The Catacombs Catacombs Press Guide
TV Clips
Compiled by Martin Willey

Video View

1992 12:30am Wed Feb 26th ITV
Interview with Gerry Anderson to tie in with release of ITC "Space: 1999" Videos ("we'll be talking to Thunderbirds creator Gerry Anderson about his predictions for the future in "Space: 1999"). However, the bulk of the interview (by presenter Mariella Frostrup) concerned Thunderbirds. Sleeve cover of volume 1 was shown, but no clips. "Do you see Space: 1999 as the forerunner for things like Star Wars and Close Encounters and all the latter day science fiction great big features?" "I'm sure that they were. In retrospect I think my problem was that my vision of the future was everybody was spotlessly clean, wearing deodorants and nicely pressed clothes, and stainless steel and everything sanitised, and the show has that kind of look. But it was a show which combined people with special effects, and then of course came Star Wars which was people of today put in tomorrow's setting, and they achieved a believability which triggered the whole thing. But I think that Space: 1999 and UFO and those sort of shows certainly paved the way."

Movies, Movies, Movies

1993 11:30am Sat Jan 16th ITV
Preview of Space 1999 volume 9, due out the following Monday. 50-second sequence was cut from "Missing Link" titles, starting with the Eagle fall. Steve Preistley's narration was: "More of the classic space saga from the team that made Thunderbirds... Space 1999. As usual, Commander Koenig's life is in danger, but this time he's unsafely tucked up in the Moonbase Alpha sickbay, having some serious dreams about spiderwebs and Victor." Then followed a short clip of Koenig calling to Victor ("Help me, Victor") from his chair in the nightmare sequence (the theme tune was played over). The breakaway clips from the titles then concluded the item.

The Little Picture Show

1993 2:40am Wed Feb 24th HTV (various times during night-time ITV)
Hour long programme covering film & video releases, hosted by Mariella Frostrup. A short silent clip of Zantor speaking in the ship ends part 2 of the programme: "In part 3, when I won't be talking to Christopher Lee about vampires; it's aliens this time." Part 3 opens with a long if vacuous interview with Christopher Lee in the studio, with generous clips from "Earthbound"; the segment lasts 4 minutes 35 seconds.
MF: "Well, you may think that Christopher Lee has only ever been a vampire, but I chanced across him only the other day in a very different guise."
Clip of Zantor, changing to the series title, the falling Eagle and the "this episode" montage. MF narrates over: "Yes, it's Thunderbird creator Gerry Anderson's Space 1999, and yes that was Christopher Lee. He was guest alien of the week way back in 1974."
Studio. MF: "And he's guest alien this week here in the studio with me. Christopher, I know that the reason you took the part in Space 1999 was because you got to wear a long white wig and a sort of frock-effect. But do you want to tell our viewers something else?"
CL (embarrassed smile): "Are you implying that I'm a repressed transvestite?"
MF: "You and J. Edgar Hoover"
CL: "So they say. No, it was an interesting thing to do because, I think I'm right in saying, it was almost the first British science fiction television series, British in so far as it was made in Pinewood." (clip of Zantor asleep as the bed pulsates, & the aliens wake and sit up) "And we, as I recall, this is something like 19 years ago, were aliens who were in a state of suspended animation, you know, lying inside these great big circular...well, I don't know what you'd call them, sarcoph.."
MF: "Sort of like glass coffins, weren't they?"
CL: "Yes, that's right. And the sort of thing they've used in films like Alien since. You might say that this sort of film, this kind of series, proceeded a great many of the science fiction films and television which came later." (studio:) "It's the first time that I've played an alien from outer space, and, uh.."
MF: "Is it the only time?"
CL: "I can't remember quite frankly...I think.. No, it isn't the only time. It's the first time on T.V. No, I played one before in a picture I did with Vincent Price called, oh yes, a very subtle witty title, 'Scream and Scream Again'. And I was the head of British Intelligence who came from outer space. Which might not be far from the truth of course."
(Clip of Helena & Zantor in Medical; Zantor's "Cryogenic deep freezing we found to be inadequate..." to "but the flavour fades." Clip continues as CL narrates over:) "The clothes were fascinating actually because we weren't like they are today or have been for the last 10 or 15 or 20 years, we weren't creatures who were unrecognisable."
MF: "Absolutely not."
CL: "We were to all intents and purposes more or less normal human beings." (studio:) "Of course, everyone was very very tall, including the girls."
MF: "The girls looked very striking."
CL: "They were. They were. And very charming too. And gives one a little bit of hope for the future, if you can explore space and find girls like that." (laughs)
(clip: Zantor distributing eggs. "Please accept these gifts" to "memorials of our fading life". Clip continues as CL narrates) "I don't believe that we're the only people. I believe that there are forms of thinking beings. There have been so many authenticated, confirmed sightings by professional experienced people over the years of U.F.Os." (studio:) "It's not possible in my opinion to say that such things... I mean, airline pilots, with witnesses, astronomers, military people, people in ordinary homes in ordinary parts of the world have all seen these things. And I can't believe that the whole thing is just something that they thought they saw, it was an hallucination, something they made up. So if there are space machines of some sort, there is thought behind the creation of those machines, therefore there is as I said earlier, no reason to believe there aren't thinking beings elsewhere."
(Clip of the breakaway explosion and rest of titles concludes segment).

The Little Picture Show

1993 2:20am Wed July 22st HTV (various times during night-time ITV)
Short feature on the earliest video recorders allowing taping from television, illustrated by title clips from "Earthbound".

The Comic Strip Presents...

1993 21:00-21:30 Thurs 29th April BBC2
Episode "Space Virgins From The Planet Sex". Parody of bad science fiction. Opening shots of space scenes from 1999 credits, including the blue moon.

Spitting Image

1993 22:45-23:15 Sun 13th June ITV
Satirical puppet show. Sketch featuring short action clips from Westerns and car chases to satirise home videos: "Just when you thought it was time for the film... it's time for the trailers". Includes several FX shots from UFO and 2 seconds from 1999 (first part in "fast forward"): scene shows lunar surface, with launch pad left as rocks roll down a steep lunar hill right.

Movies, Movies, Movies

1993 12:30-13:00 Sat Jul 3rd ITV
"Spies and Space Special", featuring 1960s & 1970s series from Polygram & ITC videos, plus short interviews with Gerry Anderson & fans at the Action 93 convention. Narration by Steve Preistley. Introduction to show included two seconds from The Exiles (without sound: Mirella screaming, Helena calling "You can't win, your protective membrane..."). Ten minutes into show, just before commercial break, and following a Sapphire & Steel clip, the 1999 segment appeared. The first 25 seconds comprised the Year 2 logo shot and the Missing Link title sequence, from the falling Eagle (with Year 1 theme). The 'This Episode' frames were replaced by shots of, first, Bergman (Barry Morse's credit, without text), and second a planet (Gerry Anderson's credit, without text). There followed a 55 second clip from The Exiles: Cantar fires a laser after a running Helena; she ducks and calls "You're getting old, Cantar". Scene continues until she explains "Every second you're ageing 10 years." He looks at his hand; she calls "Cantar" & he turns; scene fades out.
Narration: "By racing from zero to 1999, we find ourselves firmly in outer space, with Gerry Anderson's Space 1999. Sporting a natty line in acrylic suits, between 1975 and 1977 the crew of Moonbase Alpha travelled through space on the surface of the moon, which had been blown way off it's orbit by a nuclear explosion or two. Crossing the frontiers of human knowledge, the crew discovered strange new worlds, alien life forms and maximum adventure."
On screen text noted "Vols 1-14 out on video now"

The Little Picture Show

1994 02:20-03:30 Wed 27th July ITV
Comedian Stephen Frost reviews a number of videos marking the anniversary of the first moon landing. He holds ITC volume 19.
"The best guy for space special effects- Gerry Anderson."
Clip from titles of "Earthbound": logo, Eagle crashes, episode montage (14 secs)
"This is Space 1999, which is in 5 years time I might add. If we believe Gerry Anderson, we're all going to be living on the Moon and wearing clothes from C&A. Because in those days- or those days to come- they weren't very fashion conscious."
Clip from Dorzak in Command Centre. Yasko: "It's changed course", Tony: "Heading?" "Directly towards us." to Sahala: "Urgent. We require permission to land." (21 seconds)
"Space 1999. Great nostalgia. Gripping plots. Great fun. Make sure you make a space for this on your video shelf. That's an astronaut's joke."

The Aliens Are Coming

1997 21:00 Sat 21st June ITV
Jonathan Ross introduces a short collection of clips of the worst aliens ever to come out of Hollywood: including various Lost In Space aliens, the Daleks and a clip from Bringers Of Wonder when Tony and Sandra see the globs in Command Centre for the first time and scream.

Space Cadets

1997 18:00-18:30 Tue 26th August Channel 4
Humorous science fiction quiz. One question shows a clip and asks "What happens next?". The clip was "Bringers Of Wonder part 1", Tony talking to Diana watched by jealous Maya. The team suggested "she turns into a frog faced monster" (Craig Charles), "she turns Tony into John Inman and he starts chatting himself up" (Felix Dexter and Ed Bishop). They then showed her changing into the bug eyed monster.

Equinox: Black Holes

1997 21:00-22:00 Mon 8th September Channel 4
Science documentary series, feature on black holes with Professor Stephen Hawking and other scientists. To illustrate the principles of black holes, clips from "Into Infinity" and "Space:1999"'s "Black Sun" were shown (and "The Simpsons"!). The Black Sun sequences were of Bergman explaining to Koenig and the others about black holes, and Ryan's Eagle being stretched and exploding.

Space Cadets

1997 18:00-18:30 Tue 9th September Channel 4
"Humorous" science fiction quiz. One team must decide which of the three explanations of a prop given by the opposing team is correct. The prop is similar to a Main Mission lampshade, with a purple surface over the lamp canopy. The three explanations were a defence barrier, space bongos and a Space 1999 communicator. The last was described by actor Robert Llewellyn, who pointed out the show spent all the money on models and had none left over for props, and did an impression of Martin Landau calling for his agent over the lampshade. Bizarrely, the correct explanation was the 1999 communicator- illustrated by a clip of Alan calling Paul from Space Brain ("Main Mission." "Eagle Four here."), with Paul at his desk as if answering the lampshade.

Space Cadets

1997 18:00-18:30 Tue 16th September Channel 4
Humorous science fiction quiz. One team must decide which of the three explanations of a prop given by the opposing team is correct. The prop is two long rat tails. The three explanations were Maya's eyebrows, space fluff from Blake's Seven and ear worms from Star Trek Wraith of Khan. The first was described by actor Chloe Annett. Bizarrely, the correct explanation was Maya's eyebrows- illustrated by a clip of Maya from Bringers Of Wonder just about to transform into Diana's monster. As Annett pointed out, Maya's eyebrows were about a quarter of the length of the "props".

La Nuit Special Cosmos 1999

1999 13th September Série Club (France)
Série Club ("Club series") is themed French satellite/ cable channel, which has run since 1993. It shows television series in all genres from science fiction to police series. It had a special "Space 1999 Night" on 13 September 1999, showing several episodes. There was also a documentary presented by Sophie Simon (sitting in a Joe Colombo Elda armchair, with black cushions instead of white as seen in the series). The show featured many clips from the series (including scenes from War Games, Mission Of The Darians, The Metamorph and Matter Of Balance), as well as scenes from Thunderbirds and UFO plus short clips from Anderson's other shows. It included a new interview with Martin Landau.

Sophie Simon Sophie Simon Martin Landau


1999 23:35 EST Thur 30th December ABC (USA)
Documentary segment "The Future That Wasn't" discussed wrong predictions of the future, including some comments on the clothing of the future. During this they showed about 30 seconds from Space: 1999 (unknown episode) over which Martin Landau narrated how the Alphan costumes used colour sleeves for identification.

Mr Thunderbird

2000 20:00-21:00 Sun 27th August Channel 5 (UK)
Documentary about Gerry Anderson's career. Some of the interviews were from Kindred's UFO and Space 1999 documentaries.

Gerry Anderson: The first 17 episodes [of UFO] we led the ratings in New York and Los Angeles, which are the two key markets in America. So it was hugely successful. The American office phoned through and said Gerry, quick, we want a second series. We started to get ready for a second series. And then for some reason or other the ratings dipped a little, which they always do on shows. They panicked and told Lew to cancel the series.

I was very upset so I went to see Lew and I said, look, we've done a lot of work and I reckon I could twist this around and make it into another science fiction show.

[Eagle falls, titles and scenes from War Games, Guardian Of Piri, Dragon's Domain, The Metamorph, New Adam New Eve, Space Warp]

Abe Mandell, the president of Lew's company in New York, phoned and said 'I want you to do something to the show that will make it impossible for you to shoot a show on Earth.' So we blew the Moon out of orbit.

[breakaway sequence]

Dave Lane: There was no series shooting in England that carried the amount of effects that we did.

[behind the scenes shot of Brian fixing beak to Eagle, green lit from below]

Alan Hume, director of photography: Brain Johnson, he did some brilliant work on very modest budgets. Okay, take major American film productions, they'd spend a fortune on special effects and getting some marvellous special effects. But I think Brian Johnson was making it for about one twentieth of their budget and getting very, very good looking stuff.

[shot of Eagle launching and being shot by Hawk]

Brian Johnson, special effects designer and director: It was a big challenge to effectively do a feature film job on a television series, incorporating a lot of space fiction shots and things, which I wanted to do.

We gave it that real hard space edge sort of look, which for T.V. production was quite new.

[shot of War Games bomber passing overhead]
[Eagle is shot by Gwent]
[shot by Nick Allder testing light under Eagle firing vertical rockets, suspended over green planet]
[Eagle leaves Missing Link planet]

Gerry Anderson: We were always short of money when we were trying to make the very best pictures we could. And we had to get up to all sorts of tricks. These things are nothing special today, but when we wanted to film explosions in space, we used to have a black roof in the special effects studio, hang the charge from the roof, put the camera on the floor shooting upwards and then detonate the charge, and of course stuff used to fall into camera.

[space dock explodes]

[Koenig's speech in Breakaway: As you know our Moon has been blasted out of orbit. We have been completely cut off from planet Earth.]

Martin Landau: Very unlike Star Trek, we were not really equipped to go out into deep space like that. We were not able to if we wanted to. The fact that this enormous accident happened and thrust us into a condition that we were neither technologically nor emotionally ready for was fascinating to me, and that was the intention in the first year. It was a real condition. It was new, it didn't look like anything else, it didn't feel like anything else, it was it's own person.

[shot of Eagle in orbit around Arkadia, Satazius over Alpha, astronauts struck by Triton probe]

I will say that in the second year it did become more of a comic strip.

[Taybor reaches for Maya's leg. "The sign of friendship on my planet, Maya.." She places a claw on his leg.]

Gerry Anderson: At the time of the second series of Space 1999 my life with Sylvia was becoming totally untenable.

Copyright Martin Willey