Space: 1999: Season 1, Episode 13

Matter of Life and Death (27 Nov. 1975)

TV Episode  |   |  Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi
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Dr. Russell's presumed-dead husband mysteriously reappears on a reconnaissance mission to a nearby planet.



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Title: Matter of Life and Death (27 Nov 1975)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Barry Morse ...
Lee Russell
Prentis Hancock ...
Clifton Jones ...
Zienia Merton ...
Anton Phillips ...
Stuart Damon ...


While returning from a reconnaissance mission to a nearby planet which appears to be capable of sustaining life, an Eagle team pass out and the ship is brought back under remote control. Upon arrival a passenger is found aboard the Eagle, who appears to be Dr. Helena Russell's husband, long presumed dead after a failed mission to Jupiter five years prior. The Moon Base Alpha crew must determine how this seemingly impossible situation occurred, all the while slowly drifting out of range of the planet which has offered the promise of a new home. Koenig must decide whether to go ahead with the evacuation to the planet before time runs out, but questions remain about the true nature of Dr. Russell's "late" husband, and whether the planet is truly safe. Written by Clay Daniel

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Release Date:

27 November 1975 (UK)  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


John Oxley is dubbed by Shane Rimmer. See more »


[first lines]
Alan Carter: Commander, we're getting a reading. Eagle One in orbit and holding.
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User Reviews

A minor failure.
1 May 2010 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

"Space: 1999" was, in my opinion, an extremely uneven series--with some very good episodes and just about as many bad ones. I watched all their shows in their first run and have decided to recently watch them again. While "Matter of Life and Death" is not a truly bad episode, it's definitely not a good one.

The show begins with yet another new planet appearing near the wayward Moon. This one looked very promising as a new home, as it was no inhabited and seemed pretty hospitable. However, a bizarre thing happens--something that, inexplicably, no one seemed THAT perturbed about occurs. Dr. Russell's long-assumed dead husband appears!! Now considering he was lost on a Jupiter expedition years earlier AND they are now 19012392347213130813132 from Jupiter, you'd think people would question this just a bit!! But, Russell just assumes the guy is her hubby and the rest seem rather ambivalent about all this. I'd be screaming and dancing about saying "A DEAD GUY JUST APPEARED OUT OF NO WHERE 19012392347213130813132 MILES FROM WHERE HE WAS LOST!!! HOLY CRAP!!!". But again, the reaction is oddly muted.

When this bizarro apparition begins emitting lightening bolts AND tells them that no one should land on the planet because it means death, what does Koenig do?! Yep, he orders a landing and plans to colonize the place!! How stupid can you be?! And, when they do land, trouble naturally breaks out and an incomprehensible and crazy resolution occurs!!!

You know, that I wrote about the plot and thought about it more, it really WAS a bad episode. Watch it if you want...but it's far from the better shows in quality and writing.

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