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Features: Articles & Interviews

Interview with Éric Bernard

By Michael A. Faries

Eric Bernard is known within fan circles for privately, professionally re-editing and enhancing various episodes of the Space: 1999 television series. His work first came to the attention of at the MainMission:2000 convention in September 2000. After screening various episodes, we were truly impressed by the quantity -- and professional quality -- of Eric's work. While some people may feel the original work stands on its own merits (and shouldn't be altered), Eric has managed to preserve -- and improve upon -- various episodes. We talked with him about his projects. also wishes to apologize for the delay in bringing this interview online. We do regret the delays. We do hope that Space: 1999 fans spread the word about Eric's work... and see the amazing accomplishments he's made thus far. (This article may be reprinted in full, sans editing, for non-commercial use based on's Open Content Model.) We wish to thank Eric Bernard for the interview and being inspirational; our thanks extend to Richard Bendell as well. We hope to bring you more insights about Eric's ongoing work in the near future.

Eric as Commander Koenig. Eric, you're a long-time Space: 1999 fan. When did you first see the show?

I first saw the show in french in 1975. I was (and still am) a TV addict. I saw everything from the Six Million Dollar Man to the Incredible Hulk... from Star Trek to Kojak. You name it, I watched it.

But Space: 1999 was special to me. (You can even see me in my small Commander Koenig outfit.)

Even years after it was first broadcast in Quebec, I was still talking about it as a incredible show. Reruns began again in 1984, at five o' clock right after school, and you would find me each day sitting in front of the TV.

In fact, you could say that if I am working in television now it is because of Space: 1999 and all those great TV series. THOSE SHOWS had one thing in common: THEY WERE PURE ENTERTAINMENT!

Faux Star Trek set/episode.In my last year of school in 1992, I had to do a television project. I wanted to do a Space: 1999 episode. Unfortunately, I couldn't replicate the command center or the special effect with the equipment I had at school. I turn to another sci-fi series, Star Trek. With a small budget and a lot of time, I was able to produce a 30 minute Star Trek episode in FRENCH. It looked cheezy and the effect are bad also... like the original series, BUT IT WAS GREAT FUN AND A REAL LEARNING EXPERIENCE. (picture 02)

Let's describe your work: As a fan, you took six episodes from Space: 1999 Year One and re- edited, remastered, and enhanced them in various ways. The results yielded were phenomenal. The term "professional work" is no exaggeration -- you have literally created new masterpieces from the original episodes. In many ways, each revamped episode had better pacing, subtle enhancements, and in some cases, editing and additions which greatly improved the original episode. The revamped episodes weren't butchered or hacked; they completely retained their original feel.

Thank you. I am really pleased you and others have enjoyed them.

For your work, you chose:

When did you start doing this?

Well, I first started to work on the revamped Space: 1999 five years ago. What i wanted to do was very simple. To put the french soundtrack from TV on a better quality picture: the laserdisc. I just had to digitize the french sound and the laserdisc picture into my computer at work and then transfer it onto a professional Betacam tape.

How did you choose each episode? Did you plan to do one or two episodes, then continue?

I started with "Testament of Arkadia," only because it is one of my favorite episodes. I didn't know at the time which episode would be next.

  From "Eyes of Triton" - new F/X.
From "Eyes of Triton" - new F/X.

Stills from "Eyes of Triton," the re-edited version of "Ring Around the Moon." (Click to enlarge.)
When did you envision the edits/changes?

While I was working on it, I asked myself if I should modify some editing error. (An Eagle on the wrong side of the pod, for example.) Or some effect that I didn't really like. I had the machine to do it, but didn't know what I was getting into.

What materials did you work with? (Laserdiscs, DVDs, editing hardware/software, transfer equipment.)

The pictures are from the laserdiscs. The DVDs were not available at the time unfortunately. I am using an AVID Meridian system version 8.2. Also, some software like Photoshop, After Effect and Commotion.

How was the workload? How did you storyboard/plan the changes?

The workload was heavy, especially since I didn't use any storyboard. I was going one step at a time, starting at the beginning. Working after hours at work, I didn't count my hours, but we are talking about many nights for many months just for one episode.

Continued >

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