UFO and Space: 1999/Space: 1999
Space: 1999 ("Spazio 1999" in Italian) was a British television series originally aired on ITV (for the United Kingdom) and RAI (for Italy) from 4 September 1975 to 12 November 1977. The series, produced by executive producer Gerry Anderson, first season (commonly known as "Year One") producer Sylvia Anderson and second season (commonly known as "Year Two") producer Fred Freibeiger and inspired to the projects for a second season of UFO (eventually to be titled "UFO: 1999"), focused on Moonbase Alpha, a Terreatrial manned lunar scientific outpost, which's inhabitants, as a catastrophe hurls the Moon out of its orbit, must fight to survive, finding a new home in the stars.
Episodes (in airing order) edit
The episodes, together with their production number, their Italian-language title (for Year One only), a brief synopsis, the setting date and their writer or writers are listed below:
Year One edit
Year One, the joint ITC Entertainment-RAI first season, begins on 9 September 1999 and stars the characters of Alpha's Commander John Robert Koenig, Alpha's Medical Section's Chief Dr. Helena Russell[N 1], science officer Prof. Victor Bergman, data analyst Sandra Benes, Second-in-command Paul Morrow, Third-in-command and Eagle Transporter pilot Alan Carter and computer operations officer David Kano[N 2] and the object of his work, the semi-sentient Computer, all mainly working in Moonbase Alpha's headquarters: Main Mission.
- 1. "Breakaway" ("Separazione", by George Bellak)
- Date given at the beginning: 9 September 1999. Date given by Koenig after the breakaway: 13 September 1999.
- As two astronauts, Steiner and Nordstrom, are executing operations at Moonbase Alpha's Nuclear Disposeal Area 2, where nuclear waste from Earth is stored without any apparent radioactive decay, Nordstrom becomes insane and accidentally kills himself while shouting that he "must exit". As he dies, the camera shows that his left eye is almost white. Later on that day, International Lunar Finance Committee member Commissioner Simmonds promotes John Koenig as the ninth Base Commander of Alpha, replacing Commander Anton Gorski in the World Space Commission's project to launch from Alpha the first manned probeship to land on planet Meta, from which strange, monotone radio pulses are coming. On Alpha, Koenig meets his some of his old friends: host Victor Bergman, computer expert Ben Ouma, Second-in-command Paul Morrow and analyst Sandra Benes. He is later introduced to Dr. Helena Russell, who explains of Nordstrom and that he was the ninth astronaut to demonstrate this strange sickness (seven Nuclear Disposeal Area 2 employees and two Meta Probe astronauts, who never landed on the planet), without any apparent explanation or common link in the astronauts's lives if not that they all followed the same training program. Koenig examinates on an Eagle Transporter spacecraft Nuclear Disposeal Areas 1 and 2, while his pilot, Collins, begins touching his left eye. Back on the base, Collins begins shouting the same as Nordstrom and begins cracking a window, killing himself and almost killing Koenig and Bergman and heat readings on NDA 1 begin to drastically increase, to the explosion of the whole installation, revealing, with the help of a magnetometer, the source of the sickness and of the heat: magnetic radiations. Koenig realises that the much bigger NDA 2 will soon explode and that the nuclear waste has to be spread on the Moon's surface, lowering the level of the radiation. Koenig invites Simmonds on the base and starts the operation. Some Eagles have to retire due to unknown problems, while the heat begins to rise, destroying the others but Alan Carter (the Meta Probe project chief)'s, as the waste explodes, hurling the Moon into outer space according to Newton's Third law of motion. Koenig has to decide if the crewmen (known as "the Alphans") should try a return to a devastated Earth (Operation Exodus) or find a new home on another planet. While he asks the base's artificial intelligence, Computer, to choose, Morrow intercepts Meta's signals, making the Commander realise.
- 9. "Force of Life" ("Forza vitale", by Johnny Byrne)
- No date is given.
- A strange alien force, represented as a blue ball of light, approaches Moonbase Alpha undetected by the radars and approaches Anton Zoref, a technician of Alpha's nuclear reactors. As the light "possesses" him, he faints. After he wakes up, he begins to suffer cold at hot temperatures and to absorb energy from electrical objects. Later, he goes to Nuclear Generating Area 3, his workplace, and, as his colleague Marc Dominix offers him a coffee cup, he accidentally freezes it and, later, Dominix himself. Commander Koenig and Doctor Russell realise all this and confine Zoref in his quarters, but he tries to make his way to the reactors to absorb energy, and they have to give the order to the guards of Alpha to follow Zoref but not to touch him. Zoref's energy level is low, and he is about to die, but Carter shoots him, trying to finish him, with his laser gun, reviving Zoref and turning him to a white-eyed burnt humanoid. The monster tries to absorb energy from the reactor, but, as he is about to destroy Alpha, Koenig orders Morrow to explode the reactor with an enormous amount of energy, killing Zoref and freeing the blue light.
- 13. "Collision Course" ("Rotta di collisione", by Anthony Terpiloff)
- No date is given.
- An asteroid is about to collide with the Moon, possibly damaging Alpha, and a squadron of Eagle is positioning twelve nuclear charges on the object to alterate its course. While the other shuttles have finished the work, the squadron's leader, Alan Carter, has problems with the spacecraft's engines, forcing Commander Koenig to delay the explosion of forty seconds to give Alan enough time to leave. Shortly after that, Alan loses radio contact with Main Mission due to radiation originating from the blast. A desperate Koenig equips another Transporter with a radio capable of using the interstellar frequency and flies with Morrow inside the radiation cloud. The camera shows an unconcious Carter on Eagle 1, who wakens as he hears a woman's voice, who suggests to respond to Koenig's calls, and he hardly manages to communicate that he is alive, but is unable to communicate his position, instead, the same voice speaks to Koenig, communicating it. Later, the modified Eagle tries to dock with Alan's, and the voice communicates Alan the docking sequence, and he finally sees the woman, who says only that she is "a friend" and that now his people will take care of him, but she has got a black veil on her face, so Alan is not able to recognize her. Koenig finds Alan unconcious as the woman is disappeared, but, instead, Koenig notices that a Jupiter-like planet is on the Moon's course. Inside Main Mission, Bergman has already started to plan the procedure to avoid collision, he suggests Operation Shockwave: the plan is to put some nuclear charges between the planet and the satellite, recreating the scenario of September, 13[N 3].
- Known as "Helen" in the Italian-language version due to similarity with the Italian name "Elena"
- Kano, inspired by UFO character Lew Waterman and portrayed by Clifton Jones, is replaced in the episode "Breakaway" by Benjamin "Ben" Ouma, portrayed by Lon Satton.
- Scientifically, Operation Shockwave is tottally nonsense, because explosions in the middle of the void would not generate any waves or pulls on the planet or the Moon.