Space 1999: Megaset
DVD | Box Set
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Complete Set This series ran from 1975 to 1977 and is considered by many sci-fi aficionados to be the ultimate in the genre, even surpassing Star Trek. Yet another example of the outrageous imagination and technical wizardry of Gerry Anderson (Thunderbirds). On September of the title year, a massive explosion at a lunar waste dump blasts the Moon out of the Earth's orbit, launching the crew of Moonbase Alpha into the back of the beyond. An all-star cast, headed by Martin Landau (Crimes and Misdemeanors), makes the implausible almost believable and always engrossing. Over 16-1/2 hours on 16 DVDs. Simon Says: Supermarionation may be low-tech by today's standards, but it's not without its gearhead qualities. Sound engineers first turned recorded dialogue into electrical impulses then transmitted them to a device in the puppets' heads. That device translated the frequency into jaw movement, which created an amazing degree of lip-syncing accuracy. Godzilla movies, eat your heart out!
When it was first broadcast in 1975, there had never been a more lavishly produced science fiction TV series than Space: 1999, a British production whose budget for the first of its two seasons ran an astounding £3.25 million. What keeps us fans enthralled after all these years has only partly to due with the first-rate production values, the plausibly constructed spaceship models, and expert special effects. The tone of the show is one of scientific dispassion, setting it apart from its TV sci-fi predecessors such as Star Trek, whose mood was more convivial. Our heroes here are in dire circumstances that require cool heads as a survival trait. Those circumstances: the 311 crew members of Moonbase Alpha experience a cataclysm that causes the moon to break away from Earth's orbit and travel endlessly through space, turning our heroes into unintentional explorers. No TV series has created a more palpable feel of hard science fiction than this.
Of course the show is not without its detractors; it has been soundly lambasted for its many scientific errors. No less august a figure than Isaac Asimov criticized the show for its premise in the opening episode, "Breakaway," which had nuclear explosions on the "dark side of the moon" somehow propelling it out of Earth's orbit and flying through space without regard to any physical laws. In "Earthbound," aliens traveling to Earth state it will take them 75 years to reach their destination, making one wonder why it didn't take the moon that long to encounter the aliens. While these are serious complaints, fans tend to remember the scientific seriousness of the series and the sense of awe created by the many strange creatures and phenomena that the crew members encounter on their journey through the galaxy.
The Space: 1999 Mega Set collects all 48 episodes broadcast over the show's two seasons, contained on 16 DVDs that include vintage interviews, production stills, TV promotional spots, and interactive menus. All episodes have been digitally remastered, and some material that was not seen in the original U.S. broadcasts has been restored. --Jim Gay
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The first season of Space: 1999 is overall very top-rate science fiction. And to this day, I still think that it was one of the most beautiful television shows produced. The Moonbase Alpha sets were spectacular and excellently designed, Main Mission being the crown jewel! An the models, especially the famous Eagles were awesome.
The series was "re-tooled" for the second season, I guess to try to cut costs and increase the shows market, but in my opinion was an utter failure. Half of the cast was cut, and the re-designed sets smaller, and no where near the grandure of season one. The quality of the scripts dropped greatly, and it's no wonder that the show was cancelled.
My recommendation would be to buy the new Blue-Ray set that is broken up by season, and to buy season one only - highly worth it to own, but skip season two!
The DVD Megaset let me relive the series that I watched years ago and I still enjoyed it. Its entertaining but not in the class of 5 star series.
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