Well, you can insert your own time here readers. In the UK, I expect it was time for Crackerjack? But in Ireland, at one time, it either meant Battle of the Planets or the utterly mind-blasting: SPACE 1999


Complete first series on YouTube – here ^


I’ve actually recently been watching Space 1999 for the first time in over 3 decades! – thanks to Derek Tate for giving me a YouTube link >. It’s a show that – for it’s many faults – I loved. And I was very surprised to discover that it was first broadcast when I lived in Scotland in 1975. Which meant that I was into it when I was only 7 years old! Some of it must have scared the beejeekers out of me! I wonder if I understood half of it? And what about it being quite slow at times? Wasn’t I bored at the age of 7?


homemade Space 1999 comic cover

Front cover of one of the Space 1999 comics that I drew as a kid


When I came to Ireland in 1977, Star Wars hit – and went again; and it was a god-send to be able to watch re-runs of a show like this on telly, as a sort of methadone-replacement for the film that I was obsessed with. Like so many kids, I couldn’t go to see Star Wars again, unless it was re-released or made it to Irish Television. In those days it could take around 5 to 7 years!


Martin Landau in Space 1999

The series was blessed with the staggeringly good actor Martin Landau. Even as a small child, I appreciated and loved his performances. Seeing him over a decade later in Woody Allen‘s Crimes & Misdemeanors – meant so much to me!

A ‘Lost’ Series

Space 1999 was cancelled after it’s second series due to low ratings. And really, the changes made to the second series by higher powers damaged it beyond salvation. It’s another good example of the money-people meddling in creative matters which they should have left well alone. I can see its faults though. Series 1 was one of the most expensive ever made; its production design – inspired by 2001 – was incredibly good; as was the modelmaking; and some of the special effects were beyond anything TV audiences could have expected; some of the central actors were good to excellent. However, the scripts and plots often needed more work – as the performances by some other cast members. No amount of visual splendour and excitement could cover that. In their defence though, the writers had to cope with lots of meddling by the non-talent money people and the production schedule was insanely tight.


Reboot rumours…

What amazes me is that the series has barely been aired on British or Irish TV since it was cancelled in 1977! But it seems that there have been rumours of a reboot!


Watch it now!

If you want to start watching, I’d suggest watching episode 1: Breakaway. And if you’re not sure that you want to continue after that (are you mad?), jump straight to the Dragon’s Domain episode. Watching the latter, like me, you may just have one of those ‘ahhh…’ moments – and then an ‘aggghhh!!!’ moment – when you realise that you’ve just re-encountered a terrifying scene that you saw on TV as a kid – and forgot or only dimly recalled down through years.


Links: House of Geek!

Check out the aforementioned Derek Tate’s Facebook group: House of Geek ^ – to chat about and share all things geeky!


Links: Space 1999

This forgotten series is apparently alive and well! Here are a couple of good online resources that I’ve enjoyed this week:

** Stay Groovy, all you 1970s kids! **

– John White

↓ Transcript
(Purely Functional)
Jack is in his 1970s sitting room, in front of the electric fireplace, throwing shapes and poses with his wooden tennis racket, making wah-wah and squealy guitar sounds. What can he be up? Pretending to be a Glam Rock star?

"Wee-oo! Wee-oo! Wow-wow!

Just then, the door opens and his dad walks in - just at the most embarrassing moment! "Hiya Jack, how was school toda..?" Dad stops, mid question, looking at Jack and wondering what he's up to. Jack looks back silently at Dad, tennis raquet in hands. Dad, who thinks pop music is rubbish, looks back at Jack, only uttering an, "Er..."

In an attempt to save face, and further embarrassment, Jack improvises and makes some very unconvincing sweeping motions with the raquet - as if actually playing sport. Grinning. After a moment, Dad sticks his thumb up and says, "Good lad." Winks and leaves, clicking the door shut.

Jack throws himself to his knees, infront of the TV, even more dramatically this time, as if blazing a guitar solo. "Wee-oo! Wee-oo! Woo-woo! Waow... Wee-aow
Chicka-whacka! Wocka-wocka!"

At last, it's Friday - it's 5 o'clock!!! Jack thrusts his fists in the air as the main title sequence of SPACE: 1999 appears on the screen.


Space 1999 is Jack's favourite show of all time. Even more so than The Six Million Dollar Man, The Incredible Hulk, The Invisible Man, The Man from Atlantis, Planet of the Apes or even Valley of the Dinosaurs.