Alpha Newsletter

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You may be looking for Alpha Log, another newsletter with a similar title.

Title: Alpha Newsletter
Editor(s): Stephen Eramo
Date(s): January 1976-?
Medium: print
Fandom: Space: 1999
Language: English
External Links: many issues are online here
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Alpha Newsletter is a gen Space: 1999 newsletter published by Stephen Eramo. There are at least 23 issues.

some issues


The editor's comments:

It was a dark and stormy night (really, it was) and, if I remember correctly, a Tuesday. I waited with cautious anticipation for a new British Sci-Fi TV series called Space: 1999 to premiere that evening on the local WCVB Channel 5 network. A neighbor and I, both diehard Star Trek fans, were just ready to dismiss this fledgling entry into the genre world. After all, nothing could ever replace Star Trek, right?

Although Space: 1999 did not replace Star Trek, my neighbor and I agreed that this new show was not bad at all. As the weeks went on and I watched more and more, I soon fell in love with 1999. Again, it was something new and after 79 episodes of Star Trek, which I had watched and watched and watched, I could certainly appreciate a new twist on things. I came to enjoy 1999 so much that I decided to start publishing a newsletter devoted to the show. At the time I was 14, and while I had always enjoyed writing, I didn’t know quite how to go about doing this. However, I did my research, looked at other newsletters, and had soon planned out my first couple of issues. Alpha Newsletter was born! I advertised in Star Trek newsletters and other fan club-type publications, and eventually began to receive inquiries from interested parties. Initially a relative of mine took the newsletters to work and Xeroxed copies for me to send out to people. As time went on, the newsletter became so popular that I had to have it professionally printed. Either my father or grandfather would drive me into Harvard Square in Cambridge where I went to Gnoman Copies (I think that’s the correct spelling) to have the newsletter professionally printed (and now even on different colored paper each month!). I figured out how much I would need for printing, supplies and postage and charged a yearly subscription rate. I ended up with over 500 subscribers from around the world, including Asia, Europe and Australia. During the second season of 1999 I was both proud and flattered to receive honorary membership acceptances to Alpha Newsletter from Nick Tate (Alan Carter), Prentis Hancock (Paul Morrow), Zienia Merton (Sandra Benes), Anton Phillips (Dr. Bob Mathias), John Hug (Bill Fraser), Peter Porteous (Petrov), Alibe Parsons (Alibe), Sarah Bullen (Operative Kate), Sam Dastor (Dr. Ed Spencer) and Clifton Jones (David Kano).

Alpha Newsletter ran for eight years, and during that time I made a number of friends that I’m still thrilled to have 30 years later! 1999 opened up a whole new world for me, especially when it came to my professional life. On one of my early trips to the UK I had lunch in London with John Hug, his longtime partner Dee Hart, and Sarah Bullen. The conversation eventually turned to my newsletter and John, Dee and Sarah all agreed that if I loved writing that much, then I should pursue it in some fashion. It took me a little while, but I’m happy to say that this summer (2011) I’ll be celebrating 25 years as a professional entertainment journalist. Thank you Space: 1999. Who knows what I might be doing today if way back when I had dismissed it as just another Star Trek wanna be, not to mention all the long-standing friendships as well as fun and laughs that I would have missed out on as well.[1]


Many issues have been scanned here.

Issue 1

Alpha Newsletter 1 was published in January 1976.

Issue 2

Alpha Newsletter 2 was published in spring 1976 and contains 7 pages.

The editor writes: "In upcoming issues I plan to have more features, articles, and photos. I think for a 15 year old I'm doing pretty darn good. I hope you all like Alpha Two. Best to all, Stephen."

first page of issue #2
  • "Space: 1999 Technology" by Stephen Eramo
  • excerpts about the show from other science fiction magazines (from the "Christopher Lee International Fan Club Journal" by Nikki White, other articles from "Quasimodo Monster Magazine"—August 1975, "Photoplay"—1975, "Screen Stars"—January 1976)

Issue 3

Alpha Newsletter 3 was published in summer 1976 and contains 7 pages.

first page of issue #3
  • includes a cast list
  • review by Stephen Eramo of the episode "Full Circle"
  • article by Stephen Mitchell from "In the Know" v.2 n.1 January 1976
  • some stats and info about season two
  • word find
  • trivia quiz

Issue 4

Alpha Newsletter 4 was published in summer 1976 and contains 8 pages.

first page of issue #4
  • includes a brief description of the first episode of the second season, one fans will see for the first time in the fall
  • includes what appears to be a fan-made full-page ad for season two
  • includes two pages of testimonials by many, many local television program managers about how fabulous season two is going to be; quotes are gleaned from "Variety" (May 26, 1975)
  • there are lots of short ads for things for sale, mainly pro-made merchandise (bubble gum cards, puzzles, magazines, models, records, games, comics, toys, pro books)
  • there is a flyer by a fan who is creating a Silent Running fanzine: "At this time it is still in the planning stages, but it will be a Fanzine-Technical Manuel [sic] Format. We are seeking endorsement from Universal and Mr. Turnbull, but we need your help! You the fans, have to show you care enough about "Silent Running" to want a fanzine. We value you opinion! For more information, or just to write and give your opinion on the forth coming zine, write to "Silent Running Lives" c/c Mr. Patrick Kelley [address redacted]."

Issue 5

Alpha Newsletter 5 was published in 1976.

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 5

Method of reproduction: Xerox and ITEK-offset, 22 pages. Issue #5 of "Alpha Newsletter" is a special on Nick Tate (Alan Carter). Contained in it are transcriptions of Nick's speeches at August Party, his biography, and Alan Carter's biography, reviews of "The Devil's Playground" (movie), and "The Day After Tomorrow" (TV special), as well as several articles about Nick reprinted from several magazines. Also included are a list of Alan's "zaps," most liked lines, notable episodes, and an ad for an upcoming ST/'99/UFO/SF con. Issue #6 will be a Landau and Bain special, and #7 a Anholt/Schell/Merton/Phillips special. To date this is the best issue of "Alpha Newsletter." Numbers #1-4 are hardly more than short reprints of articles discussing '99. This issue is a must for any Tate fan.[2]

Issue 6

Alpha Newsletter was published in 1977 and contains 19 pages.

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 6

This issue of Alpha Newsletter is a special Landau and Bain edition. The issue starts off with an announcement of the 1999 letter campaign urging fans to write to keep the show on the air. Professional biographies on both Landau and Bain supplied by I.T.C. as well as two short character sketches on Koenig and Russell are also in this issue. "The Lunar Woman: Bain as Doctor Helena Russell" by Deborah Walsh is an article examining the difference between the characterization of Doctor Russell in the first and second seasons. It is a well written article providing a good view of the two versions of Doctor Russell. "Feeligs" (I think it's supposed to be "Feelings"), by Leslie Ann Marshall, is a short story about the aftereffects of a meteor shower which severely damages the medical section and blinds Doctor Russell. The story is fairly well written and attempts to feel out just what kind of relationship Russell and Koenig have by exploring Koanig s thoughts through the ordeal. The sxory v/ould have been improved if the endirs hadn't been so quick and seemingly rushed. The rest of the issue is made up of two reviews; one of "The Rules of Luton" and one of "Space Warp", some lists of movies and TV programs that Bain and Landau have appeared in, a section of ads, and a few pictures of Bain and Landau scattered through out. The abundance of typoes in some places can get to rather irratating [3] but over all this is a pretty good issue of Alpha.[4]

Issue 7

Issue 8

Issue 9

Alpha Newsletter 9 was published in summer 1977 and contains 16 pages.

first page of issue #9
  • a description of the episode "The Return of the Dorcons" which hadn't been released in the US yet
  • some sightings of the show's actors in other venues
  • "Killara," fiction by Stephen Eramo, Sharon Anne Hutchinson, Patricia Brimer (five pages, includes an illo by Eramo)
  • short question and answer section with Nick Tate and Zienia Merton, two of show's stars
  • trivia quiz by Mary Chamberlain
  • "The Metamorph," poem by Mark Gonzaga
  • character descriptions and actor filmographies
  • Bumps and Bruises Department" -- a run-down of all the times Alan Carter and Tony Verdeschi get themselves physically injured and/or are involved in a physical altercation
  • a long bio of the actor David Soul

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 9

See reactions and reviews for Killara.

Issue 10

Alpha Newsletter 10 was published in summer 1977.

first page of issue #10
  • contains a review of the theater production of "Duty Free" at the Birmingham Hippodrome, reprinted from "The Evening Mail", August 16, 1977
  • what appears to be a fan's review (Darlene Palenik) of the episode "The Last Sunset"
  • a fan review by Phyl Proctor of "The Devil's Playground"
  • a long bio of Nick Tate reprinted from TV Times, January 15, 1977
  • question and answer section with Nick Tate and Zienia Merton
  • bios of Michael York and Diana Rigg
  • "Is it Catherine? Or is it Maya?," poem by Jamie Sanders
  • small illos by Mary Bloemker
  • a review of "Space:1999" by Lee Winfrey, columnist for the "Philadelphia Inquirer"
  • "Alphan Revenge," fiction by Mike Rathke
  • the editor thanks Starlog: "I want to thank STARLOG for all the fantastic help they've given me with my newsletter. The ad that was in Issue Eight helped my club immensely. Again, thank you for printing my ad and continued success with your fine publication."
  • the editor notes: "Also, another item of concern. As most of you know I have been reprinting articles in most issues for my readers' enjoyment. Many of you have written telling me how much you enjoy them because you never knew they existed. Any and all reprint articles in this and future newsletters are strictly for the enjoyment of my readers and are not intended to infringe on the rights of anyone."

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 10

See reactions and reviews for Alphan Conspiracy.

Issue 11

Alpha Newsletter 11 was published in fall 1977 (before November) and contains 18 pages.

first page of issue #11
  • a review by Phyl Proctor of the play "Duty Free" (title later changed to "Don't Bother to Dress")
  • illos by Mary Bloemker
  • "Commander," "Pilot," and "Doctor," poems by Laura Extrum
  • "The Supreme Sacrifice," fiction by Gail Seigel and Audrey Gassman
  • question and answer section with Nick Tate and Zienia Merton
  • a long excerpt from the fan-novel Timetrap, includes instruction on how to purchase
  • a review of "The Protectors" episode "WAM"
  • bios of actors Patrick MacNee and Linda Thorson
  • three full-page zine flyers for Moonbeam

Issue 12

Alpha Newsletter 12 was published in January 1978 and contain 21 pages. The front cover of Nick Tate is by Mary Bloemker, the interior art is by Stephen Eramo.

first page of issue #12
interior page from issue #12, artist is Mary Bloemker
  • "The Dark Side of Space," fiction by Debbie Phares (6 pages)
  • "Hatred's Deep Seed," fiction by Diana Winslow (5 pages)
  • a full-page flyer for Moonbeam #3
  • half-page flyers for Catch the Final Sunrise and The Loner
  • an article about how NBC "as usual, has failed to give science fiction a reasonable trial period" and has cancelled Man from Atlantis, gives much information by Deb Walsh on how to conduct a letter campaign to bring it back
  • Year Two trivia quiz by Tod Ellsworth and Janet Conrad
  • actor bios

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 12

See reactions and reviews for Hatred's Deep Seed.

Issue 13

Alpha Newsletter 13 was published in winter 1978 and contains 18 pages.

first page of issue #13
  • contains a full-page publicity shot of Bain and Landau
  • "Time Enough for One Planet," fiction by Leslie Ann Marshall (9 pages)
  • a fan, Phyl Proctor, reviews an episode of "The Sweeney" ("Contract Breaker"?)
  • a fan, Stephen Eramo, reivews "Midsummer Nightmare" (written by Brian Clemens)
  • "The Devil Indecision" and "Holocaust," two poems by Laura Eckstrom (name spelled differently here than in a previous issue)
  • a bio of Lynda Day George and of Stuart Wilson

Issue 14

Alpha Newsletter 14 was published in spring 1978 and contains 22 pages.

first page of issue #14
  • the editor hopes that "everyone is sitting comfortable with their can of Coke (root beer, Tab, etc..) and will enjoy this newsletter." He also thanks many people, including Mary Bloemker for "appreciating my slide collection" and for Debbie Walsh for "keeping us fed with her Fry Baby"
  • update on SpaceCon
  • a review by Stephen Eramo of "The Beta Cloud"
  • the editor notes that "Due to circumstances beyond control, "Alpha Newsletter" can no longer handle mail and correspondence for the Star Wars fan club The Alliance. Please address all correspondence furter to "The Alliance," c/o Sharon Anne Hutchinson..."
  • a reprint of an article from "Lectures"
  • "Alan's Quest," poem by Laura Eckstrom
  • "A Child Lost," poem by Laura Eckstrom
  • some uncredited interview clips
  • trivia quiz
  • a review by Phyl Proctor of the play "Sleuth"
  • "The Whole Truth and Nothing But the Truth," fiction by Susan Muller
  • "Human Decision," fiction by Marybeth G. Fitzgerald
  • "General Hospital: English Version," a review by Phyl Proctor
  • bio of Joanna Lumley and of Gareth Hunt

Issue 15

Issue 16

Issue 17

Issue 18

Alpha Newsletter 18 was published in January 1979 and contains 19 pages.

first page of issue #18
  • the editor says he has a plethora of fiction submissions but wants more articles, reviews, art and poems
  • includes "Neutrino Transmissions," a fan forum that discusses the TOTM—this month's question is "If you could change any Space:1999 episode and make it to your liking, which would it be and why?"
  • "A Minor Conspiracy," fiction by Stephan Eramo and Patricia Brimer
  • article by Phyl Proctor comparing two characters played by Tony Anholt
  • publicity blurb about the movie "Meteor"
  • "The Question of Alpha," poem by Paul Bane
  • a review of the episode "Breakaway" by Sally Syrjala
  • "Jackie," fiction by Diana Winslow

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 18

See reactions and reviews for A Minor Conspiracy.

Issue 19

Issue 20

Issue 21

Alpha Newsletter 21 was published in June 1979 and contains 19 pages.

first page of issue #21
  • the TOTM, called here "Neutrino Transmissions," is "Which aspect of Year II change did you like the most -- which did you dislike the most?"
  • "Danger at Draconias," fiction by Steve Eramo
  • a review of the movie "Reil"
  • the editor writes:
    Hello people! As we all know the Space Convention is only three short weeks away! Can hardly believe it! And with this little announcement comes another little announcement* Presently the "Alliance" treasury has the minimum to cover con expenses. The guest list for this year's convention is most impressive as you know but those overseas flights ad up - close to $1000.00 each. For this con to succeed more fan response is needed and NOW! Even if you are not going a supporting membership is very important - and if you are going get that membership in now! Final date is July 15th and all membership orders must be accompanied by a S.A.S.E. to receive your membership.

I hope all members will support Con'79 for without it this will mean a large blow downwards for Space fandom.

  • from a fan, Diana W:
    If you are a member of the BNTFC and are planning to attend the Con, I'd like to hear from you. Phyl Proctor and Eileen Skidmore have given me their permission to represent the club at the Con. You'll want to have information in advance as how to obtain a club badge that will enable you to recognize other members, as well as allow Nick to recognize you. Also, if there is any confusion about your membership cards (which are your only ticket into the meeting with Nick), or if you are in the process of rejoining, let me hear from you so that we can get all straight before the Con. This meeting with Nick is a special treat for us, the members of hie club, so I want to be sure that none of you who are members will miss it. I'm looking forward to seeing you in Pittsburgh!

Issue 22/23

Alpha Newsletter 22/23 was published in winter 1979 and contains 46 pages.

front cover of issue #22/23
  • the TOTM ("Neutrino Transmissions") is "Name Your Favorite Space:1999 character and why."
  • there are ten con reports by fans, see them at
  • "Yesteryear," fiction by Paul Bens, Jr.
  • "A Space: 1999 Trilogy," fiction by Rose Marie Badgett and Paul Bens
  • a proposal for a fan fiction "Writers Group"—from a discussion at the recent cons it was determined that many fans had fanworks stacked up at home but were hesitant about sending it to zines for publication because they weren't sure it was any good; a Panel of Experts made up of fan volunteers would be people fans could send their fanworks to for evaluation and suggestions; the letter asked for volunteers to be on the panel and also had a list of "expertise" to which these volunteers would choose as their specialties; there were 26 "specialties" (of the 26 topics, almost all to do with science, technology, blueprints and statistics; four did not: they were character analysis, proofreading, writing technique, and publication suggestions)
  • News Section/Editorial page 3
  • Letter From the National Save: l999 Alliance from Mare Fitzgerald page 4
  • Neutrino Transmissions page 6
  • Space 1999 Con/79 Report Guests page 9
  • Lectures (Prentis Hancock) page 11
  • Lectures (Nick Tate) page 14
  • Lectures (Anton Phillips) page 17
  • Con Reports page 20
  • An Interview With Anton Phillips page 33
  • YESTERYEAR page 36
  • A SPACE: 1999 TRILOGY page 39
  • Ads, Announcements, Etc. page 41
  • The Writers Group page 42
  • The Koala That Ate Pittsburgh page 43
  • Last Minute Con Highlights page 45 (winners of the costume call and art show)
  • a letter by Mare Fitzgerald, president of National Save: 1999 Alliance, that began as a con report and ended as an open letter:
    I must address a part of fandom now which, I am sorry to say, seems to be growing. I refer to those who expect the Alliance and/or 1999 fan clubs to do everything for them. I've heard every excuse imaginable about why people couldn't get to Pittsburgh. Some said it was too far, some said the hotel was too expensive, some said they didn't think Pittsburgh was a good con location (talk about pre-judging!). All Alliance members were informed of the con location and costs last October. That was more than sufficient time to start saving up. The con registration rates were purposely kept the same as last year to help offset all the other costs rising with inflation. We've had some complaints about no rooming service. Several MAIN COMPUTERS ago, we asked those who needed rides or wanted to share rooms to write to their Section Reps. At most, the Reps received around five inquiries on these subjects. Our newsletters do no good if you don't read them. This is all a part of an apathy spreading in 1999 fandom. Has it come down to our all needing to be taken by the hand and led? What has become of the "we can do anything" spirit of 1999? I wonder sometimes if all the frustration and aggravation are worth it. Then I put on a video cassette of 1999 and, believe me, it is worth it! I've said before that I don't honestly believe we will see a third season. But that doesn't hurt as much as knowing that people once so dedicated to the ideals of 1999 could now care less. At Con '79, a core group of 1999 fans came together and I believe this group can become a strong framework for many important future attitudes. I'm not talking strictly of 1999 now; I'm also referring to the state of our world in general. I'm asking you all to join us and give a damn! When it comes right down to the bottom line, SPACE:1999 isn't all that important. What is important is that people who once cared so deeply for good and worthy ideals are slipping into mindless apathy. Maybe I misunderstand. Has it all simply come down to 1999's magic fading away? Shall we let Alpha die gracefully now? And what about the actors of 1999? If you want to see more of them you're going to have to start letting people know. If you see them in a series or a movie, write to the producers and tell them you enjoyed them and want to see more. All of the actors have so much more to offer; let's not let them down. Next weekend will be the first Alliance meeting for Con '80 planning. Jeff, Kathy, John and I and several others will be putting our views on the table and getting the new year rolling. We care about the Alliance and we'll give 200% of ourselves to make the new year better and more productive. But we can't do anything significant without all of you. We either all pull together or we forget the whole thing, it's that simple. I'd like each of you to take another look at 1999. Do you believe in it? Is it worthwhile to you? If you can feel the magic, then please tell us and help us. If you don't care, tell us why. I don't want to sound pessimistic in this letter because Con '79 was anything but that. We shared love and friendship and dreams and ideas and laughter and tears. We all grew and learned and I, for one, will never forget it. Many thanks to all of you who were there and those who supported it. Now let's get, to work again!

  • from the editor:
    The merger that was discussed at The Con for Main Mission Alpha, Alpha Newsletter and Eagle 1 has been shelved for the time being. The majority of each club's membership is against it at this time so each club will remain separate. The issues discussed concerning a merger were valid and will be kept in mind.

Issue 24

Alpha Newsletter 24 (unknown if this issue was published)

  • it was to contain "Doppleganger" (fiction by Mary Tohir), "To Save a Life!" (fiction by Steve Eramo and Pat Brimer), reviews, and a Gabrielle Drake interview


  1. ^ from Dragon's Domain
  2. ^ from ComLoC #1
  3. ^ "typoes in some places can get to rather irratating" -- ironic typos themselves
  4. ^ from ComLoC #2 (1977)