Space: 1999: Season 1
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(Dec 14, 2010)
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In the year 1999, a spectacular explosion at a lunar nuclear waste dump sends the moon out of Earth’s orbit. In this seminal sci-fi series from producer Gerry Anderson (Thunderbirds, UFO), the men and women of Moonbase Alpha are suddenly propelled on a treacherous journey across the universe in search of extraordinary new worlds. Left with no way home, the Earthling citizens are forced to embark upon the greatest adventure of their lives, encountering bizarre life forms and strange phenomena as they struggle to survive among the awe-inspiring wonders of outer space.
All 24 first season episodes of this acclaimed space adventure have been restored in stunning high definition and presented with newly-created 5.1 surround soundtracks, and hours of brand-new bonus features.
With its progressive plotlines, an outstanding cast, and astonishing special effects from Oscar® winner Brian Johnson (Alien, The Empire Strikes Back), SPACE: 1999 has secured its place as one of the most thought-provoking series of the 20th century—and beyond.
DISC 1: Breakaway / Matter of Life and Death / Black Sun / Ring Around the Moon / Earthbound
DISC 2: Another Time, Another Place / Missing Link / Guardian of Piri / Force of Life / Alpha Child
DISC 3: The Last Sunset / Voyager’s Return / Collision Course / Death’s Other Dominion / The Full Circle
DISC 4: End Of Eternity / War Games / The Last Enemy / The Troubled Spirit / Space Brain
DISC 5: The Infernal Machine / Mission Of The Darians / Dragon’s Domain / Testament Of Arkadia
DISC 6: Bonus Features
When it was first broadcast in 1975, there had never been a more lavishly produced science fiction TV series than Thunderbirds creators Gerry and Sylvia Anderson's Space: 1999, a British production whose budget for the first of its two seasons ran an astounding 3.25 million pounds. 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--including Commander John Koenig (Martin Landau), Chief Medical Officer Dr. Helena Russell (Landau's Mission: Impossible costar and then-wife Barbara Bain), and Professor Victor Bergman (Barry Morse, who relentlessly pursued David Janssen on The Fugitive)--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. --Jim Gay
Episodic image galleries for all episodes
Barry Gray’s theme music demo
Alternate opening/closing titles
Martin Landau and Barbara Bain US premier intro and outro
SFX plates and deleted SFX scenes with music track
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THE STORY: In the near future man has colonized the moon and a permanent facility has been established: Moonbase Alpha. The governments of the world are using our lunar satellite as a gigantic storage facility for all of Earth's nuclear waste, when the unthinkable happens: in September of 1999, one of the dozens of massive underground nuclear waste stockpiles is accidentally detonated, which causes a chain reaction explosion that literally blasts our moon out of orbit. On its way into deep space the helpless occupants of Moonbase Alpha are catapulted into dimension rifts, hurtle into & out of black holes, and travel thru time warps. Through it all, grimly-determined base commander John Koenig (Martin Landau) works with scientists Dr. Russell & Professor Bergman, (Barbara Bain & Barry Morse), astronauts Alan Carter & Paul Morrow (Nick Tate & Prentis Hancock) and the other men & women of Moonbase Alpha to find a suitable passing planet onto which they can migrate & settle - before the limited supplies on Moonbase Alpha are exhausted.
THOUGHTS: While no where near as much fun as the original STAR TREK, this show still has a charm and allure. That fact that the people are trapped on Moonbase and simply along for the ride with no way to control where they're going works both for and against the series, but their unique predicament definitely sets 1999 apart from TREK and other sci-fi shows. The actors are very somber and that's kind of a downer. Only good-natured Nick Tate as amiable Aussie astronaut Alan Carter has any levity in his performance, occasionally equaled by the rascally Barry Morse as Alpha's resident genius, Professor Victor Bergman. If it weren't for these two actors this series would be a 24-epsiode funeral wake. The F/X are obvious, crude and dated by today's standards but still manage to charm & impress. I loved that the Moonbase and the Eagle ships were very realistically grounded in their designs. The Eagles actually looked like something our Apollo astronauts might have been traveling in within another generation or two, which I suppose was the intent. Guest stars will probably be mostly unknown to those not familiar with British TV, with the exception of genre legend Christopher Lee. This series is a mixed bag and certainly not for everyone. The metaphysical aspect of many of the scripts will be a turn-off to sci-fi action geeks more interested in laser pistol showdowns & intergalactic spaceship shootouts - but in the show's defense, SPACE:1999 has plenty of those, too. You may want to rent or check out a few episodes prior to buying if you're unsure because this restored Season One Blu-ray set is NOT cheap.
THE BLU-RAY BOX SET: Season One of SPACE: 1999 debuts on hi-def Blu-ray gloriously restored with MAJOR improvements in both audio & video! Everything you loved about this old school sci-fi series is made even better now thanks to this seriously upgraded 1080p presentation. Picture is razor sharp and the sound design truly impresses, even in good ol' mono! The meticulous restoration work is admirable. And for lovers of tidbits & trivia there are a TON of terrific bonus extras on disc #7 (and spread out over the other six). Far too much to list here. Trust me, you'll be very happy, as most (if not all) of the special features from A&E's original DVD release have been ported over for this Blu-ray set. Thankfully however, everything's packed in a single, space-saving seven-disc Blu box that only measures 1 inch wide! I own the old shelf-hogging A&E complete DVD set and lemme tell ya, while it's nice, it simply pales in comparison with this sweet-looking & sounding compact Blu-ray release.
Maybe someday they will release the second series...only been waiting about five years or so...
People unfamiliar with the series will notice the pacing is slower than programs today. I consider that an plus. The stories are thoughtful and enjoyable without the noise.
If you enjoyed the series when it ran in the seventies, you will enjoy the restoration. Back in the day I was a huge Star Trek and Star Wars fan, but had trouble sitting through Space 1999. So I think it is worth a second look for those who may have skipped it in their youth as well