Space Academy + Jason of Star Command (redesigns)

These shows were geared towards young adults. The writing unfortunately has no consistent world building, no understanding of how space and distances works, no consistent technological rules, and also planets explode willy nilly. Lines like "The temperature is -394 degrees Celsius - Absolute Zero!" is blatant misinformation.

Ship scenes are quite decent, thanks to the significant special effect budget. Some of the Star Command characters are fun. There's Drogos and his mad laugh. The blue commander who somehow reminds me of Gomez from Addams Family + Thrawn. Nicole has a neato uniform. Season 2 replaces Nicole with a powerful woman, and then does nothing with her. I think Blake's 7 did the same thing. The use of asteroid ships is quite rare in sci-fi.

I think for a story of my own I'd go for something a bit more restrained. I'd limit travel mechanics, kill off most/all Deus ex machina ESPers. Perhaps something traditional like Empire vs Rebels could work. I'm thinking of using abhuman descendants from a lost seed ship.

The yellow star drive can jump between systems, but works poorly in empty space far from stars. When the Warp Dragons invaded (there's some suggestions of a 40K-like warp in Star Command), the galaxy was forced into a prolonged war. It eventually became clear that things could end very badly. So, a red drive was developed, capable of propelling large arks to other galaxies, although slower than the yellow system-system drives. The journeys would be long and likely uneventful, so the arks would feature a robotic crew and seed banks. Most arks were sent to nearby satellite galaxies. The Milkyway has many small satellite galaxies at various distances, but perhaps the story will follow an ark which arrived at Andromeda or one of its satellites. There were complications and a different culture than intended emerged.

More ships. I've been musing every now and then that gravitic floor plating or hover tech in sci-fi shows could perhaps be used to drive a dynamo, because sometimes it seems like AG systems use very little power. It's a can of worms though. Is there a lampshade big enough for it?

I'm thinking that Adams are a "second variety of humans" (men) who need to wear a bio suit. Adams are physically larger than normal humans (women). Not many are hatched by the seed ship/colonies because damage to the gene banks after a collision + delay. Fixable, but now resisted by the momentum of the established culture.

Star Maidens (redesigns)

This show is somehow much more literate, with an asteroid fly-by causing indirect damage to a planet and altering its orbit, forcing people underground as temperatures plummet. It seems to understand basic flight mechanics and distances, though a planet changing solar system within the suggested timeframe is unlikely.

Maybe I can merge these two settings into one.

Buck Rogers

I don't know much about Buck Rogers but ordered S1 on DVD. I liked the white uniforms that I saw images of. The Buster Crabbe series might be interesting to check out too.

Well, I've looked at the original newspaper serials, Famous Funnies, the Crabbe movie/series, 1979 version, toys... and the material varies quite a bit through the eras. I think some of the older ship designs are good, but the series is lacking in iconic designs like Storm Trooper baddies and Tie Fighters. It seems Ardala and Killer Kane are perhaps the only irredeemable reoccurring baddies. Each story is more focused on exotic locations and factions and some sort of understanding being worked out. There are advantages to this kind of episodic approach which Doctor Who and Star Trek did so well, but not having an iconic evil empire hurts the toy line, which in the case of BR mostly consisted of a bunch of characters.

The ship specs are all over the place, but there are a few reoccurring shapes and models so it might be possible to piece together a fleet lineup. In the comic strips, anti-gravity and mass manipulation is a big theme, so gravitic drive technology could make sense. Perhaps the rocket exhaust is just... sparkly exhaust from a reaction rather than the propulsion itself. The sides of the ship feature pipes which could be part of gravitic stabilisation. Above and below the "engine" are two radiators. Gravitic and mass manipulation technology could also be used for deflection and shielding. This would make mass driver weapons less effective (but still devastating against unshielded planetary locations).

It's tough to design a good mindless goon trooper suit. Star Wars did very well with the plastic'y Storm Troopers. No unique markings, anonymised, clean, no cloth to make posable action figures difficult. V did well too. So many shows have tried and failed, and I'm not getting anywhere here either I feel.

The original book, Armageddon 2419, presents the Han/Mongols as the antagonist empire. There was a big war and the Han later swept in and came out on top, then grew kinda decadent and arrogant over time... a natural effect no empire is immune to, it is argued. The Han don't really have good fighting troops which limits their use in stories. There's some racism showing through along with attempts to mitigate it. In a later story the Han are revealed to be alien hybrids and not regular Chinese humans.

The syndicated 3-panel comic strip, which renamed the hero from the book to "Buck", moves on to new and fanciful antagonists and environments every so often. In the '40s TV series the baddies are racketeers. In the '79 version the Draconians (seemingly humans from another sector of space) are reoccurring but many episodes are sort of standalone adventures on some theme. In the PnP RPG some Martian corporation is creating genetically manipulated monsters.

Maybe a North & South theme is a bit too serious for an adventure setting.

A different take on Buck Rogers could be to freeze multiple protagonists (6-20) for five centuries. These are Captain America or 40K Primarch type super soldiers). They wake up in a world where remnant technology is poorly understood, and overthrow the decadents in power. After ushering in a new era of space travel various aliens are encountered (like in the newspaper strips).

Battlestar Galactica

I saw parts of the original TV series first and didn't like it much. When the new one came out I rather liked it at first, but soon it felt... attenuated and flailing.

Haphazard shop redesigns above. I added some sort of massive turreted accelerator guns, one in super-firing position. The side pontoons are detachable carriers. So BSG here is a carrier-carrier, I guess. My idea was that attaching carriers (or whatever) allow for cheaper jumps and splitting up gives greater flexibility/coverage in-system.

Containers drawn as 3x3x9m here could be colour coded for life support level 0-3. 0: Unshielded, not airtight, used for transport of raw materials or in scenarios where exposure to space is unlikely. 1: Lightly shielded, airtight. 2: Shielded with minimal life support systems. 3: Well shielded with advanced life support systems installed, often used as improvised furnished quarters. Container crews continually monitor the health and status of onboard containers. When a ship is partially destroyed, level 3 containers can provide shelter and are sometimes used as escape capsules if equipped with a specialised engine. Atmospheric entry in a container ship is however inadviseable.

Depending on the level of automation, and ship system/structure density... I guess a 700m carrier could have a complement between a few hundred and tens of thousands. In the show it's twice as long.

If you just, perhaps very dumbly, scale up specs for a modern carrier twice and twice to approach BSG's 1.5km, you'd get 75x64 vipers and a complement of 4500x64 souls. BSG had 150 vipers and 5000 crew. Perhaps it was mostly thick armour, to weather the nukes.

How often does a spaceship have to resupply? I think spaceship self-sufficiency would depend on outpost density, and whether it can easily jump or just slow travel. Filtering, recycling and hydroponics tech could be as advanced as the story requires, Getting similar treatment as FTL drives, personal force fields, etc. In Star Trek, water probably isn't purified chem/mechanically.

The way I usually estimate crew size is... I scale all systems for one crew. Living quarter, corridor, work station (subject to crew rotation probably), drive+fuel, bulkhead, plumbing, armour, life-support, etc. etc. So if I arrive at a value of 1728cu.m (12m^3) per person and ship is 8.64M cu.m that's 5K crew. But, it might be easier to divide the ship into ship systems and crew systems first.

Above I drew somewhat generous crew quarters & related systems.

Vertical hydroponics could be very efficient in the future. They use barely any water compared to outdoor farms, growth is faster and the edible portion of plant is larger. there's no need for weeding & pesticides. It's local and nutrient pickup works differently so supposedly the taste is fresher. It does use more energy, but that might be irrelevant on a ship with a warp-core. Not suitable for tall crops but those could have been modified by then.

Perhaps an additional grocery bag worth of dry food and other consumables is needed to sustain a person weekly. Assuming a volume of 1/16th of a cubic meter it means more than a year of supplies in 4 cubic meters of box storage.

Water purification plants could be simplified somewhat, because the crew will not flush dangerous chemicals, firearms, rags or bicycle tires. A coagulant is used to lump up particles which are then sedimented and pressed into a dry powder (centrifuge or roller). The remaining water is filtered then heavily UV bombarded.

I guess it might make some sense to decentralise things like AC, hydroponics, water supply. It'd make the ship less vulnerable and you could even manufacture near self-sufficient crew modules that could go into any hull design. Less plumbing and transport concerns. Makes it easier to do things like hangar-nacelle/pontoon separation too.


The Omega Class Destroyer always felt very imposing and relentless, bearing down. Perhaps it was the hypnotising spinning/drilling movement. I'm not into bigships and the Omega design feels like it's sub 300 meters (naval size) given the detail scaling. People like the Starfury but I think it's a bit too sprawly/branchy (things sticking out of things sticking out). I think they reused those blades on the engines on other larger ships.

Apparently the formula for calculating G-force inside spinny habitats is:

0.00001118 * (METER_RADIUS*100CM) * (RPM)^2

A constant of 0.001118 for meters I guess. So Omega class spinny thing in the show seems to be ~485m across, /2 for radius, -10m armour. A RPM of 2 gives an outer 1.04G

0.00001118 * (((485/2)-10)*100) * (2)^2

RPM looks a tad higher in videos tho?

The RPM value quite significant as a scaler here. My own smaller Omega has a spinny thing with a 35m radius, so an RPM of 4 (15 seconds) yields 0.63G which is probably quite comfortable, maybe even advantageous to 1G.

I speculated elsewhere that the spinny things can float with zero friction if the ship is drifting. Maybe some sort of retractible drive clamps.

The Maebari are early antagonists to the Earth Confederation in the popular sci-fi series Baalzebul-4.

Yeah, that might not make sense unless you're familiar with B5's timey-wimey stuff. I heard much of the Babylon 5 political/story arc was planned from the start (5 years), but because a relevant actor had to leave after some mental health issues maybe they had to alter the B4 thing. Turned out great though, that twist.

Anyways, who knows what other temporal twists and turns await OUR heroes in... BAALZEBUL 4. Action figures available from Mabuttel this xmas!

I'm just changing designs willy-nilly for this paraphrase.

Londo Mollari's big hair was apparently the result of a deadpan joke the actor made about the hair/wig needing to be much bigger and crazier than it already was. Prop maker didn't pick up on it and made the thing that the actor got stuck with for the rest of the show...

Art by Arne Niklas Jansson -