November 6th, 2022 the Facebook Space: 1999 “Fandoms” Group Page admin had an impromptu video session; one of the guest speakers was Jeffrey Morris, or better known as “Future Dude”. He is an award-winning writer, director, producer, entrepreneur and production designer; his company’s website is FutureDude.com. He has been working towards reenergizing Space: 1999 in one form or fashion.
There hasn’t been too much interest in entertaining the notion of hanging with a bunch of survivors after an apocalyptic event as the stored nuclear waste blowing the moon out of the Earth orbit. As near and dear to us fans the classic 1975 show and it’s premise of demise, the world itself here in reality has learned a lot scientifically. Anywho, Mr. Morris wants to pursue a documentary referencing “For the Love of the Eagle”. The focus will be about the cultural phenomenon surrounding Alpha Moonbase’s main mode of travel: the Eagle Transporter, and why fans love it so much to this day. He wants to have it completed by 2025 for the celebration of the show’s amazing 50th Anniversary.
The Eagle Transporter (for better or for worse) is a significant science fiction space ship icon and a real star of the show. We fans have traveled to just about all of the upcoming planets or heavenly bodies that have been travelling in deep space during its 2 year production run. A great many kits and toys have been produced these last few decades (no, I’m not going to go into the various ones, the inaccuracies, the green paint, the wheels or any of that; it’s been extensively covered). Fans and collectors cannot seem to get enough of this iconic, realistic and aesthetically pleasing craft. For how pleasing it is to gaze upon, there is a lot of appreciation that went into the functionality of this dynamic moon craft. Sure, there are limitations, technologies and sheer absurd qualities that were used for our vehicle in its run during the show’s 48 episode run back at the mid-seventies, but what a ship it is. Most of the other science fiction shows did not produce a ship that is so iconic and has almost 50 years of staying power; there is truly something to be said about the Eagle Transporter from Space: 1999.
Mr. Morris mentioned he wants to break the documentary down into several proposed parts:
- Timeframe of the space program and the inspired: meaning that there was some significant emphasis with the various NASA space programs of the 60’s and 70’s, how they transpired (especially with the United States’ Moon landings), and the effect it had which inspired a large amount of story telling within television and the movies.
- History of how the Eagle was created showcasing discussions with Brian Johnson and Jamie Anderson to name a few.
- The popularity, the marketing leading to the enduring fandom aspect playing/collecting/appreciating the love of the Eagle as an enduring hobby.
- Different levels of Eagle appreciation and why fans/non-fans love the Eagle.
- Chat with some experts at NASA and what they are planning for the future.
He indicated that he is in the process of lining up several Hollywood A-Listers for their input asking what they remember and love about the Eagle Transporter. He brought up a couple of names such as George Lucas and Tom Hanks to interview. There are a lot of folks that love the Eagle, but never watched the show.
He also is planning on building an interior of the Eagle, and to show of some modern visual effects to perhaps bring the Eagle in to the 21st century (something that really is far overdue); he reported that he is planning a budget between three to five million dollars and would take approximately two years to complete bringing the timeframe into1999’s 50th birthday. There was a small suggestion that there might be some crowd-funding to get the project off the ground.
The Eagle is alive and well, even to this day. It sure doesn’t hurt that there are some truly amazing companies out there producing kits, die casts, hell, even a factory produced 44” Eagle was expertly crafted with precision and screen accuracy. It helps amplify the popularity of our beloved Eagle. Some folks have taken on the task to build very large editions from 88” to over eight feet. Although there are some wonderful accurate blueprints out there, building an Eagle of the magnitude, in all actuality, is more art than science.
As you can see, there is a lot of inspiration out there (with some hints of a slight obsession: guilty!!) so why wouldn’t there be a thought of a documentary about the Eagle? And not a moment too soon. Perhaps it might spark a reboot, a movie, or some sort of mini-series on some streaming service in the future. Space: 1999, although somewhat sandwiched in between Star Trek and Star Wars, was truly an original science fiction epic; it kept us fans mystified, horrified, shocked and wanting to help ensure those Alphans somehow find a home somewhere in the universe. We were “with them” with a sense that we were there on Alpha trying to survive. Especially within the first season (not gonna get into that, either).
What is your favorite childhood Eagle? Did you get one of the plastic “wheeled” ones or that die cast Eagle and trade the pods to get yours “all white”? Did you build one, fly one, put little figures in a big one? The Eagle was marketed very well then and apparently it is being marketed very well today. Get on board, Alphans. The Eagle is here and will be here for a while.
Thanks to Warren Friedrich, Darren Peters and David Hirsch for inviting me to the meeting to participate in this chat. If you want more information on their FB group page, look up Space: 1999 Fandoms. They are planning an upcoming event in Calgary Canada coming in April parallel to the Calgary Expo happening April 27 – 30, 2023 at Stampede Park in Calgary Alberta, Canada. They also formally invited Mr. Morris to attend the event and represent this endeavor.