Blu-ray Review: Space: 1999 The Complete Series

Space: 1999 was created by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson and stars Martin Landau as Commander John Koenig, Barbara Bain as Dr. Helena Russell, Nick Tate as Chief Pilot Alan Carter, Tony Anholt as Head of Security Tony Verdeschi, Zienia Merton as Data Analyst Sandra Benes, with Barry Morse as Victor Bergman, and Catherine Schell as Maya. Some of the guest stars for both seasons included Christopher Lee, Joan Collins, Peter Cushing, Judy Geeson, Julian Glover, Ian McShane, Peter Bowles, Sarah Douglas and David Prowse.

September 1999: A nuclear waste dump on the lunar surface unexpectedly detonates, blasting the moon out of Earth’s orbit and taking the inhabitants of Moonbase Alpha on an unbelievable voyage of discovery and adventure. Under the command of John Koenig (Martin Landau), the Alphans hurtle through the stars, encountering fantastic worlds and beings in a universe where peril awaits at every turn. Together, Koenig and the Alphans face the ultimate challenge in the farthest reaches of space: survive…and find home. 

The moon is hurled out of the Earth’s orbit after a nuclear explosion takes place on the dark side and it leaves the crew of Moon Base Alpha lost in space. Commander John Koenig (Martin Landau), Dr. Helena Russell (Barbara Bain) and the rest of the crew have to learn to cope and survive as they deal with everyday drama and make all kinds of new discoveries. The moon now serves as a makeshift deep space craft for the crew but they do have an impressive fleet of Eagles at their disposal whenever they fly out on missions and investigate new planets, mysterious ships and even alien life forms. Moon Base Alpha comes in contact with all kinds of eccentric and interesting characters as they float out of control in deep space. Some of these aliens are friendly and some end up being hostile and major threats to the 300 crew members. Unfortunately, they never find a new place to call home even though they come extremely close a few times.

Okay, Space: 1999 is a situational sci-fi drama that I’ve had the opportunity to catch a few episodes here and there over the years on Comet TV but I’d never had the chance to watch the entire series until now. Fans of Gerry Anderson know all about his classic “Supermarionation” series Thunderbirds and Space: 1999 was his jump into live-action and it definitely has the same kind of minimalistic look to it. There’s a lot of impressive minature work that went into the making of this series. The sets, planets, ships and prop designs all have this basic futuristic look to them which is another Gerry Anderson signature. As far as the special effects go, some of it looked pretty good while others were more on the mediocre side. It all looked much better in the second season which also got a big makeover with the set designing and some of the casting.

The packaging comes with a thick slipcase that houses three individual plastic keepcases inside. The front of the slipcase features the artwork you see up top and the back includes series details, special features, some images and specs. The front of each Blu-ray keepcase is color coded and features its own individual artwork. The back includes episode listing on each disc and specs. Each reverse sleeve features an image. There’s also a 16-page booklet that includes liner notes, images, episode guide and synopsis. All of the Blu-ray discs are also color coded. Inserting each disc, the menu screens were simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition release were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, Space: 1999 has 70’s written all over it because of the not-so-trendy wardrobes and music to go along with each episode. Hey, the 70’s was a decade full of bad fashion sense from top to bottom and this series proves it. I thought the writing was good, not great, because it all dealt with humanity being thrust out into outer space and having to deal with unknown situations and life-threatening predicaments. So yeah, there’s a good amount of action in each episode. Space: 1999 was definitely a character-driven series with the main focus being on John Koenig and Helena Russell but some of the supporting cast got their own spotlight from time to time, especially the sexy shapeshifting alien Maya who came along in the second season. Did you know Martin Landau and Barbara Bain were married? All in all, I’d have to say Space: 1999 is a major sci-fi cheesefest but an entertaining one from the first episode to the last. Sure, it looks dated but that’s part of its nostalgic charm. If you’re a fan of Lost in Space and Star Trek: DS9 then this series should interest you. Space: 1999: The Complete Series will be available on a pristine 13-disc Blu-ray set on July 16th.

Distributor: Shout! Factory

Run Time: 12 Discs / 48 Episodes / 39.5 Hours + (Special Features Disc)

Rated: Not Rated

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Fullframe (1.33:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and 2.0

Subtitles: English

Special Features: The extras include new interviews with some of the cast and crew, new audio commentaries, vintage featurettes, vintage interviews, vintage audio commentary, TV promos, trailers and still galleries for each episode – located on each disc.

  • NEW Mission To Moonbase Alpha: An Interview With Actress Barbara Bain (10:36)
  • NEW Into The Uncertain Future: An Interview With Actor Nick Tate (16:44)
  • NEW Brain Behind The Destruction: An Interview With Director Kevin Connor (09:14)
  • NEW Moonbase Merch: A Tour Of Space:1999 Ephemera With Author John Muir (11:16)
  • NEW Audio Commentary By Author Anthony Taylor On “Dragon’s Domain” And “The Metamorph”
  • NEW Audio Commentary By Space:1999 Series Expert Scott Michael Bosco On “Ring Around The Moon”
  • Audio Commentary By Series Co-Creator Gerry Anderson On “Breakaway” And “Dragon’s Domain”
  • “These Episodes” – Nearly 100 Minutes Of Reflections On Some Of Space:1999‘s Iconic Episodes From The People Who Made Them (1:39:10)
  • “Memories Of Space” Featurette (07:33)
  • Interview With Sylvia Anderson (16:54)
  • Guardian Of Piri Remembered With Actress Catherine Schell (01:41)
  • Vintage Year Two Interviews (30:25)
  • Vintage Brian Johnson Interview (03:21)
  • Behind The Scenes Footage With Brian Johnson Commentary (06:49)
  • Concept And Creation Featurette (13:10)
  • Special Effects And Design Featurette (17:34)
  • Martin Landau And Barbara Bain TV Promos (01:41)
  • Year One Promos (11:37)
  • Year Two Promos (01:35)
  • Destination Moonbase Alpha Trailer (02:10)
  • Alien Attack Trailer (03:04)
  • Blackpool “Space City” Exhibition Advert (00:39)
  • Lyons Maid Ice Lolly Advert (00:28)
  • Photo Galleries
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