Season one is brilliant, but the somber, gloomy, and moody tone is tiresome by the season's end. But it does set a tone and atmosphere that is rarely seen in other sci-fi series about the dangers and isolation of space travel. Some episodes border on horror.
The criticisms of season two are foundless. My one major criticism of season two are the cheesy aliens. Other than that, it seems more realistic than season one regarding human relations. Season two succeeds where season one fails in acknowledging the human capacity for warmth and humor while facing adversity. This is not a failing, as some have argued, and Fred Freiberger did a great job of lightening the tone of the show in season two. It was much needed. When my brother and I watched the season one shows decades ago we asked each other if it could possibly have any more gloom and doom. Season one was unique, but it needed the facelift it was given in season 2. Yes, Maya was great and we actually got to see sides of Commander Koenig and Dr. Russell unseen in season one. Space 1999 is overall a great and very unique sci-fi series that strikes a wonderful balance between its two seasons.
September 13, 1999 - Nuclear waste stored on earth's moon explodes due to magnetic radiation, propelling earth's moon and the 311 Alpha moon-base personnel on an odyssey into the Cosmos. The show was breathtaking in scope, top of the line special effects, used theatrical filming techniques, and offered story-lines that question Man's role in the Universe. Season one offers a dystopian view where: earth's moon is a nuclear garbage dump, safety takes a back seat to politics, and a cover-up is employed to keep an expensive space missions on target. Our technological folly causes us to lose our moon. What comes next can be described as half horror/terror of the unknown combined with humanity's ill preparedness to leave our planet and undergo a jump into deep space.
Season 2 jettison's most of Season's 1's premise. Instead focuses on typical action adventure format where humanity's view of things is altogether right and proper. There's more humor, not exactly character development, more cliched situations, bad visuals, specifically where "alien monsters" are concerned, in fact they are quite cartoonish. The biggest drawback for me at 11 years of age was how season 2 pretty much restaffed the moonbase, changed sets, and changed costumes with no explanation.
Unlike some of the criticism written by others, by way of season 1's "bad" science, I submit Space 1999 had better science than Star Trek since all the '99's technology was well grounded in 1960's 1970's US Space program in terms of being believable. As for an interstellar traveling moon, that is no more unbelievable than Trek's warp technology powered by crystals of all things. Also Trek never explained what "warp" was--- only seemed to mean a ship can go very fast which in reality would cause time-dilation on the order of 1000's of years, earth time, for the Enterprise to reach so many star systems. To these critics of '99, not only is science fiction not real, but also, one of season 1's points is that humanity is a young species and does not know all the answers--and may not be able to figure things out for some time to come. A few episodes point to a larger destiny for Man that is not known to the Alphans, but can be seen by older alien civilizations and entities that are ready to evolve to other planes of existence. Pretty heavy stuff for mid 70's sci fi.
It is hard to rate the series, because it was really two series, not one. The first season was one of the most unique, albeit flawed, sci-fi shows ever made. The second season was a blatant, and poor, Star Trek rip-offs ever made. 1st=A- 2nd=D
The first season was surely one of the most unique sci fi series to ever hit the airwaves. The scripts were clearly morality plays, more interested in saying something than in being accurate science. In fact, the poor science and logical flaws apparent in the scripts is often the shows biggest drawbacks. Fans were left scratching their heads and wondering how X, Y, or Z happened. If you expect hard core science in your sci fi, then avoid this show at all cost, but if you don't really care, this is a great show.
Essentially Space 1999 (the first season) was a philosophical show about destiny. God (usually treated in a new age manner) was a central focus of the show. The inhabitants of the moon were not truly in control of their fate, not matter how hard they tried. Each week they would encounter events which made for morality plays. One week, they encountered an immortal man whose immortality made him a madman. The next week they would find a group of travelers who had resorted to cannibalism to survive, loosing their very humanity. Still another week they would find that paradise cost far more than they are willing to pay.
The best episode from 1st season were "Death's Other Dominion," "End of Eternity," "Mission of the Darians" featuring Joan Collins, and "Dragon's Domain."
The first season was done by Gerry Anderson and was originally a follow-up to his UFO series, but Americans were not familar with the show so they dropped the crossover, except for the moonbase itself. Ultimately, the logic flaws in the scripts led to so much criticism that the studios demanded major changes for second season. Those changes killed the series.
The second season was dramatically altered and the original producer left the show. The result was a blatant Star Trek rip off with atheistic philosophy borrowed from the worst Star Trek episodes permeating the show. One episode even features Commander Koenig uttering Captain Kirk's famous lines where he shouts down "god" declaring that the serpent was right to give us the apple! A new character was also added who could transform into anything including rats! Ick.
A captain and his space crew are on Earth's moon. a nuclear explosion causes the Earth's moon to break out of Earth's gravitation. The moon along with a space colony is released into a space adventure!
Being a Star Trek fan, I think this show is very interesting! Instead of a using a starship to space travel, this show uses Earth's moon moving out of orbit! The most unique factor about this sci-fi show is using a traveling moon rather than a starhip. The show is more like Star Trek in the second season. In the second season it seems like the moon is traveling faster. They seem to go to a different planet in each episode. They also get an alien that can shapeshift. This shapeshifter was very useful in many occassions when the crew got into trouble. I gave this show a 9.5 but would have givin it a perfect 10 if there were a couple of more improvements. For one, I think the show should have added "Brian the Brain" to the crew, a robot they discovered early in the second season.
Space: 1999 tells the story of a group humans living and working on the moon in facility called Moonbase Alpha. After an explosion occurs in one of the toxic waste dumps, the moon is propelled into deep space, far away from Earth.
I don't remember the original broadcast of Space: 1999; probably because I wasn't even born! But I do remember watching it in the late 90s (!) as a child and I loved it.
The effects were bad, the character's weren't that believable and the storyline's could have used some sprucing up, but that is what made it a brilliant show - a 1970s show.
I liked every moment of Space: 1999 as a child. I remember the Eagles being my favorite vehicle, and the laser being my favourite weapon. I recently went back and watched a few episodes of the series and, by god does it look a lot different than I remember! I suppose a child's imagination get's the better of you.
Overall, I loved Space: 1999 and still do today. It is a classic Sci-Fi series, and to me, the original; the one that got me interested in Sci-Fi programs altogether.
On September 13, 1999 the nuclear waste dumps on the moon go critical. The massive explosions tear the moon from the Earth's orbit and send it hurtling into deep space. Our heros, trapped inside Moonbase Alpha and cut off from the rest of humanity must ride the runaway moon until they either find a way back to Earth or a new home.
Produced by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson, the creative minds behind such sci-fi classics as The Thunderbirds and UFO, Space 1999 featured good costumes, fairly believable futuristic sets and great props. Above all, the show has wonderfully detailed model work that easily rivals feature films, like Star Wars, that were made around the same time. Even today, in the age of CG graphics, the show's special effects still look surprisingly good.
The downside of Space 1999 is in the stories. Because the show has an especially weak premise it immediately turns off most hard core sci-fi fans. The first season does its best and soldiers through mostly on the strength of its cast. There are some good episodes and some surprisingly bad ones too. By the second season the show's producers seem to understand that their main audience is children and re-work the show to include new characters which would make the show even more appealing to kids.
Overall, I have fond memories of this show from my childhood and have bought at least three of the first season DVD sets. I must say, however, that the show is better nostalgia than science fiction and I can't recommend it for anyone who isn't looking for a little campy, 70s sci fi.
I was watching this show as a 7-9 year old who had seen every episode of Star Trek re-run a 100 times already. I loved space shows & adventure shows & I was hooked. The music & acting & themes made me think I was watching something really IMPORTANT. Now, I realize how silly it all is. And yet, I still have a soft spot for it. Like UFO, there is no character development & no continuing story. But I like 99 better than UFO. 99 could run into anything out there while UFO was always just the next plan of invasion by the aliens. The science of 99 is ridiculous to say the least. How come the moon doesn't get caught in another planet's orbit? How fast are they traveling? Where do they get replacements for the 20 Eagles they lose per episode? The stories were actually more mystical than scienific. They met "God" and all kinds of beyond human comprehension aliens. The endings were often downbeat which they would never do in a show marketed for kids today. Made me realize that life wasn't all heroics that all worked out in the end. Season 2 of course ruins it. Now it is just a Trek rip off. Nice that the crew is more friendly and personable but the plots are total cheese. And that action jazz music is priceless, right up there with Trek fight theme! I like Maya but she would save the day so easily. Still both seasons are worth a look for the great FX (for the 70s this was top notch) and the scripts that almost pull off a winner.
Sure some of it stands the test of the time. For example the Eagles still look really cool but the costumes (they copied the Star Trek / UFO style for them), props and a lot of the acting just doesn't (not from the main characters but more from the guest stars and supporting cast).
I watched the first series avidly (it was the better of the two) and then had trouble following the second as the network moved it all over their schedule (which I'm sure contributed greatly to the show's demise).
I would love to see the show brought back and revamped (just make sure you keep the Eagles).
This is the first series I became hooked on as a child. This is one series I would like to see remade.
Above my computer are 2 uncut framed sheets of the 1976 Donruss 66 card set - one facing card side up the other poster side up. The inspiration for this review. And of course I have all the die cast models, even the cool Product Enterprise ones. I even have the ultra rare CARD 42 from the British Bassett card set featuring the disfigured Mateo from TROUBLED SPIRIT because it was deemed too scary for children - how times change. Thank goodness for Ebay.
Space:1999 is really 2 different series - Season 1 was top notch story telling while Season 2 became borderline silly at times with when that clown from Star Trek Fred Freiberger took over as producer. There are few episodes from Season 2 I even care to watch on DVD. So Season 1 I give a 10 and Season 2 a 7.9 (and thats being charitable for an average of 9)
Season 1 was full of classics like DRAGONS DOMAIN (the inspiration for ALIEN) and WARGAMES with its shocking destruction of Moonbase Alpha and its twist ending. There were few bad episodes in Season 1. Ok, from a scientific point of view there were problems, but that can be said of shows like Star Trek as well. But I focused more on the stories and the overall feel of the show which was excellent - during Season 1, at least. Season 2 ruined the series by becoming cartoonish and so cheesy it would be enough to cover several billion double cheese pizzas. If they ever remake the series, they should keep the same character names the overall look and feel of Season 1 and get the Moon out of orbit using something more realistic like an experimental anti-matter reactor explosion, which would rip away a huge chunk of the Moon; in the process making it look like someone took a large bite out of an apple. The characters should all resemble the original actors as closely as possible. Re-do the best 12 stories from Season 1 as chosen by fans. Add a shipyard to the base that would produce Mark IX Hawk fighters and have them start building large transport ships to one day leave the Moon and try to return home; eventually half of Alphans could choose to try and get back to Earth creating a spin off series; while the others would remain on Alpha thinking its a waste of time to try. Above all keep the EAGLES - one of the coolest spaceship designs ever. Also, update the technology and call it SPACE: 2099 - which would be plenty far enough in the future. SPACE:1999 is unlikely to be remade but its nice to think about.
It may seem campy now, but at the time the series was ahead of its time. The roles given to women were important. The issues the series dealth with were real and still exist today. Dealing with industrial wastes is still a problem.
The issues of a group of people being isolated from the rest of the population can and did provide many interesting story lines. Losing contact with loved ones and family members is difficult. Realizing that the future has changed is something few deal with on a daily basis.
It is a great show and I would love to see it return in re-runs.
"Space: 1999" could have become one of the best SF programs of the 1970s. But low ratings, combined with a series of bad episodes, doomed this Gerry Anderson effort almost from the start. It has been unfairly criticized for being too boring the first season, too campy the second. I disagree. I thought the stories were entertaining and, at times frightening, both years.
To steal a phrase from Doctor Who fans, I often found myself "behind the sofa" watching some of the monsters on this show...
The cast did their job well, with Landau and Bain being the total professionals. Barry Morse was fun in year one, but I admit I will always have a crush on gorgeous Catherine Schell. As far as special effects and storylines go, there really wasn't anything worse than you'd see on Doctor Who in those days, and in the days before computer graphics, there's nothing Anderson and company could do to improve the situation. Maybe someday a company will go back and update the special effects, just as was done with Red Dwarf a few years ago.
Ranking with 'Lost in Space' as one of the worst science fiction series ever aired, Space:1999 is, at times, unwatchable. The writing was awful and the acting forced. One got the impression that the actors went through the motions and simply went home, not suprising given the utter mediocrity cursing this series. The only highlights are the special effects. An example to all future sci-fi writers and producers of what happens to a series when special effects takes precedence over good writing and acting.
I was young when this show was on, and I did not care that the premise was silly or the plots did not make sense. All I knew was that this was an exciting show that I loved to watch! It was classic British Sci-Fi, strange plots, and weird effects. You had to love it. Thankd ITC for bringing it to America.
I do love this show. I first saw it as a 10-year-old, and then I was fortunate enough to get CHEK-TV out of Vancouver, Canada for the 2nd season. I know the older, hard-core sci-fi fans say that with the addition of Fred Freiberger for season 2 diluted it's "Sci-Fi" genre, but I disagree.
The Maya character was just a fun character all the way around. Much more exciting than Barry Morse as Victor. (Although I do love Barry Morse in all his work) The music was better, and the stories seemed to move faster. (Implausable as the stories may seem.)
I liked Tony as a 2nd in command figure (and was saddened to learn of Mr. Ahnolt's death.) And the Alan Carter character also grew some teeth. I am glad the entire library is available on DVD now and I would encourage anyone who thinks the 1st season was slow and uninteresting to watch a few of the 2nd season episodes. Each season stands by itself without the other, and there are some wonderful goofs that only 70's TV can bring.
In "The Exiles" at the end of the episode, Maya transforms into a decidedly less desirable female. The transition was not any high-tech gadgets, or a scene transition to accomodate the change in acctresses, but when Tony turns away from Maya, and he is primaraly in the forefront of the scene, the Maya character ducks out and the other acctress (with very big and frizzy hair) ducks in, which you can see her hair.
I can suspend disbelief ad finitum for fun things like this to watch. Thank you Gerry and Sylvia Anderson, and to the crew of Moonbase Alpha.
This was a good show, but I'm not inclined to contribute here any more, and there is no way to close one's account here. This was a good show, but I'm not inclined to contribute here any more, and there is no way to close one's account here. bye bye
The great giant step forward for televised science fiction. This highly underrated TV series clearly influenced several major motion pictures STAR WARS (the look of some of its special effects) check out "Breakaway", "War Games" and "The Infernal Machine" and both ALIEN & ALIENS - just watch "Dragon's Domain" - shot 4 years prior to ALIEN - and compare !
It is the history of the moon and its inhabitants, the Alphans, which wanders through the universe after the breakaway of September 13, 1999 and the departure of the moon of the terrestrial orbit. This series is made up two seasons.
Wonderful series of the Seventies, it is for me the greatest still today. This series is made up two seasons. The first, produced by Sylvia Anderson, is regarded as exceptional by all the fans. 24 episodes as original the ones as the others leading with them this famous mystery of this unknown force which guides them and helps them through space: John Koenig, commander of the moonbase Alpha, speaking to an alien had said : "And the belief that someone gold something is looking after custom. God, yew you like. And we will survives!"
This force is present throughout the 24 episodes first season where the philosophy, the psychology and the mystery of the universe are the essential elements.
The second season is radically different, produced by Fred Freiberger. These 3 aspects are almost removed with the profit of a greater action. Moonbase, music and costumes are changed. Important characters of season 1 miss or see their role being reduced. New characters appear and horrible monsters are present in the majority of the episodes. This second season could not competed with the first and is considered by some fans like a cartoon.
Season One of Space: 1999 was a fantastic journey into the unknown with the inhabitants of Moonbase Alpha earth's biggest accidental travellers in history. More fantasy than sci-fi it took viewers where few tv series had gone before and left an indelible
This review is primarily about Year/Season One of Space: 1999 created by the husband and executive producer Gerry Anderson and his wife, producer Sylvia Anderson as Year Two was an entirely different format, more camp and light-hearted fare that I leave for other writers to review.
The first season was a unique blend of fantasy, sci-fi, horror along with mythological and mystical overtones... think the Original Twilight Zone and Outer Limits meets 2001: A Space Odyssey meets the X-Files.
Space: 1999 had some of the most mind-blowing sci-fi stories, special effects, model work, sets and visuals ever produced for the tv screen and even if it had more fantasy elements than most viewers were used to, it presented a mood and atmosphere unmatched in tv history.
The Alphans were the most unintentional space explorers ever. Unlike Star Trek or most other sci-fi shows, they hadn't intended in venturing into deep space and when they and the moon were forced out of earth orbit, they had no control over where it would go. Rather, they were near-future men and women, (only 25 years from the the year it was produced, 1974) thrust into the wonders and dangers of deep space and struggling frantically for survival with likely no chance of ever getting to earth again. It is little wonder that humour or light-hearted banter was not high on their list of things to do.
I heartily recommend that skeptical viewers give the show a chance. It was unfairly criticized by many in the past yet many of those missed the point. Firstly, those doing the carping were either judging the show for what it was not instead of what it is or worse merely criticized it because they felt it threatened the perceived superiority of their own favourite shows.
The sci-fi/fantasy tv world is more than big enough for all fans and Space: 1999 was a landmark show that had a tremendous influence that can be seen in the massive sets, super special effects and grand orchestral music of Star Wars, the style of the Star Trek: The Motion Picture, the dark, ominous mood of Blade Runner as well as the horror of outer space shown in episodes like Dragon's Domain which is very much a precursor to the Alien series.
A final note regards the mystical nature of 1999. In many episodes including Breakaway, The Black Sun, Collision Course and The Testament of Arkadia we receive bits and pieces of info that the Alphans are being guided in their journey by mysterious unknown forces and the nuclear accident that blasted them out of earth orbit may have been more than just an accident, that something/someone is looking out for them helping them to survive and they in turn have a destiny to fulfill in the universe.
It ultimately "gives meaning to all this" and makes Space: 1999 not just your average show but suggests a greater purpose and that the moon is not just a base of people but an "Ark" taking the seeds of mankind into the deepest regions of space... a nice thought.
I hope you will check out the dvd release of the show uncut and with the best prints of the show ever presented since its debut in 1975 and give it a chance. By looking for the greater underlying meaning in Space: 1999 you will find this makes their journey even more fantastic, interesting and ultimately fulfilling.
As Victor Bergman says in War Games "We have learned... that we have much (more) to learn".
May you enjoy and learn what Space: 1999 is all about as well.
Moon hurdles through space after breaking away from earth on 9/13/1999. The crew fight for survival, each episode introducing new dangers.
The hopes for finding a hospitable planet to live on look grim and a large part of the storyline i
Total classic. Fans throughout the word still discuss it everyday.
I think it was far superior to anything else up to the time on tv in the sci-fi genre.
I wish more sci-fi shows took the time to delve into the subtleties as this show did.
The priciple actors, Martin Landau & then-wife, Barbara Bain, did a spectacular job of allowing their relationship within the show grow (an added bonus for 'shippers out there), and the support cast was spectacular at bringing their talents to the table to re-inforce the fear and bonding such a situation would create.
Barry Morse is particularly splendid. It's just too bad they cut him in Season Two in favour of the transmorph concept.
All in all, just a fabulous way to spend your DVD time. Buy the box set.
My first brush with science-fiction on TV. Changed my viewing preferences forever! At one time, I had a Moonbase Alpha set and a large-size Eagle, plus the old Charlton comics! Extremely thankful when A&E released the series on DVD! Symbolically this show has meant more to me than all versions of Star Trek combined!
I had toys books and even got my dad to make eagles out of timber just so I had more than 1 eagle (the Dinky one). My favourite character was Alan Carter. Guess he just liked to fight. Unlike me. So maybe I admired that in him. I think my favourite episodes are when it would be one Alphan (normally John) against the base (ie The Guardian of Piri). Another fav was Collision Course because it was Alan and John vs the base. When I was young I thought the 2nd season was the best, but upon re-visiting episodes as an adult I think the 1st season was easily quite brilliant. I never get sick of watching Space:1999, it is just one of those shows that I will watch forever, and I really, really hope that hollywood never touch it. If thats the voice of a die hard fan, then that is me. Some shows were just special, and cannot be improved. Especially by Hollywood.
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