When it came time to do the take, instead of stepping back, Nick stepped forward by mistake and planted a real humdinger on my chin. I sort of flopped out of the shot and the director yelled, 'Cut!' Everyone rushed up to me to make sure I was all right, which I was, but I think the person who was most shocked was Nick.
Paul Weston was bigger and taller than me, had a much better build and was white as well. By the time they got through dressing him up in my costume, putting a wig and mustache on him and coloring him, he could pass for me at a glance. I remember when my wife Judy was working on a couple of Space: 1999 episodes. Paul was on the set to do a stunt for me. When I first saw him walking down the hall towards me, I really thought I was walking towards a mirror. I stopped him and said, 'See that woman over there? That's my wife. Go up and pretend you're me.' He went over and gave her a quick kiss on the neck. She glanced behind her, looked at him briefly, turned back and then suddenly did a double take! It was very funny.
The first series had an epic sense about it, as well as size and scale. You felt that money was being spent on it. They wanted something that looked good and had a sense of class and style, which I think we achieved. In terms of the special FX, the sets, all these types of production areas, we were far superior, for instance, to Star Trek of those days, although Star Trek picked up its production values later.
With the second series, they cut costs, brought in American producers and so on, and the quality of the whole thing plummeted, I feel, considerably. It became a bit gimmicky; it was no longer about people whom you and I could identify with. We were talking about 1999, a year that was just down the road, and all of these people were our brothers , sisters, loved ones or whomever, who happened to be working out of town and one day got blown further out. By the time we got to the second series, that concept had been blurred somewhat and Space: 1999 lost that sense of identity. The production values had gone down, things looked cheaper and, in the end, the truth of the matter was that many people DIDN'T like the second series as much as they did the first.
The other thing that bothered me, of course, was dropping some of the characters. Dropping Barry [Morse] was disastrous, along with Prentis [Hancock] and Clifton [Jones]. It would be like Star Trek dropping Uhura and Chekov to cut costs. They had managed to build up a sense of family week after week. The audience had gotten to know these people and suddenly all of that was lost. What's the point of disrupting a formula that people had seen, accepted and tuned in to?