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 …

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  1. TRT Silver badge

    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!

    1. TRT Silver badge

      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...

      1. LarsG

        OH

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

    2. LarsG

      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.

      1. usbac
        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.

        1. Goat Jam
          Thumb Up

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

          1. FeersumEndjinn
            Thumb Up

            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.

            1. 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 :)

    3. King Jack

      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.

  2. Mondo the Magnificent
    Thumb Up

    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.

    1. FartingHippo
      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.

      1. admiraljkb
        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)

        1. Neoc

          Not a remake.

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

          1. Anonymous Coward
            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?

            1. AndyC
              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!

            2. TRT Silver badge

              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.

    2. Tom 35 Silver badge

      added benefits of CGI

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

      1. admiraljkb

        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)

  3. jason 7
    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.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      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.

      1. Steve Walker

        As well as you!

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

    2. Andy Miller

      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.

    3. Ian Davies

      Dear god yes...

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

      1. FartingHippo
        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

        1. Tikimon Silver badge
          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.

          1. P Saunders
            Thumb Up

            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).

            1. jason 7
              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.

        2. david 63

          I do believe...

          that was Susan Jameson.

          Pass the tissues.

    4. TimeMaster T

      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)

    5. AndrewInIreland

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

  4. Anonymous Coward
    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!

    1. Andy Miller

      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....

    2. TimeMaster T
      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.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        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.

        1. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

          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.

        2. TeeCee Gold badge

          "..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.

    3. Francis Boyle Silver badge

      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/

    4. Mike Richards

      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.

  5. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

    Sir

    As long as they keep the music

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Agreed

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

  6. Haku

    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.

  7. Willington

    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.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      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.

      1. TRT Silver badge
        FAIL

        ST:TOS, sorry.

      2. Cmdr.Straker

        UFO was far better

        Had much better vehicles,the groovy purple wigs, hot moon babes and did I mention the vehicles? Moonbase interceptors, SkyDiver, the mobiles, the UFOs themselves. All done with miniatures, the effects hold up today even if some of the dialog doesn't ("Don't panic, Alec!"). I met Ed Bishop, who played Cmdr. Straker, at an Anderson convention in Bradford. Very nice bloke, although he passed a few years ago.

    2. unitron
      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?

      1. Pierson
        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!

        1. ravenviz

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

        2. TeeCee Gold badge
          Thumb Up

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

          Sorry.

      2. Sean Timarco Baggaley
        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.

        1. hplasm Silver badge
          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...

          1. TeeCee Gold badge

            They were already married IIRC.

            I certainly recall the rest of the cast referring to them as "the Landaus".

          2. L.B.
            Facepalm

            "Bain and Landau always seemed to come as a matched pair "

            People seem to have forgotten that Mission Impossible was TV series long before the short arsed one made very bad films with that title.

            Bain and Landau came as pair from that series.

  8. adifferentbob

    They had better keep the original music.

    That's all I have to say on the matter.

  9. John70

    The Moon

    Hope they put in a good explanation on how the moon is able to travel from planet to planet.

    1. FartingHippo

      The Moon II

      And how it takes less than several millenia to do so.

      1. TimeMaster T
        Boffin

        The Moon III

        It was hitting space warps.

        I guess inter stellar travel is way easier than we think

    2. hplasm Silver badge
      Coat

      ...That's no Moon!

      sorry.

    3. Francis Boyle Silver badge

      Might work

      if they ditched the silly nuclear explosions thing and replaced it with say mysterious alien technology (black monolith anyone). The thing I loved (as a teenager) about the show was its sense of wonder about the universe (inherited no doubt form 2001). What I didn't like was the fact that it too often spilled over into mystical mumbo-jumbo and sometimes plain anti-science. If they had stuck to Clark's Third Law it could have been a great series instead of just an enjoyable one.

      1. Mike Richards

        Silly nuclear explosions?

        SILLY NUCLEAR EXPLOSIONS?

        I was 8 - watching that much stuff blow up was precisely what I wanted to see. I don't want a big black box I want stuff blowing up.

        Space 1999's first episode might go a long way to explaining my choice of chemistry...

  10. Steve Evans

    a-hem...

    "It told the story of boffins working on Moonbase Alpha who were propelled into fantastic adventures beyond imagination after a massive nuclear explosion on the moon on 13 September 1999 sent our little satellite planet into deep space."

    Our little satellite planet? No. The Moon orbits planet Earth, so it is a moon. Planets orbit the sun. Moons orbit planets. Once it was blown out of earth orbit and shot out across space it still wasn't orbiting the sun, so I guess it became a sodding great asteroid.

    Still not a planet.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      There is some muscle here wants to see you, says he's called Pluto.

    2. Graham Dawson

      Technically speaking, because of their relative size and mass, they both orbit the sun around a barycentre that happens to sit fairly close to the earth's centre of gravity. The moon is relatively enormous as moons go; it's more than fair to call earth/luna a twin planetary system rather than a planet with a moon.

      1. Steve Evans

        I thought one of the other critical parts of a planet classification was the ability to retain an atmosphere?

        1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge
          Boffin

          Retain an atmosphere?

          No. Counter example: mercury. ANy atmosphere it has is blasted off the surface by the solar wind, and can by no means be considered to be 'retained'.

          IIRC, the criteria for something being a planet (currently) are along the lines of:

          - Orbits its parent star, not another object (i.e. not a moon)

          - Has sufficient mass to become near-spherical (i.e. not an asteroid like Ceres)

          - Has a centre of rotation within its surface (i.e. not Pluto / Charon which orbit a point between them)

          Pluto is a bone of contention because it historically has been considered to be a planet. However, recent discoveries of similar-sized objects in the solar system (such as Haumea, Makemake and Eris, which is actually thought to be slightly larger than Pluto) have led to its reclassification.

  11. Caff

    When will they decide to try.... space above and beyond?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Go

    After reading that article and seeing the ad with Cumberbach next to it

    ...I reckon that old Sherlock himself would make an excellent Cmdr John Koenig.

    Harry Hill for Professor Victor Bergman.

    Dunno about Doctor Helena Russell but I am sure she will be chosen for her acting abilities.

    1. Vulch

      Hmmm, yes

      His mum was in UFO so there's a family connection.

      Barbara Bain got the Doctor Russell role partly due to being Mrs Martin Landau at the time...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        The same thing happened...

        Either before, during or after - I really can't remember - Mission Impossible

  13. Dork Lard

    Too much Fi, not enough Sci

    The premise of moving the Moon at all is bad enough, but to move it interstellar distances?

    Why not ditch the re-imaginings and come up with something new? There are some great sci-fi writers around, why not put them to use.

    My vote is for a series based on Larry Niven's "Tales of Known Space".

    1. Pierson
      Thumb Up

      Known Space... Yes yes yes!

      An upvote is not enough to express my agreement with that suggestion.

      Niven is the author of some of the best sci-fi ever written, IM not so HO.

      It would, however, need a very good director, given the quantity of asides and introspection in some of the works - try getting the narrative from Protector, for example, into a TV/Movie friendly format without loosing the subtlety of the Pak's worldview and without turning the Pak into Hollywood Terminator-style psychos.

      Some of the collaborative Kzinti Wars stories would be eminently filmable as long as the director could resist the temptation to portray the Kzin as Simba-in-a-Spacesuit, as some of the less able cover artists of the volumes on my bookshelves have regrettably done.

      Oh, and I'll see your Larry Niven and raise you an Alfred Bester - The Stars My Destination would be a fun movie for those raised on sci-fi that relies more on thought than on CGI pyros.

      There's a lot of written sci-fi out there, especially from the mid 20th century, that Hollywood and TV have overlooked and which could usefully be examined instead of the current vogue for weakly re-making other's works of twenty or thirty years past.

      But then again, as a friend of mine was given to observing, the pictures are always better on the radio, not to mention the printed word.

      1. Wombling_Free
        Thumb Up

        Forget Known Space...

        I'd love to see the Smoke Ring on film!

        1. BoldMan

          I@ll see your Larry Niven Known Space (love it though I do) and raise you Peter F Hamilton, either Nights Dawn trilogy or Pandora's Star+Judas Unchained. Now THAT is epic space opera!

    2. dssf

      Space:1999 The Return?

      Space 1999 - unofficial episode - The Return To Moonbase Alpha (Ep 50)

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ne4jiduA8sQ&feature=related

      After a 3:50sec or so intro, it seems to get somewhat interesting...

  14. Stevie Silver badge

    Why?

    Wasn't once enough for this dog that ruined Sunday afternoons for two years of pre-internet teen hell?

    What's next I wonder? The High Chaparral? Chopper Squad?

    Gah!

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Stop

      CHiPs...

      Careful now...

    2. Cpt Blue Bear

      Don't even joke about it.

      I'm pretty sure Channel 9 has already played something that was pretty much a remake of Chopper Squad. I can't find anything on the net (what the hell do you search for?) but my (beer clouded) recollection is it had the Maori bloke from Waterrats in it.

      Patrol Boat: The Next Generation (AKA Sea Patrol) has already run longer than the original series...

      1. some vaguely opinionated bloke
        Coat

        Channel 9?

        Bono Estente!

        Mantanent, Los Squadios Chopperistos!

        Ethethethethetheth, pethethethetheth, Boutros Boutros Gali!

  15. jef_

    Obelisk vs. monolith

    I think obelisks have to taper (or at least normally do). The big black jobbies in 2001 were referred to as monoliths. (sorry, wouldn't split hairs if it weren't my favouritest film).

  16. Christian Berger Silver badge

    Why?

    Why re-produce a sci-fi series from the 1970s? Sci-fi is now a lot more constricted than back then. You can do a lot less today. (for big budget productions)

    Why do it in the US? The UK has much greater production standards, in the US it needs to conform to the wishes of some narrow minded add sellers.

    Of course you can try to break out of conventional modern sci-fi and try something new. The Germans recently tried that with "Ijon Tichy". http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xO9ppicjlFg

    1. Dick Emery
      Happy

      Thanks for that! I laughed my ass off!

    2. Stephen 10

      Stanislaw Lem - TV - Awesome

      Thanks for that, it was brilliant

    3. Francis Boyle Silver badge

      I saw that a while back

      Not bad considering that everything by Lem that I've read would be pretty much unfilmable. (Solaris excluded - I haven't read the book and the Tarkovsky film is pretty much pure Tarkovsky - beautiful visuals combined with a dreary mysticism that hasn't much to do with Lem's sharp-minded satire.)

  17. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    FAIL

    Fer f***s sake

    Why dont they just throw a heap of money at Terry Nation's family to buy the rights to Blakes 7 and remake that

    Hell all they need is the CGI and some decent actors since the scripts were so bloody good in the first place.

    <<off to mutter darkly about the beeb and its £3.99 effects department...

    1. Pierson
      Facepalm

      Re: Remaking Blakes 7 (modulo apostrophe)

      "Hell all they need is the CGI and some decent actors since the scripts were so bloody good in the first place."

      Do you think that some Peter Jackson type, in possession of a bevy of allegedly better actors and a heap of shekels, could ever resist the temptation to, ahem, improve those same 'bloody good scripts'?

      Sets that wobble and billow as the actors walk past and props that Blue Peter were able to reproduce more realistically with detergent bottles and sticky-backed plastic really are not all that much of a problem on top of a good, innovative scripts.

      <flamebait>

      Compare the current well-meaning and angst-ridden mess that is Dr Who with its heyday in the 60s and 70s.

      </flamebait>

    2. Sartori

      Yep, if they're going to remake something, Blakes 7 would be the one i'd like to see, great plots and with some decent current actors it has great potential for a remake! Even with the cheap sets etc the atmosphere was fantastic because of the storylines.

  18. Haku

    Can't they just give the money to Joss Whedon instead

    so we can have another series of Firefly?

    1. heyrick Silver badge

      Downvoted?

      <mutter> bloody philistine wouldn't know decent space sci-fi if it hit 'em in the face </mutter>

      1. Sean Timarco Baggaley
        FAIL

        'Twasn't me...

        ... but I've never thought Joss Whedon was that good, to be honest.

        Firefly was okay, but the whole "space cowboy" thing was beaten to death in literary SF decades ago. It's just lazy writing. (Then again, I had no time for "Buffy" and its spinoff either. The joke was already thinly spread over the original movie.)

        It's odd how many people praise Whedon, but don't realise that Russell T. Davies very blatantly ripped off Whedon's shows when rebooting Doctor Who. Why do you think it became 25% tiresome soap opera, 25% fan service and 25% tedious fantasy masturbation of the "Ninjas vs. Pirates vs. Aliens!" variety? (The other 25%, the endless Deus ex Machina endings as RTD realised he'd written himself into a corner and had to pull a rabbit out of a previously unseen hat, are entirely Davies' contribution.)

        We don't need "More of X". Rebooting old franchises is stupid. Blake's 7—I refuse to let the BBC's graphics department dictate punctuation rules to me—is the only series of that era that could conceivably have legs.

        As for Space:1999... it's already been rebooted, no less than four times! Two of the reboots were called "Battlestar Galactica", another was Star Trek: Voyager, while the most recent (and unsuccessful) attempt was "Stargate: Universe".

        That particular SF sub-genre has been done to death. Let it die.

        1. BoldMan

          Thumbs up for the RTD "writing" diatribe!

  19. Blubster
    Meh

    @Steve Evans

    "Our little satellite planet? No. The Moon orbits planet Earth, so it is a moon. Planets orbit the sun. Moons orbit planets. Once it was blown out of earth orbit and shot out across space it still wasn't orbiting the sun, so I guess it became a sodding great asteroid.

    Still not a planet."

    They ought to set you on as main script-writer for the new series because of your insight into planetary (sorry asteroidal) propulsion systems.

  20. Chris Gray 1
    Facepalm

    Supercar!

    "Thunderbirds, Stingray, Fireball XL5, Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, Joe 90"

    Didn't you miss the first one, Supercar? The world would have collapsed completely if MasterSpy had gotten his way...

    Watched the YouTube clip - must admit I don't remember that one. What's "Dragon" got to do with a tentacled thing with a furnace? Or didn't I follow the comments properly? The "sound effects" seemed quite annoying.

    1. arrbee

      From memory, the first one was Four Feather Falls, then Supercar.

      I liked Space Patrol myself, but that was nigh on 50 years ago...

  21. Dick Emery

    Two opening themes

    There were actually two opening themes. The first being the best and most remembered. Here is a reminder of the second season theme.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6AeumXb2Zc

    1. TeeCee Gold badge
      Thumb Up

      Yup, they spent a mint on the revamp, with the more urgent theme, the smaller Main Mission and such. All to please the American audience, which promptly hated the changes. The fact that this budget blowout went unrewarded with audience share stateside is what killed it.

      Moral: Never try to give the public what they want, 'cos they invariably turn out to have no idea what it really is.

      Footnote: If they really wanted to cast Catherine Schell full time, WTF was wrong with her appearance as the Guardian of Piri[1]? Too expensive using that much toupee tape to avoid the wrath of the censors in every episode?

      [1] Feel free to drool here. Everyone did at the time.

      1. BoldMan

        Thank you for that I'd totally forgotten...

        (drool)

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Blakes 7

    This is crying out for a remake.

    The original had interesting characters, better spaceships, a more interesting universe and mercifully few men in rubber suits pretending to be aliens.

    The beeb turned Dr Who, which was utter crap, into gold. Put similar production values to Blakes 7 and they'd have a guaranteed winner.

    1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

      It's been remade - maybe it passed you buy? - it was called Farscape.

      Forget the Buck Rogers premiss: at its heart Farscape was a bunch of escaped prisoners on the run from a totalitarian empire, just like B7. They even had a Servalan character at the end, albeit with a less catchy name. And I'd rather Blake's 7 had more spiritual children, like Farscape, than a dodgy Moffat refit. I mean, who could replace Paul Darrow? OTOH the only bits of Space: 1999 worth salvaging are the über-cool Eagles, the twangy guitur music, and the buxom women in tight-fitting beige sweaters being molested by tentacled spotlights.

      Only remake things that you can improve. Space: 1999 can easily be improved; Blake's 7 would be a much tougher proposition.

    2. LarsG

      BLAKES 7!!!!!

      Having revisited it I can say that when I first watched it many moons ago my standards were poor and expectations were low enough to think it was cool.

      Now.....

      Having matured with high standards and great expectations I really does look c**p.

      I blame Star Wars as the catalyst to my expectations.

      By the way, what did happen to Blake in the end? Was he killed by the poorly made scenery on the film set?

      1. Sweaty Hambeast

        What happened...

        Gareth Thomas left the series at the end of the 2nd year (Blake was lost due to the space war). He said he'd come back for the finale.

        At the end of the 3rd year, Avon seemed to have found Blake in some sort of medical facility but things turned out to be a little hazy.

        When year 4 ended, it turned out that Blake was a bounty hunter on a planet somewhere and eventually ended up being shot by Avon before the rest of the crew was shot by the Federation guards (although we never *saw* Avon being shot).

  23. John A Blackley

    Nice timing

    Space 2099 will nicely flesh out Noot Gingrich's presidential election manifesto.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Saw the headline, didn't read the comments...

    I want!!

    I loved Pyjamas in Space. I just hope they don't goof it

  25. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Seriously - never go back

    A lesson I learned in my late teens when revisiting the enormous 'cave in the desert' of childhood memories, which turned out to be a small depression in a shallow sandstone bank.

  26. gaz 7
    Thumb Up

    I would like to see a proper remake of Thunderbirds or UFO before Space 1999, but would take anything actually, especially if Lord Gerry is involved!!

    UFO is one of the best Sci-fi series ever made. Some of the plots are awesome. I know there is a movie allegedly in production, but I will believe when it's released.

    As a Sherlock fan, I was pleasantly surprised recently to discover that his Mum is the actress who played Col Virginia Lake in UFO. She was quite hot in it (sorry Benedict!)

    Oh, and yea - a Blakes 7 remake is overdue, but have you listened to the audio adventures - very good!

    1. jason 7
      Meh

      I also watched several episodes of UFO a couple of years ago.

      I had to make sure I wasn't watching the same episode over and over (I wasnt) as each one had roughly the same plot.

      Which is -

      Stryker sits pensive in his office/bunker, annoyed over some office politics. Meanwhile moonbase picks up three inbound UFOs. Interceptors launched to intercept. Two are destroyed and the third damaged, crashes on earth and has to be located. Meanwhile Stryker deals with office politics.

      And repeat.........

      Not the most exciting show I've ever seen.

      1. Mike Richards

        UFO

        Going back to it isn't entirely brilliant. There's still the lovely Gabrielle Drake, the UFOs still make that fabulous noise and the SHADOmobiles are ace - but why is it shot like a porn movie?

        1. BoldMan

          and don't forget Ayesha as well!

          1. TRT Silver badge
            Alien

            UFO update

            There's a new film in progress. Seems to be stalled, though. :-(

            http://ufo-themovie.com/shado/

    2. Sweaty Hambeast

      There was supposed to be a comic...

      "I know there is a movie allegedly in production,"

      ...by Misc! Mayhem, but it never materialised. Shame as the preview panels that I saw of it were pretty nifty.

    3. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart
      Holmes

      remake of Thunderbirds

      Just keep Jonathan Frakes away from it, he's alreadt shit all over thunderbirds once.

      1. Sweaty Hambeast

        Frakes' fault?

        Was it really? Personally, I'd have blamed the lousy script, wooden acting, outrageous liberties and non-descript brothers. Frakes may have done the best he could with these things but... hmmm...

  27. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Dept Homeland Security at the ready

    The eagle toys came with very realistic little metal cargo pods with a nuclear symbol on them.

    All through the 80s there would be news stories of somebody digging one up in the garden and a big police/army/bomb disposal alert

  28. Jim 59

    Apologies for the cynicism

    The original had a certain atmospheric charm, and the low budget didn't stop it being occasionally terrifying. Any new 1999 is likely to conform the the 2012 rules of UK TV drama. It's difficult to see how a new show can avoid being slow, over-long, soapy, with twitchy camera work, dodgy CGI and an overpowering urge to make men look stupid in every scene.

    1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
      Holmes

      Like "Outcasts", you mean?

      As title...

  29. techfreak
    Go

    Go for it!!!

    I hope the designs are not altered too much. So folks have taken upon themselves to do a visual refresh of the original episodes and in my mind the sample results I viewed were quite successful. Except for computer interfaces, much of everything seen in the show stands the test of time (like 2001). Although, arguably, the com-lock seems dimished next to a Galaxy S.

  30. mfraz
    Thumb Down

    Not holding my breath

    Considering the poor remakes/reboots etc that have come out recently - Battlestar Galactica, Knight Rider, The Prisoner, Hawaii 5-0 and the Thunderbirds film - I'm not expecting much.

  31. regprentice
    WTF?

    nope... ive googled barbera bain and i just dont get it

    1. BoldMan

      Quite.

  32. rpjs

    Moving it to 2099...

    ...will at least give a bit more of time for there to actually /be/ a moonbase. Although to be truly plausible it'd have to be filmed in Chinese.

    1. MrXavia

      re: filmed in chinese

      No, but how about a British/Chinese Partnership?

  33. Captain DaFt
    Thumb Up

    The one gripe I had about the show was the Eagles... Not the ships themselves, but the sheer NUMBER of them! They always seemed to lose at least one per episode, one time nearly a dozen! But they always seemed to have an unlimited supply of them, maybe the remake will include a tour of the onsite Eagle production facility, surely it'd dwarf the rest of the base!

    (All kidding aside, the show was great for its time, any remake'll play hell living up to the nostalgia!)

    Thumbs up icon for all the memories.

  34. Admiral Grace Hopper
    Unhappy

    I'm not trying the neural-computer interface. Didn't end well.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    I stopped reading at "contemporary re-imagination"

    see title

  36. Daedalus Silver badge

    Why bovver?

    Didn't like it then, no reason to think a reboot would be worth the effort. The premise was ludicrous, the adventures badly scripted like most of Anderson's post Thunderbirds efforts. According to one of the original writers it was under heavy pressure from US execs and Maya was basically forced on them. Of course having mutilated the concept the execs moved on to more fun things and the show died.

  37. Bill Cumming

    Didn't SKY...

    get some of the rights to "Blake's 7" a few years ago??

    I remember they were trying to get something off of the ground, but it stalled at tender for script stage or something like that.

  38. Growly Snuffle Bunny
    Alien

    Poor Maya...

    Such an appalling role for an actress... If she did anything at all apart from looking strangely sexy, it was an animal that got the credit.

    I seem to remember an interview in which she said that she so wanted the part she'd said "who do I have to sleep with to get it?".

    While playing the part, she joked "who do I have to sleep with so I can get out of this contract?"

  39. dssf

    The ships:

    http://www.google.com/search?q=space+1999+eagle&hl=en&client=firefox-a&hs=Kde&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&prmd=imvns&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=to41T7aEA4PUiAKXuKSvCg&ved=0CEMQsAQ&biw=1600&bih=878

    Check this out:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5EFwhtxPko

    It looks like an updated launch sequence...AWESOME!

    And this:

    http://www.space1999.net/eagle/

    ALSO makes me warm and fuzzy.

    I hope the bell bottoms and swanky action/transitional music comes back, too:

    "jeonk-jeo-joe..... chk-chkchk ... jeonk-jeo-joe..... chk-chkchk"

  40. Greg J Preece

    Is it bad that I was born over 10 years after this series ended and yet I still had the theme tune in my head *immediately* after seeing the headline?

  41. dssf

    Check this 55-lbs model out:

    http://www.fxmodels.com/space1999.shtml

    DAMN! i wish it were practical to build Eagle Transporters and use them here on Earth.

    Does anyone think they'd be fantastic to use on the Moon, or even Mars for terrestrial and orbital duties?

    It would be cool/kewl if such craft could be banners for international cooperation in, say, the next 25 years or sooner.

  42. dssf

    OVER-ACTING Guest Star???

    I still remember that episode where the 3 aliens had to return to their ship, and that selfish ambassador insisted on going back with them.

    But, they didn't have time to recalibrate the Plexiglas/wooden hibernation box for him. When the actor was WAY WAY WAY into character, he startled the shit out of the actress who was supposed to be "in suspended animation."

    His over-acting ruckus made her rise up 90 degrees and she immediately flopped back down. The director probably yelled "GOD DAMMIT, ThE CAMERA'S ROLLING! LIE YOUR ARSE FLAT RIGHT NOW!" But, film being as expensive as was/is kept them from re-shooting that take. So, it was in the DVD I borrowed from the library. Classic!

    1. Munchausen By Taxi

      ah!

      Just dusted off a copy of that episode ('Earthbound' with Christopher Lee!), and you're right! I was so busy watching Roy Dotrice having a meltdown, I hadn't noticed the Kaldorian sitting up and looking round.

      In fairness to Roy's character, if you'd just found out you were going to be stuck in a perspex box for 75 years, you might be somewhat agitated too.

  43. mickey mouse the fith

    Reboots

    Lets hope it doesnt turn into eastenders in space like most reboots tend to do.

    I dont care about characters personal lives (st ar trek tng im looking at you), i want to see space battles, explosions and planets being wiped of all life. Not the captains emotional troubles coming to terms with the birth of his son or somesuch flannel.

  44. OrsonX
    Alien

    V

    proper Aliens!!!!

  45. Richard Lloyd
    Meh

    Season 1 of original was great, season 2 not so much

    The first season of the original Space: 1999 has the better theme tune and was also quite dark (and therefore more thoughtful in general). Season 2 had mostly "monsters of the week" and quite a jokey tone (especially Tony's bad homebrew beer efforts), but did have Catherine Schell as eye candy to compensate.

    A mix of the two seasons would have been ideal, but I fear the remake might go the way of The Bionic Woman remake (poor writing and do everything in the pilot episode leaving not much for later episodes). You've also got to remember that at the time, Space:1999 was one of the most expensive TV shows to make and its special effects - considering there were was no CGI at the time - were on a par with the Star Wars movie. Even with CGI today, you're not going to break any new ground with them (Babylon 5 and the BG remake have pretty well done it all w.r.t. TV CGI).

    The Space:1999 remake could survive if they go the BG remake route - turn it into a gritty space thriller and perhaps concentrate on relationships a bit more than the original Space:1999 did, However, BG was one of the few TV sci-fi remakes to actually be better than the original and I don't think the Space:1999 remake will be because - unlike the original BG - the original Space:1999 was actually pretty good sci-fi TV.

  46. John Savard Silver badge

    Always

    I had thought that Martin Landau would always and forever be Rollin Head (from Mission Impossible) no matter what other roles - including that of Commander John Koenig in Space: 1999 - that he might take.

  47. Wombling_Free
    Thumb Up

    Farscape = Blakes 7 = we need more of this.

    S:1999? Well, I guess a good remake could be done by Matt Stone & Trey Parker - at least this time you would see the strings, and they might not be holding up just the plot!

    Blakes 7 - NO, no remakes - Paul Darrow IS Avon - what we need is What Happened After The Gun Shots.

    Servalan has a kid (Tarrent's - of course!) and the Federation still kicks arse & takes names... Servalan's kid goes bad girl, meets an old, cynical hermit who through some devious hacking and the use of a certain grumpy cubical computer has located a craft known as DSV3... cue a small but violent and well-spoken revolution! Oh, and we finally want Avon to hook up with Servalan, they were hot for each other! (Paul Darrow's comment about that - 'Oh yes, Avon wanted her alright, but he is smart enough to know he would be dead in a day!' or something along those lines)

    BBC: use my plot ideas, JUST BLOODY MAKE IT!

    And yes, Farscape was based on Blakes 7, the entire production team were all B7 fans too - they were also a fun bunch of people to hang out with - a big Hello! to all Farscape Mafia members out there!

  48. Roger Stenning
    Go

    Now THAT'd be neat...

    ... and I wonder how they'd imagine a Pierson's Puppeteers would look like?

  49. Andy 97
    Thumb Up

    News story of the week.

    Considering the huge number of posts on here, this has to be the most exciting thing to happen for a long time.

    2099? Nice idea....

    Gerry must be rubbing his hands in royalty glee.

  50. forrie
    Thumb Up

    Awesome!

    I remember watching this show religiously as a kid. I'm thrilled that someone is taking the lead on this one... I can't wait!

    I wonder who Maya will be played by :-)

  51. ravenviz
    Thumb Up

    It wasn't just me

    "actor Martin Landau, who no matter how many grown-up roles he takes with Woody Allen or Tim Burton will, forever, be John Koenig"

    Amen!

  52. Stefing

    I was attempting to re-watch the originals recently but gave up after a few episodes; too much woo-woo mumbo-jumbo superstition instead of real SF stories, but yes the Eagles etc. were awesome and the title sequence is possibly the best of any TV series.

  53. Long John Brass Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Stainless steel rat

    Or "The Long Arm of Gil Hamilton"

    Either serias of books would make for a better SF series than a reboot of Space 1999.

    I loved it as a kid; Seen some re-runs not so long ago...

    I pity my poor parents who had to sit through that crap

  54. thegrouch
    Thumb Up

    Blakes 7 is back!

    Big Finish have got the original cast back to produce a series of audio books (better than nothing I suppose).

  55. Jason Hindle

    I don't see the point of this one

    I stopped seeing the point of the original (aged 7) when I realised the moon would have to be travelling FTL to be arriving at a different planet each week (same reason I didn't get how the Millennium Falcon made it to Cloud City without Hyperdrive in The Empire Strikes Back).

  56. Simon Millard
    Facepalm

    Id's

    I could never work out why they needed photo id's - especially Maya!

  57. Tom 38 Silver badge

    Completely gone off SciFi TV series since BSG

    The ending was just awful. 10k people get to 'new earth', 3 guys stand around and say "what shall we do with this technology, the likes of which we've barely got, I know, lets sling it all in the sun", and the rest stand around nodding.

    It would have been better if the bloody cylons had won and killed everyone.

  58. nemo20000
    IT Angle

    It’ll go the same way as the UFO film

    Meanwhile, I want one of these: www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHU7-0NMXbs

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