Thursday, 8 October 2015


Ah, Space 1999: the Moon is blown out of Earth’s orbit, and subsequently flies through the universe getting into scrapes and adventures like an out of control 81 quintillion ton wrecking ball. There are three hundred human beings living on it in a climate controlled, hermetically sealed hellhole, Moonbase Alpha. Bizarrely, it has functional, opening windows. They have enough food and drink to live out their lives, but no way of going home, ever. It’s pretty depressing. 
In The Guardian Of Piri the inhabitants of Alpha find a planet that will support human life, a wonderful candy coloured ball of oxygen and water and all they need to begin again. The problem is that, once you arrive, you can’t leave, as The Guardian, an all-powerful super computer, won’t let you. It is The Guardian’s job to serve its people, and it won’t allow them to do anything. Instead, you are expected to spend your days in a blissful torpor, lounging around in your pyjamas and staring at a mesmerising illuminated hole in the red sky. It’s a form of slow death, but it’s not a bad life, especially if the alternative is eking out your days on a miserable mobile Moon.
Naturally, Commander John Koenig stops all the nonsense, overthrowing The Guardian and dragging his bewildered crew back to their airless plastic prison. Given their tragic history and limited future it seems cruel to take them from Piri. Rightly or wrongly, they were happy there. But then Space 1999 is about an endless struggle for a pathetic facsimile of ‘normal’ life, not about sitting on your silk clad arse and staring happily at the sky all day, so the bleak metaphysical circus continues.   

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