 Productions, has announced a series of prequel audio adventures based on the cult television classic, BLAKE’S 7.

Following the success of last years audio re-imagining of BLAKE’S 7 (broadcast on BBC7 over Christmas) and 30 years since the dramatic and shocking finale of the original series, MICHAEL KEATING (Blake’s 7, EastEnders) will reprise his most popular role as the cowardly thief Vila Restal, the only character to appear in all 52 episodes of the original series.  The new audio incarnation of Olag Gan played by OWEN AARONOVITCH (Coronation Street) also stars.

BLAKE’S 7 – THE EARLY YEARS will be a prequel series of stories exploring the origins of key BLAKE’S 7 characters prior to them meeting rebel leader, Roj Blake.  The first of these prequel stories “When Vila met Gan” has been written by lead writer, Ben Aaronovitch (‘Classic’ Doctor Who, Jupiter Moon) and explores the history and enduring friendship between Gan and Vila, two of the most unlikely rebels to take up arms against the Federation.

Future episodes will feature the characters of Avon (written by Ben Aaronovitch), Jenna (written by Simon Guerrier), Travis (written by James Swallow), Cally (written by Marc Platt) and of course the series wouldn’t be complete without a story exploring the origins of the rebel’s arch nemesis Supreme Commander Servalan who we meet as a young, ambitious, cadet officer with ‘family connections’.

An ‘extended’ special edition CD (and download) of “When Vila met Gan” will be released for retail on 2 June 2008, with a re-cut version to be broadcast on BBC7 in the summer.

Michael Keating says of his return to the role of Vila: “It’s exciting to return to the character of Vila especially in this format and to discover the origins of his friendship with Gan.”

Audio Director, Andrew Mark Sewell comments: “Vila was one of the most popular characters of the original series and we’re absolutely delighted to welcome Michael back to a role that contributed in no small part to the show’s enduring popularity.”

Sewell adds: “From the moment Michael Keating uttered his first lines it was as if we’d been teleported back 30 years – that’s the beauty of audio and of course the energy and enthusiasm which Michael brings to the role.”

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