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Space 1999 - The Dorcons

episode 2.24

UK 1977
produced by
Gerry Anderson, Fred Freiberger for ITC
directed by Tom Clegg
starring Martin Landau, Barbara Bain, Catherine Schell, Tony Anholt, Nick Tate, Patrick Troughton, Ann Firbank, Gerry Sundquist, Alibe Parsons, Laurence Harrington, Kevin Sheehan, Michael Halsey, Hamish Patrick, Hazel McBride
screenplay by Johnny Byrne, created by Gerry Anderson, Sylvia Anderson, music by Derek Wadsworth, special effects by Brian Johnson

TV-series
Space 1999

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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A drone appears on the radar of Moonbase Alpha, and puts the whole crew into suspended animation to screen them, obviously showing special interest in the station's shapeshifter Maya (Catherine Schell). Then a Dorcon spaceship arrives, and the Dorcons are the mortal enemies of Maya's people, the Psychons, because they need the Psychon's brain stems to reach immortality. And now that Maya's the last Psychon and the leader of the Dorcons, Archon (Patrick Troughton), has reached dying age, he pretty much needs Maya's stems. The Dorcon Consul Varda (Ann Firbank) puts a friendly, civilized face to it and asks politely for cooperation, but of course Alpha's Commander Koenig (Martin Landau) refuses to hand over Maya, which is followed by a vicious attack on Alpha, then an invasion, so Koenig has no other way than giving up Maya - but when the Dorcons are beamed back to their ship, Koenig jumps into the transporter beam to come after them - but to no avail, he's immediately captured and disarmed. All lost it seems - until Malic (Gerry Sundquist), the logical successor of Archon, kills Koenig's guard and releases Koenig into the ship to find and save Maya. Because you see, Malic is a schemer, and he figures if Archon gains immortality, he'll never inherit his throne. Of course, Malic also figures if he kills Archon, uses Maya's brain stems on himself, and is able to blame everything on Koenig, he's pretty much a made man. And he almost succeeds, too, only that Koenig can stop him just before he gets to Maya's brain stems, and then can convince Consul Varda of Malic's treachery, and in the kerfuffle that ensues, the Dorcons blow up their own ship - only Koenig and Maya manage to escape, beaming themselves back to Alpha just in time.

 

The last official episode of Space 1999 is a bit of a tired swan song to a series of very mixed quality. What the series has always been good at was its miniature effects, but apart from a few explosions on the moonbase, there are not too much of those in here, and the Dorcon spaceship seems especially under-used, only highlighted by its underwhelming destruction. On the plus side, the guest cast is solid, though little attempt was made to have them look anything other than human. At least Maya turns into a space monster in what would be the very last time, so that's a plus. In all, it's actually not a bad episode, but neither a solid series nor even season finale (though at least the latter wasn't even a concept back in 1977), and doesn't give closure to anything.

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Tales to Chill
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Tales to Chill
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