Several of the original Space:1999 episodes were edited together in pairs to create a handful of feature films for theatrical release. Because these movie versions contain several differences, additional footage and cuts from the original episodes, it was requested that a board be set up to discuss these film versions seperately. So here it is.
I have only seen two of these films, both many years ago, so my memories of them are incomplete at best. However, reference is available about them (if they are unavailable for rental/purchase). The first place I'll be checking out is The Catacombs.
Of the four Destination Moonbase Alpha works the best. Of course thats hardly surprising given that its the two parter "Bringers of Wonder," and not two unconnected episodes stuck together like the rest. Its almost completely intact other than Helena's status report at the beginning of part 2 and the epilogue at the end of part 2. Losing the epilogue makes for a better ending in my opinion.
The conference room scenes filmed for Alien Attack aren't really worth the effort. They were obviously done on the very cheap, as nothing looks like it belongs in the year 2100 we're supposedly watching. Especially bad is the use of a dial tuned radio to listen to flight activities on the Moon.
The "movies" were available for broadcast into at least 1999, as Space: The Imagination Station in Canada played them during August, and had played them several times before that. For all I know they're still available.
Unfortunately when they were created the episodes used were pulled from syndication, so for years you could only watch 40 episodes of the series instead of the full 48.
The Catacombs page on them is here
The movies were also for years, the only video releases of Space:1999 available in the UK for some years before ITC released the other episodes.
Looking back, I see how badly put together most of them were, but in an era when 1999 wasn't even repeated on Saturday mornings, I was thankful of them.
I'll comment on "Alien Attack".
The Year Two A&E DVDs contain the trailors for "Alien Attack" and "Destination Moonbase Alpha" (Cosmic Princess is missing). Both trailors feature the exploding Space Dock from "Breakaway" (although it has nothing to do with anything in "Destination Moonbase Alpha"). The trailors are fast paced and fun. The narration for the "Alien Attack" trailor is a bit pretentious; "Far out beyond our world and time lies the ultimate epic encounter with the supreme alien intelligence"....What? Is this supposed to be "2001: A Space Odyssey" (or at least the "Black Sun").
Both 'films' are awful. It's hard to say which is worse. I had never seen "Breakaway" until the 90s when the SciFi channel aired it unedited as part of "Pilot Weekend" (along with the Lost in Space and Star Trek pilots). I was relieved when I saw Breakaway. For many years, I had assumed the additional scenes of the Earth offices were part of the original pilot. The Earth "office" was a pretty sorry set. A collection of junk in a drab office would be a good summation. The little square cubes glued to the suspended ceiling were an especially tacky touch. Were they supposed to look "futuristic"? If the office is that of the International Lunar Finanance Commission, why is the American flag so prominently on display? (This ain't Cape Canaveral)... Fashions back on Earth seem to consist of everyone wearing turtleneck shirts (again, very "futuristic"). To further add to the atmosphere, the actors in this sequence are all awful. The stated year is "2100", but this special addition reeks of cheapo: 1970s.
The rest of the movie consists of the edited eps of Breakaway and War Games. There's no transition between the two eps.
They are awful Mark, but for a long time they were the only copies I had, which was something to be thankful for.
In the UK, the four movies were released on Channel 5 Video, what seemed to be a 'budget' video label. After ITC released the episodes, Channel 5 and the company that bought them over retained the rights to them for a time, as I suppose they had a time limited contract to release them. After a while, the episodes were released uncut in episodic form by ITC but these tapes were pretty difficult to get.
Starlog stated Alien Attack was released theatrically in some areas. Did anyone see it on the big screen? I know some theatrical posters were made for Destination Moonbase Alpha and Alien Attack.
I never knew until reading this board that any of them were intended for Theatrical release, maybe as TV movies but not cinemas themselves.
Battlestar:Galactica was released theatrically in Canada before it premiered on US network television.
In 1978, ITC was in the midst of its theatrical film phase (Capricorn One,Boys From Brazil,etc). With "Destination Moonbase Alpha", it had a cheap and easy way to jump on the "Star Wars" bandwagon. The theatrical poster for "Destination Moonbase Alpha" is certainly in the "Star Wars" style. In Europe, some US television programs were edited together and shown as theatrical films.
It might not qualify as being on the "big screen", but I did watch Space:1999 on a big screen. I played my Columbia House tape of "The Metamorph" on a video projector ( on a big screen) in a lecture hall. I just had to see my favorite ep on the "big screen"!
Both Battlestar Galactica and Buck Rogers were theatrical releases in the UK as well, I didn't realise until some years later that they were in fact pilot episodes and that the theatrical release of Galactica's "Saga of a Star World" was usually quite heavily cut from the TV version.
While looking at a Mystery Science Theater 3000 site, I came upon an item of interst to Space:1999 fans: the Jan. 22, 1989 episode of the show featured "Cosmic Princess". Although many S99 fans consider it to be cheesy (especially the second "Space Warp" part), it was interesting to see MST3K's take on the compilation "movie".
In MST3K, unfortunate test subject Joel Robinson is stranded aboord the Satellite of Love. He and his robot companions, Ton Servo and Crow T> Robot, areforced to watch an endless stream of lousy B-movies by evil Dr. Clayton Forrester.
To start off with did the characters interpret Cosmic Princess as a movie? No, Dr. F states; "Don't get your hopes up you human-headed ringball. This is nothing but a poorly acted Martin Landau series from the 70's." The show continues on to mock the "movie" with their own unique brand of humour (often making comparisons to other shows/movies). While S99 fans generally criticise plot holes and production gaffes, MST3K's remarks tend toward the more silly side.
Some observations I liked:
"Titanium--it's the feel-good mineral of 1999."
On Mentor: "Pay no attention to the man behind the test tubes!"
To Helena's statement "A graveyard of spaceships"----"Good call...I could be writing this "
The Grove of Psyche is described as the "Land of Dairy Queen" and some of the unfortunate miners are described as Oompa-Loompas.
Those are just from the first part...
...back to MST3k's ep on Cosmic Princess. They joke about Alan "Hey mate! Paul Hogan"
Maya's transformation into a dog inspires the expected "that little b*tch!". They seemed to miss the nit about the "hole in the wall" viewscreen .
Now on to MST3K's observations on the Space Warp part of Cosmic Princess:
On Maya's first creature transformation; "A good Oxy-10 case study."
On Alphan pajamas: "Earth underwear! Earth underwear!"
On Maya's creature, they advice not to shoot cuz "It's Jerry Garcia!"
On Alpha's moonbuggies: "He's got one of the Banana Split's cars"
On the space warp effects: "I'm tripping...like being on LSD--lousy space dramas!"
Servo concludes the viewing with a succinct "What a horrible chunk of DOODY!" The gang overlooked the infamous "visors flipping open scene" and the redubbed new identificationof the Space Warp ship alien as "Commander Vader" (an obvious Star Wars joke).
MST3K is a rather goofy, but fun way, to view Cosmic Princess, ITC's special compilation movie of "The Metamorph" and "Space Warp".
I always felt that Bringers of Wonder/Destination Moonbase Alpha was a wasted opportunity. If it was made as a two-parter with a view to stitching it together as a movie, then surely they could have got some better known "guest stars" and maybe some spectacular locations/sets - something like the Ultima Thule ice caves, perhaps? Other ITC shows that had two-parters seemed to at least have some good locations - I'm thinking of Vendetta for the Saint and The Saint and the Brave Goose, which were filmed in exotic locations. Destination... was a bit boring, as all the action took place on Moonbase Alpha, so it felt a bit claustrophobic. Destination would have worked as a TV movie, but not as a cinema movie, methinks.
A missed opportunity.
There's no evidence "Bringers" was ever intended for theatrical release. ITC just decided to cash in on the sci fi boom that Star Wars and Close Encounters let loose by quickly movie-izing existing ITC owned material. The series had been off the air for 2 years when Destination and Alien Attack were put together.
Lol, I just got the Cosmic Princess MST3K DVD a few days ago. Laughed myself silly. In History class a few lines just popped into my head and I cracked up. "Oh, we don't have enough money for the other ship, so let's use a...PEPSI BOTTLE!"
What the hell!!! This has appeared on multiple forums
It's discussed in the Nitcentral Emergencies.
It's a link-spam-bot, trying to boost the google rankings of some online casinos.
It posted to about 180 boards yesterday.
It doesnt affect users in any way does it?
It's toast now.
I recently had the opportunity to pick up a used VHS tape of "Destination Moonbase Alpha" for only one dollar. It'd been nearly thirty years since I'd last seen "The Bringers of Wonder", and having now viewed the movie, in my opinion thirty years was not long enough. I thought I knew what to expect from it but it was even worse than I'd remembered. I'm sticking with DVDs of the first series only from now on.
Oh, what would be your exact complaints Peter?
I've got to admit for a fondness for some of the models and sets, especially the Nuclear Generating area and the Pilot ship.