British television series, broadcast 1975, 1976
If you’re a science fiction-on-television fan, you’ll remember this program with either fond thoughts or a “Uck!” of loathing. Seems there’s not a lot of middle ground on this British science fiction television show. It’s no Star Wars or STNG, but it was better than nothing.
In the opening episode, it’s September 13, 1999. That’s when a huge nuclear waste dump on the far side of the Moon detonates in a massive thermonuclear explosion, caused by the buildup and release of “magnetic radiation”, causing a nuclear chain reaction. The force of the explosion was such that it caused the Moon to be sent hurtling out of Earth’s orbit and out into deep space. Stranded on Moonbase Alpha was 311 assigned personnel. Basically the Moon becomes a “spaceship” on which these people travel through interstellar space.
Each week the 311 crew members left on the moon try to survive: aliens, black holes, and dwindling supplies. It was the first time a large scale weekly sci-fi TV series was attempted since the cancellation of Star Trek in 1969.
Space 1999 ran for two seasons, 1975 and 1976. It was created by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson and was their final production together. A third season was planned but didn’t enter production. As filming on Year Two came to its conclusion, it became apparent that a third season was not viable so the series ended with the episode “The Dorcons”.
The music isn’t bad, either, or at least most of it, and it’s available as a fairly inexpensive Mp3 download from Amazon, iTunes and the other usual sources.
Sure, some of the show was pretty hokey. For one thing, the uniforms were lame, although if you look at the Star Trek uniforms, they were pretty lame too. But some of the episodes were pretty good, and it was fun to watch them.
I always thought the designs for the space vehicles (the models used in filming) were one of the best parts, and so did a lot of other people, because they were available as models, on lunch boxes and so on.
I looked last night, and the moon was still there, in the sky over Earth. I guess that means none of the stuff in the show really happened.