As you probably know, Star Trek was cancelled in 1969 after three seasons on NBC. The series’ ratings had been low in primetime but, in 1970s syndication, Trek became a runaway hit. This inspired a renewed interest in science fiction and local TV stations started looking for new sci-fi programming. Enter Space: 1999.
Space: 1999 is a British series that began running in the U.S. on October 17, 1975. The series premise was set up in the first episode, entitled “Breakaway.” In the distant year of 1999, Earth has a space station on the moon called Moonbase Alpha. The locale is used for scientific research and to watch over a huge nuclear waste dump on the farside of the moon. When a massive thermonuclear explosion in the dump occurs, the moon is ripped from its orbit and sent hurtling through space. With Earth in the midst of devastation, the space station’s 311 stranded crewmembers must resign themselves to search for a new home on some distant world.
The series was produced by Sylvia and Gerry Anderson, well known for other science fiction series like Thunderbirds and Fireball XL5. Space: 1999 stars Mission: Impossible veterans (and, at the time, married couple) Martin Landau as Moonbase Commander John Koenig and Barbara Bain as the head of the base’s Medical Section, Doctor Helena Russell. The Fugitive’s Barry Morse plays science adviser Professor Victor Bergman. Others in the diverse cast include Zienia Merton, Anton Phillips, Suzanne Roquette, Jeffery Kissoon, and Nick Tate. The tone and production values of the series’ first season were heavily influenced by Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey movie.
The Andersons separated after the first season and Fred Freiberger was brought in when Sylvia left the show. Freiberger had produced the third season of Star Trek and went on to work on The Six Million Dollar Man.
As a result of the backstage changes, the second season of Space: 1999 moved towards a more traditional action format. Morse left the series in a salary dispute and most of the supporting castmembers were dumped. No on-screen explanation was offered as a reason for the missing characters. A mention that Morse’s character was the victim of a malfunctioning space suit was ultimately cut from season two’s opening episode but remained in the novelization. Catherine Schell joined the cast as a shape-shifting alien named Maya and Tony Anholt played the new head of security, Tony Verdeschi.
Year one was very popular worldwide but season two wasn’t nearly as successful. Many castmembers had expressed their unhappiness with the later scripts and Anholt had reportedly decided to leave after the second year. There were some plans for a third year but a decline in syndication sales killed it. As a result, the series wasn’t given any kind of ending.
Over 20 years later, a seven minute film was created called Message From Moonbase Alpha. The short was filmed for the Space: 1999 Breakaway Convention in Los Angeles that was held on September 13, 1999 (the date of the show’s moon explosion). The short was created for the one-time convention showing but was subsequently included on the DVD series megaset release.
Message was written by series writer Johnny Byrne. It features Zienia Merton in her series role as Sandra Benes delivering a final message from the moon residents. The “transmission” only briefly mentions some of the characters, but it does offer a bit of long-needed closure for fans who wondered whatever became of Moonbase Alpha and its staff. Stay tuned!
|The season one opening.||Space:1999’s season two opening.|
|A final message from the crew of Moonbase Alpha.|
BRING BACK SPACE:1999!!! I WANT MORE ADVENTURES IN OUTER SPACE!!!
It Was Inferred In The Episode Black Sun That The Character Arra Was God So She Could Have Used Her Powers To Send The Moon And Moonbase Alpha Back To It’s Orbit Around Planet Earth!!!
What I Would Like To Know Is How Did The Alphan’s Make New Eagles To Replace The Ones That Were Destroyed? It Didn’t Look Like There Were Any Manufacturing Facilities On Moonbase Alpha To Make New Eagles Or That Spare Parts Were Kept In The Huge Underground Hangar To Repair Damaged Eagles? And Also How Were The Alphan’s Paid Or Were They Paid For The Work They Did On Moonbase Alpha?
Am wachin it again on horror chan, – now on S2 Ep19
Is Your Surname Koening By Any Chance?
would be nice if they updated it like star trek the next generation
I loved the first season of this show. It was something unique in the TV landscape of the 70’s. I wish they had not changed the format for season 2. I only saw the entire run of the show in the early 90’s on laser disc. I own the whole series on dvd and season 1 on Blu-ray.
According to Martin Landau the show was not cancelled due to any sort of ratings issue. It was because the wealthy financier Lord Lew Grade decided to put his money into making movies, namely Raise the Titanic, so Space 1999 had to be cancelled.
I can believe that story.
The cast and writers had no fore warning that the show was going to be cancelled, else there would have been some sort of closure.
I hate it when you invest so much time watching a series and don’t get a conclusion.
Really enjoyed the show back in the 70’s… but the premise and science of the show was absolutely absurd… the moon somehow passing new worlds on a regular basis… the moon must have had hyperspace engines. Totally absurd.
The audience had to suspend its disbelief a bit regarding the rogue traveling moon concept, but explanations were given in the show such as space warps and a ‘black sun’ (black hole) which caused the moon to travel from one place to another rapidly.
“With Earth in the midst of devastation, the space station’s 311 stranded crewmembers must resign themselves to search for a new home on some distant world.” The Earth did suffer massive earthquakes and tsunamis etc due to the sudden variation of Moon’s gravity on it as it was pulled away – however the search for a new home by those on the moonbase was because the initial explosion took the Moon too far away for them to get back to Earth – so they were stranded on the drifting Moon. They did hold out a lingering hope that somehow it… Read more »
I think you need to bring it back As space 1999 next generation since the offspring would be running the base. And offer explanation for improvements of the base since there are no re-supplies.
Coming back as Space 2099!…
Is this an actual thing? Started as a joke, but gaining momentum. Funny if fan power did bring it back.
It is no joke. Producer Jace Hall got the rights to make Space 2099, but the concept has not moved forward quickly. There may be long term negotiations in progress, or it may be a shelved idea for the time being. There has been a ground swell of fan support for years, with Space 1999 conventions being held almost annually since the show went off the air in the 1970s.
Moonbase improvements would be accomplished from the mining of minerals on the moon. The engineers would be able to upgrade the base with an endless source of raw materials.
I cannot wait to see a real eagle four or a motion picture 3D of space 1999
Very cool. I hade not seen this clip before.
SPACE 1999 IS THE GREATEST TV SHOW. I AM WAITING FOR A CONVENTION WITH THE ACTORS
I loved this show. Used to watch it with my mum as a kid
Sadly most of the cast passed away . Alan, Helena, mya are still alive though.
The latest convention, Breakaway:2019, was September 12th-15th 2019 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA.
Cast who attended in person:
Barbara Bain (Dr. Helena Russell)
Nick Tate (Captain Alan Carter)
Anton Phillips (Dr. Bob Mathias)
Suzanne Heimer (Tanya Alexander)
Yasuko Nagazumi (Yasko)
Christopher Penfold (series writer)
Those who attended by video conference:
Brian Johnson (special effects)
Clifton Jones (David Kano)