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SPACE: 1999 Season 2 Coming To Blu-Ray!


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#1 of 98 OFFLINE   SWFF

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Posted January 26 2011 - 04:13 AM

DIGITAL BITS: Now then... I've confirmed with sources associated with A&E that the company will be releasing Space: 1999 - Season Two on Blu-ray Disc on 10/18 (prebook is 9/20). Official details will follow in the coming months, but if you're a fan and you loved Season One on Blu-ray, rest assured Season Two is on the way. 

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________


UPDATE: DIGITAL BITS: Now then... I've confirmed with sources that A&E, Network (etc) are hard at work on a Blu-ray release of Space: 1999 - Season Two. Much work remains, but the hope is that you might see it on store shelves by the end of the year. Rest assured, we'll post updates and official details as we get them in the months ahead. Bottom line: If you're a fan of the series and you loved Season One on Blu-ray, the good news is that Season Two is moving forward. [Editor's Note: We removed the street date we posted last night, as it's apparently very tentative and still subject to change. The text has been updated to reflect the situation more accurately.] 

 
 



#2 of 98 OFFLINE   ReggieW

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Posted January 26 2011 - 04:29 AM

I knew it.


All of this guff circulating that there would not be no season two was hot air (I have no idea how the story originated, but I never believed it). I knew that if year one sold successfully (it ended up in the top 10 at amazon a few times), that we would most certainly see year two.


No company wants to leave money on the table.


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#3 of 98 OFFLINE   MBrousseau

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Posted January 26 2011 - 08:37 AM

Oh! My goodness!  I can't believe it!  I'm so happy, I could just scream!  Thanks for this good news. I'm almost finished with the blu-ray set of Season 1.  Posted ImageI can't wait...


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#4 of 98 OFFLINE   Kevin EK

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Posted January 26 2011 - 09:40 AM

I wonder about the extras for this set, if there will be any.  Network DVD originally planned to release a Series Two SE back in 2007 but did not do so - they may have some materials in the vault that could be applied here.  I have the Fanderson documentary, which both includes an archival featurette about how happy everybody was filming Series Two and more recent interviews from the 1990s, wherein Gerry Anderson and Martin Landau are much more candid about how things really went.


I was actually just watching a late Series Two episode, "Dorzak" a few nights ago - it doesn't have any monsters in it, but it pretty much epitomizes how the second year went...



#5 of 98 OFFLINE   SWFF

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Posted January 26 2011 - 10:05 AM

This season is only significant for me because of the two-part "Bringers Of Wonder." The best story arc of that whole season. And, whatever extras they put on it, namely any interviews, then and now. Love to see a new interview with Catherine Schell. I was hot for her Maya character back in the day. Anyhow, I assume it'll be just as loaded as Season One is. I assume this is also getting released in the U.K., which also means they'll probably have the better cover art.



#6 of 98 OFFLINE   MBrousseau

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Posted January 26 2011 - 11:33 AM

"Bringers of Wonder" is THE famous episode of season 2. It's my favorite too. Many years ago when A&E were selling episodes by 2 volume sets, I bought the one that  contained that two-parter episode first.


I hope the blu-ray extras include a texless opening title of season 2, just like they did for season 1. It's so cool!


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#7 of 98 OFFLINE   RickER

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Posted January 26 2011 - 11:52 AM

My favorite season 2 episode The Rules of Luton!....i kid....i liked Journey to Where. A very solid time travel episode, and it has Freddy Jones!


As bad as season 2 can be...i have to own it, day 1!



#8 of 98 ONLINE   JoshuaB.

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Posted January 26 2011 - 12:24 PM

Yes, there was a lot of talk about how Season Two would never be released on blu-ray, but since the first blu-ray set sold well, it really isn't a shock A&E and Network are teaming up again. I know a lot of 1999 fans are divided on the two very different seasons, but each has their own charm: I like the overall weirdness of S1 (despite the wooden acting and nonsensical plots--drinking games are fun when watching individual episodes), but the action-oriented S2 is fun to watch, as long as one doesn't think too critically about talking trees, killer rocks and naked chlorine aliens (what kinds of wonderful drugs do British TV writers ingest/smoke?). I will likely continue to play drinking games when S2 is released on blu-ray! ;)



#9 of 98 OFFLINE   SWFF

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Posted January 26 2011 - 12:25 PM

I just came up with a better poll question, and I wish I had occurred to me, then. I had heard Martin Landau wasn't the first choice to play John Koenig, they wanted Robert Culp, and the question would have been, "Would Robert Culp have made a better John Koenig?" Damn, that's an excellent poll question. Personally, that's a tough one to answer, since I think they're both excellent actors.


Found this bit of trivia on IMDB.com. Actually, there was a lot of interesting trivia, but this one was the one that struck me the most interesting: A third season of 13 episodes was planned, with production set to start in the autumn of 1977, however low sales of the series in America forced a last-minute cancellation.
 



#10 of 98 ONLINE   JoshuaB.

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Posted January 26 2011 - 12:43 PM

Martin Landau is an excellent character actor, but not a very convincing leading man. On Space: 1999 he's deadly serious and prone to unexpected shouting (this is one of my favourite 1999 drinking games, taking a shot whenever Koenig barks in an episode). When the S2 writers tried to develop Cmdr. Koenig somewhat, injecting awkward doses of humour, Landau is still quite stiff and his acting is unintentionally funny (especially in "Bringers of Wonder"). Some of the blame is in the writing: there's a lack of character development in S1 and really the only actor who can wing it is Barry Morse. Robert Culp is also a very good actor and can do comedy much better than Landau, but it's hard to say if he could add warmth to a cold, lifeless character (although ANY actress could have been better than the cadaverous Barbara Bain).



#11 of 98 OFFLINE   Kevin L McCorry

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Posted January 26 2011 - 02:01 PM

Where is it said that A&E and Network are teaming up to release Season 2? For all we know, it's A&E going it alone, upconverting the existing DVD transfers to BD. With the extras, including "Message From Moonbase Alpha", interviews, etc. ported over.


It wasn't guff about there not being a release. Network categorically said there were no plans. And there still hasn't been an HD remaster done. And judging from the usual mud-slinging level of discourse evidenced in this thread alone, why would it make business sense to release Season 2?


FWIW, I always bought Landau as Koenig (he was my childhood hero; well, one of them), and I think seeing Season 2 first was what made his Koenig appeal to me. The intensity and gravitas that he has when Alpha and his landing parties are in danger. His compassionate words of welcome to Maya. His tenderness with Helena to whom he shows his lighter side. His memories of his dead family and his dead wife. His feelings of guilt at leaving two friends to die. His insecurity at losing his command. I can appreciate him in Season 1, too. But I may have needed him in Season 2 to make that possible. Of course, I know now what a Diva Landau was, but that doesn't diminish his portrayal of Koenig.


Imaginative concepts like intelligent plants and rocks are used in other SF opuses, as are monsters and mad robots. Space used them too with its own themes of Gaia (i.e. planets coded as living entities), etc.. But I'm sick to death of arguing this stuff. We got our precious Year 1. Why can't some graciousness be shown toward Season 2's release, whatever form it may take?


And I'll believe Network's involvement when I see it.


#12 of 98 OFFLINE   SWFF

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Posted January 26 2011 - 02:28 PM

I didn't have any problem with Landau or Bain being their characters, and I certainly didn't see any "bad acting" on either of their parts. Still would be interesting to see how Culp would have played the part. Wish he had gotten to do a screen test, then I could have judged better. Odd how A&E is putting out the blu-ray, but no mention of Network putting out a U.K. counterpart. Maybe, we don't know all the details yet on that part of the release. Don't know much on anything else either, now that I think about it.



#13 of 98 ONLINE   JoshuaB.

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Posted January 26 2011 - 02:46 PM

From the Digital Bits: "Now then... I've confirmed with sources that A&E, Network (etc) are hard at work on a Blu-ray release of Space: 1999 - Season Two. Much work remains, but the hope is that you might see it on store shelves by the end of the year."


And as for people here making fun of S2, I think most of us already mentioned we'd buy S2 on blu-ray. I am by no means  a sci-fi aficionado, but I do have legitimate nostalgic affection for both seasons of Space: 1999 (watching the bundled episodes as movies on late-night Edmonton TV in the late 80s, YTV broadcasts in the 90s). Perhaps it's my non-sci-fi leanings (or the show's preposterous premise) that makes it difficult for me to take the series seriously, but I still enjoy it. A recent review of the series on blu-ray sums up Space: 1999's flaws (at least in S1): http://www.avclub.co...t-season,50258/


And despite my criticism of Martin Landau's acting in Space: 1999, I've always liked him in Mission: Impossible and films like Tucker, Crimes and Misdemeanors and Ed Wood.



#14 of 98 OFFLINE   Kevin EK

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Posted January 26 2011 - 06:48 PM

Kevin, I think I'm the one that started the speculation re Network.  My only reason has to do with Network being the source of the transfers and the fine extras for the Series One set released by A&E last month.   I believe that Network may well have continued the interviews they did for Series One into Series Two matters, with the latter portion left unreleased to date.  If they did not, the Fanderson documentary certainly covers it...



#15 of 98 OFFLINE   Kevin L McCorry

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Posted January 26 2011 - 11:50 PM

What people don't seem to grasp is that if you make fun of Season 2, you're making fun of people who do not only like it but to whom is was and still is the foundation of interest in the series as a whole and the space sci-fi/fantasy genre. It shows a lack of respect. It's like teasing in the schoolyard.


I don't care for the tone of that review of Season 1 either, frankly. There's so much subjectivity when it comes to assessments of science fiction that nobody should be allowed to get off saying that something is objectively bad based only on concept and style alone. Production values, yes. Certain acting techniques, or lack thereof, yes. Season 2 was shot much faster and with less money, and it shows. But the production values are still better than the really egregious examples of unimaginative and shoddy SFTV work like certain later Tomorrow People serials, Galactica 1980, and, though it did have many interesting concepts, Lost in Space (although my aversion to that is more due to the lack of reverence given the material). I'd say that with regard to bold SF speculation, planetary depiction, production design, and SFX, it still beats the original Battlestar Galactica, Buck Rogers (both seasons), Planet of the Apes, and virtually every SFTV opus made in the '70s. And that is a more objective assessment than to damn a show because the concepts in it don't appeal to a person's imagination or the style isn't deliberate and overtly philosophical enough.


And the Fanderson documentary on S2 is a horrible piece of work. Thoroughly disrespectful to fans of S2, even alleging they don't exist. A prolonged editorial against the entire season masquerading in the guise of objective and professional documentary work. And even using Freiberger as a straw man. The less we see of it, the better. Why market a product with something in it tearing it down relentlessly and utterly?


I would expeect a 5-disc set with no material different from what's there on DVD already. Would be satisfied with that, especially as I can see signs of rot on several of my A&E DVDs.


As to that Digital Bits' report, was that before or after the one setting a street date for the set? Hoping to have it available by end of the year is a sizeable departure from a projected October street date. And as we all know, Network did pull the plug on a DVD release in '07.




#16 of 98 OFFLINE   SWFF

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Posted January 27 2011 - 03:31 AM

I added that update on Digital Bits to the opening post. I don't think I was ever making fun of the season 2, I just personally find it inferior to season 1. To me, season one was more pure science fiction, where as season two is more like scifi/action. Aside from 'The Bringers Of Wonder" there are a handful I don't mind. But, I think, I'll eventually get this set. There are two blues I plan to get once I get my player this Christmas, the Gamera Double Feature from Mill Creek, and that's only because it's insanely cheap, and season one of SPACE: 1999. Unfortunaelty, SPACE is more expensive, which means, I'm gonna have to start saving up for it. I want these ywo titles available when the player arrives.


Actually, who was making fun of the series? I think these are just everybody's opinions, not mockery.


#17 of 98 OFFLINE   Kevin EK

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Posted January 27 2011 - 05:37 AM

Kevin, I just realized you were referring to the avclub review of Series One, and not the one I posted here.  I hope you've had some time to look it over - I tried to be thorough, although I realized later that I missed one Italian actress from the RAI deal who pops up in "Space Brain".


I've certainly made comments here about the quality of Series Two, including one quote from "The Bringers of Wonder" in another thread - but I acknowledge that Series One had plenty of bits of wild dialogue of its own.  We each have our own opinions, and I'm certainly not denigrating yours.


I brought up the Fanderson documentary as it may be the only material that exists that A&E could use.  It is entirely possible that the Network guys have more interview footage from 2005 - they may well have asked Gerry, Zienia and the writers about several Series Two episodes during the same session.  If so, there could be another "These Episodes" featurette that could be used.  But if there is nothing else, there is still the archival piece that Fanderson included from 1976 or 1977, and the materials they had in their documentary.  We should note that the opinions voiced in that documentary are those of Gerry Anderson and Martin Landau, who are very specific in their criticisms of Series Two.  It's not like the Fanderson guys edited their comments to skew them.  There is no mistaking Anderson's feeling about how the second year went down.   And if this were to be included (and I would want it there, for the sake of completion), it wouldn't be the first time such material was included either on a movie DVD or a TV series DVD.  For example, the 3rd Season set of Star Trek TOS is quite frank about what happened during that year, including the budget cuts, etc.  Didn't hurt the sales of Trek Season 3, and I wouldn't expect the inclusion of interview footage to hurt sales of 1999 Series Two.  You're probably right that A&E will just go with HD masters of the Series Two eps and call it a day.  Personally, I hope they'll do more than that.



#18 of 98 OFFLINE   Nelson Au

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Posted January 27 2011 - 07:52 AM

Wow, just saw this thread today. I'm really surprised. I had hoped it would happen! But didn't think it would.


I wonder if it was planned all long, but kept quiet to see how the Series One sales where. Does anyone know what the sales figures are?


It will be interesting to see the news that slips out whether this is a new remaster as was done with Series One or use the HD masters as you've discussed above.


Interesting comments above about Landau's acting. In rewatching 1999 Series One on Blu Ray, I had forgotten how he does tend to go off and shout.


And Journey to Where is one of my favorites too. Gotta love those cold English outdoor location shots!Posted Image



#19 of 98 OFFLINE   Kevin L McCorry

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Posted January 27 2011 - 08:14 AM

There is a light-year's difference between the tone of the Season 3 Star Trek documentary and the documentary on S2 of Space: 1999. The amount of hate being spat out is revolting. As far as Landau is concerned, he seems to be playing to the unvaryingly anti-S2 audience he thinks he has. When asked about Space in articles to be read by the general public, he doesn't single S2 out for a tongue-lashing but rather speaks highly of his co-stars and some of the directors. But I've lost a lot of respect for him as a person, anyway. And that was before Sylvia Anderson's revelations. Johnny Byrne (who I do think was excessively strident in his hatred for S2) did object to how the makers of the documentary edited his comments about Freiberger to sound damning and personal. The intent behind the documentary was to invalidate and crush S2 fandom, even getting Anderson to comment that S2 has no following at all. Quite a departure from what he said in Starlog back in the '70s when he said the higher proportion of letters he received seemed to prefer S2. That they didn't seek out Freiberger for a contemporary interview or interview some of the cast members who have good things to say about S2 or bother to point out that the S2 was popular with the general public in Canada but just freeze-framed Freiberger in 1976 speaking positively and then piled one unfavorable comment after another, shows what the intent was.

For some reason, the Landau and Bain interview portions of the S1 half of the documentary needed to be removed and the documentary cut up for the DVDs/BDs, and fortunately, the same would probably be true if the documentary were to be used for S2. But if there's not going to be anything good, fair, considerate, and balanced said, I'd just as soon see no extras at all. Just the episodes, "Message From Moonbase Alpha", trailers, and the vintage 1976 interviews.


#20 of 98 ONLINE   JoshuaB.

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Posted January 27 2011 - 08:40 AM

I never meant to ridicule anybody with my criticisms of S2. I think most of the people who have commented in this thread have stated that they would likely purchase S2 on blu-ray, extra features or not. Whichever 1999 season people like best is of course a matter of personal taste, but one should not take such perceived criticisms as a form of personal ridicule or attack. Whichever season you prefer, Space: 1999 obviously has a passionate fan following for its two wildly different seasons.






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