Showing posts with label Space 1999. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Space 1999. Show all posts

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Space: 1999 (featuring Maya)

Let's face it, Space: 1999 was a snooze of a show. How do you take a couple of respected actors- Martin Landau (Emmy Award nominee/future Acadamy Award winner) and his wife Barbara Bain (triple Emmy Award winner) and give them roles that make them appear as interesting as wooden puppets? Well, if the producers are Gerry and Sylvia Anderson, it's easy! You see, the Andersons had previously created various British fantasy series for children starring marionette figures.  These shows included Stingray, Fireball XL5 and Thunderbirds. Space: 1999 took place on a moonbase after our moon decided to leave earth's orbit and wander around aimlessly through space while encountering various alien lifeforms and whatnot.

Was the show really as dull as I remember? I dunno, as I haven't actually watched it since I was a kid. All I remember is by the second season they introduced a shape-changing alien named Maya. Did this improve the show? Well, if nothing else, she was more interesting to look at than the old scientist guy she replaced on the show. And because of that, I've decided to draw her!

Space: 1999

When I was eight, I asked for a Space:1999 Eagle-One Lander for Christmas. It was a massive thing and I wanted it more than I wanted a puppy or even a radio.

We were at Mom's place that holiday and arrived for our stay a few days before Christmas. I was certain that she'd done all her shopping already. I made a quick, discrete search of the apartment and determined that there we no hidden gifts anywhere…
They had to be back in the car.
So I told Mom I'd forgotten something in the Datsun and could I have the keys to go get it? She gave them to me. I went out alone and opened the trunk. To my victorious delight, there it was, still unwrapped. The EAGLE-One Lander of Space:1999 in all its boxed majestic glory!!! Elated, I returned inside.

A few days later, Christmas morning, it was wrapped under the tree. Opening, it was just as I had seen it in the trunk, exactly what I wanted and asked for. And I burst into miserable, confessional tears. I had spoiled the joy of surprise. I already knew what I was getting. I knew what my brother was getting, and Christmas morning was grey and drained of light.

My life doubled in years before I parted with the Eagle-One in a pyrotechnic fireworks battle with the MilleniumFalcon. But the lesson has remained. Since that Christmas day, I never feel the slightest curiosity at the prospect of destroying my own surprises.

Space 1999 - Eagle Transporter

While Space 1999 was often not quite the sum of it's parts, it did have some very good parts. The Eagle Transport was and still is , one of the few really brilliant, functional spaceship designs. Unlike every other spaceship out there, which was designed to look like a derivative of an aeroplane, with nonsensical aerodynamics and streamlining, the Eagle looks like what it is, a whopping great SpaceTruck.
Brian Johnson , it's designer, was one of the key concept guys behind 2001, so had given the realities of living and working in space and low gravity a good deal of though. It shows.
 Since the advent of StarWars and Science-Fantasy , near future hard Sci-Fi has gotten short shrift , which I think is an enormous shame. The very hard and uncompromising challenges of real space exploration are much more compelling to me than zapping bug eyed monsters and half-arsed mysticism.
But 1999 was 12 years ago, so I guess I'm just old fashioned.

Space 1999

I loved the theme music.
We all love Martin Landau.
And Barbara Bain too!

Was it a good show?
If you were 9-10 years old, yes!