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back to article Space: 1999 returning to TV?

They've been rebooted, re-imagined and uncut, but now Space 1999 is getting its own on-screen revival next to sci-fi classics Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek and Star Wars. ITV Studios America and HDFilms are reported to be developing Space: 2099, a "contemporary re-imagination" of the Saturday morning staple from the Gerry and …

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TRT
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Ahhh...

So much, so much.

Eagles, Comlocks, travel tubes, Eagle hangars, Comm columns in the corridors, curvy back-lit walls, sick bay, hydroponics, moon buggies...

Let's hope it's not so full of fail as the New Captain Scarlet, which, in itself, wasn't too bad but like a modern day Wagon Wheel is not as good as it used to be (or as big).

Barbara Bain... yummmm!

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TRT
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Oh...

and they do still have flares in space; all round the bridge of the newly re-imagined Enterprise.

Oh, you mean the OTHER kind of flare...

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I HOPE

it will be better than the original series. When it came out we all thought it was great, Sunday afternoon with Logans Run.

However, revisiting it a couple of years ago made me realise, DON'T GO BACK.

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OH

and let's hope it doesn't turn into a Hitch Hikers Guide/italian job/ Day of the Jackel kind of remake.

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Cpt. Scarlet

Captain Scarlet would have been a success if they had put it on at a time where adults could have seen it. They forgot that all the 'kids' have now grown up but still had fond memories of the good captain. They pitched it at today's kids and split it in two with the presenters treating the audience like morons. They insisted on recapping what happened in the first half, ruining it.

I don't hold out much hope with this remake, as I sure they'll give it the same treatment.

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Unhappy

Yeah, me too.

A while back I was so excited to find the DVDs on Netflix. I ordered the first two DVDs, and when they arrived, I felt like I was back in my youth, ready to watch what was once my favorite show...

Then, about two episodes in, I was sitting there with a very disappointed look on my face thinking this is awful. You're right. DON'T GO BACK.

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I must be a hopeless nostalgia buff because I re-watched the entire two seasons and loved it.

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Season1

Season 1 was great but really never liked Season 2 when they introduced the shape changing woman, changed the uniforms and essentially made it a space monster show.

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Jad

RE: Season 1

The makers of the show were worried about poor reviews, and getting an extra series (they'd been told it was being cancelled) ... they felt they had to "sex up" the second series if they were going to carry on, and got it wrong :)

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This has to be a good thing...

The Battlestar Gallactica remake was fantastic and took the whole man vs. machine saga to the next level with a worthy conclusion. The mysterious roles of the various characters in the series conclusion also added a complete new angle, something the old classic lacked.

If Space 1999 undergoes a remake with the added benefits of CGI, hopefully this too will take us on an entirely new adventure too.

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Mushroom

Battlestar Galactica...with a worthy conclusion

*splutter*

WHAT! That was the most wanky disappointing, utter cop-out ending to any TV series ever!! And that's including The Prisoner.

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Mushroom

The Battlestar remake?....

It wasn't Battlestar. It was a bad ripoff of Terminator, except in space, and everyone looked constipated all the time, like they were in a Japanese Anime. :) I really wasn't impressed by the pseudo plot. If the creators of Terminator had been like Apple, the new Battlestar producers would have been sued. :)

The original Battlestar though had a good overall story (with some cheesy cringeworthy moments thrown in cuz it was the 70's when Loveboats roamed the earth), the special effects budget was nearly nil, but the concept was sound and I liked it. I would have liked to have seen a legitimate prequel from 1,000 years prior covering prior to the evacuation of Kobol, or picking up with Richard Hatch's Galactica book series. Most of the time why redo what has already been done? Come up with NEW ideas people.

For 1999, I think it would be nice to pick it up "TNG" style, after a number of years have passed, and the middle aged grandkids are now running the outpost.

In spite of my aversion to remakes - If anyone hasn't seen the Space Battleship Yamato movie (Dec 2010) - that was an excellent way to do a remake of the original Yamato. They made changes, but nothing so extreme that it was unrecognizable.

(Sorry for rant part above - Battlestar is a hotbutton)

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added benefits of CGI

I don't think the lack of CGI was the real problem. CGI makes a poor substitute for story.

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Not a remake.

According to www.space2099.com, the story starts 40 years after the Lunar Nuclear accident.

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Headmaster

Re: Not a remake

"According to www.space2099.com, the story starts 40 years after the Lunar Nuclear accident."

Er, but surely 1999 + 40 = 2039? Where do they get 2099 from?

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Happy

Marketing

In the Marketing world, even standard laws of Maths have to take a back seat.

Real world: 1999 + 40 = 2039

Marketing world: 1999 + 40 = 2099

Simples!

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Totally agree on CGI

Good CGI without story == boring

Decent Story with bad CGI = unwatchable

Decent Story without CGI but well done regular effects = good

Decent Story without CGI but with BBC Special effects = Dr Who (and some imagination required)

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TRT
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Having read a bit more... the guy plans to reedit the original series, adjusting dates to make the original breakaway happen 2099 instead of 1999, which he calls Space:2099:TES (the extended series). The events in Space:2099:Legacy, the new bit, happen on the planet Terra Nova, which is where the lunar colonists decamped when the moon went into orbit - the moon subsequently shifted orbit again and went on a 20 year wander and returned to Terra Nova, some 40 years after Breakaway, or 20 years after Breakaway 2. Thus, there is scope for new characters related to the old ones, mystery from the returning moon, which should or may have some survivors on it, continuity in the form of Moonbase:Alpha, and various dark and gritty human interest stories of the Terra Novans.

IT actually looks rather good. The guy is a real fan.

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Happy

Dragons Domian......

....terrified me as a kid back in 1975. I was only 4 but remembered those skeletons being spat out vividly. Stuff of nightmares. Slept under the covers for years after that.

Was intrigued to watch that episode again in 2009 when they were all repeated for the first time since I was 4. A cathartic experience. Most odd.

Season 1 holds up the best though Season 2 mission jackets were cool.

Dunno about a reboot as the original premise is pretty ropey really.

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TRT
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Not just me then...

Dragons Domain sh** me up real good. I still have nightmares about it.

And yet I found the monster had some undefinable sexual dimension... then, as a hormone riddled 11 year old, everything had a sexual dimension.

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The Horror! The Horror !

God, that thing that ate people ! That was SO scary. I don't dare watch repeats, because I know I will now see how flakey the whole thing was.

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Dear god yes...

...the still-smoking, charred remains that got shoved back along the floor after the monster had consumed them!

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Dragon's Domain had to be THE scariest episode of the whole series.

Had more than one nightmare related to it back in the day.

The worst part was that it's victims seemed to snap out of the mind lock just before they got eaten.

<shiver>

Still get the creeps when I think about it.

( No icon because The Reg doesn't have one creepy enough. Thankfully)

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Unhappy

oh my

I'd suppressed that for 35 years. Scarier than that giant snake thing on Dr Who for sure.

Watching it now, there's still no way I'd show it to my 8 year old: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9WKfEj5JpwA

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Childcatcher

Decades of lingering horror - reloaded!

Thanks, I had to run off and watch that. GEEEYYAAH!!! I'm glad I'm older now, I won't have nightmares again. That creeped me out for AGES. I'm glad to hear I wasn't the only one!

Space: 1999 filled the aching hunger for space sci-fi in 1975, but that was then. Far beyond issues of CGI and such, I'm really not sure what basic elements one would keep from the old series. It were pretty crude.

Child-catcher, coz he's another iconic childhood nightmare-generator.

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scariest episode of any sf series

had a relook at that episode recently and the charred bodies still look creepy. Whoever the prop people were, they deserve a pint (and a beating for the permanent mental scars i suffered).

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Happy

Dragons Domain support group.

It's really odd I remember a few years ago I mentioned being scared witless at this episode on another forum. The reaction was much the same as here. Loads of 40 somethings all saying "Oh my god, I'm not the only one!" You could almost sense the relief.

I haven't come across anything else like it. I wonder if whoever wrote it realises they managed to create such a 'terror' for so many.

I'd shake their hand and buy them a pint.

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I do believe...

that was Susan Jameson.

Pass the tissues.

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As well as you!

Always remember watching that episode in true fear - had to watch but was shit scared!

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That episode was responsible for me hacksawing off the front of my Eagle Lander.

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Anonymous Coward

OK, how long until they remake....

OK, how long until they remake Salvage 1?

And the Eagles would have made sense, had they not:

1) had the big engines at the back, but lifted cargo upwards

2) banked when they turned IN SPACE!

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I still like the Eagle's design. One of the first space ship designs that acknowledged the lack of atmosphere.

They did have big thrusters on the bottom to lift them, and you turn by banking, and firing the bottom thrusters....

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Boffin

Wait a sec

The big engines make sense when you think about it.

The Eagles would lift off going straight up but then use the main engines to get into/change orbit

Getting off the ground is easy, getting into orbit is what takes all the power.

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Anonymous Coward

Still, why at the back?

OK, you have big engines under the ship. Why have engines at the back, if you have big engines on the bottom? You are just adding mass, and when you use the engines on the back, now your wall becomes your floor (OK, they supposedly had artificial gravity, but still - why make it work harder than it needs to?)

And on that tangent: If you have artificial gravity, why do you need Newtonian thrusters?

And as for banking: Assuming you use the thrusters on the bottom, you wouldn't bank - you'd roll 90 degrees, then thrust. And if the big engines are on the back, you'd yaw 90 degrees and thrust.

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If you have artificial gravity, why do you need Newtonian thrusters?

Maybe because their artificial gravity system is effectively in a bubble with no net change to gravitational forces outside the ship? So like, maybe, the gravity in all the levels pulls in a direction they decide to call "down", but up at the "top" of the ship they've got the reverse pull to balance things out?

TBH though, invoking "artificial gravity" explanations kind of bugs me. We know it's all made up, but there's no need to lampshade it. The one exception: inertial systems that actually work, ie spinning ships and stations, a la 2001.

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"..Why have engines at the back, if you have big engines on the bottom?"

In gravity work. Engines underneath hold it up, engines at the back push. Out of a gravity well, underneath ones are unused.

Anyhow, they don't turn using the underneath engines, each of the lobes with a landing foot in it has a four-way thruster on the outboard side. The the four main thrusters underrneath were clearly mounted on the pod. Thus the attitude control / maneuvering thrusters must have beewn able to generate enough thrust downward to lift the entire podless vehicle in a gravity well and are thus also more than adeqaute to turn the thing. The large thrusters on the bottom of the pod clearly exist to provide extra chuff to lift the cargo.

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A demonstration that the Eagle is practical

Years ago, I created this slightly modified version of the Eagle for Orbiter* using only reasonably realistic assumptions about near future tech. If you dare you can try flying it into lunar orbit (difficult but not impossible). If you can land it, you're Alan Carter himself (or a computer). Hint: you use the underside engine to rotate to the correct orientation then fire up the big ones at the back which makes sense when you realise that the moon isn't exactly littered with vehicle assembly buildings.

Merlin Transporter for Orbiter : http://www.orbithangar.com/searchid.php?ID=2234

(SpaceX ripped me off - I'd sue but I can't afford Apple's lawyers.)

*Orbiter Space Fight Simulator: orbit.medphys.ucl.ac.uk/

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You're forgetting the 1st Law of Andersonian physics

Does it look cool?

The Eagles look incredibly cool - therefore everything else goes by the wayside.

I'd really hope they'd remake it with models - 'Moon' a couple of years ago looked so much more real (and not too dissimilar from Space 1999) because they used whacking great models rather than pixels.

The 2nd Law of Andersonian physics is that stuff blows up - regularly. Even stuff that shouldn't blow up. This is a good thing. Unless you're near the stuff blowing up.

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Sir

As long as they keep the music

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Anonymous Coward

Agreed

I had that theme as the startup on my DEC Alpha (hostname: moonbase).

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Uh-oh.

My major gripe with films & tv shows having a sequal/prequal/remake decades after the original was created is that too often the producers try to rely on modern day whizz-bang special effects to cover up the fact that the plot & acting stinks.

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I'm not sure about this. Space 1999 had one good thing going for it and that was the design of the Eagle transporter. I hope that the designers will take the Enterprise approach to this and update it without actually changing it fundamentally. If they can do this then Space 2099 will probably have one good thing going for it. I agree with Jason 7, the premise was ropey, very ropey indeed.

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TRT
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The premise...

was made up at the last minute. Space:1999 was founded on the pre-production work for a second series of UFO. One of the script ideas mooted was that SHADO piloted the moon towards the alien world to take the battle there. Stupid idea, I know, but the US execs loved the possibility for having different aliens each week a'la ST:TNG. Then they just ditched the UFO concept all together. Both series suffered, maybe, by not having a writing bible; gadgets worked a different way every week, people's characters swung around and altered from episode to episode, working at SHADO HQ must have been worse than at a schizophrenia clinic. Having said that, of course, the lack of any consistency meant that the story elements carried better. You couldn't beat the story lines in UFO - A Question of Priorities being the killer episode.

Space:1999 threw a lot of that away in favour of action and explosions.

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TRT
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FAIL

ST:TOS, sorry.

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Alien

One good thing?

Did you watch a version with Barbara Bain edited out?

Or are you of a different species that appreciates only the technology?

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Alert

Dr Russell was overrated

> Did you watch a version with Barbara Bain edited out?

Can I cast a vote for Sandra Benes, played by Zienia Merton (*).

(*) Thank you wikipedia!

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Stop

"Did you watch a version with Barbara Bain edited out?"

No, but I wish I had. Bain and Landau had all the chemistry of a hard vacuum.

Barbara Bain's acting was unforgivably wooden; in most episodes, she's part of the scenery, not the plot.

The 2nd season's minor "reboot" by the much-maligned Fred Freiburger introduced a new set of younger, more photogenic, leads who acted rings around Bain and were less likely to phone in their performances.

To be fair to Freiburger, he was more unlucky than terrible; there were some good episodes in _both_ seasons. Unfortunately, there were a lot of duds in both too, and the pacing in the first season was often glacial. Space:1999 looked great, but that's about all it had going for it.

Incidentally, it wasn't unusual to show series episodes out of production order back in the '60s and '70s, so each episode was usually treated as a standalone, sharing only the basic premise and the main cast. Series continuity wasn't considered important and writers didn't often bother with it. Recollections of strange character progressions are likely to be a result of this.

UFO was a _much_better series, with a more plausible premise, but I think Blake's 7 is more deserving of a revisiting by modern production standards: a very simple premise with some very strong parallels in today's world.

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Happy

I must agree-

Bain and Landau always seemed to come as a matched pair after that,no matter what the programme was. I think they were married eventually(?), but it did tend to spoil things, knowing the other one would turn up sooner or later. Shame really,as Mr Landau was quite interesting in whatever part he played.

Rumour has it they came in a velvet lined presentation case...

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Yes you can, I always had a boyhood crush on her... Now I have a manhood one!

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Oops. I just drooled on your well-cast vote.

Sorry.

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