Out now from US company Archaia Entertainment is a collection of its mini series Space:1999 – Aftershock and Awe, a new story using the characters and setting of Gerry Anderson’s live action SF TV series.
Written by Andrew E. C. Gaska with art from the late Gray Morrow (melding his work from the Charlton Comics Space:1999 series with new pages from David Hueso and Miki), the story is based on the events portrayed in the Space:1999 pilot episode “Breakaway” by Gerry Anderson, Sylvia Anderson, George Bellak and Christopher Penfold.
For this new graphic novel, Gaska has set the adventure in an alternate universe where US president John F Kennedy, a key supporter of the space program who pushed for the moon landings, was never assassinated, but mankind has suffered through World War III, unified into a single world government – and built a base on the moon by the year 1999.
On September 13th 1999, an atomic accident causes the moon to be blown out of orbit and hurled into the unknown and the survivors of the lunar base stationed there are launched towards their destiny across the stars. But what of the cataclysm and wanton destruction caused to the Earth in its wake?
This retro-reintroduction to the Andersons’ series from the early 1970s follows nine lives who are forever changed by the carnage left in the moon’s wake. Told from the point of view of those left behind on a ravaged Earth, Aftershock explores the scientific, environmental, and social political repercussions of a world left with no moon.
The story continues in Awe, which adapts the pilot episode of Space: 1999 “Breakaway”, as seen through the personal logs of Commander John Koenig and Professor Victor Bergman on Moonbase Alpha – expanded to include both new and unfilmed material, and utilizing the remastered art of comics legend Gray Morrow as a basis for this revolutionary retelling of a sci-fi classic.
Andrew E. C. Gaska, who wrote the illustrated novel Conspiracy of the Planet of the Apes, ties together the “origin story” events of the original show’s pilot episode and an all-new tale, working together original art from Morrow and contemporary artists David Hueso and Miki, and fashioning the two stories into one.
Since Space: 1999 was originally made in the 1970s and since the title year has long since come and gone, publishers Archaia are keen to point out that this graphic novel is highly accessible to those who have not previously been fans of the show.
“Overall, it’s my goal to take the best of Space: 1999 (its tone, characters, premise, etc) and augment them toward their logical conclusions in a way that old fans and new audiences alike can enjoy,” Gaska reveals in an interview on the Archaia web site. “The television series originally aired almost 40 years ago, and while a lot has changed in the world since then, there is a lot of 1999 that still reflects today’s society and where we are headed.
“[The series had] so much potential, most of which was never realized,” he enthuses. “The format of the first season of Space: 1999 was revolutionary: the series was dark and moody, and the message to the viewer was that, ‘Space is dangerous, and things aren’t going to make sense. Basically, you’re screwed.’ It was so different to what Star Trek had presented, and nothing was tied up in a nice little bow by the end of an episode. You were always left wondering, why? And it wasn’t unsatisfying, it was more of a cosmic why, the type of why that compels man to explore the universe around him in the first place. I want to complete the arc that the story started, and bring it to its logical conclusion, based on plans of the original creators, but filtered through y own vision of this world. I want to tell “why.”