First there was the SciFi network’s Battlestar Galactica remake, which Entertainment Weekly (among others) lauded as one of the best programs on television– reboot or otherwise. The new JJ Abrams-directed Star Trek feature film did very well also. Suddenly, fans were excited again to see their favorite shows being given new life.
Then there was V. And most recently, Dark Shadows. Worry set in once more.
Now there’s Space: 2099, a new version of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson’s famed series Space: 1999, which ran for two seasons back in 1975 through 1977. It’s being produced by ITV Studios America and HDFILMS.
Space: 1999 starred Mission Impossible-alum Barbara Bain and Martin Landau (who, incidentally, starred on MI with Leornard Nimoy before he became Mr. Spock on the original Star Trek series). It was an incredibly eerie series about the crew of Moonbase Alpha and their struggle to survive after the base’s nuclear waste depot explodes, throwing the moon out of Earth’s orbit and into deep space.
According to Jace Hall, the new Executive Producer and creative lead on Space: 2099, this project is not intended to “replace” or “alter” Space: 1999. In an interview with SciFi fan site i09.com, he says “Space: 2099‘s goal is not to attempt to re-tell the specific story of Space: 1999. We are not trying to make some ‘dark and gritty’ version of Space: 1999. There is no reason to re-tell the Space: 1999 story since we already have Space: 1999! However, through our new story and presentation, Space: 2099 hopes to re-kindle and remind fans of those memories of a show from 35 years ago, but more importantly help bring back to all science fiction fans that sense of awe, fear and incredible spectacle that is the unknown, unexplored universe. It is important that we endeavor to bring something new and exciting to the table.”
He adds that the core foundation to the show will be focusing on the human condition, examining how people would react were they put into these extraordinary circumstances.
The producers have set up a site at www.space2099theseries.com to interact with fans so that they hear public feedback while the project is in development. On that site, the creators note that there are 3 key axioms that Space: 1999 presented, that they have identified as being critical to this new vision.
1. The true sense of fear, awe and discovery when dealing with the unknown – particularly the final frontier that is the wide-open universe.
2. The human experience existing at extreme disadvantage being a driving force in the cooperation of disparate interests and agendas for the purposes of survival. To realize that all we have is each other.
3. The very real near-future plausibility of the technology depicted; its practical design, use and impact on how people interact with each other and accomplish tasks.
Whether or not the creative team achieves those goals remains to be seen, but you can follow all the action on the Space 2099 website.