The Catacombs The Production Guide
Titles and Credits
by Martin Willey

Title sequences at the start of a television programme do not just identify it, they are an important means to attract the viewers attention. The title sequences of both series of "Space: 1999" were superb examples of action packed spectacle, promising excitement and tension.

Year One Titles

The original title sequence credits appeared in Braggadocio, a similar font to Futura Black. Many names were illegible, so this was altered to Futura Heavy. Strangely, on some prints of Matter Of Life And Death only, the in-episode credit for credit for Rudi Gernreich remained in Braggadocio.

In Year One, the title sequence was 63 seconds long (plus a two second introductory drum roll over the last moments of the hook sequence preceding the titles). Clips from the episode were included (a technique also used in Anderson's Thunderbirds series and the Landau's Mission Impossible; the fast cutting between numerous shots had also been used in the titles of his previous series, UFO).

The Koenig, Bain and Morse title shots were first filmed on the afternoon of Friday 11 January 1974, day 26 of the Breakaway shoot. The initial Morse title shot featured a (real) oscilloscope, with black drapes to reflect the signal. The Landau and Bain shots were re-filmed on Tuesday 19 February, day 14 of the Black Sun shoot. For the Morse credit, a space scene was used for the first 4 episodes, then on Monday, 15th July 1974 a new Morse title shot was filmed.

ITC kept "textless backgrounds" for the opening and closing titles, and in-show credits, which are clean originals of the shots without captions. These are given to non-English broadcasters to create foreign language versions. The captions are added using an optical printer, which degrades the image and can introduce dirt (notably on the opening Landau credit). In 2005, ITV commissioned BBC Resources to create an HD version of the series, and they used these textless backgrounds to recreate all the captions without the quality loss. According to Jonathan Wood "The digital data was then imported into a non- linear HD editing suite where colleague Steve Jamison went about re-building the sequence, with guidance from myself as to which shots to use. Basically, the original optical captions were isolated and re-keyed at the appropriate points over the background shots making sure that things like the position and timing were matched." Although they kept the two different Barry Morse credits, the Breakaway and End Of Eternity black captions are blue in the 2005 version. See also the 16:9 widescreen high definition versions of the titles created in 2005.

In 1975-1976, ITC made 16mm trailers for each episode by editing the titles. Each 30 second trailer included the Gray theme, the series logo shot, falling Eagle and "This Episode" sequence. See more.

Seconds Scene

The music makes impressive announcements as we see the first four shots, initially slow, grand, imposing. First we see Koenig, from chest up, standing on the right of the screen. His arms are folded as he stands before a white background, next to the caption (in black text) "starring Martin Landau".He turns his head to look to his right

Year 1 titles Year 1 titles

A matched shot of Helena, again from chest up. She is against a black background, on the left of the screen, and facing the left. She turns her whole body towards us. The caption (in white text) reads "starring Barbara Bain".

Year 1 titles Year 1 titles

A wide shot of Moonbase Alpha, with a blue planet hanging in space over it, in the top right of the screen. The series title, "Space: 1999", in its sloping logo, appears in white over the Moonbase.

Year 1 title without caption
Year 1 titles

An Eagle hangs in space, spinning round: from a front view of its underside it turns to present its port side to us, dropping its nose. The music marks a tense note.

Year 1 titles Year 1 titles

We cut to a more distant shot of the Eagle over the lunar surface, turning and dropping rapidly down. The music sweeps down. The Eagle falls to the ground and explodes in a large detonation.

There are four nuclear waste mounds on the lunar surface on the right (part of NDA 1). The scene was shot as Koenig's crash by NDA 1 in Breakaway.

Year 1 titles Year 1 titles Year 1 titles

The music becomes a fast paced rock theme. We see a rapid succession of clips from this week's episode. We glimpse the most action filled scenes, impressive visual effects and characters in tense poses (see sequence for each episode). These clips are interrupted briefly at two intervals by captions, in yellow lettering against a plain blue background, saying "This Episode". In "Breakaway" the caption is in lowercase ("this episode") against a black background. In End Of Eternity the caption is also on a black background, but with uppercase initial letters. In the 2005 version, all episodes have the standard blue background. This caption appears first after about 5 clips, then again after another 15 or so. About 17 more clips appear after the last caption.

End Of Eternity caption

The year 1 trailers for all episodes have an uppercase initial letter.

This Episode Trailer
Breakaway caption. Year 1 titles

The pace slows for three more slow, grand shots. First is the caption "also starring Barry Morse". For the first four episodes ("Breakaway", "Matter Of Life And Death", "Black Sun" and "Ring Around The Moon"), this appears over a space scene. The large thin crescent of the Moon moves into the picture from left, with a smaller world appearing as a thin crescent beyond. The credit appears top right, and to the bottom right is a bright red star or nebula.

For the remaining episodes of the series, we see Victor moving into view from left, looking at the out of focus crystal ball-like transparent instrument sphere in the foreground. The instrument can also be seen in Alpha Child (and this title shot was filmed on Monday, 15th July 1974, during the filming of that episode).

Barry Morse title Barry Morse title
Year 1 titles Year 1 titles

The caption "producer Sylvia Anderson" appears bottom left in this space scene. Streaks of stars are seen top left and bottom right, with the crescent of a small planet in the centre of the screen. A large blue world is top right.

Year 1 titles
Year 1 titles

The caption "executive producer Gerry Anderson" appears at the bottom of the screen, over the hemisphere of a large red planet, slowly rolling towards us. Top left and beyond is the large hemisphere of the Moon (part of an astronomical photograph of the real Moon, showing the Mare Imbrium, Mare Frigoris and the crater Plato). Top right is seen a bright nebula and the indistinct form of a dark blue planet.

Year 1 titles
Year 1 titles

The pace increases again, with three caption shots seen in rapid succession: "September", "13th", "1999". The numbers appear very large. Again, in Breakaway, this is yellow on black; otherwise it is yellow lettering against a plain blue background. In the 2005 version, all episodes have the standard blue background.

Year 1 titles Year 1 titles Year 1 titles
Year 1 titles Year 1 titles Year 1 titles

We are shown scenes from "Breakaway". First, the lunar surface, as a series of explosions detonate with increasing ferocity as they approach the camera.

Year 1 titles Year 1 titles

A wide shot of the Moonbase, as a white glow rises like the hemisphere of a sun over the mountains beyond, filling the screen with light.

Year 1 titles Year 1 titles

First of three very brief and confused shots of the interior of Main Mission, as staff are thrown by the shockwaves. Left are computer panels (under the Big Screen), right is the arch into Main Mission, as Victor grabs the corner of the arch to stop himself being thrown to the right.

Year 1 titles
Start of shot

Brief and very confused shot pans from drawing board (this is the Technical Section as seen in Breakaway) past window to an Alphan falling to the ground, as other objects fall around.

Year 1 titles

On the balcony, a technician falls backwards from the railing, top left, towards the large windows beyond.

Year 1 titles Year 1 titles

Wide shot of Moonbase Alpha as it descends in the picture; the Earth stays still in space at the top of the picture. (The mountains are revealed to be a series of flat cut outs as the perspective changes).

Year 1 titles Year 1 titles

Brief and confused close up of a computer panel explosion in Main Mission (a screen shows static).

Year 1 titles

A brief out of focus shot of sparks in foreground; beyond we can see Paul Morrow lying on the Main Mission steps.

Year 1 titles

The Earth is seen in first quarter, in the upper right of the picture. Left is the Moon, large and also in first quarter, moving left and towards camera.

Year 1 titles Year 1 titles

Fade out

The episodes then resume, the "in show credits" appearing over the initial establishing shots. These credits list episode title, guest cast (credited, in ascending order, as "guest artist", "guest star" and "special guest star"), "screenplay by", "story consultant Christopher Penfold" (except for episodes he scripted himself and the last 8 episodes), "script editor Edward di Lorenzo" (in the first two episodes only), "moon city costumes designed by Rudi Gernreich", and "directed by".

Commercial break caption

The original end credits used paintings of space scenes (UK screenings used one painting of a volcanic planet surface to border advertisement breaks). They may have been painted by Keith Wilson. Like the original title shown above, they were only used on one episode, Matter Of Life And Death, before being replaced by the standard titles. The original form of this episode was broadcast in the US in 1975, but in the UK and all subsequent broadcasts the standard version of the episode has been shown.

End credits

Space: 1999 copyright ITV Studios Global Entertainment
Page copyright Martin Willey