SF Obscure: Space 1999


Space 1999 is one of those shows its taken me a while to write about because it’s taken me a a while to go through all the episodes. Don’t get me wrong- I don’t dislike it; as a matter of fact there are many things about it to like. Martin Landau. Maya is Season 2. The music. Lots of guest stars that have been on other series.

I have a great deal of respect for Gerry Anderson’s ground breaking SF work. “Supermarionation” the marionette style that is used in Anderson show is legend. I know people who swear by The Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlett.  I also covered Space Precinct which is, admittedly, campy but had some moments and an interesting concept even if the execution didn’t turn out so well.

But back to Space 1999.

Space 1999 is a British SF show from 1975 set in the high tech future of 1999. (LOL) After a nuclear explosion the moon is knocked out of orbit along with the inhabitants, mainly science personal, of Moonbase Alpha. They are hurled into space and have to search for a way to survive or a planet to settle. I also got the impression that space exploration in general is relatively advanced as there are several episodes referencing or encountering other ships, lost expeditions, that kind of thing. Barbara Bain plays Doctor Helena Russell, head of the Medical Section and Martin Landau plays Commander John Koenig, head of Moonbase Alpha.

Here’s the thing about Space 1999. Season One and Season Two are very different shows. Same Moonbase Alpha, Same Captain and Doctor…but the tone and style varies quite a bit. It’s almost like watching two different shows.

Season One is more hard SF (ok, there is suspension of disbelief in the premise) but the episodes follow a lot of the SF show canon…odd planets, supercomputers, etc. I favor season one in that regard. The pacing can be slow at times and some of the characters don’t have as much depth as I’d like, but as an SF show its interesting.

Season Two goes more for the adventure style SF. More romantic relationships, weird aliens, and space battles.  Plus, it doesn’t help that many supporting characters from Season One are written out…and no explanation is given. And new characters are written in…making you wonder where they were all this time. (I mean, it’s a closed environment in space, right?) I guess the producers assumed no one would notice. But they are wrong. Geeks notice everything. Still, Season Two is not bad….and worth watching the whole thing and choosing your own favorites.

Plus, Space 1999 has two of the best theme songs ever.
Season 1
Season 2

So, Smart Girls readers don’t you want your own theme song?

Sadly, Smart Girls blog will be closing its cyber doors the end of this month. I’ll miss all the neat people I’ve interacted with in the comments. I’ll still be covering Obscure to classic SF TV and some movies and maybe even a radio show or two. If interested, you can follow my blog.

6 thoughts on “SF Obscure: Space 1999

  1. I remember watching this show with my mom when I was little. From the first episode I was hooked. I still remember the awe I felt as I watched it, and I couldn’t wait to go traveling in space. Alas, I’m still only dreaming of space travel, but the show will always have a special place inside me.

    We will all miss the Smart Girls blog.

  2. Loved this show! You’re right, the premise was terrible. It also had some terrible acting, but lots of cool stuff that made me think as a kid. And the theme songs…rock on 70s!

  3. *sigh* Another of your Obscure SF that I have in my DVD collection. I am such a geek! 😀 But really, Martin Landau! Okay, so I am weird too, but I thought he was hot!

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