Space:1999

Space:1999, Human Decision Required

[2019/09]

"Space:1999" was a British space-fantasy TV show that was aired ~1976..~1977, remembered for having excellent FX using models.

Space:1999 was created during the time when USA and Soviets had advanced to sending up space-stations after missions to moon. The next advance was expected to be constructing a moon-base (people really believed that would happen). This new TV show (and "Moonbase 3") had the chance to bridge science-fiction and science-fact. Viewers in ~1976 tried watching this new show to see what a moon-base might resemble, what kind of space-ships would be flying there.

But Space:1999 was absurd space-fantasy. Premise of show, explosion blasted moon out of solar system, was too absurd to believe. Ultimately, what killed Space:1999 were its scripts. Almost every script was completely bad, or unfolded nicely until self-destructed by space-fantasy nonsense ("Black Sun" etc). The only script good from start til finish was "Dorzak". Story-lines were repeated, strange-blob-approaching-moon, crew-vs-super-magical-alien, crew-vs-alter-ego. Yet in other ways, Space:1999 was made well. Perhaps producers hoped Space:1999 could succeed by excellence of props and fx, but no show can succeed when its writing is bad.

First and second seasons were different. Some viewers like only the first season or only the second. Yet others (this author included) just accept or even prefer both seasons were different. First season was sci-fi/horror, with an eerie vibe, as if it were "Twilight Zone: Moonbase". In first season, Koenig was a dictator who shouted "I WANT..!, I WANT..!" to a crowd of characters with no personalities, that were there just to voice dialog. Second season had improvements such as moments of fun and humor, character development, Koenig had become a mellow approachable character like Captain Picard, but detriments such as silly monster costumes and dumbed-down action-oriented scripts (worst case "The Rules of Luton").

Eagle space-ship:

Eagle space-ship was notable for being a space-ship that seemed (in 1970s) possible to construct (in 1990s). Eagle was a modular space-ship built for utility, it could carry passenger and cargo pods.

Space 1999 Eagle space-ship Space 1999 Eagle space-ship Space 1999 Eagle space-ship

funny flaws to notice while watching:

  • Eagles actually don't have full range of rotation, only having non-swiveling rocket nozzles below and behind. In one episode with Eagles flying in formation, two turn away impossibly like fighter airplanes.
  • Eagles can be seen descending with only 2 bottom rockets on same side thrusting (would capsize Eagle).
  • Eagles were frequently destroyed yet Moonbase Alpha had limited resources, an apparent flaw, until later episode showed large fleet of Eagles inside hangar.
  • Like many shows, action/fight scenes that were spliced together don't fit, stuntmen were in wrong positions across cuts and they tried to hide their faces from camera.
  • When telekinesis pulls stun-guns out of holsters, can see strings.
  • A computer keyboard on a desk probably is a 1970s-era calculator. Sometimes actors will peck on keyboards without looking at what they're typing.
  • Maya is so tall, Tony has to wear high-heel shoes, yet she's still taller. In the funny scene where Maya transforms into an older lady to tease Tony, can see glimpses of both actresses swapping places, gray hair and Maya's red sleeve are barely visible on either side of Tony.
  • In episode "Beta Cloud", Maya wasn't able to transform into robot-monster played by David Prowse (Darth Vader), yet she did so in next episode "Space Warp" (had to reuse same monster costume?).
  • When Koenig and Maya swim across a river, really a pond, can see they're stunt-persons.
  • In explosion scene Helena was in, scene was cut into two segments, notice real actress jump straight up and slightly forward, then notice stuntwoman flies upward and backward by kicking against a hidden "jump-board".
  • Illogically, Magus effortlessly holds a planet together, yet strains to keep one Eagle from rising. And when Magus hilariously falls into pitfall, obviously a stuntman did that.
  • See other webs for more funny flaws.

trivia:

  • "Moonbase 3", a short-lived British TV show aired in ~1973, tried to realistically depict a moonbase.
  • An early version of Millennium Falcon, painted by Ralph McQuarrie, had a vague resemblance, in some aspects, to an Eagle.
  • Star Trek TNG had an episode "The Most Toys" where a collector kidnapped Data, a possible plagiarization (or coincidence) of "The Taybor" episode (?).

other webs:

catacombs.space1999.net and moonbase99.space1999.net are comprehensive webs about Space:1999.