Best/Worst Episodes

Nitcentral's Bulletin Brash Reflections: Space: 1999: Best/Worst Episodes
Here you can give your own ideas for personal favorites/least favorites of the Space:1999 episodes. My personal favorite episode is the excellent "Another Time, Another Place." Another favorite is "Earthbound." For the worst episode, I'd have to vote the incredibly juvenile "Beta Cloud" closely followed by "The Rules of Luton" and "Devil's Planet." Hmmm, looks as if my favorite episodes are all first season and my least favorite are all from the second! Coincidence? No.
By BarbF on Friday, March 05, 1999 - 6:41 am:

Best episodes: Breakaway, Mission of the Darians, Dragon's Domain, The Metamorph & Immunity Syndrome

Worst episodes: Matter of Balance (dig those groovy yellow underpants), Catacombs of the Moon, Rules of Luton, and the one from season 1 where the giant eyeball takes over Moonbase Alpha

By Todd Pence on Friday, March 05, 1999 - 3:42 pm:

The giant eyeball??? Which one's that, Barb?

By BarbF on Monday, March 08, 1999 - 9:04 am:

Ring Around the Moon...where that big orange eyeball-looking thing takes over Ted Clifford and makes him transmit information, then kidnaps Helena.

By Stuart Gray on Monday, March 08, 1999 - 3:40 pm:

Most people think that the Beta Cloud is a diobolical episode. But in a recent poll on the space 1999 mailing list it was voted seventh best episode overall. Personally I'll give it an eight out of ten for sheer excitement!! (Oh allright, I admit it's my fav episode!)

By ScottN on Monday, March 08, 1999 - 5:11 pm:

"Court Martial". Ok, this is actually from UFO. But, since SpacedOut:1999 is the sequel to UFO...

By Todd Pence on Monday, March 08, 1999 - 6:11 pm:

I haven't seen that much UFO, but I like what little I've seen when the Schlock-Fi channel used to rerun them on an irregular schedule. The best of those episodes (I don't know titles) is the one where Straker's son is hit by a car and needs one of his special jets to ferry the medicine he needs to him. Only a UFO crashes and Straker has to make the difficult decision to divert the jet to make a possible alien contact. In the end, he loses both his son and the alien. It was very moving.

By BarbF on Tuesday, March 09, 1999 - 6:21 am:

The only thing I really remember about UFO was those groovy purple anti-static wigs. Dig it, baby!

By ScottN on Tuesday, March 09, 1999 - 9:53 am:

That was one of the *GOOD* things about Space:1999... they got rid of the gogo wigs for Moonbase women.

By Anonymous on Sunday, May 30, 1999 - 7:54 pm:

BEST EPISODE; Dragons Domain, tons of tentacles make top sci fi

Worst episode; Space Brain. Moonbase Alpha vs the Matey Monster

By ScottN on Monday, May 31, 1999 - 1:14 am:

Didn't the graveyard in Dragon's Domain kind of look like the animated Trek "Time Trap"?

By Douglas Nicol on Saturday, July 17, 1999 - 5:50 pm:

Best episodes: Breakaway, Another Time, Another Place, Earthbound, Mission of the Darians, Dragons Domain, The Last Enemy, Voyagers Return, The Metamorph, Dorzak, The Dorcons.

Worst episodes: Space Brain, Beta Cloud, One Moment of Humanity, Space Warp, The Taybor,

By Douglas Nicol on Saturday, September 18, 1999 - 6:52 pm:

Tell me, does anyone like 'The Rules of Luton', 'Space Brain' or 'The Beta Cloud'?

By Todd Pence on Saturday, September 18, 1999 - 8:29 pm:

Apparently, some people on the Space:1999 mailing list seemed to like "The Beta Cloud", since it incredibly and mind-bogglingly made the top ten on a poll conducted there earlier this year. That's one of the best arguments against democracy I've ever seen.

By wiseguy on Saturday, September 18, 1999 - 9:38 pm:

I like "Space Brain." No, it's not the best episode. At least it's a Year 1 story; I shudder to think what Year 2 would have done with it...Tony: "What's that foam on my beer?"...Maya taking a bubble bath: "What? This isn't soap? AAAAHHH!!" (Turns into a rock creature to avoid being crushed)...a bald Helena, crying: "Oh, John, I was just trying this new shampoo to wash my hair so I would be more attractive to you - Maya, can you turn yourself into a wig for next few weeks?"...
OK, they could have used something more menacing than soap suds...oatmeal, maybe?
Koenig: "Are you saying this oatmeal crushed Eagle 1?" Bergman: "In sufficient quantities, John, this oatmeal, as you call it, could crush anything with the force of iron...10% of your minimum daily requirement."

By ScottN on Sunday, September 19, 1999 - 12:50 am:

OK, they could have used something more menacing than soap suds...oatmeal, maybe?
Koenig: "Are you saying this oatmeal crushed Eagle 1?" Bergman: "In sufficient quantities, John, this oatmeal, as you call it, could crush anything with the force of iron...10% of your minimum daily requirement."

When I was at camp, at age 15 (about 20+ years ago), we wrote a sketch called "Ha-dicea cham sheachal et Machaneh Swig" (or in English for those of you who don't understand my transliteration: The Hot Cereal that Ate Camp Swig) [ed. note: the cereal in question was in fact oatmeal]. Of course, we killed it off with brown sugar!

By Richard Farrell,Liverpool,England on Friday, May 26, 2000 - 4:07 pm:

Best episodes? Force of Life for David Tomblin's stylish direction;Troubled Spirit for sheer atmosphere,and Dragon's Domain for characterisation and effects together.Only a madman would want to fiddle with that recipe(Wouldn't he?).Worst episodes?Beta Cloud for its mindlessness,Space Warp for its plot holes,and anything with Brian Blessed's understated Flash Gordon-esque thesping.We love you really,Bri."GORDON'S ALIVE!!!"

By Doug2000 on Sunday, June 04, 2000 - 9:14 pm:

I loved Voyager's Return and Infernal Machine...Space Warp was pretty interesting. Rules of Luton *has to be* the worst title, tho. Man, that one reeked.

By Douglas Nicol on Sunday, June 11, 2000 - 3:02 pm:

Rules of Luton is one of those episodes that makes you cringe when you watch it. The only worthwhile thing about it was the extra bits of background information on Maya and Koenig, the rest was a waste.

By Stuart Gray on Tuesday, June 13, 2000 - 5:11 am:

OK then, so on balance, which is better to all you Season 1 fans who just don't like the S2 format at all. Rules of Luton, or, The Beta Cloud??? These seem to be the most hated and scorned episodes of Space:1999; though personally being a fervent S2 fan I like The Beta Cloud very much! I think Rules of Luton is much worse...

By Douglas Nicol on Tuesday, June 13, 2000 - 12:28 pm:

Well Rules of Luton is defintely the worse episode of the two. Don't get me wrong there are quite a few episodes of Season 2 that I like it's just that Beta Cloud and the Rules of Luton are episodes that people who don't like the show at all like to highlight to take the mickey out of it. Space Brain from season 1 is also used for this purpose.

By Stuart Gray on Tuesday, June 13, 2000 - 3:52 pm:

Personally I like Space Brain, even though the foam was as cheesy as the cloud creature. I admit the monster in Beta Cloud is pathetic, but its the struggle in that particular episode that I like so much. The alphans refusal to give in to a seemingly no win situation - how do you defeat a killer that cannot be killed so to speak?? Wadsworth's superb scores also fuse very well with certain scenes - that's probably another reason why I like it so much!! It was also the first episode of 1999 I ever saw back in Sept '76...

By tim gueguen on Monday, June 19, 2000 - 9:45 pm:

Its really hard to guess the motivation behind the writing of "Beta Cloud." Was it written on the fly because they had to keep filming, but the Landaus had a vacation scheduled? Was Freiberger that desperate to get the money a writing credit would bring?("Charles Woodgrove" was Freiberger's writing pseudonym.) Or had they simply run out of good scripts at that point?

By Douglas Nicol on Tuesday, June 20, 2000 - 1:09 pm:

The Beta Clouds novelisation is slightly better but still doesn't hide the fact this is a pretty poor script.

By Stuart Gray, Huntingdon, UK on Tuesday, June 20, 2000 - 4:48 pm:

A poor script it was too - I agree, but it still ranks in my top five episodes! Don't ask me why, but I maintain for my own intrinsic reasons it's still highly watchable.

Well one things for sure - it was a whole site better than England's performance against Romania this evening.......

By BarbF on Friday, June 23, 2000 - 11:18 am:

IMHO, the worst of Year 2 was Matter of Balance. Pure, unadulerated bullsh**. Juvenile and lame in the extreme.

By Zantor on Sunday, September 17, 2000 - 12:37 pm:

Best episodes Y1: Breakaway, Black Sun, Earthbound, Voyager's Return, Mission of the Darians

Worst episodes Y1: Matter of Life and Death, Another Time, Another Place, End of Eternity

Best episodes Y2: The Metamorph, The Exiles, Journey To Where, The Bringers of Wonder Parts 1 and 2, Dorzak

Worst episodes Y2: A Matter of Balance, The Rules of Luton, The Beta Cloud, Seed of Destruction, One Moment of Humanity

Honorable mentions Y1: Death's Other Dominion, War Games, Dragon's Domain

Honorable mentions Y2: Space Warp, The Immunity Syndrome, The AB Chrysalis

Best sets: Year 1
Best costumes: Year 2
Best characters: Both years
Best character of all: Victor Bergman

All of the above, IMHO.

By Chris Rogerson,Liverpool England on Thursday, October 05, 2000 - 11:54 am:

You left out best visual effects...any year! Am I the only one that ever mentions them!

By Richard Bendell on Monday, October 23, 2000 - 11:07 am:

Interesting. I just came across this site by accident and the Online Alpha group I'm with at is having the same kind of discussion right now regarding best and worst(today is Oct 23rd).
What I find very intriguing is that the many "worst" selections show up on someone else's best list. If I can toss in my 2 cents my three worst S1 episodes are:
The Full Circle - I couldn't buy the time-shifting mist idea. However, Sandra's fur showed it would have made for a great replacement uniform.
Ring Around the Moon - Slow and repetetive. One thing though. At the MainMission: 2000 convention, the edited, remastered "Eyes of Triton" greatly improved this episode for me.
Space Brain - the scarecrow of the first season. First 35 minutes great, last 15 brainless but very, very clean.
Now mind you, I would still watch any of these anytime.

My three best: The Testament of Arkadia. A very polished episode demonstrating how strong the show was becoming.
Earthbound. Simply great. Entertaining, well-written with an ending "to die for".
Dragon's Domain: Or "In space no one can hear you get burned to a crisp". Maybe not as effective as Alien, but even non-Space fans still seem to remember this one quite vividly.


By Gary Mitchell on Monday, October 23, 2000 - 7:51 pm:

Best episodes all from season 1 except Full circle Last enemy Worst episodes all from season 2 except The metamorph The exiles Journey to where Brian the brain The Taybor Seed of destruction The AB Chrysalis Catacombs of the moon A matter of balance The Lambda factor The bringers of wonder The seance spectre Dorzak I off course prefer season 1 though season 2 had its moments like the scene in which John and Maya talked about their histories and the one in New Adam new Eve when Robert Farnons How beautiful is the night is played in fact most of the episodes i picked from year 2 is there because those memorable moments

By Anonymous on Friday, August 31, 2001 - 4:30 am:

We had a poll about that on the S1999 list around Dec98-Jan99.
Not much participation but ...

Black Sun was voted for the best episode (1 vote more than Dragon's). Brain the Brain was voted for the worst episode.

By Anonymous on Tuesday, January 08, 2002 - 2:30 pm:

Best Episodes: Breakaway, Dragon's Domain, War Games, Mission of the Darians, The Metamorph, and
Journey to Where.

Worst Episode: Ring Around the Moon, the caveman mist one (I forget the name), Rules of Luton, All That Glisters, Matter of Balance, Space Brain and Catacombs of the Moon.

By Anonymous on Friday, May 03, 2002 - 1:19 pm:

Best Episodes: Breakaway, War Games, Black Sun, Voyager's Return, Collison Course, Journey To Where

Good Episodes: Testament of Arkadia, Death's Other Dominion (I loved the Jack Tanner character!), Earthbound (You just loved to hate Simmonds), Mission of the Darians

"Maybe not Good but enjoyed them anyway" Episodes: Ring Around the Moon (I know, I know, hokey, but for some reason still liked it), Dragon's Domain (the fake "monster" removed it from the "good" category for me), Guardian of Piri (nice to see the Alphans let lose), The Last Sunset (premise is silly but again, nice to see the Alphans let loose), Space Brain (I've never looked at "foam" the same way again, LOL), Mark of Arkanon (Alan's character development was touching)

Worst Episodes: The rest of 2nd season except Metamorph. Though the one redeeming quality of "The Beta Cloud"...watching Alan Carter run around half naked in his pjs...woo-hoo! Now THAT made the episode worth watching!

You can tell I'm a big first season fan....

By straker1999 on Friday, June 14, 2002 - 5:41 am:

Best episodes: Breakaway, Dragon's Domain, Voyager's Return, Force Of Life, The Troubled Spirit, Guardian Of Piri, The Infernal Machine, Another Time Another Place, End Of Eternity, The Bringers Of Wonder, Journey To Where, Space Brain, The AB Chrysalis, The Seance Spectre, Dorzak. And Missing Link, purely for the 'empty Moonbase' scenes. More or less all of Season One rules. :) (See also all time best)

Worst episodes: Brian The Brain (good idea, crappy execution), Space Warp, The Beta Cloud
(the same terrible story, or lack thereof, done twice), The Dorcons (even if Pat Troughton's in it), The Exiles (despite the cool model FX), One Moment Of Humanity (see also all time worst)

The not-bads that are usually trashed: The Lambda Factor, A Matter Of Balance, The
Rules Of Luton, The Full Circle, Ring
Around The Moon, Devil's Planet.

Least interesting 1999 ep: The Last Enemy

Best ep of all time: War Games

Worst ep of all time: The Taybor

By Craig Rohloff on Saturday, November 02, 2002 - 2:44 pm:

OK, this isn't realy one of the worst episodes, IMO, but I just don't get why people who like this episode REALLY like this episode: End of Eternity.
When I read that the new novel series that's being written was kicking off with a direct sequel to this ep, it turned me off of wanting to read that novel.

By Anonymous on Wednesday, November 06, 2002 - 7:21 am:

You didn't miss much, Craig - the new book left ALOT to be desired.

By tim on Thursday, November 07, 2002 - 8:12 pm:

the best space 1999---Black Sun--Breakaway---last sunset---the Testament of Arkadia-- force of life( that was almost heavy sci fi just a few holes at the end of that one).now the worst (wow so much from year two) The taybor---all that glisters--rules of luton--Brian the brain--the Dorcons

By The Authority on Friday, January 24, 2003 - 8:34 am:

Best: Taybor, Beta Cloud, Ring Around the Moon, Devils Planet, Luton Matter of Life n Death.

Worst: Dragons Domain, AB Chrysalis, Arkadia, Breakaway, Mission of the Darians.

By CR on Friday, January 24, 2003 - 9:25 am:

Just had to be different, eh? :)

By Stuart Gray on Saturday, April 19, 2003 - 5:31 am:

Revised Episode List..

FAVS S2: Bringers of Wonder 1+2, Seance Spectre, Dorcons, Immunity Syndrome, Beta Cloud (sorry, but I still like it!), A-B Chrysalis and Space Warp.

WORST S2: Brian the Brain (consider this BEFORE you slate The Beta Cloud), The Taybor (similar), One Moment of Humanity and Catacombs of the Moon (this one along with Ring Around the Moon is the most boring episode of 1999 I reckon).

FAVS S1: Just about all with notable ones being: War Games, Black Sun, Last Enemy, Infernal Machine, Last Sunset and Testament of Arkadia

WORST S1: Not too many here but few worthy of mention are: Ring Around the Moon, Missing Link (regardless of Cushing being in it), Death's Other Dominion and Troubled Spirit.

By The Authority on Monday, May 12, 2003 - 1:24 pm:

Of course! I'm from that "alternate universe" where taste and decency are reversed ;)

By CR on Monday, May 12, 2003 - 2:40 pm:

...And timely responses are anything but! :O

By feathers on Thursday, September 04, 2003 - 3:43 am:

Gosh, it's been a long time...
I just get the bug occasionally and I go dragging the net for stuff and this time it was Nick Tate coz the only reason I stuck with Space 1999 was Alan Carter.

So I'm trawling through websites and catching up on stories I hadn't seen for 30 years and (aside from getting a buzz copping all those nifty pics of Carter in his 'jamies, or looking pale and vulnerable in his spacesuit) I was just blown away by the violence of the whole show.

Really. Are we so politically correct these days, or were the 70's just a really nasty place to be? Yell at someone to stop, and if they don't oh, what the hey. Shoot 'em with a stun gun. Blow stuff up, punch each other, why bother with words? Was air that short on Alpha?

Why were the Eagles armed? Freighters don't carry cannons. Jumbo jets don't pack missiles, but on the moon, all bets are off.

You're not even safe in medical. One crosseyed look at Dr Russell and she'll stick you with a sedative. (Should I be commenting about this on the "Space 1999 is a bit much like Star Trek" page?) Bam! A hypo in the neck and your legs have turned to rubber and you go all floppy on the floor.

Not that I'm entirely put off by it all, or I wouldn't be hunting about looking for pics, would I?

And if nothing else, it's got me started on another manic burst of fanfic. Hey, I first wrote this fanfic in about 1975, I spose, and I lost it, so I have to write it all over again. Fun, huh?

The show drove me crazy but I couldn't not watch it. There was always a chance of copping a small taste of Carter.

ps my firstborn's name is Nick...

By Zantor on Sunday, December 28, 2003 - 1:40 pm:

Best character: Victor Bergman
Worst character: Yasko (needs a dialogue coach!)
1999 concept: Overall good, needed to be fine tuned, especially in the science department.
Series 1: strengths: costumes, FX, sets, cast.
weaknesses: dreary atmosphere
Series 2: strengths: costumes, FX, sets, cast.
weaknesses: forced humor, rubber suits, not having Barry Morse.

By Will on Wednesday, December 31, 2003 - 10:48 am:

Yep; I'd agree with that.

By Mark on Wednesday, January 21, 2004 - 10:31 am:

I think The Metamorph is the most fun and all around entertaining episode...However, I would consider Another Time, Another Place to be the best (I even like it more than Trek's Mirror,Mirror. I didn't care for the grim-reaper bit though).Mission of the Darians ( a thought -provoking story with an epic scale),Earthbound (simply a classy, dignified story),Infernal Machine (although it gets a bit boring ),Dragon's Domain (the dragon and model effects are without peer in 70's television), would round out my top five....Best sets; (Tie) Breakaway and Gaurdian of Piri....Best effects; Dragon's Domain....Best character; Yasko...just kidding! Koenig (A man of principle,unlike Kirk,he wasn't interested in ramming his tongue down every space babe's throat). Many times I'm also quite impressed with how good Martin Landau's acting is....My worst episodes; (Tie) Catacombs of the Moon and Missing Link (except for its wonderful matte painting of Zenno)....Worst sets; (Tie) The Dorcon's (cobbled together mess of left-overs from other episodes) and Missing Link (I've always hated the "parachute" wrapped over what are obviously illuminated Alphan panels)....Most annoying characters (Tie) Brian the Brain and Etrec (from Mark of Archanon) both have extremely annoying voices. Hell would be having to listen to them ad nauseum....and lastly, my "guilty pleasure"; Space Warp,it ain't cerebral but it sure is fun!

By CR on Thursday, January 22, 2004 - 7:43 am:

As a child, my favorite Season 2 ep was "Space Warp," mainly because of the pyrotechnic hanger sequence!

By Douglas Nicol on Thursday, January 22, 2004 - 9:40 am:

Also known as 'How many Eagles can we total in one episode'. :)

By Mark on Friday, January 23, 2004 - 7:13 am:

In an interview,Brian Johnson stated that he considered the hangar sequence to be the most impressive effects sequence of the entire series!

By CR on Friday, January 23, 2004 - 7:04 pm:

People keep referring to the Brian Johnson interview... was that the one at (There's a forum there where readers can ask Johnson questions, and his responses are posted. I don't think he's actively doing it anymore, but there is a similar board starting for author John Kenneth Muir.)

By Mark on Thursday, January 29, 2004 - 12:51 pm:

The interview is just one of several. I find that one interesting because of Brian's blunt criticisms of the show. Even before production started, he tried to convince Anderson to place the action on a large asteriod instead of the moon. "Why we couldn't stay within the bounds of reasonable science fact for our basic premise I do not know. But then, I was just the visual effects guy " he is quoted as saying (that premise would be used by Space Academy a few years later). He also criticises the show's scripts,Keith Wilson's monsters (an utter joke ), and the leads' wooden acting...definately a different tone from the interview in 1976's "The Making of Space:1999".

By Ape Fan on Sunday, February 15, 2004 - 3:43 pm:


By Ape Fan on Sunday, February 15, 2004 - 3:45 pm:

BEST EPISODE, YEAR TWO: "The Lambda Factor"

By billy bob jenkins on Sunday, February 15, 2004 - 3:53 pm:

i thank the meteor storm scene in Mark of Archanon was really cool, much better than thum crappy effects in Dragon's Domain. me pa says dat episode bout the livin rock wuz real good too. i likes to hav a little moonshine before i watches the Rules of Luton cuz i don't wanna hav night mares bout talking trees.

By Anonymous on Wednesday, February 18, 2004 - 1:57 pm:

Very insightful.

By Anonymous on Thursday, February 19, 2004 - 9:36 am:

What part of the swamp are you from, Billy? I hear they're offering grammar and annunication classes at the other end.

By Sensitive on Thursday, February 19, 2004 - 5:31 pm:

Sound a bit cruel,like a audience member criticising a guest on "The Jerry Springer Show"!

By Sensitive on Thursday, February 19, 2004 - 5:34 pm:

Dear Billy, You sound like a very sweet young man. Please lay off the alcohol though. It's not good for your liver.

By Anonymous on Sunday, February 22, 2004 - 2:46 pm:

The best episode is none. Try watching "The L-Word", maybe you'll learn something.

By CR on Sunday, February 22, 2004 - 5:39 pm:

Then why not start up a new board for that series? There's a Kitchen Sink board called "These don't have a board yet," or something to that effect, for series that are brand new; typically, series that get their own boards have a season or two under their belts, so to speak, but the board I mentioned is a place for posters who don't want to wait that long to begin discussions right away!

By Science fiction fan on Monday, February 23, 2004 - 10:11 am:

Pointing out percieved injustices is a regular and tiresome feature in Star Trek discussions. Anon, you should go to one of them.

By Christopher A. on Sunday, March 07, 2004 - 12:40 pm:

Out of the first six episodes of the first season (I only have six episodes so far), Earthbound and The Black Sun (Black Hole?) impressed me the most.
What struck me about Earthbound was the pacifist nature of the Zantor character. That's a rarity in scifi shows. Most often an aggressive Alien attempting to takeover or dominate is shown in most series. Christopher Lee was quite good too. The writer deserves credit for describing a suspended animation technique other than freezing. Many other shows depict freezing as a suspension ignoring the fact it causes significant cellular damage.
The Black Sun aimed to tell an ambitious story and succeeded for the most part. Some elements weren't satisfying. I thought the moon would have been crushed long before entering the Black Sun(Hole). In theory, only sub-atomic particles would be able to survive such a trip. The "God" part was problematic for me, as I'm an athiest. The best explanation for me would be the presense of Deep Space Nine type "Worm Hole Aliens".

By CR on Sunday, March 07, 2004 - 3:32 pm:

The entity never answers Bergman's query "Are you God?"
I think that was deliberate on the part of the writers. (Though I wonder how tv audiences would have reacted--then and now--to a female 'God'.)

By Adam Smith on Thursday, March 11, 2004 - 9:12 am:

Recently I saw "Earthbound" for the first time, and really enjoyed it, probably because Christopher Lee was so elegant, and Roy Dotrice was so despicable.That is something I can't say for any other episode of the show (besides maybe the pilot, which doesn't count.)

AND THEN I saw "The Last Sunset" and liked that even better! The lighting makes the cast look more attractive than usual, which is contrasted nicely with an unusual degree of ugliness at the end.

Chemistry between characters was unusually rich, like Koenig and Victor when discussing what to do next, Paul and Alan stranded, and Kano with everyone else in trying to keep Alpha running smoothly during a time of such excitement and uncertainty.

Perhaps most importantly, the premise is totally original-terraforming the moon, at least as far as it deals with the original premise of the show, and thus gives it some continuity. The title is also unusually poetic.

Fights, crashes, and explosions really kick-ass!
The psycedelic mushrooms are also a nice touch...

By Mark on Thursday, March 11, 2004 - 5:59 pm:

The premise for "The Last Sunset" is interesting indeed! The same concept of giving a barren planet an atmosphere was later used in "Total Recall".
I love the scene where Helena fires the laser gun at the Eagle and the explosive force hurls her backwards.

By Curious on Friday, March 12, 2004 - 12:12 pm:

Some Trekkers act if ST:NG was the first show to depict terraforming (in season one).

By Mark on Thursday, March 18, 2004 - 12:57 pm:

My five favorite special effects sequences from Space:1999...

(1) "Dragon's Domain": Spaceship Graveyard and Ultra Probe separation
These scenes stand out for their ambitious scope. No previous sci-fi show depicted such a diverse and large number of ships in a single scene (only later would Battlestar:Galactica and others). The modelwork is superb. The composition of the shots is interesting...and most important; the effects magnificently support a wonderful story.
The separation of the Command module from the Ultra Probe is the highpoint in these scenes. The separation is reminiscent of the Bio-domes disengaging from the Valley Forge in "Silent Running". It was wonderful to see feature film quality effects in a television show of that era. The module separation was the stunning climax to one of the series most magnificent sequences- the attack of the Dragon and Tony Cellini's desperate struggle to escape it.

(2) "Breakaway": The explosions in Nuclear Waste Area 2 and the destruction of the Space Dock
These "explosive" scenes are heaven for Gerry Anderson fans.
Again, up until that point, no other adult science fiction series had depicted such large-scale pyrotechnic work in a single ep. The Space Dock's destruction was particulary impressive. After spinning out of orbit, it explodes into a rain of debris.

(3) "War Games": Attack on Alpha
The attack on Alpha was spectacular and the destruction resulting had emotional impact. Again, Space:1999 produced another sequence that made other previous series' attack sequences pale in comparison (though, those in UFO would rate a close second). Real damage to the base was shown. The stunt work was also great, particularly the shots of Alphans being sucked out on the lunar surface (through explosive decompression). As if the attack from the Hawks wasn't enough, a giant mothership shows up next!

(4) "The Metamorph": Mentor's ship pulling the booster Eagle down to Psychon
The Eagle is at its most imposing here. The Eagle with the booster pods (in this ep) is my favorite spaceship in the show. We get to see it from many different angles and close up. My only nit is that the live action sets don't match the pods. One nice effect is showing Mentor's ship in front of the planet ( usually, a ship is depicted to the side of a planet in a multiple exposure shot). The effect was simply done, but effective.

(5) "The Immunity Syndrome": The Glider's descent through the planet's atmosphere
What rates highly here is simply the 'fun factor'. Who could anticipate a glider showing up in this ep? It's a fun and unexpected twist. It's also great to see Helena and Maya at the controls! The design for the glider was inspired by real life designs for a NASA glider.
A small note: In many eps, the wires supporting the models are visible when in a planetary atmosphere. In "The Immunity Syndrome", those wires aren't visible...making it all the more enjoyable.

Honorable Mention must go to:
"Gaurdian of Piri" (wonderful matchup between sets and model landscape), "Missing Link" (and the magnificent matte painting of Zenno), "Mission of the Darians" (huge Daria model and matte-shot of Alphans walking in ship), and "Another Time, Another Place" ( the shot of the Alphans exiting the Eagle is perfect!).

By Mark on Monday, March 22, 2004 - 6:56 pm:

And for the worst special effects...

(1) "The Immunity Syndrome": Baldie holding a spotlight
In my previous post on the best special effects, I mentioned the glider sequences in "The Immunity Syndrome". This ep also features what I consider to be the worst "effect" in S99: the light Entity. This creature is awful in several different respects. His 'voice' has all the charm of Gomer Pyle (in other words; an idiot). The director also uses very tacky camera work. He uses an annoying zoom back and forth in picturing the Alien's point of view of Koenig. However, the biggest insult is one shot of a bald- headed guy in the bushes with a spotlight...this is supposed to represent the light Entity. Where was the editor in this one.

(2) "The Dorcons": Unspecial viewscreens
The next and last episode after "The Immunity Syndrome" keeps up the cheese factor in grand style. "The Dorcons" presents an alien ship with sets of cobbled together left-overs from other eps. The viewscreens are the real treat in this one. They are probably the worst depictions of viewscreens I've ever seen in any science fiction production. The "image" in all the viewscreens consist of an actor behind a hole in the wall. This "effect" couldn't fool a film audience of 1902, much less one of 1976. If the production couldn't afford proper "effects", they should have rewritten the script to include hand-held audio communicators. Audiences don't like to have their intelligence insulted.

(3) "Mark of Archanon": Meteor storm
The low point of Brian Johnson's work on this show has to be the "Meteor Storm" sequence in Mark of Archanon.
I won't even start with the concept of a fiery meteor storm in space. What would be acceptable in a 1950's B-movie isn't for a supposedly more sophisticated 70's sci-fi show. Didn't a term such as "asteroid cluster" occur to the writer. While I don't expect a writer to be a science expert, he should at least be more knowledgable than a grade school kid.
The actual "meteor storm" depicted is not only awful technically, it totally lacks any sense of continuity. Every shot of the asteroids depicts a different cluster of asteroids. The first shot shows around eight asteroids. The next shot shows over fifty ones. In some shots, the asteroids have a tin foil appearance. Others appear rocky. Some are bright red as if they're on fire.
The asteroids aren't the worst part of the meteor storm. The worst shots are those of an Eagle with a bent leg (in other shots, the leg is perfectly normal) with glitter and dust being dropped on it. This is a totally unconvincing use of a technique which was used to great effect in the "Lost in Space" pilot.
I know Brian Johnson could do better. The asteroid effects in "End of Eternity" were beautifully done.

(4) Wires, Wires, Wires
When watching the DVDs of the show, the wires supporting the Eagles are painfully visible quite often. An effort to use thinner wires could have been made. In the old "Thunderbirds" show, the strings holding the puppets were always visible, but special effort was always made to use invisibly thin wires to support the model craft. Space:1999 was for an adult audience. Don't they deserve, at least, the same consideration as a kiddie audience. One reviewer described bad special effects as those in which the illusion is destroyed by means such as visible wires. I'm somewhat forgiving, but others apparently aren't.

Of course, I'm pointing out some of the worst effects. On the whole, I think the show featured a breathtaking variety of great effects, especially for a show of the 1970's.

By Curious on Sunday, March 28, 2004 - 3:17 pm:

Many critics of the show claim S99's effects immediately became dated and simplistic compared to the motion control effects in such post "Star Wars" shows such as "Battlestar:Galactica" and "Buck Rogers". I can affirm to the fact of "Mark of Archanon's" cheap looking effects. I watched that ep one Saturday night before a Battlestar rerun. Mark of Archanon's effects looked pretty cheesy compared to Battlestar's. This was all the more ironic, because each beginning ep credit for S99 includes the credit "Special Effects designed and directed by Brian Johnson". I can't recall any other show boasting a credit for the effects man in each opening ep credits. One would expect extraordinary effects to warrant such a credit. The effects in Mark of Archanon sure aren't.

By Adam Smith on Monday, November 08, 2004 - 11:58 pm:

END OF ETERNITY lowered the bar for bad episodes in this series. I expect more from Season 1, so to me this is the worst. Everything from that terrible cut to the opening theme to the ending that defies the law of gravity. (Then again, so does the premise of the show...).

By Curious on Tuesday, November 09, 2004 - 6:13 pm:

I thought the discussion of how immortality affected Balor's people was interesting. The ending was great...Balor gets sucked out of the airlock! The last shot of the asteriod reappearing was a bit more problematic. It just didn't seem all that plausible.

By Zenno on Monday, August 20, 2007 - 2:01 pm:

The entity never answers Bergman's query "Are you God?"
I think that was deliberate on the part of the writers. (Though I wonder how tv audiences would have reacted--then and now--to a female 'God'.)


Freiburger was/is God. Thought everyone knew that.

By the 74s tm on Sunday, January 27, 2008 - 1:13 am:

best: Black sun, Wargames, Another time,Ring around the moon, Full Circle (Geico guy-only cavemen can do it,) infernal machine,
Brian the Braindeadguy,Devil's Planet

worst:Mark of Archanan,Metamorph (?),Dorcons and All that glisters. Missed the Immunity syndrome in my area.
best charecters: Yasko,Victor and Kano.Dr.Russell
was unbelieveable at times to me.

By the 74s tm on Sunday, January 27, 2008 - 12:59 pm:

Hey, the moon has warp drive! , (or equivelent)for 48 episodes..

My god its full of stars!

the rest of Space 1999 was ok to unwatchable.(most of season 2.)
Ufo was better!

Wish Commander Straker was the guy in Earthbound and Breakaway, not Simmonds.
and earthians are Arkadians?

Add a Message

This is a private posting area. Only registered users and moderators may post messages here.