Blackpool Boldly Goes . . .
Captain’s Log: Stardate, Friday 1 September
Star Trek is beamed in to save the day as Diversity and Starship Discovery switch on the Lights!
Laser beams and pyrotechnics lit up Blackpool Promenade as the resort celebrated the start of the 2017 Blackpool Illuminations season with an out-of-this-world Switch-On event.
After a dazzling performance leading up to the Switch-On moment by Diversity, the dance group’s creative director Ashley Banjo sent out a distress signal to help power up Blackpool’s famous Illuminations in front of a huge audience on the Tower Festival Headland.
It was then that Gabriel Lorca (actor Jason Isaacs), the captain of the brand new Star Trek: Discovery TV series, was beamed on to a giant screen to come to the rescue, enabling Diversity to trigger an explosion of lights, fireworks and confetti, and kick-start 66 nights of Illuminations on Blackpool seafront.
This first “intergalactic” Switch-On was part of a unique collaboration with Netflix and CBS, to celebrate the much-anticipated release of the next chapter in the iconic Star Trek franchise later this month.
Blackpool already has a strong relationship with the Star Trek franchise, with an interactive exhibition on the Golden Mile and features within the Illuminations.
Jason Isaacs, formerly from Liverpool and who starred in the Harry Potter films as Lucius Malfoy, played out his role from the bridge of the USS Discovery with brilliant comic timing, telling the audience after his rescue act: “Discovery out. Now go have some chips for me!”
Earlier in the evening, the crowd had been wowed by live performances from Conor Maynard, Sigala, R3wire & Varski, and the MTV Base Garage Anthems show. It was the second year running that Diversity had played a starring role in the event, which this year was hosted by MTV’s Becca Dudley.
Sigala took to the stage as a last-minute replacement for Louisa Johnson, who has contracted laryngitis and ordered to rest for the next 10 days.
Once the Switch-On ceremony was over, Example and DJ Wire headlined an hour-long party under the Lights.
The Switch-On concert opened with a Blackpool Introduces section, showcasing local talent and giving Blackpool & The Fylde College choir an opportunity to celebrate the college’s 125th birthday on stage.
Cllr Gillian Campbell, Deputy Leader of Blackpool Council: “We are delighted that one of the world’s most iconic TV franchises played a starring role alongside Diversity in this year’s Illuminations Switch-On.
“A huge amount of work has gone on behind the scenes to produce another memorable Switch-On event and it is quite remarkable that we are now working in partnership alongside global brands such as Nickelodeon, MTV, Netflix and CBS.
“The whole event provided a magnificent spectacle to launch the 2017 Illuminations season.”
The premiere of Star Trek: Discovery will be aired on CBS All Access on Sunday 24 September followed by seven further episodes, ending coincidentally on November 6 – the night after the official end of the Illuminations season. The second chapter of the season will resume in January 2018.
The series will be distributed by CBS Studios International on Netflix in 188 countries.
Star Trek is one of the most influential global television franchises and is returning to television 50 years after it was first broadcast.
The new Discovery series will follow the voyages of Starfleet on their missions to discover new worlds and lifeforms. It will feature a new ship, characters and missions.
Blackpool Illuminations will shine for 66 nights from 1 September to 5 November and we’ve still got all this to look forward to:
LightPool – 7 September–5 November - The LightPool programme returns for a third successive year with 3D projection shows on the Blackpool Tower building and a Festival@LightPool taking place on 25, 26 & 27 October during half-term.
The World Fireworks Championships Blackpool – 8/15/22/29 September – Blackpool plays host to the best fireworks display teams in the world with the competitors planning more dramatic and spectacular displays than ever before to wow the crowds. Competing this year are Poland, France and South Africa with celebratory display on the final night.
Nickelodeon SLIMEFEST – 21, 22 & 23 October – The Nickelodeon SLIMEFEST ticketed shows will take place on Saturday, Sunday and Monday at the Arena, Blackpool Pleasure The six shows across 3 days will feature live performances, games, characters and plenty of slime, music and mayhem!