|Security Chief Tony Verdeschi|
|Space: 1999 character|
Tony Anholt as Security Chief Tony Verdeschi
|First appearance||"The Metamorph"|
|Portrayed by||Tony Anholt|
|Date of birth||1967, Florence, Italy|
|Posting||27 August 1999, second tour of duty on Moonbase Alpha|
|Rank||Chief Security Officer|
Tony Verdeschi is a fictional character who first appeared in the second series of the science fiction television series Space: 1999. He is in his early thirties.
Portrayed by Tony Anholt, Tony took over the role of Moonbase Alpha's executive officer for the show's second season. He replaced Controller Paul Morrow, the base's second-in-command during the first series; no explanation was ever given for Morrow's sudden absence from the programme or lack of appearances or references to Tony in the first series. Unlike Morrow, Verdeschi did double-duty as Moonbase's Chief of Security. He first appeared in the second series opening episode "The Metamorph".
Tony Verdeschi neither appeared nor was mentioned in the first series, so his sudden appearance in the second series was never explained. (Although in "Earthbound" Commander Koenig does address a spacesuited and helmeted security guard as 'Tony'.)
Of Italian descent, he was born in Florence, Italy. He comes from a long line of farmers. His full name is Anthony Dean Verdeschi; this anglicized name, coupled with his British accent, hints at least one of his parents was a British national. He attended the University of Rome (graduating in 1990) and did post-grauduate studies at Cambridge University in England (graduating in 1993). He joined the World Space Commission in 1994 with the rank of science specialist.
He has an older brother named Guido, whose appearance was assumed by an alien in "The Bringers of Wonder", and an outspoken mother, whom Tony can believe would have called the American President for two weeks to demand action after the Moon's cataclysmic departure when told this by the alien Guido persona. His mother is reputed to be a fantastic cook, with a recipe for marinara sauce that would shame most artisans of Italian cookery.
As originally conceived by producer Fred Freiberger, the character was to have been named 'Simon Hays', whose backstory included the interesting detail that he was the world's first recipient of a successful artificial heart—in direct contradiction to facts established in Series One (see Victor Bergman). This detail was, of course, later omitted, along with his having been a fencer and former Olympic athlete.
During the second series, Tony quickly strikes up a romantic relationship with Maya, the beautiful shape-shifting alien from the planet Psychon. After a playful relationship involving much verbal sparring and innuendo (see "The Exiles", "Journey to Where", "The Taybor"), he finally professed his love for her in "The Beta Cloud", expecting to die at the claws of the Cloud's robotic servant. Even though he tries to take it back, their relationship progresses and they soon become one of the most popular couples on the base.
He has a number of hobbies, including homebrewing beer. Despite his hard work and determination, the end product usually has an extremely poor taste, and as such, many Moonbase personnel go to great lengths to avoid drinking it, although they usually try not to offend him ("Journey to Where", "The Taybor", "Catacombs of the Moon" and "A Matter of Balance"). Computer determined one of his brews to be unfit for human consumption. The only person to be seen actually enjoying it (apart from the brewmaster himself) was Taybor the trader.
With the official title as head of the Security Section, Verdeschi wears a red sleeve and is stationed in Command Centre with the dual responsibility of being second-in-command. Unlike Paul Morrow, who came across as stern, no-nonsense, and rather reserved figure, Tony is more emotional, dramatic and outgoing. He usually has a cheerful and upbeat personality; he can become quite harsh and unrelenting when the safety of Alpha, Commander John Koenig or others close to him is threatened. Like many of Alpha's senior personnel, he is an accomplished astronaut and pilot.
Despite his relationship with Maya, a number of the base's other female personnel find him to be attractive and charming—such as Moonbase botanist Shermeen Williams, who developed a crush on Tony in "A Matter of Balance" while working together in Hydroponics trying to perfect his brewing skills. He is good friends with and was best man at the wedding of Moonbase personnel Patrick and Michelle Osgood ("Catacombs of the Moon"). He enjoys a 'best-mates' relationship with Alan Carter and the two are seen to needle and kid each other on several occasions as well as express their mutual admiration for the female of the species ("The Seance Spectre").
- Space: 1999 episode "New Adam, New Eve"
- Space: 1999 episode "The Immunity Syndrome"
- Space: 1999 episode "The Bringers of Wonder, Part One"
- Series Two Writers' Guide
- Space: 1999 episode "Catacombs of the Moon"
- Space: 1999 episode "The Taybor"
- Space: 1999 episode "The Metamorph"
- Space: 1999 episode "Dorzak"