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Space 1999 - Devil's Planet

episode 2.22

UK 1977
produced by
Gerry Anderson, Fred Freiberger for ITC
directed by Tom Clegg
starring Martin Landau, Hildegard Neil, Roy Marsden, Dora Reisser, Cassandra Harris, Angus MacInnes, Arthur White, Michael Dickinson, John Hug, Alibe Parsons, Sam Dastor, Del Baker
screenplay by Michael Winder, created by Gerry Anderson, Sylvia Anderson, music by Derek Wadsworth, special effects by Brian Johnson

Space 1999

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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Moonbase Alpha on earth's runaway moon has discovered a planet to support life, so Commander Koenig (Martin Landau) and pilot Maine (Michael Dickinson) take a trip there to investigate. The planet's highly developed, but everybody on there seems to be dead. Upon leaving though, Koenig and Maine's shuttle is drawn into the gravitational pull of the planet's moon and crashes. Fortunately they come out of this unfazed, and fortunately as well, that planet has earthlike atmosphere and vegetation - but unfortunately this moon is the planet's penal colony ruled by ruthless Elizia (Hildegard Neil) where whip-wielding female jailers in silly costumes (including helmets reminiscent of Roman leggionaires) keep the male prisoners in check. The jailers kill Fraser pretty much on the spot but take Koenig prisoner. On Moonbase Alpha, Koenig's crew gets worried about his whereabouts, so they send another Eagle to the planet and ultimately to the prison moon, but Elizia fakes it so it looks both Koenig and Fraser have died in the crash - so the Alphan Eagle leaves again. Koenig makes an escape attempt but ultimately fails, but he manages to plant a seed of doubt into those in the colony, that their home planet, the one the prisoners hope to return to when pardoned and the jailers want to return to once their turn here is up, is no longer habitable for their kind, and ultimately he escapes to the planet via a telportation chamber, to radio for the Eagle, while Elizia goes after him to prove to hers that the planet is still habitable, but she collapses and dies while Koenig's picked up by his crew.


The interesting thing about this episode is that it features none of the regulars other than Koenig, and even the few crewmembers shown when Koenig radios to Alpha are complete unknowns to the audience. That's due to this episode shot at the same time as Dorzak - in which Martin Landau did not feature - thus none of the other leads was available for this one. A very logical logistical move of course, that comes off as very odd for the audience.


As a whole, this is an episode with its ups and its downs: While the miniature work is good as usual, the uniforms of the jailers and the prison suits are pure camp, and the story doesn't really have too much to offer as the premise is reduced to jump-and-run routines while the more interesting questions that seem to pose themselves, like what happened on the planet, and how did it develop its own penal colony, are pretty much glossed over. It's fun to watch for sure, but not exactly a piece of great science fiction.


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review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
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shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
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Tales to Chill
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the new anthology by
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
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written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD