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Ed Driscoll

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February 13, 2012 - 1:04 pm

Space: 1999 “is poised for a comeback,” according to the Hollywood Reporter:

ITV Studios America and HDFILMS announced plans for a reimagining of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson’s famed franchise of the 1970s, then called Space: 1999. The news comes months after Fox and producer Seth MacFarlane announced they would be reviving Cosmos: A Space Time Odyssey, a 1980s miniseries from Carl Sagan.

“Science fiction is a powerful format capable of visualizing the human condition in thought-provoking ways,” said HDFilms president Jace Hall, who will spearhead the effort and serve as an executive producer. The project is in the development phase and has yet to be shopped to networks.

Be afraid. Be very afraid:

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The original Space: 1999 was first conceived as a sequel to Gerry and Sylvia Anderson’s wildly uneven, but occasionally pretty cool UFO series from 1970. Apparently, the scenes set on UFO’s moonbase had the best test results from focus groups, and as a result, the Andersons decided to set their next TV series entirely on the moon — but floating freely in space so that it could visit other planets, a la Star Trek’s USS Enterprise. Never mind the physics of a moon that moved faster than light so that it could arrive at a new planet each week, yet slow enough so that it could launch its exploratory “Eagle” spacecraft, and never get permanently caught in the gravity field of the planet of the week. The result was a show with a not-bad theme song, nice 2001-inspired production design, and pretty good special effects for the pre-Star Wars-era that was completely undermined by a ridiculously overloaded premise. According to Wikipedia, “Gerry and Sylvia Anderson were surprised and disappointed that the public (and critics) never granted them the suspension of disbelief given to other science-fiction programmes.”

There aren’t ropes strong enough to suspend that amount of disbelief. No wonder the show sank.

Star Trek: The Next Generation and its spin-offs proved that it was possible to successfully update an older sci-fi TV series, and the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica certainly had its fans. But a reworked Space: 1999 might be going to the gravity well once too often.

Were you a fan of the old series? And would you tune in for a remake?

Blogging since 2002, affiliated with PJM since 2005, where he is currently a columnist, San Jose Editor, and founder of PJM's Lifestyle blog. Over the past 15 years, Ed has contributed articles to National Review Online, the Weekly Standard.com, Right Wing News, the New Individualist, Blogcritics, Modernism, Videomaker, Servo, Audio/Video Interiors, Electronic House, PC World, Computer Music, Vintage Guitar, and Guitar World.
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