The Catacombs The Merchandise Guide
Annual 1976

Printout Alpha-1, Commander John Koenig

Actor Martin Landau, who
plays the part of Commander
John Koenig, is no stranger to the
more fantastic side of television
fiction. He made his name, so
to speak, in the long-running
and highly successful series
'Mission: Impossible', where he
played Rollin Hand, a master of
disguise employed on the team
dedicated to the performance of
undercover operations so tricky
that they'd been officially classed
as unworkable.
   As it happens, Martin Landau
worked in that series alongside
Barbara Bain--his wife--who co-
starts with him in this 'Space: 1999'
   American astrophysicist. Ex pilot.
   Ex astronaut. Born 1959. As school-
   boy, fascinated by man's first
   approaches to Moon. Showed early
   interest in science (See educational
   record, E50/K/3C) and became
   involved in US space program age 21.   
   Was responsible for planning and
   control of many outstanding space
   missions (Records file G16/K/30).
   Asked to help on original design for
   Moonbase Alpha, involved himself
   deeper and deeper in project and
   finally persuaded to become
   Commander. Almost immediately after
   take-over, Breakaway took Moon out
   of Earth's orbit, leaving Koenig in
   supreme control.
But this versatile actor--a New
Yorker born in Brooklyn--
started out in life with a very
different career in mind. He
trained as an artist, eventually
landing a job as a cartoonist/
illustrator on the New York Daily
News. He still sketches, especially
in the long periods of waiting
between 'takes'--those patches of
boredom familiar to any actor,
when scenes are being arranged,
and direction is being worked out.
   Martin took to acting because
of the dull routine of a staff artist's
life. "I could see myself at the same
drawing-board, turning out the
same stuff year after
year. I made the clean break and
took to the stage--not an easy
decision, but one that I felt was
   Professional training brought
out the undoubted talent that he
possessed, and he worked in the
gruelling 'nurseries' of 'little
theatre' productions and off-
Broadway shows. He joined Lee
Strasberg's world-famous Actors'
Studio, and landed small parts in
various TV shows. But it was a
Broadway show that went on tour
that gave him his first big break in
Commander Koenig and Doctor Russell films. The tour ended in Los
Angeles, and he got a part in
Alfred Hitchcock's movie, 'North
by North-West'. After that, one
film followed another--'Pork
Chop Hill', 'The Gazebo',
'Cleopatra' . . .
   Then, after a further series of
TV parts, came the 'Mission:
Impossible' series. And the rest is
history. The Moon, together with
Commander John Koenig, may
have vanished from sight of our
Earth. Martin Landau remains,
right there in the public eye!

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