Remember Space: 1999? It was one of the biggest cult British Space Opera shows of the 1970s. The show had more lavish effects, sets and costume designs for the period. It was produced by Gerry Anderson and shot at Pinewood Studios – think of it as pretty much Anderson’s version of Star Trek.
Now Big Finish has produced an audio drama of the show. It’s not a sequel, it’s a remake, starting with a new audio drama version of the original pilot episode “Breakaway” and first episodes.
Set in a (by now) retrofuture 1999, the series features a research facility built on the moon. When one of the nuclear reactors explodes, Moonbase Alpha and its personnel are propelled out of the solar system into into a black hole and emerge in deep space. There the heroic Commander Koenig and his crew encounter alien civilisations and various alien villains the same way Kirk and crew did on Star Trek. This could get very inconvenient as Koenig searches for a new place to call home.
The original TV series lasted only two seasons, but made a lasting impression on a lot of kids. It made Martin Landau a TV star for a time. Big Finish, of course, are big fans of the show, and have lovingly recreated the original pilot and even the original TV credit sequence with the new cast.
Big Finish Clearly Loves This Show No Matter How Goofy It Was
Big Finish also released a behind-the-scenes video where the producers, writers, director, and cast all geek out about the show. Isaac Asimov “science-shamed” the show. He just had to point out all the parts of the show that got the science aspects wrong. But hey, no other show had a sexy space changeling named Maya in its cast.
After the Apollo missions of the 1960s and early 1970s, space exploration was very nearly abandoned as public pressure mounted for money to be concentrated on problems down here on Earth.
But, by a whisker, funding was granted for a base on the Moon. Greatly expanded, it became the international Moonbase Alpha we know today. 311 personnel serve in a perfect, self-sustaining, artificial environment – their mission statement: ‘to forward the frontiers of human knowledge and science’.
Dateline: 13th September 1999. The interplanetary Meta Probe is due to be launched from a platform orbiting the Moon. What could possibly go wrong?
- Mark Bonnar (Commander John Koenig)
- Maria Teresa Creasey (Dr Helena Russell)
- Timothy Bentinck (Commissioner Simmons)
- Clive Hayward (Professor Victor Bergman)
- Susan Hingley (Sandra Benes / Sian Springer / Alpha Computer)
- Glen McCready (Commander Gorsky / Paul Morrow / Alan Carter)
- Amaka Okafor (Dashka Kano)
- Jules de Jongh (Petra Nordstorm)
- Cover Artist: Tom Webster
- Executive Producer: Nicholas Briggs, Jason Haigh-Ellery
- Music: Benji Clifford
- Producer: David Richardson
- Script Editor: Jamie Anderson
- Sound Design: Iain Meadows
- Written by: Nicholas Briggs
- Theme Music by: Barry Gray
Space 1999: Breakaway is available on CD and digital download at Big Finish.