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Barbara Bain in 1999

TV Ekxpres, 29 Jan-4 Feb 1977. This weekly Belgian magazine focused on TV news in Dutch. It was founded in 1969, was renamed TV Express in 1997, and discontinued in 2001.

Space:1999 was shown on Wednesdays from 5th January 1977 on Dutch-language BRT 1 in Belgium. This article appeared as the 5th episode was to be shown. There are 2 photos from War Games, which would not be shown until March 1977.


Indien we de rol van Barbara Bain in "1999" vergelijken met haar prestaties in "Mission Impossible" dan vait onmiddellijk een punt van overeenkomst op: haar charme.

The desirable widow

If we compare Barbara Bain's role in "1999" with her performance in "Mission Impossible", one point of similarity immediately emerges: her charm.

Caption: Barbara Bain as Dr Helena Russell. Nothing human is alien to her...

Mission Impossible was a very strong series that also kept a lot of viewers on Saturday evening watching. Barbara Bain played the role of Cinnamon Carter, the helper in the IMF team. While tough spies did the mole work, she cleverly kept the enemy on the ropes with her feminine charm. It may not all be in line with the principles of the emancipated woman, but it was nice

That series brought Barbara and her husband, Martin Landau, who played the role of Rollin Hand in the same serial, a mountain of awards and an even larger bank account. After eighty episodes, Barbara and Martin clashed with the production company and broke their contract. It was quiet for a while around the Landau-Bain couple. Martin was still seen sporadically in guest appearances and Barbara practically kept aloof. Not a bad policy really. They let their Mission image wear off before committing to another big assignment. That would be 1999- when they whiz through time and space with lunar base Alpha.


Just like in Mission Impossible, Barbara and Martin also separated from each other in 1999. He's Commander Koenig, one of the few men who has the last word. She's Dr. Helena Russell, Chief of Medical Services. A pretty woman you'd be happy to fall ill with. She's a widow. Her husband, also a doctor, was killed in an accident in space. Since then, Dr. Helena Russell has locked herself into her scientific work. She is somewhat stubborn and does not seek contact with anyone and lives a withdrawn life. She does have some sympathy for Commander Koenig, but whether it will be the great love between the two remains a question mark.

Fortunately, Barbara Bain has a lot in common with Helena Russell's character. She is chatty and regularly cracks jokes on the set. Preferably, she takes her husband for granted. There was the scene in which she had to get on the mattress with Koenig.

According to the script, the commander had to leave the scene quickly and resolutely. No one had seen Barbara lock the door just before the recording. Commander Koenig cut a crazy figure when he stood desperately rattling at the door.

The interview was conducted in 1976, so this could well be a year 2 episode- perhaps Taybor when Helena is under the influence of Taybor's perfume. Moonbase doors slide open, so Barbara couldn't have locked it, but perhaps the stage-hand didn't open it when he should have.

"I've been playing jokes since I was born," Barbara laughs. "I was so early that my mother couldn't even make it to the hospital and gave birth to me in a taxi. That happened on Friday the thirteenth of all days."

Hate at first sight

The date did not bring accidents. Barbara had an easy childhood, studied well and earned a degree in sociology without difficulty. Still, she wanted to go to a dance school. She left Chicago for New York. To pay for her studies, she was a model during the day. With success, by the way.

From ballet school to drama academy was only one step. There she met Martin Landau. He taught there a few hours a week. It certainly wasn't love at first sight

Martin: I thought, there you have another frolicking cat with a sweet face, but with a great emptiness inside her head. I well remember that I deliberately treated her contemptuously during those first days. Just as a test. Well, it turned out differently. She fought back like a tiger. With the hair straight and all the nails stuck out.

Barbara: "Between us it was more like hate at first sight. I had never met such an arrogant type. I'd teach him a lesson."

After a week, teacher and student put their differences over a romantic dinner. In the autumn they tied the knot in front of the New York City Registrar. Ten days later they did it all over again for the altar. Martin then had a contract with a travelling stage company which he could not escape. Fortunately, he was able to get a bit part for his wife in the same play at the very last minute. It immediately became their honeymoon.

If you want to achieve something in film or television, you have to go to Hollywood. Martin and Barbara started out very humble. He focused all his attention on film work, she opted from the start for television.

Barbara: In the beginning we deliberately kept our careers separate. It is not good for a young married couple to spend too much time with each other. You still have to be able to desire each other. Only once did we let ourselves be tempted to perform together in the same production. The Greatest Show on Earth was a complete failure.


The contract for Mission Impossible was so enticing that they overruled all their objections. Now they are glad they did.

Barbara: "It was an engaging series. In each episode you had to do a number of characters. That is a challenge for an actor. It is also tiring. It requires enormous powers of concentration. Then it is nice to have a man who knows how to help you dear. Martin and I tested our roles for Mission facing each other."

"Our living room often looked more like a movie set than a living room. We moved the furniture aside to get some space, crawled behind cupboards, put wires under the carpet, etc. The children liked it and played along. Sometimes they gave us useful tips or pointed out mistakes we made. There's no match for a child's logic"

Barbara and Martin have two lovely daughters. Suzie is fifteen and Julie has just turned eleven. "I would have liked to do a little more with their upbringing myself," says Barbara. "But when you are away from home so often you can only remain controlling in the background. No, I am not a strict mother. For those few hours that I am at home I want to get to know my children. Educators will find it radically wrong, but they are my children."

After a period of inactivity, Barbara was happy with her contract for 1999. Although she is not personally a fan of science fiction, the conditions at Moon Base Alpha appeal to her.

"Often people use the name science fiction to organize a costume party", she says. "That's not the case in 1999. Real people live on Alpha, with everything that is human. And the clothes! Well, I would like to live in those days..."