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A&E Home Video presents
Space: 1999—Set 6, Vol. 11&12 (1975)

Koenig: The war was global and awful. It was finally the war to end all wars, because the survivors realized that if there was another one, it would be the end of humanity.
Maya: You mean people killed people just because they were different from each other? That's disgusting!

- Martin Landau, Catherine Schell

Review By: Jeff Ulmer   
Published: May 17, 2002

Stars: Barbara Bain, Martin Landau, Catherine Schell, Nick Tate
Other Stars: Tony Anholt, Zenia Merton, Yasuko Nagazumi, John Standing, Michael Gallagher, Bernard Cribbins, Guy Rolfe, James Laurenson, Pamela Stephenson, Ina Skriver, Sarah Douglas
Director: Charles Crichton, Kevin Conner, Val Guest, Robert Lynn

Manufacturer: IFPI
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (violence, implied nudity)
Run Time: 05h:06m:41s
Release Date: February 26, 2002
UPC: 733961704068
Genre: television


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B+ B-A-B+ C+

DVD Review

"What does a computer know about beer anyway?" - Tony

Set six of Space: 1999 brings us to the halfway point of the show's second season. Among the shakeups that occurred between seasons was bringing Fred Freibergher onboard as producer and script editor, who some blame for running the original Star Trek series off the air. With the departure of some of the key crew from the first series, a shift was made to more action/adventure-based storylines, all but eliminating the search for a new home planet. Helena's log is also introduced, which bears a pretty striking resemblance to that of Captain Kirk.

While the first several episodes did a good job adopting the new format, some of those in this set fare a lot worse, especially as some belt tightening meant doing split shoots, which divide the principles between episodes, like on The Rules of Luton, with its cheesy alien adversaries, and The Mark of Archanon, where Koenig and Maya are missing on reconnaissance. Maya's addition did add a lot in the way of sex appeal, but it also allowed the script writers to wander into some pretty questionable territory, especially when she transforms into really goofy aliens herself, such as the chlorine-breathing creature seen in AB Chrysalis. The chemistry between the players did get better as the series progressed, allowing a little more personality to show through in the sterile atmosphere of Moonbase Alpha and the costume designs got a facelift.

Despite a few weak installments, the show does provide pretty solid entertainment value, and for sci-fi fans, the models, set designs, and special effects are still of interest. A&E's restoration of this second season also increases its watchability, allowing a better appreciation of the production details that gave the show its character.

"We better not get hungry before this is over." - Commander John Koenig

Koenig (Martin Landau) and Maya (Catherine Schell) find themselves in a battle for their lives when they break The Rules of Luton, on a world ruled by plants. While exploring an M class planet, they inadvertently upset its inhabitants and are branded criminals, and their only chance of redemption is a trial by combat against three monstrous opponents. During a break in the conflict Maya and John both relate some of their respective back stories and the histories of their planets. While the character development explains a few things, the cheese factor here is pretty high, and the plot is one of the least interesting in the series. This script, penned by producer Freibergher as Charles Woodgrove, also asserts that Maya can only remain transformed for one hour and can't directly transform between creatures, which breaks continuity with other episodes.

2.5 moons out of 5.



"There is no help for me. Soon there will be no help for you." - Pasc



While exploring the catacombs beneath the moon's surface for minerals, Carter discovers a pair of aliens locked in a stasis chamber. Pasc (John Standing) and his son Etrec (Michael Gallagher) are members of a race renowned for their peaceful nature, but a plague that inspires the desire to kill over ran their people, and the pair were entombed after trying to quell the destructive behavior. With Koenig and Maya away on recon, it is up to Tony (Tony Anholt), Helena (Barbara Bains) and Alan to uncover the truth about those who bear The Mark of Archanon.

4 moons out of 5.





"I've got a bad feeling about that machine." - Maya

While the computer is analyzing the data logs it detects that the moon has made a change of direction, indicating a possible collision course with another heavenly body. As preparations are made for evacuation, a strange spacecraft appears on the screens, which turns out to be from an earlier deep space Earth mission. When permission is granted for it to land, the Alphans discover its sole occupant is a mobile computer—one with attitude—but is Brian the Brain their friend or foe?

4 moons out of 5.





"It is as though a strange presence is taking control." - Helena

A herald of trumpets and a kaleidoscope of colored lights announces the arrival of a being claiming to be God. The life support systems on Alpha cease to function, except those wished for by the being. His display seems omnipotent, and his bidding is for select crew to accompany him to the nearby planet, a lush and inviting world perfect for human existence. He chooses John, Helena, Tony and Maya to make the trip, but what they find when they land is not as idyllic as it was made to seem. If this being really is The One, do his plans include making a New Adam, New Eve?

3.5 moons out of 5.





"There is no way to take evasive action." - Helena

The moon is being hammered by the shockwaves from a series of explosions, each increasing in intensity, but their regularity suggests they are controlled by some form of intelligence.The Alphans discover a planet ringed by moons that must be the source, and Koenig, Maya and Carter head out to find out if they can stop them. They find a mechanical guardianship who are protecting their sentient lifeforms while they regenerate in stasis. With the next explosion capable of destroying the moonbase, Koenig has to try to reason with The AB Chrysalis before it's too late. Follow the bouncing ball.

4 moons out of 5.





"What you are can never be destroyed." - Pat Osgood

A woman lies in sick bay, with only an artificial heart transplant able to save her. Meanwhile, her husband Patrick (James Laurenson) explores the Catacombs of the Moon searching for the vital mineral, terranium, where he experiences a vision of his wife and Alpha engulfed in a conflagration. Ironically, Alpha begins to feel a sudden and inexplicable increase in temperature. Could Patrick's visions be the fate of Alpha?

4 moons.



Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: B-

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: Image quality continues to be excellent on this second disc of season two. Grain is naturally rendered, colors are clean and well defined, contrast levels are perfect. There is a minor amount of aliasing, but none of the major problems found in season one. This looks great!

Image Transfer Grade: A-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoEnglishno


Audio Transfer Review: Audio continues to be strong, with a full-bodied frequency response, and no real technical deficiencies apart from a minor amount of edginess in a few places. Dialogue is easily discernable, and all the little ship noises are clear and audible.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+

 

Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 6 cues and remote access
11 TV Spots/Teasers
1 Featurette(s)
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
2 Discs
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. Photo gallery
Extras Review: Each disc contains a photo gallery with stills from the episodes plus a few publicity shots, which again look better than their first season counterparts.

Set number six is housed in a dark burgundy box, with the individual cases featuring identical artwork. A synopsis for each episode is on the back of both cases and a single-sided ad for other A&E box sets is the insert.

Six more TV promos are included, hosted by Martin Landau and Barbara Bains. Volume 11 contains five 10-second "coming next week" introductions from Landau, Bain, Catherine Schell, Nick Tate and Tony Anholt (whose name is misspelled). Volume 12 includes a 02m:59s behind-the-scenes featurette showcasing the special effects of the show, plus a rare glimpse at filming the Eagles.

Extras Grade: C+

 

Final Comments

While containing a couple of lesser installments, set 6 of Space: 1999 provides a great presentation of another six episodes from the series, with a nice collection of add-ons. The special effects and model work make up for some lackluster monsters. I'm looking forward to the final two sets.

 


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