Exploring Space 1999: An Episode Guide and Complete History of the Mid-1970s Science Fiction Television Series Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

ISBN-13: 978-0786422760
ISBN-10: 0786422769
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Comprehensive...…detailed" -- AB Bookman's Weekly

"Well-written…thoroughly researched…. Recommended" -- Library Journal

"detail[ed]...provides...requisite cast, credit, and episode details, as well as synopsis and in-depth analysis...very well indexed" --Booklist

"More fodder for the pop culture mavens!" --Communication Booknotes Quarterly

"A must for the series' fans." --VideoScope

About the Author

John Kenneth Muir is the author of more than 20 reference books covering science fiction and horror on film and television. He is creator of the Internet sci-fi series The House Between.

Product Details

  • File Size: 3240 KB
  • Print Length: 222 pages
  • Publisher: McFarland; Reprint edition (April 1, 2005)
  • Publication Date: March 31, 2005
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002UKOK72
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #512,663 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Scott Mcintyre on December 3, 2010
Format: Paperback
I've been a fan of Space:1999 since it first aired in the states, and finding decent reference books on the series to be a daunting task. I eagerly snapped up Exploring Space:1999 a few years ago in hardcover. I enjoyed it and share John Muir's affection for the series. It was gratifying to read someone giving a few logical rebuttals to the long standing criticism of the series and some episodes. It's clear that many of the show's critics never actually watched the series at length, and some simply repeat what was said by others without fact checking. 1999 was in the unenviable position of being the first major sci-fi series since Star Trek's syndication popularity exploded. At that time, everything (and I mean everything) sci-fi was held up to Trek for comparison. I feel Muir's pain when defending his favorite show, and Star Trek fans were a pretty obnoxious lot back then. So, I was thrilled to see someone reading into the series as I did and shared my (crackpot?) theories on the first year's metaphysical bent.

Where the book falls short is in the decision to bash every other sci-fi show in order to support his theories on Space:1999. While I understand his desire to balance the scales, it comes off unprofessional and, frankly, annoying. Muir slams Star Trek and other shows, sometimes outright but mostly with disguised sarcasm, using loads of qualifiers such as "beloved" and "critically acclaimed." Also, his choice to use exclamation points liberally is distracting and amateurish. It's a trait seen in many UK fan magazines to emphasize a joke or a supposition which isn't all that clever or exciting. He comes across sounding like an excited, rabid fan talking about something most people aren't so enthusiastic over.
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Format: Paperback
Muir does a comprehansive episode by episode review of the 2 seasons of the show. I very much enjoyed his analyses of each episode though I found the comparisons with shows such as STAR TREK a little distracting. There were also errors of fact carried over from the original hardback version of this book; I would like to have seen the publishers give Muir the opportunity to revise the text before publishing this paperback version.

I don't agree with all of Muir's comments by any means and I also think he short-changed Year 2. Granted in many ways it did not match the first season but it had a look and feel all of its own and I think Muir did not emphasise this enough.

Overall a good read. Perhaps not the definitive analysis of Space 1999 but a good attempt. But be prepared to disagree with the author on some of his opinions!
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Format: Paperback
Clearly, John Kenneth Muir has written a definitive account of the popular series created by Gerry Anderson, whose largest body of work consisted of fantasy-adventure programming aimed for children filmed in "supermarination"--highly sophisticated puppets on miniature sets.

"Space 1999" was Anderson's second venture using live actors, save for the brief two season run of "UFO" produced approximately 6 years earlier. To the author's credit, Muir methodically analyzes each individual episode of Space 1999: the ones that are exemplary and the ones that are better left forgotten; the changes made in the second season under producer Fred Freiberger to add some fire to the principal characters, Koenig and Russell and the addition of Maya (Moonbase's resident alien--not the wisest of moves)and the series' constant, albeit irritating, comparison to its more universally respected rival, "Star Trek." (See my DVD review of Space 1999's Megaset)

Where the book falls short, is in the author's lack of critical distance as both a writer and commentator. Too often, Muir comes across as a fan rather than maintaining a sense of detachment from the subject he is examining. (Historians do this all the time--when you love your subject so much, you can't really see the forest from the trees-For example, how many "critical biographies" have we read on George Washington that have tried not to examine their subject with a sense of reverence and awe for our first President?)

Muir's defense for Space 1999, even in the wake of some critical and erudite comments from Isaac Asimov who thought the show's premise was scientifically preposterous, manages to fall flat. Muir too, takes to task celebrated author, Gary Gerani, of the popular sci-fi historical/pictorial book, "Fantastic Television" (c.
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Format: Paperback
As I’ve mentioned in another review recently, I missed the whole SPACE: 1999 phenomenon of the late 70’s. Basically, I grew up in a small town in a time unlike today that one didn’t have a billion entertainment choices on the TV dial, nor could one have a vast library of video upon which to fall back on in time of performance drought. In the US, SPACE: 1999 played entirely in syndication, so – if it wasn’t on in your market – then you were out of luck. Sure, you had what the trade magazines told you of it in the day, but that couldn’t make up for failing to see it on a TV set near you.

Now that I’m older and wiser and have a bit more income to invest in choices, I’ve been able to pick up a handful of episodes from the first season (the one I’ve been told, by far, is the best) and screen them on my Kindle. Dare I say I probably would’ve loved this show had I seen it in my relative youth? I don’t know where it’s heading in its second season – well, other than what I’ve read – but I definitely would’ve been a believer back then, as I’m finding I am today. Why this thing hasn’t been rebooted is a mystery, and I hope someone sometime somewhere does mankind a service and re-engages this tale of a moon gone awry, drifting on a course into deep, dark space.

Having watched a half-dozen episodes and being suitably impressed, I picked up a digital copy of John Kenneth Muir’s EXPLORING SPACE 1999: AN EPISODE GUIDE AND COMPLETE HISTORY OF THE MID-1970S SCIENCE FICTION TELEVISION SERIES to read. Mostly, I wanted to know more about the show, something a bit more in-depth than the passing Starlog article I could find online. Where did the show come from? How did it originate? Who were the main players?
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