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Old 08-03-2006, 10:29 PM   #1
Mark IX Fan
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Default SPACE: 1999 Year Two Defense

SPACE: 1999's second season routinely gets blasted as being inferior to Year One. And to a certain degree, I would concur. Year One was definitely more cerebral, ethereal, sometimes outright weird, and many times downright spooky.

Year Two obviously took a turn towards a more common denominator, namely action, and while that was a letdown, I 'm sure there are many of us late 30 somethings who simply ate it up every Saturday night as kids.

I would submit that even in it's worst hours, Year Two was and is still more entertaining than a lot of what passes for sci-fi TV. Who among us doesn't wish that sci-fi channel would devote some of their all day marathons to SPACE: 1999, even if it is Year Two episodes? Certainly they would be more welcome than pseudo sci-fi lite such as "Quantum Leap" or the more truly absurd cheese-fests like "Buck Rogers In The 25th Century".

So the two years are different. So are my children, but I still manage to love 'em both.

So who's with me in agreeing that Year Two wasn't all that bad?

(Cut to sound of crickets chirping....)
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Old 09-03-2006, 01:34 AM   #2
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I agree, However, I also think that "Buck Rogers In The 25th Century"
is still more entertaining than a lot of what passes for sci-fi TV today.
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Old 09-03-2006, 02:04 AM   #3
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There are several Year Two episodes I like, such as A B Chrysalis, Bringers of Wonder and, believe it or not, All That Glisters. So yes, the second season has its share of entertainment value to offer.

However, it utterly lost the more serious and threatening atmosphere of 'facing the unknown,' and regularly endulged too much in quick action, silly monsters and pushing credibility to torturous limits. And since Victor was my favorite character, for me it lost something vital from the very beginning.

Comparing Year One and Year Two is somewhat like comparing Alfred Hitchcock Presents with The A-Team. Truly, a case of apples and oranges.

As for Quantum Leap, I consider it one of the finest television series ever made, in any genre. Nothing 'lite' about it -- few series I've seen have been as consistently heartwrenching, well-written and excellent in every phase of production.

Just my opinion, of course.

Shane
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Old 09-03-2006, 02:43 AM   #4
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Hey, I like "Quantum Leap" as well. A very original and consistently well written and produced show. However, I question it's constant inclusion in Sci-Fi's lineup because it tends to emphasize "human drama" over outright sci-fi.

Sorry, I certainly didn't mean to come across as bad mouting eitehr QL or Buck Rogers (after all, Erin Gray did get me through puberty)....
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Old 09-03-2006, 04:12 AM   #5
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I prefer Year One to Year Two, for most of the reasons people have already mentioned.

I did feel the endless "we are barely surviving" mantra of the first season got a little tiring. Then year two swung too far the other direction, with an almost cavalier "oh well, let's not settle on this planet, the cable company doesn't even have the Sci Fi channel and you can't get decaf coffee"

Year Two did have some things I liked. I thought the costuming got somewhat more varied and realistic: the jackets have pockets, and we saw technicians and miners wearing coveralls. The moonbase signage was more interesting, but the ID badges were dumb .... I think after 5 years they all knew who each other was, and there probably was no more than 2 degrees of separation on who had slept with who. It's rather suprising that the first murder involving a love trangle didn't happen long before The Lamda Factor

And I loved seeing new hardware such as the spine boosters, side boosters, glider, Swift, research area, new launch pads, eagle hangers... and while the Superswift was the most over rated ship in the series. but I liked it. Still.... it's sad that the Eagles apparently lost the ability to separate the pod and the command module in year two. Or the writers were too busy writing exciting scenes where security guards get thrown around by the monster of the week.



In year two I did like a few of them:
AB Crysalis
The Exiles
Seance Spectre
Immunity Syndrome
Brian the Brain - I know, I know. A script written by a someone who saw "Nomad" on Star Trek and thought "the killer robot from an earlier space mission" had some nuances that just hadn't been explored yet. He was right, but some things man was just not meant to know, and I wish I hadn't found out. But hey, just turn down the sound and watch the Swift fly by.
Metamorph - although I'm a little tired of the Mad Scientist who has a noble goal, is suave, and does horribly evil things, I have to admit that at least Brian Blessed could pull it off.

But the most stinkers also appear that year.... Rules of Luton, One Moment of Humanity, Brian the Brian (with the sound on), Beta Cloud, Devil's Planet, The Mark of Archanon, Seed of Destruction, and so on.
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Old 09-03-2006, 06:48 AM   #6
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Space 1999 year two had some really cool model FX sequences which was cool. I was not too keen on the rubber man in a suit monster that kept turning up so freqently though. I do agree that some of the Sci-Fi show's over the last few years have just not been up to the standard that they should have been and some were just plain crap.

Regards Buck Rogers, what's not to like about Wilma Deering in her skin tight costumes Incidentally I saw Erin Gray a couple of years ago at a Memorabilia show and she still looked well fit.
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Old 09-03-2006, 07:01 AM   #7
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Space: 1999 had a second season???
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Old 09-03-2006, 01:01 PM   #8
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It's all cool, Mark IX Fan. I didn't take that you were bashing BR.

I find myself still only liking scifi series of old. Nothing much attracts
me in the ways I was and still am attracted to old series. For instance, I
watched every episode of Babylon 5 during it's first original run and did enjoy it.
Today, I have not a single interest in ever seeing it again. Nor collecting
a single item about it. Weird, I know.
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Old 09-03-2006, 01:13 PM   #9
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I have recently watched all of season one of Buck Rogers again. I used to thoroughly enjoy watching it when it was on the TV in 1979/1980.

But it had dated quite badly in parts I thought, mainly due to the fact that many episodes appear to live in 'disco land' all that gliiter and some of the costumes, very 70s and now unfortunately very dated, all good fun though and Wilma's costumes will live me me forever.

Although having more recently watched the original Battlestar Galactica season 1 series again, that series even though it is two years older then BR does not look as anywhere near as dated, that must purely be down to the 'disco' look of BR.
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Old 09-03-2006, 01:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyB
all good fun though.
That's the point for me. I think todays, sci fi has become too serious for me.

I look to sci fi television and films to entertain and take me away from
"serious" issues. In moderation "serious" subject matter has it's place
and is entertaining, but not as a steady diet for me. The science in science
fiction has over shadowed the fiction side for me. Frankly I don't care how
an Eagle Transporter flys. For me it's enough that it's cool when it does.

The world we live in is a very serious place today. Instead of feeding us
more seriousness in the form of our vegetables, I think TV and Film
needs to get onto dessert. Bring on the sweets!
Hopefully at some point it will switch back. Till then, I have my DVD's,
LD's and Vid-Tapes
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Old 09-03-2006, 06:06 PM   #11
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Russell

Funny you should say that about B5. I also enjoyed all five series and was tempted to buy the DVDs but realised I just could not sit through it all again.

Keith
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Old 09-03-2006, 07:49 PM   #12
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It's really strange, Keith. I don't know what it is about the series, I really
did like it and looked forward to every new episode. But there simply is no desire to ever watch it again.
Perhaps it falls under the "serious" catagory and when I watch something now I want to have lighter themes.
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Old 09-03-2006, 07:50 PM   #13
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I've welcomed the gritty drama of the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica. For me it's hard to go back to the ridiculousness of shows like Buck Rogers and Lost in Space. That isn't to say I won't watch such shows for the sake of nostalgia, but they just don't do it for me anymore.

I'd like someone to get daring and so even more cerebral, real science fiction. Maybe something from the classic works of Clark and Asimov - little stretching of reality, no casinos in space, and less of a reliance on soap opera for the main driving story.
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Old 09-03-2006, 07:55 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackBirdCD
and less of a reliance on soap opera for the main driving story.
I agree on this point. This is what turned me away from the new Dr. Who. I got fed up with the Daughter/Mother, Girlfriend/Boyfriend soap opera story lines.
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Old 10-03-2006, 06:25 AM   #15
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I still love 1999 season 1 - have only ever seen all of season 2 once - when I bought the series on video. I have the DVD's and am slowly making may way back through them.

MOTW (Monster of the Week) drove me batty as well. Maya was an easy out for each story. I may be wrong I'm relying on my memory here, but thats how I saw it. I have to say I love B5, have all the DVD's but I havn't watched them - odd.

I love thinking Sci Fi, but then like good blow them up stuff too - Aliens, T2. I never watched the original BG. I was young then and only had eyes for Leia, sory Star Wars, and this was a rip off!(so I thought) Now the new one, bloody brilliant. Whoops Bloody - can't use that on British TV in an Aussie add, can I get away with it here?

Still watching Star Gate, (Both versions) its not too cerebral. Now I've got a week off work so I may veg a little and revisit season 2 of 1999, and knock up a model or two - I have this urge.
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Old 10-03-2006, 06:50 AM   #16
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Default Y2 was fun

The responses here have been great. I particularly liked LastGuardian's "Comparing Year One and Year Two is somewhat like comparing Alfred Hitchcock Presents with The A-Team. Truly, a case of apples and oranges." Well said.

In defense of Year Two (Y2), I'd say:

* I liked the costume changes, the signage changes, the expansion of Alpha (as seen in "The Exiles", "Journey to Where", etc.).
* I enjoyed much of the gratuitous action scenes, such as "Space Warp", "The Beta Cloud", "Seance Spectre" and "Bringer of Wonder Parts I and II."
* I loved the music.
* I especially enjoyed the various new regular characters, three of whom were very endearing to me:

Tony Verdeschi
Maya
Bill Fraser

(I liked others, like Alibe Parsons and Dr. Ben Vincent, but those three were my Y2 favorites besides Alan Carter and John Koenig.)

One of the things that bothered me most in Year One: most Alphan guest stars were introduced, then killed off within the same episode:

Mike Baxter - End of Eternity
Anton Zoref - Force of Life
Regina Kessland - Another Time, Another Place
Dan Mateo - The Troubled Spirit
Bill Kelly - Space Brain
Tony Cellini - Dragon's Domain
...among others. Johnny Byrne and Christopher Penfold did quite a bit of downsizing (of the Alphan populace) in their scripts.

Y2 had it's fair share of Alphan deaths, too. It was more comforting to watch a Y2 episode, though, knowing the actors were more likely to be alive at the end than not.

Just remember: Fred Frieberger (executive producer) was trying to get a spin-off show established when Year Three didn't happen. We might have been treated to Maya, Tony and Alan cavorting around the galaxy together, under who-knows-what-premise. Ironically, Tony Anholt (Tony Verdeschi) didn't want to continue in his role for Y3.

Michael
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Old 10-03-2006, 02:55 PM   #17
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Over the years, I've noticed when discussing the music, there's usually a "love it or hate it" reaction to either season's musical score. I've also noticed a tendency to like one season's score over another's; rarely have I seen someone who likes both seasons' scores. I'm even guilty of it myself, prefering Season 1 to Season 2, but mainly that's because what I remember of Season 2's music was jazz-rock repeated in endless loops... I don't really care for looped music cues. (That's one reason I'm not a big fan of current pop music in America.) Taken on its own, I suspect that the music might not be all that bad; something to be said for--or against--editing, I guess.
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Old 10-03-2006, 04:23 PM   #18
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Year One Not saying I wouldn't stop what I was doing to watch a y2 episode. I just like the look and feel of Y1 over Y2. The second season to me was great but not as great as year one
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Old 10-03-2006, 04:42 PM   #19
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I love year 2 music - it is often playing in my model workshop/room. Year 1 music I like also but it was very grand and worked better in the tv series than it seems to do just on the Hi-Fi(which is what it's supposed to do). Year 2 does have some plus points but for me the overall loss of scale in the live-action sets ruined the series. I loved series 1 of Space 1999 because it just didn't look like a tv show, year 2 did.
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Old 10-03-2006, 04:54 PM   #20
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Anybody know where to get a Year 2 Soundtrack CD?

I also enjoyed the scores for both years. Different, true, but still appealing....
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