On September 13, 1999, our dear Moon experienced a catastrophic nuclear explosion which hurled it out of orbit into deep space. It took with it the brave men and women of Moonbase Alpha. In the years that followed the Alphans encountered Joan Collins, Christoper Lee, Brian Blessed, and whip-wielding women in red catsuits.
Space: 1999 still gets a lot of flak for being cheesy SF TV, but one cannot understate the profound impact the show had on fans in the 1970s. It was the only new effects-heavy space-based show at the time, and a syndicated show at that. It had a fairly diverse cast, at least by 70s TV standards. It featured the distinct Gerry Anderson vibe that had made Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet such eye candy, mostly due to the astounding effects work of Brian Johnson and Martin Bower.
It was the last non-ironic performance by Martin Landau and Barbara Bain as a couple, who followed it up with The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan’s Island. MST3K had fun with it. Some still hold that it surpassed Star Trek in many ways. The show also generated a lot of Fanzines.
In our current age when SF, fantasy, and comics are the tentpoles of mainstream TV and movies, it can be hard to remember what it was like back then. Space: 1999 served as a weird connective link between 2001: A Space Odyssey and Star Wars, sufficiently filling the void for SF fans. I, for one, still remember the visceral thrill I got every time the second season opening credits started.