The Eagle Has Landed
A SciFi Documentary
Being an old dog in the wide, wide world of following entertainment, I was somewhat put back by the idea of putting my money where my mouth -- or creators' mouths -- is or was. Harkening back ot those days and what I saw from those early projects, however, I can tell you exactly why I had that position: those early projects were far more fledgling works of art that were more about a storyteller telling a story he or she wanted to tell and not so much something fandom was clamoring for. As such, I necessarily questioned why I or anyone should commit money to something that some brash young filmmaker wanted to do simply to get his or her feet off the ground when it didn't authentically add anything fresh, new, and/or vibrant to places where devotees hung out and talked about the things that made their worlds go 'round. I think some of those early projects failed for that reason ... or they survived in whatever fashion society deemed fit.
But what happened over a few years was that some true enthusiastic innovators realized the true potential behind authentic crowdfunding was tapping into precisely what fandom wanted -- not the vanity projects of George Lucas wannabes or storytellers believing they were the next Steven Spielberg, J.J. Abrams, or Michael Bay. Instead, the focus shifted dramatically into cracking open the intellectual properties already out there -- albeit from new perspectives -- and delivering more content to fuel these journeys into the Final Frontier. From what I could see, fandom responded favorably ... incredibly favorably, in many ways ... opening their wallets when it was crystal clear that something was going to be not only gained but also enriching their lives, their knowledge, and their beloved mania for a franchise.
With this new direction, crowdfunding exploded ... and rightly so. These new projects -- and their project directors -- made a believer even out of me ... one of the web's oldest and proudest cynics ... and that's sayin' something!
Gerry Anderson's Space:1999 is one of SciFi's many red-headed franchises. It's never quite gotten mainstream attention -- certainly not like other properties of its day -- and that's always befuddled me just a bit. The saga of Moonbase Alpha and its crew -- occupying our moon as it was savagely ripped from its orbit and thrown into deep space -- certainly has built and maintained a solid cult audience over the years, but no major studio has ever seriously knocked on the door for a reboot much less a continuation. (Yes, yes, and yes: I'm aware that there have been a comic book or two, along with some fiction and non-fiction collections, but I'm talking about either theatrical and/or broadcast television prospects, folks.) For what it's worth, the IP is rich in storytelling prospects; its characters are certainly drawn from the well of inspiration; and the tapestry upon which to draw new adventures is damn near endless so far as this fan is concerned. It's high time someone brought Space:1999 into our collective consciousness ... and maybe that's a little 'something something' Jeffrey Morris intends to do.
Morris is an innovator in the world of entertainment. His FutureDude Entertainment (link) has been spinning yarns since its inception, and it has such adventures under its belt as Persephone, Saturn 5, and Neptune One, with several others well on the way. But one of Morris' other inspirations in life has been one small part of the Anderson show, namely the Eagle spacecraft featured prominently in all of Space:1999's stories. In fact, those of us who've seen the show can assure you that this wonderful little spaceship was as central to that show as the USS Enterprise was to Star Trek, so kudos to Morris for not only recognizing this but also opting to give 'the little engine that could' the attention it so strongly deserves.
"The Eagle Has Landed explores a passionate and ongoing nostalgia for a future that never happened. This intriguing feature-length documentary follows Jeffrey Morris—a Minnesota-based filmmaker and lifelong science-fiction aficionado—as he examines the fascinating connections between art, science, culture, and the iconic Eagle spacecraft."
In my humble opinion, there are a good many reasons why the Eagle -- and the show -- deserves a bit of extra attention.
First, Space:1999 represents one of the last and biggest franchises to be on the scene right before George Lucas' Star Wars truly altered the entertainment landscape, and -- to a small degree -- I've long believed it kinda/sorta escaped society's radar because it was eclipsed by something few programs could compete with. Such an associated practically begs for some kind of academic comparison, and maybe that alone is long overdue.
Second, the Eagle itself has -- quite possibly -- somehow surpassed the show in terms of relative popularity. Though folks may never have seen a single episode, the ship is often recognized as being from it to a surprising degree. It's often cited in Science Fiction circles as being one of the genre's most credible creations, meaning that there's just something about it that bridges that gap between 'what could be' and 'what is' in ways that warrant an extra examination.
Lastly -- and this one comes almost entirely from what I've read -- the Eagle has somehow built a following amongst modelmakers and spaceship collectors of being one of the most sought after ships. There's apparently a rather impressive membership of Eagle aficionados out there in the wide, wide world ... and an examination of such an exalted club and its membership might tell us something more about a show that has somehow escaped the limelight to live on in surprising cultural ways.
The Eagle Has Landed - A SciFi Documentary (Kickstarter)
The Eagle Has Landed - website (link)
An article about the campaign on Space.com (link)
Interested readers are encouraged to check out Morris' work as well as the Kickerstarter campaign. There are a handful of contributor levels that make this one entirely accessible for all of fandom, and the future of crowdsharing looks bright, indeed, when projects such as this add something to fan culture in exciting and informative ways.
As always, thanks for reading ... thanks for sharing ... thanks for being a fan ... and live long and prosper!