Space: 1999

Season 1 Episode 14


Aired Unknown Jan 23, 1976 on

Episode Fan Reviews (2)

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  • Space... the way we like it.

    Now here's an above-average episode of Space: 1999. They choose to focus on the human drama. Granted, they cast Commissioner Simmonds in the Dr. Smith role from outer space. Still, it's a credit to veteran actor Roy Dotrice that he comes across as an understandable if not likeable character. He's right: he doesn't have anything to do on Moonbase Alpha and he's a waste of space and resources. Granted, if he actually was a decent politician/spokesman, he might be of some use when they contact those alien races who are always trying to kill them. But he was a jerk in Breakaway, so at least he's consistently a shallow, vain jerk here.

    Writer Anthony Terpiloff avoids stereotyping the Kaldorians. Christopher Lee manages to convey a quiet depth and dignity to the only speaking role among them. But these aliens actually act like intelligent alien beings. They don't try to kill the Alphans, they don't try to mind control them. One of their number dies, they figure out it's a mistake, they move on with their existence. The death and gift-giving rituals are nicely underplayed. They have principles, they share some beliefs with the Earthlings: in season 1 that's rare.

    The only dumb plot moment is Russell volunteering herself to try the hibernation process. Dumb dumb dumb, and only serves to pad out the episode and insert false drama. Like we believe they're going to kill off one of the two main stars.

    The ending has a nice twist to it, and Terpiloff wrote a couple of episodes of Alfred Hitchcock presents so he's not bad at this. Simmonds gets a true Tales From the Crypt-style sendoff, punishment for screwing up the Moon and sending the Alphans into exile in the premiere.