Space was a bit rickety in the 1970s, if you look at the stuff I watched as a kid. However, of all the shows that showed outer space as being… well, futuristic, Space: 1999 was up there as one of the best. It was certainly expensive, which blew shows like Dr Who and Blake’s 7 out of the water in terms of believability. However, if I’m honest, it was the Eagles that made the show. I still maintain that as a realistic and practical Earth-designed transporter, you could really not do as well as this.
This drabble was probably the easiest of all six to imagine: yet again, we’re going back to a point before the show’s timeline is formally established. The decisions made in the name of political expediency was a logical lead-in, the consequences of the losing your major satellite was never really considered. These 100 words owe a great deal to the disaster movies I love as a guilty pleasure, with a particular nod to 2012. If you’ve never seen it, you really should.
September 12th, 1999
It could really happen, they said.
Scientific reports were conveniently ignored for expediency, clamour from the provinces. Too much nuclear waste, nowhere left to bury it. The moon was easy, simple, far away from public attention. Advisors were clear: if the stuff stayed on earth, millions could die.
The US President sits on Air Force One, on his way to a secure bunker in the Rockies. Now it wasn’t about millions, but billions. If the Moon’s instability continued, it could detach from Earth orbit. If that happened… consequences would be apocalyptic.
Welcome to my youth. This was a formative influence on me, and indeed remains a significant part of my life. Both my kids watched this whilst growing up. I still watch them, even though I never really associated with the female characters at all. If truth be told, I wanted to fly Thunderbird One: I still do, in dreams, racing across the planet to save people who need help.
However, as an adult I found myself wondering what disaster must have done to Jeff Tracy. As the widower with five sons, what had driven him to create the organisation in the first place?
My drabble offers a possible solution.
He sits quietly after their counselling session, finally confident this mind can be at peace. You are not responsible for your wife’s death: she chose to sacrifice herself, saving the boys, then him. Dr Fisher laid it all out, quietly reinforcing the truth.
Elizabeth Tracy rescued them, without thought.
Bringing up five boys under ten had almost broken him, but the tide had turned. Key backers agreed to assist him yesterday, Brains’ plan which would finally ensure that if anyone else found themselves as his family had back then, they could be saved.
It’s probably best to start with an apology. This week’s writing aspirations, pretty much across the board, fell through the floor, thanks to a mental health incident on Monday. It has taken until today to sort everything out, rearrange plans and generally pick myself up from the fallout. The last time this occurred with a comparable level of severity was the moment I realised that my life needed a comprehensive redo about five years ago.
This time around however there’s enough support and coping mechanisms in place to allow things to bounce back with relative ease. It also helps that various new means of relaxation have been introduced into my routine as means to deal with the fallout objectively. Putting those things together means that there’s no need to suddenly delete a lot of stuff from the site and then simply pretend all these things were never planned in the first place.
Yup, that’s how I used to cope with failure: ironic in the week when a major Government official retro-edited his blogs to make him look smarter than is undoubtedly the case, I’m not the only person who when they fuck up tries to cover their tracks. No longer do we do this stuff: time to be honest, up front, before rescheduling everything in a more acceptable and realistic time frame.
The amended timescales for the drabbles is up: first two will appear on June 8th. The weekly poetry (graphic above) will get finished tomorrow and then go up as a complete, new piece on Sunday. We’ll start again next week, and move forward with some important changes to the way things get planned and presented. Plus, there’s some important behind the scenes faffing going on…
Thank you for understanding, and let’s move forward.
The polls are done. The numbers (small, but perfectly formed) have been tallied.
I have six pieces of genre content to write on.
Work has already commenced on two, one’s an idea I’ve carried since they remade one of these into a movie… the rest will be with you Soon [TM]. The plan is to present two drabbles a day across the week of May 25th-31st. I’ll design custom graphics for them all, and when they’re done we’ll make a special page for them in the Short Story area of the website. Can’t say fairer than that.
As a result, we’ll have a full rundown of titles and synopses next week.
Today’s been all about getting dragged, kicking and screaming, outside your comfort zones. I have pulled some Patreon work because, after due consideration, it wasn’t good enough. I’ve been writing experimental poetry all afternoon and it’s making me feel really uncomfortable. Oh yes, and then I laid my life bare in quite an unexpected fashion via Social media…
I was only there for four years, but the influences were massive, many and varied. Here's my three most outstanding from TV, Film, Radio and other genre sources (yes those existed back in the B&W days…) pic.twitter.com/FNzu44keTw
I’d not anticipated how hard this would be until the weekend, when part of my general discomfort was around just how much of my past would be hauled up for general inspection. As it happens, there’s a lot to be said for these choices being made as the right ones, when it would have been an awful lot easier to pick from some generic, obvious alternatives. This way, I will be challenged.
These first two polls are now up and running, and the results will be known in 48 hours. I’ll throw them about a bit later today and tomorrow too, just to see if I can garner a decent range of responses. After all, you never know who might pick these up and ping them into the Void for me… and it means that the results will end up as a genuine surprise. I’m not checking the polls until they’re done.
If we're honest, I grew up as an ITV girl. The BBC only really gets a mention in dispatches. I didn't pick Dr Who as an option either, because it would be too easy on reflection. This was a hard task… pic.twitter.com/XXaoJGf9UX
Once I know the results, I’ll fill in my graphic, and then we can get on with the business of writing. The plan is to have all six drabbles up in their own separate area by the end of the month: if this is successful, we’ll repeat the process with some new things later in the year. As always, it’s about working out whether your content is interesting enough to attract new people not only to your work, but also to potentially stick around as an audience…
I’m still having trouble with a corrupted text file from last week, which is why at some point (probably tomorrow) you’ll see the rest of the Dr Who Fanfic appear on the site. Whilst I was sorting out these bits of my past, I’ve been enjoying an project doing the rounds: #SixFanarts, where Twitter Artists are using their own interests in fandom to draw classic characters from the places that have influenced their existences.
It occured to me this would be a great thing to do with fanfiction, and as it’s been a while since I flexed my creative muscles in that direction, it’s high time that changed. Therefore, for May, we’ll be making some interesting decisions using Twitter Polls, hashtags and graphics packages. I have plenty of shows that mattered a great deal to me growing up. Time to give the past an appropriate moment in the sun.
It’s simple, really: I’ll be posting some threads, starting next week, on both my ‘work’ and ‘personal’ Twitter, asking people to suggest either a) a TV show b) a game or c) a film from the six particular decades listed that I can use as basis for a drabble. This does also remind me that I’ve been alive during seven decades, which is not something to dwell upon, but it does grant a massive scope for potential.
I’ve had a number of conversations in the last few weeks that have highlighted stuff I’d forgotten about in TV terms, especially from the 1970’s, so it seems like a good idea to open discussion a bit to see if there’s anything else that has been lost to the mists of time. After all the votes get collated, I’ll present you with the goods. Can’t say fairer than that. It also gives me summat useful to concentrate on other than poetry.
Let’s see where this new adventure takes us, shall we?