It’s often said that Port Talbot steelworks was the inspiration for the brutal industrial landscapes featured in Blade Runner – but it probably wasn’t.
At least, it’s hard to find any evidence that it influenced the movie’s director, Ridley Scott – other than references to him spending some time in Wales during his childhood. His father was in the military so he moved around a lot. He spent most of his youth in South Shields, where there’s no shortage of similar industrial sights.
But here’s a much better Welsh connection with Blade Runner. The Vangelis soundtrack includes Rachel’s Song with the vocals provided by Welsh speaking folk singer Mary Hopkin.
She was a major star in the 60s, first act signed by Beatles’ Apple label etc, but stepped away from her celebrity life in 1971. This song was one of the projects she has worked on since. It was never used in the finished movie but remained on the soundtrack.
Her vocal was later sampled by The Future Sound of London on a track called My Kingdom. Hear she is singing a Welsh folk song: