The Catacombs Catacombs Reference Library
Pittsburgh press

These are news items from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the largest daily newspaper in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.

Landau Bain Star in Major Sci-Fi Series '1999' (Friday 21 March 1975)

Very early preview in Win Fanning's column "On The Air".

Notes for a Friday Morning: Ever since the "Star Trek" series went out of production - and into what seems to be an endless rerun orbit - science fiction addicts have been clamouring for a quality first-run successor.

Unless I miss my bet, it would appear that in "Space: 1999" the sci-fi fan's prayer has been answered.

Filmed in England, in 35mm rather than the usual 16mm, its producers (ITC) claim that at a total cost of $6.5 million, or more than $250,000 per episode, this is the highest priced prime time access series ever to be made available. Scheduled to make its local debut on Channel 11 this fall, the 24-part series of hour long entries stars Martin Landau and his wife Barbara Bain in their first series together since they chose to self-destruct a marathon run in "Mission: Impossible" several seasons back.

Costarring with them will be Barry Morse, best remembered by many for his portrayal of Lt. Gerard on "The Fugitive". There is also an impressive guest star roster.

Of particular interest to sci-fi followers is the fact that Brian Johnson, the man who was responsible for the special effects in "2001 - A Space Odyssey" headed the technicians employed for "1999". And for distaff space enthusiasts there are those striking fashions for the future by Rudi Gernreich, the American designer whose costumes for the series were featured in Time Magazine's cover story on Gernreich a year or so ago.

The story begins in the year 1999 when the atomic waste man has stored on the far side of the moon creates a series of spectacular thermonuclear explosions, blasting the moon out of Earth orbit. However, the men and women inhabiting an international community named Moonbase Alpha - and the base itself - survive, only to go careening away from the Earth. Their fateful journey, ever searching for a compatible planet on which to settle, provides the basis for an exciting voyage through space.

While the fall start is firm, WHC-TV officials are still uncertain of the time and day Commander Koenig (Landau), Dr Helena Russell, Alpha chief medical officer (Miss Bain) and their friend Professor Victor Bergman (Morse) will be launched on Pittsburgh area screens.

Syndicated 'Space: 1999' Has Networks Worried (13 August 1975)

Another preview in Win Fanning's column "On The Air", just a month before the show launched

News Notes: While some 6,000 "Trekkies" are holding their International Star Trek Convention in Philadelphia - buying Spock ears for $2.50, uniform shirts for $15 and as much as $50 for strobelight models of the fearful phaser gun - the three networks are going through a space crisis all of their own.

Threatening their well laid plans is a rocket from England's Independent Television Corp. titled "Space: 1999". Sold in 128 markets, with more than 90 per cent of these sales to network affiliated stations, the import, starring Martin Landau and Barbara Bain, may well blast four or five new network hours into the wild blue yonder even before the season begins.

Although here in Pittsburgh Channel 11 will be pre-empting "Movin' On" a returning series on NBC, many of the stations are either cancelling or delaying freshman entries.

Thus ABC's "Barbary Coast" and NBC's "Invisible Man", both scheduled Mondays at 8 pm, and NBC's half hours, "The Montefuscos" and "Fay" set at 8 and 8:30 Thursday, may not get enough exposure to move them off the launch pad.


Space: 1999 copyright ITV Studios Global Entertainment