The Horror Mythology of Space: 1999

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The Horror Mythology of Space: 1999

Postby Triton » Tue Feb 16, 2016 1:53 pm

As a child, I preferred Season Two of Space: 1999. As an adult, I have a greater sense of admiration for Season One. I re-watch Season One DVDs while Season Two remains in the box. The quality that makes Space: 1999 Season One so captivating, in addition to Barry Morse as Professor Victor Bergman, is the portrayal of the cosmos as a dangerous and sometimes incomprehensible place. Many episodes in Season One are basically horror stories with science fiction elements. It is interesting to compare Season One's "Alpha Child" to "The Child" in the second season of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Where Star Trek: The Next Generation makes the alien life force benign, Space: 1999 makes the alien life force malignant. I wonder what a Star Trek and horror mash-up would be like. Many episodes of the Star Trek series already contain elements that could be re-worked as horror.


"The Horror Mythology of Space:1999"
by John Kenneth Muir

March 8, 2010

Source:
http://reflectionsonfilmandtelevision.b ... e1999.html

Excerpt:

"We're a long way from home, and we're going to have to start thinking differently if we're going to come to terms with space."

-Professor Victor Bergman, Space: 1999; "Matter of Life and Death."

One important quality that differentiates Space: 1999 (1975-1977) from virtually any other outer space adventure ever created, even after thirty-five years, is its heavy accent on horror. Unlike Star Trek, wherein planets are joined peacefully across the ocean of space as part of a cosmic, political United Nations, Gerry and Sylvia Anderson's Space: 1999 presents the universe as a realm of incomprehensible and total, abject terror.

Because the heroes of Space: 1999 (1975 -1977) -- the 311 astronauts and scientists stationed on Moonbase Alpha -- are psychologically and technologically unprepared for their unexpected journey into deepest space (it's the result of an accident on the moon's surface...) even the most wonderful or harmless mechanisms of the cosmos appear frightening, foreboding and unknown to these inexperienced, contemporary travelers. It's a metaphor, perhaps, for the way our cave-men ancestors may have regarded thunder, fire, the sun or the moon -- as inexplicable, fearsome elements of existence.

Given this revolutionary and fascinating aspect of Space: 1999, I thought it might prove interesting today to make note of many of the horror myths, legends and concepts that Space: 1999 re-purposed during its two year, 48-episode run. Virtually all of these conceits, you will note, were given a technological sheen or update for the series, a polish well in keeping with an overarching theme that Science Digest's editor, Arielle Emmett termed "the downfall of 20th century technological man."...
"Fortune favors the audacious" -- Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus (October 28, 1466 – July 12, 1536)
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Re: The Horror Mythology of Space: 1999

Postby Michael » Tue Feb 16, 2016 6:29 pm

When Space: 1999 aired originally, I enjoyed it even though I knew there were aspects of the show that simply didn't make sense. However, as the years have gone by, I find it harder to enjoy the show due to those things which didn't make sense.

I always liked the first season more than the second which to me came off as just some action show, lacking the mystery and yes, horror, of the first season.

Thinking of it as a horror show makes a lot of sense.
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Re: The Horror Mythology of Space: 1999

Postby ambessalion » Wed Feb 17, 2016 8:01 pm

i watched the show when i was young (6-9ish off and on), i didn't understand it very well but i did enjoy it....particularly maya. she scared me a little but she was a fascinating character....i thought her shape-changing was highly interesting to me.
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