Welcome to SciFi Mojo, a science fiction news and review site – with a twist.
Twist? The blog also takes a fan fiction style look at a couple of classic scifi television shows from yesteryear (Space: 1999 and Buck Rogers in the 25th Century) and reimagines them (as faithfully as is reasonable) for a modern audience, while also playing around with two current science fiction giants (Star Trek and Star Wars).
Because fans will be fans!
As mentioned, SciFi Mojo also features science fiction news and personal ruminations (about science fiction in general) on it’s main page. The site focuses primarily on scifi on the small screen, because I love and admire the art of long-form story-telling.
The site also reports on space exploration, and our efforts to return to the moon and visit Mars.
Now… some of you might have felt a twitch coming on when the word ‘reimagine’ was used. I apologise for that. But, as the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy recommends:
It’s true that re-imaginings, reboots and remakes have a bumpy history.
When they’re good, they range from that, to brilliant.
When they’re bad, they are disastrous.
And, of course, sometimes they go from good or brilliant, to downright terrible in the space of just one season.
Take 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 (and logic).
Not even the return of the amazing Jane Badler could save the show from the mistakes it made.
SciFi Mojo aims to do everything in its power to modernise our pet projects (mentioned at the start of this ‘about’ page), without killing the soul of the thing millions of people still love today.
And I love too!
Remake vs Reboot vs Re-imagining
What’s the deal? Is there actually a difference between the three?
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 everyone’s sanity, let’s not care which is what.
I’m pretty sure if we do, we’ll all go mad.
Why reboot anything?
Some stories deserve, and even need, to be told again – so that 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 remakes 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 and now is considered a positive choice by most fans.
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 original 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 (alternative timelines). Brilliant.
Moore and Eick’s BSG, in particular, warmed up my creative juices and inspired me, and is to blame for this site/blog.
Suddenly, there was hope for the shows I’d loved in my childhood (and still love in my adulthood), that had seemed destined to fade out of pop culture over time. But, it should be mentioned, haven’t.
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 so that I could play around with ideas that were shouting at me from inside my head, and share them with other fans.
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 on independent productions to imagine a new start for two universes in particular that I loved, and that, at the time I started all of this (the end of 2014 and beginning of 2015), didn’t look like they were coming back to TV.
Star Trek and Space: 1999.
There had been a previously announced Space: 1999 reboot called Space: 2099, but it sort of faded away. Reliable reports say the project is dead, but no official announcement has been made – so who really knows?
It’s unlikely, though, that anything is happening there.
To be honest, I’m a little relieved about that. I’m a fan of Jace Hall, one of the creatives behind that reboot, but he and his team were taking their version in a direction I wasn’t very excited about.
The Star Trek idea, called Star Trek: Sentinel, focused on a period in Trek history that I personally loved more than any other – the TNG timeline. I wanted to see something set pretty much immediately after Star Trek: Voyager and the destruction of Romulus as seen in Star Trek (2009 – before the altered timeline kicked in), and I wanted to know what happened to Saavik, a character I felt was criminally underused.
Of course, Star Trek: Discovery was announced about six or so months later, and I was over the moon, but I kept going, because as exciting as Discovery sounded, it wasn’t in an era I was overly interested in, and… Saavik!
The Space: 1999 story ended up taking most of my time. I am a Trekker through and through, but I really love Space: 1999. No idea why, but when I was a child I really connected with the show and its characters, and that connection has never dimmed.
Both sites proved popular – and unexpectedly so.
Over time, the two sites evolved, until one night, four and a half years after creating Star Trek: Sentinel and what was then called Space 2049 (and then Space: 2059 thanks to a little Blade Runner sequel), I decided to merge everything together and add an additional show or two to the mix.
There were a lot of reasons for the merge, but mostly it was because I was paying for two sites, working at a stressful job with a lot of on call work, and I needed to streamline my life a bit… and so SciFi Mojo was born, and has been going strong ever since.
If you’re wandering around on the site, I hope you enjoy it. It’s nothing more than a fan’s labour of love. Another way of looking at it is as self-indulgent therapy. Some people relax by drinking beer or wine, others by going for a run, and some of by flexing our creative muscles. For me, it’s flexing my creative muscles in imaginary universes I love.
It’s important to mention that the most important word in the above paragraph is fan.
None of this is authorised. Everything on SciFi Mojo 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.
It’s been a lot of fun, and wonderful for my mental health, and continues to be, and I’ve had some wonderful conversations with fellow fans who have been interested in some of the stuff that pours out of my head.
Before I wrap this ‘about’ page up, I should probably mention why I added in Star Wars and Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.
Despite the old saying in fandom that you’re either a Trek fan or a Wars fan, I’m both. And really, so are a lot of people. My disappointment at the way the Skywalker Saga was ended in Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker is the main reason behind including a Star Wars idea on the site.
The Mandalorian is great, and so are the other Star Wars shows that have come out recently, but they’re all tainted with the way the sequel trilogy wrapped things up – for me.
Playing in the universe of Star Wars is, for me, about removing that taint. The sequel movies are well made, well acted, well written, and have stunning effects, but they shat all over my childhood. That’s pretty blunt, but also very true.
With Buck, it’s just pure love. The 1980s show is as campy as camp gets. The pilot movie is fantastic, and it’s first season had some great stories. The second season was a complete disgrace, but not enough of a disgrace to hide the potential that still exists in Glen A. Larson’s idea. With a few tweaks, and a little modernisation, I honestly believe it would be a hit with modern streaming audiences today.
If you want to geek out with me and talk all things sci-fi, get in touch via the comments section or on Twitter @scifimojo.
About the Author
SciFi Mojo 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 and general entertainment websites. He’s a published playwright, and was also a professional actor and producer, working in both independent film and television, broadcast 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, and Star Trek: The Next Generation.
He also has a day job, because he has to pay his bills and pay for this site. Jay is a recognised expert in disaster recovery and has worked across multiple major disasters in Australia in recent years. He’s also an award-winning mental health professional with over twenty years experience in his field.
For more information on the site, check out the FAQ page.
I’m the head of Endlight Entertainment, and we have a really cool new Docu-Comedy about Trek called TREKOFF! We have a super cool, but also very formal press release we’d love to send you but don’t wanna post some spammy thing here in the thread. Where’s best to send this so you can check it out (and hopefully give it some love on your site!) ?
Hey Justin! Watched it. Loved it! Promoted it. Am hoping you guys think about doing a sequel.
Cheers for getting in touch!
Just read the review. Was hoping you would like it, so very very glad you did! Now off to call my cohost Alexia and squee over it a bit!! 🙂
Huge thanks for promoting the film! Do you have any other social channels we can boost to our fanbase? Facebook? Twitter? Etc.?
Welcome aboard and feel free to reach out any time! Hailing frequencies open!
And if this movie does well enough you may just get your wish for a sequel!
Hey! Thanks for that, no need for promotion – but I really appreciate the offer!!! Just keep churning out podcasts (and another doco). You guys are just what Trek fandom needs!
Does anyone know how/who to get in touch with to pitch story’s for the new Star Trek tv show….email@example.com
Hi Bobby, from what we know to date, the new series won’t be taking unsolicited scripts (scripts that don’t come through an agent) right now. That might change once the series finds it’s legs after season one. If you’re still keen to contact CBS, their address is:
555 West 57th Street
New York, NY 10019
Just be aware that most networks will shred any unsolicited scripts they are sent without reading them, to avoid someone accusing them of stealing their ideas.
It’s not the answer you were looking for, but if you’re serious about writing for television, the best thing to do is develop up an original idea, get some crowdfunding support behind you, and use it to attract an agent.
If CBS opens Star Trek up for unsolicited scripts, I’ll report on it on by blog.
Another way to get into the industry is through existing fan films. You can always pitch an idea to New Voyages, Continues or another fan production.
If you go the route of developing up your own idea or submitting to a fan production – I sincerely wish you the best of luck!
Would love it if you guys did a review of Star Trek Horizon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l94v4YOqxOc
I will do – thanks for the suggestion! I starting watching Horizon this morning on the long train trip to work… and I was dumbfounded. I can’t believe what Tommy and his team have achieved. I’ll be watching the rest this evening on the way home and will definitely review it. :o)