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Space:1999 - major flaws from the very start

cytherians

Alphans
I don't know... again, the evidence of that one window being replaced is there in the actual episode, though the viewer must pay attention. But more important, adding more expositionary/explanatory detail isn't really furthering the plot at all. I suspect that's why the 'reseal the window' line was deleted, too.

You do seem to find a lot 'laughable' with this series and its flaws, and as some of us have already pointed out, the series is certainly not without faults. I suppose the series is MST3K-worthy (they did do one of the Season 2 compilation 'movies,' as I recall), but that's not what most of us watch the show for. Just sayin'.
To clarify: I'm not saying one can't have a difference of opinion nor vocalise criticism, but this forum isn't exactly a 'bashing' site, so there may not be much agreement, and certainly not much willingness to keep discussions in that vein. Pointing out faults and coming up with solutions to them has always occurred, and as far as I'm concerned, shall always continue (using myself as an example, I've often made known my dislike for Season 2, but I've also pointed out some of its better points). But bear in mind that most members here have a love for this series, warts and all.

It's not so much laughable as what I thought to be rather glaring mistakes. And I was curious to know what others thought about them--supporting one side or another. Certainly given how long ago the series aired and how long this forum has been around, I figured it must have been discussed before, but that's either rolled off the archives or difficult to find. I've learned a lot from the responses I got here. :)

Despite the flaws, I watched the show and enjoyed it as a teenager. I was mesmerized by the spacecraft and devices on the series, especially the Eagle. Brian Johnson did a wonderful job of making it feel real. :thumbup: And those Mark IX Hawks were stunning--wish they could have gotten more screen time, and some close-ups.

Anyway, I'm very late to the activity here... It looks like many people here have gone through kit building and modding of the Eagle and then onto other things. I'm hoping to either find a used PE version in decent shape, or a kit that I can build this coming fall. Or... even some mods I could possibly do to my old AMT Eagles. :-/
 
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cytherians

Alphans
The biggest hurdle for me in any sci-fi series including this one is the ability of all aliens to understand and speak fluent English.

It's a bit more forgivable in a show like Star Trek:TNG because of so many members of the Federation, so it is easier to accept that English could be a primary language of all Federation planets. But there is no Federation in Space:1999. There is absolutely no reason why aliens on the other side of a Black Sun in some distant part of space happens to be familiar with English.

Sure you could explain maybe once or twice that some alien race has the ability to scan Computer for language information, but when every alien race knows how to speak English, well, that's hard to swallow even for a huge sc-fi fan like myself.

But I guess that's one of those things you just have to overcome and ignore if you're ever going to enjoy sci-fi.

It's a very complicated problem to solve, while still making for a good flow to the story. Star Trek had the advantage of advanced tech... a sub-dermal universal translator. If they got nitpicky about it, we could have seen their mouthes move out of sync with the audio, the spoken versus translated language being different. But that would've been clumsy.

Since most sci-fi at the time avoided language differences, Space:1999 can certainly be forgiven. One thing they could have done as an "easy way out" would be to make their first encounter with aliens one that was facilitated with the aliens using a special translator device of their own making. Before leaving Alpha, the aliens would bestow upon the humans one of the universal translators that they could use for future encounters. And the Alphans being as resourceful as they are would incorporate it into their comlocks--language problem solved. ;)
 

shadokp

Alphans
I have checked Gianni Padoan's Italian novelisation; there are no further details on Balor's expulsion. The mystery remains unsolved...

The books in question are mentioned here and are current releases (over the past few years). I am surprised more people haven't heard of them or read them - at least there has been little coonversation about them on the internet.

I found the whole Balor trilogy to be plausible. The other novels do some brave and controversial things and pretty much lots of fan like actions throughout. Overall I do not at all consider them canon because they take many great episodes like "Dragon's Domain" and change them around drastically.

KP
 

CR

Alphans
It's a very complicated problem to solve, while still making for a good flow to the story. Star Trek had the advantage of advanced tech... a sub-dermal universal translator. If they got nitpicky about it, we could have seen their mouthes move out of sync with the audio, the spoken versus translated language being different. But that would've been clumsy.

Since most sci-fi at the time avoided language differences, Space:1999 can certainly be forgiven. One thing they could have done as an "easy way out" would be to make their first encounter with aliens one that was facilitated with the aliens using a special translator device of their own making. Before leaving Alpha, the aliens would bestow upon the humans one of the universal translators that they could use for future encounters. And the Alphans being as resourceful as they are would incorporate it into their comlocks--language problem solved. ;)
Another cool idea! :yes:

I'm reminded of the Power Records S99 story, Return to the Beginning," that has Bergman creating a 'commulator,' a modified commlock that translates the local language--in this case, Earth during biblical times. (In the story, the moon had gone back in time to Earth at the time of Noah's Ark. Yep. The Alphans got to witness the start of the 40 days & nights of rain. Not one of the best made-up stories, but the artwork in the comic book was nice.)
 

Cellini

Alphans
Another cool idea! :yes:

I'm reminded of the Power Records S99 story, Return to the Beginning," that has Bergman creating a 'commulator,' a modified commlock that translates the local language--in this case, Earth during biblical times. (In the story, the moon had gone back in time to Earth at the time of Noah's Ark. Yep. The Alphans got to witness the start of the 40 days & nights of rain. Not one of the best made-up stories, but the artwork in the comic book was nice.)

It is also true that the language problem is present in non sci-fi movie as well. Think about Indiana Jones or James Bond or WWII movies; we have English-speaking characters going around the world and everyone else speaks English (I have always wondered: do they all speak English in Casablanca?). To me this is of great consolation. :mrgreen:
 

JMChladek

Alphans
I addressed the problem of the Eagle's ability to enter planet atmospheres in the thread "Eagle, what a crap design" a few years back. High heat loads on reentry come from a craft using aerobraking and the atmosphere to shrug off speed. As such, a craft like a space shuttle can only use its OMS motors to slow its speed down just enough that the perigee of its orbit touches the atmosphere and air friction does the rest. Touching the atmosphere doesn't guarantee it will start to heat up. But if you come plowing in at 17,500 mph or about 22,000 mph (Apollo CM reentry speeds), then it gets a bit sticky.

But an Eagle has engines that are nuclear fueled and likely can perform a more extreme braking manuever to shrug off most of its velocity above the atmosphere before it descends. I've done it in the orbiter space sim program. You do a big burn above the atmosphere and the targeted landing site, then gravity takes over. Actually, the air drag helps to slow down the craft to a more manageable terminal velocity the denser you get in the atmosphere and the craft doesn't seem to heat up all that much. But eventually the hover engines need to fire to maintain altitude. Flying an Eagle like a jet or a helicopter is kind of ludicrous, but possible (just very wasteful of energy). But hey, that is where dramatic effect comes in.

Of course, in "The Last Sunset" Carter was kind of dumb to go flying into a storm cloud. He forgot he was flying a spacecraft and he could have poured it on with the boosters to get OVER the weather (and the atmosphere) since he wasn't limited by a service ceiling. But he neglected to do that.
 

CR

Alphans
Thanks, JMChladek, for giving us a plausible--if wasteful--possibility for atmospheric reentry. I'd forgotten about that thread.
That reminds me, back in the mid-1980's, I read an exciting SF-action novel wherein a large spacecraft made a slow descent into an atmosphere by matching the planet's rotation and just letting gravity pull it down slowly over a particular spot. Don't know if it's similar to what you've described (and I don't remember the particulars/details), but I thought it was quite different than any other reentry I'd heard of. Wish I could remember the title & author; I think I actually have a copy of it in my collection, but most of my novels have been packed away in storage for some time...

Nice speculation about Carter's stormy flight (and how he could have gotten out of it), too. I guess the pilot in him just missed 'real' flying so much that he wanted to have a little fun & excitement. No wonder Paul got mad at him about it later! (Of course, what real pilot outside of hurricane trackers would fly into a storm?)
 
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cytherians

Alphans
Thanks for the refresher on that, JMChladek. It's an interesting proposal on how to handle the atmospheric friction upon re-entry creating significant heat.

Heh, yeah I remember that part when Carter flies into that storm. What's puzzling is that he took a number of flights into planetary atmospheres across the series, so just because an atmosphere is on the moon shouldn't cause him to think differently. It does seem very odd that he didn't think to just rise above it. Oh well. Alan has made plenty of mistakes before. ;)
 

JMChladek

Alphans
That is essentially what I was describing CR. Of course an Eagle wouldn't necessarily have to break all its forward momentum, just enough to keep the heat loads down on descent. I seem to recall the Nostromo did something similar when it landed on LV426 in the first Alien movie (although it was a rather big craft compared to an Eagle).

I am convinced if Helena was doing her job properly, she would have grounded Alan a long time ago for all the knocks on the head he took at least. The guy survived multiple Eagle crashes (at least one of which killed the co-pilot), being too close to a nuclear charge blowing up an asteroid, getting whacked on the head, stunned, etc... But hey, if she grounded Alan, she would probably have needed to do the same thing to Commander Koenig. So, I guess that explains why the mentally unstable Tony Cellini also seemed to get a pass to come back to Alpha after the Ultra Probe. You would have to be CRAZY to live on the Moon!!! ;)
 

1999man

Alphans
Hello All!
In response to the complaints of the elegant design of the 1999 EAGLE not being worthy of a safe decent reentry into a atmosphere that is similar to earth without burning up, I have to say that firstly that this is a craft that can control it's own levitation without the concern of gravity and can reenter an atmosphere slowly more controlled and much smoother- without the concern of the hard brutal fast pull from gravity unlike our unfortunate non -antigravitational Apollo spaceships and and soon to be post shuttle days. It's doesn't have to reenter at 25,000 mph. Remember folks this craft has artificial controlled internal gravity as well as the use of antigravity, when that's licked, the design problem is solved -I feel! So there! Don't be Hatin!

One last thing though, what's wrong with flare pants and platform shoes? Loose comfortable clothes are better overall -no yeast infection or jock itch! Although I do wonder about where the alphans put there platform boots while on a spacewalk!

Just had to get it off my chest! PEACE!!
 

cmdrkoenig67

Alphans
I have to disagree to some extent about Space:1999 being guilty of aliens conveniently speaking English. In Season 1 of Space:1999, most of the episodes that had aliens, they were so advanced they had ways of learning to speak English...

In Ring Around The Moon, the Tritonian probe accessed the Alpha computer.

In Earthbound, Zantor and his compatriots do not speak for a time after first waking (It could speculated that their computer may have been taking the time in recording the speech of the Alphans in order to translate for the Kaldorians).

In Missing Link, Raan mentions that he can read the Alphan's minds, that all Zennites are telepathic (absorbing the English language shouldn't be much of an issue for an advanced telepathic race).

In Guardian of Piri, the Guardian infiltrated Alpha's computer and programed the servant robot appropriately.

In Alpha Child, Jarak had mental powers we really don't know the extent of and while in Jackie's body he observed and learned as he grew.

In Space Brain, the brain didn't speak English, but it did it's best to try and communicate, using Kelly as a go-between.

In War Games, the aliens were telepathic.

Gwent also takes over Alpha's computer, in The Infernal Machine. He may have also given Companion the ability to speak to the Alphans.

In The Last Enemy, the Alphan computer is hacked...Again.

In episodes like The Last Sunset, Collision Course and Voyager's Return...Aliens that advanced shouldn't really have much trouble translating their language into English and vise versa.

It seems to me (in the first season, at least), most of the episodes made an effort to explain how communication was possible between the Alphans and the aliens they met.

Dana
 
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Senmut

Alphans
Plus, there's one MAJOR thing that was completely overlooked: Water. H2O.

Water is the wellspring of life. Without it, there's no possible life as we know it. Back in the 1970's, there wasn't any formal speculation of water being present on the moon. We have detected some presence of it in recent years, but the amount is still extremely small relative to the size of the moon.



http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110526141400.htm
 

Ham Salad

Alphans
THE MAIN FLAWS WITH SPACE:1999

The idea of taking the moon out of the solar system on a journey through space sounds really intriguing, but it's just plain ridiculous. We all know that space is vast and that habitable planets are many thousands of light years away.


That's right...except that in the show, the moon passed through a space warp/wormhole after it passed planet Ultra just outside the solar system. THIS IS MENTIONED IN THE SHOW. It both took the moon into an area where stars are much closer together (more toward the galactic core) and accelerated the moon to a velocity much closer to c. Therefore, stars were months apart rather than years.

Did you watch the show?


>The other issue is the means by which the moon was yanked out of Earth orbit. Nuclear waste is not explosive on its own.


That's right: it wasn't a nuclear explosion, it was a sustained fusion reaction which was caused by magnetic flux created by interaction between the atomic waste and the moons magnetic anomalies. It was more like a sustained rocket thrust than an explosion, if you noticed they mentioned this IN THE SHOW. I don't remember exactly how long they said the reaction lasted but it was several G's for a sustained period...



>Another issue is gravity. It's very light on the moon, and yet everybody moves around like they're on Earth. At the very least, they should have mentioned some gravitation enhancers as a base system, periodically needing attention or partially damaged in an incident.


THEY DID!!!! They used 'gravity generator towers' in the show:
As a matter of fact, they used them to generate the force field they used to protect the base from the wormhole/space warp. They specifically did a demonstration of this in the episode! Outside the ring of gravity generator towers the 1/6 gravity was seen, as evidenced by the use of slow motion and wire-work...remember how the first astronaut died in BREAKAWAY by jumping too high and fracturing his helmet visor?

>And what about power? Well, I think we're told that Alpha has some nuclear power plants. This certainly works, but then the question remains as to how much nuclear fuel they have.

Who knows how much (and of what) there is on the moon? One thing we DO know is that they were FUSION powerplants, like the thrusters on the eagles...so technically they could theoretically eat ANYTHING as fuel. Rock. Gas . Garbage. Anything matter can be fused.


>Lastly, the Eagle transporter was such a very interesting piece of design work that probably would have actually worked as a spacecraft on the moon or ferrying between the moon and orbital stations on the moon and Earth. But for atmospheric re-entry? C'mon.


Well, for one thing they did not do high speed re-entry: they wouldn't have to worry about heat shields. Having fusion engines would mean on the earth moon run they could use thrust pretty lavishly. Further, it is mentioned that the eagles used a variation on the gravity field generator to 'field streamline' and lower the inertia of the ship...therefore rendering it almost mass-less. This also explains how the eagles 'fly' in an atmosphere: They behave more like a lighter than air craft than a spacecraft. They used the engines to overcome friction and change direction/ maintain powered flight. One might also posit they had to turn the field off just before touchdown to avoid exposing passengers to 2 gravities....

Remember, there is gravity on the eagles? This development was supposedly something victor came up with as well.

As I remember (very old memories) , the eagles supposedly used liquid for fuel (hydrogen? Water?), which was fused in the engines to produce thrust. It's stored in the fuel pods which the foot pads stick out of....

Is it just me, or doesn't anyone else remember this stuff? I remember at 14 years old being impressed on the way they cleverly explained all this...
 
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dukedexter

Alphans
That's right...except that in the show, the moon passed through a space warp/wormhole after it passed planet Ultra just outside the solar system. THIS IS MENTIONED IN THE SHOW. It both took the moon into an area where stars are much closer together (more toward the galactic core) and accelerated the moon to a velocity much closer to c. Therefore, stars were months apart rather than years.
Did you watch the show?

Which episode mentions a wormhole near Ultra and the Moon travelling close to the speed of light? :-/
 

Ham Salad

Alphans
Which episode mentions a wormhole near Ultra and the Moon travelling close to the speed of light? :-/

I don't remember the title, but I do remember victor mentioning that without protection the base would be destroyed...and then doing a demo featuring laying a sheet of plastic across a model of the moon base showing how modifying the grav generators would protect them from the passage. I remember the episode was after dragons Domain, because it was AFTER they passed the planet ultra, which was supposedly a new planet lying outside the orbits of the known planets. They did not specify exactly how fast the moon was accelerated, only that it was moving much faster...by the results a fair assumption would be between .10 and .5 c. Now, if you know the operational radius of an eagle you could figure it out, assuming the stars in that region were about a light year apart. At any rate, it was fast enough they would get within range of a system every few months. The other part of this assumption is that there would be a certain amount of time dilation involved, so to the alphans the time between planetary encounters would seem to be even shorter. Bear in mind, these are better than 35 year old memories....
 
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Ham Salad

Alphans
I thought he got electrocuted and then smashed his visor on a really big rock?

How did he get electrocuted? He tried to jump through a barrier. I seem to remember he jumped clear over the moonbuggy at one point. Clearly, there was 1/6 gravity at that particular waste dump.
 
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Andy2035

Alphans
Another thing you need to remember is that when Space: 1999 was first released, Space travel was still in it's childhood but was advancing quickly, so to think that in the next 30yrs we'd have a Moon-base, Eagles etc was still a belief...

And as mentioned for everything else, this is a fictional show and one for us to use our own imagination, after watching it I would go up to my bedroom sit on my bed and think I was flying my own Eagle, this is what these shows are for, to take us from the hum drum of "real" life to one where we can be anyone or any where our imagination takes us...

So instead of looking for the flaws etc, let your imagination take over and whisk you to wherever you want...

Andy...
 
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