Announced back in October 2017 during FAB Live, Space Precinct: Reloaded is a revival of the 1994 TV show Space Precinct, set 10 years before the show we join Aria Fontane as she becomes the first human cop in Demeter City. The writer, Chris Thompson, tells us the story of how Space Precinct: Reloaded came about.
I had been working with Anderson Entertainment for about two years by this point and I had been immensely inspired by a lot of the creativity on the various projects we had been working on. By this stage, we had just wrapped production on the UFO documentaries for the Network Blu-ray and were beginning to start planning for the various Captain Scarlet 50th anniversary projects. I really wanted to get into writing and had only recently been getting into comics, particularly Titans Doctor Who and IDW’s Godzilla: Rulers of Earth series. I had been looking to give the Anderson series a similar treatment.
Out of all the shows that we had access to, something jumped out at me about Space Precinct. While I have fond memories of the show, it hadn’t been one I’d revisited much, partly due to the great potential it displayed but sadly often fell short on. It had a great premise and potentially if done right, a comic adaptation could stand on its own and not necessarily have to rely on the show to get readers in.
I took the idea to Jamie and to my surprise and partial terror (it’s easy to come up with ideas but significantly more difficult to actually follow through with them) he said yes, if I could find an artist and stay within budget then we had a go for a test first issue.
I’d love to say that finding an artist was an incredibly drawn out and gruelling adventure but in reality, I walked into my local Forbidden Planet, asked my friend Brian, who was working if he knew any local artists. He said “Yes, he’s upstairs” and boom, that’s how I met Connor Flanagan.
Connor’s enthusiasm for the project basically got him the job immediately, he quickly produced some sketches of Brogan and Haldane and some nice street scenes. His character work was really high standard and I’m super happy with the work he’s produced for this comic.
The decision to base it on different characters from the show came from a number of reasons, we weren’t entirely sure we had the rights to use the likenesses of the original actors and I didn’t want to give people the impression that they needed to see the original show first. We asked ourselves what the opposite of Brogan and Haldane would be and we came up with Aria Fontane and Lupita Asiri, the jaded veteran who doesn’t want to be there and the plucky newbie that wants to try anything.
The prequel idea came from wanting to retain some aspects of the show. Every fan of the series comes out praising Jerome Willis’ Captain Podly and Richard James, who played Officer Hubble Orrin, played a big part in renewing my interest in the show. Setting it 10 years before the series allows us to keep these characters while also subtly changing the world to fit a more ‘alien’ style.
Another factor I considered was the show’s unfilmed pilot script “Demeter City”. This episode would have shown why Brogan and Haldane transferred and became the first human cops on Demeter (ignoring the fact that Castle was already there, in a wonderful piece of Space Precinct logic.) This gap in the story sets it up for Fontane to become the first human years earlier and have a much more difficult time fitting in.
Another important part of the puzzle was world building, something the original show didn’t do a lot of, mostly relying on human tropes to fill in the blanks for the aliens. Here Andrew Clements provided us with an opening newspaper to set the scene and made suggestions for content throughout, from street names to alien crisp flavours, while Christian Tarpey (purveyor of the travelling Space Precinct Museum of fine wares and curios) helped us avoid unnecessary conflict with what came before (or rather, what will come after!).
Ultimately we have big plans for these characters and this world but Space Precinct: Reloaded is a humble start. It’s an adventure like the opening gambit of a Bond movie designed to establish these characters and the new (old) Demeter City. We hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed creating it!
Space Precinct: Reloaded is now available to pre-order from the Gerry Anderson Store!