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Destination Moonbase-Alpha (1978)

Lunar colonists of Moonbase Alpha are marooned in space after a nuclear explosion pushes the Moon out of its orbit and a rescue spaceship from the Earth is not what it seems to be.

Director:

Tom Clegg

Writers:

Gerry Anderson (creator), Sylvia Anderson (creator) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Martin Landau ... Commander John Koenig
Barbara Bain ... Dr. Helena Russell
Catherine Schell ... Maya
Tony Anholt ... Tony Verdeshi
Nick Tate ... Alan Carter
Zienia Merton ... Sandra Benes
Jeffery Kissoon ... Dr. Ben Vincent
Toby Robins Toby Robins ... Diana Morris
Stuart Damon ... Guido Verdeshi
Jeremy Young ... Jack Bartlett
Drewe Henley ... Joe Ehrlich
Patrick Westwood ... Dr. Shaw
Cher Cameron Cher Cameron ... Louisa
Al Lampert Al Lampert ... Ken Burdett
Billy J. Mitchell ... Professor Hunter
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Storyline

After an atomic explosion blasts the Moon out of Earth orbit, Moonbase Alpha drifts in space, with three hundred people on board. When a rescue team from Earth arrives in a faster-than-light space ship, everyone is overjoyed that they can now return to Earth. But Moonbase Commander John Koenig (Martin Landau), having undergone an experimental brain soothing process after receiving a concussion in a crash on the Lunar surface, sees not friends from Earth, but gruesome monsters which have telepathically caused all others on Alpha to see an illusion of an Earth party. The aliens are desperate for radiation and plan to manipulate the Alphans into detonating nuclear waste on the Lunar surface, reducing the Moon and everyone on it to dust. Koenig must expose this conspiracy to save his people. Written by Kevin McCorry <mmccorry@nb.sympatico.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Man's Quest For Extraterrestrial Contact Ends Here!

Genres:

Adventure | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie was compiled in 1978, in the wake of Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)'s success. This explains the scrolling foreword "homage" at the start of this movie. See more »

Goofs

During a fight on the moon surface, one actor's helmet visor is seen to open. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Helena Russell: Well, in a small community, everyone has to get along with everyone else.
See more »

Crazy Credits

"Far out into the galaxy of the universe is the Moon, Earth's great natural satellite, revolving round man's planet in an orbit as fixed and rigid as that of the Sun. It has now been transformed into a stepping stone, an advanced, complex, instrument, self supporting in all aspects, enabling man to continue the eternal search for other forms of life in outer space. The year is 2100." See more »

Alternate Versions

Originally broadcast as the two-part Space: 1999 story "The Bringers of Wonder." See more »

Connections

Edited from Space: 1999: The Bringers of Wonder: Part 1 (1977) See more »

Soundtracks

End Title song
Composed by Guido De Angelis and Maurizio De Angelis
Lyrics by Hilary Harvey
Sung by Oliver Onions
See more »

User Reviews

 
Great compilation film, but it left me "wanting more"
14 August 2020 | by elisereid-29666See all my reviews

Bad science does not always equal bad science fiction, and good science does not always equal good science fiction. Sometimes even mumbo-jumbo science makes good science fiction, as evidenced here (the opening crawl is nonsense in particular). Even such sci-fi classics as "Star Trek" and Star Wars suffer from bad science, but people overlook them because they have redeeming qualities-the philosophy of "Star Trek", the fun of Star Wars. Suspension of disbelief is a necessary trait for lovers of sci-fi and fantasy, and you'll need it for Destination Moonbase-Alpha

First, a little background. When I was seven, I was the ghost of my local Mom 'n Pop video store, and I recorded just about every movie that played on TV blindly, just to experience as many movies as I could and learn as much as I could. On one trip to my local video store in 1995, I found a used copy of Destination Moonbase-Alpha for sale, having never heard of "Space: 1999" or any of the stars and, since I had recently been exposed to the likes of Star Wars and the underrated The Black Hole, decided to give it a try (my folks bought it for me because it was cheap, and hey, at least I wasn't interested in R-rated movies!). I watched the first three minutes of it before the prehistoric VHS tape got chewed up, and, knowing nothing about tape repair at that age, foolishly got rid of it without having seen the rest. (I only years later realized how rare that tape was, since I scoured ebay for it for years, only to find that the only copies available were on Beta...)

Many years later, I saw the uncut episodes of "1999" this film was compiled from, primarily the pilot "Breakaway" and the two-part episode "The Bringers of Wonder." The former I found dull, nihilistic and flat. The latter was mostly good, but I found the slow-motion fight scenes on the surface of the moon silly, and it spoiled an otherwise good story. Also there were some ambiguities I thought should've been explored in the plot (but weren't) which I'll get to in a moment, but figured that was because they were constrained by the limitations of TV.

Just yesterday I finally saw all of Destination Moonbase-Alpha, to see how it compared to the TV episodes. The run time on the video box (and the IMDB) listed it as being shorter than the combined "Bringers of Wonder", and, knowing they also included pieces of "Breakaway", I wondered what they had cut out, and how good the editing was. I was pleased that they condensed the best and most watchable parts of "Breakaway" down to a four-minute prologue, and that "The Bringers of Wonder" was mostly left alone, save a few time-wasting moments deleted. (The run time on the box and the IMDB, according to my VCR counter, was incorrect-it is longer than 93 minutes).

I'd heard a lot about fans being disappointed in the second season of "Space: 1999", which puzzled me because I found "The Bringers of Wonder" (which was part of that season) far more interesting than "Breakaway", but then my taste tends to be different from most sci-fi fans. What did I like about it? It had a theme not altogether unlike the best of "Star Trek" (a theme which became especially interesting in the final scene), though I found it somewhat diluted by a conflicted script. The "friends" on the "rescue ship" were revealed as being villainous aliens far too soon-I thought it would've been much more effective had they been revealed in the scene where they are revealed to Commander Koenig. Also, when they are inevitably revealed to everyone else, the rest of the cast seemed to take the idea too lightly. They *were*, after all, so excited about the reunion with their loved ones and being returned to Earth, and they don't seem let down by the revelation at all. I don't know what this compilation could've fixed about this plot hole, but it was a fault in the original that I wish could've been remedied, along with the goofy slow-mo on the surface of the Moon (which seemed somewhat shorter in Destination Moonbase-Alpha, but I can't verify that claim without watching them side by side).

So yeah, it was faithful to the series, and combined the best of the two episodes into a coherent, very interesting movie. Of course, with the whole, uncut series on DVD now, Destination Moonbase-Alpha is little more than an oddity today, but I was pleased to see it in the format I wanted to see it in so bad when I was a kid.

(As an odd sidenote, the summary on the video box is totally wrong, because it provides the summary of "Breakaway" rather than "The Bringers of Wonder." All of the plot details provided in that summary are nowhere to be found in this film, since, as I mentioned, "Breakaway" had been condensed to a breathless four minute prologue for this film. This surprised me when I watched it, because, having read the video box when I was a kid and didn't get the chance to see the movie, it was certainly not what I was expecting, but then, it was much better...)


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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

1978 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Destino Base Lunar Alfa See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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