Production: GB, 1974 – 1976
Cast: Martin Landau, Barbara Bain, Barry Morse (1st season only), Nick Tate, Prentis Hancock (1st season only), Zienia Merton, Catherine Schell (2nd season only), Tony Anholt (2nd season only)

When the second season of "U.F.O." was cancelled, british producer Gerry Anderson recycled most of the pre-production script to create a totally new serie.
In the year 1999 (it was future at the time) Moon is the perfect place for scientific research and launch of space probes. These are the purposes of moonbase Alpha, a community of 300 people, made of
scientists and technicians.
But Alpha’s duties are not only research and experiments: Earth is filled with nuclear reactors, and their radioactive waste is dumped under Moon surface and kept under control by moonbase technicians.
When new commander John Koenig (Martin Landau) is sent to Alpha to launch a new mission in space, has to face an emergency due to nuclear waste and increasing radioactivity.
All attempts to stop the radioactivity proves to be useless, until it causes a so massive nuclear explosion to throw Moon out of its orbit.
It is the beginning of an incredible adventure which sees alphans in a long, endless voyage through space, meeting hostile or also friendly alien races, risks of collisions
with other space bodies and explorations of planets, in hope to find a new Earth.
TV shows about space exploration are not so original (see “Star Trek”), and space castaways are not too (cfr. “Lost in Space”): the difference lies in the impossibility, for alphans, to drive the Moon, making them absolutely powerless in altering its course and avoid all potential dangers.
On moonbase Alpha all political or military powers have lost their meaning, and commander Koenig is a carismatic leader, which takes the responsibility of his men’s lives, and is totally trusted by all the others, knowing that he will always be able to save them.
The first season was co-produced with italian television network RAI, and several italian actors appeared in it: Orso Maria Guerrini, Gianni Garko, Giancarlo Prete,
Carla Romanelli. Also appeared well-known actors like Cristopher Lee, Peter Cushing and Joan Collins.
In the first season survival was the most recurring theme.
In “Earthbound” alphans meet an alien spaceship on its way to Earth, and someone won’t stop at nothing to have a lift on it.
”Matter of life and death” planet Terra Nova looks like paradise and could  be a new Earth: but paradise turns to hell in a very brief  time.
Moon is going to hit a giant planet in ”Collision course”: but its inhabitants want the collision, assuring there’s no danger. How can it be possible?
Very chilling is “Dragon’s domain”: in a long flash-back, we see the story of space probe Ultra, whose crew was vored by a sort of space octopus… only its

commander survived, but no one believed to him.
Often we face philosophical problems: “Guardian of Piri” shows a planet where you can live in an eternal and idiotic beatitude. But what sort of life can it be?
On the opposite side is “End of eternity”: alien Baloor can give immortality to alphans, but the price is torture and pain.
The “Force of life” is an alien entity which draws heat from everything, human bodies included.
Need for food is brilliantly resolved in “Mission of the darians”: without anything else, humans can be the right choice.

Anyway, it was difficult to meet totally evil aliens: usually hostile aliens were
beings desperate to survive, who could not blame themselves for that (theme very similar to previous Gerry Anderson’s TV show, “U.F.O.”).
The second season was filled with philosophy and existential problems, but action didn’t lack and special effects were very good, as in all Anderson’s productions.
American producer Fred Freiberger (also known as “the man who killed Star Trek”) wanted a change for the second season, with more action-packed stories.
Some characters disappeared (above all thoughtful professor Victor Bergman played by Barry Morse) and entered a new couple: close to commander Koenig and dr. Helena Russel (Barbara Bain) appeared security chief Tony Verdeschi (Tony Anholt) and alien Maya who, thanks to her shape-changing powers, could turn herself in any animal or creature.

Action increased but scripts quality got worse: stories were full of  ridiculous creatures, runs and chases, and always with a final laugh in the ending, like a perfect sit-com.
In a certain sense, survival theme had been kept: in “The metamorph” we are introduced to Maya, and her father Mentor (Brian Blessed) is attempting to recreate life on his planet stealing energy from human brains, transforming humans in zombies.
”The rules of Luton” has a good story inspired by a Frederic Brown short story (Arena): Koenig and maya will have to pay for their crime (they tasted a fruit on a vegetal–ruled planet) fighting three too guilty aliens. The story had previously inspired a “Star Trek” episode.

In “The bringers of wonder” Alpha is reached by a spaceship manned by relatives or
friends of Alphans: but they are all horrible monsters with strong hypnotic powers. Good story, awful monsters.
”The Beta cloud” is populated by an alien race who wants… Alpha’s life support system. To steal it a giant creature is sent, and there’s no way to get rid of it (in all senses: the creature will appear in other episodes, with some little changes).
Quite good “The lambda factor”: a mysterious space object gives paranormal powers to all alphans, but someone will loose control on them…
The second season is full of incredible disappearences: in some episodes commander Koenig, dr. Russell or Alan Carter are missing or have very little space, due to vacations or other job to do…
The second season quality was very lower than the first, and the show came to an

First season is usually recalled by fans, the second by those critics who dislike “Space: 1999”, which remains, anyway, one of the most memorable SF TV shows of ever.

48 episodes, colour, 60'

First season

1) Breakaway
2) Matter of life and death

3) Black sun
4) Ring around the moon
5) Earthbound
6) Another time, another place
7) Missing link
8) Guardian of Piri
9) Force of life
10) Alpha child
11) The last sunset
12) Voyager’s return
13) Collision course
14) Death’s other dominion
15) The full circle
16) End of eternity
17) War games
18) The last enemy
19) The troubled spirit
20) Space Brain
21) The infernal machine
22) Mission of the Darians
23) Dragon’s domain
24) The testament of Arcadia

Second season

1) The metamorph
2) The exiles
3) One moment of humanity
4) All that glisters
5) Journey to where
6) The Taybor (Taybor)
7) The mark of Archanon
8) The rules of Luton
9) Brian the brain
10) New Adam, new Eve
11) The A B chrysalis
12) Catacombs of the Moon
13) Seed of destruction
14) The beta cloud
15) A matter of balance
16) Space warp
17 – 18) The bringers of wonder
19) The lambda factor
20) The seance spectre
21) Dorzak (id.)
22) The devil’s planet (Il pianeta del diavolo)
23) The immunity sindrome (Il pianeta ostile)
24) The Dorcons (I Dorconiani)


HOME                              SERIES