Space: 1999

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Name: Space: 1999
Creator: Gerry and Sylvia Anderson
Date(s): 1975-1977
Medium: Television
Country of Origin: UK
External Links: at Wikipedia
at IMDb
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.
Cover of The Alpha Files zine, artwork by Judy Moore
Front cover of TV section ('Green Guide') in the local metropolitan newspaper The Age announcing the world premiere of Space 1999 on Melbourne's Channel 7 on 28 July 1975

Space: 1999 was a British science-fiction series that ran for two seasons and 48 episodes.

It starred Martin Landau as Commander John Koenig, Barbara Bain as Doctor Helena Russell, and Barry Morse as Professor Victor Bergman.

The first episode was entitled "Breakaway" and began on September 9, 1999. The premise: nuclear waste stored on the Moon's far side explodes, knocking the Moon out of Earth's orbit and sending it, as well as the 311 inhabitants of Moonbase Alpha, hurtling uncontrollably into space.

Season One consisted of 24 episodes with the drama on Alpha centered around the large "Main Mission", the control center of the base.

Episode 25 was entitled "The Metamorph" and was the debut episode of Season Two. It introduced the characters of Maya, portrayed by Catherine Schell, and Tony Verdeschi, played by Tony Anholt. Maya was from the planet Psychon and had the ability of molecular transformation. Professor Bergman, Paul Morrow, and other characters did not appear in this season.

The second season also consisted of 24 episodes and was centered around the smaller "Command Centre", the new control center of the base.

See also Timeline of Online Space:1999 Fandom.

Main Characters


Fan-drawn "Eagle" blueprints

At the beginning of fandom, fans of Space: 1999 called themselves a variety of terms: "Alphans," "Spacers," and "1999ers (which morphed into ('99ers")."

In 1980, in advance of the aborted The Space:1999 Convention, fans were polled and asked to vote on an "official" name for themselves. This was a rare move for fandom, as labels for fans usually occurred much more organically.[1]

The results of this poll were never made publicly available.

Today, however, the moniker "Alphans" is almost exclusively used by Space: 1999 fans when referring to themselves or other fans.

Fanzines, Newsletters, and Fanfic

Cover of Alpha Log #3, a print zine

The earliest fanzines began to appear within months of the debut of Space: 1999 in September 1975. Fans continued to produce print zines with regularity up to the widespread use of the internet in the late 1990s. In recent years, the majority of stories are published and made available on the web, including such sites as the Florida Universe.

Also see Category:Space:1999, Category:Space:1999 Fanfiction, and Space: 1999 Fanzines.

Fandom Challenges

Cover of Blutsauger, a print zine by Rose Marie Badgett

When the show first aired, there was a dearth of science fiction on television, and fans had high hopes that this show would be another Star Trek, something that its advertising supported.[2]

While many fans enjoyed "Space: 1999," some others complained of its perceived wooden acting, implausible science, the character of Maya (who many felt to be a Spock-knockoff), the fact that the show was constantly moved to different time slots or pre-empted, the drastic changes between style and form of its two seasons, and many other things.

Many fans desperately wanted to be able to support an SF show; they'd had a template of Star Trek fandom to follow and tried to emulate its zines, conventions, and letter campaigns in order to create a fandom from the ground up. TPTB was not much of a help; fans complained of letters and comments they'd sent being ignored,[3] and felt they did not have the support that Gene Roddenberry had provided for Star Trek. Actor Nick Tate's appearance at August Party was a highlight that created some fannish interest, but it wasn't enough.

The tensions between Star Trek: TOS fans and "Space: 1999" fans were not helped by open hostilities and comments by prominent Trek actors. A fan reported on two of the actor's opinions in a question and answer session at Star TreKon in 1976:

From Nichelle Nichols:

Do you watch Space: 1999?
"HELL NO!!! I would rather watch cartoons. And that is all I am going to say about that."


From Deforest Kelley:

What do you think of the series, Space: 1999?
"I have watched only 15 minutes of one episode and I turned it off. I went to the bathroom and threw up. There has never been, in my opinion, any science fiction TV show or for that matter, any movie that will ever measure up to Star Trek." [4]

"Space: 1999" lasted two seasons. For some fans this was a great tragedy, as they'd found enjoyment in the show. For others, it was a relief: "Can you imagine going on in a Year 2 vein for another four years or so? We'd never live it down. I know that during Year 1 it was at least respectable to talk about Space: 1999 to non-science fiction fans, but after Year 2, if you mention 1999, all you seem to get is a queer look or the question, "You watch that_____?" So maybe it's good it's over. It was hurting us." [5]

A fan says: "...I remember Space: 1999 fandom of the ’70s and early ’80s as being fan fiction challenged. Many fen were interested in the technical aspects… but there wasn’t a great deal of interest in fanzines and fan fiction… There were a larger proportion of technical newsletters – letterzines, articles, blueprints, etc., but little fiction. Like most niche fandoms, the readers we had were passionate, but the fandom never took off in fanzines the way other fandoms of the time did.” [6]

Fan Clubs

Also see: Category:Space:1999 Fan Clubs

Example Works

Notable Cons

External links


  1. ^ In the case of Trekkies vs Trekkers: fans called themselves one of these two terms, but some did so in response to intense media attention, often considered disrespectful and condescending.
  2. ^ "Why does Space: 1999 seem to be always stuck with stupid inaccuracies in its super sets, super character ideas, and super universe?... Okay, Space: 1999 -- you're fantasy, but since Star Trek, you're the only science fiction show worth watching!" -- from ComLoC #1 (December 1976)
  3. ^ "Space: 1999 fandom has not matured to Star Trek levels. Main reason is almost total lack of info about the show: episode titles, episode synopses, cast characters and actors, and order of show/episode release (to name a few subjects). Also ITC (Independent Television Corporation) seems to show little concern for promoting fan contact with the studios directly in England, apparently caring less about fan feedback. In fact, ITC (Newark) ungraciously ripped off my SASE (enclosed with my request for the London studio address) --- not even having the courtesy to answer. And if they don't care, maybe we shouldn't care. If they say to hell with us, maybe we should say to hell with them...." -- from ComLoC #1 (December 1976)
  4. ^ as reported in Star Trek Nuts and Bolts #8
  5. ^ from ComLoC #3 (June 1977)
  6. ^ My Life in Fandom: The future is (was? still is?) fantastic!, Archived version, accessed 5.4.2011
  7. ^ Space 1999 Metaforms WebCite