A couple of weeks ago Josh launched his Futures Past column with a look at how the kitschy ’70s British sci-fi series Space: 1999 thought the future would look like. Its setting of Moonbase Alpha was relatively tame and realistic compared to other fictional worlds with warp drives and time travel and whatnot. In fact, as Josh pointed out, it’s a setting we very well could be living in right now, had our love affair with space exploration flamed out. Still, while we may not love paying to explore the final frontier these days, we still like it in TV form. Now Space: 1999 is the latest property to get the reboot treatment, with a new version in the works under the handle of Space: 2099.
Deadline reports that Space: 2099 is being developed by ITV Studios America and HDFilms. The project will be exec produced by HDFilms’ Jace Hall. Rebooting a cult classic should feel right at home for Hall; he previously headed up ABC’s V reboot. It’s still too early for casting news, and the story doesn’t include any details of how the new version might update the original concept. Aside from, obviously, moving the setting forward a century.
The original series followed the adventures of the crew of Moonbase Alpha. Rather than taking a Deep Space 9 approach and having the stories come to them, Space: 1999 took the rather far-fetched angle of making the moonbase mobile. After a cache of stored nuclear waste explodes in the first episode, the base is sent hurtling uncontrollably into space. Presumably at this point the show would show everyone killing time until dying of starvation, dehydration, old age, or boredom as Moonbase Alpha tumbled through the vast interstellar void. Instead they somehow manage to run into new aliens and planets on a weekly basis. Okay, yeah, I take back everything I said about the show’s believability up there at the top.
Hopefully the reboot will also find a way to address the preposterous nature of the core concept. Although I would admire the audacity of a show where the explosion propels the base on its way, then absolutely nothing happens for 100 episodes.