In 1999, Moonbase Alpha, nestled in the Lunar crater Plato, is a scientific research colony and watchdog over silos of atomic waste from Earth stored on the Moon's far side. On September 13, 1999, magnetic energy builds to cause an explosive chain-reaction of the waste, blasting the Moon out of Earth's orbit and off the plane of the ecliptic, out of the Solar System. The inhabitants of Moonbase Alpha are unable to return to Earth and must survive on their wandering Moon as it is displaced further into unknown space by freak space warps. Along the way, they are joined by an alien woman with the ability to change herself into any living creature at will.Written by
Kevin McCorry <email@example.com>
Noted science fiction writer Isaac Asimov complained that the series had a complete disregard for any scientific accuracy. For instance, he explained that an explosion powerful enough to deorbit the Moon would have destroyed it. Asimov did, however, praise the show's production design, as well as the realistic weightless movements of the astronauts out on the lunar surface. See more »
Between seasons 1 and 2, uniforms and signage were altered in ways that are almost completely cosmetic (such as no rhyme or reason as to why some season two characters are always wearing jackets and others not). This makes no logical sense for a base with limited resources and few opportunities for resupply. See more »
We've had a lot of success so far. We know what dangers to expect out there from black suns, neutron storms, radiation and the like, but if we think we know everything that goes on out there, we're making a terrible mistake!
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During the first season, excerpts for each week's episode were incorporated into the opening credits, more specifically the "This Episode" section, which was something of a Gerry Anderson trademark. See more »
The North American DVD release includes footage not included in original US broadcasts. See more »
OK, after reading a few posts, I had to include one as well. I too was a charter watcher of space 1999, back when the 20th century was but just 3/4 through. I was excited because the Moonbase Alpha was obviously inspired by the Moonbase in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Of course Space 1999 was no 2001, so my expectations were met with disappointment. Early in the first Season my dad came in while "Dragon's Domain" was airing. We both frowned when the tentacled monster came in, seemed every bit as childish as one of those "Lost in Space" episodes with a monster on the prowl, and my dad asked to change the channel, arguing that that show could have been made by any idiot! As much as I hated agreeing with with him I felt the same way, and changed the channel to a nature program. Neither one of us were aware that episode was directed by Charles Crichton (who died in 1999) the man behind the British classic "The Lavender Hill Mob" in 1951 and later "A Fish called Wanda" in 1987!
I continued to watch this show and few weeks later my dad plopped down on the couch for "The Black Sun". This time we were both deeply moved with the same awe and wonder of Kubrick's 2001. To me this type of stuff is science fiction at it's best (Everything Disney's "The Black Hole" should have been). Space 1999 was a mixed bag for me; some of the shows like the one where they became prehistoric cavemen, really sucked, while others were highly imaginative. Several episodes later my dad sat in on another viewing and after awhile, exclaimed that "it's a much more beautifully made show than that one by Desilu!" (referring to "Star Trek").
Space 1999 came out at a time when television was in an interesting era. 1975 yielded a record worst season; the most embarrassing new TV shows to premier and disappear in a single season. Many dreadful sitcoms including one set in a prison (On the Rocks) clearly revealed the desperate state of affairs the entertainment industry was in at the time. Meanwhile an offbeat show featuring never-before-imagined live comedy sketches premiered one late Saturday night and television would never be the same again!
Space 1999 was another attempt to give the audiences something new and I'm glad it lasted as long as it did. Shortly after it's American premier, Barbra Bain appeared on "The Tonight Show" and explained to Johnny Carson why this series was syndicated for broadcast on local channels rather than network television. Producer Gerry Anderson had offered it to the networks who guaranteed only 13 air dates with more to follow...........if the Nielsen ratings were high enough. With 26 episodes already in the can, the only package Gerry would consider was a full season, which the networks balked at. So the big budget show ended up on KHJ channel 9 here in Los Angeles, and after a full season, lasted another round. Some new changes included women in skirts instead the the pantsuits And lovely transmute alien Catherine Schell added some eye candy to the show. Also more humorous overtones were introduced.
Some of these episodes remain with me today, including one where they retrieve an early unmanned Earth spacecraft with the help of a scientist who had engineered the propulsion system; the notorious Quella drive, which was responsible for massive destruction and loss of life including aliens which dispatched scouts to follow and exact revenge upon the planet of origin (Earth).
Really powerful stuff this show could sometimes be! Like Saturday Night Live, and "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman (another syndicated series that came a couple months later which creator Norman Lear said "The show the networks couldn't handle"), Space 1999 was part of a golden era when television was experimenting with new ideas. SNL live took the crown for television and a couple years later "Star Wars" got it for the silver screen, redefining to most what science fiction should be (in that case a western!) But Space 1999 aimed much higher IMHO, seeking out what science fiction can be!
Prior to this show I was a sometimes watcher a previous Gerry Anderson show: "U.F.O." and I really liked his feature "Journey to the Far Side of the Sun" It's too bad creatively in science fiction today is in itself a science.............of just how much money the dam thing is going to make!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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