How far does your fandom interest extend?

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How far does your fandom interest extend?

Post by Andrew Kearley on Fri Mar 05, 2010 4:08 pm

This is something I've been thinking about recently, mainly prompted by something I was discussing on another forum. But I suddenly realized: I'm not interested in anything to do with Space: 1999 beyond the tv episodes themselves. (And quite frankly, it's only series 1 that really interests me there, but that's a discussion for another day.)

This came up in discussion about the new Powys books - now these have been quite hard to get hold of in the UK, so I haven't really bothered looking for them - but on thinking about it, I discovered I didn't actually want them.

Although I have got the original 70s series 1 novelizations, I've read them once and I'm unlikely ever to want to pick them up again. I've never really been interested in the comic strips and annual stories. I've got a Dinky toy Eagle that I bought from a market stall several years ago, but really that was only to replace the toy I originally had in the 70s that got broken/lost somewhere down the years. But I've never wanted to collect toys or build models - so beyond things like the soundtrack CDs and the DVDs themselves, my interest in merchandise is absolutely zero.

This isn't just true of Space: 1999. I've a big fan of Doctor Who as well. But I don't see the need to buy or collect any old merchandise from that show either. (And considering the absolute shedloads of stuff available for Who at the moment, that's probably a blessing.) So the stuff I buy from Doctor Who has to have a practical value, and make a contribution to the show and its mythos - so that's DVDs, books and novels, magazines and comic books, CDs and audiobooks, that kind of thing. I'm really interested in the continuing and developing storyline of Doctor Who in all its forms, in every medium.

But when it comes to Space: 1999, even that doesn't apply. And I'm trying to understand why. Now, it's a fact that I consider the first series to be the finest 24 hours of sci-fi television I've ever seen. I could watch it forever and I will never tire of it. But that's it. I don't want anything more. I think, maybe, it's because I see Space: 1999 as something of its day, something sealed in time, self-contained, a unit. So I'm perhaps indifferent to anything that seeks to extend that, whether that's comic strips published at the time or books being written 35 years later. (Whereas Doctor Who is something that never stopped, something always ongoing and expanding, so I embrace its continual growth.) Maybe it's that. I don't know... But it's a fact that I hear about new Space: 1999 novels coming out, and I mentally shrug: so what?

So how does anyone else feel? Does being a fan of the series mean you want to gather Space: 1999 ephemera around you? Do you collect Eagle models and action figures? Do you hear about new novels and think, yeah, gotta have those? Is it just me?

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Re: How far does your fandom interest extend?

Post by JoelOwens on Thu Aug 05, 2010 8:36 am

Hi Andrew,


Let me kinda give you an idea where I'm at in the scale of fandom:

I enjoy building all kinds of models after all these years, and I have a section of my website which is dedicated to Space:1999. I own a couple of Eagles, the Moonbase Alpha model which I'm rigging up with light fibers - the original LP, those VHS tapes, a resin Commlock and Stun Gun (which I need to build out I guess), a set of bubble-gum cards, several of the older b/w comic books which I keep in a weather-proof ammo case, a scrapbook, etc. I enjoy the vintage items, but newer novels and stuff I just don't feel the same heart-string tug to grab up. Not that they are bad or anything, the drive just isn't there for me.

The recent Space:1999 convention was about 3 hrs drive from me, but I opted not to run off my friends who were planning to visit for the weekend. So I missed probably the only one that will happen within a parsec of me in my lifetime. And I caught some heat for it as well.

From one perspective I guess you'd call me a fan. But from other people's perspective, it might be easy to discount me. Strangely enough, I don't often sit and watch the episodes; it kind of comes in bursts with me. There will be a period where I'll watch the first season, then the desire will wane a bit and I'll go off to other hobbies, etc. I posted on my site the audio from the entire first season, and it's on my iPod, but I don't often listen to the episodes all the way thru, just bits here and there.

With that said, I know local people who throw everything they have into owning sci-fi stuff for the particular genre they enjoy. They've spent untold dollars (which in my opinion they can ill afford) to own autographs and photos and memorabilia. They wear the costumes, etc. This is way bit over the top for me, however in their defense their group raises money for worthy causes.

While I occasionally go to D/FW for their every 6 month comic con (depending on which stars are going to be there), but I'm in street clothes with my family. I scour the dealer's room for any Space:1999 remnants - which is how I found "The Making of..." for $10 recently, and bought a bootleg of the Documentary DVD once, also $10. I'm just not going to spend hundreds for rare Space:1999 posters, it seems frivilous to me.

So yeah, I enjoy my "ephemera" but in moderation. I'm happy with where I'm at and the world of fandom takes all kinds. Fans who are only slightly infected are still fans none the less.

Best wishes,
~joel

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Re: How far does your fandom interest extend?

Post by s99fan on Thu Aug 05, 2010 12:47 pm

I make no apologies on my collection. I have a fleet of model Eagles including Dinky and 12" and 23" Product Enterprise models, copies of most 1970s UK and US soft and hardback books (although not the German), original UK annuals, DVD set from the UK, US, France, Netherlands, Australia and many other such. It brings me pleasure to have what I could not possess as a child.

I do have a complete set of Powys books and have read each at least once. Several are not worth a reread, others are. I still do not regret the purchase, if for nothing else to support the fandom.

My partner who is a mediocre science fiction fan at the most is resigned to the situation, but at least he does not insist on their removal, and with that I am content.

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Re: How far does your fandom interest extend?

Post by Coach34 on Thu Aug 05, 2010 3:31 pm

I would say that my interest in Space 1999 is probably typical. I own
series one and two on DVD. I own all of the original series one novels
and three of the season two adaptations. I have enjoyed the Powys
novels greatly and have just finished the Omega and Alpha series (nice
job Mr. Latham!). I would love to own an Eagle, replica or AMT model,
but they are two expensive for this father of two. I kick myself every
time I think of the three AMT Eagles I had built as a child and the
childish end that came of them. I don't do the costumes, but I really
was upset when I found out there was a convention in Calgary (well
within driving distance from Montana)...a year after it happened!

I can relate to Joel's feelings about Space, mine having a sort of
visceral connection to my childhood and the vicinity of Glacier Park
where I grew up. It's more than the show, the episodes, the characters,
or the music. It's a state of mind that reminds me of the best times
of my life and I will always cherish it for that.

My youngest son
is 4 and is a fan already. He loves Alan Carter already and is
constantly bugging me to make him an Eagle out of his Legos. He has
also informed me that he wants 16 Eagles. That alone should tell you
how far my fandom extends

I like to tell my childhood friends that I share(d) the Space 1999
experience with that I'm young enough to be my own nerd and old enough
to not care.

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Re: How far does your fandom interest extend?

Post by JoelOwens on Mon Aug 09, 2010 8:02 am

When Space:1999 first came on, I was still also in the throws of Star Trek's revival. Often hording several days' lunch money to pick up the latest AMT model. Sci-Fi was definitely on the brain.


But I remember the evening - I first saw my cousin's Eagle model and the excitement I felt - with great clarity. Even more so, I can replay in my mind the moment I peeled the celophane off of and opened up my first model box of the Fundimensions Eagle and the joy of building it, playing around with it. It's one of those marks along the path that isn't often matched in life, I guess that's why I enjoy Space so much.

And it seems strange to me now that while I was at times chided about my sci-fi attraction with "When are you going to grow up?" as an early teenager; I now work surrounded by co-workers who all have some type of sci-fi die cast or other toys in their work spaces. I have the Trek TOS micromachines and several die-cast aircraft hanging in my cube supported invisibly with tungsten filament wire. Several of our management people have cubes that are filled entirely with die-cast aircraft and other stuff - It's not at all unusual today to see sci-fi critters, lego Boba Fetts and stuff in people's cubes.

But I like to remember that "I liked sci-fi when sci-fi wasn't cool!"



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Re: How far does your fandom interest extend?

Post by s99fan on Tue Aug 10, 2010 10:04 am

JoelOwens wrote:

But I like to remember that "I liked sci-fi when sci-fi wasn't cool!"


Good for you! I well suppose many of us have this same sentiment. It feels good, does it not, to get the last laugh.

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Re: How far does your fandom interest extend?

Post by s99fan on Tue Aug 10, 2010 10:06 am

Joel, upon review of your image above, is that an iPhone/iPod touch that hold the Space:1999 image? Have you ripped episodes into it? If so, that is very clever.

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Re: How far does your fandom interest extend?

Post by SPACE 1899 on Wed Aug 11, 2010 2:43 pm

Like many others who have replied, I also have the Space 1999 collector bug. As well as the dvd sets (Carlton, Network and A&E), I have the video sets, all the UK & USA version novels (plus hardbacks where available), the Powys novels, all the main comics and loads of Eagle models (and have even been buying some spare ones recently and spray painting them different colours).

I have also started collecting autographed pictures of the main actors / actresses, having met and obtained signed autographs from Prentis Hancock and Catherine Schell at the Birmingham Memorabilia Show last November.

Plus my BIGGEST treasure to date - I have a probe from the episode 'The Last Sunset' an actual original genuine screen used prop, which I was lucky enough to be able to purchase on ebay from Phil Rae's collection, with some redundancy money I got from my previous job. So a big thank-you to my old boss for that !!!!

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Re: How far does your fandom interest extend?

Post by SPACE 1899 on Wed Aug 11, 2010 2:50 pm

s99fan wrote:copies of most 1970s UK and US soft and hardback books (although not the German)

I have one of the German novels, but as I have not got round to learning German yet, in order to be able to read them, have not bothered with the others yet.

Has anyone out there actually learnt German especially in order to be able to read the German Space 1999 novels - now that would be going far in the interests of being a fan...

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Re: How far does your fandom interest extend?

Post by SPACE 1899 on Wed Aug 11, 2010 2:53 pm

Does anyones fandom interest extend far enough to rush out and buy the Space 1999 blu-ray set when it is due to be released in October for around £79.99 (as mentioned on the Fanderson website) ?

I'm undecided on that one yet - although the price of blu ray players is now lower that it used to be - so maybe...

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Re: How far does your fandom interest extend?

Post by s99fan on Thu Aug 12, 2010 4:38 am

I have the R1 version on pre-order from Amazon, currently as 70 USD. I am still unsure if the R1/R2 region versions are the same or not. Do you know? If the R2 version has significantly improved quality or bonus features, I purchase that one.

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Re: How far does your fandom interest extend?

Post by SPACE 1899 on Thu Aug 12, 2010 12:14 pm

Coach34 wrote: It's more than the show, the episodes, the characters,
or the music. It's a state of mind that reminds me of the best times
of my life and I will always cherish it for that.

Well summed up. Likewise, Space 1999 transports me straight back to happy times watching the Show on a Saturday morning as a kid.

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Re: How far does your fandom interest extend?

Post by SPACE 1899 on Thu Aug 12, 2010 12:19 pm

Andrew Kearley wrote: Now, it's a fact that I consider the first series to be the finest 24 hours of sci-fi television I've ever seen. I could watch it forever and I will never tire of it. But that's it. I don't want anything more. I think, maybe, it's because I see Space: 1999 as something of its day, something sealed in time, self-contained, a unit. So I'm perhaps indifferent to anything that seeks to extend that

Just curious - if a Space 1999 remake movie ever did happen - would you boycott seeing it ?

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Re: How far does your fandom interest extend?

Post by SPACE 1899 on Thu Aug 12, 2010 12:24 pm

Andrew Kearley wrote: Does being a fan of the series mean you want to gather Space: 1999 ephemera around you?

YES. Plus it is an investment. Some of the boxed Eagle models I bought on ebay a while back have already increased in value on ebay - especially the Gold Eagle.

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Re: How far does your fandom interest extend?

Post by Andrew Kearley on Thu Aug 12, 2010 2:38 pm

SPACE 1899 wrote:Just curious - if a Space 1999 remake movie ever did happen - would you boycott seeing it ?

No, I would probably go to see it if it opened at my local cinema, out
of curiosity more than anything else. (Although I don't go to the
pictures much these days.) I'd only buy the movie on DVD if it
was really exceptional. I'm not opposed to Space: 1999 spin-offs
or anything like that, I just haven't been able to find much enthusiasm
for them. This is in marked contrast to the level of my
commitment to Doctor Who for instance. But then I've been a
Doctor Who fan since I was four years old. Space: 1999 is
something I've only really appreciated as an adult, so all the
associated frippery of fandom has never really impinged on my
consciousness.

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