The Catacombs Catacombs Reference Library
TV Sci-Fi Monthly

Issue 1

Alien spacecraft on visual scan, captain!

There's a small Eagle on the cover, and on the first inside page an article introducing Brian Johnson. It has one big inaccuracy: Brian Johnson didn't work on UFO.

Undoubtedly, the greatest single reason for the overwhelming success amongst viewers of Space:1999, is the show's stunning special effects. And nowhere is this shown more clearly than in the construction and development of Moonbase Alpha's fleet of Eagle spacecraft.

The eagle fleet is the end result of a perfect partnership between producer Gerry Anderson and special effects director Brian Johnson. For years these two men have worked together on British television, creating the most incredible special and technical effects ever capture on film.

Their first series together - the animated puppet sci-fi programme Thunderbirds - was an enormous success, largely because audiences could barely believe they were watching puppets and models rather than live action.

This search for perfect realism was carried over into the British live-action sci-fi series U.F.O., which produced the most realistic spacecraft ever seen outside NASA.

From U.F.O., Brian went on to produce the fantastic and incredibly detailed special effects for Stanley Kubrick's classic 2001, A Space Odyssey. When Gerry Anderson began planning Space:1999, his choice of effects director was easy. Now Brian controls the activity at England's Bray studio, designing and constructing sets and effects for the moon's surface. Moonbase Alpha and the Eagles and a host of alien spacecraft, while Gerry Anderson oversees the live action at the nearby Pinewood studio.

The only game in the magazine was this simple maze.

Space: 1999 Scores Second Series

After scoring spectacular ratings in a dozen countries around the globe - in the U.S.A. alone it was picked up by no less than 130 TV stations - Space: 1999 has begun shooting a second series of 24 programmes at its British studios. And this time around there will be some important changes

The most drastic difference will be the introduction of an alien as a permanent member of Moon Base Alpha. "So far all the mail has been great - not one criticism," producer GERRY ANDERSON told TV Sci-Fi in an exclusive interview. "However, 60% are for including an alien in the crew. I suppose we will be accused of copying Star Trek, but ..."

At this moment, details of the alien are still top secret. However, it is known that he (or she . . . or it!) will be notably different physically to humans.

Other faults to be ironed out in the new series will be the rather humourless nature of the leading start. By projecting reality into the year 1999, the production team captured the feeling of a rather sterile plastic- and-steel existence, which indeed will probably be what life is like in the future.

However, Anderson feels it was a mistake to reflect this feel in the actions of the Moon Base crew. "This time we are going to make the people more real in today's terms and hope viewers identify with them," he told us.

Which means that we may all soon be watching the galaxy's first laughing alien!

If The Moon Should Go.../ The Aliens Of Space 1999

A factual article about the influence of the Moon, and the issue of radioactive waste. It refers to "Captain Koenig", but the science is good. Opposite is a colour photo feature on the series aliens. At the time, several of these episodes hadn't been shown on television.

It is generally agreed by today's scientific fraternity that, by the law of averages, space must be teeming with life-supporting planets. It was this fact that prompted Gene Roddenberry to produce Star Trek. Now, Space: 1999 has taken on where Star Trek left off. Almost every week Moonbase Alpha plays host to a variety of alien life forms as wide as it is weird. Here we present just a small selection of Space: 1999's galactic guests ...

Full Page; Isla Blair as the Female Alien from the episode 'War Games'. Together with her mate she warps time for Commander Koenig and his crew, 'destroys' Moonbase Alpha, and gives the lunar castaways an unforgettable lesson in the perils of fear.

Bottom Left: A dying Koenig is sucked from Moonbase Alpha on to an incredibly beautiful world - Zenno - by Raan (Peter Cushing) a striking but gentle alien. Raan, who is 508 years old, is an anthropologist who wishes to keep Koenig and learn about Earth from him first-hand. Vana, Raan's beautiful daughter, falls in love with Koenig, thereby providing his escape route.

Top Left: Another inhabitant of Zenno.

Right: Not an alien. but the effects of an alien. In 'Death's Other Dominion' , Koenig and crew are seduced onto Ultima Thule by a human voice promising a "lost paradise". Instead they are faced with a hostile planet deep in snow and ice.