We’ll miss you, Mr. Spock

Leonard Nimoy's final words on Twitter

Leonard Nimoy’s final words on Twitter

A candid snapshot of Nimoy and Star Trek co-star Shatner

A candid snapshot of Nimoy and Star Trek co-star Shatner

The South has gotten hit by an unusual amount of snow this week and I have been watching lots of classic Star Trek to combat cabin fever. As such, the sound of Leonard Nimoy’s voice as Mister Spock has become something of a background hum in my apartment.

I knew of his condition but didn’t expect the news which broke today.

Leonard Nimoy, the sonorous, gaunt-faced actor who won a worshipful global following as Mr. Spock, the resolutely logical human-alien first officer of the Starship Enterprise in the television and movie juggernaut “Star Trek,” died on Friday morning at his home in the Bel Air section of Los Angeles. He was 83.

His wife, Susan Bay Nimoy, confirmed his death, saying the cause was end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Full story - N.Y. Times
http://graphics8.nytimes.com/bcvideo/1.0/iframe/embed.html?videoId=100000003534070&playerType=embed

Characters in fiction can take on a larger than life aspect. Nimoy himself found this to be true when he found difficulty in shedding his Vulcan persona after Star Trek’s cancellation. Usually, the cult phenomenon of a celebrity or character freaks me out, but in this case I found that, through Mr. Spock, Nimoy used his status to spread a message of compassion and fortitude through what is to some a silly TV program from the 60’s.

spockFiction can be a powerful thing, science-fiction even more so as it portrays a world of possibilities unhindered by the shackles of our day-to-day world. It can connect with you through books, movies, TV shows, video games or maybe friends/family who are into that kind of thing when you are not. But it can mean something more than just an escape.

It’s worth noting that as the news of his death has spread, other projects outside of his relationship with Star Trek have been given more attention such as his photography. Some of his artwork was collected in the book Shekhina and I have included an example below (more info here). The series explores the feminine aspect of God.

Nimoy_PhotoNimoy’s religious experiences provided the germ of the famous ‘live long and prosper’ gesture which he first saw as a child sitting in a synagogue when the kohanim gave a blessing to the congregation, holding their hands in shape of the Hebrew letter shin, the first letter in the name of God (so every time you Trekkies/Trekkers do that thing, you’re blessing someone).

spock

After three years of the television series and a cartoon run, Leonard Nimoy turned his back on Spock for what many thought was forever. Back in 1978, he very reluctantly returned to Star Trek for the Motion Picture. It was a surprisingly positive experience and the sequel Wrath of Khan an even better one. He ended up directing the third and fourth films and went on to reprise the role of Spock for the Next Generation viewers and a brand new franchise in the 2009 film.

That’s several generations that have been exposed to Mr. Spock in one way or another.

Leonard Nimoy with William Shatner and DeForest Kelley

Leonard Nimoy with William Shatner and DeForest Kelley

While Spock struggled to understand what he perceived as the erratic emotional behavior human beings, he embodied the best qualities of what it meant to be human in his compassion, understanding and quest for belonging in a universe full of kill crazy super beings, salt-eating monsters, hyper-intelligent robotic entities and a ship doctor who never stopped trying to get the bastard to just sit down and have a drink.

Leonard Nimoy ceased to be as a living and breathing person today, but the message that he embodied in his work is immortal so long as we listen and remember. As people, we all pass on eventually. But we can be more.

Speaking of listening… have a laugh with his rendition of ‘The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins’ and a selection from Mr. Spock’s Music From Outer Space:

The Star Trek Story

Startrek_McCoy_Kirk_SpockI’ve been watching this a lot the past few weeks and coming to a new conclusion as to what it means to me. I had previously held it as ‘the establishment in space’ as opposed to Star Wars’ rebels in space or Doctor Who’s anti-establishment rebel making trouble trough time and space.

But it occurs to me that Kirk and his crew were trained by Star Fleet to handle certain situations only to encounter situations that often defied human knowledge. Rather than sticking to the book, Kirk trusted his instincts and made judgement calls (that were often rather pigheaded or plain foolish) and stumbled through a fantastic experience only to miraculously survive to tell the tale.

StarTrek_Kirk_Bloody

In my opinion, Star Trek got a bit complacent and bogged down in its success over the years leading to lackluster films and TV programs wrapped up in continuity rather than the ingenuity of its seminal years. But at its heart, Star Trek isn’t about cops and robbers in space. It’s about the human experience (as shown in the rarely talked about 1978 Motion Picture and again in the Star Trek: The Next Generation series finale ‘All Good Things…’ which was recently released on blu-ray).

kirk-spock-hold-hands-star-trek

It can be fun to see a war with the Klingons and Data’s evil twin team up with the daughter of Tasha Yar from a parallel reality to partner with Lursa and B’Etor… but in my opinion these adventures pale against the more relevant stories that explore what it is to be human in an otherworldly reality. Especially the really whacked out episodes…

StarTrek_Data_phone

Below is a pretty neat BBC documentary on Trek that interviews the creators and stars on what began as a dinner time sci-fi program and ballooned into a cultural phenomenon.

… and be ready for Nichelle Nichols crooning the Gene Roddenberry torch song (and an unexpected narration by Doctor Who, Paul McGann).

Expect more reviews to come (including the Motion Picture).

Also, please keep actor Leonard Nimoy in your thoughts as he was recently hospitalized for severe chest pains.

Recommended:

StarTrekNextGen_Season4starTrek_StarDate_BluRaystarTrek_TOSMeaningIn_StarTrek

Strontium Dog film on the way from Judge Minty team

The insanely talented team behind the fan film ‘Judge Minty‘ are at it again with Strontium Dog: Search and Destroy. Created by John Wagner and artist Carlos Ezquerra, Strontium Dog ran in 2000 A.D. (after a short run in Star Lord… no relation), which was also home to Judge Dredd and Rogue Trooper.

Set in a dystopian future, Strontium Dog followed Johnny Alpha mutant bounty hunter chasing criminals through irradiated ghettos and sometimes even alternate realities. The comic strip was bleakly humorous and overtly violent, much like Dredd. It’s following is very devoted as is evidenced on the detail of the upcoming fan film.

strontiumdog

We are delighted to say that actor Matthew Simpson has kindly agreed to play the part of Johnny Alpha in our film.
Matthew Simpson as Johnny Alpha
Costume Credits:
Digital modelling – Steve Green
Additional digital modelling, prop fabrication and costume build – Dan at Planet Replicas Ltd
Undersuit – Victoria Wilder
Based on the work of Carlos Ezquerra, John Wagner and Alan Grant.
STRONTIUM DOG TM REBELLION A/S, ©REBELLION A/S, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
This project is a NOT FOR PROFIT fan film based on the 2000 AD story, Strontium Dog.
The makers of this film have no association with Rebellion or 2000 AD.
Dog_WulfSternhammer

We are delighted to say that actor Kevin Horsham has kindly agreed to play the part of Wulf Sternhammer in our film.
Kevin Horsham as Wulf Sternhammer
Costume Credits:
Digital modelling – Steve Green
Additional digital modelling, prop fabrication and costume build – Dan at Planet Replicas Ltd
Based on the work of Carlos Ezquerra, John Wagner and Alan Grant.
STRONTIUM DOG TM REBELLION A/S, ©REBELLION A/S, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
This project is a NOT FOR PROFIT fan film based on the 2000 AD story, Strontium Dog.
The makers of this film have no association with Rebellion or 2000 AD.

To keep up to date with developments, bookmark this page.

THIS WEEK AT YOUR COMIC SHOP 2/25/15

For the complete list of this week’s comics, click here.

Not sure where your local comic shop is? Try comicshoplocator.com!

(note: all information including ad copy is from the publisher)
If you can’t make it to the shop, just click on any of the images below to be taken to an online retailer. I don’t get any referrals for these sales, I’m just doing my bit to spread the word on some neat products.

PUBLISHER
TITLE, ISSUE NUMBER, PRICE IN U.S. DOLLARS (“AR” means “ask your retailer for the price”)

BIG FINISH
Doctor Who Mistfall Audio CD, $24.99
Doctor Who The Exxilons Audio CD, $18.99
Doctor Who The Romance Of Crime And The English Way Death Limited Edition CD, $52.99
DC COMICS
Aquaman #39 (Paul Pelletier Regular Cover), $2.99
Batman #39 (Greg Capullo & Danny Miki Regular Cover), $3.99
Batman ’66 #20, $2.99
Batman Eternal #47, $2.99
Flash #39 (Brett Booth Regular Cover), $2.99
Gotham Academy #5 (Karl Kerschl Regular Cover), $2.99
Gotham By Midnight #4, $2.99
Justice League Dark #39 (Guillem March Regular Cover), $3.99
New 52 Futures End #43, $2.99
Secret Origins #10, $4.99
Sinestro #10 (Brad Walker & Andrew Hennessy Regular Cover), $2.99
Star-Spangled War Stories Featuring G.I. Zombie #7, $2.99
DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT
Twilight Zone Shadow And Substance #2 (Cover B Francesco Francavilla), $3.99
HUMANOIDS PUBLISHING
Metabarons HC, $59.95
MARVEL COMICS
All-New Captain America Fear Him #4 (Of 4), $3.99
All-New Invaders #15, $3.99
All-New X-Men #38 (Andrea Sorrentino & Marcelo Maiolo Regular Cover), $3.99
Amazing Spider-Man #15 (Giuseppe Camuncoli Regular Cover), $3.99
Avengers And X-Men Axis HC, $49.99
Avengers Time Runs Out Volume 2 HC (Premiere Edition), $24.99
Black Panther Who Is The Black Panther TP (New Printing), $24.99
Daredevil #13 (Chris Samnee Regular Cover), $3.99
Darth Vader #2 (Adi Granov Regular Cover), $3.99
Fantastic Four #643 (Leonard Kirk Regular Cover), $3.99
Men Of Wrath By Jason Aaron #5 (Of 5)(Ron Garney Regular Cover), $3.50
New Avengers #30 (Alan Davis Regular Cover), $3.99
Uncanny Avengers #2 (Daniel Acuna Regular Cover), $3.99
TITAN COMICS
Doctor Who The Twelfth Doctor #5 (Alice X Zhang Regular Cover), $3.99
TWOMORROWS PUBLISHING
Alter Ego #131, $8.95
Modern Masters Volume 30 Paolo Rivera SC, $15.95
Videos
LEGO DC Justice League Vs Bizarro League BD + DVD With Figure, AR
Merchandise
1966 Batman Catwoman Model Kit, $34.99
Alien Vintage Jumbo Action Figure, $499.00
Batman ’66 Joker 17-Inch Talking Figure, $44.95
Peanuts Scout Snoopy And Woodstock Ultra Detail Figure, $14.99
Phantom With Devil Previews Exclusive Silver T-Shirt LG, $19.95

Meet Aquaman

Late last night, Batman V Superman director Zack Snyder debuted the first image of Jason Momoa as Aquaman from the upcoming Dawn of Justice film.

(read all about Aquaman here)

Aquaman

The movie will further develop DC Entertainment’s plan toward a Justice League movie (which is likely the meaning behind the ‘unite the seven’ message, referring to the seven key members of the Justice League of America; Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, the Flash, Green Lantern and Martian Manhunter).

The Justice League of America gather for the first time (as drawn by Alex Ross)

The Justice League of America gather for the first time (as drawn by Alex Ross)

DC has a long way to compete with Marvel’s Avengers and seems to be trying to make up the difference in big leaps rather than small measured steps. Dawn of Justice will see a new Batman played by Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Ray Fisher as Cyborg (instead of Martian Manhunter), and possibly Ezra Miller as the Flash. For anyone who remembers being annoyed or frustrated by the kitchen sink of characters in Amazing Spider-Man 2 or Spider-Man 3, imagine amping that up to 11 and you get the idea.

Production woes and an overstuffed cast of heroes could make Dawn of Justice a massive flop. But it could also overcome those handicaps and be the major hit that DC/Warner has been looking for. In any case… doesn’t Jason Momoa look awesome?

Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice will premiere on the 25th of March, 2016

Doctor Who ‘City of Death’ finally novelized


DrWho_TomBaker_CityofDeathFor a television program spanning over 50 years in various mediums, Doctor Who’s legacy is a long and thorny one. Changes in leading men production teams, clashes behind the camera, legal wranglings and outright destruction of film cans have caused some problems for fans.

DoctorWhoTargetAd_1981-12-12Before the advent of DVDs, streaming media and such things, fans of Doctor Who read novelized versions of the adventures on screen. From the 1960’s through 1989, the TV episodes were released in bookshops. While some were adapted by the actual screenwriters, many were written by others such as Ian Marter and Terrance Dicks. Despite the popularity and success of Doctor Who, there remain gaps in this endeavor (most notably Resurrection of the Daleks and Revelation of the Daleks by Eric Saward and City of Death by Douglas Adams).

After taking over the role of script editor from Anthony Read in the 16th season of Doctor Who during the Key to Time saga, Adams later rose to popularity for his radio comedy Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. During his time on Who, Adams contributed to three key stories, The Pirate Planet, City of Death and the never finished Shada.

City of Death has become a kind of touchstone for introducing fans of the new series to the classic program as it has many of the key elements that can be found in the BBC Wales program such as high wit and a brazen sense of drama and high concept science fiction mixed with contemporary settings. Adams was never happy with the finished results and to be honest, it doesn’t really hold up to its reputation in my opinion. Nevertheless, it is a well-loved story and one that is still looked upon with reverence.

Tragically, City of Death was never novelized… until now.

DrWho_CityofDeathFeaturing Tom Baker, City Of Death, is a novel by James Goss based on the 1979 Doctor Who episode written by The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy author, Douglas Adams. City Of Death is one of the best-loved serials in the show’s history and was watched by over 16 million viewers when first broadcast. Synopsis below:

The Doctor takes Romana for a holiday in Paris – a city which, like a fine wine, has a bouquet all its own. Especially if you visit during one of the vintage years. But the TARDIS takes them to 1979, a table-wine year, a year whose vintage is soured by cracks – not in their wine glasses but in the very fabric of time itself

Soon the Time Lords are embroiled in an audacious alien scheme which encompasses home-made time machines, the theft of the Mona Lisa, the resurrection of the much-feared Jagaroth race, and the beginning (and quite possibly the end) of all life on Earth.

Aided by British private detective Duggan, whose speciality is thumping people, the Doctor and Romana must thwart the machinations of the suave, mysterious Count Scarlioni – all twelve of him – if the human race has any chance of survival.

But then, the Doctor’s holidays tend to turn out a bit like this

City Of Death is published May 21 – priced £16.99

About the author:
James Goss is the author of two Doctor Who novels: The Blood Cell and Dead of Winter, as well as Summer Falls (on behalf of Amy Pond). He is also the co-author, with Steve Tribe, of The Doctor: His Lives and Times, The Dalek Handbook and Doctor Who: A History of the Universe in 100 Objects. While at the BBC James produced an adaptation of Shada, an unfinished Douglas Adams Doctor Who story and his Doctor Who audiobook Dead Air won Best Audiobook 2010.

While Doctor Who may be a worldwide cultural success today, this kind of announcement appeals mainly to a select group of fans who are nonetheless exuberant. It is disappointing that Gareth Roberts (author of several great novels such as The English Way of Death, The Well-Mannered War and an adaptation of Adams’ Shada) is no longer writing this book Jams Goss is a good fit. His excellently absurd audio adventure The Scorchies is proof positive there.

For some fans of Doctor Who, this is a ‘so what’ moment while for others it fills a long empty gap in their collection.

X-Men: Apocalypse adds new cast members to ranks

X-Men Logo Designed by Jared K. Fletcher

X-Men Logo Regenesis Designed by Jared K. Fletcher

Hated and feared by a world they are sworn to protect, the X-Men are the vanguard of the next stage in human evolution. Trained by Professor Charles Xavier, these outcast study in what is on the surface an unassuming private school. In reality, the Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters in the training ground for young mutants in the fight against threats from within and without the mutant community (such as the Brotherhood led by Magneto).

Byrne-X-men-Montage-Small

The legacy of the X-Men is a long one and began in 1963 when a new series called The Mutants was developed by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee. The series changed into the X-Men (as Stan thought it sounded cooler) and focused on a class of youngsters unsure of their place in the world. As they stumbled into adulthood, their abilities grew and their world became more complex. Neither the family of the Fantastic Four or the supergroup of the Avengers, X-Men was something wholly other and in fact it struggled to find an audience for years (despite some stellar work from top notch creative teams). It wasn’t until the team was totally revamped and new blood introduced (in the form of Storm, Banshee, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Thunderbird, Sunfire and the brutal Wolverine) that the comic book saw success in a big way.

In 2000, Bryan Singer took key aspects of the comic book and translated them into a big screen adventure. While not exactly true to the precise origins of the comic book or the popular 90’s cartoon iteration, it nevertheless was a hit. It has spawned a seven film franchise with an eighth on the way.

in the last film, Days of Future Past, the ultimate final solution of the mutant problem was explored in a nightmare world in which monstrous robots created vast concentration camps for anyone they identified as a possible mutant. Launching a rescue operation into the past, Wolverine was sent to rewrite history, making the time of the Sentinels an impossible reality. The resulting time travel conundrum rewrote what had happened (and wiped out most if not all of the dread third film, X-Men The Last Stand).

Alexandra Shipp (Storm)

Alexandra Shipp (Storm)

SophieTurner_JeanGrey

Sophie Turner (Jean Grey)

TyeSheridan_Cyclops

Tye Sheridan (Cyclops)

Kodi Smit-McPhee (Nightcrawler)

Kodi Smit-McPhee (Nightcrawler)

In X-Men: Apocalypse, a new team of mutants will emerge, albeit with new faces. The characters of Cyclops, Jean Grey, Storm and Nightcrawler will appear but portrayed by younger actors.

xmen_apocalypseThe eighth X-Men movie will not only bring in new talent for existing heroes but also introduce a new villain in the guise of Apocalypse, who claims to be the first mutant born 5,000 years in the past. Along with his horsemen, Apocalypse is paving the way for a world ruled by only the fittest, destroying any in his way; mutant or human.

X-Men-Apocalypse-post-credits-scene-four-horsemen

(eagle-eyed viewers may have noticed Apocalypse’s followers chanting his name – En Sabah Nur – as a massive pyramid was formed using mutant power at the close of Days of Future Past)

Singer has also been posting production stills via instagram:

Brianjaysinger_apocalypse

Via RealtyToday (why? I have no idea)

Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios might be making the headlines of late due to their recently decided shared custody of the “Spider-Man” franchise, but the prequel/sequel “X-Men: Apocalypse” is also catching up to the hype. According to Screen Rant, the upcoming blockbuster will be set forward another 10 years from the “X-Men: Days of Future Past” timeline.

IGN noted that Singer has actually been sharing quite a lot of images from pre-production on his official Instagram page. There were images of an undone Cerebro set build as well as a model of what would appear to be Professor Xavier’s mansion. However, what caught the attention of the fans would be director Bryan Singer’s latest online post that seemed to give the fans a sneak peek into where Apocalypse lives.

It was a very mysterious piece of production art, as it looked like a ship with an indistinct yellow figure standing right at the bottom of a ramp that leads into it. Those who have followed the comics guessed that this object could be Ship, the sentient artificial intelligence creation that served as Apocalypse’s mobile home base, just as Comic Book has pointed out.

Set in the 1980s, the movie will be featuring younger versions of the lead characters, such as Alexandra Shipp for Storm, Tye Sheridan for Cyclops, and Sophie Turner for Jean Grey, as well as Kodi Smit-McPhee as the Nightcrawler. They will be battling the villain shown in the last movie’s post-credits scene, Apocalypse, who will be played by Oscar Isaac.

“X-Men: Apocalypse” will also be bringing back Rose Byrne to reprise her role as Moira Taggert, a CIA agent who also happens to be their mutant ally. Plus, Screen Rant says that it is highly likely that Singer will reel in new mutants as well. Since the blockbuster will be set in the 1980s, the fans will most probably see more interesting fashion choices such as side ponytails and leg warmers.

IGN also spoke to Isaac about his plans with Signer regarding the project of bringing the nasty villain into life. “Just as Bryan’s done with the other films, I think he seeks to find something a little more interesting than the archetypal aspects of the characters, which work really well in print,” Isaac shared. “But, for a film, I think you want to see a bit more of the – for lack of a better word – humanity in Apocalypse because, ultimately, this is a story about humans.”

Plus, the report stated that the production crew will be able to achieve the villain’s malleable look with the use of practical as well as digital effects.

“X-Men: Apocalypse” will be hitting the big screens by May 27, 2016.

Recommended:

On Netflix- Wolverine and the X-Men

On Netflix- Wolverine and the X-Men

A1Rak7dw2AL._SL1500_91nghXTNeaL._SL1500_download

THIS WEEK AT YOUR COMIC SHOP 2/18/15

For the complete list of this week’s comics, click here.

Not sure where your local comic shop is? Try comicshoplocator.com!

(note: all information including ad copy is from the publisher)
If you can’t make it to the shop, just click on any of the images below to be taken to an online retailer. I don’t get any referrals for these sales, I’m just doing my bit to spread the word on some neat products.

PUBLISHER
TITLE, ISSUE NUMBER, PRICE IN U.S. DOLLARS (“AR” means “ask your retailer for the price”)

DC COMICS
Batgirl #39 (Cameron Stewart Regular Cover), $2.99
Batman And Robin #39 (Patrick Gleason & Mick Gray Regular Cover), $2.99
Batman Eternal #46, $2.99
Batwoman #39, $2.99
Earth 2 World’s End #20, $2.99
Justice League #39 (Jason Fabok Regular Cover), $3.99
Multiversity Mastermen #1 (Jim Lee & Scott Williams Regular Cover), $4.99
New 52 Futures End #42, $2.99
Scalped Deluxe Edition Volume 1 HC, $29.99
Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman #7, $3.99

DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

Shadow Year One Omnibus HC (Matt Wagner Signed & Remarked Edition), $300.00
Shadow Year One Omnibus HC (Matt Wagner Signed Edition), $39.99

EAGLEMOSS PUBLICATIONS
DC Batman Automobilia Figurine Collection Magazine #51 (Detective #233 Batwoman Bike), $20.00
DC Batman Automobilia Figurine Collection Magazine #52 (Batman Forever Movie Boat), $20.00
Star Trek The Official Starships Figurine Collection Magazine #34 (Vulcan Surak Class), $20.00
Star Trek The Official Starships Figurine Collection Magazine #35 (Early Klingon Bird Of Prey), $20.00

HUMANOIDS PUBLISHING

Barbarella And The Wrath Of The Minute-Eater HC, $34.95

MARVEL COMICS

All-New Captain America #4 (Stuart Immonen Regular Cover), $3.99
Avengers World #17, $3.99
Captain America And The Mighty Avengers #5, $3.99
Daredevil Volume 2 West-Case Scenario TP, $19.99
Deathlok #5 (Mike Perkins Regular Cover), $3.99
Iron Fist The Living Weapon #9, $3.99
Moon Knight #12, $3.99
Silver Surfer #9, $3.99
Uncanny X-Men #31, $3.99

MOONSTONE

Doc Savage The Frightened Fish Novel HC, $19.99

Merchandise
Avengers NOW Iron Man Red Color Variant ARTFX+ Statue, $54.99
Batman ’66 Batman 17-Inch Talking Figure, $44.95
Batman ’66 Robin 16-Inch Talking Figure, $44.95
Batman Black And White Batman Statue By Eduardo Risso (2nd Edition), $79.95
Daredevil Symbol Knit Beanie, $18.99
DC Comics The New 52 Nightwing Action Figure, $24.95
Escape From New York Snake Plisskin 8-Inch Retro Action Figure, $32.99
Guardians Of The Galaxy Lil Groot Previews Exclusive Black T-Shirt LG, $18.99

SPACE: 1999 – Seed of Destruction

‘Seed of Destruction’


Space-1999-cast-2Written by John Goldsmith, directed by Kevin Connor
Transmitted on 11 November 1976

Moonbase Alpha.
Massive nuclear explosion
The Moon torn out of orbit
Hurled into outer space

The year is 1999. The moon has become unstuck from Earth orbit due to an industrial accident, sending it into deep space where the crew of Moonbase Alpha has encountered mind-bending experiencing and dallied with extinction. Led by the stalwart Commander John Koenig, Alpha is searching for a new home… but mainly bumping into very bizarre entities and killer aliens as it travels throughout space on a doomsday course with the unknown.

Commander John Koenig and Alan Carter are investigating the latest in a series of weird things to land outside the doorstep of Moonbase Alpha. This time around, it’s a diamond-like planet. After landing on the terrain (covered in a fine crystalline dust), Koenig goes solo into a hall of mirrors while Carter works on a random ship malfunction. While in the fun-house cavern, the Commander is overtaken by a creepy mirror image of himself who returns to Moonbase Alpha and wreaks havoc.

It turns out that the diamond planet (which really looks far more like a ball of tin foil) is the restring place of a seed holding the remainder of an entire civilization. The doppleganger Koenig is using the resources of Moonbase Alpha to bring about its rebirth at the expense of all else. It’s worth noting that the Alphans learn this lesson of survival several times over during their journey and the lesson is that there are no rules in the game of life… and it’s no game.

Space is a scary dangerous place, man.

Essentially an evil twin story, Seed of Destruction is remarkable for its trippy visual effects (the swirling kaleidoscope of Koenig’s screaming face while a demonic voice laughs) and strong performances from the cast (both Tony Anholt and Catherine Schell take over the show) make this worth checking out. Additionally, Martin Landau delivers a chilling performance of a mad alien impersonator without going too far over the top.

Even in the world of fandom, Space:1999 is a red-headed stepchild to Star Trek, Star Wars and even Doctor Who. A Gerry Anderson production (the guy who made the Thunderbirds) made with the assistance of Lew Grade (the guy behind the Prisoner and the Muppet Show… figure that out), Space:1999 is mainly known for its slow pace, head-scratching plots and weird tech (the handheld camera/walkie-talkies and knuckle-duster sidearms). However it has recently been released on blu-ray which is causing some to investigate this oddity.


And that’s a good thing because Space:1999 is an amazing program that is well worth a deeper look. A program with an insane premise, Space:1999 nonetheless delivers its message of self discovery in the wake of hopelessness with surprisingly sophisticated maturity (even when there’s a huge rubber monster sucking astronauts into another dimension). It’s part 2001, part Outer Limits.

The second season was helmed by Fred Freiberger (yes, the guy who saw Star Trek off the air in its third season). Like many critics of Space:1999, Freiberger thought that the program needed more life and energy so he injected more humor and new characters such as the home-brewer astronaut (how ahead of his time was he!?) Tony Verdeschi and the shape-leggy shifting alien Maya. The program got more than a little embedded in the rubber monster territory after the production execs said it was the latest thing in the US market, but it’s still a fun watch.

Of course the second series of Space: 1999 is not currently available on blu-ray… but that’s alright. While still visually engaging, it is a poor successor to the first year. If you are unfamiliar with Space:1999 and unwilling to see easily part with your money, check out a sample here:

Read more Space:1999 articles

Read more Space:1999 articles

Recommended:

Buy Space: 1999 on Blu-ray

Exploring Space 1999: An Episode Guide and Complete History of the Mid-1970s Science Fiction Television Series