When I was a kid, Space 1999, was not only my favorite Tv-series, but the synonym for future. I was so in love with Moonbase alpha, eagles and the adventures of Commander Koenig and his crew, that I started hating soccer because my dad and grandad had to watch soccer matches on a channel, while on the other Space 1999 was transmitted (of course we had just one black and white TV, with lot of tubes that took several minutes to warm up). Recently I discovered that all but one episodes of the first season are available on line for free. So I decided to watch, some 2^5 years later the show.
It is somewhat a strange sensation, to watch all those episodes. Before my critical 40-years-old eyes, characters and deadly-wrong-science take a very different taste. Today I find characters very underdeveloped and mostly uncharacterized. Koenig – the commander – talks in upper case and mostly doesn’t show any feelings, Helen – the doctor – is just a dull side, Bergman – the scientist -, despite being one of the most interesting character, is a scientist only by name revealing more than once an accommodating nature, Alan – the pilot – is an action man without dept.
Science in the serie is mostly risible. Even if you succeed in forgetting for a minute that the Moon, even if propelled by giant nuclear explosions, can’t cover interplanetary distance in tv-times, there are a lot of problems in all the causes and effects explained by scientific means.
What stroke me on the plus side is the special effects and the future architecture. Special effects of moon exteriors and spaceships are really good, even by today standards. This is from a pre-digital era, so do not expect many wow-effects, but what you see with eagle spaceships and launch pods, they give you a solid, credible look.
What is really credible is the MoonBase itself (well maybe travel tubes are a little exaggerated), with the modular architecture, the info-columns around, docks, airlocks, power plants, and so on. The commlock is also plausible (even if somewhat surpassed technology) – with the small display and the numeric keypad for personal video communication and door opening. It shouldn’t be hard to mod a real cell-phone into one of this gadget.