Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Space:1999 article from Starlog #2

From issue #2 of Starlog, from November 1976 when that awesome mag was in its infancy, comes this article on "Space:1999," looking back on the problems of the first season, and what was planned for the second. Bringing on Fred Frieburger as producer may have at first seemed like a great choice to punch up the action and drama, having the third season of "Star Trek" on his resume; but they should have noted that he was more responsible than anyone else for that show's drastic decline in intelligence during the third year.

First, a great cover painting...
(Click on images to enlarge; you may have to click again when it opens to view full-size.)

From the same issue, a short writeup on Space actor Nick Tate, as he talks at a convention about the changes coming in the new season.

And, here is the back cover of the issue, advertising the soundtrack for the series.

It's still hard for me to believe that we have passed the year that the show was set in, by 13 years now. Back in the mid-70's it seemed so futuristic and far off! And we still have no moonbase.

As a bonus, here is an article from the prior issue of Starlog, #1, that also talks about the upcoming changes from an earier perspective.


  1. You certainly don't see magazine covers like that Starlog anymore. It is just gorgeous art from a bygone era.

  2. I had this issue and, indeed, the cover was fantastic. What strikes me though is just how critical they were of the show. Saying it "wasnt particularly philosophical" is ludicrous ... like it or not, most of the series 1 episodes had a philosophical bent to them. If the main sci-fi mag beat up on the show this bad, no wonder it failed.

  3. Starlog was SUCH a huge step-forward for us lovers of science fiction..!!!!

    Loved the first Trek issue, but was ESTATIC when my Mom tracked down this 2nd issue..!! A HUGE 1999 FAN still to this day, and seeing any 'decent' coverage of 1999 was big back then..

    I really loved the first year, and never warmed to Maya. Liked Catherine Schell, but never liked the 'gimmickry' shape-shifting and missed Barry Morse and the majesty of the first year.

    Last year, the shooting model of Alpha was up for grabs for only $16,000. If I wasn't married, I surely would have grabbed it.

  4. I had that soundtrack, the ONLY time I ever saw it in a store back then. HAD to buy it quickly, and loved it ever since the first time the needle dropped on the vinyl.


    Love the last line on the ish 1 explanation of proposed changes.., 'Everybody Wins'.

    Sadly, no.

    1999 Year 1 remains as my all-time favorite show ever.

  5. In that pre-cable day, the TV choices were so limited that that gave Space: 1999 more of a chance than it deserved. It stepped in and attempted to satisfy the huge appetite for Star Trek that had grown by the mid '70s, and it failed. A lot of great parts that were let down by a ludicrous premise. In today's TV universe I doubt the series would last half a season.

  6. David B,
    thanks for commenting, I bought that soundtrack on cassette tape, and still have it. I don't know if it still plays, though!

  7. Truth And C,
    Probably true... but one thing is for sure, if it was made recently it would have been faster paced from the beginning. They tried too often for the slow, majestic 2001 vibe, and ambiguity.

    I just never oculd buy into the idea that a planet was going anywhere fast enough to leave the solar system and run into other planets every other week. I still watched, though!

  8. Frederick, great posting as always. I never thought of them visiting planets 'week-by-week', like on Galactica.

    Or MASH lasting a few years longer than the actual Korean War; those hijinks didn't just happen one day each week.

    I figured time spanned weeks/months between each adventure.., which is why I liked the occasional non-planet Alpha story in Year 2 (like 'Catacombs of the Moon').

    Life just went on, in between..