Space: 1999

    Space: 1999Season One: 1975-76

  1. Breakaway
  2. Force Of Life
  3. Collision Course
  4. War Games
  5. Death’s Other Dominion
  6. Voyager’s Return
  7. Alpha Child
  8. Dragon’s Domain
  9. Mission Of The Darians
  10. Black Sun
  11. Guardian Of Piri
  12. End Of Eternity
  13. A Matter Of Life And Death
  14. Earthbound
  15. The Full Circle
  16. Another Time, Another Place
  17. The Last Sunset
  18. The Troubled Spirit
  19. The Infernal Machine
  20. Ring Around The Moon
  21. Missing Link
  22. Space Brain
  23. The Testament Of Arkadia
  24. The Last Enemy
  25. Season Two: 1976-77

  26. The Metamorph
  27. The Exiles
  28. Journey To Where
  29. One Moment Of Humanity
  30. Brian The Brain
  31. New Adam, New Eve
  32. The Mark Of Archanon
  33. The Rules Of Luton
  34. All That Glisters
  35. The Taybor
  36. Seed Of Destruction
  37. AB Chrysalis
  38. Catacombs Of The Moon
  39. Space Warp
  40. A Matter Of Balance
  41. The Beta Cloud
  42. The Lambda Factor
  43. The Bringers Of Wonder – Part 1
  44. The Bringers Of Wonder – Part 2
  45. The Seance Spectre
  46. Dorzak
  47. Devil’s Planet
  48. The Immunity Syndrome
  49. The Dorcons
  50. Epilogue

  51. Message From Moonbase Alpha

Space: 1999Originally conceived as the second season of puppet pioneer Gerry Anderson’s live action series UFO, Space: 1999 stands out as one of the few major space-based SF series of the mid 1970s, and possibly the very first such series to be co-produced internationally, a path later followed by such series as Farscape and Lexx. In the original outline, having beaten the alien invasion back into space, the heroes of UFO would have pursued them into deep space by transforming Earth’s moon into a huge spacecraft. When UFO didn’t make the ratings dent internationally that ITC had hoped for, Space: 1999it pulled the plug on the second season. Gerry Anderson kept developing the idea independent of the UFO storyline, originally titling it 1999 and finally Space: 1999.

The basic plot Anderson developed involved a peacetime manned moon colony struggling to survive after a massive collision bumps the moon out of Earth’s orbit and sends it plunging into deep space. The cinematic antecedent of Space: 1999 was 2001: a space odyssey – as realistic as possible in its special effects and model work (in 1976, a young director named George Lucas tried to headhunt special effects supervisor Brian Johnson from Space: 1999 to work on his effects-heavy, behind-schedule sci-fi film called Star Wars, but was turned down), and as scientifically accurate as possible. Nevertheless, when it premiered, the series’ much-advertised Space: 1999accuracy was neatly shredded in a now-famous newspaper article penned by none other than Isaac Asimov, who still gracefully admitted that some things needed to be given dramatic license for the audience’s benefit. Still, scientific accuracy aside, the first series featured the most impressive effects work to grace a television SF series up to that point, and generally presented a somewhat bleak, angst-ridden story.

Future Academy Award winner Martin Landau and his then-wife Barbara Bain – both fresh from Paramount’s hit Mission: Impossible – headed up the series, with Landau in particular occasionally hamming it up to near-Shatnerian heights. Both actors had it written into their Space: 1999contracts that they would receive a lion’s share of the screen time per episode (with no less than an agreed-upon amount of time), necessitating the rewriting of several early scripts (and later created some awkward scene-shuffling when Catherine Schell was introduced to the cast in the second season). In fact, the opening titles for the first season credited Landau and Bain before the Space: 1999 title ever appeared.

Space: 1999For the second season, ITC wanted more action and adventure, and less angst. Fred Freiberger, the controversial producer whose influence was felt very distinctly on the oft-criticized third (and final) season of Star Trek, was brought in to oversee the show’s transformation, introducing British actress Catherine Schell as Maya and making the show’s uniforms, environs and aliens far more colorful (somewhat similar to the near-psychedelic treatment Freiberger inflicted upon Space: 1999Star Trek). The show was less heavy – but also less concerned with addressing the show’s ongoing storyline or scientific accuracy. At the end of the second year, Space: 1999 was cancelled.

Thanks to reruns, both in syndication and on PBS, Space: 1999 built up a healthy fan cult in America and overseas. In 2000, Johnny Byrne – who served as script editor and head writer during the first season – wrote and produced a short fan-made film, using costumes and set pieces from the original series and featuring original cast member Zienia Merton, reprising her role as Moonbase Alpha communications specialist Sandra Benes, giving a brief narration of Space: 1999what has happened to the crew – and setting up Byrne’s ideas for a spinoff or sequel series. This short film, incorporating montages of footage from the series, was shown at conventions and was also included in the French DVD edition of the series as well as the full-series US DVD box set; vigorous fan campaigning continues for a release of Message in the UK.

In 2012, ITV – now the rights holders to ITC/Carlton’s library of intellectual properties – announced that it was setting the wheels in motion for a “reimagining” of Space: 1999, now set a century further in the future and retitled Space: 2099 (unrelated to a Space: 1999stillborn fan film project of the same name which had been mooted by Star Trek: New Voyages co-founder Jack Marshall). Many of the creative forces behind the 21st century remake of V will be behind the new voyages of Moonbase Alpha, and the series is being tailored with a careful eye on the American market – the same goal that has stopped many prior Gerry Anderson live-action projects in their tracks.