The Catacombs Catacombs Reference Library
1973 Press

These are early syndicated press reports from 1973. The series was started filming, but Landau and Bain were signed. The series was first announced in the trade magazine Variety on 1st August 1973.

Calgary Herald: Bill Musselwhite on TV (8 August 1973)

According to Variety, Britain's ITC is backing Gerry and Sylvia Anderson again. Their new show will be titled Space: 1999.

Evidently, they've discovered what was wrong with UFO. The problem was that it lacked an American star and that it wasn't tailored to the U.S. market.

If that's so, to make a hit all you need is a Yank name actor and writers who can make the script look as if it was churned out in the U.S. I have a horrible hunch that is exactly what the Canadian producers of Star Lost are trying to do.

In any case, I think the Andersons are wrong. What was wrong with UFO was lousy acting and bad scripts. And bad is bad whether you're in England, the U.S., or the Maldive Islands.

Space: 1999 Coming To TV (28 August 1973)

Adrian Slifka in the local Ohio newspaper Youngstown Vindicator reworks a press release by Abe Mandell shortly after the Variety announcement. Note that the series was to be shown in the 1974-1975 season (it eventually turned up a year late, in the 1975-1976 season). At this stage, the series was still composed of 26 episodes, not 24.

"Space: 1999", a new television series with a production budget of $6.5 million, will bring to the home screen the husband-and-wife acting team of Martin Landau and Barbara Bain.

This expensive science-fiction project of 26 hour-long adventures was outlined by Abe Mandell, president of Independent Television Corp., in a letter I received from the ITC executive Monday.

Mandell noted this is the first time an ITC property has been given a completely American orientation, including "at its inception top American stars, story-editors, script writers, designers and others." What is significant about this move is that ITC usually produces its video properties in England, home of its parent company, Associated Tele-Vision, Ltd.

Mandell wrote that shooting on the new series begins in November and the programs will be available for network colorcasting in the 1974-1975 season.

Keyed to Americans

Budgeted at $250,000 an episode, "Space: 1999" will contain outer-space special effects and other production values that would increase the cost of the series by half as much again if made in Hollywood. He stressed that for the first time in 20 years ITC is custom-tailoring a series specifically for American audiences, although the property will be marketed throughout the world.

The decision to cast Landau and Miss Bain in "Space: 1999" was made after Mandell and the producers, Gerry and Sylvia Anderson (also a husband-and-wife team) spent weeks of meetings in New York and Hollywood, interviewing actors and top science fiction writers. "Of the many stars we met with, the chemistry was best with the Landaus" Mandell explained.

"Just Talking"

"We spent days with them without agents and managers - just talking about acting and producing and the industry and the country and our children and everything else people have in their heads.

"We all knew instinctively that we were together on this series. I told them I wanted the same ambience and elegance and quality they brought to "Mission: Impossible" and what they want from me is the same creative milieu - and the chance to be themselves." Production plans for the new series are beginning with one good omen, Mandell added. When George Bellak was selected as story editor, it turned out that Landau had once worked on Broadway with him.

Bellak, one of the most prolific writer-editors in the business, joined the "brainstorming" sessions at the Landaus' home and before the end of their first week together, Mandell said, the original concept for "Space: 1999" had been tailored to fit the star team and their personalities. The entire series will be written and edited this way, Mandell emphasised.

Signed Top Designer.

Ballak has written for television, motion pictures and legitimate stage. Among his TV credits are those for "The Defenders", "Cannon", "The Nurses" and "East Side-West Side". He will relocate in England for at least a year, where he will supervise all story ideas and scripts and write at least three himself.

While in Hollywood, an agreement was signed with Rudi Gernreich to design the costumes for the futuristic series, including styles for a least 26 different kinds of aliens, as well as the 300 earth men and women on the new space odyssey. Gernreich's celebrated flair for innovation and daring, says Mandell, is limited only by the television code.

"Space: 1999" is set at the turn of the next century, deep in space. The $6,500,000 budget is typical of ITC's allocations and of Mandell's determination to keep his company's product simultaneously on all three networks in prime time, as well as syndicated to local stations around the country. He is off to a good start: all three networks have scheduled series, specials and dramas and the $55 million budget allocation for production and development of new properties represents ITC's most ambitious and costly schedule to date.

Hollywood Closeup by Marilyn Beck (16 October 1973)

Well known syndicated Hollywood columnist Marilyn Beck's 16th October column featured a piece about Landau and Bain just before they flew to London. Sadly the series failed to get onto the networks and would eventually end up in syndication.

Bain-Landau Bet on New British Television Series

Lew Grade has assured Martin Landau and Barbara Bain that their new "Space: 1999" adventure series for British television is not only America bound, but network bound as well. "No syndication," reports Miss Bain.

The Landau family flies to London Wednesday where they'll stay for the next 13 months to fulfil their 26 episode commitment. It is one which Marty and Barbara hope will push them back into the limelight they knew before they bolted their CBS "Mission: Impossible" series five years ago in a contract dispute.

Barbara also has accepted a Playboy Productions offer to star in its ABC movie, "Summer without Boys".

That movie, which will air later this year, is set in the 1940s and "is about a mother and young daughter who go into the mountains for the summer," says Barbara. "It's actually an escape for the mother from a failing marriage which she can't face. It's a different role for me because people are used to seeing me as a very together lady. In this I'm searching for a new direction, a new identity."


Space: 1999 copyright ITV Studios Global Entertainment