ITV Studios America and HDFILMS have announced plans to relaunch Gerry and Sylvia Anderson’s 1970s TV series, Space:1999 — as Space: 2099. (A show called Space:1999 now would have to be about some routine shuttle mission, rather than about a moon base.)
The original series starred Martin Landau as Walter Koenig, Commander of Moonbase Alpha, and Barbara Bain as the base’s chief medical officer. The moon is blasted out of orbit by cataclysmic explosions at nuclear waste storage depots and the base’s surviving personal must each week cope with new dangers which their wondering home encounters.
The premise was far-fetched, to say the least, but it provided a platform for an often compelling science fiction series that was marked by, at least in the early episodes, a greater realism than Star Trek had provided – interstellar flying moon notwithstanding – and a look that seemed both futuristic and plausible, more indebted to 2001: A Space Odyssey than any other science fiction film or TV series.
It didn’t fare well in the ratings or with critics, though, and in the second season an attractive shape-shifting alien was introduce to liven things up. Unfortunately, she played to the show’s weaknesses more than its strengths, making it seem even less plausible and adding cheesy special effects on top of it.
But I was a huge fan of the first season, and have watched some of those episodes with pleasure in recent years, so I’m pleased and hopeful about this reboot. What they are going to do about the whole “moon blasted out of orbit” aspect, I have no idea. Recent discoveries of wandering planets throughout our galaxy might seem to lend some plausibility to the idea, but it’s difficult to imagine any realistic mechanism that would set the moon adrift — at interstellar speeds no less — but not destroy it (not to mention all life on Earth as well).
Further details on the reboot can be found on io9: Why Space: 2099 Won’t Be a “Dark and Gritty” Reboot of Space: 1999.
- IMDb – Space 2099 (TV Series 2013–)
- Space: 1999 – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
- Space: 1999 (TV Series 1975–1977) – IMDb
- Space: 1999 (30th Anniversary Edition Megaset) – Amazon.com
- Space 1999 Alpha Moonbase Model Kit – Amazon.com
- Space1999.org – Homage to the “Space: 1999” science fiction series
- Space: 1999 Net – a collection of fan-produced sites
- The galaxy may swarm with billions of wandering planets | Bad Astronomy | Discover Magazine