September 13th, 1999. Not a particularly significant date for most people. Unless you were one of the inhabitants of Moonbase Alpha, a scientific research station on Earth's moon. On that date, Alpha's fate was apparently sealed when an accumulation of nuclear waste that was being stored on the moon exploded through irradiation, sending the moon out of orbit and into the far reaches of space. A terrible accident to be sure, but also the fascinating setup for Gerry and Sylvia Anderson's 1975 British television show, Space: 1999.
After success with “Supermarionation” shows such as Thunderbirds, Stingray, and Captain Scarlet, the Andersons began working with actors and produced UFO, which was about secretly defending the Earth from alien life forms. The show only made it through one season and was canceled during pre-production on its second. But this material, which was to be set mainly on a base on the moon, was transformed into Space: 1999.
The inspiration for the visual design of the show was straight from Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) and began with a certain cerebral tone. While everyone on Moonbase Alpha…
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