Catacombs The Conventions
Destination Moonbase Alpha - 2022

Destination Moonbase Alpha
Internet
10-11 September 2022 starting 10am Los Angeles/1pm New York/6pm London

This 2 day virtual convention was the follow-up to the 2021 virtual convention, now expanded to 2 days. Details: Facebook.

There are pre-recorded interviews and videos at intervals during the two days.

Saturday 10th September 2022

18:00
10am Los Angeles
1pm New York
6pm UK
Suzanne Heimer-Peterson
Christien Anholt (son of Tony Anholt)
Kathryn Leigh Scott
Suzanne and Justin

Justin (Suzanne's son): Whenever it came to school holidays, I would come along to the film studios, which was quite regularly. As a kid, it was like going to Disneyland. During the first series, because I was only 4 or 5 years of age, memories are a little bit vague, but the second series I remember clearly. It was L and M stages, each of those stages were partitioned into different sets. If I remember rightly, the Eagle and the main command centre was in the same stage. So if one wasn't in use and the other was in use, all the lights would be turned off and it would be like a playground. My first port of call was always the Eagle, I would sit in the seat. Because it was like a family atmosphere, they always knew it was me, or if any other kids came to the stage they knew whose kids they were. We just had freedom to roam. It was great. As long as we behaved ourselves, obviously.
Suzanne: Do you remember when I was doubling Barbara in the spacesuit? That helmet, I hated.
Justin: I remember, particularly the second series, getting up Saturday morning to watch it. I remember the kids at school, when I told them I went to the 1999 set all the time, they suddenly wanted to be my friend.
Suzanne: I remember when they came to do This is your life, with Roy Dotrice. We didn't know what the hell was going on, and then he came on the set.

Christien Anholt

There was a storyline where there was a very big bad creature that came to visit Moonbase Alpha. He was overcome by Maya turning into a wasp and flying into his ear. Dave Prowse, who later went on to play Darth Vader, was inside that suit, and, as kids in this country, we all knew him as the Green Cross Code Man. So it was very exciting to know that my dad was fighting the Green Cross Code man. The other memories I have of the show are watching with my dad, I think it was Saturday or Sunday morning.
Another story that my dad told me about that episode, I guess he was very proud of. He jumps on this creature's back, and the creatures moves around and flings him across the room. He was recounting the story to me, that he landed, he did the stunt, he landed in the corner, and he looked in such pain that they cut the take. And they rushed over to him and said 'Tony, are you ok?' He's like 'no, no, I'm acting'. It was so convincing that everyone assumed that he was actually hurt for real.

19:00
11am Los Angeles
2pm New York
7pm UK
Super Space Theatre
Anton Phillips
20:00
12pm Los Angeles
3pm New York
8pm UK
Celebrity Round-table
Yasuko Nagazumi, Nick Tate, Seretta Wilson, Anton Phillips, Clifton Jones on telephone
21:00
1pm Los Angeles
4pm New York
9pm UK
Mike and Denise Okuda
Christopher Penfold
22:00
2pm Los Angeles
5pm New York
10pm UK
Mateo Latosa (Powys)
Haywood Morse (son of Barry Morse)
Bob Wood/David Hirsch
Models
Mateo's comments

I'm still working on Black Doves, which was turned in a couple of years ago, but a completely different version. It's just about finessing it. Earthbound will probably be the next book out, because it's an easy thing to do. Then we're going to be releasing, not in this order, Black Doves, William Latham's Odysseus Wept. He's doing the final edit and proofreading, it's way over 600 pages. It's going to be the series capper. We're also going to be releasing Year Two. We're re-releasing it. It's going to be re-edited, because now we have all these other books that we need to share continuity with. And Michael Butterworth has agreed to write a 25th story. It's an extra story.

Another book we're doing right now, we're calling it Space 1999 Apocrypha. I'm going back and getting all of those short stories, from the comics that had prose stories, and collecting them together. Charlton put a book together, it's just prose. All of those are owned by ITV, so we're going to put them all together.

Haywood's comments

He [Barry Morse] said, would you like to come down, and I think he had possibly in his mind that if he took me down there, somebody might say 'we could use him in this episode', which they didn't, unfortunately. It was only for one day as far as I can remember. I'd seen episodes of it. All these banks of lights, and they were all Christmas lights. They all look wonderful in the course of filming. Up close you could see that they were just bits or plywood or cardboard painted to look like metal. I think that was the most striking thing for me. He did introduce me to the rest of the cast, who were very nice. I got on quite well with Barbara and I met her a few weeks later when she was shopping for some jewellery. We had a nice chat in the market in Chelsea. I can't say I got to know any of them very well. Zenia I got to know a bit better. She was very sweet.

23:00
3pm Los Angeles
6pm New York
11pm UK
Jeffrey Morris
Gianni Garko (with daughter Clara)
Dragon's Domain
Jeffrey's comments

Space: 1999 blew my mind. It felt like the cohesive piece between Star Trek in the 23rd century and NASA in the early 1970s. Space 1999 was about seeing a future that I had hoped to be a part of. It felt like an extension of 2001 A Space Odyssey, which is really dear to my heart.

I've done a number of pitches with ITV, and talked with them extensively about the concept of rebooting Space 1999. We're having some interesting conversations. I've had 2 pitches with them, and the second one went very very well. We didn't go forward, but it was a great call. I learned a lot from them, I know what they're looking for, I know what their concerns and thoughts are when it comes to the IP. It's a really challenging IP to reboot. I do have a version of it now that does allow us to stick to a version of the original story, and even retain the name. We'll see what happens. But that's a long term thing. I'll be talking to them again in the coming months, that's the plan.

I met with Brian Johnson a couple of years ago, and I told him what I wanted to do with it. He actually really liked it. There are some things you just don't mess with. If you're going to do this, the sets, the costumes, the look, the feel, the Eagles, you don't change that. I've got a way to do this, if I can pull it off, it's going to blow everybody away.

This is something I'm going to do in the near future, a documentary about the Eagle. I want to do this at a very high quality level. I'm working with a team that just did some documentaries with Werner Herzog. We're targeting Netflix and some other places. The quality level will be something like a Chef's Table or Anthony Bourdain. It's going to be a journey to look at the Eagle and why so many of us love it. It'll do some interviews and talk to some luminaries. I'm targeting talking to people like George Lucas and Elon Musk, and also talking to fans, to people who are building miniatures. It's not really a Space 1999 documentary, it's specifically about the Eagle. I'll be showing my own collection of Eagles and talk about why I love it. It's going to be an emotional documentary about looking at the past, what was the time like when this happened.

My goal is to have a short version of it for fans by next year this time (September 2023). That short version is probably going to be 12 to 15 minutes. It'll be the prototype that we'll use, and we're going to blow this up to something like a 90-minute piece. My idea is to have that ready to debut for the 50th anniversary. My hope is that we can even do some new visual effects and show what it would look like if we did the Eagle now. We've been outlining it and figuring it out. A lot of the energy I had for a reboot, I can put a lot of that passion into this.

Gianni's comments

They were rehearsing by reading the script. At a certain point they had a pause, and they were offered sandwiches. Usually they'd have sandwiches with either a coke, water, whatever, but the director being a Scot offered two bottles of whisky, which was unusual for an Italian.

He didn't like the costume, because it looked more like a pyjama at the beginning rather than the costume of an astronaut.

Sunday 11th September 2022

19:00
11am Los Angeles
2pm New York
7pm UK
Suzanne Heimer-Peterson
John Goldsmith
Jack McKenzie
Suzanne

That was taken in the wardrobe, where they keep all the costumes. It's a Polaroid. I thought last night, there's a picture of him (Justin) with the helmet on.

John Goldsmith

It's all due to Gerry Anderson. I started off as a novelist, and my first novel was so wildly successful I had to end up working for the publisher. I wanted to get into television, and I did various spec scripts. One of which was a period piece, which a friend of mine sent to Gerry Anderson. Who wasn't in the least bit interested in doing period pieces, but he liked the writing. So he summoned me to his great house down in the Thames valley. He was just starting a show called The Protectors. He said, look, I've got this show which may or may not happen. If it does happen I will need scripts immediately. Send me a story and if I like your story, then I'll commission the script. So I sent him a story which he liked, and Lew Grade green-lit the show, and it was a go.

I was living in a cottage in the country in those days. The phone rang, and it was Gerry. He was very laconic, slow, careful, took his time. I said, 'hello, Mr. Anderson', dying of fear, 'You got the script all right?' 'Yes'. Silence. I thought, oh God, this is awful. And I said, 'you read it?'. 'Yes'. Another long silence. I said 'What did you think?' Now a long silence. Then he said, 'Very few people in this country ever have a career as a screenwriter. I think you're one of them.' So he bought that script, and others for The Protectors. Then I left writing for a couple of years to go into business and earn a bit of money.

Then I came back to London, and wanted to get into television. I heard he was starting a new show called Space 1999. I wrote to him. No reply. I rang the production, and they said the person to write to is Freddy Freiberger, who was the script producer of the show. He was American. I sent him a story. 'Seed of Destruction'. Heard nothing. One day I got a panicky phone call from a secretary saying 'is that Mr Goldsmith, we've been trying to track you down. Freddy Freiberger wants to talk to you.' He came on the line, and said 'we want to commission the script'. So I wrote it. I went down to Pinewood, and there was Freddie, who was the first American producer I'd ever met. He was wonderful. I learnt so much. I did a rewrite. It wasn't a huge rewrite, but it was a very significant rewrite. Every script you write, you learn a new trick, a new angle, a new way of doing things. He was great.

In those days, humble writers like me didn't meet anybody. You sent your script in, they shot it, and that was that. I never met Kevin Connor who directed it. I did hear, I had a friend on the production, who told me, 'you know, you've driven them all mad, don't you? They're all going crazy, they're tearing their hair out.' I said why? He said, 'well, it's that bloody hall of mirrors you wrote'. I said 'it's critical to the plot, it's all about images and mirrors and reflections and so on'. 'Yeah, we all know that, but did you ever consider how they were going to shoot it?' I thought, no. The problem was, wherever you put the camera, you could see it in the mirror. It took them hours to work out how to shoot that scene.

I love sci-fi, I love sci-fi concepts. You can say so much about today, philosophically, poetically in science fiction, which wouldn't be acceptable in normal drama.

Jack McKenzie

On the 23rd June 1972 I boarded the plane at Edinburgh Airport for London and never looked back. I went to Waldorf Street to this address, and I sat down. The door opened and a woman walked in and said 'I'm looking for a beery face for a Guinness commercial. You'll do.' I'd just walked into the city, it was wonderful. Then I got this lovely old agent called Max Kester. Max was the original imperial broadcasting service, with a moustache. He said 'There's a job at Pinewood Studios, if you're interested. It's £50 for the day.' I wasn't earning £50 a month as a police officer.

I went to Pinewood, Studios and met the casting director, Michael Barnes, and his very attractive assistant sitting beside him. She's now sitting beside me today, Rosemary [Palmer]. We met in 1974, and lost touch for 21 years, and met again and we've been together for 25 years. The casting director said it's a new space project called Space 1999. In walked the costume designer, 'come on, get your costume, measure you up. Can you start right away?' I started right away, and walked on the set. I'm surrounded by these stars, Martin Landau, Barbara Bain. They said 'can you come back tomorrow and do another one?' Cut a long story short, the first episode took months, that's from January to May. I was still there in May. One of the assistant directors said 'weren't you supposed to leave us on the 6th of January' I said, 'well, they keep asking me back'.

They kept me on, I became a technician, I walked in slow motion across the surface of the moon in an orange spacesuit. One episode I had to slide a chromium diode into the capsule (actually withdraw the "converter" tube from the power station, Earthbound). I thought I don't want to make a mess of this, I'd better get it right. So while everybody was at lunch, I went on to the set, and pushed this thing in. I didn't notice the door coming down, crash, and I hit it. So I fled to my dressing room, and I heard this voice saying 'bloody hell, somebody's broken the bloody diode. We'll have to postpone another couple of days, can you stay another couple of days?' Oh, yes I can.

There was one where I was in a card-playing scene (Black Sun). I think we all look very cold. I think I was 'I raise you a hundred, Smitty'. For several days I walked in slow motion across the surface of the moon in an orange spacesuit (Ring Around The Moon; he was possibly a stand-in as he isn't part of the on-screen rescue party).

20:00
12pm Los Angeles
3pm New York
8pm UK
Prentis Hancock
Brian Johnson
Robert J. Sawyer, science fiction writer
Prentis Hancock

In the first series, about two thirds of the way through. Nick [Tate] and I were invited to Gerry Anderson's office. He talked about this Space episode that would be done on a planet that was all water. He could shoot from a helicopter about 10 minutes at a time. Could we handle it all? Nick and I said of course we can. There was some talk, some hints, that there would be a spin-off series, maybe, just the two of us. So that was in series one.

In Black Sun I realised there was very much a star thing going on. There was a scene with the lead and Barry Morse. At one point they talk very nicely about me, saying I'm a good guy, but cheerio. I walked out the scene. I knew then that that was going to be the series for me. Supporting actor, as it should be. I had a word with Gerry, I told him I wanted to do more. I think Last Sunset came out of that.

21:00
1pm Los Angeles
4pm New York
9pm UK
Mateo Latosa (Powys)
John Kenneth Muir
Kevin Connor
Kevin Connor

I only did two of them, but Keith Wilson, who was the production designer, he's done about 10 of my movies after that. We became great friends.

I was brought up at Pinewood Studios. That was my training ground from back in 1954, when I first went there in the cutting rooms and worked my way up the ladder. Sound editor, editor and so on. And then got a break directing with Amicus Films. There used to be a fantastic restaurant, you could meet actors and directors and producers. That's how I got to meet Gerry, because you intermingle. I got a call from Gerry because I was in the studio at the time on something else. I knew about them because they were on those two stages way on the other side of the lot. I didn't visit it very often, but I went there and they showed me a couple of the shows and Gerry gave me the script. It was great, just the way the team were working, and obviously they were way ahead on the scripts. Keith and his team came up with all these ideas, I was quite amazed how fast they had to work. Everybody knows why they're there and what they're there to do. So that makes life easy for a visiting director. It all went very smoothly. I worked with Landau on several films later on, he was a neighbour of mine over here. He was separated from Barbara Bain by then.

The other one, the mirrors, that was complicated. It all worked out, everything was on hand and everybody was so keen on the show, and enthusiastic and that's the great thing about movie sets, the enthusiasm about the subject matter. Gerry was one of the greatest producers I ever worked with. Just on a personal level, apart from anything else, he was really kind and helpful. It all went like clockwork, beautifully laid out.

22:00
2pm Los Angeles
5pm New York
10pm UK
Celebrity Round-table
Eston Dunn
Chris Thompson
23:00
3pm Los Angeles
6pm New York
11pm UK
Barbara Bain
Barbara's comments

{Of Helena's backstory). I decided that her father had cured cancer. So she had a really high standard to live up to. She had to be really good at what she did. Most women have to be when they're competing, in any workforce, even today. It was never mentioned, but I made that up.

Rudi...was a friend. That just worked out well for Sylvia who knew of his reputation. She had said to me the only American designer I would consider using is Rudi Gernreich. I said he's a very close friend. He was retired by then, but he was interested. He did them from here (L.A.) which was also interesting. I'm not sure if they were made here or made there, actually. They were designed here. They were also made by Gernreich's studio in Los Angeles and shipped to London, although later costumes may have been made at Pinewood. Having that zipper on the sleeve in a cold dressing room. We used to put it on the radiator for a few minutes, so it wouldn't be so cold. Ice cold metal on your arm at 6 o'clock in the morning in London. Rudi was a fabulous person, I still miss him.

00:00
4pm Los Angeles
7pm New York
12am UK
Nick Tate
01:00
5pm Los Angeles
8pm New York
1am UK
Videos with Andrew Novinc, Fanderson, Bill Altenburg