Space: 1999

Season 1 Episode 2

Force of Life

1
Aired Unknown Oct 24, 1975 on
8.5
out of 10
User Rating
28 votes
1

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Episode Summary

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A terrifying force from Outer Space brings freezing death to the personnel of Moonbase Alpha. One man has been chosen as the instrument of destruction.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Yet another thrilling installment in the first year of Space: 1999 episodes. I still think of the second series as a very different thing. This episode is typical of the first season's so called cerebral brand of sci-fi but no less exciting for thmoreless

    9.2
    "Force of Life" was just the first episode to be shown (though not to be filmed) of many that would carry one of this show's trademarks: its claustrophobic, highly atmospheric setting as almost another major character alongside its fellow human beings and the (for the mid 1970s) state-of-the-art SFX.

    The sense of confinement is predominantly a psychological one, depending on what we know about the people of Moonbase Alpha being literal prisoners of their artificial environment. It is not something that is shown through the use of confined spaces. The setting for Main Mission is gigantic, split-levelled and windows onto the permanently bleak lunar landscape and the very dark deep space. The nuclear reactor facilities are housed (as would be expected) in another huge area. The corridors are equally vast and maze-like. Space for living quarters and amenities shown for the first time in this episode (such as the Solarium) is not at a premium. Or perhaps the base had been designed to house a much larger staff of scientists and assorted personell.

    The plot is again one of big themes. How and where does life originate? Under which circumstances are stars born? Do they - or matter, more precisely - have, if not intelligence, at least purpose?

    The questions happen upon the people of Alpha, they are asked a posteriori. Due to their inability to control the moon's course through space their journey is inevitable far grimmer and more fatalistic than in any show based on the concept of space-travelling ever had been.

    The forces which with or without purpose converge on technician Anton Zoreff at first alienate him from the rest of the humans on the moon. Ultimately he becomes a threat to their very existence and they have to destroy him. By then he has absorbed (in a visually fascinating way) too much energy. It seems that the end has arrived.

    It turns out to be a transformation. The point that matter infinitely recycles itself into other forms of existence is of little consolation to Eva, Anton's wife - who is left to mourn something that has not exactly died, though her husband has.

    The acting is uniformly superb - and by that I mean very subtle and textured at times. Hence the accusations that these people acted like robots half the time. Well under the tremendous emotional pressures they probably would have to - without some sort of self-discipline violent emotional outbursts could easily disrupt their lives at any moment. This was understood and adhered to throughout the first season and "Force of Life" is a good example of how well i works with the audience.moreless
Barry Morse

Barry Morse

Prof. Victor Bergman (Season 1)

Prentis Hancock

Prentis Hancock

Paul Morrow (Season 1)

Barbara Bain

Barbara Bain

Dr. Helena Russell

Martin Landau

Martin Landau

Commander John Koenig

Nick Tate

Nick Tate

Capt. Alan Carter

Clifton Jones

Clifton Jones

David Kano (Season 1)

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