Thursday, August 7, 2014

SPACE: 2099 MAY BE A THING OF THE PAST


My regular readers will know that I've posted more than once on the old SF television series, Space: 1999. (If you are curious, do an internal search on this blog; and please don't tell me what the tally is thus far.) When I heard the news in February of 2012 that producer Jace Hall was in the process of rebootin' Space: 1999, as Space: 2099, my reaction was terse (here... I decided to write today's post after noticing this morning that the earlier blurb by me continues to get regular hits.)

Why reboot something that carries very little weight in the public memory? A recent story on that theme: I worked with a woman around my own age who is a big Doctor Who fan; I told her that I grew-up with the original show; when I mentioned that I was a fairly regular viewer of Space: 1999 she said, "I don't think I know that one". A couple of years ago I watched an online interview with 1999 creator Gerry Anderson. The show host, after seeing a model of the Eagle transporter vehicle, asked his subject, "what's that from?" (I should mention that the interviewer was not a "kid".)

Not good things to hear if you are a producer and you want to remake, or reboot, or reimagine, or rewhatever a series because you think the name will trigger a new demand. The original has to be a known property, if not, a redoing of any colour means nothing; except to the core fans. On that note, whenever a Space: 1999 convention is held, as there was in Los Angeles a year or two ago, barely 200 fans show up.

Nostalgia isn't good enough on its own.

In January of this year, after a long silence, Jace Hall announced that Space: 2099 is a "complete reimagining". He then added, "we are not remaking Space 1999".

In a quick round of research in prep for this piece, and to check out the latest news on 2099, I discovered that the website dedicated to the project (Space2099TheSeries.com) has been shut down. (Could this be a digital nail in the coffin?)

Not to dump on 1999, I like it very much for what it is and the DVD boxed set sits proudly on my shelf, but television is a numbers business. It is not a charity business. Fans of the series, even lesser ones like me, can just enjoy the original -- that should be good enough.

As the computer ("Computer"; voiced by Canadian-born actress Barbara Kelly) on Space: 1999 might say at a time like this: "Probability that Space: 2099 will be produced............ zero percent."


A sign of a cheap set: "Where are the controls on this bloody thing?!"

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

The website is up, but has not been updated by Jace in almost a year. I surmised this project was dead even before that May 17, 2014 post. I am 57 years old and a fan of Space:1999, I don't really want to see a reboot with new actors, especially from the studio ITV has become.

Barry Smight said...

I meant to update the posting by saying that I checked that site again a few weeks later.

Yeah, for Space:1999 fans the original should suffice.

Thanks for your comment!

macmage said...

Just happened to stumble across your blog when doing a search for "Is Space 2099 dead". Here it is May 11th and nothing new from Jace since May 17th of 2014. So I'd say it's dead. With the talk of it being a complete reimagining and taking place on board a spaceship, I don't think I'd like it. The one thing I was looking forward to, though, was a series that brought back the awe, wonder, and mysteries of outer space - something that other science fiction series have seemed to have lost.

Barry Smight said...

"... a series that brought back the awe, wonder, and mysteries of outer space - something that other science fiction series have seemed to have lost."

Well said!

Thanks for your comment!

ewaf88 said...

It looks as though it's been totally cancelled now - no links work to the site or Facebook. I think it was always pie in the sky

Barry Smight said...

I agree. Getting something green-lit is next to impossible... especially in this era of low television ad revenues.

Thanks for the latest info!

Anthony DeA said...

I contacted jace he said he no longer working on project and that he is unable to say more about it. No official announcement has been made i did contact ITV but they didnt answer if the project is still happening seems a bit strange no one gives straight answer. But i personaly think its been cancelled

Barry Smight said...

Jace Hall is keeping his lips sealed for legal reasons... understandably!

As for ITV, they are probably a little red-faced over the issue. A Press Release must never be issued until the wheels are actually turning. I get the impression someone fell asleep at the wheels... and without a can of lubricating oil!