Welcome to SciFi Regen, a science fiction news and review site that also takes a look at a handful of classic scifi shows from the 1970s, 1990s and early 2000s (and gets a little creative with them).
The site also does something a little bit different. It dedicates an entire section to a beloved Star Trek character from the TOS movie series that has been MIA for a long time now – Saavik.
Remember her?Star Trek section of the site, you’ll see an unfolding story dedicated to Saavik, and an in-progress script based on that same story.
So, that’s the site in brief.
In more detail, SciFi Regen features science fiction news and reviews on its home page that focus primarily on science fiction on the small screen. The site also reports on space exploration, and our efforts to return to the moon and visit Mars. The remainder of SciFi Regen explores what a possible reboot might look like for a few classic sci-fi series (alongside that Saavik story we mentioned earlier).
“Hold on!” You gasp. “Did you say reboot?!”
I did. But wait! As the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy recommends:
I think, fan to fan, that we can agree that there have been some wonderful science fiction shows over the last three or four decades that have fallen way short of their potential. Many started with an incredible idea, but were then “retooled” part way through and as a result lost some of what made them special.
For many of us, that was annoying. Even frustrating. Who can forget the rebooted V series? It had an engaging first half of its first season, and a strong second half, but then, in it’s second season, went down hill because it decided it needed to over-explain everything (show, don’t tell, people), and needed more action, often at the expense of the story. Not even the return of the amazing Jane Badler could save the show from that.
Haven’t you, as a fan, ever wondered if those shows could be continued? Or, if an older show like Buck Rogers in the 25th Century or seaQuest DSV could be updated and remade for today’s viewing audience?
That’s the point of the majority of this site. SciFi Regen doesn’t focus on every single science fiction show that ended before it’s time, but instead chooses four that could really be something special today – and were definitely not given the chance to be the best they could have been when they first aired.
- Space: 1999 (dumbed down in its second season and retooled into cancellation).
- Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (stuck in a sexist disco time warp, and retooled to death in its second season);
- seaQuest DSV (retooled, and retooled some more – to death), and;
- Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda (dumbed down and homogenised out the wazoo).
I know that word, reboot, and those other two, remake and re-imagining, scare the crap out of all of us, but it’s not as bad as it sounds, I promise. I come down on the side of staying as faithful to the original as is sensible.
Interestingly, since first putting up this about page, I’ve had a bunch of messages from people asking “but what about Firefly?” and “what about V?” “What about Babylon 5?”
For the record, I love all of those shows, but I would never try to write anything for Firefly, because I hope Joss continues the story onscreen or produces his own remake and streams it on Netflix or Amazon.
V? It’s one of my all time favourite shows, but Kenneth Johnson is working on getting a new V up again and there is no one better.
It’s a show I would love to write for, because it’s message is, sadly, consistently relevant.
For more information on Kenneth Johnson’s work to return V to the small screen, or to get a movie done (both options are under consideration), visit his site here.
Babylon 5? JMS is one of my heroes, and Babylon 5 is almost sacred to me. I’d love to play in that world, but it’s situation is complex. JMS owns the movie rights, Warner Bros. owns the TV rights and they don’t want to sell them. Even worse, they’re not interested in doing anything with the show, which is insane.
There is, apparently, a B5 reboot movie in the pipeline, but I can’t find any absolute confirmation of that. J. Michael Straczynski has been reported as saying no to a revival or remake as either a series or a movie, but he has also been reported as saying yes to the possibility of a movie… so we’ll just have to wait and see.
What’s the deal?
What’s the difference between a remake, a re-imagining and a reboot?
I honestly don’t know. There was a time I thought that I did, but that has long passed.
J. J. Abrams’ 2009 Star Trek has been described as a reboot, which, according to Wikipedia, is:
In serial fiction, a reboot is a new start to an established fictional universe, work, or series that discards all continuity to re-create its characters, plotlines and backstory from the beginning. It has been described as a way to “rebrand” or “restart an entertainment universe that has already been established.” Another definition of a reboot is a remake which is part of an established film series or other media franchise. The term has been criticised for being a vague and ‘confusing’ ‘buzzword’, and a neologism for remake, a concept which has been losing popularity in the 2010s.
Ron Moore and David Eick’s Battlestar Galactica has been described as both a remake and a re-imagining of the Glen A. Larson original.
A re-imagining, according to Wikipedia, is a reboot.
So what’s a remake?
Wikipedia says its a:
A remake is a film, television series, video game or some other form of entertainment that is based on an earlier product, often telling the same story and updating it for contemporary audiences.
See why I’ve given up trying to differentiate?
To maintain our sanity, let’s not worry about which is what. Let’s use the word reboot and if I accidentally write remake or re-imagining somewhere on the site, don’t worry about it. Life is too short for semantics.
Why reboot anything?
Some stories deserve and even need to be told over and over again, so every generation can be inspired by them. Star Trek‘s hopeful vision of the future is something we need. Babylon 5‘s message of cooperation and it’s warning about power and corruption is important. V‘s examination of human frailty and how some will side with totalitarian regimes in the face of adversity while others will rise against them, is compelling.
I know reboots are contentious, but I don’t think they need to be. Anyone who engages in the idea of a reboot/remake/re-imagining will make choices that are controversial, but also, it is hoped, that are relevant to their time.
In 2003 when the Battlestar Galactica mini-series hit our airwaves, Starbuck became female. A move that caused an insane uproar, but one that was timely and shattered stereotypes.
In 2009, J. J. Abrams did what many thought was impossible. He captured the spirit of the original Star Trek in a blockbuster movie that was a reboot of the 1966 series. Very few thought it would work, but fans and casual viewers alike loved it. Granted, he upset a lot of us (fans) by blowing up Vulcan, killing Spock’s mother, Amanda, and inventing one of the silliest science fiction devices ever (transwarp beaming), but because the reboot was cleverly done (alternate timelines) many of us were able to forgive him and embrace the film. He didn’t try and rewrite Star Trek history, he simply added to it using a time-honoured device. Brilliant.
Moore and Eick’s BSG, in particular, warmed up my creative juices and inspired me. Suddenly, there was hope for shows I’d loved in my childhood (and adulthood) that had seemed destined to fade out of pop culture over time.
Thanks to the hard work and risk-taking of Moore, Eick and also Abrams, old but strong ideas could be given new life and be successful.
So, like many fans before me, I created a couple of websites to house my contributions, but instead of using those sites for fan films, slash fiction, poetry, amazing art, or short stories, all of which I love (okay, I’m not big on slash fiction at all – it’s just not for me), I decided to use my experience as a journalist to report on science fiction TV news and developments in space exploration, and my time as a writer/producer to imagine a new start for two universes in particular that I loved and that, at the time (end of 2014 and beginning of 2015), didn’t look like they were returning to TV any time soon.
There had been a previously announced Space: 1999 reboot called Space: 2099, but it was, it seemed, no more (if you check that proposed reboot’s Wikipedia page, they say it’s still going ahead).
I developed an idea for Star Trek that, to me, made sense, called Star Trek: Sentinel. I decided to set it in the TNG timeline after Star Trek: Voyager and after the destruction of Romulus as seen in Star Trek (2009). I thought long and hard about a villain, and chose an old, once off species from the TNG era that would make life incredibly difficult (and even terrifying) for everyone in the Federation. At the same time as that was happening, I decided that Starfleet and the Federation Council needed to deal with a growing Romulan refugee crisis. Drama, conflict, action. All the good stuff.
Then, Star Trek: Discovery was announced about six or so months later. I was over the moon!
I had wanted Star Trek: Sentinel to be another quality entry in fan-produced content, and to hopefully bring a little additional attention to the fact the time was right for new Trek on TV. I’m 99.9% certain my site had nothing to do with CBS bringing Star Trek back, but that didn’t matter to me. I was so happy. I decided to continue with Star Trek: Sentinel because I was passionate about the idea, and because I wanted to challenge myself by trying to write a Star Trek script – which are apparently notoriously difficult to write! And they are!!
Because new Star Trek was on its way, I decided to split my creative energy between that story and an idea I’d been playing with for years for Space: 1999. A reboot that was faithful to the original, but changed the premise slightly to deal with the fact we still have a moon and it’s well past the year 1999!
Both sites proved popular – and unexpectedly so.
Then, one night, four and a half years after creating Star Trek: Sentinel and Space 2049, I was kicking back in my backyard staring up at the stars, when I found myself wondering about other shows that could be rebooted, besides Space: 1999… and SciFi Regen was born. I merged both fan sites together and started adding to them, and here we are.
It’s really important I point out that none of this is authorised. Everything on SciFi Regen is a work of love, written by one fan, and I don’t make any money off the site. In fact, I pay money to make sure the site isn’t monetised in any way.
I really hope you enjoy what’s on offer.
Please feel free to get in touch via the comments section or Twitter @scifiregen.
About the Author
SciFi Regen is owned and written by Jay, an Australian Science Fiction fan.
Jay is a professional writer, having written as a freelance journalist for a number of newspapers, magazines and online science fiction websites – as well as eating out guides and general entertainment websites. He’s also a professional actor and producer, having worked in film, television and on stage.
Jay has been a science fiction fan since childhood, and grew up on the original Battlestar Galactica, Space: 1999, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, V, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and seaQuest DSV.
Jay also has a day job, because he has to pay his bills and pay for this site, but that day job is no where near as exciting as sailing away on a rogue moon, boldy going on the USS Sentinel, voyaging through the ocean on the seaQuest, or battling Draconians with Buck.
For more information on the site, check out the FAQ page.
Thanks for joining me on this voyage of fandom, and I hope you enjoy watching the fictional series’ bibles and scripts come to life as much as I enjoy writing them.