, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


“What is Directive Four?”

Like many Msties, I’m not very familiar with Season 0.  Now, with the Internet and all, the very humble origins of the Satellite of Love are available to be viewed.  I had known the show started out on local TV, but never had any idea I would ever see them.

I’ve not seen all the KTMA’s available—K04 (Gamera vs Barugon) through K11 (Humanoid Woman) is the limit of my experience—and K10 is the only one I’ve seen multiple times.  Rough with some moments of brilliance sprinkled, this is what I take away from the KTMA episodes.

Space: 1999 I’m even less familiar with.  Other than watching K10, I probably haven’t watched an episode of Space: 1999 for 30 or so years.  I made the decision on that show a long time ago.  I thought it was boring and absurd all at the same time.  I love absurd, but if you can make it boring, that’s something else.  I saw plenty of Mission: Impossible reruns as a kid, and even Landau and Bain couldn’t make me stay with it.

Cosmic Princess is two episodes of the second series smashed together to resemble a movie.  The only tie, from what I gather, is the character Maya plays a big part in both of them.

Space: 1999 was the last series of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson of Thunderbirds fame.  It was once the most expensive British TV series of all time, which makes me cry a little seeing the effects here.

I had to read a bit about the show, just in case I couldn’t follow the plot.  The series was renewed at the last minute, and was undergoing many stylistic and production changes.  The introduction of Maya, per Wikipedia at least, was supposed to be a character to help ratings in the United States.  So, I guess she is an alien version of Cousin Oliver.

Season 2 Episode 1: The Metamorph

Maya is 3rd billed after Martin and Barbara.  Actually, the only other person shown or named in the credits.  Wow, they really were banking on her.

This is the mid-1970s and the sets look shoddier than original series Star Trek.  The ‘space chase’ looked like it went past the same Xmas lights a couple times.

Brian Blessed’s hair is much more impressive with a crisper picture.

Maya looks like she’s dressed for the skating long program.  Maya appears earlier in the episode than she does in the movie.  Their interaction reminds me of Captain Santa Claus and his daughter in Space Mutiny.

Nice spaceship graveyard shot.

I wonder if losing an Eagle was like Mannix getting shot.  Just had to happen once an episode.  The Eagles are a pretty iconic ship, much better than the series it comes from.

The big computer sucking in everyone’s soul reminds me of Willy Wonka’s fizzy lifting drink machine.

The alien ‘slaves’ are pathetic.  Arms aren’t painted, very little in terms of prosthetics.  These make-up artist wouldn’t last very long on Face Off.

Again, I’m not that familiar with the series, but the sets and colors scream 1965 at me, not 1975.  It is like they took everything decent about ST: OS and sucked the life out of it.  It even feels like Martin Landau is doing a less hammy Kirk.

So, knowing what I know about Psyche (the computer) and the nutjob that is Mentor, why should I think Maya is anything more than the what the Psychon Guards are—animated matter.  Why should she be flesh and blood when nothing else is on the planet?

I think they are using Tupperware in the Psychon prison.

Another movie/show where it was cheaper to use a cutout of the moon rather than something more real looking—like film of the moon.  I think we had those in the 1970s.

Why would an alien turn into Earth animals?  Wouldn’t she become, I don’t know, something alien?

HO scale moon.  Only Godzilla is usually that deadly against models.

Nice gorilla suit Maya!

And middle school science experiments explode all over the planet.

Must. Simulate. Gravity’s. Pull.

Wow, and I’ve got another one of these?

Season 2 Episode 12: Space Warp

I have seen Space Warp listed as episode 15 in some guides, but it is episode 12 on Hulu, so that’s what I’m calling it.

Apparently space warps and wormholes were common plot devices in Space: 1999.

This episode ‘happens’ almost a year after episode 1.  Maya is now the science officer, not just a freaky chick they picked up hours ago.  And she is apparently involved with Tony Verdeschi, the man Captain Koenig gets left behind with.

Wouldn’t it make more sense if the Eagle was sucked through the space warp?  A whole moon getting sucked through, and the ship not really being affected?  It is easier to believe in a shape shifting alien changing into Earth creatures.

The more and more the characters keep saying “Space Warp” the more ridiculous it sounds.

Two episodes and Barbara Bain has been crying like mad in both of them.  Come on, I expect more from Cinnamon Carter.

So, is this creature Maya’s true form?  Or is it a testament to how few good ideas the Space: 1999 team had.  This is not a well thought out or well executed make up.

I do have to say, there are some good models of the moon base shown.  I guess that’s where the money went.

When all else fails, just start cutting, right?  So, Barbara Bain says she knows nothing, repeat, nothing about this species, but she knows it is dying and knows she must operate?  Instant expert I guess.  Thankfully, no surgery, just a great Brian Blessed return, but with slightly less impressive hair coloring.

The one-eye thing Maya turns into, best creature I’ve seen in these two episodes.

Unsurprisingly, the alien record found by Landau has no mention about Mentor or Psychon.  It is, still conveniently an explanation of how to jump space warps.  Again, pushes believability way too far, solutions in this series just seem very convenient.  More an element of luck than any skill or planning.

What’s the difference between the Moon Base Alpha dune buggy and the Banana Splits’ dune buggies?  Dignity.

The last thing Martin Landau and Barbara Bain did together?  Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan’s Island.  The last of the reunion movies.

Watchability: 1 of 5.  I just find this series to be dull and nonsensical.  Subpar effects and make up.  Just not a lot here I find appealing.

Missing the Riffs: 4 of 5.  I am so glad the crew only watched 1 of these Space: 1999 combo movies.  This was a gut punch of boredom.  Riffing is much needed.