Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Space 2099

Here's what I'd do if I was given the job of coming up with a new treatment for Space 1999, a show that lives on in glorious nostalgia in my memory. No, I haven't seen an episode since I was eight. I don't see that as a problem, do you?

First off, the title. That's easy: "Space 2099." Note the clever timeline advance, given that we're well past 1999 and the Moon remains safely in orbit.

In my update to the 70's classic, the moon base still goes a-wandering. However, instead of being torn out of earth's orbit by a massive nuclear detonation (a nuclear blast that strong would obliterate any artificial structure on the Moon), and instead of being propelled by this blast to a series of other solar systems in a period months (a nuclear blast that strong . . . well, you get the idea), the moon base slips between parallel dimensions.

Whata? Here's the new backstory: The cosmologists have gone through a couple of generations of particle accelerators since the LHC. The newest version requires a mass in excess of 7.30 × 1022 kilograms in order to function. Turns out the Moon is slightly larger than that. You see where this is going? Yep, a moon base is built to oversee the operation of this newest generation atom-smasher. And everything goes swimmingly, until the fatal accident that destabilizes the moon, and sends it on a tour of wacky parallel earths.

This also helps explain why most of the "aliens" the scientists meet in any given episode are essentially humanoid in nature, if not completely human. This compatibility allows for a broad range of interesting stories. Not to worry, this doesn't mean that any given alternate earth can't be ruled by sentient, flesh-dissolving slime molds or something else very alien (even actual Earth-conquering aliens), but this way there's even a chance for romance to brew.

Which brings up the Maya character; in the original series she was a shape-shifter, and the breakout character as far as my eight-year-old self was concerned. In my 2099 treatment, Maya is not an alien per se, but a resident of an alternate earth. She joins the staff much like the character in the original series.

Indeed, if this were to be a mere one-shot movie instead of a series, I'd make Maya the central character, with the main plot of the story revolving around her and what her ability to shift shape really means.

It goes without saying the effects will be updated for the modern sensibility. If we can't afford Avatar in quality, I'm sure we can achieve at least Battlestar Galactica standards (the latest version).

And ... well, that's where we'll leave off for now.


Unknown said...

Will there be any comely aliens in this updated version? Will they have red hair? I was always a fan of James Tiberius Kirk's skill with the alien ladies... I understand he wasn't in this show... I'm just sayin!

Bruce Cordell said...


We're not fools here at the studio; I promise, Space 2099 will include attractive actresses and actors guaranteed to engage the viewers both intellectually and by way of the id :-).