Merch NewsSpace: 1999

INTERVIEW: Andrew E.C. Gaska on Space:1999 To Everything That Was

This Friday, Space:1999 fans will be able to pre-order a new edition of a book that has been out of print for quite some time! First published in 2013 by BLAM! Ventures, To Everything That Was is a Space:1999 graphic novel collection with a difference – but what exactly is To Everything That Was?

If you’re looking for a complete and unedited collection of the original Space:1999 strips from Charlton and Look-in comics, this is not that book! Instead, To Everything That Was took a selection of stories from both of those 1970s comics and used them as the basis for a new Space:1999 saga; one that spanned the transitionary period between the two very different seasons of the television show. Through updating the artwork, revising the text and adding some new material (as well as incorporating characters and plot elements from BLAM’s previous 1999 graphic novel Aftershock and Awe, which focused on events on Earth during the period the Moon broke out of orbit) To Everything That Was attempted to use those old stories to bridge the gap between the two seasons – and explain what happened on Moonbase Alpha to bring such drastic changes to the base less than a year after the Moon left Earth orbit!

We caught up with author Andrew E.C. Gaska to learn more about how To Everything That Was came to be, and what fans can expect from this new edition of the book…

What is To Everything That Was?

To Everything That Was is a curated collection of Space:1999 comics from the 1970s that have been digitally restored and remastered. On top of that, an overarching plot has been added to connect the different stories into a single narrative.

 What was your first exposure to the world of Space:1999 in comic strip form?

I had one or two of the old Charlton black-and-white comic magazines when I was a kid. The printing on them was awful. Large parts of text were often blotted out with ink, and some pages of art were double exposed. I remember being annoyed when I went to a newsstand and found a copy better than mine and feeling like I had been robbed. This is one of the reasons why this project was important to me. I wanted to make these comics as beautiful as they deserved to be.

Can you outline the sequence of events or decisions that lead to the choice made in 2013 to revise or alter events/characters in this collection?

When these comics were drawn way back in the days before VCRs, the artists had often not seen the series. In many cases, they only had publicity stills to go by. Likewise, the writers usually only had early drafts of the pilot script to work with. Because of this, those old comics tended to be wacky and off-character. 

When restoring these books, ITV requested we update the art of the Eagle spacecraft, Moonbase Alpha, and other technologies to be on model. After we began making those changes, we made the decision to make this release a unique experience. We upgraded the art and story to fit the aesthetic, style, and canon of the television series. 

In no way is this collection intended to supplant the old versions—the old issues are readily available on Ebay and at reasonable prices. We decided to give the readers something new.

An example of the artwork restoration and colorisation process.

What are some of the most major changes or revisions to the stories in this collection compared to their original Charlton comics or Look-in incarnations?

Well, of course, these stories are in color now—many for the first time! The main focus of the rewrites is a polishing of dialogue. For example, in these comics as they originally appeared, Commander Koenig would refer to Victor as Dr. Bergman! In the show itself, Bergman always went by Professor, no Doctor—and Koenig never called him anything but his first name, Victor. In addition, connective tissue has been written and in some cases even drawn to link all of the stories included into a single overarching narrative. Finally, the character’s thoughts and reactions are revealed in the form of command-log captions.

The original 2013 edition of To Everything That Was.

What are some of the highlights of the stories included in this book?

Linking material between Seasons 1 and 2 and then beyond 2 towards the inevitable season 3! As Space:1999 fans know, the show underwent a dramatic change in format between seasons. To Everything That Was works to address some of these changes, mainly through the inclusion of second season character Shermeen Williams. Randomly appearing in a single episode (A Matter of Balance), Shermeen is a sixteen year old girl who is somehow on Moonbase Alpha. If you count the days since leaving Earth orbit, as mentioned in the episodes, this would put her at ten years old during the first episode of the show. What was a ten year old doing on Moonbase Alpha? This information is set up in Aftershock and Awe and carried through To Everything That Was

Other highlights include stories with similar themes are connected into multipart sagas. There is also of course amazing art by Gray Morrow and Vincent Alcazar, as well as epic storytelling by the legendary John Byrne.

Some readers may already have the previous release of To Everything That Was; is there anything of interest to them in this new edition? Has any additional restoration work been carried out?

When we completed the book back in 2013, printer restrictions forced us to drop one of the Look-In stories. We had restored and colored it, but there was no way to fit it in the previous release. This new edition includes that missing story, Return of the Vaarkons. In addition, there were plans to carry on the Space:1999 series past To Everything That Was, into Season 3, 4, and 5 of graphic novels. The new printing includes a section with concept art, character descriptions, and a story overview of what could have been.

 What sort of response did you have to the original release of To Everything That Was?

The response was overwhelmingly positive! The book completely sold out within a few short months and has been sought after by Space:1999 fans ever since. A decade later, I still have fans reach out to me on social media hoping I have additional copies for sale.

A reprint of Aftershock and Awe is also coming soon!

BLAM! Ventures also previously released Aftershock and Awe, a look at the events of the first episode of Space:1999 from the viewpoints of unseen characters on both the Moon and Earth. Any chance that this might also get the reprint treatment soon?

Well actually, yes! That book is next on the list, and it includes a never before seen look at a second unproduced Space:1999 series BLAM! Ventures had planned called Mission:Alpha. If these two collections do well, we have plenty of prepped reprint material that we did not get a chance to publish last time around—enough to fill several volumes.

Space:1999 To Everything That Was is available to pre-order from the Official Gerry Anderson from Friday February 24th 2023.

Written by
Chris Dale

Writer, editor & voice actor on Big Finish's Doctor Who, Terrahawks, Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet audio ranges. Host of the Randomiser on the Gerry Anderson Podcast.

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