The Catacombs Catacombs Reference Library
The Moon Is A Harsh Spaceship

The Moon Is A Harsh Spaceship

Science Fiction Review 15 cover

SCIENCE FICTION REVIEW Number 15 (Nov 1975) p17
Richard Geis (1927-2013) began publishing the fanzine The Alien Critic in 1973; the title Science Fiction Review arrived in 1975; it was published until 1986. Mostly written by Geis, this popular fanzine featured author interviews and commentary, and won awards, including Hugo Best Fanzine for 1974, 1975, 1977 and 1979. This issue alone has letters from Robert Silverberg, Kurt Vonnegut Jr, Philip Jose Farmer and Jerry Pournelle.

A Review of SPACE: 1999


They always seem to make the same technical mistakes, don't they? Like the roaring of rockets and explosions in the vacuum of space... For dramatic effect, I guess. Unless it is assumed the 'sound is taken from the inside of the spaceship. (Except that the POV is from the outside...)

And that fishy radiation sickness that produced almost instant (but dramatic!) insanity and a giant tumour in the brain and a dull right eye. Curious that they couldn't detect the radiation before people died and the whole damn radiation waste dump(s) heated up (no explanation as to why!) and went to critical mass or something.

And the blithe way they move the moon out of orbit and up to incredible speed (the Earth is seen visibly dwindling in the distance!) by means of what seems to be at most fifteen or twenty minutes of radioactive waste dump explosions. The moon would have to be made of foam rubber for that to happen.

I'll forgive the way the actors walk at normal Earth weight inside the moon base, but do accurate semi-float when outside on the surface in spacesuits. Expense, technical problems...

Ah, well, who cares? The moon is on its way to a rendezvous with a strange, inhabited planet a few light years away (but it won't take them but a few episodes to get there, mark my cynical words) with its involuntary colony of scientists.

Martin Landau looked older than I remembered him in Mission Impossible, and his acting in this new series is very broad. Barbara Bain played the doctor like a robot, with glacial emotion. And Barry Morse reminded me - forgive me - of Dr. Zarkov of Flash Gordon.

SPACE: 1999 plays here at 6 P.M. on Sunday.

It has excellent sets and good special effects - I especially liked Rudy Gernreich's uniforms, with the coloured sleeves denoting rank and specialty.

Summing up: Lousy, contemptuous scripts. Juvenile TV, sf that would not be publishable in a magazine or book.