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Old 12-02-2013, 04:08 AM   #1
The Voice of Voyager One
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Default Anyone ever tried a Space: 1999 fan film?

After seeing what Jim Cawley and others have done to revive the "Star Trek" original series with fan films, I was wondering if anyone ever tried doing a "Space: 1999: Year Three" fan film?

Given what I've seen on the web, fandom construction of sets and props would not seem to be a problem. I could see interesting "1+2=3" possibilities, meaning you could borrow elements of Year 1 and Year 2 and combine the best of both to create a "Year 3" atmosphere.

Here's an angle I've wondered about: in some episodes, particularly in Year 2, it seems that there is another, remote mini-base on the moon, physically distinct from Alpha. I received this impression most strongly from "The Exiles" (the remote research station seen where a "missile" is examined) and especially from "Journey to Where". In order for a min-base / research station to have any use for the Alphans (presumably a prophylactic measure to conduct hazardous experiments in a controlled location that is physically isolated a safe distance from Alpha) it would have to be both isolated and autonomous (self-powered and having no direct physical connection to the main base). The notion of this station made me think that there could be more than one such facility on the Moon. There were vague signs of non-Alpha facilities in operation during Year 1 (the ill-fated Nuclear Waste Are Two apparently had its own remote station with pressurized habitat on-site) and I remember a vague suggestion that there may have been some other moonbase, but nothing specific of course.

I recently watched "The Seance Spectre" and it got me to thinking: what are these surface teams doing, spending extended tours-of-duty in isolation on the lunar surface? (This episode mentions launch pads #6, 8 and 9, BTW) I concluded that, since the moonbase installations have sustained damage from past adventures (including alien attacks) and since the moonbase would obviously require resources to repair and maintain itself anyway, and since self-sufficiency would be a priority even before the Moon left Earth in the first place, it would make sense that part of Alpha's function would be to sustain, repair, maintain and possibly further develop itself autonomously by seeking out and mining lunar materials for use in construction. This would also make a great deal of sense when you consider that it looked like nearly the entire fleet of Alpha's Eagles had been wiped out in the "Breakaway" explosion anyway.

But what about other, more remote stations? What about Alpha trying to safeguard its future by projecting its technology around the Moon to a completely autonomous, completely isolated "baby Alpha", like a Moonbase Beta? I'm not saying they just dug up some material and conjured one up. But what if Alpha is itself a mining operation (the Catacombs could be a mine for materials used to build/maintain/repair Alpha, couldn't they?) and these other remote stations are attempts to safeguard the Moon's inhabitants in case Alpha itself either runs out of mining material or otherwise becomes infeasible to maintain? Koenig would want a "Plan B" base to develop, right?

The thought occurred to me that Victor Bergman, Paul Morrow, and David Kano did not die after Year 1; instead, Koenig assigned these men to develop a "Beta site". This site would be used to mine materials to further develop itself, but also to provide a remote research station and a new source of raw materials for Alpha.

The neat thing about conjuring up a "Beta site" story is that it would not have to be a like a completed moonbase; more like a bunker or a lab than an elegant "Moon City" lunar castle. Using a facility like this to develop and test new technologies would explain changes seen in Year 2 for the Eagles, the laser canons, and so on. Another thing I like about this concept is that is would explain why Alpha always knows when it is being approached, even when it is from the other side of the Moon. And it allows these characters from Year 1 to live on. (I always wondered what Paul and Tony Verdeshi would think of each other, and how Bergman and Maya would get along.)
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Old 12-02-2013, 05:46 AM   #2
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Well, somebody has a main mission partial set in the UK. That plus a cockpit and I think you could do a story. Still, no one seems to get exited about the idea but me.
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Old 12-02-2013, 10:00 AM   #3
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Very interesting idea

Now, how about this: Bergman has been told to "take a sabatical" because of problems with his mechanical heart. Being stubborn he instead elects to lead the science project at the Beta Site. Also onboard is a much older Jim Haines (Voyager's Return) who is developing a much improved version of the Queller drive. So the first story is about setting up the new project and Bergman coming to terms with his loss of command.

I had been working on a story about an astronaut who was grounded who was trying to get his "wings" back. I could adapt it to the new format if required. Plus, this might also be a sutable testbed for new craft. NB. The Superswift must have been "on the drawing board" if it "never left the drawing board".
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Old 12-02-2013, 05:17 PM   #4
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One funny thing about the Super-Swift in "The Bringers of Wonder": Tony makes a big deal about the (supposedly) Earth spacecraft exceeding the speed of light. But obviously Voyager One and its dangerous Queller Drive had to be doing just that in order to have explored numerous star systems in just 15 years. If it were anything less-than-lightspeed, Voyager One would've been able to visit only a star or two at the most in that period of time. So the illusion of the Super-Swift could be remarkable because it uses some newer form of faster-than-light propulsion that must eliminate the Queller Drive's dangerous side-effects.

Of course, even Alpha's Eagles must posses some kind of superior velocity to manage some of the incredible sprints they get away with. Whether that means FTL is anybody's guess.

I get the impression from "Space: 1999" that only the smaller utilitarian shuttles/workhorses like the Eagles can be launched from Alpha; the viewer is repeatedly left with the impression that if a craft can't be launched from a standard Alpha launch pad, and serviced in the pad's underground hangar, then it's too problematic for Alpha to attempt to build and maintain. (We never see Alpha deploy any spacecraft that aren't sourced from their launch pad / bunker network.)

So yes, it does make sense that Koenig would begin to plot how to exploit the Moon's resources, possibly at Victor's suggestion and with Maya's technical help, to develop new ships, technology and even to identify new sources of energy for Alpha to use in projecting the interests of the Alphans. (They seem like a very proactive lot anyway.)

I like the idea of the mini-moonbase being a kind of "doghouse" where a young astronaut must re-earn his wings, provided that young Mr. Top Gun comes across as a serious astronaut that could actually be assigned to Alpha. ("Space: 1999" too often featured the "kid of the week" who didn't seem like an astronaut at all.)

I also like the idea of Paul being in charge of the "Beta site", himself using the assignment to become a kind of moonbase-commander-in-training. It would also be interesting to see how the personalities of the two installations, Alpha and the Beta site, interact. If they were on opposite sides of the Moon and the Moon's motion made reliable satellite communications problematic, then the only way the two installations could communicate would typically be by Eagle shuttle. So if Alpha is isolated from Earth, then the Beta site is normally an isolated frontier outpost for Alpha. I'm not suggesting any character conflicts, but it would be interesting to show these professionals exploring different points-of-view (maybe the young hotshot pilot wants to launch a test flight, but Alan wants to see more tests first; Alan could be as much of a go-between for Alpha as Koenig or Paul or Victor). Maya could be the Wild Card, expressing doubts that humans are ready to explore such powerful new technologies and frontiers, much as T'Pol expressed Vulcan reservations about human spaceflight efforts in "Star Trek: Enterprise". It would be fascinating to see Maya object, Victor weighing the various sides in a major "human decision required" moment, and Paul taking a deep breath before giving the go-ahead.
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Old 12-02-2013, 07:31 PM   #5
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Of course, even Alpha's Eagles must posses some kind of superior velocity to manage some of the incredible sprints they get away with. Whether that means FTL is anybody's guess..

That's explained as a bergman invented modification of the gravity control/force field system which makes the eagle's relatively inertia-less: this makes them capable of much greater speeds and much longer range, without changing their actual propulsion system. When the moonbase passed through the 'black sun' it was supposedly transported closer to the core of the galaxy, where the stars are much closer together; at the same time it was accelerated to a sizable fraction of the speed of light. Thus, the moon could and would encounter star systems in a matter of weeks or months on a regular basis. It might be assumed that the superswift , as it was following the moon's trajectory, might have done the same....
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Old 12-02-2013, 07:41 PM   #6
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While I have no objection to a "Beta" site, I think using it to explain missing characters wouldn't be believable.

Others have suggested that Bergman, Kano, and Paul went on a mission and that's a good explanation as to why they are not there.

Either way, the fact that there is no mention at all about any of them in year 2 is a big problem.
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Old 12-02-2013, 08:13 PM   #7
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I agree with VTracy, but I must also point out that the completely unexplained and simultaneous disappearance of all three of these characters was equally unbelievable in the first place.

As for the notion of an expedition, this fits in with "Seance Spectre" in that the mutineers were Koenig's best team of lunar explorers who were not previously seen on the show, yet played some unexplained vital role. The concept of remote mini-bases mining for raw materials and setting up remote research stations would dovetail with this nicely. A "Beta site" would be on the moon, but by virtue of being located on the far side it would be relatively cut off from Alpha.
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Old 12-02-2013, 09:35 PM   #8
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This may actually work. Let's say Koenig did send the 3 on a "mission". Only he knows it's to the Beta base, but everyone else thinks they are lost in space.

Obviously, some time has passed between the 2 seasons, as alot of changes have taken place. Let's say it's a few months. Koenig sends them on the mission, deems them lost, and allows for a period of grieving. Then, after a time, issues an order like, "Time to move on, no more mention of fallen Alphans, we must move forward". Which could explain the lack of mention by the other Alphans. And since it's a secret mission, no contact between Beta and Alpha.

It's weak, but what are we to do?
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Old 12-02-2013, 10:30 PM   #9
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I don't think it's necessary for Koenig to simulate anyone's death.

Sandra was gone for about half of Year 2, also with no explanation. Yet she still popped up for the other half of the episodes. I suggest she could be doing part-time work, helping to establish the Beta site. She and Alan could be the go-betweens. Since the Beta site would be considered an expedition of sorts, it would fall under Alan's oversight. Paul would be the expedition commander. Sandra would be the part-time chief office manager (kind of like a "chief of the boat" in naval terms). Victor would naturally be head scientist and XO. With Haines as Victor's right-hand-man running the lab/ R&D operation. At least one surface expedition team (like Sanderson's mutinous "Seance Spectre" group) would be the grunts , either mining for raw material to build things with or doing the actual manfacturing/building.

Here's how I see it. After Alpha suffered damage during alien attacks in Year 1 and then loosing power in "The Testament of Arkadia", Koenig and his senior staff determined they had to do more than just survive. They decided to become proactive and start exploiting lunar resources and alien discoveries (remember, those destroyed Bethan and Deltan gunships would still be sitting out there, waiting to the examined and exploited); the result, at close range, would be the satellite research station(s) attached to Alpha. Those would be relatively easy to build, as would the AAA laser cannon installations. Those obviously have Victor Bergman written all over them. But at the same time, Alpha would need something more: Koenig, Morrow and Bergman would recognize that not all of Alpha's expansion efforts should be concentrated around the Crater Plato. So Koenig empowers Alan to create an new expeditionary force (a "Beta site" expedition, with Morrow as its commander) to establish a manned permanent presence on the far side of the Moon.

It would take time and concentrated manpower to identify a useful remote Beta site, organize an expedition plan and the necessary equipment to establish a temporary encampment (I envision several Eagle utility pods being deposited at the Beta site, all docked together to form a "base camp"), then the surface teams begin mining and construction for the new permanent installation. Even while Alpha is busy encountering Psychon and all of the other Year 2 adventures, Morrow, Bergman, Kano and the rest of Base Camp Beta were working to establish their own remote research station that would someday become Moonbase Beta. So late Year 1 and all through Year 2 would be the "backstory" of this expedition quietly doing its work while Alpha would slowly begin seeing the benefits.

All of this would add up to a logical explanation for why some Year 1 regulars disappeared and also explain many of the changes we saw in Year 2. By "Year 3", the Beta site would be established and already bearing fruit. Maya's advanced scientific abilities could propel the Beta effort even further. (What if Alpha scavenged the debris left when the Dorcons' antimatter reactor exploded? Anything they find could be helpful in Victor's ongoing R&D efforts.)
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Old 12-02-2013, 10:49 PM   #10
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Here's my take on a "Base Camp Beta" expedition itinerary:

Expedition oversight and liaison with Alpha:
Alan Carter
Sandra Benes
Maya

Expedition on-site administration:
Paul Morrow, C.O.
Victor Bergman, X.O. and chief scientist
David Kano, C.O.O.
Jim Haines, Assistant Chief Scientist, head of R&D

Surface Expedition Teams (S.E.T.)

An example of a S.E.T. would be Sanderson's team of four astronauts, as seen in "The Seance Spectre".

Each S.E.T. would be comprised of three to five astronauts; all experienced, outfitted and trained to do mining, processing/manufacturing and construction work. At any time, there would be one-to-four S.E.T.s working at the Beta site on a rotating basis from either the base camp or from Alpha. So there could be as few as three "grunts" there, or as many as 20, depending on what work needs to be done and if there are any emergencies back at Alpha. (Traces of this kind of lunar mining and exploration can also be seen in "Catacombs of the Moon" and "The Mark of Archanon".)
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Old 13-02-2013, 02:15 AM   #11
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Um, I think that what you have in mind would take a budget that is unlikely to be practical for most fans (unless you did the whole thing with animation).
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Old 13-02-2013, 02:24 AM   #12
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It definitely is not necessary to put 25 people in spacesuits to illustrate this. If anything, the backstory can be illustrated in a brief flashback with only a little animation and just a few people. The important thing would be to show a few key characters in the base camp engaging in dialogue in the "Year 3" present.
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Old 13-02-2013, 02:26 AM   #13
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Just remember how many characters we saw wearing spacesuits in "The Seance Spectre": 2.
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Old 13-02-2013, 03:27 AM   #14
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It definitely is not necessary to put 25 people in spacesuits to illustrate this. If anything, the backstory can be illustrated in a brief flashback with only a little animation and just a few people. The important thing would be to show a few key characters in the base camp engaging in dialogue in the "Year 3" present.
That's good, as personally I only have three space suits.
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Old 13-02-2013, 03:49 AM   #15
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If you recall "War Games", during the illusion of the alien attack, Victor Bergman made a recorded speech in the vacated Main Mission before completing Operation Exodus. This speech inspired me to think of Helena Russell's "Moonbase Alpha Status Report" logs.

I could see a bearded Victor reclining next to his desk in his Beta site office giving a "Base Camp Beta Status Report" mirroring Russell's. Bergman can report on the base camp's progress since base camp was first started, X number of months before (maybe an anniversary?), how Moonbase Alpha's past travails inspired a new initiative with the construction of the new remote research stations around Alpha (showing Eagles hauling in equipment, then showing a completed station, then showing the station's lab laser being used to crack open one of the "missiles" from "The Exiles", followed by images of Eagles flying low over the Moon to a new location: the Beta Site, and a few images of the site being constructed there.First a chain of Eagle utility pods daisy-chained together in a makeshift base camp, with three spacesuited workers activating a mining laser mounted on a projection derrick/tower, then a view months later of a completed mini-moonbase building with a launch pad.

Then we could arrive back at the "present" to reveal Bergman completing his report just as his base commander, Paul, walks in. The two can converse about their milestone: Base Camp Beta is taking the first steps in becoming Moonbase Beta.

Most of these back-story images would be a matter of CGI.
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Old 13-02-2013, 12:30 PM   #16
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Um, I think that what you have in mind would take a budget that is unlikely to be practical for most fans (unless you did the whole thing with animation).
Much as this proposal is starting to be worked out, I have to agree with Ham Salad on this. I mean, trying to emulate those "Kubrick" shots gave Brian Johnson enough headaches.

I'm thinking more along the lines of Anime. Do you recall a series in the eighties called Thunderbirds:2086? It was Japanese but re-dubbed into English by ITC and contains many sound effects and pieces of music from the Gerry Anderson back catalogue.

Consider the episode "Guardian". Here's a link to part 1 (from Youtube). It's practically a reworking of "Voyager's Return" but embelished with some things. To do it in live action would be hugely expensive.


Anime also has the advantage in that it overcomes the "wooden acting" quality of many fan productions.
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Old 14-02-2013, 01:46 AM   #17
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^^ Very interesting concept. Starship Farragut (a "Star Trek"-derivative fan film) has spun off a "Star Trek Animated"-style cartoon as well. Having said that, this concept appears to still be in the vaguest conceptual phase (assuming it actually goes anywhere) so passing judgements and making sweeping decisions at this moment seems a little premature.
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Old 15-02-2013, 10:24 AM   #18
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To paraphrase Commander Koenig, "You've overlooked something."

Koenig is very much a "hands-on" leader. He might come across as brash from time to time, but he does work very closely with everyone on Alpha.

Also, to paraphrase Harve Bennett's take on Star Trek, "It's based on a triangle". Instead of "Kirk at the top, logic from Spock, passion from Bones" you have "Koenig at the top, reason from Helena, compassion from Bergman." Personally, I think that's why season 2 didn't work quite so well.

So, any plausible spin off (in my opinion, and you can disagree) would need something akin to that triangle. There were a lot of extras in both seasons, and from week to week new characters were being introduced all the time. Plus, we also had the situation where "Dragon's Domain" was written for Alan Carter but changed to give Koenig the task of killing the monster. That warranted the introduction of Tony Cellini, who was both a good character and played by a very good actor - but they killed him off!
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Old 16-02-2013, 09:07 PM   #19
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It is a foregone conclusion that a "Space: 1999" fan story, whether fan fiction, fan film or fan cartoon, would have to have John Koenig in it.

Just to clarify: the notion of a Base Camp Beta is an interesting concept that could add dimension to the "Moon City" concept, just as the concept of adding a remote research station for "The Exiles" and "Journey To Where" added dimension to Moonbase Alpha without totally changing the series. Note that in those two episodes the series gained a new venue (of sorts) on the lunar surface but that the story was not about that venue; the new venue simply served as a new and clever means to explore in a controlled environment while the characters could be safely apart from the main moonbase habitat. (Something that Year 1 episodes mostly lacked.)

I agree that Year One worked well because of the Koenig-Russell-Bergman "triangle". Of course, some outstanding scenes and stories built on the relationships of the supporting actors, such as when Morrow went bonkers in "The Last Sunset". Year 2 replaced this triangle with a more ensemble-cast approach. We can all agree this met with very limited success. But Year 1 had its ensemble moments as well, and this spared the Year 2 viewer the "shock" of the show being completely upended.

I do not see this Base Camp Beta concept being used as a "spin off" platform any more than the remote research facility in "The Exiles". Beta would instead add another venue to extend the Moon's facilities, and give a place for the "missing" characters of Morrow, Bergman and Kano to live on while being notably absent from Alpha.

As for the actual story of what Alpha and Beta would be doing during "Year 3", that's something we haven't begun to really kick around yet. I do like the idea of Bergman and Haines testing a "Queller II" drive, with a grounded pilot wanting to use the test to get back his wings.

All in good time...
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Old 18-02-2013, 02:59 PM   #20
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Yes, I see what you mean. To embelish that a little, I'm thinking of the scene in 2001: ASO where the team have excavated the Monolith on the moon. It's a really eerie sequence (apart from the music) because the main source of lighting is the many floodlights surrounding the dig, and the survey team are wearing spacesuits that could fail at any moment.

So, if it could re-instate that kind of thrill I think this could be really good.
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