Being a science-fiction fan I’ve seen some pretty dire TV shows and movies in my time but Space Command, a decade-long production released for the second time to YouTube by the veteran author and screenwriter Marc Scott Zicree, takes this to a whole new level. Starting off as an independent crowd-funded film some controversial decisions by Zicree and company turned the enterprise into a would-be web-series and something of a homage to popular franchises like Star Trek and Babylon 5. Consequently the wannabe drama has no hesitation in making explicit its genre influences, with some toe-curlingly awful dialogue and wooden acting to match the unintentionally retro special effects.

What makes this all the worse is that I can name a dozen short features off the top of my head, some lasting only twenty or twenty-five minutes, that make the hour-long initial episode of Space Command look like the most tragic kind of student film-making. That said, if you want to watch some well-known actors from several cult TV programmes helping out a friend’s passion project, or just plain slumming it, then you will be more than satisfied (if not stupefied). And when that is all over you might want to consider the far superior Star Trek Continues, a fan-made web series set in the fictional ST:TOS universe, that for all its flaws still managed to capture the spirit and imagination of the original show more than this amateurish pastiche of TV science-fiction.

Am I being too harsh?

8 comments on “Space Command

  1. marconatrix

    Thanks, one to avoid I think …

  2. Mira Furlan? Dear God no… Just been rewatching Lost and she is great in it.

    • Isn’t she? Seems a lot of personal favours were called in on this one. Plus some seem to have been desperate for the work. It hoping for something more. It’s pretty atrocious. Even the dialogue is just cringe making

  3. gendjinn

    There’s already enough bad home made SF, why wouldn’t you try your hand at something original?

    Especially when you are up against low budget gems like Primer (2004), The Man From Earth (2007) and Ever Since the World Ended (2001).

    Two months into TV/Movie production halted there are only a few weeks more of new TV shows left. With new movie releases delayed, those are coming to an end too. The Circus of bread and circus is drying up.

    So, you know, in another two months we may all be watching Space Command.

    • “The Man from Earth” is excellent. The follow-up not so much. But that first one actually benefited from the low budget. Such a familiar idea in terms of SF literature but it seemed fresh in SF cinematic terms. Though I’m sure there must have been previous examples. Vampire and Twilight fantasies aside.

      Yeah, gonna be interesting in next few months as fresh TV shows and movies dry up. Though it looks like the US will quickly move to “normal” again regardless of the risks. Though will some of the pampered stars put themselves at risk by going back to work? Judging by the online celebrity meltdowns I suspect they will. Stars without the adulation of stardom seem unable to cope.

      At least the people labouring away on YouTube for years might breathe a sigh of relief that the celebs will eventually go back to their own worlds.

      Watching actors and famous for being famous types muscling into social media and pushing existing online stars and content makers out of the way has made for some spectacle.

      Maybe a lull in Hollywood productions might force the studios to release some of the TV and movie gems in their back catalogues to make a buck?

      • Completely agree re Primer gendjinn. Just a fantastic piece of work. RE shows drying up, Star Trek Discovery of which I have very mixed feelings, is apparently more rather than less ready. But there’s going to be a real dearth isn’t there? Agree ASF, there’s a chance some of the good old stuff might get back into view.

  4. gendjinn

    Pretty much ASF. Be curious to see how the financial pressures work their havoc on the Hollywood industry. I should also add in Sorry to Bother you (2018) and The Endless (2018).

    WbS, you know the Picard series was good. At least the first 7 episodes I watched, and it’s an intriguing premise posing Starfleet as the villain. Seems like better cast, dynamics and writing than Discovery.

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