Cult TV

Cult TV Essentials – Space:1999

Space: 1999 is a British science-fiction television series that ran for two seasons and originally aired from 1975 to 1977. The series was the last production by the partnership of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson and was the most expensive series produced for British television up to that time. The first season was co-produced by the British television ITC and the Italian television RAI, while the second season was produced solely by ITC.

CAST

Actor Role Appearances
Barbara Bain Doctor Helena Russell, head of Medical Section (48 episodes, 1975–77)
Martin Landau Commander John Koenig, leader of Moonbase Alpha (47 episodes, 1975–77)
Nick Tate Alan Carter, third in command, chief pilot (45 episodes, 1975–77)
Zienia Merton Sandra Benes, data analyst (37 episodes, 1975–77)
Anton Phillips Doctor Bob Mathias, Helena’s deputy (24 episodes, 1975–76)
Barry Morse Professor Victor Bergman, science adviser (Year One only) (24 episodes, 1975–76)
Catherine Schell Maya, science officer (Year Two) and guest artist (guardian’s servant in “Guardian of Piri”, Year One) (25 episodes, 1976–77)
Prentice Hancock Paul Morrow, base second in command and Main Mission controller (Year One only) (23 episodes, 1975–76)
Clifton Jones David Kano, computer operations officer (Year One only) (23 episodes, 1975–76)
Tony Anholt Tony Verdeschi, second in command, head of Security and Command Centre controller (Year Two only) (23 episodes, 1976–77)
Suzanne Roquette Tanya Alexander, base operations officer (Year One only) (19 episodes, 1975–76)
John Hug Bill Fraser, Eagle pilot (Year Two only) (9 episodes, 1976–77)
Jeffrey Kissoon Doctor Ben Vincent, deputy medical officer (Year Two only) (7 episodes, 1976–77)

PLOT

In the opening episode, set on 13 September 1999, nuclear waste stored on the Moon’s far side explodes, knocking the Moon out of orbit and sending it, as well as the 311 inhabitants of Moonbase Alpha, hurtling uncontrollably into space.

The runaway Moon, in effect, becomes the “spacecraft” on which the protagonists travel, searching for a new home. During their interstellar journey, the Alphans encounter an array of alien civilizations, dystopian societies, and mind-bending phenomena previously unseen by humanity. Several episodes of the first series hinted that the Moon’s journey was influenced (and perhaps initiated) by a “mysterious unknown force”, which was guiding the Alphans toward an ultimate destiny. The second series used more simplified “action-oriented” plots.

 

6 replies »

  1. Space:1999 was produced by Gerry & Sylvia Anderson of Thunderbirds fame.
    The series was given a lavish budget by Lord Lew Grade & it looked it.
    From the movie quality sets for Moon Base Alpha to the awesome looking model work ,the special/visual FX were outstanding & remain so to this very day.
    Unfortunately what was not outstanding was the scripting for the show.It was mediocre at best with a general lack of any scientific credibility at all.
    Issac Asimov wrote an article deploring the fact the the series seemed to have an allergy to employing any scientific accuracy at all.
    He noted that the explosion of the nuclear waste site on the moon could not possibly be substantial enough to budge it let alone hurl it out into space.
    Martin Landau & Barbara Bain were wonderful as secret agents on Mission:Impossible. On Space:1999 they lacked the ability to give us intriguing and compelling characters.
    The supporting cast was woefully underutilized.
    A shame as the money spent on the show was indeed impressive.

    Like

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