Space 1999 - Space Warp
Gerry Anderson, Fred Freiberger for ITC
directed by Peter Medak
starring Martin Landau, Barbara Bain, Catherine Schell, Tony Anholt, Nick Tate, Zienia Merton, Jeffery Kissoon, Peter Porteous, Tony Osoba, John Judd, Trevor Thomas, Andrew Lodge
screenplay by Charles Woodgrove (as Fred Freiberger), created by Gerry Anderson, Sylvia Anderson, music by Derek Wadsworth, special effects by Brian Johnson
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While Commander Koenig (Martin Landau) and Tony Verdeschi (Tony Anholt)
are on a mission to examine an abandoned alien spaceship, earth's runaway
moon - and Moonbase Alpha with it, naturally - go through a space warp
that spits it out in five lightyears distance. Koenig and Tony search the
area for the space warp but are unable to trace it on their own, so they
make it onto the abandoned spaceship in hope for some clues.
on Alpha, resident shapeshifter Maya (Catherine Schell) has fallen
terribly ill, to the extent that she turns into a monster and roughs up
some of the crew, including the base's doctor-in-chief Helena Russell
(Barbara Bain). As the monster, she tries to snatch an Eagle to fly back
to her home planet, but when the Eagle is lowered into the hangar to
prevent just that and she still starts the spaceship in the hangar, that
leads to a massive explosion, and she, in her monster state, can only just
be saved. She then turns into another monster and exits Alpha to take a
stroll on the moon surface. Doc Russell (Barbara Bain) and Carter (Nick
Tate) go after her, in full moonwalking gear, for her to attack them,
which causes Carter's oxygen tank to crack and he nearly suffocates if it
wasn't for Doc Russell. Maya the monster in the meantime finally gets worn
down and can be dragged back to the base before running out of oxygen
herself, and on the base she quickly goes back to normal.
the spaceship, Koenig and Tony find all the clues that eventually lead
them to the space warp, and they're reunited with their friends before too
Not a great but a fun episode, for one of course for the
hokey monsters Maya turns into - they don't convince for a minute but are
fun to look at at least, and especially the first monster's fighting
skills that with many patented wrestling moves provide for some laughters.
And then there are the miniature effects that are nothing short of great -
the scene with the Eagle attempting to start in the hangar is impressive
not only by 70s TV standards, it still looks totally convincing today. Of
course, on the downside, the script's a bit on the silly side, and neither
of the two narrative threads are structured all that well while both leave
too much to coincidence. And yet, the episode is entertaining enough, in
its own, slightly silly way.