Date of publishing: 13th
In may 2009, we interviewed Eric Bernard ,a professional
video editor living in Montreal, Canada. He was passionate
by science fiction and especially the television series
Space: 1999. With his skill, he decided to try to
modify some episodes to put right a few things that
were wrong. He worked on his free time to upgrade
and revitalize the show with the hope that ITV would
finally give him the chance to show it to a wide public.
But the main reason he choose to enhance the original
series to start with, was to give the show a possibility
of revival into a sequel series, dozens of years after
its premiere. Resulting in a second phase project
called Moonbase Alpha's Legacy. A story that return
to the origin of the series, bringing the original
characters and their offsprings in a new provocative
sci-fi adventure that will bring answers to the mysteries
we (the fans) were left with. It was an enormous surprise
when a new Space 2099 series from ITV was announced
last week and that Eric Bernard was no where to be
seen in this project. A project that he gaved heart
and soul in for over a decade. The project has already
the support of many people from the original crew
as well as Wes Sargent, vfx lead artist on all the
Stargate series. The Sci-Fi world contacted Eric to
learn more about this recent event.
This interview contains EXCLUSIVE CONTENT AND INFORMATION.
You can get more info about this project on his website:
Gilles Nuytens: The
Scifi World has been following your work on Space
2099 since 2009. This news that a new series was going
to be produced by ITV and HDfilms was a big surprise
for us. How did you react when you learned about it?
Eric Bernard: Gilles, It is very
nice of you to contact me and wondering about my feelings
and thoughts about the news of this re-imagined Space
2099. The news was not a shock to me, as I was aware
of Mr. Hall Space 2099 since last November. Mr. Hall
had contacted me about it, as he knew how involved
and present on the internet we have been for the past
few years. I was offered to be involved in his project,
but after many hours of talks, we didn’t come
to an agreement. I respect Mr. Hall project and vision
of his re-imagine Space 2099, but I didn’t share
Nuytens: You were
the first to promote the idea of Space 2099, almost
four years ago?
Eric Bernard: Yes, I was the first
to bring Space 1999 into 2099 on the internet. And
three times, we have sent our documents to ITV, the
last time being in early summer 2011. I am probably
not the first one to have thought of forwarding 1999
to 2099, let’s be realistic, It doesn’t
take a high IQ to go from 19 to 20. But to actually
make something with it, is another matter. The amount
of work that was involved to enhanced the original
series into Space 2099 was considerable, and I am
very proud of what we have done. However, in the course
of our project, we realized that it would be a more
logical step to work on a series sequel first, so
that we could, later one enhanced the original series.
So, with already some effect done for the series sequel,
we could re-use some for the enhanced series, reducing
its cost. It is also easier to find financing for
a new product, like a movie or a series rather than
for enhancing a old one. This is why we decided to
focus our work on our sequel movie/series project
called Moonbase Alpha’s Legacy.
Gilles Nuytens: And
what is Moonbase Alpha's Legacy exactly?
Eric Bernard: Legacy is a story that
not only brings back the original crew of Alpha, and
a new generation but also answers. Answers to the
questions we were left with, almost 40 years ago.
We must not forget that Space 1999 had no ending,
and that its story is incomplete. Just for this reason,
making a sequel movie that would conclude it, made
perfect sense. And the idea of starting over like
a reboot, remake or re-imagine, and knowing that the
lifespan of most television series our days is shorter
than before, makes me worry that we could get a second
series that would have no more ending than the first
one. I also find that re-imagine Space 1999 is less
challenging than working with the original series
stories, and trying to compose with it to make an
epic ending to an epic series. Our Moonbase Alpha’s
Legacy story not only brings an end to the original
adventure, but it also brings a totally new view into
the original episodes. Meaning that after watching
Moonbase Alpha’s Legacy, you will look back
at the original series in another fashion. It is like
if you were watching the series LOST for six years,
and then going back into the series, now knowing what
the clue meant. However contrary to LOST, we do have
answers for the ending of the Space 1999 saga. That’s
what I like to call: respecting the fans and the time
they have spent watching with fidelity.
Nuytens: So, you
must not be happy with the re-imagine series that
has been announced?
Eric Bernard: Now, again, I am not
against Mr. Hall’s sci fi series and ITV's choices.
From what I have read on their website, they have
an agreement with ITV America who is financing this
project, but are at a very early stage of production,
meaning that the story, the characters, and obviously
the production team are still embryonic. The fact
that they are opened to fans feedback and thoughts
about Space 1999 is also a sign of early production,
but a nice and appreciated gesture. Moonbase Alpha’s
Legacy is kind in a reverse situation. As a 1999 fan
myself, I have been listening to others fans feeling,
thoughts and wishes for over a decade. Since the 2000
convention in New York, I have gather together all
these input and later on, came up with Space 2099
and now, Legacy. So, the research stage has been evolving
and growing with me for years. So my view of HDfilms
gesture is more like a very nice gesture rather than
a real long term survey.
Gilles Nuytens: You
do not have the rights to make your movie at this
time, but do you have a script?
Eric Bernard: Our story and script
is done and is being reviewed by Christopher Penfold,
the original script editor of Space 1999. If you want
to capture the spirit of a series, then go back to
it source and you should find it. And that’s
what we’ve done. Our story is solid, strong
and also very complex. Christopher not only was Space
1999 script editor, but he was also the script editor
of Midsomer Murders, a series that deals with very
strong plot and storyline, that are often very complex.
So, our script couldn’t be in better hands than
with the one of Christopher who has touched both genre
of Sci-fi and drama. Our characters are well established
and we know who we want in our cast.
Gilles Nuytens: I
think that you are also well served with your visual
effect team, aren't you?
Eric Bernard: Our special effect
team, the dream team as I like to call them, is composed
of Martin Bower, the original model maker of Space
1999 and Wes Sargent, vfx lead artist on all the Stargate
series. And here you can see a short, but impressive
teaser made by Wes. http://www.space2099.com/vfx-trailer-legacy
Nuytens: And what
about the financial aspect of doing such a project?
Eric Bernard: In the past year, we
have made good relation (no commitment as we do not
own any rights) but good contact with Canadian broadcasters
and also in Europe. And, as if I had to mention it,
Space 1999 was a cult television series in many countries,
so finding their interest in Legacy for financing
the project is possible. At this moment, Legacy is
far more advanced and ready than HDfilms Space 2099
since they are still looking for fans inputs.
Gilles Nuytens: What
this new series announcement has done to your future
Eric Bernard: Now, if I have paved
the way for Space 2099, its official announcement
from HDfilms has created a wave that has brought more
attention to our project and our vision of the series.
Our Facebook page has received many new members in
the past two days and our website traffics has also
grown. The fact that we are established on the web
since 2008 and that we own www.space2099.com,
but also spazio2099.com,
and 4 others gives us a front row seats on the internet.
Gilles Nuytens: Any
final words you like to share with us?
Eric Bernard: Looking at both project
and the division it started to create in the fan base
community, I would like to use this public platform
to offer a friendly proposition, a challenge for a
lack of a better word, to Mr. Hall and Mr. Paul Buccieri,
Managing Director of ITV Studios International. Since
they claim having fans interest in mind, they probably
would not mind letting a second project going. Like
one very active space 1999 fans mentioned in his blog,
"The only thing better than one new series based
on SPACE: 1999 would be two!" There you go ITV,
you’ve heard it. Fans have a soft spot for the
original series and its cast. Bringing them back,
for one last time, as their own character would be
the greatest gift ITV could give. Since our project
has already a solid foundation, why not allowing Moonbase
Alpha’s Legacy to simply exist. Licences and
franchises are often sold for different media at the
same time. There was a Terminator movie while the
tv series was still running. Both had nothing to do
with one another. None of them shadowed on each other,
in fact, it probably helps. So, why being both in
the shadow of the other, and have our project running
at the same time, bringing all fans not into criticism
and division, but for full openness and joy. Space
2099 and Moonbase Alpha’s Legacy story and design
are light years apart. These two are different product.
To make this possible, we only ask to be permit to
use the licences of Space 1999 and not the Space2099
name as a title. No investment from ITV is being asked.
Only a two year licences agreement for us to make
Moonbase Alpha’s Legacy. We’ll take care
of finding the financing. Liberate the right for us,
no money asked, and Mr. Buccieri, the only thing that
can happen is a possible second income for ITV. entlemen,
the ball is in your court now. Fans will be waiting
to see how much you care about what they wish for.