Did you know?
Sylvia was asked to write a short story for The Sunday People newspaper incorporating a THUNDERBIRDS sequence. This was in the ’90’s and was obviously not for her usual audience. Sylvia said she accepted the offer without a clue how to bring the THUNDERBIRDS characters into a real life story. She finally found a way of doing this and wrote a short story about an estranged married couple who meet to discuss their impending divorce. In the background the television is showing a repeat of a THUNDERBIRDS episode and it brings back memories to the couple of happier times. As the THUNDERBIRDS theme tune fills their uneasy silence they start to realise that they perhaps can re-capture some of the magic of that era together.
This futuristic series was shot at Pinewood Studios.
It was quoted as the most expensive British TV series made in the UK (at the time).
One critic described it a Kubrick’s 2001 every week!
Among my many roles on the show was as Producer for series one, it was a great experience and you can read more about my time on Space 1999 in My FAB Years.
It attracted guest artists such as Joan Collins as Kara, Christopher Lee as Captain Zandor, Peter Cushing as Raan, and Richard Johnson as Lee Russell to name just a few.
Martin Landau played Commander John Koenig and Barbara Bain who played Doctor Helena Russell were fresh from their Mission Impossible triumph.
Barry Morse who played Professor Victor Bergman was also well known for his sinister role of Lieutenant Philip Gerardin in the The Fugitive television series.
On the left is a publicity poster for Space 1999 featuring Catherine Schell who played Maya and Tony Anholt who played Tony Verdeschi.
Martin Landau … Commander John Koenig (48 episodes, 1975-1977)
Barbara Bain … Dr. Helena Russell (47 episodes, 1975-1977)
Nick Tate … Alan Carter (42 episodes, 1975-1977)
Zienia Merton … Sandra Benes (35 episodes, 1975-1977)
Catherine Schell … Maya (25 episodes, 1975-1977)
Sarah Bullen … Operative Kate (25 episodes, 1975-1977)
Barry Morse … Prof. Victor Bergman (24 episodes, 1975-1976)
Quentin Pierre … Security Guard (24 episodes, 1975-1977)
Tony Anholt … Tony Verdeschi (23 episodes, 1976-1977)
Prentis Hancock … Paul Morrow (23 episodes, 1975-1976)
Clifton Jones … David Kano (23 episodes, 1975-1976)
Anton Phillips … Dr. Mathias (23 episodes, 1975-1976)
Andy Dempsey … Main Mission Operative (23 episodes, 1975-1976)
Tony Allyn … Security Guard (20 episodes, 1975-1976)
Suzanne Roquette … Tanya Aleksandr (19 episodes, 1975-1976)
Loftus Burton … Main Mission Operative (18 episodes, 1975-1976)
Michael Stevens … Main Mission Operative (15 episodes, 1975-1976)
John Hug … Bill Fraser (9 episodes, 1976-1977)
Yasuko Nagazumi … Yasko (8 episodes, 1976-1977)
Jeffery Kissoon … Dr. Ben Vincent (7 episodes, 1976-1977)
Albin Pahernik … Creature (6 episodes, 1976-1977)
Raymond Harris … Main Mission Operative (6 episodes, 1975-1976)
Pam Rose … Command Center Operative (6 episodes, 1976)
Annie Lambert … Main Mission Operative (5 episodes, 1975-1976)
Shane Rimmer … Eagle Pilot (5 episodes, 1975-1976)
Emily Bolton … Operative June (5 episodes, 1975-1976)
Harry Fielder … Security Guard (5 episodes, 1976-1977)
Robert Atiko … Technician (4 episodes, 1975-1976)
James Fagan … Ken Johnson (4 episodes, 1975-1976)
Chai Lee … Main Mission Operative (4 episodes, 1975-1976)
Ann Maj-Brit … Main Mission Operative (4 episodes, 1975-1976)
Vincent Wong … Medic (4 episodes, 1975-1976)
Stuart Damon … Guido Verdeschi (3 episodes, 1976-1977)
Sam Dastor … Dr. Ed Spencer (3 episodes, 1977)
Alibe Parsons … Alibe (3 episodes, 1977)
Peter Porteous … Petrov (3 episodes, 1976)
David Jackson … Alien Voice (3 episodes, 1976-1977)
Laraine Humphrys … Information Girl (3 episodes, 1976)
Roy Scammell … Space Animal (3 episodes, 1975-1977)
Binu Balani … Main Mission Operative (3 episodes, 1975-1976)
Alf Joint … Overseer (3 episodes, 1975-1976)
John Lee Barber … Eagle Pilot (3 episodes, 1975-1976)
Maureen Tan … Main Mission Operative (3 episodes, 1975-1976)
Paul Weston … Main Mission Operative (3 episodes, 1975-1976)
Judith Hepburn … Nurse (3 episodes, 1976)
Roy Dotrice … Commissioner Simmonds (2 episodes, 1975)
Brian Blessed … Dr. Cabot Rowland (2 episodes, 1975-1976)
Isla Blair … Carla (2 episodes, 1975-1976)
Roy Marsden … Alien Invisible (2 episodes, 1976-1977)
Toby Robins … Diana Morris (2 episodes, 1977)
Jeremy Young … Jack Bartlett (2 episodes, 1977)
Laurence Harrington … Jackson (2 episodes, 1976-1977)
Drewe Henley … Joe Ehrlich (2 episodes, 1977)
John Judd … 2nd Security Guard (2 episodes, 1976-1977)
Patrick Westwood … Dr. Shaw (2 episodes, 1977)
Cher Cameron … Louisa (2 episodes, 1977)
Al Lampert … Ken Burdett (2 episodes, 1977)
Billy J. Mitchell … Professor Hunter (2 episodes, 1977)
Earl Robinson … Sandstrom (2 episodes, 1977)
Robert Sheedy … Henry (2 episodes, 1977)
Nicholas Young … Peter Rockwell (2 episodes, 1977)
Marc Zuber … Main Mission Operative (2 episodes, 1975-1976)
James Snell … Cousteau (2 episodes, 1976-1977)
Vic Armstrong … Main Mission Operative (2 episodes, 1975-1976)
Alan Harris … Alphan (2 episodes, 1975-1976)
Joy Harrison … Main Mission Operative (2 episodes, 1975-1976)
Christopher Matthews … Main Mission Operative (2 episodes, 1975-1976)
Eddy Nedari … Technician (2 episodes, 1975-1976)
Jan Rennison … Main Mission Operative (2 episodes, 1975-1976)
Anita West … Technician (2 episodes, 1975-1976)
Terry Walsh … Rescue Eagle Pilot (2 episodes, 1976)
Chris Williams … Medic (2 episodes, 1976)
Del Baker … Dorcon Soldier (2 episodes, 1977)
Series 1, Episode 1
Sep. 4, 1975
The new commander of Moonbase Alpha's investigation of a mysterious disease uncovers the evidence of a far greater looming disaster.
Series 1, Episode 2
Oct. 24, 1975
Force of Life
A wandering energy force inhabits the body of Alpha technician Anton Zoref, turning him into an energy absorbing being.
Series 1, Episode 3
Oct. 31, 1975
After destroying an asteroid on a collision course with the moon, an even larger obstacle appears – an entire planet! On a recon mission, John Koenig encounters an inhabitant who convinces him- on the basis of faith- that the moon and the planet must collide. But no one else supports Koenig's stand.
Series 1, Episode 4
Nov. 7, 1975
Moonbase Alpha is attacked and devastated by warships from a nearby planet. With half of its population dead Alpha can no longer survive. Commander Koenig and Dr. Russel go to the alien world to plead for the survivors, but the inhabitants wish no one to disturb their serene existence.
Series 1, Episode 5
Nov. 14, 1975
Death's Other Dominion
On the ice world of Ultima Thule the Alphans encounter members of lost earth expedition who have achieved immortality- but at a price!
Series 1, Episode 6
Nov. 21, 1975
The Alphans encounter the Voyager space probe that has been wandering the cosmos propelled by the Queller drive- a faulty engine system. Following the probe is a fleet of alien ships from a world devastated by the drive.
Series 1, Episode 7
Nov. 28, 1975
The Alphan's joy turns to horror when the first child born on the Alpha matures into a five year old in a matter of hours. This is only a prelude to the arrival of formless alien fugitives- who plan to inhabit Alpha's population.
Series 1, Episode 8
Dec. 5, 1975
Discredited eagle pilot Tony Cellini is beset by recurring nightmares in which he was the only survivor of disastrous space mission. Now the moon is approaching the same set of circumstances that Cellini encountered.
Series 1, Episode 9
Dec. 12, 1975
Mission of the Darians
The Alphans encounter a miles-long ark from the planet Daria, where the inhabitants have a very distinctive class separation.
Series 1, Episode 10
Dec. 19, 1975
The moon is approaching a black hole. Professor Bergman is a able to rig up an energy shield around the moonbase, but Commander Koenig feels this is only a desperate measure and has an eagle with six personnel dispatched as the rest of the moonbase await certain death.
Series 1, Episode 11
Dec. 26, 1975
The Guardian of Piri
Contact is made with the planet Piri, where the main computer created an idyllic life that led to extinction of its population through apathy. Now John Koenig must fight to save Alpha as his people fall under the same fate.
Series 1, Episode 12
Jan. 9, 1976
End of Eternity
While exploring a cavern in an asteroid, the Alphans release Balor, a sadistic alien who has achieved immortality.
Series 1, Episode 13
Jan. 16, 1976
Matter of Life and Death
Dr. Russell's presumed-dead husband mysteriously reappears on a reconnaissance mission to a nearby planet.
Series 1, Episode 14
Dec. 4, 1975
A vessel of alien pacifists, bound for Earth, lands on the moon. They are greeted as friends by all- except Commisioner Simmons who sees their vessel as way to return home.
Series 1, Episode 15
Jan. 30, 1976
The Full Circle
While exploring an Earth-type world several Alphans, including Commander Koenig and Dr. Russel, disappear after sighting a strange fog. Shortly afterwards a race of primitive humans are encountered.
Series 1, Episode 16
Feb. 6, 1976
Another Time, Another Place
A distortion in time produces two separate moons, with two separate Alphas from different eras.
Series 1, Episode 17
Feb. 13, 1976
The Infernal Machine
The Alphans encounter Delmer Plebus Powells Gwent, a huge spacecraft that defies aerodynamics and is an extension of Gwent's genius and ego.
Series 1, Episode 18
Feb. 20, 1976
Ring Around the Moon
Maintenance technician Fred Clifford is possessed by an eerie yellow glow, which ultimately kills him. It transpires that it is coming from a planet called Triton, which captures the Alphans and insists that Helena should become the Eyes of Triton. Before long she is acting just as Fred Clifford did before his death…
Series 1, Episode 19
Feb. 27, 1976
After Commander Koening's Eagle crashes on the planet Zenno, his soul is captured and scrutinized by a resident alien, due to the fact that we humans appear to be their missing link.
Series 1, Episode 20
Mar. 5, 1976
The Last Sunset
As the Alphans are planning to explore the planet Ariel, a 'missile' attaches itself to the en route Eagle. Upon returning to Alpha, the 'missile' gives the Alphans a lunar atmosphere. But the joy at the possibility of making a new world out of the Moon is short lived, as the moon does not enter orbit around the planet or its sun, and Alpha faces destruction from the newly acquired lunar air.
Series 1, Episode 21
Mar. 12, 1976
Alien hieroglyphics appear on all of Alpha's screens and Koenig sends an Eagle to investigate. The Eagle is lost and the pilot is taken over by a huge, alien 'Space Brain', using him as a channel to make the Alphans do its bidding. Koenig has to destroy it.
Series 1, Episode 22
Mar. 19, 1976
The Troubled Spirit
Dan Mateo, the Alphans' botanist, believes that he can communicate telepathically with his plants but collapses. He comes to and appears to be fit and well but he is turning into a murderous and disfigured ghost who has been taken over by an alien manifestation.
Series 1, Episode 23
Mar. 26, 1976
The Testament of Arkadia
The Alphans land on the planet Arkadia, where hieroglyphics suggest that it is the cradle of civilization from which life on Earth began. Now it is desolate and cheerless and Koenig feels that it is unsuitable for colonization. Two renegade crew members have other ideas, however, and take Helena hostage in their demands to settle on Arkadia.
Series 1, Episode 24
Apr. 2, 1976
The Last Enemy
The Alphans find themselves caught up in a long-running war between two rival planets, Betha and Delta. When Betha appears to have been hit its commander Dione seeks sanctuary with the Alphans. Koenig attempts to negotiate a truce but Dione has other ideas…
Series 2, Episode 1
Sep. 4, 1976
An Eagle is sent onto the surface of the planet Psychon, which has titanium, needed for repairs to the Alpha Base. It fails to return and is used by Psychon scientist Mentor as a bait with which to entice other members of the Alphan crew onto the planet. Mentor is building a computer but it will be fuelled by the living brains of humans, and he has his eye on those of the Alphan crew. Fortunately his daughter, the shape-shifting Maya, does not share her father's views and is on the side of the Alphans.
Series 2, Episode 2
Sep. 11, 1976
With Maya now a crew member the Alphans discover a young couple called Cantor and Zova who have been in suspended animation for some while. They claim that they are exiles from the planet Golos, following an invasion, and ask for the help of Alphan crew members to restore the planet to them. Helena and Tony accompany them to the planet Golos, where it is apparent that they are not the young innocents they appeared to be.
Series 2, Episode 3
Sep. 18, 1976
Journey to Where
A transmission from Dr. Logan in Texas City leads the Alphans to believe that they can finally land back on Earth, though they have travelled through time and, when they touch down in Texas City, they will be in the twenty-second century. However, due to a hitch, they find themselves in a barren and hostile environment. It is Scotland in the fourteenth century where the Scots are at war with the English invaders.
Series 2, Episode 4
Sep. 25, 1976
One Moment of Humanity
A sinister woman called Zamara materializes on the shop, forcing Helena and Tony to accompany her to the planet of Vega, whose natives are anything but friendly. A servant of the Vegans, known only as Number Eight, informs the two Alphans that he and his race are the natural inhabitants of the planet and that Zamara and her race are androids, who, it turns out, want the Alphans to teach them warfare.
Series 2, Episode 5
Oct. 1, 1976
Brian the Brain
The Alphans encounter an eccentric and intelligent robot who is known as Brian the Brain. Brian's creator Captain Michael and his crew have all died in mysterious circumstances and Brian asks for the help of Koenig and his crew. However, it soon becomes very apparent that Brian is anything but harmless and was in fact responsible for the deaths of Captain Michael and his colleagues. And he is ready to do the same to the Alphans.
Series 2, Episode 6
Oct. 8, 1976
New Adam New Eve
The tall and imposing Magus arrives on board the ship. He claims godlike powers, namely that he effected the Creation. But he is now disillusioned with the way that Life has progressed and wishes to start again. He plans to mate Helena and Tony and Maya with Koenig. But of course he is not God but a renegade cosmic sorcerer, and quite illogical at that, who needs to be controlled.
Series 2, Episode 7
Oct. 15, 1976
The Mark of Archanon
The latest extra-terrestials to be rescued by the Moon Alpha Base crew are Pasc and his young son Etrec. They are from the usually peaceful planet of Archaron and they claim that they are victims of a rebellion, engineered by Pasc's wife Lyra. However, Helena discovers that they have both been infected with a virus which makes them considerably less friendly and more deadly than their initial claim.
Series 2, Episode 8
Oct. 22, 1976
The Rules of Luton
Whilst Koenig and Maya are exploring a planet called Luton,which is lush in vegetation, she picks a flower and he helps himself to some fruit. As a result they are put on trial for murder by three talking trees, the Judges of Luton. The trial is by combat and the pair must face three aliens, one with superstrength, one which can render itself invisible and one which can teleport.
Series 2, Episode 9
Oct. 29, 1976
All That Glisters
The Alpha Moonbase needs a rare ore known as Milgonite, which is detected on an extremely dry planet. Koenig leads a small landing force and discovers a glowing rock formation which comes alive and cuts off the party's links with the base. It is a trap – the planet needs water to survive and has lured the travellers there for the water in their bodies.
Series 2, Episode 10
Nov. 5, 1976
The expansive Taybor, an inter-galactic merchant arrives from hyper-space on his ship the 'Emporium'. He is offering to sell things to the Alphans. Koenig realizes that if the Taybor sold them his space-ship, it would enable the Alphans to fly back to Earth, but the price the Taybor is asking for this transaction is Maya.
Series 2, Episode 11
Nov. 12, 1976
Seed of Destruction
Whilst he is exploring an asteroid Koenig is taken over by an alien race known as the Kalthon, who replace him with an exact double. In consequence every action ordered by the fake Koenig is solely for the benefit of the Kalthon and to the detriment of the welfare of the Alphans. Helena realizes that something is wrong when 'Koenig' is cold to the touch and needs to convince the other crew members.
Series 2, Episode 12
Nov. 19, 1976
The AB Chrysalis
The Alphans land on a planet seemingly devoid of any human existence but being run by a group of machines. The machines explain to the visitors that their human overlords are in a state of regeneration but the chief machine, the Guardian,sees the Alphans as posing a threat and it is down to two newly regenerated females known as A and B to decide their fates.
Series 2, Episode 13
Nov. 26, 1976
Catacombs of the Moon
Ship's engineer Tony Osgood believes he can obtain titanium, to make a new heart for his sick wife Michelle, from the catacombs of the moon, using dynamite. The explosion which follows gives him a vision of the future in which the ship is pursued by a fireball and this comes true. Though Helena is making a new heart for Michelle, Osgood becomes impatient and drags his wife back into the catacombs, giving Koenig a double task – to avoid the fireball and save the Osgoods.
Series 2, Episode 14
Dec. 3, 1976
Koenig and Verdeschi are sucked into a space warp. A feverish Maya is stricken with a fever that causes her to transform into a repulsive space monster.
Series 2, Episode 15
Dec. 10, 1976
A Matter of Balance
Several crew members explore the planet Sunin, including botanist Shermeen Williams, who appears to have visionary gifts. She links up with an alien, called Vindrus, who wants her help in transferring his body and that of his race, into solid matter, giving them proper human form so that they can join the universe as real matter. However, for every one of his race made flesh, an Alphan must lose their matter.
Series 2, Episode 16
Dec. 17, 1976
The Beta Cloud
A strange cloud drifts over the base and causes most of the crew to be stricken with illness. A monster, the 'cloud creature' appears out of the cloud and runs amok on the base. A voice from the cloud explains its purpose. The base must give up its life support in order to prevent the cloud from dying. With most of the crew indisposed through illness, it is down to Maya to employ her shape-shifting skills to beat the creature.
Series 2, Episode 17
Dec. 24, 1976
The Lambda Factor
Lamda waves permeate the Base, causing instruments to malfunction and people to behave out of character. Crew member Sally dies in mysterious circumstances. it eventually becomes clear to Koenig that the waves have taken over Carolyn Powell, whose lover was previously Sally's boyfriend, and they have augmented her senses, giving her a superior form of telepathy. Koenig must do battle with her to prevent her, as the Lamda waves' vessel, taking over the Base.
Series 2, Episode 18
Aug. 4, 1977
The Bringers of Wonder: Part 1
While unconscious and connected to an experimental brain machine, Koenig dreams that he and his friends are on the way home. Upon awakening everyone appears to be hideous monsters.
Series 2, Episode 19
Aug. 11, 1977
The Bringers of Wonder: Part 2
Koenig convinces Helena and Maya that their supposed rescuers from earth are really hostile aliens who want a nuclear explosion on Moonbase Alpha.
Series 2, Episode 20
Aug. 18, 1977
The Seance Spectre
Some subterranean miner start chanting for a planet that will cause the Moon to pass through a nebula deadly to those living at Moonbase Alpha.
Series 2, Episode 21
Aug. 25, 1977
When a ship carrying a prisoner lands at Moonbase Alpha after asking for assistance, Maya insists that the prisoner is a poet and not a murderer and releases him.
Series 2, Episode 22
Sep. 1, 1977
After investigating a planet where all humanoid life had been eradicated, Koenig becomes trapped in a prison on one of the moons where no one knows that their planet has been wiped out.
Series 2, Episode 23
Sep. 8, 1977
The Immunity Syndrome
The arrival of the Alphans on another planet seems to cause a change in its atmosphere, setting off pollution and poisoning of the water. They meet Zoran, the sole survivor of the last exploratory force, who tells them that the planet is controlled by an immortal being – with whom Koenig must parley if he and his crew are to leave the planet alive.
Series 2, Episode 24
Nov. 5, 1977
The Dorcans demand that Moonbase Alpha hand over Maya so that the use of her brain stem can continue their immortal existence.