Saturday, November 04, 2006
Growing up in the UK, I experienced slightly different shows than my US and Canadian counterparts. Dr. Who was and is the biggie, and I will get to that, as was Blake Seven, but Space:1999 had a huge impact on me and so it is worth gushing about. Space 1999 was produced by the same couple who did Thunderbirds and Fireball XL5. Those amazing little puppets and even more amazing little sets and effects. Space: 1999 ran from 1975 to '77. This meant that according to them, disco never died and neither did flared pants. Their uniforms had flared pants...I love that. And don't forget the catchy disco beat theme song too. The story goes that a nuclear waste dump goes up in a big explosion, pushing the moon and it's little moon base out of earth orbit and into a very strange galaxy filled with man eating plants, shapechanging hotties, and every other kind of space goo or ghoul you could imagine. The cast was no bunch of unknowns either. Martin Landau played the determined Commander Koenig. He was usually comforted by the gorgeous Barbara Bain, playing Dr. Helena Russell, and advised by Barry Morse, who was the Spock of the crew - the 'science advisor' (he mostly shrugged his shoulders at everything they came across, obviously waaay out of his league). His 311 survivors were headed by the heroic Chief Pilot Alan Carter, played by Nick Tate, and Tony Verdeschi the Head of Security, played by Tony Anholt. These two usually jumped to action, with their little guns and cool space ships...the Eagles. And this was where the show was great. The attention to detail was wonderful. The Eagle ships were fantastic and attention to workability and finicky little bits was great. The toys were amazing. The Eagles were the workhorses of the moon base....carrying humans or cargo or able to fight evil aliens when needed. And evil aliens there was by the bucket load! Everything seemed out to get them. Even the breakable glass on the moon base caused major problems - I still love that - they could actually OPEN the windows of the base! And so people died...big time. The attrition rate was appalling. But everyone shrugged it of and managed a chuckle at the end of the episode. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend checking out the dvd's...It is a great show.