I’m over a month late learning this. In my defense, only the hard-core Gerry Anderson fans seem to have known about this. I guess I’m just not that hard-core.
The amazing Battlestar Galactica reboot showed what’s possible when people put some real thought into something. And I’m not talking about just the groundbreaking effects of that series. I mean characters who act like people.
I’d like to be excited about the prospect of a 1999 reboot. But the people behind this did the reboot of V on ABC.
And I thoroughly hated that.
I hated it so much that I bailed in the first ten minutes of the first episode. And I looked back just once and bailed after a minute of another episode.
When your cast is a bunch of models who look like they all came from the same gene pool — as if they were in fact all cousins — that’s your biggest strike right there. And that was V’s first strike. The second was atrocious dialogue and the third was a shallow story at the speed of a slow zombie.
Kenneth Johnson’s might look like a cartoon today, but the original mini-series (the first, not its sequel and not the rotten weekly series) had something. And that something was missing from the reboot.
Space:1999’s something was never fully realized: Humans unprepared for survival in deep space. It followed the Star Trek formula of Alien of the Week. Which was foolish. Because the Moon was wandering and there was no way to build up an entire universe of characters as Star Trek did, with Starfleet and Klingons and Romulans and even Harry Mudd. It lacked fixed points.
It’s now nearly forty years since the original Space: 1999. And in the aftermath of the great economic wreckage that surrounds us, I hope to hell we’ve learned something from the millions of homeless among us. If you want an example of living in total upheaval in a hostile and unknown environment, that’s your fodder and model right there. How to hang onto hope in the face of the unknown and the possibility of impossibility.
Job One is that anyone who’s been through the upheaval of homelessness would watch an episode of a rebooted 1999 and say, “Dahyum! I know how that feels — and they got that right.”
Get that emotional underpinning going and the rest falls into place naturally.