Paul Morrow

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Controller Paul Morrow
Space: 1999 character
Paulmorrow.jpg
Prentis Hancock as Second in Command Paul Morrow
Portrayed by Prentis Hancock
Date of birth 29 October 1967, London, England
Date of death 2000?
Home planet Earth
Affiliation Moonbase Alpha
Species Human
Gender Male
Posting 6 April 1999, second tour of duty on Moonbase Alpha
Rank Controller
Section Main Mission

Paul Morrow is a fictional character who first appeared in "Breakaway", the premiere episode of the science fiction television show Space: 1999, and was portrayed by Prentis Hancock. He is a British national who appears to be in his early thirties.

Character biography[edit]

Paul Morrow held the position of Main Mission Controller and was John Koenig's second-in-command. His pre-"Breakaway" responsibilities also included supervising Alpha's communications activity and co-ordinating flight traffic to and from Moonbase Alpha, as well as any spaceflights in Alpha airspace. He is also a competent Eagle pilot—both in a hands-on capacity (as seen in "The Last Sunset" and "Collision Course") and by remote-control ("Breakaway" and "The Last Sunset" among many others).

Morrow had served on Moonbase Alpha for several years prior to the Moon's departure from Earth orbit and was thus familiar with John Koenig when he assumed command of Alpha in September 1999.[1] It can be assumed he was present on Alpha in some capacity during the Ultra Probe incident of 1996–1997.[2]

Series one[edit]

Morrow is, as a rule, a by-the-book man; this unwavering devotion to duty can make him unpopular with other Alpha staff members (see "Black Sun", "The Testament of Arkadia" among others). He can sometimes seem a bit standoffish, but he does have an attraction to senior Data Analyst Sandra Benes.[3] This develops into a romantic relationship after the death of Astronaut Mike Ryan, who had been involved with Sandra previously. In an alternate future witnessed after the Moon's passage through an unexplained space phenomneon, Morrow was found to have married Sandra and was the father of two children.[4] In "The Last Sunset", they were the first Alphans to venture onto the temporarily habitable lunar surface, where they shared a kiss. Later, while strolling along the Alpha perimeter, they were involved in a discussion taking their relationship to the next level (as, while cooped up in Alpha, this was a 'thought we just can't allow ourselves to think'), as well as the potential of building a life outside Alpha and away from duty and responsibility.

His loyalty to Koenig is absolute, though the relationship between them is one of professionalism and mutual respect rather than friendship (perhaps as a result of the fact that Koenig has been witnessed being less than respectful to his number two on several occasions). Only under extreme circumstances is he seen to publicly disagree with the Commander: in "Collision Course", he cannot make the leap of faith proposed by Koenig to allow the collision of the Moon with the planet Atheria and in "Voyager's Return", he vociferously campaigns against Koenig's decision to try to manipulate the Voyager One craft for personal prejudices discussed later in this document.

He is good friends with David Kano (he is one of the few persons on Moonbase to address the Technical chief by his given name) and Alan Carter. There is a perceived attraction between him and Tanya Alexander, another Main Mission operative, in the episode "Black Sun" where, waiting for probable death, she visits him in his quarters and the looks exchanged are far from platonic. If there are any personnel with whom he shares an active dislike, it seems to be Doctor Bob Mathias; command decisions that affect the Medical department can lead to tense (and loud) verbal encounters ("Force of Life", "The Testament of Arkadia") between the two men.

In his too-brief off-duty time, Morrow is seen as a competent guitar player; he is shown playing his guitar in his quarters in "Black Sun" and in the Medical Diagnostic Unit during a celebration in "Guardian of Piri".

Morrow's father was killed in 1985, shortly after the launch of the Voyager Two interstellar space probe. Morrow Senior and two hundred other persons died when the probe's main drive engaged too soon; all life in the vicinity was extinguished by the Queller Drive's stream of fast neutrons.[5] Happening during his teenage years, Morrow would never forget his loss and responded with understandable rage when the wandering Moon encountered another Voyager ship fifteen years later and an Alpha research scientist was revealed to be the infamous creator of the lethal propulsion system.

The Morrow character was originally conceived as Russian in an early draft script for "Breakaway" (at that time titled "The Void Ahead") and was named Vorkonen. This character otherwise differed little from what was seen in the final version of the opening episode.[6]

Morrow appeared in every episode of Year One except "The Infernal Machine", when actor Prentis Hancock was being treated for a minor medical condition. While being made up for the shooting day during "Space Brain", the make-up artist had noticed a small tumour or polyp on the side of his neck.

Series two[edit]

Like most other supporting characters from the first series - Professor Victor Bergman and David Kano - Paul Morrow did not appear in the show's second-series episodes. No on-air explanation was ever offered for his sudden disappearance. The fan episode 'Message From Moonbase Alpha' had Sandra Benes mentioning Morrow with affection when she reminisced about those Alphans who had died or been left behind. The Moonbase Alpha Technical Journal indicated Morrow was killed along with Kano in an Eagle crash. The Powys novel Space: 1999 - The Forsaken told the between-series' story where Morrow participated in an act of mutiny to settle on an alien world and protect the unborn child of Tanya Alexander from a possible abortion on Moonbase.

In reality, American producer Fred Freiberger dismissed all cast members with the exception of Martin Landau and Barbara Bain (later reinstating Zienia Merton, Nick Tate and Anton Phillips) as he did not care for the Year One format characters and felt that they had garnered no fan loyalty.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Space: 1999 episode "Breakaway"
  2. ^ Space: 1999 episode "Dragon's Domain"
  3. ^ Space: 1999 episode "Black Sun"
  4. ^ Space: 1999 episode "Another Time, Another Place"
  5. ^ Space: 1999 episode "Voyager's Return"
  6. ^ "The Void Ahead" draft script by George Bellak

External links[edit]