If there are no objections, I've made a second board for the sink since I can hardly load the first one myself now.
Wellll... OK, then.
Well the first one was getting a bit long.
Astronomers have discovered a new class of galaxy, containing tens of millions of stars in a volume 100 light years across.
I did a quick calculation which showed that the stars would be 0.2 light year or less apart.
If the early episode Black Sun transported the Moon to such a galaxy, then it could help explain how the Moon was able to visit so many systems.
Except, the sky shows stellar spacing rather like our own galaxy.
If the average stellar spacing is 0.2ly, it's highly unlikely that any habitable planets exist. It would be like having stars scattered throughout our own Oort cloud.
At the very least it wouldn't be humanoid life. Rather it would be something that could survive in what would likely be a very high radiation environment.
Has anyone ever noticed the globe in Koenig's office?
Of course we have.
Well, obviously you have... Has anyone looked closely at the globe, though? Specifically at the African continent? Its central western shore appears flooded, painted the same color (colour) as the oceans. The area in question corresponds almost exactly to the country of Cameroon.
Ever since I was a kid, I'd wondered what was up with that...
Maybe the prop department ran out of paint? (They probably used it all on the glitter critter from AB Chrysalis).
Cute, Barb, but that was Season 2. (Boy, people sure get picky around here, don't they? )
I e-mailed Martin Willey of The Catacombs about this, and he pointed out to me that Sweden is also "submerged." He suggested (kiddingly, I'm sure) that it was a globe of the alternate Earth from "Another Time, Another Place." I suggested (kiddingly, for certain) that the prop masters had something against those countries.
Yeah, that big globe of the Earth, I'd assumed pieces of the land masses wore off or fell off the prop. It was nearly always just a piece of set dressing in the background, maybe only one time the camera focused on it, in "Another Time, Another Place", when Koenig spins it on its axis, counter-rotational to the direction the Earth actually spins in.
I'd have expected a globe of the moon to be much more useful to have around the office, wouldn't you?
True enough about a moon globe, but I always wanted an Earth globe after seeing Koenig's on tv. (I eventually got one, but not that big!)
The novelisation of "Breakaway" has a moon globe on Koenig's desk, which Bergamn uses to demonstrate to Simmonds the potentional effects of NDA 2 exploding... he discusses the moon's orbital motion being checked if NDA2 were directly opposite the orbital direction, but since NDA 2 is on more on the other side... Bergman trails off, spinning the globe across Koenig's desk, where an incredulous Simmonds says "You can't be serious!"
I think that would have made for an interesting scene, had it been filmed that way. (As it was, they are just looking at the commander's viewscreen showing the crashed remote eagle at NDA2.)
On the other hand, such speculation before the breakaway would have lessened the actual event's impact to the tv audience. I guess I see why they didn't film it that way after all.
If you thought the old Dinkey Eagles were cool, then check this out!
(sigh) That was supposed to be "Dinky." Guess I just got overly excited.
At least you didn't write "dicky". Then we'd think you were really excited...
There's a really good fan fiction website out there with some pretty good stories which try to explain things like how the moon travels between star systems, and what happened to Victor, Paul, & Kano. There are stories set in year one, year two, and a proposed three year which seems to combine the season 1 and 2 casts, humorous stories and crossovers with other tv series. Of course, stories will contradict others, but it's still a great place for fiction.
'Breakaway Part 2' and 'The Void Ahead' have been mentioned elsewhere on this 1999 board, but another explanation about the Moon's travels can be found in the story, 'A Space Odyssey: 1999'.
Here's the website;
Sorry, for some reason I saw a ' ~ ' in the address above that doesn't belong there. The correct address is;
I've been thinking about something for a little while that might be fun, but I put off posting it because I wasn't sure if there'd be much point, since we've all nitpicked this series so much already. However, since people are still finding new nits, maybe the time has come...
I got this idea some time ago while reading some of the Online Alpha archives at the Metaforms website, so credit goes to the members of Online Alpha. (Get to the point, already!) Oh, ahem...
Why don't we all watch each episode around the same time on a weekly basis, and post any nits/ideas/analyses we come up with after viewing the episodes? We could watch each ep bearing in mind the stuff we've already covered (seeing if our ideas hold up) and add any new things we come up with during the week until the next episode gets viewed. Obviously, given the worldwide attendence here, coordinating one specific time to watch each ep would be difficult, at best. But I don't see why we couldn't make a point to watch on the same day.
Of course, this presumes that everyone has access to the series. It also presumes there'd actually be enough interest in doing this.
Any thoughts? Anyone interested?
I wish I could do the entire series, but unfortunately I only have Breakaway & Wargames (as the Alien Attack movie); Journey Through The Black Sun (the two episodes that make up that one); The Metamorph & Space Warp (as the movie Cosmic Princess), and the 3-tape VHS set with Another time, Another place, Earthbound, & one other episode.
However, last week I bought another VHS set which includes Alpha Child, Last Sunset, and Voyager's Return, all of which I'm planning to watch while I'm on vacation next week.
When I get back on the 3rd of November I'm planning to check out the comments for those episodes, which is something I always did, anyway, for Star Trek, Next generation, and Doctor Who episodes I'd watch over the weekend.
If you want to check those three episodes out I'd like to compare notes and put my 2 cents in.
I just got tired of waiting, and waiting, and waiting for ANY station to play S99 again, but no luck, so I had to take action myself, and buy some tapes. I'm really looking forward to this because I haven't seen the vast majority of episodes for soooo long that they'll seem new to me.
I haven't seen any season 2 episodes since the original run, with the exception of the Cosmic Princess combo, and when I rented Destination: Moonbase Alpha (a.k.a. Bringers of Wonder 1 & 2) about three years ago. I don't even recall the episode where emotionless robots try to get Tony and Helena to teach them, but it's unlikely I'll see it any time soon.
Here in Canada we have a science fiction station called The Space Channel, and I e-mailed them telling them that they could go with the slogan;
'Space:1999 on Space, 1999' four years ago, which made perfect sense and timing to me. Instead, they showed the S99 movies, which I'm grateful for, because I taped them, but they completely missed the boat by not broadcasting the series as a whole.
You know, the entire series is available on DVD (several regions, including Region 1). Just drop almost a couple hundred dollars and it's yours! (OK, maybe that's not financially feasible, but it's nice to dream, eh?)
Just for the record, I only have Season 1 on DVD. Prior to that, I had all but "Breakaway" & "Wargames" on Image Entertainment's 12-inch laser discs, some of which are better quality than the Region 1 DVD's (in particular, the last three Season 1 ep's.) Of course, there's a Bonus DVD out that has those three re-masterd, and includes the convention short "Message from Moonbase Alpha." I hope to get that Bonus DVD soon.
Personally, I'm not a completist, and I don't like Season 2 enough to buy it at this time (and I'm broke!), but I should be able to rent or borrow it when the time comes to view it, if we actually do this viewing thing I've brought up.
Mind you, will they do a (Region 1) Space 1999:Special Edition DVD set in the near future...?
I know there is (or is that was?) a "Mega Set" available for Region 1 that includes both seasons. For a time, the Bonus DVD was included. I suggest doing a search online to see if/where you can get the set.
Sorry, CR but as a British Space:1999 fan, I have a full Region 2 set (Series 1 & 2) on DVD, and as a result, I believe I'll Decline !
The Region 2 DVD's are FAR Superior to the "Barebones" Region 1 Set, picturewise (I suspect that Carlton had the original tapes "Remastered", before launching the Region 2 DVD's) & the Extras are just stunning...
That's why I ventured the possibility of a "Special Edition" Set for region 1, incorporating the features/extras of the Region 2 set !
Oh, I get it... Yes the Region 1 DVD's are awful, and I'd love to see all the extras you lucky Region 2 people have! By the way, have you seen what the Italian DVDs have? According to some samples at the Catacombs website, Roberto Baldassari (of the Ultimate Eagle blueprints and the Eagle Cutaway poster fame) has created very accurate CGI renderings of various Alpha locations for the menus. Nice stuff!
"If the average stellar spacing is 0.2ly"... hey that explains why the moon is always visible even out of any solar system. That level of stellar density could possibly provide a lot more ambient star light providing the moon illumination.
To try and even invent a "fictional" physics to explain the moons wanderings would be headache inducing...it's just too ridiculous!
Back on 30 September 2003, I posted a link to an ad for Product Enterprises' soon-to-be-released diecsast Eagle, of which only 6000 would be produced.
The Catacombs has many pics of the production release. It's beautiful, and for a toy, is one of the most accurate Eagle replicas I've ever seen! (It's even better than the Airfix/Fundimensions/AMT/Ertl model kit that originated in the 1970's and was re-released in the late 1990's.)
Now if I can just scrounge up enough money to actually get one...
Things sure are more expensive than when I bought my Mattel Eagle with action figures!
Speaking of the Mattell Eagle (I still have mine, with the box, too!), here's an interesting project someone's working on. When you get to the linked page, scroll down to "Mattell Eagle One Decals." Check out some of the other stuff, too; it's pretty cool.
Of course, I meant "Mattel" with only one "l," not two.
Interesting site CR. Long ago, the stickers on my Mattel Eagle started peeling off, so I meticuluously painted the colored details on.
Oops, I hit "post" too soon...
Re: My Mattel Eagle... I painted the anti-glare panels on the command module exterior, as well as the seats and control panels in its interior. I also painted the three characters' hair. As for the stickers in the passenger module, I re-glued them in place. (I know, that shoots the collectibility value down, but it looked cool, and back then, collectibility wasn't a consideration.)
I can't say the value of mine matters, because I consider them 'keepers'. I'll always have mine.
Oh, me too!
I 'dirtied down' my Eagle simply by dusting it with black ashes. It looked good enough to star in a video home movie (in a minature landscape - with trees, dunes, and a painted range of mountains in the back). Too bad I didn't have a film camera I could wind back for multiple exposures!
I swear I mentioned this before: I played with my model Eagle in the sandbox, using the little figures that came with the oversized "control room" part of the Moonbase Alpha model kit as explorers of alien planets.
My Mattel Eagle never saw actual outdoor play, which is probably why it's in as good a condition as it is today. With that toy, I used Brick Blocks (the precursor to Lego's & similar brick products) to make desks & commposts for the astronaut figures.
You know what's really cool? None of those things had lights or sounds! (Does anyone still use their imagination with toys these days?)
Of course, kids had to combine their Eagle with their Star Wars,Battlestar:Galactica, and Trek toys to form a "hangar bay of outerspace peoples"! Back in the seventies, with no internet, few movies (and practically no television programs on tape), and only a few channels on tv, kids were forced to use their imaginations. Long before Jurassic Park, I used to go out looking for fossils. I was amazed by the things I found. Ancient shells and bones. My imagination was stirred up by going outside (during the summer, tv wasn't too enticing with all those soap operas and the dopey programs on PBS, such as Zoom). Today, too many kids seemed to be content with staying at home playing games on the computer.
Hey, I like Zoom. Although I think it used to be better.
And what's with all these people on the computer all... the... um, time... Nevermind.
Seriously, though, although I like the effects in the JP films, at this point, very few films that come out enthrall me with their special effects anymore. Since I know virtually anything can be done on a computer, sfx have lost their "Wow, how'd they do that?" appeal.
Yes, I realize computer art is a massive undertaking, and the results are usually spectacular, but because the effects are so realistic, they aren't what I consider to be the driving force of a movie, or at least they shouldn't be. (I'm probably the only person in Western civilization who's a science fiction fan who also got bored about halfway through The Matrix, and hasn't yet bothered to see its sequels.)
Heck, as long as I've brought up that trilogy, what kind of toys are available related to it? Collectibles that most kids probably can't afford, and which are too nice to actually play with. (Not to mention the fact that kids probably shouldn't be watching that much ultra-violence in the first place.)
I liked toys in the 1970's and '80's; they were detailed & had accesories, but still allowed kids to imagine the adventures.
By the way, remember Micro Machines? They were little vehicles that were popular in the 1990's, and several vehicle & figure packs were made from the Star Wars & Star Trek series. I always thought it would be cool for the company (Galoob) to have made a Space: 1999 line, though I knew catering to such a niche market would never justify the the expense.
Still, it would have been neat to see vehicle three-packs of Alphan & alien spaceships, the moon buggy & tanks, and even a ten-pack or two of little figures from the show. (Yes, I actually wrote down all the design ideas a few years ago.)
There were Babylon 5 micro machines, and they seemed to be regarded as a niche market as only 5 or 6 sets were made. They are quite rare now.
I'm honestly surprised some of Anderson's more popular shows weren't made into Micro Machine form, Thunderbirds being the prime example.
I'm sure there are licensing issues involved. Maybe there's interest (or was interest, as I think Micro Machines are rarely, if ever, produced anymore) from the toy manufacturer, but ITC or someone at the time retained any production rights. (I'm sure it would be Carlton now, or maybe even Fanderson; you know, all those Fanderson exclusives you need to join the club to get.)
Or maybe the manufacturer just didn't feel there'd be enough sales of those kind of subject lines, after the B-5 stuff and Alien/Aliens stuff didn't have skyrocketing sales. (I thought Battlestar Galactica would be a cool Micro Machines line, too, in spite of that show's shortcomings.)
Alas, there could have been some cool stuff. Maybe someday...
Today I was up at Glasgow and saw the new Die Cast metal Eagle and was very impressed, its the one in the Carlton box.
I intend getting one of those.
It's definately one of the most impressive Eagle toys ever produced!
Yeah, that was fun growing up in the 70s and combining my toys from various space series--Classic Trek, Galactica, and Star Wars. I had a shoebox shuttlecraft piloted by one of the 3inch Galactica Viper pilots, commanded by the 8 inch Kirk with Dr. McCoy, Commander Adama,C-3P0 and Han Solo in Hoth outfit and an R2-D2 and 2 X-Wings cut from the back of a cereal box, and the bear from the Fisher-Price Circus train (which was still in production a few years ago, I saw one in Toys R Us). Those were the good guys. Bad guys...the Star Trek Andorian, a Cylon Centurion, Death Star Droid, Snowtrooper, and two cereal box-cutout TIE fighters.
My sister had the Bionic Woman doll, and we played it together with her Barbie stuff and Donny and Marie (although no special adventures there).
Add in the Black Hole figures (which were actually more advanced than the Star Wars figures at the time).
Gordon, you should have included Donny and Marie in the bad guy bunch. Even kids found their show lame.
Well, actually, at the time, I was about 10 and thought Marie was very beautiful...ok, she still is.
Regarding collectible type stuff, I got one of the little Konami made Gerry Anderson models off of Ebay, the Mark IX Hawk. I've got to admit that for the size of it, the detail is very good.
Looking at a pic of the Konami Hawk on the Catacombs site....that's a pretty little ship. If they weren't so expensive, you could accumulate a nice little fleet pretty quickly.
What's the recommended price, mine cost £8 off of Ebay, though the Eagle was significantly higher.
I thought it said $25.00 for the original price over at Martin Willey's Catacombs site. Could be wrong though.
I found the item on the release of the second volume of the Italian DVD (Catacombs: Merchandise Guide) to be very interesting. It includes an animated introduction of a pan from a driving moonbuggy over the lunar hills to a panoramic shot of Alpha.
Back in 1997 with the release of the 'digitally' improved versions of the Star Wars films, I tried to imagine what type of CGI shots would improve Space:1999. The first idea that came to mind was one very similar to the animated intro in the Italian DVD. It was interesting to see such an idea put on screen (even if later, in a different context).
It would be fun to see other fans ideas of how to digitally enhance Space:1999 (unfortunately, few fans had the opportunity to see "The Eye of Triton" improvement of "Ring Around The Moon" shown at a convention).
Overall, I love the 'look' of filmed models in 1999, if I could enhance it I would only add a few tweaks. It would be nice to insert people walking about into the windows in exterior shots of Alpha. Also, inserting people into shots of the hangar bays would increase the realism. A few episodes could benefit from some animated effects such as laser beams and force fields ("Dorzak" comes to mind, the acrylic panels meant to represent the forcefield in the Croton ship were a bit unconvincing).
If you could digitally enhance a favorite episode, what would you like done?
Give me a couple of days to type up my list, then sit back and relax while your computer opens up this page after I've overloaded it.
Seriously, I agree with you Curious; a few tweaks here and there would really enhance the shots already made. There's just something about a physical object (model or real) that looks, well, more realistic than most CGI.
I'll make up a list sometime, but the first cleaned up FX shot I can think of off the top of my head would be the merging Eagles (during the docking sequence) in "Space Brain."
By the way, Roberto Baldassari was responsible for the nifty animations in the Italian DVD's. He forwarded a link to me of some screen captures, and those stills alone were phenomenal! I'd love to see the actual animation.
The animated menus on the R2 DVD's weren't too bad either and the take off of the 'This episode' being instead 'This Disc' and having some shots from each episode on the top right of the screen was nice.
Over on Space: 1999.org, there's an interview with one Eric Bernard (of Quebec, IIRC) who has made digitally enhanced versions of some of the episodes for his own use. He's the one who did the "Eyes of Triton" which Curious mentioned above.
Included are some screen captures of some of his work, which look great! One of his improvements was to change the format from standard tv format to widescreen, for a more cinematic feel. Many of the shots actually look better in widescreen format, and those that looked a little scrunched, he shrunk the image and extended the background to either side to fill in the areas around the shrunken tv images.
As for things I'd fix, I'll go episode by episode, starting with "Breakaway."
A few things that come to mind for this ep:
As Koenig flies toward NDA1, the flashing sky effect needs a little tweaking.
I'd fix the "blinky-eyed" death scene of the Meta Probe astronaut (see the "Breakaway" board).
During the Breakaway, the Spacedock spin changes directions, which could easily be fixed by flopping (reversing) the image of the long-distance shot. Adding the moon to that shot would be a nice touch, too, as well as showing the Meta probe getting destroyed by Spacedock debris.
The Earth changes phase several times during the Breakaway, which could all be corrected to show better continuity.
Speaking of Earth phases, the Earth should have appeared full in the opening shot on 9 September 1999, as the moon was actually in its new phase as viewed from Earth. By 13 September, the Earth should have appeared slightly waxing gibbous, as the moon was entering its waxing crescent phase as viewed from Earth.
That's it for now...
OOPS! I meant "By 13 September, the Earth should have appeared slightly waning gibbous...", not waxing.
CR, thanks for recommending the Eric Berhard link. He's truly done some magnificent work! I was particularly impressed by the correction of the scene of an Eagle flying behind the sun (Testament of Arkadia). That flub always annoyed me. I feel better knowing that it's been corrected. The other new composites and effects are great too. If only I could get a copy. I wish these versions would have been available on the A&E DVDs.
WOW!!! (the words of a true Space:1999 fan)
You're welcome, Mark. I was also blown away by the guy's effort, and wish he could somehow get a licensing agreement with Carlton to release the improved versions.
Actually, with software available to most people, a bit of practice to know how to use it and a lot of free time, almost anyone with a computer could conceivably do the same thing. (That rules me out, by the way!)
Speaking of computer stuff, David Stevenson's Inside Alpha has some spectacular CGI of Alpha rooms and corridors! This oft-neglected subject is finally getting the treatment it deserves, and puts all the hand-drawn blueprints and drawings I've made to over the years to shame. (OK, that's a little harsh on myself, and I still have a fondness for actual ink on paper, but my point is that the CGI stuff is very well crafted.)
That's David Stephenson, not Stevenson. (Sorry, David, if you happen to be reading this!)
As for my next Episode Improvement...
"Matter of Life and Death"
Correct the Red Alert sound to match the rest of the season.
Make the moon's appearance in Terra Nova's daytime sky look more atmospheric (red-tinged, like the moon appears blue-tinged in Earth's daytime sky).
Fix that bad lunar explosion with something that looks better, and at least covers up the whole moon. (See Ken Scott's Moonbase Alpha's Space 1999 Pages for a great example. Go to his episode archive for Season 1 and select the correct ep.)
I know I'm forgetting something, but I can't think of it right now.
Bear in mind my lists are improving scenes, with an occasional dialogue change if feasible to make dialogue more coherent; I'm not going for episode rewrites here!
I think from now on, I'll post my Episode Improvements lists on each respective episode's board. (I'm going to copy and paste the stuff for "B" and "MoLaD" to their proper boards now.)
Now there's a phrase one doesn't come across everyday!
I agree with CR. What's even more impressive about Eric Bernard's work is that is represents the work of just ONE individual (an army of artists worked on the digital improvements for the Star Wars' enhancements).
What brought my mind back to the the idea of digital enhancements was viewing some of my neighbor's CGI work. He's a student (studying design and animation) and his CGI animation he showed me (of his work) astounded me (it almost looked as if it came out Pixar Studios). For most of us though, touching up photos with Photoshop is the extent of our experience. Inevitably, fans will work on their own enhancements.
CR, I was surprised to read you would like to fix the flashing sky effect in "Breakaway". I thought I might be the only one to notice the overlay of the flash didn't extend all the way to the lunar hills.
A few things I would like to alter/add to "Breakaway"; I would like to 'colorize' all the black and white images on the television monitors (it looks dated; color monitors are standard everywhere today). The wires supporting an Eagle are briefly visible (illuminated briefly by an explosion), I'd digitally erase them. I would also like to put back the shot of an Eagle being hit by an energy bolt (that shot in the "This Episode" part, it's become almost an iconic image of Space:1999).... and I would like to insert a few astonauts walking about the exteriors of Alpha.
As Breakaway is the first episode and should impress, there's one "Gee whiz" effects shot I would like to add. I always wanted to see a point of view shot of being on a launch pad as it is lowered from the surface. The shot should include one continuous pan from the surface down to the underground hangars.
CR, I was surprised to read you would like to fix the flashing sky effect in "Breakaway". I thought I might be the only one to notice the overlay of the flash didn't extend all the way to the lunar hills. Curious
That's exactly to what I was referring, Curious!
I would like to 'colorize' all the black and white images on the television monitors (it looks dated; color monitors are standard everywhere today). Curious again
I forgot to mention that one.
I always wanted to see a point of view shot of being on a launch pad as it is lowered from the surface. The shot should include one continuous pan from the surface down to the underground hangars. Curious, again, again. ("Again, again"? Oh, no, it's the Teletubbies!)
I never thought of that one! Add a few technicians working on the stored Eagles, and that would be one cool shot!
By the way, if you haven't already seen it, on the Alpha Technical Section board, I discussed the Eagle launch pads and hangers. (I posted a couple of times in early May 2002.) Some of the things I mention there about the lift shaft and cover could be incorporated into your Eagle POV shot. (I never did discuss the crane that carries the Eagle off the pad, though... Hmm, have to remedy that.)
Speaking of Eagles, check out the new "Eagle Crash Guide" in the Catacombs. The talented Commander is responsible for crashing seven of the twelve Eagles in the show.
Any landing you can walk away from...
Well, we never saw a crash on the old Trek, so count your blessings!
The models in the original Star Trek were extremely expensive (Hollywood union-built), I don't think they could afford to risk damaging them.
That's a good point, Christopher; I hadn't thought of that angle. It's too bad the Paramount sfx gang didn't think to use photo cut-outs in a manner that Brian Johnson & company would a few years later for S99. Sure, sometimes the photo cut-outs are obvious, but other times, they are used quite effectively, and allowed for damage and destruction scenes without trashing the expensive models.
I'm still impressed by the panoramic view of a devastated Alpha in "War Games." If only Star Trek's USS Enterprise could have been made to look damaged during fight scenes (such as in "Balance of Terror")...
1999's models weren't cheap, but very durable. The first large Eagle model was built to endure repeated crash landings.
Blowing them to bits, however, was reserved for photo cut-outs.
Remember the wobbly AMT kit Enterprise that was used as the battle-damaged Constellation? Custom-building a damaged starship model was probably out of the budget.
Trek also had to overduplicate Enterprise footage to show other Constitution-class ships--especially in Ultimate Computer, but also in The Tholian Web. TNG probably doesn't know how easy they had it--$190,000 per episode budget for one single episode of Classic, vs $1 million per episode of TNG. $190,000 probably wouldn't cover the cast and crew for one show! (Which is why it was good to combine things for a two-parter, done fairly frequently in TNG)
The wobbly kit...oh yes. Growing up, the Constellation's dull finish seemed metallic to my young, unknowing eyes. But the wobbly flight--then and now---added to the realism for me. (Kind of like the different varieties of Eagles made Alpha seem more realistic.)
Speaking of sixties' shows, I always thought the crash landing of the Jupitor 2 in "Lost in Space" was impressive. The actual crash wasn't shown, but the illusion of the saucer flying over the canyon was very realistic.
Of the Eagle crashes in S99, my favorite is the remote-control Eagle crashing in the Nuclear Waste Area 2. It looked like what I would imagine a real lunar crash to appear as (particularly, the huge puffy cloud of fine lunar dust it throws up). The point of view shot from the Eagle cockpit was nice too.
Of course, the most spectacular Eagle crash in S99 is the hangar sequence in "Space Warp"....not perfect though; continuity problems and a wire guiding the crashing Eagle is visible.
Some other big budget 70s shows depicted crashes too. The one that comes to mind is the crash of the shuttle in Buck Rogers second season ep "Journey to Oasis". It was fairly well done, but the major nit in that one was the fact it was the shuttle from Battlestar:Galactica!
I have to agree with you, Mark, about the points you brought up regarding the NDA2 remote Eagle crash. I also like the fact that it didn't explode, and left recognizable wreckage (as viewed from Koenig's office viewscreen).
A very close second place is the bomb Eagle in "Space Brain," with it's wreckage scattering and rolling across the lunar regolith. The only thing that mars that sequence for me is that the intial impact (behind the launch pad) throws up a cloud of dust that's too high and too puffy.
Speaking of space craft, what do you think were the best and worst space craft designs in the show?
I loved the Eagle. It was one of the things (beside the Dragon) that stayed with me ever since. As a kid, I used to draw Eagles more than anything except the Enterprise. As an adult, I still occasionally doodle an Eagle. It's a very fascinating ship.
Most of the ships were pretty neat. (Again, a 10 year old's viewpoint missing most of the ships and episodes...)
Eagles & Hawks top my list for Earth craft, with the Ultra & Meta probes coming in close behind. The Swift was rather nice, but I didn't care for the one huge engine bell; it would have looked better with three smaller engine bells,like the SuperSwift had.
The SuperSwift, to me, is by far the ugliest Earth ship in the series. (I did like its pilot ship, though!)
Considering Brian the Brain's Swift was suposed to have been modified form regular Swifts (presumably with the addition of the large, piggybacked fuel tanks and the jumbo engine), maybe his Swift should actually have been called the SuperSwift, and the actual SuperSwift should have been called something else altogether, like the Osprey or some other bird of prey.
As for alien ships, the Kaldoran Sleeper Ship is interesting in its simplicity (and, of course, is an iconic image for the series), while Gwent is interesting in its complexity. The Satazius is cool, as is the Dragon derelict (among many of the original derelicts from "Dragon's Domain"). The Betanon scout ship Menon from "Space Warp" was neat, and I also liked the Norvah prison ship from "Dorzak" and both Dorcon ships (especially the organicness of the imperial barge).
Gorden, you brought up some interesting points about drawing Eagles as a kid. I also had that ship so ingrained in my mind (well I also had a Mattel Eagle on my shelf), I could draw a very detailed picture of it from memory. Years later, in high school art class I made some very detailed paintings inspired form Space:1999 ( a painting of an Eagle, and the surface of Piri). I spent an extraordinary amount of time and effort to make those paintings perfect. The other kids didn't seem to understand why I needed to make my paintings perfect (being such a huge fan of the show!). I haven't doodled or drawn in almost 15 years, it's almost as if I forgot how to.
The Eagle is just about what I consider to be the best spaceship design on tv ever. I'm biased of course. For some reason, I also love the Jupitor 2 from "Lost in Space" and the Galileo shuttlecraft from original Trek. SFX did a poll, a few years ago, of best spaceship designs... and the Eagle didn't even make the top ten. Sorry, I don't care what anyone says; the Eagle is a million times better than the Enterprise form ST:TNG (my least favorite Enterprise).
Of the S99 ships, my favorite is the lab pod Eagle (with the additional booster units) from "The Metamorph". The Swift would come a close second. The Swift was designed as one of the shuttles for the Altares in "The Day After Tommorrow". I always mentally pictured the Altares as being the mothership in "Brian the Brain". CR, I agree about the Superswift. Particularly, I find the legs on the ship to be poorly (or unattracively) designed.
I can't really say any of the ships in S99 were ugly. One nit, the full scale interior sets often didn't match up with the model's exterior dimensions (Eagle. Swift, etc)....every kid with a Mattel Eagle knew the cockpit was more cramped than the full sized set on tv depicted.
The Eagle sets weren't too far off from their exterior models, at least in Season 1, before Season 2's removal of the connecting corridor between the command module & the passenger module. The Ultra Probe interiors also were fit fairly well, though, like the Eagle, not perfectly.
I liked the Swift interior, even though it clearly used some parts recycled from Voyager 1's setpieces. As neat as it was, the interior clearly didn't fit within the confines of the exterior model. Too, bad, really, since the Swift was so cool looking from the outside. If they'd just made the Swift interior narrower and added windows to the pilot section, it could have been one of the better interior designs in the series.
Mark, I like your idea about the Altares being the mothership; I presume the Swifts would be attached along the top & bottom of the Altares' main hull. (If I recall an old Starlog article correctly, Martin Bower started construction of the Altares thinking he was making a design for S99, and thus kept the design style similar to what had already been established for Earth vessels.)
Roberto Baldassari actually fit the Eagle's interior set into the exterior model very well... at his Transporter Eagle Pages, you can see his blueprints, cutaway poster and article about how he fit the designs into each other.
One of the less impressive ships in the show was Mentor's. Most of the detail on it appeared to be merely painted on.
The four ships of Jarak's people in "Alpha Child" weren't convincing due to one little detail. The over-sized blinking lights (on the underside) destroyed the illusion of scale.
Taybor's "Emporium", with the painted flames on the size, had the appeal of a hot rod. The ship definately didn't match the personality of its owner. Also, in the episode's begining, all the doors open up. Shouldn't Taybor have been sucked out?
Douglas, you mentioned your CGI work. Being a science fiction fan, I would assume much of that would involve sci-fi imagery. Spacecraft such as those in B5?
Curious, I had the shots of what I have done on my webspace, but since then I have lost my free hosting. My pics (including one of an Eagle) are the following.
A Dreadnought from the game I-War, this was an experiment in motion blur.
A Babylon 5 carrier group, this isn't too impressive as it was my second attempt at an image.
My Eagle pic, the lighting is a bit bright
My first ever image which was frankly awful.
Two craft from the Wing Commander III game, an Excalibur Heavy fighter and a Hellcat IV Medium fighter in the background.
A Babylon 5 Omega Class Destroyer and a Thunderbolt class Starfury.
This is the image that I think turned out the best, it was positioned and composited just right and came out like that first time.
An image of two Fan Made Star Trek ships
Fine work, Douglas! Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for the links too, Douglas. You're very talented. These are some of the nicest examples of fan work I've seen on the web. The B5 and Star Trek images look so professional, one would think they were produced by their respective production teams. The Trek image, as a matter of fact, looks better than any thing I've seen on ST:Voyager. The rich colors, compositions, detail, lighting...everything is splendid! As to the Eagle pic, it has the look of one of those JPL shorts of flying around the moon ( the moon looks more authentic than most of the shots in S99).
Douglas had posted a link to the Eagle pic a long time ago. I'd pointed out then that the pic's moon actually is the moon, but from an angle we can't see from Earth's surface; I thought (still think) that enhances the feel of actually being in space alongside the Eagle.
That brings us to the point of how the moon was depicted in S99. Generally, it was well done. Never looked as good as the moon in 2001, but then again, almost nothing looks as good as that.
The HBO series "From Earth to the Moon" featured some very realistic CGI scenes of the moon (they looked like they were based on actual photos of the moon). The live action set of the lunar surface was the best I've seen (the illusion of a single source of strong light from the sun and lesser gravity, achieved with the use of wires on the actors). Also, there were no reflections (on helmet visors) from overhead studio lights as so often happens in S99.
A few weeks ago it was suggested that Alpha's closed-circuit monitors should be in color instead of black and white. I'm of the opinion that the monochrome blue glow of the monitors worked well in the sets' design as some of the sparse patches of color in a mostly colorless moonbase. The color-coded uniform sleeves worked much the same way.
The blue video images in the monitors do add a welcome splash of color to the often monotone white sets of Y1. It's just that all those black and white monitors look so dated in today's all color world. One other nit about those video images. After "Breakaway", most images feature actors in front of an only white background. This was because the video images were usually a live feed from nearby. If the show was made a few years later, full backgrounds could have been done using widely available video-tape recorders (Galactica and Buck Rogers used that technique).
Martin Willey has added some observations to his "Breakaway" Production Guide. He also comments on the flaws in the shot of the flashing sky as Koenig flies to the Nuclear Disposal Area. He further elaborates by stating there should be no flashing sky because the moon doesn't have an atmosphere. I guess that might also apply to the famous shot of the glowing dome of light behind Alpha (used in both seasons' opening titles). But it wouldn't be much fun without that, would it?
I thought a discussion about Alpha's medical facilities that began on the Season 1 "Force of Life" board was becoming more of a Sink 1999 topic, so I copied the relevant parts to this board so we could continue the discussion here. (Sorry, Todd, if I've overstepped my bounds doing that! E-mail me if I was in error!)
By Curious on Tuesday, March 30, 2004 - 12:16 pm:
One nit I have about this ep concerns the critical patient in Medical Center. Earlier in the ep, Helena is shown alone in Medical Center with Zoref. When he breaks free, he heads towards Helena seeking "heat". Later in the ep, Koeinig cuts power and Mathais objects because he needs power for a critical patient (who appears to have heart trouble). Where did this patient come from? If he was supposedly in Medical Center all along, wouldn't Zoref have gone straight to him (as an easy victim) and not Helena?
By CR on Tuesday, March 30, 2004 - 05:23 pm:
Medical Center isn't one tiny room (like in Season 2), but an entire building full of different rooms (hence the various room designs seen throughout Season 1... critical care units, autopsy wards, surgical units, isolation areas, and so on). The heart patient was in a different section of the building than the isolation ward Zoref escaped from.
By Mark on Wednesday, March 31, 2004 - 07:18 pm:
CR, isn't that a bit of a stretch? We know they just used different Medical Center sets in the first year. I just wish they would have kept the most impressive one. Some of the details in Main Mission (the steps) changed, but nothing drastic like in Medical Center!
By CR on Thursday, April 01, 2004 - 08:05 am:
Why is it a stretch? The buildings that comprise Alpha are large, and presumably filled with many rooms. Alpha's medical building is the equivalent of a hospital... Ever been to a real hospital that has all of its facilities in a single room? Would a surgical ward be in the same room as a recovery ward? Autopsy/morgue in the same area as OB/GYN or a birthing unit? Emergency/trauma centers in the same area as doctors' personal offices? Even small clinics (in the US anyway) have separate rooms for general patient care, labs, x-rays and office space. A hospital is even more substantially divided.
Yes, I know the tv show used sets, but I didn't see any conflict with the way a real hospital would be set up. I've spent enough time in various real-life medical facilities of varying sizes, and am related to a few people in the medical field, so I'm rather familiar with certain aspects of some medical buildings. I have a bigger problem with S99's unrealistic CPR techniques (among other medical procedures) than I do with its medical sets.
So, as long as we're on the topic, does anyone wish to mention which Season 1 medical set was their favorite? (I guess that's actually a Sink 1999 topic!)
By Curious on Friday, April 02, 2004 - 11:55 am:
One could make the point about multiple rooms for every department on Alpha. Viewers want and expect to be able to find some familiarity in a show's supposedly permanent sets. I think the same thing would apply to Star Trek. I don't think fans would have liked it if every other week Bones was in a new medical center. All the different 1999 sets (for Medical Center) replicated the same functions for the most part.
By CR, realizing this is definitely becoming a Sink topic... on Saturday, April 03, 2004 - 12:25 am:
One could make the point about multiple rooms for every department on Alpha.--Curious
Actually, I think there are multiple rooms for every department. Alpha's huge, remember, and there would be various different labs and so forth in each of Alpha's twenty five buildings. (And that doesn't include the launch pads & their hangers.) This is borne out on screen by the various designations for the areas we do see: Care Unit 3 ("MoLaD"), Hydroponic Lab 2 ("TTS"), Technical Area 6B ("TLS") and of course, Nuclear Generating Area 3 ("FoL") are just a few examples.
That doesn't mean I want to see a new location every single episode; the base isn't that huge. But I don't want to see the same exact set redressed every time a "new" area is seen. (I thought Season 1 did a pretty good job of redressing sets as needed without it being too obvious... the least effective redress was the gymnasium from "ToA".)
All the different 1999 sets (for Medical Center) replicated the same functions for the most part.--Curious, again
For the most part, I suppose. I just never was all that put off by it, since I expect it in real medical facilities. Remember, this series wasn't set in the 23rd century, where Starfleet medicine allows for single-room medical facilities. Part of the thing writers for S99 were supposed to bear in mind (at least for Season 1) was that this wasn't the distant future, but the near future, with many recognizable features from present day.
And speaking for myself, I have to stay firm in my assertion that surgery should be separate from other rooms, for sanitary reasons if for nothing else. I'm not trying to start a fight or anything, but with all the science that S99 got wrong, I didn't think the medical sets were a problem, and even if S99 had gotten most of the science right, I still wouldn't be put off by the medical sets. To each his own, I guess... I hope some of the things I've brought up have helped others understand why I feel multiple medical rooms aren't really "wrong" at least.
All that having been said, I forgot the point I was going to bring up as a follow-up... too tired, I guess. I'll post it later if I wake up enough to remember it!
On the Force of Life board Curious stated, "The show always seemed to have more of a problem with continuity than most scifi shows."
Many of the discontinuities might be attributed to some lack of communication between the main unit production at Pinewood Studios and the effects photography unit at Bray Studios, and then no money in the budget to reshoot or otherwise fix these discontinuities. Except…
Many of these problems could have been prevented easily during the film cutting, such as flopping shots of Eagles on the pad so the starboard hatch faces the boarding tube, especially since EVERY on-set scene used that hatch and never the portside one.
Often, television production schedules afford very little time for such fixes. Every extra hour of production time costs thousands of pounds or dollars, and the product has to be finished and in the can in order to meet the network's air dates. Except…
Space: 1999 was not on a true network but rather in first-run syndication, and first season production was completely finished in late 1974 (maybe early 1975), many months before the first episodes were broadcast in October 1975 (on the U.S. stations, anyway.) There was no rush to distribute prints shortly after the final cuts were completed.
Peter, you raise many excellent points. Many of the continuity problems could be fixed through simple editing. In many eps, I've raised the question; "Where's the editer?". Sometimes, there is such careless editing, I wonder if the editer cared (as a fan would). I often wondered how one of the show's producers could look at a finished cut and not want a change. I say this because S99 is a serious show. Continuity problems are a distracting annoyance. In campy shows, it might be amusing, but not here.
Any one heard any news about when Martin Willey's new book "The Space:1999 Companion" will be out. Since his "Catacombs" site is an invaluable guide for S99 fans (a virtual Encyclopedia Britannica of S99) his book should be excellent!
Last I heard on the Powys website, sometime "in 2004," though I think summer 2004 may have been mentioned somewhere. (Not much help, I know!) Whenever it comes out, I'm getting a copy straight away. The last book I wanted--and waited to buy--was from a couple of years ago, and was called The Future is Fantastic!. Unfortunately, it was pulled from publication due to licensing issues. I'm certain Mr. Willey will avoid making that mistake, as he's so thorough on his website about copyright, but I'm not taking any chances.
What's it all about?
Each episode is about 50 minutes.
I noticed a little snipped in Saturdays Scottish Daily Record, it was a feature on Gerry Anderson and how he is unhappy with the US Thunderbirds. In it he talks about his planned CGI rebirth of Captain Scarlet, and how he plans to remake all his shows. Including Space:1999, which shows that Anderson certainly doesn't seem to think it an impossibility.
Obviously, any sci-fi show titled "Space:1999" stands little chance of being remade in 2005!
Some of the CGI effects in the upcoming Thunderbirds movie look unimpressive. Perhaps, they'll keep improving the effects. Although the original series had a bizarre mixture of American and British accents, I don't think anyone will like a Americanized treatment where everything is blanded out to appeal to a percieved middle-American audience...Shades of the old Freddie Freiberger?
Maybe it's the concept that would be remade with a different date.
The shots I saw of the new Thunderbirds looked like the ships were practically the same, but I think what'll happen is that the producers will feel that as long as the Thunderbird craft look the same that will give them free reign to do whatever else they want, Red Dwarf USA is a prime example of this. The new FAB 1 looks horrible and is apparently a Ford design and looks it.