Fan films have been around for a while and within the last few years have come on by leaps and bounds. For those not in the know, these are projects based on an existing property made by its fans for fun, with very little budget or support. Recently they have become a lot more prominent, attracting professional filmmakers and actors, in some cases the licence holders have even started encouraging their production, particularly with Star Wars and Doctor Who.
Because of the fantastical nature of Gerry Anderson’s shows they are notoriously difficult for fans to make these tribute films. There are however some nice ones out there, for example: “Malice: 1999”, “War of Nerves”, “Thunderbirds: Anything can happen in the next six minutes” and that one I made.
Watch it here! Or embedded at the bottom of this page.
The newest fan film to be released is a Space: 1999 film entitled “The Passenger” directed by David Connellan, starring David and Sarah- Jean Begin. Shot on a shoe-string budget in Halifax Canada, “The Passenger” is a very ambitious take on a series 1 style episode. Set barely half an hour after the events of the first episode of Space: 1999 (Breakaway) the story follows a Eagle pilot who is contacted by an unknown force as he tries to survey the damage to nuclear disposal area 2.
The film’s strength is in how it captures the feel of the show. A lot of effort has been taken in working with practical models and compositing actors into the original sets. The props and costumes have been recreated to great effect. The story itself also carries on that thought provoking feel of classic Space: 1999. It’s a human story that makes you care about the characters, but as with so many actual Space: 1999 episodes – it’ll leave you with some questions at the end. Interestingly I also got a very big “2001 a Space Odyssey” vibe from some of the shot choices and in the way the story progressed.
On a technical level there are some issues with the sound and some of the editing could be tighter, but none of this takes away from the enjoyment of the film. It’s clear a huge amount of effort went into this and i’m told it took a year and a half to complete.
My verdict, give it a shot and stick with it, it’s a sterling effort and I looking forward to seeing more from David Connellan and his team in the future.