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When a planet with an earthlike atmosphere happens to pass by our solar
system, earth scientists decide to seize the opportunity & start a
rocketship to this planet - from the moon. But all's not well, since the
astronauts supposed to go on the trip - & some other lunar astronauts alike
- start to suffer from a weird disease causing severe brain damage.
ensure that the space mission takes place nevertheless, earth sends commander
Koenig (Martin Landau) up to investigate - who soon, with the help of medical
doctor Helen Russell (Barbara Bain) & scientist professor Bergman (Barry
Morse) from them moonbase, finds out though that the problems here are far more
severe than first expected: Since the moon was regularly used as a nuclear
waste dumping area for many years, some areas where the waste has been amassed
has concentrated to a point that it causes magnetic (!) radiation, strong
enough to drive men insane, then kill them. - & one of these areas has been
used regularly for test flights.
As soon as Koenig, Russell & Bergman
have found out that though, the area dissolves itself in a giant magnetic
Problem solved ?
On the contrary, as nearby there is a
second nuclear waste site far bigger & more amassed then the first one ...
& when the good people of Moonbase Alpha try to defuse that area - it goes
up in a giant blast instead ... a blast so big it blows the moon out of earth's
orbit, turning it into a giant asteroid (or spaceship, if you may) ... with
(for some reason) no possibility whatsoever to return to earth !
of the many 70's no-nonsense sci-fi-tv-series to repeat the success of Star
Trek with a somewhat similar premise (other such series were Blake's
7 or Battlestar Galactica), & which is nowadays
so funny exactlöy for its dead serious approach to a rather silly premise
(after all, this is a series about people flying through the galaxy with the
moon as their spaceship).
However, the special effects & miniatures are
far above tv-average - as was usual for Gerry & Sylvia Anderson tv-series -
even the miniatures of their early marionation-series from the 60's (e.g. Joe
90, Thunderbirds) were superior to those of many life
action series of its day.
Americans Martin Landau & Barbara Bain by the
way were both also in the popular original Mission Impossible
series, & it was hoped teaming them up again would give the series some