List of Space: 1999 episodes

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Space: 1999, a British science-fiction television series, ran for 48 episodes broadcast between 1975-77. The first series (or season, often referred to as Year One) of 24 episodes began transmission in 1975, though production of the first episode began in 1973. In addition, a number of compilation films have been produced using material from multiple episodes, some containing additional footage. A brief, semi-official series denouement was filmed for exhibition at the Breakaway 1999 fan convention,[1] held in Los Angeles, California in September 1999.

Overview[edit]

Individual episodes are intended to be broadcast in a progressive order so that, for Year One, "Breakaway" should be broadcast first, with "Black Sun" and "Earthbound" being broadcast at an early stage to present the Moon entering a new and different part of space and the Alphans encountering their first aliens. However, many stations in the United States aired "Dragon's Domain" (production number 23) as the second installment after "Breakaway" in September 1975. In the United Kingdom, "Force of Life" (production number 9) was the follow-up to "Breakaway". The other guidelines are that the episodes should progress to show John Koenig's and Helena Russell's relationship develop and blossom. "The Metamorph" should be the first episode of Year Two, followed by the remaining episodes (there is a two-part episode in Year Two) in the order that the days on Russell's status report (which commences each episode) dictates. Regional and national stations aired the series in a wide range of orders. In some cases, this included mixing Year One and Year Two episodes at random.

Original episode air dates below reflect the non-uniform order of Space: 1999 as broadcast worldwide. Space: 1999 premiered on 23 July 1975 in Australia and 4 September 1975 in the UK. The Year Two opener "The Metamorph" was first broadcast on American television in August 1976, several weeks before its British debut on 4 September.

One preferred order is to use the original production order to account for subtle changes in sets and cast. For Year Two episodes, the number of days since the Moon left Earth orbit is often mentioned in the dialogue, but this number does not always progress consistently. DVD releases have followed this order as well. Another order is suggested by Andrew Kearley on a site that he created as a tribute to and analysis of the series.

Year One (1975–1976)[edit]

The credited regular cast for Year One are:

Ep. # Title Director[2] Writer(s)[2] Original Air Date[3] Production #[2]
1 "Breakaway" Lee H. Katzin George Bellak 4 September 1975 (1975-09-04) 1
In September 1999, John Koenig reports to Earth's Space Research Centre at Moonbase Alpha as its new commander. A strange sickness is killing some of the Moonbase Alpha crew. Commander Koenig's investigation reveals that the source lies at Nuclear Waste Disposal Area 1 caused by excessive magnetic energy fields. The continuous build up of energy shortly causes massive explosion clusters that knocks the moon off orbit into deep space.
2 "Matter of Life and Death" Charles Crichton Art Wallace & Johnny Byrne 27 November 1975 (1975-11-27) 2
A lush Earth-type planet holds the promise of a new home for the people of Moonbase Alpha. When the reconnaissance Eagle returns, it carries an unexpected passenger: Helena's husband, who died five years ago. The mysterious Lee Russell tells the Alphans that death awaits them on the new planet. The Alphans ignore his warning and unknowingly descend into a world of antimatter.
3 "Black Sun" Lee H. Katzin David Weir 6 November 1975 (1975-11-06) 3
The travelling Moon drifts within range of a black sun. Pulled toward certain destruction by its inescapable gravitational force, the Alphans employ desperate measures to stay alive. As a lifeboat Eagle carries six persons to safety, the Moon plunges into the black sun, with only an experimental forcefield protecting Alpha.
4 "Ring Around the Moon" Ray Austin Edward di Lorenzo 15 January 1976 (1976-01-15) 4
A technician falls under an alien influence, accessing classified information before mysteriously dying. Soon after, the Moon is stopped in space by the powerful rays of an alien spacecraft. The aliens' only interest in Alpha is the data held in its computers, information they now plan to obtain through the possessed eyes of their next agent: Helena Russell.
5 "Earthbound" Charles Crichton Anthony Terpiloff 4 December 1975 (1975-12-04) 5
An alien spacecraft crashlands on the Moon, its passengers refugees from a dying world. As their destination is Earth, they generously offer to take one person with them when they depart. The scheming Commissioner Simmonds takes steps to ensure that he is the lucky individual chosen, even if it means destroying Alpha.
6 "Another Time, Another Place" David Tomblin Johnny Byrne 18 December 1975 (1975-12-18) 6
After an encounter with a space-time anomaly, the Alphans find their Moon back in the Solar System on a course to re-enter Earth orbit. The celebration ends when it becomes apparent Earth is an inhospitable wasteland. The mystery deepens when they discover a duplicate Moon already in orbit and a duplicate Moonbase Alpha lying empty and deserted.
7 "Missing Link" Ray Austin Edward di Lorenzo 22 January 1976 (1976-01-22) 7
John Koenig finds himself trapped on the planet Zenno, in the home of an alien scientist and his daughter. Advanced two million years beyond Earthmen, the aliens consider Koenig their missing link. Faced with the threat of being treated like an experimental animal for the rest of his life, Koenig uses an unexpected weapon to confound his captor: love.
8 "Guardian of Piri" Charles Crichton Christopher Penfold 13 November 1975 (1975-11-13) 8
Strange events befuddle the Alphans as they approach the planet Piri. When exploring its lifeless surface, Koenig encounters the seductive servant of the mysterious Guardian of Piri. She offers the wayward Alphans a life of peace and perfection. Realising the deadly truth behind the peace of Piri, Koenig struggles to free his people from the Guardian's influence.
9 "Force of Life" David Tomblin Johnny Byrne 11 September 1975 (1975-09-11) 9
The body of Anton Zoref is invaded by an unknown life force. The man soon manifests an uncontrollable ability to absorb heat. As the Alphans struggle to understand this mysterious force, Zoref's need becomes insatiable. Driven by instinct, he makes his way to the greatest source of heat on Alpha, the Nuclear Generating Plant.
10 "Alpha Child" Ray Austin Christopher Penfold 16 October 1975 (1975-10-16) 10
The Alphans celebrate the arrival of the first child born on the Moon. The blessed event sours when the infant grows into a five-year-old child in minutes. Trying to accept him, the Alphans do not notice that little Jackie Crawford is much more than he seems. When hostile spaceships approach the base, Koenig realises, too late, that the aliens have an agent on Alpha.
11 "The Last Sunset" Charles Crichton Christopher Penfold 1 January 1976 (1976-01-01) 11
Anonymous alien benfactors provide the wandering Moon with a breathable atmosphere. The Alphans rejoice as they realise they have a wonderful new home in their own backyard. Preparations are made to settle and begin building a new civilisation on the Moon's surface. Koenig is suspicious of the aliens' motives, wondering how long this generous gift will last.
12 "Voyager's Return" Bob Kellett Johnny Byrne 9 October 1975 (1975-10-09) 12
The automated Earth space probe Voyager One is approaching the Moon. With the radioactive exhaust from its engine certain to extinguish all life on Moonbase, the Alphans try to gain control and shut down the drive. Help comes when the probe's designer is found living on Alpha under an assumed name. However, Voyager is being followed by alien ships seeking revenge.
13 "Collision Course" Ray Austin Anthony Terpiloff 18 September 1975 (1975-09-18) 13
The Moon is on a collision course with an enormous planet. On a scouting mission, Koenig encounters Arra, the Queen of Atheria. The aged monarch proclaims the collision is a preordained event and must occur for her people to evolve to a higher plane of existence. Now Koenig must convince his staff to have faith and do nothing in the face of apparent destruction.
14 "Death's Other Dominion" Charles Crichton Anthony Terpiloff & Elizabeth Barrows 2 October 1975 (1975-10-02) 14
On a frozen planet, the Alphans encounter shipwrecked humans from a lost expedition. The expatriates from Earth enjoy an idyllic existence: they have been made immortal and have lived there for over 880 years. They invite the Alphans to join them in paradise, but dissidents reveal all is not at it seems, teaching Koenig that immortality comes with a price.
15 "The Full Circle" Bob Kellett Jesse Lasky Jnr. & Pat Silver 11 December 1975 (1975-12-11) 15
When exploring a habitable planet, members of the Alphan survey party vanish without a trace. Are they the victims of an indigenous tribe of Stone Age humanoids? The mystery deepens when a dead caveman is found to have capped teeth. Others soon notice the primitive cave chief and his mate bear an uncanny resemblance to the missing John Koenig and Helena Russell.
16 "End of Eternity" Ray Austin Johnny Byrne 20 November 1975 (1975-11-20) 16
While exploring an asteroid, the Alphans injure an alien trapped within. Bringing him to Alpha, they discover his wounds have completely healed. The indestructible Balor is a scientist who has discovered the secret of immortality. Also a psychopath, he plans to spend eternity practicing the art of pain and torture, with the Alphans as his subjects.
17 "War Games" Charles Crichton Christopher Penfold 25 September 1975 (1975-09-25) 17
Approaching an inhabited planet, the Alphans are suddenly pounced upon by warships. In an unprovoked attack, Moonbase Alpha is devastated by Earth-style Hawk fighters. With 128 dead and Alpha unable to sustain life, Koenig and Helena appeal to the aliens for mercy. The aliens proclaim the Earthmen to be an invading virus, with no right to exist.
18 "The Last Enemy" Bob Kellett Bob Kellett 19 February 1976 (1976-02-19) 18
The Moon approaches a solar system with two planets on opposites sides of its sun. The Alphans are trapped in an interplanetary conflict when warships from both worlds trespass on the Moon to fire missiles at their opponents' planets. After taking in a refugee from a destroyed gunship, the Alphans discover they have drifted into the middle of a literal war of the sexes.
19 "The Troubled Spirit" Ray Austin Johnny Byrne 5 February 1976 (1976-02-05) 19
Dan Mateo, hoping to unlock the secret of communication with plants, unleashes a killing force from the depths of his own mind. This macabre spectre seeks vengeance for Mateo's horrible death—which has not yet occurred. Bridging the span between science and the supernatural, the Alphans hope to break the cycle and exorcise the ghost without killing the man.
20 "Space Brain" Charles Crichton Christopher Penfold 29 January 1976 (1976-01-29) 20
An Eagle and its crew are crushed to death by an enormous energy field in space. When one of Alpha's astronauts is possessed by the anomaly, he tells them the energy field is a living space brain, which responded to the 'threat' with antibodies Finding the Moon on a collision course with the Brain, the Alphans make plans to avoid the same fate as the Eagle.
21 "The Infernal Machine" David Tomblin Anthony Terpiloff & Elizabeth Barrows 8 January 1976 (1976-01-08) 21
The Alphans are visited by a bizarre spacecraft, whose request for supplies hides a deeper purpose. The ship, Gwent, is found to be sentient, the attempt of a vain alien genius to live forever. Powerful, unstable and craving companionship, Gwent intends for Koenig, Helena and Bergman to replace its aged, dying creator.
22 "Mission of the Darians" Ray Austin Johnny Byrne 30 October 1975 (1975-10-30) 22
Encountering a derelict spaceship, the Alphans respond to an automated distress signal. On board, they discover what remains of the once-great civilisation of Daria: an elite group which maintains control of the ship and a tribe which has descended into savagery. The Alphans are appalled when they discover what measures the Darians have taken to survive.
23 "Dragon's Domain" Charles Crichton Christopher Penfold 23 October 1975 (1975-10-23) 23
In 1996, Tony Celllini commanded a high-profile space mission which ended in disaster. The sole survivor, he told an outrageous tale of a spaceship graveyard and an alien 'dragon' which devoured his crew. Believed by no one, he was left a broken man. Five years later, the truth is revealed when the runaway Moon approaches the same deadly Sargasso in space.
24 "The Testament of Arkadia" David Tomblin Johnny Byrne 12 February 1976 (1976-02-12) 24
The wandering Moon suddenly changes course and comes to a halt in the vicinity of a dead world. As Alpha's power fails, the only hope for survival is to evacuate to the planet, which was ravaged by a nuclear war in the distant past. Searching for answers, a team is sent to the surface, where they discover the shocking truth of the origin of Mankind.

Notes[edit]

  • Although not broadcast until the summer of 1975, production on the pilot episode, "Breakaway", commenced in November 1973.
  • The closing moments of "Breakaway" strongly suggest that the Alphans are considering maintaining contact with the planet Meta and possibly even settling there.[4] This possibility is abruptly dropped without explanation, and Meta never re-appears in the series.
  • The description for "Black Sun" is modified from the original ITC summary, which states that the Moon is on collision course with an asteroid that turns into a black sun. In the episode, an asteroid changes course and is destroyed by what the Alphans discover to be a "black sun" or black hole.
  • "War Games", stated to be the highest-budgeted single episode of any TV series up to that time, was an overt commentary on humanity's combative nature. After firing pre-emptively on an apparently hostile alien task force, Alpha is devastated by an unstoppable alien enemy that wrecks the base and kills half the inhabitants. In another of the series' metaphysical twists, the Alphans are apparently given a second chance at the end, when time rewinds to moments prior to the attack so that Commander John Koenig may rethink his fateful decision. The aliens inform the Alphans that the events of the episode occurred in an instant of time to show them the consequences of their potential actions.[5]
  • "Dragon's Domain" and "Force of Life" are more typical variations on the alien monster theme, although both have more metaphysical leanings. "Dragon's Domain" is essentially a re-telling of the legend of Saint George and the Dragon, while "Force of Life" raises questions about the nature of life, and what forms it could assume.
  • "Voyager's Return" essentially serves as an allegory for whether someone who causes death and destruction in the pursuit of knowledge, whether knowingly or unknowingly, can truly redeem himself and be forgiven. It also touches on whether a whole populace can be held responsible for the actions of one of its members.
  • "The Testament of Arkadia" predated Glen A. Larson's original Battlestar Galactica TV series by almost three years, in delving into the concept of "life here began out there". The episode also addresses one of the story arcs briefly touched upon throughout Year One, in that the journey of the Alphans might not have been as happenstance as it appeared to be. Additionally, "The Testament of Arkadia" depicts a lifeless planet that holds clues as to the origins of mankind but was ravaged thousands of years earlier in a nuclear war. A similar theme was adopted by Ronald D. Moore for his remake of Battlestar Galactica when dealing with the "original" planet Earth.
  • "Death's Other Dominion" addresses the question of what price is too much for advancements in medical science: in this case, the search for the cause of an immortality that has already been achieved for reasons unknown.

Year Two (1976–1977)[edit]

The credited regular cast for Year Two are:

Credited recurring cast for Year Two include:

Episodes[edit]

Ep. # Title Director[2] Writer(s)[2] Original Air Date[6] Production #[2]
1 "The Metamorph" Charles Crichton Johnny Byrne 4 September 1976 (1976-09-04) 1
The Alphans fall into the grasp of the despotic Mentor, an alien scientist trying to restore his ravaged world to its former glory. His biological computer requires the energy obtained from living brains to complete his task. When captured, Koenig is offered a choice: surrender the Alphans to a horrifying living death or face complete annihilation. However, Mentor's beautiful daughter Maya, who is a metamorph, may be able to aid the Alphans.
2 "The Exiles" Ray Austin Donald James 11 September 1976 (1976-09-11) 2
A fleet of alien missiles takes up orbit around the Moon. When one is brought down for examination, the Alphans discover it contains the frozen body of a young man. Revived, he begs for Koenig to recover the rest of his people, innocent victims of a ruthless alien coup. However, the Alphans are soon reminded that appearances can be deceptive.
3 "One Moment of Humanity" Charles Crichton Tony Barwick 25 September 1976 (1976-09-25) 3
Zamara, a striking alien woman materialises aboard Moonbase and abducts two crew members. Guest-starring Billie Whitelaw and Leigh Lawson
4 "All That Glisters" Ray Austin Keith Miles 28 October 1976 (1976-10-28) 4
Koenig and his away team are trapped on a desert planet whose dominant life form is a rock that is thirsty for liquid water.
5 "Journey to Where" Tom Clegg Donald James 18 September 1976 (1976-09-18) 5
A radio call from planet Earth to the moon gives hope of transporting the Alphans back home, until things go terribly wrong.
6 "The Taybor" Bob Brooks Thom Keyes 4 November 1976 (1976-11-04) 6
A roving trader known as Taybor offers to trade the Alphans the technology to return to Earth, with Maya's companionship as the price.
7 "The Rules of Luton" Val Guest "Charles Woodgrove"[7] 23 October 1976 (1976-10-23) 7
Following a defect in an Eagle, Tony Verdeschi is forced to leave John Koenig and Maya on a prospective home planet for the Alphans, whilst he returns to fetch another Eagle. After picking a flower and eating a Berry, both John and Maya are accused of murder by the ruling plant life on Luton. Their sentence is a fight to the death.
8 "The Mark of Archanon" Charles Crichton Lew Schwarz 16 October 1976 (1976-10-16) 8
Searching in the Moon's Catacombs for minerals, Alan Carter and his assistant come across a buried cryogenic pod containing a man and a boy.
9 "Brian the Brain" Kevin Connor Jack Ronder 2 October 1976 (1976-10-02) 9
Guest-starring Bernard Cribbins in two roles. The Alphans happen across a roving spaceship run entirely by a computer. Brian the Brain, as he prefers to be called (voice by Bernard Cribbins), plays the part of a devious captain until the truth is finally uncovered.
10 "New Adam, New Eve" Charles Crichton Terence Feely 9 October 1976 (1976-10-09) 10
A man appears claiming to be God and proceeds to select two couples from the Alphans to begin a new earth.
11 "Catacombs of the Moon" Robert Lynn Anthony Terpiloff 25 November 1976 (1976-11-25) 11
In the catacombs of the Moon, engineer Patrick Osgood is searching for titanium to save his wife's life but goes missing.
12 "The AB Chrysalis" Val Guest Tony Barwick 18 November 1976 (1976-11-18) 12
Koenig investigates the source of electrical waves destroying Moonbase Alpha.
13 "Seed of Destruction" Kevin Connor John Goldsmith 11 November 1976 (1976-11-11) 13
Whilist exploring a bizarre asteroid, Koenig is detained and replaced by a double.
14 "The Beta Cloud" Robert Lynn "Charles Woodgrove"[7] 16 December 1976 (1976-12-16) 14
A cloud of space dust causes a mystery illness on Alpha; an Eagle crew is sent to discover its secrets.
15 "Space Warp" Peter Medak "Charles Woodgrove"[7] 2 December 1976 (1976-12-02) 15
Two crises strike the Alphans simultaneously with Koenig and Tony encountering a space warp while Maya is stricken down by a fever.
16 "A Matter of Balance" Charles Crichton Pip & Jane Baker 9 December 1976 (1976-12-09) 16
Koenig and botanist Shermeen explore a new planet resulting in Shermeen being put under a mysterious spell.
17 "The Bringers of Wonder, Part One" Tom Clegg Terence Feely 4 August 1977 (1977-08-04) 17
A team of people from Earth ride a Superswift to take the Alphans home, but instead of old friends and acquaintances, an injured Koenig sees them as hideous telepathic aliens.
18 "The Bringers of Wonder, Part Two" Tom Clegg Terence Feely 11 August 1977 (1977-08-11) 18
Koenig convinces Maya and Tony to help him stop the aliens, whose real intent is to detonate nuclear fuel to provide their sustenance.
19 "The Lambda Factor" Charles Crichton Terrance Dicks 23 December 1976 (1976-12-23) 19
Maya discovers that a huge gaseous cloud is giving off Lambda waves which could give some people paranormal powers.
20 "The Seance Spectre" Peter Medak Donald James 18 August 1977 (1977-08-18) 20
A small group of Alphans take over the Command Centre from Koenig, intent on inhabiting a new planet Tora that is on a collision course with the moon.
21 "Dorzak" Val Guest Christopher Penfold 25 August 1977 (1977-08-25) 21
A mysterious young woman emerges from a spacecraft seeking medical attention for a colleague.
22 "Devil's Planet" Tom Clegg Michael Winder 1 September 1977 (1977-09-01) 22
Koenig crash lands on an Earth-like planet once populated but now devoid of life. He is captured and taken to a penal colony on the planet's moon.
23 "The Immunity Syndrome" Bob Brooks Johnny Byrne 29 October 1977 (1977-10-29) 23
While on a survey of a planet to replenish food and water on Moonbase Alpha, an alien form attacks a crewman who seemingly goes mad; after a brief struggle with the crewman, Tony Verdeschi is attacked by the alien as well. Koenig and the survey party must find Tony and help him regain his senses before the madness kills him and solve the mystery of the alien life form.
24 "The Dorcons" Tom Clegg Johnny Byrne 12 November 1977 (1977-11-12) 24
Alpha is approached by an alien vessel, which Maya recognizes as a Dorcon ship. The Dorcons are enemies of the Psychons. The Dorcon ship eventually manages to take Maya from Moonbase Alpha so that the ship's commander can harvest Maya's brain stem, the source of her transformation powers; an attempt by Koenig to free Maya ensues before the Dorcons can dispatch the last living Psychon forever. (This episode eventually will serve as the series finale.)

Notes[edit]

  • The time elapsed since leaving Earth orbit may allow an interpretation of the calendar date. However, even if the Alphans still use the Gregorian calendar, Earth has moved forward considerably in time, as evidenced in the episode "Journey to Where", in which it is 2120 on Earth. (The Alphans know that because of the Moon's high velocity, Einsteinian time dilation and the unknown phenomena that hurl them through space, time on Earth would progress more rapidly than on the Moon.)[8] The series was not consistent in how it used this number. The two-part "The Bringers of Wonder", for example, is said to take place hundreds of days apart, which is not possible (although the correct passage of days appeared in the script for "The Bringers of Wonder, Part Two", this was erroneously transcribed in Barbara Bain's script for the post-production recording session). Another time, the events of three episodes seem to occur almost simultaneously ("Devil's Planet" at 2306 days, "The Lambda Factor" at 2308 days and "The Immunity Syndrome" at 2310 days). If the numbers of days mentioned throughout Year Two is accurate, the episodes take place over a period of more than five years (while all the events of Year One passed in under 342 days). Additionally, it is stated, in "Dragon's Domain", that it has been 877 days since the Moon left orbit.
  • The Year Two episodes aired on Associated Television over the course of more than a year. Due to a long mid-series gap, some sources consider episodes 2.17 to 2.24 to mark a third series. In some regions of the United Kingdom, the final episode, "The Dorcons", did not air until the summer of 1978. In others, it did not appear until the 1998 BBC Two repeat run. Year Two was available from an earlier date in countries other than the UK; for example, in Canada, CBC had aired all of Year Two by May 1977, and 10 episodes had been aired before transmission began in the UK.

Compilation films[edit]

Four films were assembled from various episodes of Space: 1999 in the 1970s and 1980s. One aim was to provide content for new American and European cable and satellite TV stations (and for theatrical release, which occurred in a number of European countries). The fifth film, Spazio: 1999, was created specifically for theatrical release in Italy. With the exception of Spazio: 1999, the films were released on home video years before individual episodes.

  • Spazio: 1999 is a 1976 Italian release consisting of heavily edited segments from the episodes "Breakaway", "Ring Around The Moon" and "Another Time, Another Place". It features a score by film composer Ennio Morricone, replacing the original score by Barry Gray.
  • Destination: Moonbase Alpha, released in 1978 by ITC London, was the first widely available re-edit of Space: 1999, based upon the two-part Year Two episode "The Bringers of Wonder". The narrator informs viewers that it is 2100 and that Moonbase Alpha drew its power from nuclear waste. In many countries, this episode could be seen only in a re-edited form since it did not appear in syndication (although the two episodes were restored for the Region 1 DVD release).
  • Alien Attack, released in 1979 by ITC London, retroactively introduces foreign audiences to the premise of the series with a compilation of "Breakaway" and "War Games". It moves events from 1999 far into the 21st century. This film also includes footage specially shot for this release, specifically scenes set in the offices of the International Lunar Commission on Earth.
  • Journey Through the Black Sun, released in 1982 by ITC New York, combines the Year One episodes "Collision Course" and "Black Sun". Scenes from both episodes, such as the character of Alan Carter confronting Commander John Koenig in "Black Sun", were cut.
  • Cosmic Princess, also released in 1982 by ITC New York, focuses on the Year Two character Maya and combines the episodes "The Metamorph" and "Space Warp". The alien's dialogue from "Space Warp" is altered, and the alien's difficulties, as well as Maya's condition, are presented as being directly related to "The Metamorph" as if the events of that episode occurred only days before. A small number of scenes, such as Maya's father, Mentor, chiding her for what he views as misuse of her shapechanging abilities, were cut. This film appeared in an early episode of the TV series Mystery Science Theater 3000.

Some American VHS editions of the English-language releases include specially filmed introductions by B-movie actress Sybil Danning (who never appeared in the original series). Space: 1999 actors Martin Landau and Barbara Bain were reportedly upset at this re-packaging and launched legal proceedings.[9]

Message from Moonbase Alpha[edit]

Message From Moonbase Alpha

At the Breakaway 1999 convention,[1] held in Los Angeles, California in 1999, a short featurette entitled Message from Moonbase Alpha premiered on 13 September. Produced by fans and written by Space: 1999 script editor Johnny Byrne, the short film features a tearful monologue performed by actress Zienia Merton in character as Sandra Benes.

The premise of the film, set decades after the events of the TV series (of which "The Dorcons" is the final episode), is that Moonbase Alpha's life-support systems have finally started to fail. Fortunately, a space warp has propelled the Moon to within range of an Earth-like planet, dubbed Terra Alpha. Following a vote (which was contested by some), Commander John Koenig has made the decision for all inhabitants to evacuate Alpha and settle on the planet before the Moon travels out of range. Sandra states that Operation Exodus is a gamble, as the planet is an unknown factor: the Moon is determined to be entering an orbit of sorts, but it will not return to Terra Alpha for another 25 years.

Meanwhile, Maya has devised a way for Alpha to send a message back to Earth using another space warp. Sandra, the last Alphan to leave the Moon, is given the task of sending it, but it is not known when or if the message will arrive. The film ends with the Meta Probe signal featured at the end of the pilot episode "Breakaway", indicating that the first signal the Alphans receive from space is, in fact, one that they have sent to themselves from the future. The featurette was shot on a small set using design elements from both Years One and Two and includes character and special effects footage from various episodes, some of which underwent minor alterations.

With the exception of Sandra, the only series characters mentioned in the present tense (meaning that they are still active at the time of arrival at Terra Alpha) are Maya and John Koenig, but Helena Russell also appears in the title sequences. Sandra also eulogises several notable Alphans who are now deceased, including Victor Bergman and Paul Morrow, and also mentions her fiancé Michael and Luke and Anna, as seen in the episode "The Testament of Arkadia".

Byrne devised Message from Moonbase Alpha to permit the possibility of a sequel series. According to Byrne's revival concept, this series would be set about 25 years later and feature the children of the Alphans who leave Terra Alpha when the Moon and its Moonbase eventually return. Although there was some press and fan speculation regarding the proposal at the end of 1999, the series remains undeveloped. Byrne himself died in 2008.

The original arrangement between all the parties involved in the production of Message from Moonbase Alpha and (then) copyright holders of Space: 1999, Carlton Media International, was that the film would be screened only once, at the September 1999 convention. However, it was subsequently shown at other events and made available as a special feature on various DVD releases in the United States, Canada, France and Italy, in both its original and adapted forms.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Willey, Martin. "Breakaway: 1999 Convention Report". The Catacombs: International Guide. Retrieved 2009-09-17. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Bentley, Chris (2008) [2001]. The Complete Gerry Anderson: The Authorised Episode Guide (4 ed.). Richmond, London: Reynolds and Hearn. ISBN 978-1-905287-74-1. 
  3. ^ Fanderson: The Official Gerry Anderson Website. All dates based on original ATV Midlands broadcasts.
  4. ^ Space: 1999 episode "Breakaway".
  5. ^ In a reworked episode titled "God's Will", created by Canadian video editor Eric Bernard and screened at the MainMission:2000 convention in New York City, this ending is changed so that there is no second chance after Victor Bergman, David Kano and Paul Morrow are killed, making the episode a "bridge" between Years One and Two. Characters introduced in Year Two are digitally added to certain key scenes. Bernard had gone on to re-edit the entire series which he has re-christened Space: 2099 with tighter editing and digital visual effects. The "God's Will" concept is retained and the episode, re-titled "Sidon's Revenge", is the last of the Year One episodes in his new chronology and leads into the changes observed in Year Two.
  6. ^ Fanderson: The Official Gerry Anderson Website. All dates based on original ATV Midlands broadcasts.
  7. ^ a b c Pseudonym adopted by Fred Freiberger, Year Two producer.
  8. ^ Space: 1999 episodes "Another Time, Another Place", "Journey to Where" and "The Bringers of Wonder".
  9. ^ Destination: Moonbase Alpha, Telos Publications, 2010.

External links[edit]