Thursday, October 11, 2012

SPACE: 1999 "ALIEN ATTACK" (1980) Movie Art

In order to help recoup the high production costs of their TV series, Space: 1999, production company ITC Entertainment edited together various episodes into 2-hour "features" for television syndication and International theatrical distribution in the early 80s. In all, four "movies" were cobbled together from the two seasons of 1999.

The first of these, Alien Attack, was comprised of the first season episodes "Breakaway" and "War Games," along with a few minutes of new footage shot for the release. These new scenes featured actor Patrick Allen and provided an opportunity to see what was happening on Earth when the Moon was knocked out of orbit... although the 1999 setting of the series was changed to a more futuristic 2100 for the feature!

This artwork (and I wish I knew who the artist was) appeared on an ITC promotional flyer distributed to television syndicators. Here's the flip side:


  1. The planned Space 1999 reboot is reportily being called Space 2099

  2. They obviously used "War Games" because it is the most action-packed episode of season one which they were hoping would appeal to a post-Star Wars audience. However, I've always thought that "Breakaway" and "Earthbound" would have been much better pairing.

    1. "Breakaway" and "Earthbound" are closer in tone to each other. Although they are two of the best episodes, "War Games" along with "Dragon's Domain" have a slightly different feel to them than the rest of the season one episodes. In order for these "mash-up" movies to be cohesive, the conjoined episodes need to be as similar as possible in tone and feel.

    2. The introduction of Commissioner Simmonds in "Breakaway" and his subsequent fate in "Earthbound" provides nice continuity. His story arc would actually become the throughline of the "movie." By contrast, in "Alien Attack" he's a prominent character for the first half of the movie and then disappears with no explanation. This makes the fact that this is two completely separate episodes slapped together even more obvious.

    3. The Kaldorians (on their way to Earth) and the Alphans (drifting away from Earth) literally passing each other in space immediately following the events of "Breakaway" works better from a timeline perspective as well since the moon is obviously still relatively close to Earth or at least still in our solar system. When paired with "War Games", the moon is blasted out of Earth's orbit then come across an inhabited planet almost immediately. Really? LOL!

    I do have to give them a little credit though for at least making an effort with the additional bridging scenes. As bad as they are, it shows they at least tried. And "Alien Attack" will always hold a special place in my heart as it the way I was finally able to see "Breakaway" (and "War Games") for the first time since they were not included in the syndication package on PBS where I saw the rest of the series.

    And that cover art is fantastic!! The likenesses of Barbara and Martin are perfect and a bonus for them giving Alan some cover time for a change! :-)

  3. I think the art is by UK artist Chantrel, who did the classic "Dirty Dozen" inspired poster for the UK quads of STAR WARS in 1978. But I can't be sure...

  4. I obviously agree with Scott on bridging 'Breakaway' and 'Earthbound' for the Simmons arc..

    I'd suggest also pairing Breakaway and 'Matter of Life&Death', only from the stand point of the Helena 'arc'.. MOL&D has such a nice Helena ending, overall, from her coldness in Breakaway, it would also provide a satisfying ending of sorts (as well as the Meta signals..).

    I understand MOL&D would have a problem with Koenig's line of being out in space for a while, but that could be edited out.

    Despite the slower pace of MOL&D, I typically pair 'em up when I'm showing the show to new folks. It works out well.

  5. Scott:
    If I remember correctly in the new footage, they mentioned in "Their last faded transmission" that Comissioner Simmonds had died from injuries that were more serious than originally thought along with "many other casualties" but Earth was indeed left with the knowledge that Alpha did survive the nuclear blast. I would love to see this released on DVD sometime just for the extra footage.