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Space:1999 Complete Series from SHOUT FACTORY!

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by ScottRE, Apr 11, 2019.

  1. AndyMcKinney

    AndyMcKinney Cinematographer

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    Two weeks were allotted for shooting the episodes (versus a 6 or 7 day shoot on Star Trek), so even without reshoots, overruns and the like, it would've taken 48 weeks just to shoot everything.

    Year One took even longer that that, though, because early on, Lee H. Katzin (who had been hired to be one of the main directors on the show) kept dragging his feet. He was very slow to get footage shot. The pilot took 23 days to shoot (almost twice as long as allotted) , and it was way overlong! They screened the pilot for ITC and everyone panicked. It was overlong and dull. Gerry Anderson had to go back, cut a bunch of stuff out (he had been a film editor at one time), then write new bridging sequences and take 3 more days to shoot new footage to make the episode come out at 50-ish minutes and still make sense. When the new version was shown, ITC basically said to Gerry, "you saved our bacon!"

    Anderson gave Katzin another chance (on "Black Sun"), but instead of the allotted two weeks, it took three-and-a-half weeks to shoot! After yet another overrun, they decided not to use him anymore.

    There was also a one-month break in June/July of 74, and a random week off here or there, but mostly, production kept to an episode every two weeks, for the most part.
     
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  2. Scott511

    Scott511 Second Unit

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    I remember reading somewhere, (maybe in Robert Vaughn's book) that he warned Landau & Bain that shooting episodes would take forever. That was just because of the way the days shooting schedule was lined with "tea breaks". He wasn't happy with how long it took to shoot 2 seasons of The Protectors. That coupled with everything that goes along with shooting a hour long sci-fi series, probably ensured a long schedule.
     
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  3. ScottRE

    ScottRE Supporting Actor

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    Apparently, nobody enjoyed making The Protectors. Vaughn was apparently a real D hole (his business partner was even worse), Nyree Dawn Porter had no respect for Anderson and Anderson was just kinda handed the series by Lew Grade. It wasn't his kinda show. Only Tony Anholt worked with Anderson again.

    I enjoyed The Protectors, it was a quick half hour nothing that was too short to be dull. Well, that's not true, The Adventurer was pretty lifeless. Or maybe that was just Gene Barry's boredom shining through. ITC wasn't making their best shows at that point. However, there was something charming about The Protectors, but there were some mysteries: why was the opening titles so dull? The only excitement came from he film and TV clips they put in between shots of Vaughn getting out of bed and feeding his green dog some eggs. Who was the silhouette supposed to represent? And why was the series called The Protectors...?
     
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  4. Scott511

    Scott511 Second Unit

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    Yep, I had heard that about Vaughn and his business partner, but I had not heard that about Porter.

    I liked it too, I bought a VEI set on the cheap thinking I wouldn't. Yes the opening credits are dull. There's nothing so great about the series, I'm not sure why I like it as much as I do...LOL. I will probably put it in my "watch once a year" pile.
     
  5. Philip Verdieck

    Philip Verdieck Second Unit

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    So what is the verdict on picking up a Blu version of Space 1999?

    It sounds like if you care about 5.1, you want the Network version.
    So do neither, have the extra content people wanted (Message/Movies)
     
  6. ScottRE

    ScottRE Supporting Actor

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    If you don’t care about the missing extras and are cool with the mono, pick it up. Surround sound on vintage series never sounds right to me anyway.

    My only issue is that while there is a Play All option, it doesn’t pick up where you left off if you stop midway. I’m not one to sit there for 4 hours and binge which makes Play All useless to me in this case.
     
  7. AndyMcKinney

    AndyMcKinney Cinematographer

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    Also, bear in mind that you must be able to play Region B-locked discs to even have the Network version as an option. Both their releases for Space: 1999 are region-locked.

    As I understand it, there were rights issues preventing Message from being used as an extra. Thank goodness I was able to purchase A&E's "Bonus Disc" DVD ala-carte when that was still an option.
     
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  8. ScottRE

    ScottRE Supporting Actor

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    Wasn't the first year region free on the Network release? And just the SD extras in PAL? Or am I confused - which is always a possibility...
     
  9. AndyMcKinney

    AndyMcKinney Cinematographer

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    You are right, Year One is Region A&B. Year Two (and the related show UFO, for that matter) is Region B locked.

    You are correct on the Year One bonus features (discs 6 and 7). Those discs are DVDs rather than blu-rays, and are PAL format, so you must be able to handle PAL DVDs to play the bonus features.
     
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  10. ScottRE

    ScottRE Supporting Actor

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    Sat through a bunch more episodes and while some were as fun as I remembered, others were just unwatchable. The one-two Freiberger punch of “The Beta Cloud” and “Space Warp” were mind-numbing. Just a lot of pointless running around with no real plot. Those are the episodes that bother me the most. It’s forgivable when an episode with a story just turns out poorly (“Catacombs of the Moon” or “Mark of Archanon”), but when something is just an excuse to fill an hour and save money, that’s when the Freiberger method pisses me off. He isn’t improving the series or making characters more human, he’s just filling an hour of screen time by having a monster chase Tony and Maya around Alpha or having Maya change from one monster to another while people chase her.

    So last night I begin “The Bringers of Wonder.” This episode, at least, has a decent plot and feels like it’s about something. It is firmly in the Feiberger mold, though, as characters who have been here from the beginning barely act like their year one versions. Koenig is wide-eyed and panic stricken when he should be more reserved and horrified (it's like he never saw a monster before). Much of the episode would have worked out the same if they toned him down a little. Having a commander who sees monsters instead of family and friends is just as nuts as a guy screaming his head off. Other lapses could have been avoided with a little care; such as having Alan call Erlich and Bartlett on his commlock on his way out the door would have made more sense than having to Nuclear Physicists conveniently bumming around commander center. If they had revealed some of these things as alien manipulations, it would have worked, but at this point, it felt like they were just grinding these out.

    Part two this evening, thankfully this is the final monster episode. I do love this one and have very fond memories of seeing it in movie firm on TV multiple times as Destination Moonbase-Alpha.
     
  11. Sam Favate

    Sam Favate Lead Actor

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    So, I’ve been watching the show, the first season, and got to wondering about the science of it. There just seemed like a lot of things that didn’t make scientific sense, even given the state of science in the 70s. I googled “the science of space 1999,” and what did I find but an article in the New York Times from 1975 by none other than Issac Asimov! You probably need a Times subscription to see this since it’s from the archive but it’s very cool.

    PS Asimov, who liked the show, confirmed my fears about the show’s science, which is dicey at best.

    https://www.nytimes.com/1975/09/28/archives/is-space-1999-more-fi-than-sci-space-1999more-fi-than-sci.html
     
  12. ScottRE

    ScottRE Supporting Actor

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  13. Message #133 of 133 Oct 4, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2019
    ScottRE

    ScottRE Supporting Actor

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    Space: 1999 was really both the victim and beneficiary of timing. The victim because at that moment in time, absolutely every damned SF show was being compared to Star Trek. Beneficiary because SF fans were hungry for new product and 1999 initially had amazing ratings. But man, those Asimov articles were really indicative of the attitude of the day. Almost nobody was open to anything other than Trek and when 1999 year 2 came out, that's kind of what they got - and still people hated it. "Maya is a Spock rip-off!" they cried.

    When you look back on these old articles, especially the initial Starlog run, you can see how slavishly everyone was defending Trek and bashing everything else. 1999 was bad on science, but even Trek wasn't as amazing at the science as Roddenberry and Fontana were bragging. It was TV. Maybe the moon being blasted out of orbit couldn't have happened, but the way it was shown was pretty convincing.
     

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