|Space: 1999 character|
Clifton Jones as Computer Operative David Kano
|Portrayed by||Clifton Jones|
|Rank||Computer Specialist, Third in Command|
|Date of birth||1966|
|Date of death||2000?|
David Kano is a fictional character who regularly appeared during the first season of the science fiction television series Space: 1999. He is of Jamaican origin and in his mid-thirties. He was played by actor Clifton Jones.
As part of the Moonbase Alpha senior staff and head of the Technical Section, David Kano was the resident computer expert on Moonbase. It was said to owe his expertise to his parents, both of whom were computer programmers.
Prior to his position on Alpha, Kano was one of several volunteer test subjects on Earth to receive an experimental cybernetic implant that would enable the human brain to interface with a computer, taking advantage of its vast memory and calculating speed. Kano was the only subject not to be rendered permanently brain damaged by the experiment. He retains the access port from this programme in the right occipital area of his skull.
Kano had an almost symbiotic relationship with Alpha's Main Computer, which was curiously programmed with a female voice. He also referred to the computer as 'Computer' instead of "the computer" as though it were a name. He also habitually referred to Computer as 'she' or 'her'. Kano was invaluable to Commander Koenig as the person who had the ability to ask Computer the right questions and was privy to confidential computer output before everyone else. Kano's faith in computers in general was unshakable and he would tout human error over computer error every time.
Well liked among the Alphans, Kano was an easygoing person who got along well with fellow key staff. While typically addressed as 'Kano', Paul Morrow was one of the few to address him by given name, indicating that the two probably knew each other for some time. While not socially inept, Kano preferred to spend most of his time with Computer, often playing chess with her. He could occasionally be seen playing chess with his fellow Alphans when seeking 'a real game' as he beat Computer every time.
The episode "Missing Link" marks a notable instance where Kano lost his temper and harshly reprimands a junior staff member who accidentally spills coffee on him. Morrow also almost comes to blows with Kano over what he perceives as Kano's unnecessary harsh treatment of said junior staff member. However, everyone at this time is overly stressed due to Commander Koenig's being on the brink of death due to events in that episode. These harsh exchanges were promptly forgotten when Koenig recovered.
Kano first appeared in Series One's second episode "Matter of Life and Death". The pilot episode has a similar Black character in the same position, Benjamin Ouma, played by actor Lon Satton. (An examination of early drafts of the script for "Breakaway" indicated Ouma was the head of the Computer Section.) Kano replaced Ouma without any reason given and Ouma was never seen on the show again. Accounts from cast and crew indicate Satton did not get along with producers and fellow actors alike (especially Martin Landau) and was removed from the series.
Along with fellow regular cast members Prentis Hancock and Barry Morse, Clifton Jones did not return for the second series of the show. The absence of these characters was never accounted for in official canon. In the fan production Message from Moonbase Alpha which takes place 25 years later, Sandra Benes briefly recalls Professor Bergman, Paul and other characters no longer with them at that time, although it is not specifically said that either is necessarily deceased. But she did not mention Kano, which suggests either an overlook on Sandra's part or that Kano was still alive and well on Alpha but had taken up residence on Alpha off-screen in a different capacity. The fan-produced "Moonbase Alpha Technical Journal" would state that he, along with Paul Morrow, had died in an Eagle crash in the time between the two series.
In the officially licensed series of novels published by Powys Media, in particular the novel Born for Adversity by David McIntee, Kano's fate is revealed. He is killed during a further attempt to link his brain to Computer, resulting in a copy of his mind being preserved within Computer's memory. With the arrival of the Psychons on the Moon, and with them an incarnation of the biological computer Psyche, Kano is transferred to Psyche and becomes one with it. He departs with the Psychons and is presumably still alive at the time of Message for Moonbase Alpha.
In reality, he was not rehired by the production as American producer Fred Freiberger felt that the Year One supporting cast lacked character definition and had garnered no fan support.