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In 1982 ITC New York Offices decided to edit together 4 episodes of Space: 1999 to create 2 more Gerry Anderson movies to rap up their 'Super Space Theatre' series which would be broadcast on American television. This was their first Space: 1999 movie made by editing together two episodes of Space: 1999 from Season 2 'Metamorph' and 'Space Warp'. 5 minutes was cut from each episode to bring the total length to 95 minutes (the maximum for a 2 hour television slot on American television). In addition annoying video animated opening and ending titles were added and music from the first series of Space: 1999 which is a contrast to the Season 2 music. They even added music from two other Gerry Anderson series 'Joe 90' and 'UFO'.For some reason the producer's also decided to change the dialogue of the Grasshopper alien in the 'Space Warp' section, in favour of an irritating Star Wars joke, as the Grasshopper is now called 'Vader, Commander of the Wileys Interplanetary Star Fleet'. Having said this the episodes do blend together well and the added music isn't too bad, even if sometimes it overlap's with the original soundtrack! It does however deserve some amount of respect, because it was one of the first glimpses British fans had of the series on video in the mid 80's when Channel 5 video released it. Anyone who likes Space: 1999 should enjoy this movie, but it is not always faithful to the original material and the ITC London made 'Destination Moonbase Alpha' and 'Alien Attack' are much more faithful to the show.
Far in the future (1999!) humanity (i.e., Western non-Communist
nations) has colonized the Moon on Moonbase Alpha, using the far side
of it as a dumping ground for nuclear waste. Then calamity strikes! The
nuclear waste on the far side spontaneously explodes (don't you hate it
when that happens!) and the Moon is sent hurtling (intact) out of
Earth's orbit at millions of miles an hour! If you can believe that,
then you might find a modicum of enjoyment from this "movie".
"Cosmic Princess" is basically two non-sequential episodes of "Space 1999" spliced together, which explains the lack of continuity in the middle of the film. The first part involves our heroes being held hostage by an Orson Wells impersonator with dyed hair who controls the whole of the planet through a computer made out of bubbling beaker fluids. The crew of Moonbase Alpha (I can't remember any of their names) eventually escape with the mad scientists's shape shifting daughter, Maya, the so-called Cosmic Princess. Maya is able to take on such princessly forms as: a lion, a dove, man in a gorilla suit, man in an anthropomorphic insect suit, and her father (hair, clothes and all).
In the second half, two crew members are stranded in space and struggle to catch up to the Moon (it fell into a time warp) as Maya loses control of her shape shifting abilities and runs amok on Moonbase Alpha. Checking around on the internet, the two episodes spliced together (The Metamorph and Space Warp) are actually the 1st and 14th episodes of the 2nd season of Space 1999. I bring this up because in the 2nd half of the movie it is difficult to understand why Maya isn't just blasted away after she kills some people and starts wrecking the base.
As a MST3K episode, the riffing is OK; much better in the 2nd half, especially during the intense 5mph moon buggy chase scene near the end. It originally aired during the Super Bowl in 1989 so there are a lot of football references in the breaks during the movie.
Space: 1999's unfairly maligned second season opened with "The Metamorph", wherein the personnel of Moonbase Alpha are threatened by an obsessive alien scientist on an awesomely realized planet of volcanoes, a scientist intent upon transforming his boiling planet back to the temperate, Earth-like habitat that it once had. Technically, the production of "The Metamorph" is admirable by any standards, culminating in a spectacular planetary explosion, and "The Metamorph" is also the vehicle for the introduction of Maya, biologically transforming daughter of the obsessive scientist on Moonbase Alpha. "Space Warp" is a later second season episode of Space: 1999 wherein Maya is stricken with fever and visions of her home planet's extinction and molecular-transforms into rampaging beasts in a vain effort to return to her planet of origin, an exciting premise that most viewers fail to appreciate because Space: 1999 is not allowed the same licence to use monsters of the kind that made Doctor Who so very popular. Cosmic Princess is an editing together of "The Metamorph" and "Space Warp" with bulk scene deletion and a blending of drastically different musical scores from Space: 1999's two seasons, and as such it is not the ideal way to watch Space: 1999's second season.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I grew up during 1960s and 1970s and there's still a lot of television
from this period that I enjoy The Avengers, Rat Patrol, Hogan's
Heroes, Charlie's Angels, and Mission: Impossible just to name a few
examples. I bring this up because Cosmic Princess is essentially two
episodes of Space: 1999, a syndicated sci-fi television program
produced from 1975 to 1977. I was never a fan so cobbling two episodes
together and calling it a movie has very little appeal to me. In a
word, it's as dull as dishwater. Things take forever to happen. It's
tedious to the nth degree. The sets and scripts make the original Star
Trek (another show I'm not a big fan of) look like they spent a
fortune. Maybe someone who actually enjoyed Space: 1999 would find
something to like about Cosmic Princess (and I know the show has fans),
but I'm not that person.
Because Cosmic Princess is two episodes of Space: 1999, there are two distinct plots. The first (originally called The Metamorph) finds the crew of Moonbase Alpha in the clutches of Mentor (Brian Blessed) who wants to drain their souls to power a machine he hopes to use to restore his planet to its former glory. I'll admit, Blessed's performance is a treat. The man is an awesome actor. The crew escapes with Mentor's daughter, Maya, just before the planet blows up. In the second half of Cosmic Princess (originally titled Space Warp), Maya transforms herself into a hideous being and goes on a rampage attempting to escape and return to her home planet. The highlight of this segment is an unintentionally hilarious moon buggy chase.
Like many people who have seen Cosmic Princess in the past few years, I did so via a low quality DVD-R of an old Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode. This particular episode of MST3K was part of the Minneapolis public-access run before the show hit the "big time". Some of the jokes work, but like a lot of the KTMA shows, the riffs are far too inconsistent to call it good. I'll give it a 2/5 on my MST3K rating scale.
Ah, I was so fortunate enough to see this on a KTMA MST
I can see why it is a made for TV movie which really should have been a
for compost heap. Really cheesy special effects, groovy 70's space
clothing, mindless action which gradually distracts the viewer from
realizing the mind numbingly stupid plot can all be found in this
of Star Trek and c**p.
Even a less wrinkly Martin Landau couldn't produce any enjoyment from this. The first half deals with some alien with a really bad hairstylist kidnapping Landau and crew while planning for ruling the universe. Here, we meet Maya (also has bad tastes in salons) who has the ability to change forms through crappy 70's style scene cutting. In the second half of this torture, Landau is separated from the moon base and must figure out how to get back there. Also, to figure out if anyone has been following the storyline. A real hilarious part is when Maya starts tripping out and tearing up the moon base after changing into what looks like a giant mop monster. Lots of bodies flying, slow motion body slams, and crappy studio space sets still cannot save this film. But, to cope with these types of movies, MST3K always helps the easen the pain. Best watched with chips and booze.
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