The Space Voyages YouTube series is an ongoing film/video adaptation of the original Space Voyages canon that began in August 2011 with the release of the first episode on the Ben Boatwright Productions YouTube channel. A total of 106 episodes are planned for the series; the first ten have been produced thus far over a little less than four years. It could be assumed that at a similar rate the entire series could be finished by around 2063, but realistically the overall production schedule is considered indefinite.
Origins and previous attempts at adaptationEdit
The first adaptations of Space Voyages to video and audio media were attempted soon after the original books were written. There were two such failed versions, each of which started with Galactic Journey and did not get much farther. One was to be a production of Cassette Movie Studios, better known for its hour-long epic That Darn Smoker: The Movie, which became the basis for the uncompleted BBP brickfilm That Darn Smoker. It was never completed.
The other slightly better-known attempt was made by Ben Boatwright Productions in 2004 with Frank's character changed to "Anita" since the cast included two female members. Interestingly, several aspects of this production were utilized in the current series: the same metallic fabric was used for the interior of the space capsule, and a live cat was used for Darby. This was in general a much looser adaptation (generally not relying word-for-word on the book), so the movie ends after about eight minutes with Darby arresting the trio in Mutantopolis.
The current series and its relative success came about partly as a result of BBP's decision to retire the Attack of the Aliens franchise following the release of its fifth movie in January 2011. In the tradition of collaboration between Ben and Annabella Boatwright that extended as far back as BBP's standalone adaptation of The Ben and Dorothy Adventures Vol. 10 No. 1: The Magic Art Exhibit in 2004 (which is referenced in Chapter 6 of Galactic Journey), production of the new Space Voyages series was commenced in earnest the following summer with the release of the first two chapters.
Current and planned installmentsEdit
The adaptation of Galactic Journey was completed in 2015, and a second series is now in production. Ideally, the Space Voyages YouTube series will encompass all the books in the canon, involving some 106 individual episodes or "chapters." The eighth book, while incomplete, contains a full chapter listing that gives a good indication of what the unfinished parts would have entailed (plus the director/author remembers fairly well), thus a partial reconstruction or reimagining may make it possible to adapt this final novel to onscreen form.
- Galactic Journey (10 episodes, 2011–2015)
- Thaddeus and the Time Warp Trio (6 episodes, 2017–2019)
- Return to the Red Borkin (10 episodes, 2019–2023)
- Mission to Jada (20 episodes, 2023–2031)
- Beyond the Continuum (25 episodes, 2031–2041)
- Cornelius's Further Doings (15 episodes, 2041–2047)
- Reclaim of the BEFOs (20 episodes, 2047–2055)
- Traitor and Emperor (20 episodes, 2055–2063)
Galactic Journey (2011–2015) Edit
The first series was filmed using a Canon Vixia HF R21 camcorder and Bogen "Manfrotto" tripod. Raw footage was imported to iMovie and then exported using the YouTube HD format, which creates a conveniently deinterlaced 1280x720 HD video file. Post-production occurred primarily in Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects; the final cut was exported using H.264 compression at the same 720p resolution.
Thaddeus and the Time Warp Trio (2017–) Edit
The second series will continue to use the Canon Vixia for filming, although the video resolution will be increased to 1920x1080. Much newer versions of the Adobe Creative Suite will be used, allowing for direct video capture into Premiere that will hopefully result in higher overall video quality. X-Plane 9 will continue to be used for flight simulation.
Possible ramifications for length of production timelineEdit
The nature of the production of the Space Voyages YouTube series requires that Ben and Annabella Boatwright (and any other cast members) be in the same place at the same time, which is usually only for a small fraction of the year. As such, production of the first series proceeded much slower than originally planned, usually with only two or three episodes produced per year. This presents interesting problems for the future of the series, since both actors will probably have aged noticeably from beginning to end (this was already evident in the first series). In any case these changes may become quite humorous as the characters who are supposedly teenagers age by years at a time over the course of the series. Rumors have even circulated that the children of Ben or Annabella Boatwright may eventually be used instead when the original actors have themselves become too old to properly portray thirteen-year-olds. In addition, some future significant other of Ben Boatwright may be cast as Em Shreebob in the sixth series.
Changes in technology may also wreak havoc on the consistency of the series, as the Canon Vixia currently being used will probably be far outdated by the time filming is completed. Thus the episodes over the years could also reflect the advances in video media from the early 2010s onward to the supposed end date of 2055, by which time there could be such things as long sought-after 3D holograms or other immersive experiences.