Fans of Space: 1999
(and there are many of them) are lavish in their praise for British producer Gerry Anderson's mid-'70s sci-fi series. They rhapsodize about provocative, seriously scientific story lines, expensive production values, the presence of star (and future Oscar®
winner) Martin Landau, and more. But there are others who look at the series' glacial pace, loopy costumes and makeup, cheesy sets, primitive special effects, stilted dialogue, and self-serious tone and wonder what planet those rabid fans are from.
Set 6 of the digitally remastered series, containing six episodes (numbers 31 to 36) on two discs, offers plenty of evidence to support both arguments. On the one hand, there are some intriguing ideas, weighty themes, and good writing here, as in "New Adam, New Eve" (episode 34), in which Koenig (Landau) and company confront the very existence of God himself, or "The Rules of Luton" (episode 31), in which Koenig and Maya (Catherine Schell) find themselves in deep trouble on a planet where plants are the dominant life form. But too often those virtues are hamstrung by poor execution, as in "Luton," where our heroes must battle three absurd-looking and -acting aliens. Smart sensibility, silly look and feel: this is the Space: 1999 paradox. And the truth is that nowadays, when advanced film technology is making even the early Star Wars films look dated, many of these episodes seem positively quaint.
DVD bonus features include a three-minute "making of" featurette (on the first disc), a gallery of production stills (on both discs), and interactive menus. Some material that was not seen in the original U.S. broadcasts has been restored. --Sam Graham
From the Back Cover
A&E Home Video proudly presents world-renowned producer Gerry Anderson's seminal 1970s sci-fi adventure series... Space: 1999
. Set 6 invites you to "escape into worlds beyond belief" with the lost men and women trapped on Earth's moon when it was blasted from Earth's orbit in the year 1999. This is their story, and your one-way ticket to adventure.
Witness the excitement of Space: 1999 as never before! Digitally remastered for a superior DVD presentation from the original 35mm elements! Uncut, with 12 minutes of additional footage not seen in areas of the U.S. during original broadcast release! Combining elements of science fiction, adventure, and fantasy, Space: 1999 has claimed a worldwide following--finding a life beyond its titled date and securing a place in the 21st century and beyond.
This international cast stars Martin Landau (Academy Award winner, Ed Wood), Barbara Bain (three-time Emmy winner, Mission Impossible), Catherine Schell (Return of the Pink Panther), and European guest stars Brian Blessed (Flash Gordon), Billie Whitelaw (The Omen), and Freddie Jones (Dune). With cinema styled effects by Brian Johnson (Academy Award winner, Alien, The Empire Strikes Back), Space: 1999 premiered to TV audiences after Star Trek and before Star Wars, influencing the future of the genre.
Episodes: "The Rules of Luton": The Judges of Luton sentence Koenig and Maya to gladiatorial combat to win their freedom after the slaying of one of their own. "The Mark of Archanon": Buried deep under the lunar surface, Alan Carter will open Pandora's Box--cursing the Alphans to the Mark of Cain and propagating death. "Brian the Brain": Brian, the only surviving member of the lost Star Mission of 1996, is welcomed aboard Moonbase Alpha. Little do the Alphans realize they've just given entry to a homicidal killer--with a catch. "New Adam, New Eve": A self-proclaimed Creator of Humanity offers the Alphans a new Eden--but what if they refuse? "The A B Chrysalis": A group of unborn aliens protect their planet with destructive shockwaves which threaten to destroy the traveling Earth moon. "Catacombs of the Moon": Beyond life, beyond death, Patrick Osgood is about to prove the power of faith cannot be extinguished, not even in the vacuum of space.